Down the mountain

Down the mountain

An awkward climb down the mountain

The climb down the mountain is long and arduous. The snow is deep, and navigating the forested sections make the snowshoe work exhausting. The sun’s rays spur me along, and the few short miles finally end, as I reached the lowland.

Down the Mountain

Sometimes when I’m trekking, my body just can’t warm-up to the task. It always feels like work, and today is one of those days.

Perhaps I should stop more to rest. A hot drink and a quick snack make for good fuel,  but my pig-headedness will not have any of it.

A rest and a quick bite would make the trip much more bearable, but it’s not part of my plan this morning. I have just spent two nights on the upper levels of a ridge, that was very hard to reach, and what I intended to be a challenging and fun adventure, turned out to be a greater struggle than I anticipated.

Hard to believe that the climb down the mountain requires as much effort than the climb to the ridge, but finally I managed to reach the river. The river is raging and wild.

Yesterday’s rains have risen the water level significantly. The water is brown. Beige brown, and silty. Debris is everywhere on the surface. In these conditions, parts of the riverbank fall into the river and produce this muddy, silted soup.

Not a pleasant sight, if you are there to fish, and even worse if you are fishing for steelhead. I’m not fishing for steelhead, I only want to reach my cabin, to light a fire, and get out of these sweaty, clammy, wet clothes.

Down the Mountain

A break at last

As I lumber down the river bank, I can see a clear patch, in the forest, where the sunshine is breaking through the canopy.

The long hours in this dark boreal forest were not pleasant and I am wet and exhausted. This bright sunny opening looks very appealing, so I intensify my effort to reach it. I feel the sun’s warm rays instantly, and I dump my backpack unceremoniously to the ground.

Spread-eagle on the ground, I stare indirectly toward the sun. A few deep breaths make me realize that this is the first time I have stopped to rest since breakfast. The soothing thought of a sweet, hot chocolate drink triggers me to dig into my backpack.

Down the Mountain

My SnowPeak gets the water boiling and I pour a small portion of it into my cup to premix a paste before I fill my cup to the brim. A home-made, pouch of pure chocolate powder, brown sugar, cinnamon, and powdered milk are my constant companion.

Adding boiling water to this mixture creates a chocolate drink that I savour and enjoy.

Rested and ready for Fishing

 

I am a short ten-minute walk from one of my fishing holes on this river. It is secluded and sheltered from the river’s turmoil.

There are always a few exposed areas along the bank where I can find some form of insect life to use for bait. As I dig into the soil with my stick, an insect scurries across the surface to escape.

I grab it, with the speed and stealth of a predator, as delicately as possible. Holding it between my finger and thumb, I continue on my way to the fishing hole.

I have fished here many times, with good success, and hopefully, today will be the same. Leaning my pack-frame against a Cottonwood, I open it to access my retractable fishing rod and my tackle box. I am doing this with one hand to not damage my insect. Keeping it alive and active is always better to attract a fish.

My target is a feisty, rainbow trout.

A good fishing hole

I remove my rod and tackle from the bag, and I carefully bait the hook before I extend the fishing pole to its full length. Now I can relax and focus a bit more.

I lower my baited hook into the river below me. The battle has begun. I wait quietly, trying to feel the insect’s motion on my hook.

Seconds turn into minutes, and I feel something nibbling on my bait. I let the fish nibble, he has to swallow the hook before I get too trigger happy. The tug on my hook is gone. I retrieve my line slowly, only to realize that he is gone. He has eaten my bait.

Down the Mountain

The Thief has Stolen my Bait

I place my fishing rod against a tree.

I need more bait. There is a fish down there and I want him.

Walking back to the exposed soil patch, I find a sturdy stick and bring it along. Raking through the soil again, with this stick is easier and I come up with an earthworm.

I’d better find a few more baits to bring along. More digging and I now have four earthworms. The best bait I can offer this hungry river resident. A good sized worm with lots of action in him. I maneuver him on my hook, trying to curb my excitement.

The fish should still be there, and an earthworm is the best I can offer him. One more delicate drop into the river water and I wait for the vibration to reach my finger. Perhaps he has left, but no, he is still at my hook. Perhaps his friend. I feel him nibbling gently on my worm.

Swallow the worm, my little fish, swallow it all.

The tugging on my line tells me to set my hook.

I Catch my Fish, … no release for you!

Down the Mountain

A beautiful 14-inch rainbow. The feeling of a fish on a line is one that is hard to describe with words. As  I admire its silvery beauty, my thoughts leave the river, and now I want to fast-track it for the cabin and get a blazing fire started.

A fine meal he will make, after two days of dehydrated elk meat. I pack up and head towards the cabin feeling as content as when I caught my first fish.

What a great day this is turning out to be, as I enter the meadow, in the midday sun.

Fishing Thoughts

If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions about fishing on the rivers or lakes, please do not hesitate to Contact Me. 

I love to hear fishing stories and I even have a few of my own.

Have you ever fished for trout on a river?

Do you fish in the rivers or do you prefer the lakes?

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10 thoughts on “Down the mountain”

  1. I love the story your telling, it really paints a picture.  Until now I had no idea there was such a compact little gadget to boil water or heat anything up.  I’ve been camping since I was young and when I say camping I mean the old fashioned style of having to get your own water from a near by stream or brook in my case.  Using a wood stove to cook on and using “outhouse” for a bathroom.

    So this little gadget surely would have come in handy.  My question about the snow peak gigapower stove is that i’m wondering how many pots of water or how many times could you reheat or heat something before the fuel burns out and it has to be replaced.  Also are there just refillable tanks you hook right up to it?

    • I’m pleased to hear that you spend lots of time in the outdoors.

      The SnowPeak stove that I have screws into a pressurized container that needs to be replaced when empty. 

      There are various sizes of containers made by various manufacturers and they are all pretty much the same. They contain an iso-butane blend of fuel. They can be used to -10C, and lower if you insulate your container. This can be wrapping it up in clothing or even bringing it into your sleeping bag on cold nights. 

      110 grams(container size) of fuel will burn for 50 minutes on high at sea level. 250 grams of fuel will burn for 85 minutes on high at sea level. Since it takes about 5 minutes to boil 1-litre of water that means, 10 meals with the small container and 17 meals with the 250-gram container. The 450-gram container will boil 30-litres of water.

      This is an excellent stove that is light-weight and used mostly to boil water and heat meals. It does simmer very well and this is a very important consideration when choosing one of these stoves.

      If you have more concerns, do not hesitate to ask.

      Paul

  2. Thank you for this great and interesting post. I find it really helpful and cool. You must have put in a whole lot of energy into writing this article. Thanks for sharing your climbing down the mountain experience on here. I have never climbed the mountain but your post really inspires me to try it out and one day I will. 

    • Mountains are fun and they challenge us. Start with hiking to build-up your cardio. 

      Once you get hooked on the outdoors, you will be hooked for life!

      Thanks for the kind comments, Clement.

  3. This story is for a good  you done well sir I come in the region where’s their no big Rivers that be fish habitat secondly the wealthy is quite cold for fish still grow but these the are on fish pods but all in all I have never been to fishing and it’s feel like their too much fun their that I have Missed for all those years  enjoy the fishing it’s worthy the adventure.

    • Good Day, Charles.

      Thanks, for stopping by. 

      Fishing can be a lot of fun, but some days are simply frustrating. 

      Once you find where they live and how to catch them it is a very satisfying feeling. 

      Lakes are also a popular and productive place to fish. I hope you get to experience a fishing trip one day.

      Paul

  4. I like the way you describe things your descriptive ability made me stuck to my screen till the end of the article. I think you are a very good adventurer. I want to ask, do you fish for pleasure or you fish to make money too? Honestly, I’m trying to start a vegan lifestyle and I may begin to have compassion over animals, aquatic and terrestrial. For now, I don’t think I will enjoy all of these activities anymore, but I used to love fishing for fun when I was a teenager.

    • Good Day, Ojeniyi.

      I did fish in a commercial capacity when I was much younger. 

      Today, however, I fish mostly for food. The fishing regulations are very strict where I live, so the fish usually have the advantage. 

      I fish with rod and reel only, and the quotas are very rigid. I enjoy the food fish that I catch and none of it is wasted. 

      I release most of my catches and only bring enough for meals with my family. 

      I appreciate and share your concerns about the animal world. While overfishing needs to be monitored, pollution and large commercial harvesting are often more detrimental to animal and fish species.

      Success in your environmental endeavours.

      Paul

  5. Well I’m certainly pleased that you finally managed to outwit that 14-inch rainbow – he seems to have put up quite a fight!

    You mention that you had small Elk rations in the cabin you were at for a few days. Was this cabin a set location for fishing that you rent? You sound like you’re out in the sticks with it – no electricity?

    • The fish usually win, Chris, but this time, I got lucky. 

      Actually, I’ve spent many hours, days, and years, honing my fishing skills. 

      I had elk rations with me, from a previous adventure, and the cabin that I was making my way to was a cabin/shelter that I construct in the wilderness areas that I plan to frequent for a few seasons, much like the First Nations teepees, except that my shapes are more like a common-raftered house. 

      A carpenter and Draftsman by trade, building these cabins is always fun and challenging. I use poles and tarps, and a light-weight, air-tight stove, to heat and cook with. 

      Electricity is always days away and few humans ever see these beautiful structures. 

      The bears leave me alone, but the deer-mice ate the leather straps on my backpack one summer. 

      Thank God for duct tape and rebar wire.

      Paul

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