“Door Man”- security guard, porter, enforcer of social mores, and general snoop, all rolled into one. Leaf Seaburg is the doorman of the Methow. A guide, a father, a steward, a good friend, and a great fishing buddy. “Door Man” is a window into a season on the river he’s called home for over 40 years. Our fishing fortunes together made us rich men in spirit. At the start of the season, fishing the spring high water meant few anglers around and a few exceptional specimens to hand. Piscivorous hybrid beasts and bull trout fattened on salmon smolt. High-velocity floats and meat stripped downstream off the bank.
In late summer and early fall, we returned for what remained of the short(June-Sept) fishing season. Pre-dawn wake-ups to beat the other fisherman to public access required. Long hours, spot hopping, and toting camera/audio gear began to test my resolve. Being present the moment someone catches a fish is a difficult enough thing to witness with your own two eyes. Add having to frame/focus a shot, two hot lavalier mics on the talent, not forgetting to press record and you’ve got a challenge.
My plan of capturing the ultimate shot- a steelhead rising to an October caddis pattern seen from the drone- never materialized. But keeping my eye to the lens and enlisting the help of Leaf and our fishing partners paid off in high definition gold! Adfluvial fish were in the system and we were finding bows and cutties on dries, streamers, and nymphs. Best of all, a flawless summer run hen hammered a swung/stripped streamer gracing us with an appearance. And just like that, another season had passed us by.
The doorman of the Methow though, he remains.