I had decided to fish the tidal section of a north coast river known for having a good run of searun cutthroat. I cut my fly fishing teeth fishing for searuns, and after a decade of ignoring them for bigger quarry, I have come back to them with renewed spirit. They aren't hard to catch if they are around and the elements are on your side.
I lazily paddled from pool to pool fishing my way down to tidewater. Once reached, I fished my way back as the tide flooded. A chinook fisherman watched his bobber swirl in a deep black tidewater pool. There were no evidence of chinook in the river, but he said he didn't feel like fighting the crowds down closer to the bay. I don't blame him. I didn't much feel like fighting crowds myself. That wasn't going to be a problem this morning. As I neared my put in point, the tide had not flooded the last few sets of riffles. I negotiated them by poling upstream. My shoulders could feel the lack of conditioning I had given them this summer. I strained through the last little fast water chute and ground the canoe out at the put in point. Just the right amount of fish catching, canoeing and good old Oregon drizzle to start the day.