Thursday, January 12, 2012

A Small Piece of Heaven

The New Year found me fishing a few rivers on the North Coast chasing the elusive grey ghost. While it was great to get out for 8 straight days of fishing, the conditions were less than ideal for fly fishing. Low and clear conditions had me trying to stay in front of low flow closures and trying some smaller tips and flies. I wasn't very successful in hooking fish on this trip, but I had a couple of cool moments.

On the first river that shall remain nameless, I hooked the only adult of the trip on the first morning. It was a weird hook up as the fish grabbed while I was stripping in to recast. A small fish by coastal standards, but it was still a hooked fish. Later that first day I had a bobcat wander out onto a gravel bar 100 feet or so below me. He looked around nonchalantly and then jumped from a rock to a willow branch and melted into the shoreline vegetation. There was no time to get the camera out for a picture.

I did get a pic of the fresh bear tracks on the beach near my camp on a stroll to look at the river mouth. I didn't realize that there were bears in this part of the state. Now I do!

Three days later I had an epic 1/2 hour when I had 5 grabs in one run hooking 3 fish and landing 2. They turned out to be fiesty half pounders that absolutely were a riot to catch.

The best part was hearing the waves crash on the beach a mile or so downriver while fighting a mini silver bullet. Then I was told that the river had been closed due to low flows. So I moved on.

These guys were my fishing partners on a small coastal stream near Redwood National Park. Twenty two elk watched from the levee as I cast my way down a run. What they must have thought of the crazy human standing in the water waving a small tree in the air. While I caught no fish here, the elk made my day and possibly my trip.

This was my camp for the final two nights of my adventure. Located next to Hurdygurdy Creek, a tributary to the South Fork Smith River, this camp site was the most serene I have had in a long time. Listening to the creek sing me a lullaby as I drifted off to sleep was sweet.

I didn't come tight to many fish on this trip but I was able to find a small bit of peace in the dancing of the flames of the many campfires that I drank beer by. Just a small piece of heaven.

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