A Love of
Rivers and Fishing
Waders are a great invention.
You can actually spend time in a river without getting wet.
For the first decade or so of my life moving water and wet clothes went together, much to my mother's dismay. As a child I explored the rivers and creeks closest to our house: a little creek the flowed down from Great Notch, Peckman River and the big Passaic River. The little creek was the cleanest of the three and the place where I first encountered a natural wonder: spawning suckers that came into the river once each year.
As an angling family, vacations and weekends often meant visiting rivers far away. The Delaware was a big, clean river that we enjoyed for fishing, swimming and canoeing in my parent's Old Town canoe. Another river that fascinated me as a child was in the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest near Great Smoky Mountains National Park: Santeetlah Creek. There, with my first diving mask, I could jump into the cold and very clear water and see hundreds of fish. I stayed in, looking at the fish I might catch, until my lips were blue and the shivers were uncontrollable.
Now with waders and a wetsuit, I keep up my fascination with rivers. Here are just a few of the ones that I have come to love.
Photo: South Fork of the Smith River (CA) from Steven Memorial Bridge
The Smith River, California's
most northernly coastal river is a superlative wild river
that I have come to know and love. A few years ago I was
asked to join the board of the Smith River Alliance, a conservation group that
is more than 25 years old.
Other favorite rivers of mine that I urge you to visit include:
San Mateo Creek
North Fork of the Stillaguamish and the Sauk River
The Great Aaro Steeplechase-Course
Miramichi River - I have long wanted to catch a searun atlantic salmon. In July of 2004, I caught my first on this famous New Brunswick River.
Wenatchee River - While a long drive from Seattle, this fine Columbia River tributary would often provide for good salmon and steelhead fishing when the runs were strong. Feeling steelhead-deprived while living in D.C. during the Fall of 1988, my brother Bill offered to show me the secrets of his then backyard stream, the Wenatchee. I got on a flight as soon as I could.
York River - In the summer of 2006, Russ and I got to fish this river on Quebec's Gaspe Peninsula for atlantic salmon on the dry fly. The clear water and beautiful canyon made for a fabulous trip. It was enhanced by the Quebec fishing regulations that allowed us to be the exculsive anglers on our stretch of the river. I felt like the king of the river.