The Nehalem River

The loft is a mess, gear and rods strewn everywhere. I slept on the deck last night with the sounds of Mendes and Pastorius amidst the empty Obsidian’s.

Back to Monday. Each day was a lesson in de-fragmentation–river and fish know what you need. You see the locals seeing you: eagle, elk, osprey, otter. You respond in kind, and understandings are reached. Hours are punctuated by rises, hookups, and releases. Bugs emerged late each day. Sallies, small caddis, and some mays. The fish were more aggressive between 4 p.m. and dark. After the evening hatch, sitting by the fire, you stare at the coals mesmerized by swirling flames of yellow orange while stars fill the void above.

Plenty of Coastal Cutties–each spot gave up at least a few, some more than others. I had the whole place too myself. If I was to pick a “home water” it would be the Nehalem. Not a highly complex or technical system. More of the “Sunday drive” variety. Begging you to slow down. To look out the window and talk to yourself. To bushwhack fifty feet down a hillside to reach it’s tannin colored tail-outs. Where it quietly laughs.

I was there 72 hours. Came down six or seven notches.


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