TODAY: Roseburg to Portland
River – Umpqua (Glo bug, big stonefly patterns)
Food – Homemade chili
California break-up song plays – 7
I’ve fished blown out rivers before, but usually ones I am familiar with. It makes a huge difference when you know what the water looks like normally.
I had vague memories of a weekend trip to the Umpqua when I was a fly fishing neophyte, and it was obvious this was a new river with the water so high. Still, I had confidence. If you don’t, then why bother fishing?
It was the first day of the year that you could use weighted flies, which was nice, because with the river drowning small bushes which used to mark the water boundary, using weight was pretty vital.
I drove a good thirty miles up the river to where the edges of the main runs looked like they could hold fish. Sure enough, within a half hour I netted my first fish. It wasn’t huge, especially since there are some big steelies and salmon in the river, but all things considered, I was stoked.
The rain started midmorning and I took that as a cue to move on. The rest of Oregon was working on the same off and on rain schedule. I visited the University of Oregon in Eugene, hoping to put a hex on the basketball team there. The Lund Hex has been well-documented over the years. The year before I arrived at the University of Arizona, the football team wen 12-1 and was ranked No. 4 in the country to open the season.
During a Meet the Team event at the footballs stadium my freshman year I said to a friend, “I wish we played ASU at home this year, that way if we haven’t won the conference by then, we can watch it happen.”
We went 6-6, didn’t go to a bowl, and as a matter of fact, didn’t go to a bowl until four years after I graduated. I visited the football field at the University of Maryland the year they made the Orange Bowl. The following year – no bowl.
The year after I entered Folsom Field at the University of Colorado, the program was riddled with chaos stemming from harassment allegations and has never been the same. Last fall I watched the North Carolina men’s basketball team practice. Their season fell short of expectations. I respect the Oregon football team so I stayed far away from Autzen, but I did make sure I tried the gates at Reser on the campus of Oregon State.
Around dinner time I pulled up to the home of Josh and Shawna Meyers. Shawna’s dad owns the Fireweed Lodge in Klawock and whenever I’ve driven north, or returned from north, I’ve crashed at their place.
She had homemade chili on the stove, and Josh was just returning from a hunt in which his buddy shot at a 4-point, but the bullet deflected off a tree and killed a fork in horn.
Tomorrow, there will only be driving within the town of Portland as I’ll be taking a break from driving to soak in the freedom of unemployment…
TOMORROW – Graduate school work in Portland