Mingling With the Steelhead Fishermen Below Monte Rio

Wednesday January 13, 2021 Monte Rio CA.

Yak day

With the river’s mouth opened  up yesterday spawning fish can get into the river so the fishermen should be out in force today.

So it seemed like a good day to take my kayak down to Monte Rio about ten or so miles above Jenner on the river.

I unloaded my boat at the boat ramp and parked the car ready to go.ramp

 

Talking with fishermen

I checked up river first and talked with one of the fishermen there for  a bit. Things were slow.bridge

 

Then I turned around and headed down river where I knew there were more fishermen.river

 

The Slot

I paddled up behind these guys in what is known as the Slot. They sit there and fish or is it shoot the bull and fish. :O)slot

 

Anyway I pulled up beside them and most of them know me so greeted me so we shoot the bull for awhile. I think a fish or two was caught earlier.fishermen

 

They fished away so I headed down to another boat just in front of them.fishing

 

I stopped and chatted with these two guys for a while too. They’d been down river with no luck so far.boat

 

Otters ahead

I left them and continued my slow pace down the river when I saw some thing up ahead in the bushes which turned out to be a river otter.otter

 

Well there were  more than one of them so I watched them for awhile.otters

 

They are quite the critters and actually very ferocious.otters2

 

Andrew

I left the otters and continued on down the river and saw a guy I knew off to the left up ahead.river2

 

Andrew lives down here and fishes a lot sometimes and I hadn’t seen him in a long time so I pulled in by him and we caught up on things.andrew

 

Villa Grande

I had one more spot I wanted to check out just a bit further down the river called the Villa Grande hole so I paddled on down there where I saw these two guys fishing. I didn’t know them but we shot the bull anyway.fishmen

 

George

I saw one guy fishing from his boat off to the right of those two guys which turned out to be George Casini who went to school with one of  my brothers and I’d talked with before so we chatted for quite a while, then his phone rang. It was the guys in the boats up river with a report that lots more spawning fish were seen coming into the river down at the mouth at Jenner today so fishing should be good tomorrow.phone

 

Fish on

I left George and paddled back up and talked with Andrew some more when he said there’s some fish coming up and he got a bite and started playing the fish when it went under the log to his right and got off he hook. More fish were starting to come by as I left to head back up the river before it got too dark.fishon

 

I’m headed back up river to Monte Rio just up ahead.

villa

 

There were still some guys fishing with their boats in the Slot and they had one on but I think they lost it. I didn’t stop as it was starting to get dark so I pulled my boat out and put it on the car.car

 

Shovels still work real good

Don in Comments. Shovels and oars work real well at the right time and when it’s too dangerous to get their equipment down there they should use that method but they don’t. It’s a lot cheaper way to open the mouth too and works good as long as the sand isn’t too high.

I made it home and shut the chickens up for the night and went on in myself for the night.

Nice day.

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Checking Out the Just Opened River’s Mouth Area

Tuesday January 12, 2021 Jenner CA.

Paddle day

I thought about going shopping today but it seemed like a better idea to go down to Jenner and kayak for the day especially since most of the stuff I needed to shop for wasn’t really needed right away.

And I thought maybe the Water Agency might have opened up the mouth as the water level was getting high from the closed up mouth.

Overlook

So instead of going to the boat ramp I drove on down to the overlook off the highway which looks to the ocean over the river’s mouth with the river in the front, here. You can see a channel from the river to the ocean so the guys were here earlier in the day with  machinery to open up the mouth. Lots of debrie flouting around on the flooded river.overlook

 

Seal Lady

I was hopping to have a talk with one of the County’s seal people as I knew they were usually down at the overlook during a mouth breach so I looked around the overlook and spotted this truck with the scope set up in front so I went over to have a talk.andy

 

It turned out to be Andy, a seal lady I knew as she’s  been working here for a long time. We exchanged information and had a nice chat.

I also talked with Terry a fisherman who fishes the river and then drove to the boat ramp where I talked with Terry some more as he was there too.

Get the boat in the water

I put  my boat in the water and looked at the water level gauge on the visitor center deck on the right. The deck is flooded and the gauge reads about 9.5 feet, that’s why they opened the mouth this morning. Even though they opened the  mouth the water level hasn’t dropped much yet.center

 

The day was light fog with almost no wind, perfect for a mystical day.

The water was mostly flat as I headed down river along the side of the island.river

 

I paddled by this harbor seal resting on the logs. It watched me closely as I passed by.seal

 

I was headed down to the river’s mouth area to check things out, just up ahead.mouthopen

 

Open river’s mouth

I approached the open mouth cautiously as sometimes there’s a lot of current and I sure don’t want to go out in the ocean. Note the big piles of sand put there from the excavator that carved the channel earlier. The one on the left will soon be gone and washed out to sea before I leave today.channel

 

Channel grows with time

They cut a small channel in the sand and the river water flowing through it slowly takes all the sand out and the channel gets much bigger and eventually washes out the channel much larger and the river than drains much faster.

See the sandy water in  front, that’s river water going down the channel picking up sand and making the channel larger. I’m  down in the channel a bit and have to be careful as the channel sand washes out more the current will pick up and I can’t be in this spot and have to move way back into the river to keep from being washed out to sea. This is looking down the open mouth channel and out into the Pacific ocean showing the sand washing out into the sea.sand

 

Another picture of that same spot as a big wave comes in. They were pounding the shoreline making a lot of noise.mouthwaves

 

Flooded island

Low tide was at 4:30 and it was just 3 so I thought I’d leave and come back around 4 to see how much of the sand had washed out so I paddled on over to where the water had flooded Penny Island and paddled on in to this spot where I sat and enjoyed the day. This is looking out from the middle of the flooded island down towards the mouth area in the fog.isalnd

 

Much larger mouth

I paddled on back to the mouth and got there about four.. Note the sand piles on the left are gone and most of the ones on the right too. The sun is going down but didn’t put on much of a show.sky

 

I paddled a bit closer but couldn’t get very close as the current had picked up a lot by now so I had to be extra careful.mouthsand

 

Waiting for big fish

I was hoping to see some spawning big fish come in so I waited around as long as I could but the mouth was taking a long time to blow out which let’s the river level down then the big fish start coming in from the ocean and the seals usually work them over but I had to leave before that happened.

Headed home

Once last look out the mouth and I turned and headed on back as the day was starting to dim.waves

 

This merganser duck and I went past each other on the way in.duck

 

Living life to the fullest

Lights were coming on but I saw a lady I knew in the house on the left so  stopped and chatted with her for awhile. Since I know a lot of people on the river it seems I have to stop and shoot the bull a lot but that’s all part of the enjoyment of living here and living life to the fullest.jenner

 

Just a little ways to go to the boat ramp.ramp

 

Dropped a foot

I checked the water level gauge at the boat ramp and it showed the river had dropped about a foot so far. It should be down all the way by tomorrow morning.

With the mouth opening up there should be a lot of fishermen on the river tomorrow so maybe that’s a good excuse to go again tomorrow.

I drove on home and since it was dark the chickens where all in and on the roost so I shut them up and went on in for the day.

Nice day.

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