More Airborne Scouting

I really enjoy the color changes of Autumn, both when viewed up close and when passing above. There is no more beautify time of year, in my opinion, but there are also somewhat more practical reasons…in my fly fishing mode of thinking.

On a recent business trip to the inland area, on the outskirts of L.A., I was able to capture some excellent pics of the landscapes near my home waters, and along the Seattle-Ontario corridor.

This shot, for instance, has some great detail around the current path and water levels of the Naches River. Valuable in looking for alternate access points to try.

As the short hop progressed, I observed this area, a bit farther upstream.

The importance of this lies in its link to the seasonal changes. In the upper middle of the image, there is a prominent ridge that comes in from the top, with a mostly barren looking right side. To both it’s right and left, there are valleys that parallel it, as it approaches the Naches river, that runs left-to-right through the image. Those two valleys are in ideal positions to carry some fishable water to the main course…but…the one on the left side has a thin line of trees that follow the bottom of the cut, which are changing color with the season. Clearly, there is a water supply there that is sufficient for deciduous trees to grow, which may hold other treasures. A quick cross-comparison to Google Earth images, with field of view adjusted to match facing and rough elevation, and I find that this possible waterway likely crosses the road at or around 46°52’47.11″N 120°58’50.07″ W. I may or may not have noticed a stream crossing in this area, but at least I now know to look for one, and for any roadway that might follow it back up the valley!

Some of the imagery is just beautiful to look at, and breaks up the tiresome nature of business travel.


As I get into areas that are not so local, I start to seek out river systems I am not familiar with. Possible future camping options come to mind, as I find waterways that appear to wind through larger areas of trees, or similar potentially undeveloped areas. Sometimes, I am fortunate enough (and I engineer my seat selections to help support this, based on time of day and direction of travel) that I get so seek out such waterways based on the glistening appearance of what looks like ribbons of silver. When the sun hits the water at a good angle, even relatively small flows will wink in and out, through even dense trees, like glowing segments of mercury.

Sometime, the reminders of the raw power of this planet are on display, and serve to put our humility back into the forefront of our thoughts.

Of course, the best part of any such journey is at its end. Coming home to the nearness of the season, the warmth of a wood fire, and the comforts of my family cannot be outdone.

Tight lines.

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