How could a River so beautiful have remained undiscovered? Dunno. Summer day, moderate 70s, broken cloud cover, gentle breeze, and swallows working bugs in the afternoon. Several nice runs to swing flies in, without a boat in sight.
River teeth and beaver-sticks to collect. Petrified wood treasures if you can find them. Green rocks from upstream in the Middle Santiam basin, perfect for garden landscaping. All the petrified wood has to come out of the Wiley Creek basin these days, because Foster Dam blocks any downstream flow of gravel from the river above that point. All the petrified wood – one hundred percent – shows evidence of a prehistoric forest fire. One perfect place (right side, lower end of the first island) for kids to wade in the shallows. Plenty of healthy snacks – no shortage of brownies and chips.
Oops! Somebody couldn’t resist a Marabou fly on the hang-down. Rod jumps into Jackson’s hands. Oops! Reel forward to make the line come in. Let him run if he pulls hard. Upstream and downstream, ‘round the boat – a narrow miss – almost wrapped that nice green Winston around the bow anchor release. “ Get the net ready”, Jackson says. Oops! That’s OK son, we were going to let him go anyway.
So it goes. The river looked clean, the steelhead runs green, and the deep holes were blue. Trout splatted at the evening hatch. A 510 gr Airflo Scandi Compact seemed right strung on a 7123. My freshly tied Muddlers skated like they were supposed to.
The R&E funded restroom at the take-out was sparkling clean. Life’s gifts can be so perfect and simple. We unhitched the boat so we could use the drive-up at the Sweet Home A&W. Root Beer Floats and Tater Tots served on a window-tray. Brad paisley sings, “I’m Still a Guy” on Country Western Radio. We all sing along. Home by 8:30.