The Big Swirl

IveofIone

Active Member
In the 19+years I have lived here on the tundra I have driven to Colville for groceries on average about every 10 days. The drive is a little over 40 miles across a mountain pass and alongside the Little Pend Oreille River for part of the way. The river is little more than a creek and winds it's way down to the Colville River which eventually dumps into the Columbia near Kettle Falls. It is heavily overgrown, marshy and too dense for anything but a moose to negotiate. But I have always wondered what was in there.

The part of the river that parallels SR20 runs through some very dense brush that makes it virtually impossible to fish. I have never seen anyone fish that stretch and just don't see how it would be possible. But at one point along the way the river makes a right turn and runs perpendicular to the highway and very near it. There is a large pool there that seems both long and wide enough with enough depth to hold fish. I have looked at that pool for years and wondered what was in it. I have slowed down when driving past hoping to see a rise and stopped a couple of times and just stared. There is no place to park so at one point I stopped about 1/4 mile away and walked back just to get the lay of the land but never saw anything in the pool.

Then last week the answer finally came-it holds fish. Driving home from another fishing trip there was no traffic as usual and I slowed down to a crawl to drive past. Just as I got there, a large swirl took place right in the center of the pool. It wasn't a little fish jumping but a pretty good sized fish that displaced a lot of water and left little doubt about it's size. I'm sure the stream has many spots that hold fish but due to the inaccessible nature of it the fish are dying of old age and probably never encounter a fisherman in their lifetime. There are miles of water that run through the area and it's kinda nice to know that the fish are safe to live out their lives unmolested.

I'd molest them if I could but even when I was 20 years younger it looked impossible. Of course by now it is impossible...
 

Rob Allen

Active Member
In the 19+years I have lived here on the tundra I have driven to Colville for groceries on average about every 10 days. The drive is a little over 40 miles across a mountain pass and alongside the Little Pend Oreille River for part of the way. The river is little more than a creek and winds it's way down to the Colville River which eventually dumps into the Columbia near Kettle Falls. It is heavily overgrown, marshy and too dense for anything but a moose to negotiate. But I have always wondered what was in there.

The part of the river that parallels SR20 runs through some very dense brush that makes it virtually impossible to fish. I have never seen anyone fish that stretch and just don't see how it would be possible. But at one point along the way the river makes a right turn and runs perpendicular to the highway and very near it. There is a large pool there that seems both long and wide enough with enough depth to hold fish. I have looked at that pool for years and wondered what was in it. I have slowed down when driving past hoping to see a rise and stopped a couple of times and just stared. There is no place to park so at one point I stopped about 1/4 mile away and walked back just to get the lay of the land but never saw anything in the pool.

Then last week the answer finally came-it holds fish. Driving home from another fishing trip there was no traffic as usual and I slowed down to a crawl to drive past. Just as I got there, a large swirl took place right in the center of the pool. It wasn't a little fish jumping but a pretty good sized fish that displaced a lot of water and left little doubt about it's size. I'm sure the stream has many spots that hold fish but due to the inaccessible nature of it the fish are dying of old age and probably never encounter a fisherman in their lifetime. There are miles of water that run through the area and it's kinda nice to know that the fish are safe to live out their lives unmolested.

I'd molest them if I could but even when I was 20 years younger it looked impossible. Of course by now it is impossible...


If that happened to me. I'd dream about that swirl for days, I'd develop a plan, tie some flies, think about it for weeks. Finally do it, get down there only to find it was a gold fish someone released 5 years ago :)
 

Krusty

Active Member
I know the stretch you're talking about. As a teenager I often fished similar water in the same area, scrambling through thick bankside vegetation, balancing atop fallen tree trunks, navigating strings of beaver ponds, sometimes submerged up my armpits, under hideous attack from mosquitoes and horseflies. Caught lots of fine trout (my favorites were fat beautiful brookies inhabiting dark bottomed beaver ponds...who always seemed to display the most brilliantly contrasting coloration of their tribe).

Alas, I tried fishing (a half century later) some of the same water last year, this time equipped with a cheap 6.5' 3 wt, but my bushwhacking resolve faded after 300 yards, despite the fact the fishing was rapidly improving with every obstacle overcome the further I moved into the quagmire of a large and vaguely familiar beaver pond meadow.

I abandoned my quest, satisfied that while I wasn't going to be catching those fish, neither was anybody else....unless they really deserved to do so.....and that there'd be some highly irritated paramedics, should they have to extract a raggly old dumbass from such terrain.
 
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Old Man

Just an Old Man
You need to get you a map of that area. There are bound to be some old back roads that might come close to that little joy hole.
 

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