Friday, April 29, 2011

The Bamboo Rides in the Cab and other Musings

So it was off to the Deschutes for my first visit of the year on Wednesday last. So what if the river was running at 6500 cfs. So what if I had to go through The Dalles to get to Maupin since there was still snow on the Government Camp summit and so what if gas is nearly $4 a gallon....I was going.The Columbia Gorge continues to be awe inspiring along I-84 and I have often looked at the palisades along the river and think of how it has remained virtually unchanged. I imagine Lewis and Clark's Corp of Discovery must have marvelled at the Columbia Gorge as they passed on their way to the Pacific ocean over 200 years ago.
The hillsides along the highway from The Dalles to Maupin were green and lush from the almost constant rain and even though I much prefer the usual route I take to get to the Deschutes this route had it's own charm. When I arrived at the Deschutes there was just a hint of the summer to come in the air. The smell of sage and the occasional blue winged olive greeted me as I inspected the olive green water of the river. I was somewhat disappointed in the height and color of the river but I was still very pleased to be there.
I fished in all of my usual spots with only a few takes for my efforts but it didn't really care that much. I had just finished a very wet and truncated winter steelhead season so the change of pace was much looked forward to.
I think that maybe an angler has gained some degree of maturity when he can visit a river and not be discouraged but the lack of angling success. I guess that in my 38 years of fishing for trout,salmon and steelhead here in the northwest I would hope to have matured enough in my outlook of this passion called fly fishing to appreciate the river and it's surroundings.
I took along my most prized fly rod on this trip. It's a bamboo rod that I actually participated in the construction and I never let it ride in the bed of my truck, it always rides in the cab. It gets lovingly wiped down with a micro-fleece towel and if the weather if damp, hung on a special rack to dry for a few days.
Like clockwork the afternoon wind came blowing up the canyon but this is the Deschutes after all and the wind is just a part of this river and it's canyon.
To me the Deschutes is like a dangerous mistress that you are so attracted to that you just keep coming back. It's an addiction to this river that there is no cure for and to be away from it for a few months of winter is much like a tortuous withdrawal.
I will always come back to the Deschutes as long as I am physically able to because I love it and like that mistress that I mentioned earlier I just cannot stay away.
If gas goes up to $5 a gallon I will still come back because the bond is just that strong and my bamboo rod will ride along beside me in the front seat where it should be.

1 comment:

  1. A vintage bamboo fly rod could attract a steep price especially when tested heavily by time and experience. A personally made bamboo fly rod assures the user that there were no shortcuts in the way this rod was made and that there is no short changing of the finest materials used to create such. The result is no less than the finest hand crafted bamboo fly rod that is surely meant to become vintage as the years go by.