Fall fly fishing on the Willamette River

On the confluence

Late September on the Upper Willamette River, the Middle and North stems
fork, big-leaf maple leaves sweep down into eddies
Cascade foothills, Doug Firs reach for low clouds.

Big trout on the confluence, but I flub casts, drag the drift
I drive them down, spooked, to the bottom of the pool
eager smolts somersault — hookset and airborne — hang a backcast.

A steel bridge spans the river behind me, above Hells Gate rapid
across the river to the dwindling RV park, oldsters in lawn chairs
small dogs and lonely weekends.

I’m on the other side, casting into the wind, chasing trout
I don’t eat, wet wading alone up to my waist in this river
tangled and soaked.

There are trout beyond my reach, edging away and I’m thinking
a comfy trailer with Katie, a sandwich, Viagra and some perspective
might not be so bad.

Willamette River, Fall 07

Willamette River, Fall 07

Willamette River, Fall 07

Willamette River, Fall 07

Willamette River, Fall 07

Willamette River, Fall 07

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About mstansberry

Matt Stansberry currently lives in Eugene, Oregon with his wife and son.
This entry was posted in Oregon Fishing, photos and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Fall fly fishing on the Willamette River

  1. Bpaul says:

    Gah, I’m jealous. I’m stuck in school now.

  2. Bpaul says:

    HA! I hadn’t read the last of it when I comment. Well played.

  3. Anthony says:

    what kind of salmon is the last one?

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