Sunday January 1, 2017 Monte Rio CA.
Paddling Monte Rio down and back again
It looked like it was going to be windy at Jenner today, so I decided to put in at Monte Rio and paddle on down to Casini’s Ranch and back.
Not many fishermen around
There must have been a game on today as there weren’t any fishermen as I put my boat in the water. I headed down river which looked like this. I could see a boat up ahead on the left.
Except these guys
Turned out to be steelhead fishermen fishing away. One guy gave me a sour look as I approached. I could see he was thinking I was the law, so I assured him I wasn’t. After talking with them a bit, I think they might have been convinced. I gave them some info about the river and continued on down the river.
Steelhead fishing hasn’t been good
Steelhead fishing as been real slow lately from what I hear, mostly not much is being caught yet.
I continued down the river and am approaching the Villa Grande Pool here.
What to do, what to do
I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do today. There was a fairly cool light wind blowing up the river so I wasn’t sure I wanted to keep going down river, but in the end, I decided to go ahead and go as it was early and might warm up a bit and it did.
I passed by this great blue heron getting some sun.
First of a bunch of otters I saw today
About four otters swim swiftly by me headed down river.
I paddled on down past Sheridan beach, past Moscow pool at Rein’s beach and saw something in the bushes, so backed up a bit. It looks like it might be a bittern.
I made it to Casini’s ranch and paddled into Austin Creek for a bit, then decided to go on down past the Casini Riffle to Brown’s pool which looked like this.
First time I’ve seen a heron with a big crawdad
I saw a great blue heron trying to swallow something on the shoreline. Looks like it’s trying to get a crawfish down. It was still trying when I left it. It must have been a big one.
I paddled in behind this log just below Brown’s Pool at Casini’s and sat and rested up before heading back up the river.
After awhile, I started back up the river along it’s edges as there is a lot less current on the edges and it’s much easier to paddle up the river.
Rested just above Moscow Pool
I stopped here just above Moscow Pool for a break and to watch.
Otters and herons fish together
I saw this heron fishing away with some river otters. The heron’s often follow the otters and fish off them in the weeds, hoping an otter will spook a fish to them. I noticed the otter’s don’t try to attack the herons. They’d likely get a bad peck if they did.
Nothing like a few river otters to make your day
Shortly after that I ran into a bunch more otter’s on this dock. They’d just come out of the water and were checking things out on the dock. This is only some of them. I think there were at least ten of them. They are hard to count when there’s a bunch of them and they are always moving around.
I watched them for a bit and they watched me.
Favorite resting spot
I left them and continued on up the river stopping at this spot for a bit to rest up before continuing on.
This otter wasn’t scared of me
Just below Villa Grande, I ran into some more river otters and was watching them when this one popped up right next to me and started grooming not caring I was there.
Shortly two more came by and that one joined them on the back just in front of me.
A couple steelhead fishermen boats in the slot now
They moved back into the water and I continued on up the river back to Monte Rio. There were two steelhead fishing boats in the slot just below Monte Rio, but no fish had been caught yet. One of the fishermen mentioned he saw a river otter. I said I’d seen around thirty of them today. :O)
I continued on past them and paddled on over to where I saw the sleeping fox the other day to have a look. No fox. I rarely see the same thing more than once on the river, especially in the same spot, but I look just the same.
I headed on in to the boat ramp and headed on home for the day. I arrived just before dark so I went in and warmed up and had something to eat and that was my day for day one of this year.
Fantastic photos of otters, Bob. I otter get out more often.