Friday, February 12, 2010

Day Two: South Fork of the Coquille

Yep, I headed up the South Fork this morning. I figured I only had one day left to maximize my chances, so I'd better keep an open mind. So I drove the South Fork upstream from Myrtle Point to Powers and found some nice water.
I drove by myself. Thanks, Pat.
The first place I came to that looked like I could get some casts in was a boat ramp. The water was deep and not too fast, but after an all-night rain it seemed to me to be running murkier than yesterday. It was still raining hard when I waded in.
I used a sinking tip, and tried a stonefly with lots of flash. Nothing.
About halfway through the stretch I figured I could reach, the clouds began to break up and the sun hit the water with silver light. Then the rain quit and the sun came out. I saw a nice fish come out of the water right there around the point just where that first run tails out. I tried everything I could think of that wouldn't endanger my life to wade down there. I climbed back up to the parking area and looked for fisherman's trails. I found one but it ended abruptly where the bank had sheared off in high water. It was a 20 foot slide or drop to get down, and then I would have had to wait for a boat willing to take me back to the boat ramp. Instead, I headed up the road. I found another boat ramp, but there was a muddy two track stretching away parallel to the river. It was blocked to vehicles, but looked inviting to a fisherman on foot. I headed down. At the end I found this wonderfully wide open space with plenty of casting room. There were human tracks, but it was deserted. I moved right in.
It wasn't deep--maybe three to four feet--but the current was lively and it looked like there were some slots and submerged rocks. I kept the sinking tip and tied on a white conehead zonker. I worked it good as far as I could wade downstream.
I waded back up and took a second pass with a silver-bodied fly with a black wing and a red hackle collar. But it wasn't my day. No fish.
But the birds--oh my. More Robins, Stellar's Jays in the bankside trees, geese and ducks, Killdeer in big herds, and this Eagle. So, no fish. But...I've had the experience of fishing for steelhead in Oregon, and a sweet taste of Spring weeks before it will hit at home. I didn't mention the blossoming trees (!), both white and pink, shining on the hillsides and roadsides even on an overcast day. And the flowers in people's yards, Daffodils and Jonquils, big as life. It has been good.

So here's to Oregon; until the next time.

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