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The Coquihalla River is one of many faces. With its tributary sources in the very heart of the Coquihalla Valley just north of Hope, British Columbia, it tumbles its way to the Fraser River in a relatively short run. Its glacial, sparking clear waters mix into the coffee coloured turbulence of the Fraser right at Hope and the salmon running the Fraser each summer use the waters of the Coquihalla to pause and regain strength before charging further up the muddy river. An annual run of salmon calls Coquihalla home too, as do cutthroat trout and steelhead trout.

To wander and hike the shores of the Coquihalla is to walk into a postcard. Towering mountains and pristine forests can allow the participant to forget that you may be only minutes away from people and civilization. In the fall the Coquihalla can swell to monster proportions, yet in summer it is a collection of wondrous pools of water as clear as the clean air of the valley itself. To stand and fly-fish a pool on the Coquihalla is like fishing in that postcard. Only a twenty-minute walk from where I lived in Hope is one such pool. My friend Ron and I took time from our lives to slow down one glorious summer day. We threw flies into the Coquihalla for perhaps two hours. We could see the fish, but I guess they could see us too. We caught nothing but had a great time doing it. Only a short 3 months earlier this pool had been perhaps twenty five feet deep as the Coquihalla's waters had charged its flooding course through the valley, now on this beautiful summer afternoon, it was a perfect place to be. Coquihalla Fisherman is a memory of those good times on a beautiful river with a good friend. Any fisherman looking at this image can feel it. Only we, those of us who enjoy the Zen exercise of fishing, know of what it speaks. We've been there, all of us who wander the forests to fish the creeks, lakes and rivers, and we long to be there again.
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