Celebrated Giants by going fishing
Fishing and hunting
Dottie Lynch and guide James Shaughnessy show one of the steelhead we caught on the Rogue River in Oregon Monday.
Dottie and I and our Lab, Annie, drove to Ashland, Ore., Sunday with plans to see a play that night and then fish the Rogue River Monday. We started watching the Giants’ game in our room at the Plaza Inn and Suites, and blew off the theater when the game went into extra innings. We missed our play, but watching the Giants win the World Series was well worth it.
Monday morning was cool and partially cloudy as we drove up to Shady Cove to meet our guide, James Shaughnessy. The countryside through which the Rogue runs had a New Englandish feel to it, and the fall colors were blazing away in glorious reds, golds, yellows and various shades in between.
The weather warmed slightly as we floated downriver, and even if we hadn’t caught fish, it would have been a nice little drift, but we did catch some nice steelhead and a few small trout.
We were in a little side eddy opposite a swift-flowing riffle when I hooked into a very nice fish that took off across and downstream as though shot from a cannon. It headed straight for another driftboat anchored about 50 yards from us. It shot by the boat, and then turned downstream and jumped. My fly-line went straight over the bow of the boat, and thankfully the anglers in it guided it over their heads and back into the water. The fish jumped again, and finally began to tire, after which I was able to bring it to the net for a quick photo and release.
As we released the fish, one of the guys in the other boat yells, “Bill? Is that Bill Lynch?”
He turned out to be Jim Brock, an old friend and business associate from Marin County, whom I’ve known for more than 35 years. Jim is an avid fly-fisher and spends a lot of time on Oregon’s rivers.
Jim and his fishing buddy, Basil, were having a great day, catching and releasing close to a dozen fish.
Dottie and I managed a total of five, including one that was nearly 30 inches long.
James, our guide, is owner of Beulah Fly Rods. We used two of his rods part of the time and I was very impressed. He uses very light, high-grade materials, which made his 9-feet 9-inch, 7-weight steelhead rod feel as light as my 5-weight trout rod. I didn’t know until then that I needed a new steelhead rod, but James spoiled me. I already own a Beulah switch rod, which I like a lot, and besides his rods, which stand up in quality and casting ease with any of the expensive Sage and Winston rods I have tested, are about half the cost of those more expensive name brands.
Leland’s in Schellville actually carries Beulah rods. Anyway, if you are looking for a new trout or steelhead rod, check out James’ website at beulahflyrods.com.
Speaking of Leland, I got an email from them this week indicating that they have arranged to offer fly-casting lessons at one of Rams Gate Winery ponds. Carrie Roche will be the instructor. This is all good news, but one has to wonder why the bureaucrats in Sonoma County government have continued to force a valued local business and employer to keep its own fly-fishing teaching facility, Leland Fly Fishing Ranch, shut down. How, in these challenging economic times the county can be so hard on legitimate local businesses is impossible to explain.
Back to local fishing next week.