Friday, August 31, 2012

Lochsa River Cutties

Lochsa-bears-fruit (D'oh!)

The beauty of driving is seeing the country. Our friend, Dave from Washington, suggested we fish the Lochsa River. The Lochsa's reputation is that it's teeming with cutthroat.

I'm attentive to my surroundings. I like knowing where I am and where I'm going.*

We traveled along the Clearwater, then the Lochsa, past the confluence with the Selway, all through the beautiful Clearwater National Forest.

Satisfied we had the best river access, luxurious space, plenty of shade and all the time in the world to enjoy it, we set up a comfortable camp.

Taking a break, I sat down, relaxed, appreciating the sights, sounds, and the fragrance of the forest.

I'm fairly confident in my attentiveness,* so imagine the look on my face when my eyes came to rest on the tree right in front of me.

 What the...?  You've gotta' be kiddin' me!

Unmistakeably not kidding! It would be a ridiculous understatement to categorize me as among the most bear-cautious people on earth.

Donna and I estimated the age of this distinctly obvious calling card and considered the merits of putting up a sign of our own that read "NO BEARS". Speculating the bear sign was old gave little comfort - bears can live to a ripe old age.

And what you may wonder, could be so attractive to bears around here? Aside from food, water and shelter - the dessert buffet all around us.... Thimbleberries.

The thimbleberries and huckleberries were delicious, but we had some fishing to do, bears or no bears. (We saw no bears on the Lochsa.)

I fooled quite a few fish with "adapted dapping": kiss the water with a caddis; recast; hover; recast; kiss the water; recast; let the fly settle. Wham! A type of cheating I guess, but fun and different.

The Lochsa is magnificently beautiful, and on this trip, it was among my favorite rivers.

*Disclaimer to the notion that I'm oblivious to my surroundings : ) Phoenix Fly Casters, Fly Fishing Arizona. "Spey Clave 2012, Feeling Right at Home". May 30, 2012. Video (0 - 15sec) available online here.

© Marian Tallon August, 2012