Fishing in the Cascades - we're in the mountains - no really I mean it - and the Taylor River Kicks my ass
The area kicks the fishes asses as well - they are not big, but they are tough competitors. It's seriously difficult place to make a living! This is not some gentle stream here - this is run off of snow pack over recently uplifted, glacially tumbled, and seismically jolted rock - water is literally running down steep drops in altitude.
It's a long walk all the way down this river to where I can't get beyond - can't get beyond due to the fact it's usually late by now - and still a long way back to the car - and there are some pretty huge boulders that don't move one season to the next and that I'd have to climb around or over or go through the brush...
My experience is late afternoon to early evening is the best - and the wonderful thing about summers here are the extra long days.
And the best place to be on a hot afternoon is standing ankle deep in the river.
Also inspiration for a painting... see the painting blog here for the image
OK, some days fishing is perfect - it's late July, the water is low, the sun is hot (over 80) and the fish are jumping to grab flies on the surface just where you think they'll be... well most of the time.
Late in the afternoon - shadow self portrait.
One more thought -- As I was traveling - carefully downriver - It was thinking - this is a pretty convoluted walk and maybe just above my skill level now that I'm over 60. I end up thinking I simply need to keep going here as long as I can. Just keep moving - carefully. It seemed like I was 40 for twenty years and now, well, I'm not.
Also getting back to my car there were some sketchy guys hanging out by the bridge where I'd parked. They wanted to know where my fish were. I said - I put them back in the river. I didn't change out of my boots - just put the rod in the car, took off my vest and took off. Huh. There are times when it is odd to be just out in the wild world totally on my own. But … again, what if I stop going out or let stuff really bug me? There are times, I confess, I do not stop here due to creepy men in the area... oh well. I usually find another place to go. However, there are more and more people....
But I will say there are times when being an older babe in the woods feels right to me - and that is a feeling I want to keep. I'll keep dodging.
- Decided to try out my six weight -- just what was the Sage rod I got -- could it be 15 years ago -- like? It casts fine - it's pretty stiff compared to the 4 weight and the 5 weight -- but it's a six!! Maybe i'll update that one as well, but not just now. Need to let the bank account settle back from the recent purchase of the Winston 4 wt.
When I was shopping for the for the 4 weight, I said to Pete from the fly shop, 'Don't laugh at my casting." he replied, "you are so funny - you cast fine. I'd say about 80% of the people who buy rods can't cast at all!" then he slapped the line around to demonstrate. It was odd the Winston felt just right and the Sage rods, well, they had a Sage feel to them. I guess that's the point.
It's been cloudy and cool, but we had a bit of sun -but then, as soon as I got to the river clouds moved in. Everything is so different now on the middle fork. many more people now the road has been paved - and no parking signs everywhere.
I ended up with only one little fish, tired a lot of different flies and nymphs, and lost a few of my new flies. sigh. But the one I got was on one of the scuds I tired. I suppose I need to tie more since I lost the ones I made a few weeks ago.
However, up river things look different - not as flat - some spaces are being carved out. So that is good news.
When I first got here for about ten years - 96 - '07 there were great spaces on the river - it was like a path of different rooms, little pools and eddies and lots of fish. The winter floods that came the next few years flattened the entire river out so it's all flats and gravel bars. Much more difficult to find the little guy. sigh again.
I have been fishing a long time by myself. I don't know what other people fish like. I see lots of pictures on the internet -- but they are, I might add, mostly men and the occasional woman seem to be mostly models. sigh.
Still, when I'm on the river space and time seem to expand - maybe it's some kind of warp in the fabric of reality - or more likely perception. I love that experience - seems like all things are possible in any given moment and each given moment is expansive.
Of course when I get home I can't understand why I am not still on the river - why has that time flowed away? I want to go back there - where the stuff that bothers me most of the time just doesn't matter.
I was told a long time ago - They don't call it catching...
Wednesday June 27 - went out to try my new flies. A nibble or two. High water and overcast... huh.
Saturday I figured it was time to get a fancy rod - always have had the middle or basic ones - if not now - when? So now is the time. Got a new 4 weight for when the water gets low... it is pretty sweet - now I have to plot how to get back out ASAP.
I first started fly fishing in NY state sometime around 1985 ... mostly I fish in the Snoqualmie Forks -- very small trout but very fun to catch and release. I'm pretty much a home river person - that being said I've had a few fishing adventures. Currently I'm trying some new places on both sides of the Cascades.