saw a bunch of wildlife on the Yakima River this weekend. it seemed like everyone was out and about, even though it was kind of cold. i was there because i wanted to go trout fishing. so was the eagle.
for the first time, i saw a herd of elk. i spotted them moving along the river's edge in the trees and then they came out of the trees into a small clearing. a few looked at me, but they didn't seem to pay much attention. i whistled to try and turn some heads, but it didn't work.
when i was leaving the water i came across a couple blacktail deer. we all stopped and looked at each other. i tried to be as quiet and un-dangerous as possible in an attempt to not make them run and it worked. they watched me come, and watched me go. i often wonder what goes through a deer's, or any other animal's mind when they encounter me.
this one was a bit of a surprise. i've been in rivers that salmon spawn in, and i've seen lots of dead, post-spawn salmon around, but usually where there's one, there's many. i saw a lone coho salmon on sunday. fairly fresh too.
the fishing was solid. on average, much larger fish than my last trip to the Yak. i didn't catch any fish on the nymphs i tied with the new variety of rubberlegs. that was a bit of a disappointment.
i've been missing trout fishing in rivers. the Yakima is 100 miles from Seattle. it feels like it's in a different state. once you get over the pass and out of the Cascades, it's the west. that's a nice feeling, that "the west", and trout fishing of "the west" is near.