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A Fisherman Out of Water… » Vampires, a Spotted Skunk & Frozen boots…

Home » Vampires, a Spotted Skunk & Frozen boots…

Vampires, a Spotted Skunk & Frozen boots…

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Home sweet home.

For the past ten years almost every October my life long friend Russell and I grab out fishing gear and head to the Olympic Peninsula; Forks to be exact. Why Forks you ask? Well it’s certainly not because of the Twilight movies. Although the crowds they’ve drawn to the area sometimes make things more entertaining. Nothing spices up a cold morning better than watching a group of 40+ year old women getting there pictures taken with cardboard stand-ups of the main characters from the movies. I’m packing a pair of fangs next year…

Large spruce tree on the Sol Duc River.

One of the small trees...

These trips have become more of a ritual than a fishing excursion. One of my favorite authors Patrick F McManus describes some of his camping experiences as “A fine and pleasant misery”. I really think he’s hit the nail on the head. We set the stage for this joyful misery by tent camping instead of getting a cabin or a hotel room. Add to this leaving late to insure your arrival at the campsite is after the witching hour and you’re set!

The funny thing is, no matter how cold or wet it was, I always think of the trip fondly and look forward to it. Some years we catch a lot of fish, some we don’t. This year, because of work schedules, we pushed the trip well into November. Of course this meant the Salmon run was just finishing up and the Steelhead run was just barely beginning. Needless to say this was one of those fish-less years.

Amazingly it only rained the first night of our stay and was actually sunny most of the time. Of course this time of year the sun only shines for about two hours a day… I am always impressed by the shear dampness of the rain-forest. Even with no rain for two days the trees still drip all night. After years of camping with a large tarp over the tent I’ve become accustomed to the “drip drip drip” sounds of the droplets falling from the trees. Imagine my shock when I awoke to dead silence. What had caused the constant flow of water to cease? Deep freeze that’s what.

There's nothing quite like fire warmed chili.

Pacific Northwest Spotted Skunk

Spot the monster

Even with night time temperatures dipping below 30F we managed to keep our spirits up with hearty chili dogs and cocoa with peppermint schnapps(before you scoff, it was the 100 proof kind). Another facet of our trip has been the attacks of a marauding Skunk. Not just any skunk either. This fellow is of the speckled variety and has become more and more aggressive every year. Thankfully he doesn’t seem too keen on spraying us. He’s more content to merely try and climb our legs once our reflex’s have been slowed sufficiently with the aforementioned schnapps. This attempted leg climbing becomes even more exciting when you’ve just climbed out of the tent to pee and are barely awake.

Frosty beauty.

Despite the skunks and vampire lovers, this year resulted in more good memories and even yielding some new fishing spots. For those interested in creating their own fine and pleasant camping misery, I highly recommend the Mora Campground. It offers many campsites and the bathrooms are heated! I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my ramble for this week. Remember, just say No to Twilight.

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