Who knew the weather in November could be so beautiful and perfect for paddling, but it was when I led a group of twelve paddlers today on a trip up Beaver Creek. With full sunshine and hardly a breeze, we set out to explore Beaver Creek as far as we could legally go.
Wildlife was scarce, but we did spot a male northern harrier, a great blue heron, and heard a bald eagle. There were several instances where we observed fish jumping in front of us. Fall might not be the best time to visit the creek for those interested in spotting wildlife, but with the weather being so beautiful today, observing wildlife wasn't the main reason drawing us to the creek.
We spotted several fishermen along the bank. Never have I witnessed so many fishermen on the creek. I would later discover why they were there in larger numbers than I am normally accustomed to seeing. I've tried fishing the creek before, but the most I have caught is sculpin, though I have seen a few small fish jump.
We traveled to the second foot bridge across the creek—the farthest we could go before entering private property and risking the wrath of landowners—before stopping for a brief snack and socializing.
Usually I lead paddlers down the creek to the beach first before paddling up stream, but this trip I decided to reverse my path. The water level in the creek was ideal and allowed us to paddle practically to the surf line. We were treated to a spectacle of Coho salmon crossing the shallow water separating the surf line from the deeper water of the creek. A couple of them swam past me as a sat in my canoe near the beach. It was clear to me now why there were so many fishermen on the creek today.
The trip was a huge success. We had managed to paddle over 6.5 miles. Most of the paddlers who accompanied me today had never paddled on Beaver Creek. Everyone I spoke to mentioned how much they enjoyed the paddle, the lovely weather, and witnessing the salmon moving upstream. I think Beaver Creek has some new converts.