Busy Morning for Salmon Fishermen

Wednesday, October 12, 2016, 6:30 am, 52 degrees

Leaving my house in clouded darkness, the air is filled with moisture. Water drips down my car’s windows and continues to collect after wiping them dry. Fog fills the windows as I drive in the emerging dawn toward the bridge this morning. This is my coolest morning so far. Roosters hide in their nighttime roosts, begin their morning music and suddenly stop.

I pass a large tub covered with a blanket left out on the street near the bridge. Where did this come from? As I approach the bridge in the darkness, I see a large shape settled on the bridge. As I get closer, this shape is a person bundled in a sleeping bag with suitcases and other belongings in a pile. In all my mornings on the bridge, this is the first time to see anyone sleeping on it.

fish-in-net, fisherman, Fair Oaks Bridge, Fair Oaks,salmon, morning, fishingThe morning sky is scattered with clouds. A deep, dark orange slowly fades to gray. I do not see the sun this morning. Under the bridge, the fishing boats are very busy. Salmon are jumping. After pulling up the salmon on their line, one person on the boat catches it in a net.

I watch as three more salmon bite and caught in fishing nets. All the boaters have caught salmon within a few yards of the bridge. Their prize catch hangs at the end of a fishing line, floating in the water at one end of the boat. Salmon continue to jump. This is the busiest morning I have seen.

More than 20 pigeons arrive about 7 am to fly their morning circle and quickly disappear. On this chilly morning, I watch them come and circle a half dozen times. They fly in, circle and vanish into the distance, and repeat the flying pattern over and over again.

I hear no chorus of quacks to greet me this morning. They may be sleeping late and keeping warm.  My hands are freezing and my legs are tingling cold. I wonder if it is even colder sitting in a boat on the water before dawn? Everyone in boats is bundled in heavy jackets.

Today I do not see the sun rise over the trees. I return to my car at 730 and the air still feels cold at 57 degrees. By the time the sun rises over the trees and its warming light breaks through the clouds, I am at home getting warm inside.