Early Summer Wilderness Hike Along The River

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Forest Fire Warning

In the early summer , when the forest fire index ranges from high to extreme , I convince myself to stay away from my mountain retreats , and spend these dry , hot days , in the lowlands , near the rivers , where It’s easier to find shade and cooler temperatures . Now , I turn my thoughts to finding those elusive fish that inhabit these swift-flowing waters . It’s quite warm for fishing , and early in the season , and this keeps most hard-core fishing enthusiasts away from the river . This window of opportunity I use for scouting the river . Often alone , on long stretches of river , I use this time to read the water and search for birds and other wildlife that frequent these waters for the same reasons I do – shade and cooler temperatures , but also for food .


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Early Morning At The River

Day is slowly breaking and the sun is still below the horizon as I make my way to the riverbank . Scout , my dog is following close behind me . He is part Husky , and his sled-dog genetics are embedded with running , and running in first position – he is a lead dog . With patience and purpose , I have finally taught him that there are times when he must be in number 2 position . This , he doesn’t enjoy very much , but he is intelligent enough to understand the concept in his own canine way . Fish will sometimes rest close to the river banks , downstream from structure , where the flow of water is less severe . For this reason , seasoned fishermen will never charge to the river bank , lest they spook that fish that will dart away because of noises or shadows . This is part of their survival mechanism – debris knocked off the bank by predators and shadows from above – in the way of eagles and osprey , especially .

Fish ON !

As I get within a few meters of the river bank , we stop , and I retrieve my collapsible fishing rod from my back pack . As I bait my hook , Scout is lying besides me , patiently waiting to see what I’m doing – he’s seen it all before and by now has grown into a very mature and wonderful fishing companion , – and besides , he likes fish also ; keeps his coat shiny and his stomach full . I gently toss my hook close to the edge of the bank and before I can get comfortable , I feel the strike and quickly tug my pole . Fish on ! After a short struggle , I land my fish , – a beautiful one-pound rainbow trout . To Scout’s dismay , I release the fish back into the river . He gives me a puzzled look , as re-pack my gear to continue our walk up the river bank . Sniffing his way along the trail , and wagging his tail in bliss , the fish is now far from his thoughts .

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Onwards We Go

Today is for exploration , and we venture upstream in search of more secret hideaways where fish might want to rest , as they struggle upstream , some to spawn , and others resident to the river . In the distance , I see a dipper , and a kingfisher flies by . I hear a towhee , and warblers and other birds that I can’t quite identify . As we make our way upstream , ducking through the bushes and saplings , I wonder If Scout is enjoying our Saturday hike along the river as much as I am .


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2 thoughts on “Early Summer Wilderness Hike Along The River”

  1. Makes a person want to go fishing. My father was a great fisherman. If you wanted to see him you had to get up very early and go fishing with him or you did not see him until late afternoon. Love fish tho…


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