First off, I want to thank everyone who has been reading my blog for however long they have been. It has been fun and cathartic to share with whomever feels inclined to read my blog for these past almost 2.5 years. It has also inadvertently started me on a path towards following through with goals that I set for myself, which by the way was also on my bucket list. Without further ado – I give you my weekend.
This weekend was packed full of trees, actual wildlife, (not just domestic cats or dogs and the tons of crows that inhabit any state, city, or neighborhood) water, relaxation and fun.
Saturday started off very early for me in the form of a 3:45am alarm. I quickly dressed, made my sandwich, scooped some calamata olives and baby dill pickles into a zip-lock bag, grabbed some granola bars and loaded them into a backpack for easy transport. I also filled my water bottle and placed it into one of the two side pockets on my backpack. Finally I grabbed my thermos of coffee my wife brewed a few hours before and placed it into the other side pocket on my backpack.
I grabbed my pole, tackle-box, backpack and a camp-chair and made my way through the front door. Of course nothing is ever as easy as that; while I was shimmying through the front door my backpack rubbed against the door enough so that the thermos contained in the outside pocket on that side of the backpack fell out and crashed against the hardwood floors…quite possibly disturbing the recently deceased.
After a few choice words barely contained under my breath, I grabbed up the offending container and shuffled out the door trying not to disturb anything else. I walked back to the bedroom, gave my wife a kiss goodbye and apologized for the crashy sounds, to which she said she never heard, and quickly left the house to load up my car and head out to pick up my buddy Ruben who also thought waking up at 3:45 sounded fun.
We stopped by McDonald’s for some early morning sausage biscuits and coffee. Both were actually not bad and we were quickly on the freeway heading out for a day in the outdoors, sort of.
After an excitement fueled drive through the city and to our destination that lasted only an hour we arrived at the road leading to the our first stop at the North Fork Reservoir. Access to the first stop was hindered in the form of a gate across the road that opened up at 6am. We were a bit early to gain access to the first area but like many other eager fisher(people) we simply pulled off the road a little ways up the river and made our way to the water and fishing bliss.
While we were setting up our poles and camp chairs we did see some fisher-avians scouting around for breakfast. We also were visited by a Blue Heron that glided down to sit some 40-50 feet away from us. This bird is massive with a wing span of probably 5-6 feet across. It bolstered our confidence in the days endeavors and with a smile I went back to setting up.
We weren’t having any luck here and decided to move on to the main area that was closed until 6am so we packed up and headed out, but not before I took another couple of pictures of our current location on the Clackamas River. I love how everything is so serene this early before everybody makes their way to the water for the days activities.Ruben and I quickly drive the 5 minutes (maybe) back to our original destination and setup to fish…again. After 20-30 minutes we were not seeing any action and the place started to fill up quick. The actual fishing real estate that we were sharing was limited to a stretch of maybe 100 yards long at best. With more and more people joining us along the shore we thought our best chance was to rent a boat and go elsewhere on the river.
Once again we pack up our gear and head up river to the boat rental place where we sign a contract for 3 hours of fishing and to buy worms (which I forgot at home in the vegetable crisper) and a fish stringer to replace the two that I normally carry in my tackle box but didn’t notice was missing while I cleaned it out just days before.
Armed with a means to travel up and down the river more readily we set upon our days goal of catching fish in earnest.
We tried several spots farther away from everyone else in the hopes that we might have a better chance with the several large fish (14″-18″ long) we saw as we were motoring about.
Ruben and I did make a wager earlier in the day about who would catch the first fish. Whoever didn’t catch the first fish had to buy the first beer. I giggled a little inside every time Ruben experienced a malfunction that kept his line out of the water. Things like clipping the wrong line or when he was re-rigging to go from bobber fishing to bottom fishing.
Finally we headed back to where the masses were fishing and found a nice spot across the river with some small outcropping that we thought looked pretty awesome to hang out near if we were fish.
After about 10 minutes I hooked this guy and quickly removed him from my line and recast for surely the feeding frenzy was on and we were both going to limit out in an hour. Ruben had now officially lost the bet and I was looking forward to cashing in for my prize.
A received some pretty heavy nibbles a couple of times more but nothing that made me try to set the hook. The rest of my time was grumbling over lost bait and the sneaky behavior of small fish.
Ruben did however land a fish about an inch longer than mine which was 10 inches in length. He now was not officially skunked on this trip which had happened many times before when we went to Trillium Lake on Mt. Hood.
It wasn’t long before he had hooked another fish but this one was too small and so we through him back.
Both fish were rainbow hatchery fish that we were allowed to keep. I gave mine to Ruben so that he could make a fish dinner for he and his wife. It wasn’t a big deal for me to do as my wife doesn’t really eat fish.
Here is the parting shot I took as we were heading back in to return the boat.
More to come…