My Date with the Dungy
I like to fish. Simple as that sounds, my experience with fishing is anything but simple
and it really has only a bit to do with fishing at all. The experience for me is transformative. As a
philosopher unjustly imprisoned but sitting impassively in his cell with a smile on his face I
spend my work week in expectation of my fishing day. Through transcendental meditation I go
to my favorite spot on the river several times a week. I can smell the dead leaves, I can see the
small bubbles filter up through the gin clear water as it cascades into a plunge pool. I am
exhilarated by the smells and sounds of the forest. Then it is time to get back to work, time to
clean another bathroom, find socks for another kid, do another math problem. Sunday can’t
come quick enough because that’s the day I have a date with the Dungeness. I love to fish. I
The Dungeness River is an incredibly unique resource. I have hiked to its source high in
the Olympic Mountains. It is here in the Alpine Zone in the shadow of Mt. Deception that the
Dungeness River begins its 32 mile plunge to the ocean. The river changes dramatically with
the seasons. The average mean flow is 380 cubic feet per second but the river has flowed with
Nick and the River by Kirk Winter mute In Ernest Hemingway's short story "Big Two-Hearted River," there are very few obvious relationships. But the relationship that is most important to the story is that of the main character, Nick, and the river itself. Nick's feelings towards the river extend beyond the banks and the waters to its inhabitants. While Nick may not actually speak to the river ...
as much volume as 7120 cubic feet per second (Piety, L.A.; Randle, T.J.; Bountry, J.A.; Link.)
With this much change it is amazing that such a volatile environment supports runs of
anadromous fish, as well as maintaining an incredible resident population of several species of
trout. Yet it does. Last year the biggest run of pink salmon since 1963 swam up the Dungeness
(Peninsula Daily News).
The river also supports populations of Chinook, Coho, and Chum
salmon. There are also runs of steelhead in both the summer and winter. Anadromous fish are not
what I am after, however it is a great sign of a healthy ecosystem that they exist here.
I am in pursuit of wild trout. Christopher Camuto said, “A wild trout in its native habitat
is a compact example of the Earth working well.” If things are to work well with me today I
need to select appropriate lures. This is not to be taken lightly. A shiny lure on a bright day might
scare my quarry. Too drab and the attraction to rise may be insufficient. I have gold lures with
red dots, copper and black, little neon green ones with flashing blades. They all smile up at
me when I open their case. I smile back and take them all, just in case. I pick out my favorite
fishing rod, give the reel a couple of spins to make sure it’s still functioning correctly and then
throw the spare in next to it. That’s all the equipment I need. I take a couple of special dark
porters out of the fridge and think about making a sandwich for later. Maybe, maybe not, in
the end I leave without as I just want to get going.
I make use of the backcountry network of logging roads that are now referred to and
mapped as forest service roads. Without them, it would be several days walk to get to my “secret
spot” and back out to my truck. There are 2,250 miles of forest service roads in the Olympic
National Forest. Unfortunately, these roads are being actively decommissioned. The view of the
“conservative environmentalists” is that the roads impact municipal water supplies, harm
The service that Steve, Toby and I provided was a Car Wash that was run on a school day, with the schools hoses and taps. The Ownership was a partnership, with all of us 3 splitting the money into 3 when we made the final profit. We each made 30 dollars after successfully cleaning around 19 cars, charging 5 dollars a car. The location of the business was at the back of the N block at Bellarine ...
fisheries, and contribute to the loss of biodiversity, aesthetics, and integrity of our public lands.
They are wrong. Note the previous example of the largest pink salmon run in
half a century. The local deer and elk populations are so large that they have to be “managed”.
Cougar populations have also been growing to the extent that guide books now give advice on
what to do when you have an “encounter” ( Ramano, Carig).
I admit to a feeling of entitlement concerning my access and use of these scenic by-
ways. However, I am not asking that roads be built to accommodate my selfish pursuits. Rather I
am stating the obvious; the roads exist, and were built at great expense. What sense does it make
to spend to keep people out? Most environmental activists get their desire and passion from
personal experience. Eliminating access to this personal experience will decrease the numbers of
those fighting to protect the forest and leave it in the hands of the government and the loggers.
Simply put; it is not in a person’s selfish personal interest to protect what they can’t see.
In 1998 the Forest Service decommissioned what had been FS Road 2860, along the
Dungeness River. They took out 6 miles of scenic road, and an entire public campground. The
steep pile of rocks and debris that they left to discourage use of the newly decommissioned road
has become a favorite spot to dump old water heaters and practice shooting. Trash and shotgun
shells lay about. This place is now a cancer and is avoided. They left behind a bridge large
enough to drive a cement truck across that is now slowly eroding into the river. 742 miles of
back country roads have been slated for decommissioning. So far it is budgeted at 22 million
dollars. The Legacy Roads and Trails Remediation Program is asking that funding be increased
to 45 million. Ironically, most of the work is being done by the very construction crews that put
them in. (John Dodge).
I question whether the majority of this work is necessary or productive.
The Hudson River is 315 miles long from the Adirondack Mountains to the Atlantic Ocean. This river was founded in 1606 by a man name Henry Hudson. In the 1620 s, the Dutch settled this river. Soldiers also used it as a highway during the American Revolution. Humans have used this river for approximately 400 years already. The river has been used for travel, food, recreation, and as a waste dump ...
I look at all the money spent and wonder how many college scholarships could have been
awarded with the money spent tearing up access to our backcountry. At any rate, my little
journey down a dirt road is complete and I’m out of the truck and into the forest.
I love this part! I’m back in nature on a little trail I’ve carved out over the years. I know
every step along this mile hike like the back of my hand. The rotted log that might trip you up (it
did me once).
The tree that looks like a moose to me (and only me).
I try to take my time and
enjoy my walk through the forest. I sing “Valerie” at the top of my lungs as I’ve heard it scares
away bears. It must work because I’ve never seen one. In no time at all I’m pushing my way
through the last fragrant cedar bows and I’m on the cobbles at my favorite bend in the river.
This place feels like it’s all mine and it is happy that I am back. An eagle lifts off a tall Douglas
Fir and looks over his shoulder at me as he glides away down river. Something catches my eye in
the forest across the river but I’m not sure what it might have been. I stay way back from the
river itself and begin to rig up my equipment.
I’ve decided on a shiny gold spinning lure with black spots on the blade. The water is
clear and cold and deep enough here to hold a big trout or two. I tie it on with an improved clinch
knot and tip toe up to the river. Trout are skittish little creatures and if you rush up on a modest
river like this they will see you and perhaps go wherever it is that trout go when they are
frightened. I don’t chance that. I stand for a moment and take in the absolute beauty of this spot.
The water is so pure and clean, the air is crisp with just a hint of winter in it and I might as well
be the only person on the face of the earth. There is nothing here but pure, heavenly serenity. I
could leave right now and this would be a good day.
I breath out and let go a beautiful arcing cast that places my little gold lure just above a
swirl in the water that represents a submerged boulder. I know because I’ve been here at lower
water and seen most of that boulder dry. If I was a trout I’d be sitting right behind that rock
The Atchafalaya is the most original basins because it has a growing system with very stable wetlands. It is also the biggest river swamp in North America but has lost about 3, 760 acres between 1932 and 1990. The loss of the wetlands is primarily due to erosion, human activities, and natural conversion. Many human activities, such as oil and gas pipelines, have interrupted the movement of flow ...
hiding from the current and predators while waiting for something tasty to float on by. My lure
slips over that rock like a playful kid at a water park and begins its slow u-turn as it sinks deeper
into the pool behind the rock. I see the dark shape come up behind it and let it flutter down just a
foot or two more and there it is. The tug on the line means I have tricked another wiley trout.
The rod bends and little beads of water spring from the line as it goes taught and zips out.
Physics are on my side in this quiet battle. If I don’t panic or try to bring the fish in too quickly it
really doesn’t have much of a chance for escape. The trout shakes its head under water and
swims rapidly down river. I see a flash of color under the water as it comes in closer now. I’m
taking in line and soon the fight will be over. Too soon for me so I stop reeling and let the trout
struggle against a tight line and the current for another minute before I bring it up on the
My silent mêlée complete I pause and get my wits about me. Looking around I realize I
was so engrossed in my trout that a family of Sasquatch could have strolled by and I never would
have noticed. My trout is absolutely gorgeous; silver and full of translucent colors down the side.
There are four species of “trout” in the Dungeness River. Rainbow and cutthroat are true
trout, and Dolly Varden and brook are actually chars. My first trout is a rainbow. He
will look wonderful on a bed of wild rice with some chanterelles and slivered almonds. I
open one of my special dark beers that I bought for just this occasion and reflect on how
wonderful life can be if you allow yourself these moments.
Access to the backcountry is essential for so many things, including solitary fishing. I
know firsthand how the elimination of forest service roads impacts people. My favorite fishing
spot was at the end of that now decommissioned road. Replaced by a pile of rocks, tree stumps,
and garbage by the very people telling me they are the protectors of the forest. Lately, I’ve been
told I must purchase an annual forest service pass to drive these roads. If I get out and hike I
Trout fishing is a favorite sport for people from around the world who in joy the mighty fight that these little rainbow and brown's put up. Trout fishing is is relaxing and full of thrills, not only can men catch trout but children and women are a select few that fish for the small fish, even tho the fish are small they put up a fairly strong battle not only are they strong and small there also ...
need a back country permit. If I plan on starting a fire I need a permit for that too. Of course I
have my fishing license for fresh water fish with the necessary endorsements for each legal
species of andronomous fish should they make it up here. With all this bureaucracy involved in
catching a little trout you may think I would give up. I won’t. I want my kids to enjoy this special
feeling and their kids too.
Sitting here with my well crafted porter wiggling my naked toes in the ice cold water my
life is almost perfect. I will catch several more trout this day. Not in this pool, but in others like it
as I wander along in my private world. Feeling marvelously selfish at being here alone when I
could be doing so many other, “productive” things. My happiness is so entwined with the
happiness of my family and it’s good to know that they will be waiting for me at home. Happy
with the stories about today’s fishing that I will tell them. I will be able to give myself back over
to family, work, and school for another week or two now because I’ve had this time for myself to
reenergize and be free and reflective at the same time. Henry David Thoreau said, “Many go
fishing all their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.” I like to fish. I really do.
Dodge, John. “Road Building, Busting at Olympic National Forest”. Tacoma News Tribune, 15 August 2010: A4. Print
Havlick, David. No Place Distant, Washington: Island Press, 2002. Print
Piety, L.A.; Randle, T.J.; Bountry, J.A.; Link. Geomorphology of the Lower Dungeness River, Draft Progress Report for Fiscal Years 1998 and 1999, Dungeness River, Washington, U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation, Denver, Colorado. January 2000, written communication.
Rice, Arwyn “Dungeness River has Biggest Salmon Run in Half-Century”. Peninsula Daily News 8 September, 2013: A1. Print.
Ramano, Carig. Day Hiking Olympic Peninsula. Seattle: The Mountaineers Books, 2007. Print.
The Term Paper on Dams And Fun A Look At The Social Impact Dams Have On Whitewater Raftingfly fishing
Dams and Fun: a Look at the Social Impact Dams Have on Whitewater Rafting/Fly-Fishing Introduction Since ancient times people were constructing dams to protect themselves from floods, to generate electricity, for agricultural, industrial and other needs. More than 4,500 dams were built during the last fifty years to provide population with increasing demands in water and energy. Almost ? of world ...