Kayaking and Looking for Salmon Below Monte Rio

Thursday October 17, 2013 Monte Rio, CA.

I was curious if there were any salmon holding in the big holes below Monte Rio

This morning I went on down to Monte Rio and met Steve there for a trip down the river to the Casini area and back again. Since the river’s mouth just opened up a couple days ago and let the salmon in, it would be a good time to check out any action down below Monte Rio.

We put our boats in the water around eleven and headed down the river at a leisurely pace. It was a nice day, just a breeze and fairly warm with the sun out too.

I hadn’t seen many turtles on the river in awhile, but I spied this one sunning on the edge of the river, just above Villa Grande. That’s a leaf on it’s tail.turtle

 

We made it down to the Villa Grande hole where there appeared to be some salmon rolling in the water. They will hold in these lower holes for a bit as long as the seals leave them alone. If the seals come around, they usually push the big fish on up the river, where they are headed anyway to spawn and die. No seals were around the hole while we where there, so the fish could rest in peace.

We continued on down the river watching and looking headed for the Moscow hole at Ryan’s beach. We didn’t see anymore salmon down that way, but it doesn’t mean they aren’t down there just the same.

Just above the Moscow hole I spotted another turtle swimming in the swallow water so I tried to get a picture of it, but it kept trying to hide under my boat.

This is that turtle.turtle2

 

And just below that a seagull had something in it’s beak, keeping it away from the other seagulls. It had a crawfish. I saw several seagulls with crawfish in their beaks. It seems some crawfish died from the water level going down when the mouth was opened. At least that is what it looked like to me. seagull

 

This is the view we had as we approached Moscow hole at Ryan’s beach. Nice out, eh?moscowhole

 

With the wind down, there were a lot of reflections in the water.reflections

 

We hung out at the Moscow hole for a bit and had lunch. We didn’t see any salmon sign in this hole, but again, that doesn’t mean they weren’t down there.

We headed on down to the Casini Ranch ripple, which is the first ripple in the river that the salmon have to get by which can be tough if the tide was out as it was now.

This is our view as we approached the Casini Ripple, which is down there as far as you can see in the river.casiniripple

 

We pulled into this spot just above the ripple and watched for quite awhile without seeing any fish or any seals. The ripple goes across the river here from left to right. Today, it was only about three inches deep, so it would be hard for a salmon to cross it, but they do, especially if a seal is chasing them. Watching this action here can be spectacular, when it happens, but not today.casinis

 

Steve got out of his boat and walked down around the corner to see what was going on and the fish were holed up in Brown’s hole, just below the ripple. No seals were in sight, so the fish can just take it easy headed up the river. I think there is enough big fish down in the Jenner area right now, so most of the seals are staying down there, likely until the fish get hard to come by and then they will start hunting up river more, but not today.

It was after four PM when we turned and headed back up the river to the Villa Grande hole where we saw salmon rolling this morning. We looked this area over for quite awhile and it appeared that a lot of this morning rolling salmon had moved on up the river by this time.

This is the view from the spot I sat watching at the Villa Grande hole, looking up the river towards Monte Rio. Nice.villagrande

 

This great blue heron was sunning as we left the Villa Grande area.heron2

 

We paddled back to Monte Rio slowly looking around and pulled our boats out of the water around six PM.

Very nice day on the Russian River.

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