Monday, October 12, 2015

Little fishing, little riding, lots of beauty...

This past weekend we did a little charity ride to help raise $ for a local family who's child is going through treatment for cancer.  You don't have to twist my arm to raise funds for such a cause.  After we were on the receiving end of such work, I can safely say it's a gift that is hugely helpful.  That said, this ride was made sweeter by including the trails I first started to ride.

When I was a kid, I'd fish constantly.  My dad likes to say he put the first 5k on his subaru wagon (about 30 years ago) by driving me to fishing spots - over one season!  So, as mountain bikes became more common, they decided it was cheaper to get me one for a birthday gift than it was to keep driving me around...

They bought me a bike, and at first, I rode every where to fish.  My good friend started to too.  And then we started riding to ride, then racing... and a second lifelong curiosity was born for me: preparation for and performance in endurance sports.  That lead to reading college sports science texts for fun in high school, and having been involved with endurance sports for over 25 years with about 20 of those as coach professionally.

It's been an amazing part of my life, but, over the last 10-15 years, I've been so busy professionally and then family wise, that I've had time to really train and enjoy sport myself as much.  I get to ride some or run some or hike or lift or whatever, but rare is a consistent patch of actual training or the chance to do a solid all day ride through the woods.  All fun things I enjoy... and hope to gradually get back to.

But, short term... What a day Saturday was.  2 river valleys, both containing wild fish, both that I've loved to fish pretty much my whole life.  Plus lots and lots of great ridges to climb and descend, awesome single track along rivers... Just great on all levels.  Do that on a perfect fall day - 60 degrees, nice breeze, great color... Ahhhhhh!

There is a bridge which no longer is passable by car over this river.  The trail goes up stream to the bridge, crosses the bridge/river and goes up stream on the other side.  This pic is looking south west, down stream with the river 30' below.  Had a day with a friend where we must have been fishing a few hours after the stocking truck, because we must have caught 30-40 rainbow's below this bridge each that night!

A locally famous trail that we call "the river trail" which was made by fishermen over the years, and maybe by native people's before hand.  I'm standing on the right side, but the trail is just left of that little tree left center and goes a bit diagonally from left to right to the center of the pic then straight away.  It's a trail with some technical points, but it's beauty next to the river is worth it!

Sitting on a rock jutting out into the river eating a cliff bar and enjoying a little break.  I've caught a lot of fish in this run...

Then today, I took lunch stream side.  Quick shot to a local wild trout water, and it was great.  Cooler still in the shade of the forest - the brightening leaves still offering shade.  The water temp was low, but the flow on the light side for this largely spring fed water.  And, the result was that, although I saw several fish, I only had 2 takes and both were missed on my part.  Not sure if they were brookies, browns or fall fish.  Regardless, it was really enjoyable to walk the stream and take in the sights.

Next to that log on the right, about 3/4 up, I caught a 13" brown earlier this year - giant on this stream.  I thought that the changing colors today were pretty and that this pic of the spot from late may or early June this year showed some neat changes - same spot... Greener and more water below.
The fall picture above this one was taken standing pretty much on that little rock pile.  

One of my favorite runs, today was quite still due to low flow.  That giant hemlock on the left, about half of that tree is undercut by the water and what a cavern it creates for the trout to hide.

I also saw something that could save this sport we all love.  A rare site today regrettably, and something that made me really feel good.  As I pulled in, I saw to creatures leaving the stream with rod's jammed into back packs - those creatures were kids of the 12-14 year old variety, pedaling away on their bikes.  I could see sneaker tracks working the edges of some pools as I fished, and it made me feel great.  I don't know if those kids caught anything.  I dont know if they were using bait or spinners.  But I know they looked like they had fun, and they were fishing in the outdoors.  Exploring the world on their terms and learning.  AWESOME!

Keep well


  1. Lovely tour Will. I love it when you have several takes and no hookups. The thought that stays with you, the mystery of what it might have been.
    Glad you had some time to connect with nature.

    1. Absolutely true Alan. Fishing is about a heck of a lot more than catching.

  2. The allure of fishing small streams probably started with our childhood for most of us. It's nice to hear that kids are still riding their bikes to go fishing!

    1. My thoughts exactly Mark. On so many levels, seeing kids out, exploring the natural world and having fun is awesome.