Update From the Estuary – October 2019

Great day for a swim in the estuary!

Great day for a swim in the estuary!

Where to start?

The days fly by when you salmon fish the way some people do in the autumn.  The tides flow and ebb, the moon passes overhead and underfoot, water temperatures finally moderate, and we fish. Yes we do.

Some of us fish an incoming, or an outgoing, but some fish dawn to dark regardless of the tide’s temperament.

If we are lucky, we have special days.

Imagine this.

I was poised on the bow deck of my boat last week, with the benign intention of tossing my anchor a mere 4 or 5 feet ashore onto the high ban, so as to allow me to step ashore at high tide. Of course, being a physics-educated and wordy man of 70 years, I knew that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. I reasoned, however, that I could make this little tiny toss with no ill effect, and so I proceeded, One, two, three —  and tossed the anchor.

To no one’s surprise, the anchor flew onto the bank, just where I aimed it, and the boat lurched away in from shore quite rapidly. Of course, standing on the bow as I was, the movement of the boat to the left, took it right out from under my feet, and I dove headfirst over the side into crotch-deep water.

Face planted as I was, off flew my glasses and signature SIMMS ball cap, andout of my short pocket flew my IPhone.

I stood between boat and bank. steadied myself holding the boat with left hand and tuft of grass with my right, and began the search for glasses and phone, now hidden under a cloud of muddy water stirred up by my fall.

Ten minutes elapsed, the water cleared enough to reveal my glasses, but the phome was no where to be seen. Eventually, I dared to move my feet, discovered that I’d been standing on the phone, and retrieved it.

My first action was to take a selfie recording the moment, text Lisa to assure here i was alright but might not be able to text or call with a dying phone.

OK.  Wet shirt off, dry coat on, climb up on the bank, waddle-off upriver, casting where I’d seen salmon rolling. Twenty minutes removed from my unintended estuarine immersion. I’d hooked a fine bronzed chinook buck.

The high bank I fished from made a poor place to release a fish, so I resolved to lead it back to the boat, get into the boat, and release it there.

Here we go again. A grass camouflaged fence post took me down and nearly back into the water. Arriving at the boat, my most careful effort to board resulted in falling nearly flat on my face in the bow, with both knees across Chris’s Winston BiiX. Still holding my bent fishing pole upright, it took me several minutes to regain my composure, sit up, and consider if I could bring the salmon close for release.

Well, I could and I did. A friend nearby motored over and asked if I was OK, did I need anything, and then went on his way after wishing me no more mishaps for the afternoon.

Truly, I am blessed to be able to appreciate such excitement.

So how has the salmon fishing been anyway?

As always, the report goes like this: salmon fishing has been Ok for some folks and slow for most.

I’ll close with some images from my ventures over the last few weeks, and add my wishes that each of you find something heart-warming in each day, whether you’re tying flies, fishing, or going about the day do day conduct of your life.

Cute little birds on the estuary in morning sunlight.

Cute little birds on the estuary in morning sunlight.

Managing the riparian zone on the estuary.

Managing the riparian zone on the estuary.

Anonymous angler releasing a kwikfish caught  Chinook.

Anonymous angler releasing a kwikfish caught

Clousers, poppers, and tube bucktails for my friend Jack.

Clousers, poppers, and tube bucktails for my friend Jack.

But where is the hog line today?

But where is the hog line today?

A grand hen released.

A grand hen released.

Self portrait in oarlock.

Self portrait in oarlock.


Jay Nicholas, October 17th, 2019






This entry was posted in Fishing Reports, Oregon Salmon fly fishing. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Update From the Estuary – October 2019

  1. david jensen says:

    Reads like Hemingway’s Old Man and the Sea. Better in the Nestucca than chasing rockfish.

  2. John B says:

    Thanks for the pictures Jay. I wish the tidewater was a bit closer to me.

    May your fishing days stay a little drier.

  3. Jim Terborg says:

    Nicely done

  4. Oregon Fly Fishing Blog says:

    Thank you all for your kind notes. JN

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>