Saturday January 17, 2015 Monte Rio CA.
Monte Rio down to Casini Ranch and back
Today seemed like a good day to go down from Monte Rio to check out what’s happening on the river in that area, so off I went bright and early at about ten thirty this morning.
It was overcast, but the sun was trying to break through, but was only partly successful. The wind was down though, so it was nice.
I decided to head on down the river. There were some guys fishing for steelhead in the slot. They reported fishing has slowed down a bit, such as steelhead fishing is.
I left them to it and headed on down the river at my usual leisurely pace, stopping here and there to watch and enjoy the river.
Lots of river otters
I turned and followed them, keeping my distance so as not to scare them off. There were about a dozen of them, too many to really count as they are in motion most of the time.
I did catch them close one time as my boat was on a glide. That’s when I have the camera in my hands and the boat is gliding in the direction when I last had the paddle in my hands and if I moved I would likely scare them off. I got this close, then paddled backwards which is always good because going away from them relieves the pressure on them so they can relax and do their thing. When they are in this large of a pack, they are usually bolder.
Here’s a few more as they check out a a place a great blue heron was sitting just above them. The heron was being cautious and moved back a bit. The otters left it alone. They seem to get along together as I’ve seen the great blue herons fishing by the otters to get any small fish they might stir up.
The otter’s continued on up the river as I turned back down the river and paddled along.
I continued on down the river to the Casini Ranch were I ran into some more steelhead fisher people. They reported the fishing was slow down this way too today.
This little girl does know how to fish
At Brown’s hole by the Casini ranch, I spotted this little girl fishing with her dad. She seemed to know what she was doing as she handled the rod well without her dad’s help. I think he taught her well and they seemed to be enjoying themselves.
There were a couple of my harbor seal buddies in brown’s hole, mostly just taking it easy. If there had been some fish in the hole, they would have been after them.
I was going to go down the river to the Duncan’s Mills bridge, but there were a lot of fishermen fishing on the bank below Brown’s hole, so I decided not to as I would have to paddle by all of them, then I would turn around just below them and head back up the river, so I thought it would be easier not to do that.
Merganser ducks fight over a fish
As I entered the Villa Grande hole, I saw a couple of male merganser ducks fighting along the shoreline. A mating fight maybe? No, one of them had a fish that was big enough, it couldn’t get it down quickly and the other one was trying to steel it.
Those otters again
I continued on up the river and spotted something moving along the river bank. Turned out to be the same otters I saw earlier heading back down the river.
I talked with them for a bit giving them my down river report. They had a couple hits today, but they were natives and had to be released as natives cannot be kept on this river, only the hatchery fish can be kept. How do you tell a hatchery fish from a native fish? Hatchery fish have the little fin just in front and on top of their tail clipped off before releasing them into the wild.
The boat ramp was a little muddy which meant I had to carry my kayak a bit to keep the mud off my car, which meant it was going to be hard on my back that had been hurting a bit today. I barely got my boat on my car, but I did. Older age sucks in some ways. :O)
I had another nice day paddling around on the Russian River and went on home for a nap.