I try not to pretend I am something I'm not. I am not
patient. I've been told I really am patient, but
believe me, when I am waiting for something to happen
I can get pretty antsy.
Well, I'm antsy. JC and I drove out to Chico Creek on
Saturday, November 5th to see what was happening. A
Saturday, it is a work-day for me. I do not usually go
out and about on work days. We hit the creek at about
2:00 pm., the tide was low but was still going out.
On a low tide there is quite a drop from the floor of
the culvert to the deep pool below it. We did see a
salmon or two, but no real numbers. They would not be
able to make the leap upstream until high tide. We put on our
'gummy boots' and walked out to the estuary. The No
Trespassing signs which were supposed to be removed
were still there in their ugliness. Since the landowner
has an agreement for use of the trail, it would seem he
should have had them removed. And to be technical about
it, I'm reasonably sure the signs are not on his
property...they are on County Right-of-Way. But I'm
not an attorney or a surveyor, so I can't really get
too involved in it - unless the signs don't disappear.
My so-called patience is wearing a little thin on that one.
It's about a quarter mile walk from the road to the end
of the land shown in the photos below. You can see the
creek channel clearly, but at high tide, trust me, it can
be very difficult to see where you are going. This year
doesn't seem to be too bad, we have been in drought through
the late spring and summer, but there have been years when
high spring water has caused multiple channels and deep holes.
We watched in horror a couple of years ago when people
walked into one hole over six feet deep. It didn't seem
to phase our friend Nils, who took off some of his upper
clothing, wrung it out, put it back on and went fishing.
I got caught on the other side of a deep channel one year
and a friend literally carried me back through it.
Gratefully he was a lot taller than I.
At high tide (remember we have severe tides here, as much
as 13 feet in the winter) all of what you see the photos
is underwater. At low tide it is mud. A few oyster shells
some aquatic plants and a rock here and there.
We've had a couple days of rain, good for the fish - more
will be heading on into the creek. Chum prefer overcast,
crummy days - fine by us, we have appropriate gear. I am
trying something different this year, I have a pair of
purple surgical gloves I obtained from my healthcare
provider, and I'll see if they will keep my hands warmer.
I will wear them under other gloves too.
Our experience on the salmon is they prefer to come in on
an incoming or slack tide at the beginning of the season -
but as the season wears on, they will come in any time.
Something about biological clocks I suspect. It has been
a strange and wonderful experience fishing for the
Chum - you can see the pods of fish moving in.
The will form a 'push' where the water looks like a moving
lump. Sometimes the dorsal fins will be out of the water,
or the fish will 'porpoise' as they near the creek. From
a distance you can see a "V" as the fish move toward the creek.
There were only a few anglers there on Saturday. Just five
I think as we walked out there. Four were fishing and the
fifth appeared to be a guide with an older couple. We didn't
stop to visit with them as they both seemed to be having severe
casting problems which the guide wasn't addressing. I thought
it was a shame he wasn't helping them, and there were occasional
small pods of fish coming in - they could have had a chance
at them if they could get the fly out there, (and it wasn't
a long cast, 30 feet would have done it.) Perhaps the 'guide'
didn't know how to help his clients - in which case, what a
shame (not to mention a rip-off).
The last two fishing were also fly fishers. One, Steve, was
really scouting it out so he could let his brother in
California know when to come up. The brother tries to
make it every year, and Steve didn't want to have him
come up too early. I'm guessing the run this year is
about 2 weeks late. Our friend SeaRun was out at the
creek today and he didn't see much change either.
So as impatient as I am becoming, I can't just will the
fish to show up in numbers. We plan on making a run back
down there on Wednesday - and we'll take our rods. This
is the biggest salmon run we have in the region, and it
is only about 20 minutes from our house.
I'm sure if the fish really show up before then I'll
get a phone call. Or two. I can hope. ~ DLB
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