We spent a wonderful four days at the Cold Springs RV Resort in Camp Sherman, Oregon alongside the Metolius River. We heard about this place on a previous wine tour in the Willamette Valley and checked it out last season. The Metolius River starts from a spring below Black Butte that is fed from snowmelt from the Three Sisters Wilderness Area. The water is clear and cold (41 degrees Fahrenheit).
Doug’s post: Wendy is the official “birder” in the family but I guess I’m slowly earning my wings. A focus for me on this part of our trip was to find a White-headed Woodpecker that is known to frequent the mature Ponderosa Pine forests along the banks of the river. Amazingly I found my subject within a short distance of our camp! I guess going to a place to actually look for a specific bird makes you a birder? Lots of other birds in the riparian zone; Western Wood Peewees, Cedar Waxwings, Spotted Sandpipers, Evening Grosbeaks, Western Tanagers, Pacific Wrens, Song Sparrows, Brown Creepers, Rufous Hummingbirds, Red-naped Sapsuckers, Yellow Warblers and a few that I couldn’t identify.
Many tourists come to the Metolius to camp, hike the river trails and enjoy the scenery, but some come to try the fly fishing for the wild trout that inhabit the cold clear river. The Green Drake hatch had finished and Golden Stones were just starting so the fishing was typical for the river: difficult. I spent a lot of time watching the water for fish rising and then attempting to entice them with one of my dry flies. I had two wily trout take my smaller Golden Stone fly in what I call catch and pre-release. For this river you need a 12-14′ leader with another 18-24″ of 6x tippet. About 20 years ago the Metolius River received a wild and scenic designation so there are no hatchery fish stocked anymore. All the fish are “wild” and having been fished and caught a gazillion times are extremely wary. I spent time with some local anglers and they gave me tips and hints that I’ll put to use next year when we come back for the quilt show.
While I was fishing a hole called the Big Eddy, I noticed something in the water bumping against my waders. Looking down I saw three ducklings merrily swimming and feeding around me as if I was a log or other normal object in the river. Quite cute to watch them!
Wendy’s post: I enjoyed the birding and mountain biking around Camp Sherman. One day, I walked from where Doug had parked to go fishing, back to camp. It was a cool day, so I set off with my binoculars and field guide, and a jacket. Luckily, I was wearing my good sun hat and had a couple of Werther’s in my pocket, because I didn’t make it back from my “short excursion” for over three hours. The scenery and the birding were great, especially at the beginning, but I was really glad to get back to the trailer for a cold beer. Next time, I’ll take along water (and snacks) like I usually do. In one section, Western Tanagers were swooping insects from above the water, and perching in the nearby bushes. They competed for my attention with my other favourite bird, the Cedar Waxwing. I now officially have two favourite birds. No bird photos, but here is a photo of one of the fast water sections of the Metolius.
We’re back in Canada now… the blog will resume in the fall.