Monday, August 20, 2012

North Umpqua Chronicle - August 20, 2012


The Summer Run of steelhead is well underway; my legs are already exhausted as a mountain climber, my casting arm aches like a sore armed Seattle reliever, my feet hurt like a New York cop..… take it from me, I am thrashed.    Fishing partner Jim Stanton is even worse off in my estimation.  We happened to stop at Spot X……Stanton sees a fish down there and magnanimously I allow him to go down and fish for it. 

I am the older of the two, you see,…..by one week and I question Jim’s good sense as we gazed down the steep, rugged trail of shattered loose rock with very little hand holds to cling to. He somehow survives the trip down. Surprisingly the fish is still there.  He wades upriver slightly out of view and then there is a shout from below. I holler “have you got him” and then see his yellow fly line being launched through the air  unencumbered by any connection to the fly rod and continuing out over the trees, flying away free to land who knows where. We are sure it would have won the Olympic fly line throw if there was such an event. We have no idea how the line got disconnected from itself. I thought it was truly hilarious…Jim, not so much.

Pat Mc.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

North Umpqua Chronicle July 29, 2012

Becky and I get back to the cabin after watching grandson, Callan, play in an All Star game. Jim Stanton, staying at the cabin, greets me with the news he found a pod of fish in the upper river and having several big “look-see jumps.” At least it is some evidence that fish have finally entered the river.

Keith Bendix, also at the cabin with son, Gannon, tells us at lunch about a fish coming to his Nemo and then disappearing in the lower river showing more evidence of the presence of fish.

Hope builds upon hope, so after Jim and Keith have gone back home, Becky and I go out. She has better eyes than I and sees a steelhead holding deep in a crevasse at lower Archie. I am excited and sneak quietly down the bank to fish over it. But, when I reach the bank, my fly, which had been hooked on one of the guides, comes loose and becoming a tangle along the bank. My frustration is overwhelming and results in more than just a little thrashing and swearing. By the time the episode is over, I am surprised to find out the fish is still there. But, as I cast to it, the fish clearly has no intention of even looking at my fly.

So, we hop in the Bum and head to Upper, Upper Archie where we park along the guard rail. I quickly march upriver to the trail and, as quiet as possible, stumble and slide my way down it until I can crouch along side the casting rock. I strip out 4 or 5 arm lengths of line and lay a Nemo, out into the river. Immediately, a large fish shoots straight up into the air and smacks down loudly. I can hear Becky’s shriek from up on the road where she was standing and watching. Two more times, I do same thing with the same result. After several more casts, the pool is silent as if the fish had never been there.

Back up on the roadside, I find myself nearly as happy as I would have been had I hooked up…..at least it was something.