Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Fall has Fell

So where did the summer go? One day I'm wearing shorts and bitching about the rivers levels being too low and the water too warm and then the next minute I'm back to long pants and bitching about the river levels are too high and the water being too cold. Why couldn't I have found out that my waders leaked in July?
Actually autumn is one of my favorite times of year. It's a season of movement,change and big salmon plowing up through shallow riffles.
Alas the salmon are getting scarce these days but the miracle of the spawning runs is still a wonder to behold.
Fall is the season of my favorite fish, the Coastal Cutthroat trout. Over the years I have developed a special affinity for these wonderful trout and I try to protect them and even fight for them when I have to.
On the Oregon coast these trout are little more than an after thought and nuisance. In the immortal words of the great Rodney Dangerfield these trout "Don't get no respect"
Anglers on north Oregon coast streams are after the bigger salmon and steelhead so the lowly cutthroat trout are of little importance to them.
I've often said that I will take a 17 inch cutthroat trout over a 30 pound salmon any day is absolutely the truth and so naturally the fall season is a special time for me.
The thing about fall though is sometime the transition to winter is too short. In years past it seems like we go straight from balmy indian summer days right into the big chill. I need time to get ready and at least a chance to dig through all my junk to find my "mood" light that gets me through the cold months of winter with some semblance of sanity.
Last year I made one last trip over to the Deschutes in early November and almost played it too close. It started snowing hard about 25 miles east the summit at Government Camp. I was low on gas because of a malfunctioning fuel gage so it was pretty much touch and go until we found a gas station open.
Well that won't happen this year because this year I will not scoff at the weather reports when they call for snow at Mt. Hood.
I also like fall because I still have about 6 weeks of either Deschutes steelhead and cutthroat trout to look forward to. Some of the best fishing for the year is in September/October.
Even though the summer slipped by me this year I will still enjoy the fall season of salmon, cutthroat trout and color.
I hope you all have a pleasant fall season.

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