My 7 year old son is into wildlife. A lot of kids are at this age, but he seems REALLY into wildlife. Bugs, birds, mammals… he loves it all. It is fun, what can I say?
On our last morning in Central Oregon, on our way to drop me off for a couple of hours of fishing on the Fall River, we cam across a heard of elk stampeding across the road. The kid was elated. Fifty, or more, elk crossed before our eyes. It was the first time my wife had ever seen an elk as well. I had been trying to explain the difference between an Elk Crossing sign and a Deer Crossing sign without much luck, but now she gets it. Elk are huge.
A minute later a coyote crossed in front of the car as well.
That’s some Yellowstone-level wildlife viewing and all before we got to the river.
I was meeting Vinnie, a local guide, for two hours of guiding, some special presented through AirBnB Experiences. We found him easily at the Fall River Camp Ground and he led me to the river, which was a stunning little jewel. It was very easy to spot the fish in the totally clear water.
The fish were both large in number and in size. Deadfall gave plenty of cover for the fish, but it was clear whatever happened, I’d be able to see it all play out.
There was a midge hatch that started and then raged a bit and I decided to put on a #20 zebra midge, which fooled the first fish it encountered. It was a nice, healthy fish with a bit of mono extending from some deeply hooked fly (not this fish’s first rodeo). I got it on its way and looked forward to the next fish.
There was no next fish. The word was out and the fish shut their mouths and for the rest of the short session I just cast futilely at large trout who showed no inclination to eat and a very keen awareness of the artificial flies coming downriver toward them as they deftly slid out of the way of each presentation.
Really pretty place.
The highlight was the elk.
Then, it was the road home… back down 97 and by the grand lady of Mt. Shasta. That view never really gets old.
A good trip North. I saw my dad and gave him a hug for the first time in a year. Fish were caught. Memories were made. Old connections were strengthened. Beautiful country was seen and appreciated. Hard to complain.
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