During the summer months of guiding on the North Umpqua I offer "split days" so that my customers can fish during the most productive times of the day. Early in the morning and late in the afternoon/evening affords folks the opportunity to fish with shade on the water. This leaves my mid-days open to explore on my own.
Over the past dozen summers, that means donning fins, mask, snorkel and sometimes a wet suit (the North Umpqua is cold even in the summer!) and getting into some of my favorite pools to try and sort out why we raise steelhead in certain spots. I feel it gives me and my clients an edge. I've learned a lot about steelhead behavior and why we find fish in certain types of water and bottom structure.
I've dreamed of being able to expand my experiences by going deeper, staying there longer and learning other rivers like I know the North Umpqua.
So my oldest son, Kyle and I began getting our "open water" dive certification. Kyle will be my "dive buddy" this summer as we begin sorting out a bunch of favorite steelhead runs on the main Umpqua, upper Willamette and McKenzie rivers. As I gain experience, I plan on adding diving into my guide business. Thats a ways off in the future, but for now we're having a BLAST!
Final "pool session" with our dive instructors Richard (c.) and Matt (r.)
Matt is hillarious and a great instructor. Before this class began, Matt had his toes on both feet painted with the universal "dive" flag symbol.
My "dive buddy" Kyle, giving me the universal diver "double" hand signal to ascend to the surface.