by Dylan Tomine
Fly Fishing Catalog 2006
The river is going out. Big time. Sure, it’s been raining since we started out six days ago and 17 miles upriver, but only enough to ensure that everything we own is wet. A week of dripping tents, soggy sleeping bags and wrinkled fingers isn’t so bad when the river’s green.
But now, this is different. The gentle, misting rain we’ve grown accustomed to has transformed into a howling, spitting front that roared off the Pacific in the middle of the night. Not that I’d been sleeping anyway. Exhausted as I was, I had been in the grips of paranoid insomnia, fueled by the news we’d received the day before. Steve, a longtime friend and guide for one of the lodges, had steered his jet boat near enough to shout, “Saw a big sow griz in here yesterday, with a wounded paw… and cubs. I’d be careful.” At the time, we thought it was funny. A laughable guide tactic to keep us moving downstream, out of his prime water. And yet we’d known Steve for years. He wouldn’t try something that obvious. Would he? Something to ponder in a dark tent as the wind picked up and branches snapped in the distance.