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Ronan's report


Wednesday 5th December, 2007

The first winter storm of the year hit the Pacific NW on Saturday. Since Saturday, we've had about 3 inches of rain in Portland, 5 in neighboring communities, and nearly 12 inches of rain in the northern Coast Range, about an hour to the west. At this writing, on Monday evening, the rain has finally slowed, and even stopped completely for about 10 minutes at one point. Nearly every major river in the area is at, or well above flood stage. One river that fishes well around 1000 cfs crested at over 52000 cfs. It is expected to rain on and off for 2 more days, but at lesser rates, so the worst of the floods are hopefully over. And there was wind. 45-50 mph top speeds in town, but gusts over 115 mph have been recorded on the coast. Trees are down, and many are without power. It's not cold (55 F), but it's hard to imagine a nastier time to be outside. They are comparing this to the infamous storm back in 1996, the worst in most people’s memory. In addition, Kim's car has sprung a leak.

On the board, we've got a thread about the differences in how rainbow and brown trout fight. This thread got me thinking about all the different trout I've chased over the years. Foolishly I considered trying to choose a favorite.

Browns are my favorite for their vibrant spawning colors and their meanness, their cunning and their tug of war. And they are unpredictable, and can burn it and jump if they feel like it.

Rainbows are my favorite because of the way they dart from a fast and shallow riffle for a fly. They run and leap with reckless abandon when hooked. When they go to the ocean as young, they return as the magnificent steelhead. A bright, wild specimen, fresh from the sea, is something to behold.

Cutthroats are my favorite not for their fight, which can be unimpressive, but for their variety. I've landed 4 or 5 subspecies to date, and there are several more out there. They are also, in my opinion, the trout which most readily looks to the surface to feed. Even in the absence of a hatch, cutts love the dry fly!

The bulls are my favorite for their size, raw predatory aggression, and their brutal strength. At the same time they are so delicate and specifically adapted to unfractured and pristine habitats that they are only found where the water runs clear and flawlessly cold year round. If you find bulls, you will find spectacular rivers and gorgeous mountains.

And brookies...

As I said, the attempt was foolish from the start, but it sure was fun!

Cheers,
Matt


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