Friday, October 7, 2011

Tug' O' War

   I rode down into the Rouge valley this morning hoping to play tug 'o' war with a few salmon but I had some difficulty finding any willing participants.

   Around one bend in the river, down a long run and around another bend, seeing the occasional redd here and there but no occupants.
    It's like a riparian version of the Marie Celeste...the lights are on, dinner's cooling on table and there's  no one to be found. The farther I travel down stream the more I see signs of freshly spawned gravel beds but once again...where have the occupants gone? I came to compete!
    Finally at the top end of a stretch of fast water...a willing competitor! One cast, two cast, third cast's a charm and the tug 'o' war begins. Team Aquatic pulls hard at the onset, using the current to it's advantage and taking line out at will, but Team Terrestrial has played this game before. Unfazed by the competition's early surge, Team terrestrial digs in and slowly takes back line until Aquatics rolls over on it's side in defeat.
   In appreciation of his willingness to play, I spent 5 minutes reviving him and returned him to his chosen spot on the river.
   Farther down stream a dead tree ate my fly as if it were one of Charlie Browns kites. Rats!

   I re-tied and continued on downstream, still trying to figure out this river and it's unusual migration. After several miles of wading I'd come to the conclusion that I'd gotten everything this river was willing to give for the day. On the return trip the fly eating tree offered up a peace present in the form of a woodpecker too busy securing dinner to notice me sneaking up on him.
   I felt further blessed as I came upon my vanquished foe from a few hours before. He'd fully recovered from his ordeal and had found a girlfriend in the meantime.


  1. Go Team Terrestrial!!! Nice work, John! And wow, what a beautiful area to fish!

  2. I agree with e.m.b., great work and a beautiful setting to boot. As always, thanks for sharing, John!

  3. Nice waters.... and salmon.
    Love that photo of the fly in the tree.
    Do you get a run of browns and steelhead?

  4. Hahaha the fly in the tree just reminds me how many i have lost,
    But what a great fish,