Wednesday, September 30, 2015

PNW Trip Report

As  Southerner, I naively assumed that the weather in the Pacific Northwest would be at least a bit more pleasant than Arkansas in July.  Boy was I wrong.  First, let me say that this was not exactly a fishing trip- but, of course, some fishing was done.  Everything worked out to put us there in between every big run and during one of the worst heat waves/droughts in years.  Still had a blast.  I packed a couple fly rods and a bunch of what I thought might be applicable flies.

The first outing was to the Upper Klamath in Northern California.  A family friend named Mike (heck of a guy) offered to take me out on a couple trips despite the 100+ degree weather.  Mike is a retired school teacher and a great fly-tier and fisherman.  I met him for the first time at 5 am outside the house we were staying in.  We were immediately buddies.  In my experience, all rabid fishermen are immediately buddies.

The Upper Klamath is a beautiful river and I could tell it was one of Mike's favorite spots.  Unfortunately, it was about 101 degrees and the river was low and warm.  We tried every trick in the book and did have a few good hits.  Mike caught a nice rainbow right off the bat.  I hooked a few fish deep but did not get any to the net.  After we took a break to rehydrate and eat a sandwich, we took Mike's canoe on the lower part of the river where it runs into a small lake.  I saw a few really nice bows and tried to get something going on small streamers but all I caught were these little dudes:
 On the bright side, I don't think I had ever caught a yellow perch before- so I got that going for me... which is nice.

That part of the state is just loaded with black tail deer.  Saw a bunch on that trip.
This one was cooling off in the lake and watching us struggle for bites.

The next day, Mike took my father-in-law and I to the McCloud River- home of the famous McCloud rainbow strain.  This river is straight out of Jurassic Park.  I was blown away by how pretty it was.  

It was a bit of a hike to get down to the river.
Caught quite a few fish.  Nothing huge but they were feisty wild rainbows.  I do not think I actually caught a true McCloud rainbow- the river has several strains I believe.
This rainbow was about as big as any of the fish I caught that day.
River also held some spunky mini-browns.  One lady told me she landed a 19 inch brown in the same pool that this one came out of.
This pool was incredible- with a waterfall at the top and a huge boulder on the right.  I wish I had taken a better picture. Mike pulled a great fish out of this pool.
 Also snagged this pretty little brook trout.

More hiking and some crazy views.

Mike and my father in law after some trout-whoopin. ^

We did some non-fishing stuff and then visited another part of Northern California.  My new fishing buddy, Jeff, took me to some of his favorite mountain streams for some awesome dry-fly fishing for tiny (but really pretty) trout.

This creek was clearly some black bear's turf.

Bear signs and scat wear everywhere.  I was really hoping to see one.

  This creek was almost out of water- but each and every pool had at least one little jewel of a trout and they were more than willing to take a lime trude.

The next leg of the trip was to the Oregon Coast.  Wow- talk about some beautiful country.  This part of the trip was not the best for fly-fishing (well, not when you are in-between runs)- but I did give it a try.  

We stayed a few days in Yachats, OR- which is a really cool little town.  I tried to fish the Yachats River.  Well, I did fish the Yachats River, but it was sort of a misadventure.  I borrowed a car and drove up about two miles (first mistake).  I then fished my way down to the ocean.  I caught a few little wild bows and saw a ton of what I can only guess was elk scat/sign.  After I got to the end of the river, I wanted to get out ASAP to start the hike back to the car.  Well, I bushwacked my way through a whole bunch of tall grass and got hung up in some blackberry bushes.  That is when the bees came.  I suppose they were yellow jackets- but either way, they stung the crap out of me and I tore off through the brambles like a drunk yeti.  In the process I lost my camera with all of these pictures on it. Obviously, the camera was recovered.  Luckily, my wife's uncle has an uncanny knack for finding things and no fear of bees.  He snooped through the neck-high grass and insanely painful blackberries and- boom- had my camera back.  Thanks Kev.     

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