Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Camping on the Shore of Wickiup Reservoir, Pt. 6

I slept much better the next night. The two comforters kept me snug in bed, and the new propane heater warmed up the cabin quickly. 

I took a kayak cruise upstream, above Sheep Bridge (an old cable crossing over the Deschutes river where it empties into the reservoir) and prowled along the north bank, where massive springs empty into the river. In the deep, clear turquoise spring water I saw some massive salmonoids prowling along the bottom. I don't know my trouts and suchlike. All I could determine was that they had cinnamon-colored bodies, and maybe some blue markings, too. 

They were rising, too, and snapping low-flying bugs out of the air. I decided that it would be fun to try my hand coaxing one or two to rise to a dry fly, but didn't know if I could do it legally. I wanted to learn how to set up my little spinning rig to toss dry and wet flies. And I'd need a way to anchor the kayak out in the middle of the stream so I could put down the paddle for a while. 

So when I got back to camp, I emailed Bruce to see if he could find the ODFW's definition of "fishing" and see whether hookless flies are permitted. Is tossing a line with just a float on it fishing? How about a totally hookless fly? After all, I really would not know what to do with a trout if I caught one, anyway.

 I need to learn to clean and cook trout. That's for next year.

Bruce got back in a few minutes. He wrote,
"The ODFW definition of angling is 'to take or attempt to take fish for
personal use by hook and line'; therefore a person using a rod and reel
with a baited hookless line would not fall under the definition of angling."
-- ODF memo, July 12, 2006.  
"Bottom line: If there's no hook you ain't angling."
After all, the verb "to angle" comes from the sharp bends in early fishermen's hooks. 

With that cleared, I needed to invent an anchor. I know nothing of anchors. I studied articles online for tips on making a kayak anchor and rigged the kayak with a DIY drag anchor: a nylon stuffsack with about 5 lb of rocks in it, with a couple carabiners for the line to pass through. With such a thing, I thought, I should be able to park myself in a likely location. And I'd bring a knife if the line gets fouled. 

The day finished pretty, with blue blue skies, enough clouds to make it interesting, and a brisk breeze. Too brisk for kayaking, so I wandered along the shoreline a piece. There are other campers, oddly buried in the woods, in the dark shadow of the trees. Why anyone would camp where there is no view or sunlight baffles me. 

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