For Father’s Day the old man and I went out to explore the Metolius, an easy drive from their place. Like all the other rivers in the blog so far, I’ve been to the Metolius before. I still think it’s the most beautiful river I’ve ever fished. The spring-fed water is clear and blue and cold, and although the trees make back casting a fly rod difficult, they frame it beautifully. Just as impressive, there were hundreds of butterflies flitting from flower to flower all along the bank.
We went below the bridge so that we could fish with spinning rods, and I’ll have to admit that the flyfishers looked pretty awkward trying not to get tangled in the brush. The upper section of the river is fly fishing only, and I’m glad that places like that exist. One difference I’ve noticed about fly fishing only rivers is that they are immaculate. No trash, no nests of discarded line, or beer bottles or Styrofoam bait containers. We walked along the trail that follows the river, but after a couple miles the river goes into a canyon and the water looked far too fast to fish.
Most of the other anglers showed up around 3 p.m., right as a hatch started emerging from the water. For about 20 minutes trout were rising left and right one after the other. It was a moment where I wished I’d brought my fly rod instead, as the action looked amazing!
We did manage a fish each, both of which were pulled out of a seam on the far bank. My guess is that it would have been difficult to reach with a fly, but it was an easy toss with the Loomis Dad let me borrow for the day. They were small and wild, and not the big Browns or Bulls that I’ve heard lurk in the river, but it still beats getting skunked.
We came across one of the guys from the Fly Fishers Place in Sisters. My dad must be a regular there as he chided my dad good-naturedly for using a spinning rod instead of a fly rod. I’ve fly fished almost all my life, and briefly thought myself a purist. Although I’m not a bobber and worm and half-rack of beer kind of fisherman, I’ve come to believe that any kind of fishing is better than none at all, and different circumstances call for different approaches. Nothing beats a trout on a fly rod, but a trout on a spinning rod is much more fun than swearing at the trees and the brush because they’ve eaten all my flies.
All in all it was a great afternoon, and a great way for a father and son, now a grandfather and a father, to celebrate Father’s day together with something and someone both have always cherished.
Happy Father’s Day Dad.