Thursday, April 30, 2009

Miscellaneous Rants and Thoughts

For something different that I would comment briefly on a few things that are going on in my angling life.
It is very early in the morning and so all of these "pearls of wisdom" might sound profound to my sleep deprived mind right now but after a restful sleep I may delete some of them but maybe not.

River access is a hot button topic here in the Pacific Northwest but very few really take the time to understand where landowners are coming from.
One of my steelhead runs is being closed because some knucklehead slipped and fell along the river bank and then tried to sue the landowner! Is it any wonder why river access is lost?

I had an embarrassing senior moment yesterday at Costco. Without boring you folks with the details I found myself apologizing to the checkout lady for my "brain fart"
What makes this troubling is it's just another sign of getting old and I do not enjoy getting old.However with age comes wisdom and experience and that is a plus. Too bad that I could not have been this smart when I was younger. Of course when I was younger I thought I knew it all....such a conundrum!

I wonder why the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife even bothers with the charade that they care about wild salmon,trout and steelhead. They continue to defy common sense with their mismanagement of Oregon's coldwater fisheries. The newest victim of ODFW is the fall chinook runs of the north coast. Once a trophy salmon fishery these north coast leviathans are disappearing at an alarming rate and there is talk of some fall closures.....more later on this.

With so much strife in the country these days I am leaning on fly fishing more and more as solace and escape from all of the troubles in the world.
It's like I get into a time lock where everything stands still except my fly and the river. The worries and anxiety melt away, at least temporarily. Over the years I have enjoyed many styles of fishing but fly fishing is the only one that is truly a sedative for the soul.

When faced with the possibility of some coastal salmon closures one would think that the logical thing to do is rally behind the concept of saving fish so they can spawn. Not so with north coast bait guides! They are thinking only of their own self preservation. Sure they will give lip service to protecting these fish but when push comes to shove it's always about them and their pocketbook. If these mercenaries and carpetbaggers really cared they would maybe support things like reduced bag limits and bait bans.

It's cool to write about the beauty of a river and marvel at the wild steelhead spawning in it. To me at least I feel compelled to do as much as I can to make sure that these wonders are here for future generations. What I find puzzling is how some can write flowery prose about the joy of the outdoors as they walk along their own private piece of paradise but when action to preserve this beauty is required they are absent and nonchalant....go figure.

So tomorrow I will once again journey to the Deschutes. Hopefully the wind will have mercy on me but I am not counting on it. It doesn't matter though and I will be grateful just to be there. I am finding that contentment in our life does not always have to have tangible results. Happiness and success can be found in the simplest of things and with the Deschutes the contentment is all around you. Fish? yeah they are a nice bonus but so is finding a nice piece of quartz along the river bank or seeing a bird that you have not seen before. I like red wing black birds that perch among the sage and juniper of the Deschutes and am happy to see one every trip. I would love to spot a rattler tomorrow but at a safe distance of course.
Contentment is where you find it. You set the bar too high and expect some kind of holy experience every time you walk the river then you are more often than not going to be disappointed.
Look to the small things to make your trip a success.


  1. "What I find puzzling is how some can write flowery prose about the joy of the outdoors as they walk along their own private piece of paradise but when action to preserve this beauty is required they are absent and nonchalant....go figure."

    Wisdom. I just learned this lesson too. Had to be at peace with it,or lose as friends the persons I respected that would not put forth 5 minutes of effort on behalf of the beauty they worshiped.

    Wisdom comes with age.
    Too bad we get creaky and crusty too. Imagine what youth could do with wisdom...

  2. A Rise on Neversink

    We head upstream past fallen Hemlocks,
    Crawling recumbent through advancing grass.
    Wetness prevails from the night before,
    And the Groundhog shakes his head in disbelief.

    Sun perched on Doubletop Mountain,
    Shown the rising Brown sip his prey.
    I wait, another rise boils the riffle.
    My eyes question when, Grandpa gives the nod.
    The shooting line breaks the winds path,
    Invisible leader curls resisting gravity.
    The Skater finds its mark, spinning without authority,
    Setting a course through the waters force.

    Emerald moss, dripping wet jewels,
    Deepens the blue green pool,
    Theodore Gordens reflection shown now,
    He smiles, the breeze whispers "tight lines".

    Scrambling from my knees I find
    The Brown makes his approach, only to show his back.
    My heart pounds and only my gut tightens.
    Disappointment whelms over, an encouraging nudge, prods from behind.

    Gordens voice once again calls,
    Performed by the spruce needles murmur,
    Patience s s s s s s
    My hands begin to steady, premise clear.

    Double hauling as if my life depended.
    As beautiful an object of lavish nature produces,
    From underneath he assaults, Skater devoured, groping,
    Grasped with bent snout, out maneuvering his prey.

    Tipet strained, whining fervent praise,
    Moving for swift water, he surfaces briefly
    Seeking the currents leverage.
    He educates his pupil with magical ploy.

    A broken tippet hangs down in contempt, against the tender Payne,
    The evening hatch finds sanctuary,
    And only the Catskills angling legend lingers in the air.
    This lesson complete, the boy dreams.

    And Theodore awaits the morning encore.