Thursday, February 11, 2010

Day One: Middle Fork of the Coquille

Once again the wonder of someone else's wireless has connected me to the outside world and made a same-day report possible. It's raining steadily as I write, but it held off most of the morning and limited itself while I was on the river to occasional showers. Now I'm at the camp at my little desk, warm and dry in the glow of the computer.
This was my first view of the camp this morning. Note the tall trees, and the green.
This is Pat, the friend I rode down with. I think he's telling me where the coffee is. The cat belongs here.
It did take awhile to get organized. We drove into Myrtle Point and got my license at the True Value, had breakfast at a little restaurant, and got a few groceries since no meals will be served until tomorrow evening. The grocery store was across the street from this guy, standing proudly in front of the Logger's Museum. That axe has been busy judging from all the clearcuts in evidence around here.
We drove around and explored the rivers a little. We looked at the South Fork, and in the short stretch we looked at there were lots of boat trailers and bank fishers letting their bait run deep. But it was narrow and deep with little or no wading options.
Reports, according to a guy who lives around here and does some work at the camp, are that the South Fork, the North Fork, and the Middle Fork, are full of steelhead. So we drove back to the Middle Fork and found a nice wadable stretch with forest instead of sheep pastures along the banks.
The river is beautiful...
...but running a bit murky. But I climbed down under this bridge and fished downstream... this bridge, where I climbed out. I must have a thing for bridges.
There is more fishable water on down below this bridge, but I'd been fishing for a couple of hours and Pat was waiting in the car reading a book, and checking on me once in awhile to make sure I wasn't floating out to sea. That's not really the solitary fishing I most enjoy. Pat used to fish a lot, but he has a bum leg now that limits his mobility. So he enjoyed driving around and watching me fish, and that's OK.
Tomorrow morning, though, I'll take his car on my own and probably go back to this spot, explore on downstream a ways and really immerse myself in fishing--not literally, of course. I hope.
Meanwhile, I had some good shots in some good runs.
It was a good day, and I have lots to think about as I anticipate tomorrow's flies and strategies. And it was a Spring day for all intents and purposes. I was way overdressed. Leaves are unfurling from swollen buds, a few Mayflies were eddying in the breeze, kinglets--probably Ruby-Crowned--were flitting in the streamside vegetation, flocks of Robins scattered across the road as we drove, and wild flowers are lifting their little petals to the light.
Happy Spring!

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