I took a few days off this week to hang with Lauren at our
southern estate in Astoria for my birthday. As a present I took myself creek fishing, at a brand new
creek (new to me anyway).
I was invited; very generously I might add, by my friend
Adam McNamara (Cast away guide service) to fish a awesome and forgotten river
where he has been swinging 3 or more fish a day. I declined, I needed some family time.
So, this morning, when Lauren left for work, I headed out
for a little creek about ten minutes from the apartment.
As I said, I have never fished it before, although I have
driven over it a hundred times.
You know the creek, on the way to work, looks interesting, maybe a
little brushy and slippery, but wouldn’t it be cool, if you really had time to
Well I don’t have the time so I planned a one-morning stand,
hit it and quit it type of deal.
It’s been a long time since I have fished somewhere
new. It was great. When I got there it was just like I
remembered, some ones wife or girlfriend or daughter was sitting annoyed and impatient
in the parking lot. Two guys on
the river turned and looked at me like a leper when I walked up. The banks of the creek were boot beaten
down and there was a generous amount of beer cans and fast food wrappers strewn
about the parking lot, stuck in the bushes, lying in the river. It really felt like home.
In about ten minutes me and the glowering locals where old
pals, they gave me directions to a few of the better pools, told me what was
private land, what was public, and where I should sneak.
I fished down river and enjoyed the awesome weather, the
company of other anglers I met, and the fact that although I wasn’t seeing any
fish I wasn’t loosing many flies and I hadn’t fallen in the river.
As I fished my way back to the car I finally saw a guy hook
and land a fish.
It was a great fish, a really nice long jawed buck about
nine pounds with a snow white belly and just turning pink on the sides. It was a miraculously thick hatchery
fish, and it made me feel a little more optimistic to see it.
The hole at the parking lot still had a couple guys flogging
it when I returned, now that the sun was on it I could see it a little better.
There was plenty of room, and every one was friendly so I decided to give it
About two cast later I thought I hooked a fish, I wasn’t
sure at first, he was slack lining me pretty bad, sliding toward me just a tiny
bit faster than I could strip line, but I knew it was something. After I got tightened down and he
started running I began to wonder.
This is Oregon, and a tiny little hatchery creek; the fish can’t be that
big. But he kept holding down and
running fast and long all around the hole at will.
When he finally rolled over I thought I might be about to
catch a 20-pound steelhead on my birthday.
After I got him to the beach though I saw that although he had
the length, he wasn’t far enough around.
A nice healthy solid teener wild fish.
I had time to get one more before I headed for my massage appointment.
Happy birthday to me.
Fishing in Forks is damn fine right now, I will be headed back Friday and I do have open days next week. Give me a call