|West Rouge River, north|
|West Rouge River, south|
I worked my way up through several more runs and pools without seeing any more fish and only getting the occasional tap tapping of creek chub hitting a fly too large to swallow. About a half mile up from my starting point I came to a larger deeper pool and immediately had some action. From the way the fish was "bulldogging", fighting to stay near the bottom, I was certain it was a small bass, and after a brief fight I retrieved:
OK...not what I was hoping for...but a fish all the same. Resigned to the fact that this was about as good as it was going to get, I decided to head back to my bike and consider how I was going to get out of the valley, after all it was getting on in the day and I still had to work a shift at midnight.
It turned out that there was a game trail just a few yards from where I'd stashed my wheels. Although not an ideal route, it was far better than risking life and limb on the gravel slope of the trestle. It took 20 minutes to haul my ass out of there, planting my feet, pushing the bike to arms length and applying both brakes for traction so I could move up two steps. It was the equivalent of bench pressing the bike and all the equipment 200 times and in the end...TOTALLY WORTH IT!
I didn't have any great expectations for the day... it was an exploratory outing. I saw a fish. I caught a fish. What I haven't mentioned so far is that this river has a massive salmon run in the fall and a fair run of browns and steel, and if the lack of access and trails is any indicator, I might just have those fish all to myself!
My new backyard is starting to look awesome!