Logan, in northern Utah, was not much different than most early Mormon settlements. White settlers first arrived in 1859 and located near the Logan River. They planted crops, diverted the North Branch of the Logan River for irrigation, and the settlement grew. Canals and ditches were expanded and added to meet the city’s growing needs. Mills sprouted along the canals. Still more people arrived and with them came changes: adobe walls replaced logs, clapboard replaced adobe and brick replaced clapboard. However, one constant through the changes were the canals. Mills along the canals came and went, but the canals remained.
The wood rod was deep amber with burgundy wraps. A three piece rod, its ferrules mottled with a metallic rime that flaked away beneath my fingernail. The deep forest-green backing was like a heavy cotton thread.
Although in my neck of the woods fishing is open 365 days a year, this is pretty much the end of the season for me.
As we drive the dark road east, I look up where stars dot a narrow path through the morning. I feel the press of hundreds of feet of sheer canyon walls more than see them. Ahead of us the dawn unwinds its hours, slowly unveiling the skyline—a jagged, ancient silhouette stretching for miles.
It is said that the autumn of our life is a slow and steady slip into winter, synonymous with the time when animals hibernate and plants die. Some might think of it as more of a homesickness, not a geographical homesickness, but a chronological one—a time for reflection, for looking back at what was. Autumn is a matter of perspective—of seeing our current time as just that, current.
This brief interlude from summer’s end to autumn’s beginning is brought to you by the monochrome stillness of the storm shrouding the mountains in clouds, momentarily hiding colors. What light there is suffuses my thoughts which are as dispersed as the autumnal seeds blown about. Seeds that when sown will bring next year’s blossoms.
The end of summer seems to sneak up with startling abruptness in the mountains. Sagey greys and dusky rabbitbrush topped with yellow sprigs of late summer flowers, surrounded by grasses browned in the summer heat. Fine dust matting leaves. A tired respiration seems to heave up from the canyons in hot blasts—last gasps. Bellowing itself for the soon-to-be colors plashed about its flanks like so many embers of red, braided fingers of yellow and orange. A few summer holdouts paint the hillsides early.
Testing out Robert’s hopper patterns on the Logan River doesn’t turn out quite the way we anticipated, but ends up a good way to make new friends.
In the long shadows of early light I hike toward the ridge at eight thousand feet, shotgun over the right shoulder. An eleven month hiatus slows my senses—and I forget to look, really look. I’m merely hiking with a weapon, not stalking. My nerves are deadened from the nearly year-long break, spent mostly stalking cutthroat, which is nothing like this sort of stalking.
Hotspotting. Spilling the beans. Blabbing your big, fat mouth. Kiss and tell. No matter what you call it, mentioning online where you’re fishing can raise some grizzled hackles and get you kicked out of the brotherhood of the angle. Me, I’m a teller about 95% of the time.
Two trips of two days each fishing “Bonneville Creek,” Idaho and Greys River, Wyoming for Bonneville and Finespotted cutthroat trout (including a brief recap of Scott’s most prolific 3 hours of catching fish ever experienced).
We often think of home as a place of origin or place we currently live. But in this post I’m referring to one’s homewater as that place in which one finds refuge; a place where one is secure or happy.
The Logan River is my “home” water (it’s the closest, but I haven’t fished it as much this year). I was able to fish it twice last week. Here’s the report (along with some amateurish video of Cutthroat Stalker stalking cutthroat).
Desert Fishing Day 3 – in which Dan and Scott drive the endless desert to fish Willow Creek, then continue, surviving steep, dark terrors of the backcountry as they headed toward the Jarbidge Wilderness Area.
Day 2 of Dan’s and Scott’s Desert Natives Fishing Trip along the northern edge of the Great Basin wherein we fished for redband trout on Rock Creek and Alvord cutthroat and Lahontan cutthroat on Guano Creek. And suffered a merciless attack by mosquitoes.