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!
|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.
|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!