The Russian River is an amazing place, often disparaged by elite anglers, frequently the scene of carnage and abuse, the place of collapsing relationships, the butt of jokes. I have a love/hate relationship with the river. I went this week to catch the back end of the early sockeye run. The biologists say the river will, once again, meet its escapement goals. It's amazing that this many people catch limits of salmon, and still the Russian carries on.I caught two bright fish on Weds evening. I threw back a few stinkers. I slept a few hours in the back of my truck. Justin Witt, of Global Fly Fishing Destinations, rapped on my camper shell at 4 am, and we set off upstream. We walked an hour upstream to find two black bears fishing. There was a tree across the river and the salmon, some of them fresh and bright, were stacked there. We had a blast. Justin had to show me how to fillet my fish. I also forgot my bear spray. It was back at camp. I need to get better.