Steelhead are in the Russian River

Sunday January 5, 2014 Monte Rio CA.

But very few are being hooked

Once I got going this morning, I headed down to Monte Rio to kayak. I decided it would be a good day to go up the river to the Vacation Beach summer dam and back.

I put my boat in the water around eleven AM and noticed a boat in the slot just below the launch ramp, so went on down to see how the fishing was going. I knew the guy, Darwin, he fishes here more than most and is down here a lot this time of year. He said he was seeing steelhead go by, but they weren’t taking what he had to offer. The river water is real clear right now and low, so the fish seem to be a bit on the spooked side, so aren’t taking many hooks right now.

I left him at it and headed on up the river.

Just below the Monte Rio bridge is a shallow spot. I always go to the far shore and get out and walk it as it’s just too shallow to paddle without pooping oneself out and I don’t like to do that when I’m just starting out for the day.

I beached the boat and got out on the little gravel bar on the right and walked the kayak up to the bridge.bridge


It was a nice day, a bit cool, but the sun was out and the breeze was mostly down.

Here is my view just as I was leaving the Monte Rio area.riobeach


This river view is just as I was approaching the area behind the Northwood golf course.river


I spied some fishermen at the Boho hole just up ahead. They’ve seen some fish, but haven’t caught anything.boho


I continued on up from there and spied these little floats in the water. Something someone lost? Something to salvage. No. It seemed there were a line of them anchored to the bottom of the river. What? Must be something the biologists are up to. Maybe going to be a fish tag reader, but it hadn’t been installed yet. The biologists keep me hoping trying to figure out what they are up to with these kinds of things in the river. I’ll ask one of them about them the next time I meet one  of them on the river.floats


Just above that, I saw this great blue heron fishing on the edge as I passed it by.heron


And just past that on the other side of the river, I spied this big turtle getting some sun.turtle


Continuing on up the river, I ran into these fishermen at Tom’s Rock. They hadn’t caught anything, but were seeing some fish.  When I came back down into this area, I found they were sitting on about a dozen steelhead that wouldn’t bite.fishermen2


I slowly worked my way on up the river to this pipe dumping water into the river. Now, we haven’t had much rain yet this year, so any water being put into the river should be welcome. This just happens to be the treated water dump from the local water treatment plant, which is allowed to dump treated water into the river at this time of year.waterpipe


I hit a couple shallow spots just above that and the second one stopped me from continuing on up the river. I’d have to get out to get by it and I didn’t want to get out and get my feet wet at this time of year.

I was sitting at Tom’s rock taking it easy and thinking about this big ol redwood tree pictured below. The one with the dead top. It’s called the Clarr tree. It’s huge. I’ve been around the big redwood trees all my life and I thought I knew what a big redwood tree looked like until I checked this one out. It’s about 24 feet across the bottom and is like a big pillar most of the way up looking from the bottom. Just huge, makes the other redwoods look like little guys.

Some say, hey, it’s dead at the top, how come. Well, if you were about two thousand or so years old, you’d be a bit bald on the top too. I’m not sure why this one is dead at the top. Lightning, maybe, but the bottom doesn’t look like it got hit. Some critters like squirrels are known to chew the bark around the tree and kill it. I also wonder if it might have trouble getting it’s nutrients that high in the sky. I’m sure there must be limits to how high a tree can pump water and stuff to survive.

The redwood tree with the dead top is the big one.bigtree


While I was sitting there admiring the tree, about a dozen or so steelhead swim into my view, swam around me for a bit, then headed back into the hole above me.

This is the best I could do getting a picture of them.steelhead


I watched for a bit, but didn’t see them again, so continued down the river with river views looking like this.fishermen3


Just below the Bohemian area, I ran into these guys fishing. Same story, they’ve seen some steelhead, but can’t hook any.fishermen


The river view just below them as I continued on down the river.riverview


It was just after four PM as I returned to the Monte Rio area. I saw Darwin still in the slot with another boat so I went on down to shoot the bull with them a bit. Darwin said he’d seen some fish swim by and had landed one, but they sure weren’t biting much. Darwin had been there since 6:30 AM this morning. It seems that those who put the time in get the most fish.

Two guys I shoot the bull with below Monte Rio.slot


I paddled back up the river to the boat launch and pulled my boat out for the day and went on home for a much needed nap.

Nice day on the river, for sure.

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