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I didn't brake for rivers


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Ronan's report

Wednesday 26th May, 2011

You know your car needs one, a big caution yellow and black "I Brake for Rivers" bumper sticker to warn other drivers that you're likely to slow, brake, maybe even stop as you crane your neck up to see over the guard rail at every river crossing. All that grumbling about unattentive drivers and rubber-neckers goes out the window because you need to see how the flow is, how the color is and "Whoa! Was that a rise?!".

Must be season to get out there or at least buck the pent up cabin fever. Just like Harps, I put up some big numbers on the odometer last week. 2165 miles when I rolled back into the drive at home praying there was at least one decompression beer in the fridge. Like Harps, I noted every water crossed from little Willow Creek to the mighty Columbia. Unlike Harps, the destination was better than expected.

Now this wasn't a fishing trip. I didn't pick the destination, but I sure as heck brought a fly rod or three. I took my better half up to the Olympic Peninsula, her birthplace, for a little romance and celebration of her graduation. Good times! Just rainforest, bears, elk, beaches, glaciers, otters that sort of boring natural things.

Note that I didn't include a salmon or steelhead in there, skunked. Of the time I squeaked out, only a couple trout and parr needed to be shaken off. Off season, of all the rivers in that 12 feet of rain a year forested chunk of mountain jabbed out into the sea, only 2 short stretches were open. I hit both and though I might have been able to dredge up a king BBBB style, I swung flies off a double hander exclusively for the first time. It was great, and I got sore from my hands to my ribs in mnemonic tribute to my time on the water.

All too soon it was over, but there were thoughts over every bridge crossed. Kind of a crazy list, and these are just the ones I remember glancing at the map. Truckee, Susan, Pitt, Williamson, Sprague, Deschutes, Columbia, Lewis, Cowlitz, Toutle, Chehalis, Nisqually, Elwah, Sol Duc, Hoko, Calawah, Bogachiel, Quilayute, Dickey, Hoh, Clearwater, Queets, Quinault, Humptulips, Hoquiam, Willamette, Santiam, McKenzie, Umpqua, Rogue, Klammath, McCloud.

Sorry to rivers and loopers I blew by at high rates of speed! Wish I had time to stop.

Pic Of Day

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