Kayaking the Russian River Among the Steelhead Fishermen

Friday January 3, 2014 Monte Rio CA.

Kayaking Monte Rio to Duncan’s Mills bridge and back

I sleep good on the sore back last night, but needed a cold pack to get started this morning. An email was waiting for me from my Doc. She was back to work, and said I better make an appointment for next week as we had a lot to talk about. OK, things are starting to roll. Now as long as she isn’t going to puncture me with needles or operations we’ll get along just fine.

After getting off the cold pack, I drove down to Monte Rio to kayak for the day. Lots of fishermen trying their hand at steelhead today.

I put my boat in the water and headed down stream.

This is my  view just after getting the boat in the water. There are some steelhead fishermen in boats down in what they call the slot in the center of the picture, which I went on by, but stopped long enough to shot the bull just a bit.slot


Only one fish caught here this morning and not too much action right now.

Villa Grande Hole

I continued on down to the Villa Grande hole, which you can see in the photo below.villagrande


I stopped here and there taking my time going on down the river. Just above Moscow hole, a motor boat rapidly approached me. It didn’t run over me. it was Rene with a friend of which I’ve forgotten his name. I’m real bad with names, just can’t remember names. Oh well. Rene said the fishing is slow today. They left and continued on up the river.rene


I paddled on going past Rein’s beach. There is a little island just below that, that I’ve seen about ten crested night herons there before, so I watched for them. They were there, but most flew down river a little as I approached.

This is a female crested night heron, I think.heronfemale


And this one is a male. These birds hang in the brush a lot along the river’s edge.heronmale2


Casini’s Ripple

I paddled down to the Casini Ranch ripple where I sat for awhile watching for big fish, but didn’t see any. I spent about a half hour here on the way back too, but still didn’t’ see any fish swim by.

This is the spot I sat to watch for big fish going by at the Casini Ranch ripple. Nice and flat water, but no fish swim on by while I watched.casinii


Eventually I paddled down across the ripple as it was high tide and I could easily cross it, but the tide would be going out soon, so I had to be back to get across it before the water dropped at low tide, and I would have to get out and walk my boat back up across the ripple if I was late coming back, getting my feet wet.

Sea lions hunting big fish

Right away , I noticed a sea lion actively fishing just below the ripple. I noted at least two of them fishing here. A fisherman said he saw four of them here. These are some smaller sea lions, about half grown. About seven of them have been hanging around just inside the river’s mouth hunting lately.

The fact that they are hunting up here, means there are likely big fish in the river coming up to spawn.

Here is a picture of one of the sea lions I saw hunting today.sealion


And fishermen fishing too

There were a lot of fishermen fishing in Brown’s hole, which is just below the Casini Ripple.

Some of the steelhead fisherman at Brown’s hole.fishermen


I continued on down the river, past Brown’s hole. I was headed to the Duncan’s Mills Bridge.

More fisherman as I went by, fishing away.




Here I am approaching the Duncan’s Mills Bridge, where I turned around and started heading back up the river.duncansbridge


When I got back to the Casini’s ripple, I stopped and watched the ripple for another half hour or so, but saw nothing crossing it.

It was starting to get late, so I started on my way back up to Monte Rio.

This is the view I had of Moscow hole as I went on up the river.moscow


There was a harbor seal in the water fishing at Moscow hole. This is one of the guys that stays mostly in the river down at Jenner and seems to know me a little.seal


I slowly worked my way back up to Monte Rio at a leisurely pace and took my boat out of the water around five PM.

As I passed by the slot at Monte Rio, there were some steelhead seen trying to get by the fishermen in boats just as I passed them. Seems there are some fish in the river, but the fishing is slow.

It was a real nice day on the river, had a great time.

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