The North Fork Reservoir was recommended to me on the iFish forum as a spot with some decent bank angling for trout. I keep being drawn back to the Clackamas area; I don’t know if it is the proximity, or the lure of big fish, even though I have yet to ever land a fish on this river. The reservoir is very accessible, with fishing platforms provided by PGE at a few spots along the road. I’m sure this place is a total zoo in the summer, but on a rainy mid-week day, it was pretty quiet. The fishing was pretty quiet too.
With no success in the reservoir, I also headed up the upper Clackamas a bit where there is almost no pressure as it is all C&R. The river reminded me of the Santiam: clear, fast moving water with lots of rocks and boulders. A deep pool on a bend and a tailout seemed like the perfect spot for fish to hang out, but for some reason they just weren’t biting. One of these days I’ll figure out the secret.
For me, thankfully, the main reason for going fishing isn’t to catch dinner, or try to land a trophy fish, it is just to get out of the house. The hours I spend traipsing through the woods and searching for places to fish are a physical outlet—I’ll usually walk five or six miles each trip. And, the single mindedness of the activity clears my head of all distractions. To Zen it up, I would call it “The mindfulness of fishing”. When I am on the water I focus one one thing only: Where to place my lure to catch fish. Work, family, stress, and the myriad thoughts floating around in my head disappear even as I remain completely silent for hours at a time. Fishing is meditation. Even as I return every time empty handed and tired, with nothing outward to show for my time spent on the water, I am always heady and refreshed from my outings. I’ve found too now that instead of fishing being a carrot dangled in front of me for getting though my work for the week, it recharges my batteries and allows me to focus 100 percent on the other important aspects of my life. After fishing I concentrate better on my work, I get more done, and the family certainly appreciates its effects on me.
On the drive home, it got me wondering if anyone has ever researched the effects of fishing on the body. It makes me wonder if regular angling doesn’t actually produce positive health effects, especially for blood pressure and heart problems. I’ve never heard of anyone having a heart attack while out fishing. Maybe it is time to contact the Heart Association to see if they’d fund a study…