Knowing the river situation is going to be very dire The MAD Show made a run into the Land of Orcs a week or two ago as opposed to waiting for fall. Typically you expect to see runoff winding down or still blown-out conditions. Reach the edge of the cliff, look down and see the water conditions are moderate and clear. Great for fishing today but spell complete doom in later months. Nothing you can do but take a deep breath and plunge in.
The cliff dive is nothing compared to wading through the jungle that waits at the bottom. Once there you smell a foul odor and get the feeling of being watched. Orcs cannot tolerate intense sunlight and generally move about during the evening hours. Clear skies and bright conditions up top are consumed in the thick canopy. This allows dark creatures plenty of shadows to lurk in. Moving through the thick foliage that surrounds remnants of a walking trail. Here is where I expect to be ambushed at any moment. Anglers should not venture into this section alone and staying close together is always a good rule of thumb. My rod catches on one of the many thorn bushes and I lose sight of Don on the trail. (You can barely see him up ahead of me in the photo below)
Staying fast on my feet I quickly catch up at the edge of the river. Earlier we nearly stumbled into the water traps formed from an irrigation ditch that coincidentally overflowed into the shallow tree structure guarding large sections of the shoreline. Signs of cartage with chained wheels on the main lower trail were an ominous sight as well. Orcs could be moving large amounts of cargo in the area or simply passing through. These tracks looked fairly recent which is never a good sign. Images of crudely made catapults or even a ballista crept into my already overworked mind.
Fished the river and I got one fish to the hand. No follows, bumps, flashes or the common scoff from fish that I normally get in this stretch. It was one of those days when you knew something wasn’t right. Either the fish were hunkered down or we were in the wrong section. This is something I had never seen before and can clock at least a handful of fish this size here on a bad day.
In closing, about all I can say is brace for impact and keep an eye on members of your party while on the trail. This is a good rule of thumb whether you are in orc country or not. Other places are fishing a little better and some places folks aren’t fishing at all due to low flows. Here we had decent flows but no fish. Go figure.
My name is Matt and once again survived the Land of Orcs