Saturday, March 15, 2008

Clear Waters

I miss clear rivers. The river water here isn’t quite so clear unless you pack yourself up way up into the hills. On a good day you may be able to see down a couple of feet in the brackish Columbia or Lewis and Clark River. If you go up the Lewis and Clark above the 400 line the water can be clear to eight or ten feet if it hasn’t rained for a month or so, but the river takes on color after a day of mist.

I’ve been thinking about some of the rivers I’ve been on in Upstate New York like the Ausable or the Blanc River in Quebec that run clear and deep and fast with water so clear it resembles liquid air.

It was always fun to spot fish of any size swimming like ghostly shadows in these clear rivers. Sometimes they are motionless in the river and you don't see them until you frighten them into moving. Though I’m not into fishing so much any more. I suspect if I had the opportunity to return to these rivers I’d be searching for black sand these days. I’d rather pan through black sand that harass fish in the wild, especially since gold is now up to $1,000 an ounce. (Sorry Matt)


Blogger Jaggy said...

Have a look at the McKenzie River in the Cascades. Beautiful, clear, cold water and awesome hiking trails, a couple waterfalls, and even a lake or two (or fifty). I've never seen water that pretty before. I never thought I'd call water pretty either...

8:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The McKenzie is indeed a beautiful river.

But as a native who has traversed the natural areas of this state for the better part of 40 years, I would have to choose the Illinois River in southern Oregon, a 75-mile river that runs off the Rogue. It is the most beautiful river I have seen or could imagine.

2:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the late 60's my brother and I would spend a couple weeks at the YMCA camp at Spirit Lake right next to Mt. St. Helens. I know you are all talking about rivers and here I am bringing up a lake, but the water in Spirit lake runs down from Mt. St. Helens through literally cubic miles of pumice rock which has to be Gods own premier filter system. The water was a beautiful aqua blue and you could see fish a hundred feet down. I haven't been back since the mountain blew don't know what if looks like now.

5:56 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Oregon does have some fantastic rivers. Unfortunately none that I'm all that familiar with other than the upper Lewis and Clark.

Lake or river, clear water is cool. Especially in a lake where you can see down 100 feet. I must go to Crater Lake someday. Supposed to be the cleanest lake on the planet.

7:46 PM  
Blogger Mike S said...

How do ya know whether to fish a stretch if'n ya can't count da fishes?:)

12:46 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

That's why they call it fishing. Though it is pretty exciting watching them go for what you have put out there for them, especially when they are suspicious.

5:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you admire clear pure water then join your local Watershed council and help restore them! You already have rubber boots and shovels. Help replant native plants along denuded stream banks. Volunteer to monitor a fish counting station.

Be REALLY generous and volunteer to sit in their office and do mind numbing paperwork to free the professionals for field work.

Yes, I have and you I am a member of the Scappoose Bay Watershed council.

8:27 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

I have enough work keeping my own stream clean and properly planted. I'll leave that sort of work to people who don't have their own streams.

2:08 PM  

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