Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Nameless Creek

I've seen that guy before - down on the Salmon River - a skinny guy, the low black racing canoe, the short black racing paddle, and the rapid stabbing stroke.  Our conversation goes threefold over our last, we add four words..."how you doing?" and "good".   I think he likes me.

I head downriver and upwind from the Tariffville put-in into new water to me.  Fall continues onward towards us, the trees more red and more gold than the last time I was here, and the temperature just reaching "long sleeve shirt".

A mile or so into it, I spot a heron's head watching me over the top of the shoreline grasses.  It seems that there is a pond back behind there, and as I near that bird, I find that it is fishing from a foot high beaver pond.  I stop and spend 20 minutes taking a photo survey of the dam.

Downstream another hundred yards is the big bend that I've seen on the maps, the bend that turns the river back south and east and towards its eventual terminus at the Connecticut River.  When I get to the bend I discover that there is a nice creek coming in on the outside of the turn, and the river, having become a predictable quantity, is no match for my curiosity.  I turn into the creek.

nameless creek

My nameless (yet) stream has a good current, but nothing that I can't paddle against, and it is choked with deadfall trees, but nothing that can't be maneuvered around.  I enjoy the break from steady paddling...weaving in and around and through tight combinations of downed trees, all the while compensating for the swirling current.  It keeps the mind busy...its almost mathematical, the calculating of the canoe's inertia, summing the differential effect of weak current on the stern and strong at the bow, passing an inch from an plan and not by chance.  Usually, I get it right, but not always.  Some ten or fifteen minutes up I spot a fly fisherman.  I have a schedule to keep today, and so I turn and leave him and his fish undisturbed.

Back at the big bend, before returning to the put-in, I travel downstream to where the current begins to pick up.  It's a good place to turn back, and keep my schedule.

No comments: