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The river in early October was excessively low, still in late summer flows. The broad maple leaves, burnt orange in appearance were building in the forest and occasionally one would drop into the water and boat away downstream. Armed with a trusty muddler I began in new water above a usual stretch and immediately connected with a feisty cutthroat. A small fish but with the beautifully full pepper spotting and red slashes under it's jaw witch opens much wider than a rainbow. Thorough the day I would see these open mouths approaching my fly as the greedy trout took the big fly.

At a narrow chute below a young man was taking photographs of the water and he added a few of the fisherman he encountered too. He was the only other human seen on the river today. Below the chute expectations were high as this is a natural stacking area for migrating fish but only a few trout were taken. Continuing down through this beat the same was observed, only instream trout taken with no steelhead, salmon or sea run cutthroats spotted.

Moving down to the peninsula area, crossing, and moving up to the worn lava area above I was happy to see many rise rings but again no tell tale boils or leaps of the larger fish sought. Very tricky wading here with fins of varying width running down the flow of the river with three feet or more of flooded valleys in between them. At one point their were four fins and then the main flow beyond and I searched each narrow trench for the ever present trout. After the trenches were probed I consentrated on the main channel where I connected with the first sea run. She took some line but was confined by the restraints of the separated flows and was brought to hand fairly quickly. The difference form the sea run from the native instream trout (besides the size) was an overall silvery look as salt water will brighten the fish. In time the trout would darken and developer the yellow belly with the spots becoming green to black and the faded jaw marks brightening back from a light orange to a deep red.

The day was pleasent with a misty drizzle so common here on the Oregon coast. I fished to the end of the peninsula past the sitka spruce tree that ominously leans out over the river. It's trunk the size of road grader tires with a gnarled root wad hanging on the side of the high water mark, I have always felt uneasy working my way below it but also felt good it has survived another few winter high flows to make me nerves again on this trip.

The final run-pool at the corner produced another sea runner but alas no steelhead and the day ended with only Juvenal steelhead captured full finned native fish as there is no stocking of them on this stream. Only one salmon carcass was seen so the run that usually happens in September had not occurred, my guess is that they would be stacked up in the estuary awaiting a freshet to begin their journey. results were about 25 trout to hand mostly smaller native fish a few searunners and the down stream running rainbows (steelhead smolts). As usual the river was mine with no other fishermen and I walked the stream of my youth 1,000 miles away from my home bringing back memories of days and fish of the past. It was good to be back home.
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