Posts Tagged ‘rivers


River Gages: Become Familiar With One Near You

Photo-Image-NOAA Gage Stations-NW USA-SwittersB

NOAA Gage Stations in Pacific NW

Whether you are planning a float trip, a fishing guide, a kayaker, a bank bound fisherman or a property owner monitoring a rising river, a river gage is an important piece of information. It may be a large measuring stick affixed to a bridge support that measures the rising waters or more sophisticated gages that measure height and CFS (Cubic Feet per Second). NOAA has such gages across the U.S. I am sure other countries have similar systems as a means of monitory flows. Become familiar with these systems for safety or whether a planned trip should be canceled due to projected blow outs of a river system.  A helpful suggestion: keep a journal or note somehow the fishable/floatable levels. Note when the river is blown out and note those levels. Note the historic floods and what is considered flood stage. Home Page NOAA. There are other excellent NW resources too: USGS Gages & Westfly


Remote Origins Way Upstream

Camp Creek Oregon TM SwittersB

“We don’t tend to ask where a lake comes from. It lies before us, contained and complete, tantalizing in its depth but not its origin. A river is a different kind of mystery, a mystery of distance and becoming, a mystery of source. Touch its fluent body and you touch far places. You touch a story that must end somewhere but cannot stop telling itself, a story that is always just beginning.” — (John Daniel, Oregon Rivers)


Science & such were never my strong suit……….

Sandy R plunge SwittersBWell, I was going to do some science, math, nature deal here of how much water flows over that rock per second (CFS..Cubic Feet a Second). I noted this stretch of the Sandy River (Oregon) is running at 1300 CFS, which is about average right now. Well, the science says 1 CFS fills a box 1′ x 1′ x 1′ per second. So, now I start to get lost when I picture 1300 cubic boxes right there per second. See, I spared you the whole improbable bit of boxes whizzing by over that rock. I will just stick to the image and hope for the best.


Nature: Glimmer on the Bay

Tillamook BaySwittersBTillamook Bay (Oregon)

A 2 x 6 mile long bay that empties into the Pacific Ocean on the north Oregon coast. The Trask, Wilson, Miami, Kilchis and Tilllamook rivers dump into Tillamook Bay. Over 40 species have been sampled in the bay, but the most appealing to anglers are the Spring & Fall Chinook, Winter Steelhead, Chum Salmon, Coho, Sea Run Cutts and Sturgeon. I have many fond memories of exploring all the above rivers with my sons and friends.


Fly Fishing: Scuds…hold the lemon

A must have producer for streams and stillwaters, the Scud (‘shrimp”) patterns an enticing morsel. Check the areas you fish for indications of this tasty morsel and tie accordingly in shades of green, grey, the obligatory orange, even blue. Simple to tie, this pattern has been around along time and lends itself to tying the Czech Nymph patterns (Scuds into Caddis Larva/Pupa patterns).

scud green has an excellent informational re scuds. On the appropriate rivers and streams, fish the pattern like any clinger/crawler nymph that inhabits the bottom and has been set adrift from the cobble bottom. Check out fishing Czech Nymph patterns and adopt much to the dredging techniques for all but the slowest of streams. Slower, weedier waters are usually a much more vertical, precise presentation.

For those of you that have Shrimp & Lemon on the mind…here are many mouth watering recipes.


Photography: I Flow, I Change

rapids SB

a hint of turbulence.
A river’s whole life,

I have a past,
eroding to today.

Let me not turn placid,

I do not mourn the waterfall years,
times of deadly rapids
but Lord save me
from becoming a fly-buzzing,

Between the past and maybe,
a riffle
not yet silenced.

Halfwise 2006


Water Safety: Low Head Dam’s Hydraulics

Low Head Dams: Not as prevalent in the Western U.S., but they are a concern in other parts of the country. I am not sure about around the world. These two videos are dated, but the visuals and info are relevent to the kayaker, boater, rafter on rivers with such dams/spillways. If you run rivers or know those who do watch the videos or share.  Low Head Dam Info  & Another Low Head Dam Tragedy



Stream Structure & Habitat for Trout

Trout Release Submerged SB

Here is a nice overview of stream structure, hydraulics and where fish might hold to feed or seek safe shelter. Reading the water is critical to your presentation. The structures of streams dictate where insects and baitfish hang out or migrate too. And, in turn, where trout will be to dine and dash.


The Essence of it all: The Trout & The Water

Came upon this lovely video that is the essence of fly fishing (at least for me). No strategy, no presentation, no rod or reel. Just like stopping, watching, relaxing and seeing~feeling peace of mind and heart. Front Side Fly Fishing has other videos as well. It is easy to be a bit jaded or saturated with all the very stimulating fish porn vid’s out there. This one, in its simplicity, is nice to just relax and watch.

Beautiful Trout SwittersBxIt is euphoric, for me, to bring a beautiful fish to hand…to admire it, to celebrate its beauty and power. But also, it is equally satisfying, at times, to admire their beauty at their own pace, their way…without attaching strategic considerations.


Zane Grey: Solitude, Writing & Fly Fishing

I have always found the history of Zane Grey and southern Oregon rivers to be magical. Grey frequented that region to contemplate, write and, of course, fish. I watched a wonderful episode (#367) on Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) tonight entitled Rogues of the Rogue (River).


A rustic log cabin was highlighted at Winkle Bar, a retreat where Zane Grey reportedly tucked himself away near the Rogue River. This sense of isolation, privacy, wildness is very appealing about now. Wanderlust rules!!! (Interesting Forum re Zane Grey)


Grey’s Cabin at Winkle Bar (Rogue River) The Flying Tortoise Blogspot

I bet few of you remember Dick Powell’s Zane Grey Theater?!

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August 2020

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