Paddling Below Monte Rio with the Steelhead Fishermen and the River Otters.

Saturday December 19, 2015 Monte Rio CA.

Changing my mind

As I drove through Monte Rio this morning headed for Jenner to kayak, I saw several boat trailers parked at Monte Rio which meant steelhead fishing was on. As I drove on, I thought I should of gone to Monte Rio to kayak, but I kept on to Jenner.

As I got out at the Jenner boat ramp, the wind was up and it was chilly so I put my gear on right away then unloaded my boat and parked the car.

I was just about ready to jump in my boat and head off, when I thought, I’m chilly already and I haven’t even gone out yet, so I made the decision to get the car and load the boat and head back to Monte Rio where I knew the wind would be down and likely be a bit warmer too.

A good choice

Well, the wind was really down back at Monte Rio, so I knew I made the right choice as I put my boat in the water and started down river looking like this. There’s some fishing boats down there on the right.russianriver

 

Steelhead fishermen

These guys were fishing away. I stopped to chat, or is it shot the bull with fishermen? :O)

The guys in the black boat, second from the right had one on but lost it as I’m taking this picture.fishing

 

I paddled on down the river with things looking like this just above the Villa Grande hole.river2

 

There were a couple guys fishing at the Villa Grande hole and one said, hey Bob. It was Andrew a guy that lives down there and likes to fish. No luck today. I shot the bull with him for a bit then continued on down the river towards the Sheridan Ranch. Still no wind which surprised me in this spot.river3

 

Casini’s ranch

Eventually, I made it down to Casini’s Ranch where I saw this action on the river bank. These two boys would drive over the side going down the bank, then had to push it back up on the road. It looks like some sort of pedal cart. They were having a lot of fun, but were having some trouble pushing it back up the hill.boys

 

There were some fishermen fishing at the Casini riffle as I approached. One of them said, hi Bob. It turned out to be Pete so I shot the bull with him for a bit. He said there wasn’t much action down this way today.fishermen

 

River otters

I left him fishing and continued on down the river when I ran into two otters swimming up stream. We were both surprised as they popped up right in front of me just about ten feet in front of my boat and headed right for me. They dove and went under my boat. I backed off towards the center of the river to see where they would come up, but didn’t see where for awhile, until I spotted this one on the bank.otter

 

Even though they had been headed up river when I first ran into them, for some reason they were coming back down the river.

I watched as another one  left the water to mark this spot.otter2

 

I watched several river otters go by, then I headed down the river to just above the Duncan’s Mills bridge were I sat for a spell enjoying the day.

Back up the river and a big fish

Eventually I headed back up the river. There was some current, but not too bad. I always paddle along the edges going up stream against the current and it’s a lot easier.  I went by Pete again and he said he saw a fish swim by headed up the river. I continued on. I was just below Rein’s beach, just below a little island there, in some shallows when I saw a big fish surface briefly showing it’s fin, then disappear headed up stream to spawn.

Rein’s beach

Just after I saw that fish, I paddled into the Rein’s beach area that looked like this.moscow

 

I was sitting in some weeds just above Moscow hole when this kingfisher landed fairly close to me and sat long enough to get some pictures of it.kingfisher

 

I continued on up the river, it was about 3:30PM by now and the sun was going behind the mountains in some spots.

More otters

I was sitting in this weed patch in a sunny spot just above Villa Grande when I noticed some more river otters were headed my way. Since I was sitting in the weeds and not moving, they came fairly close as they went by. They were feeding along the shoreline.ots

 

This one has a crawdad it’s chopping.otdad

 

They went on by me headed down the river. I continued on up the river when I spotted this little bird in the weeds. It’s a little pied bill grebe which was fishing away.grebe

 

Just below Monte Ro, I saw what appeared to be a wood duck sneaking by me so I paddled a little closer and sure enough it was a wood duck. I don’t see too many of these ducks around here in the winter, but quite a few in the summer.wooduck

 

As I neared the boat ramp at Monte Rio, I could see several people fishing from the shore just below the bridge, but I didn’t see any action.

I pulled my boat out of the water and went on home and that was my day.

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