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Showing posts from 2013

Columbia River double

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The Columbia River is truly one of the great rivers of the world. Running through two countries, three states and draining a huge portion of the western United States, it refuses to be fully tamed. The fisheries of this river have been nearly decimated and only recently have they shown significant life. This year more than a million Chinook, or "king" salmon returned to their home waters. And this is only one of the salmonids that return to spawn, die and continue a cycle of life that is nearly as old as the land itself.       

 As a boy growing up in Heppner, a small town in Eastern Oregon, my brother and I would spend our summers fishing for trout in Willow Creek, the small stream that ran through the tiny farming and ranching town. On a typical hot summer day, we were fishing near the confluence of Willow and Rea Creek. We could nearly have jumped across either creek but the confluence was deeper and wider than any other area on the stream and one of our favorite …

Glimpsing the water unicorn after 10,000 casts.

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My buddy Jim made me go to the Deschutes River for a weekend in mid October. Okay, so he didn't need to twist my arm much, but I almost didn't go due to a tedious project at work and a near miss on buying a house. Fortunately everything fell into place and Jim wasn't taking no for an answer.
      We left Friday afternoon and set up camp in time to get a couple hours on the river. The sun was bright and the temperature was perfect for a long sleeve shirt and fleece pullover. I brought the 5 weight switch, 7 weight spey and the 5 weight single handed rod expecting to spend most of my time with the switch. I was also excited to fish my 1930s Pflueger 1496 reel with the round line guard.        I stepped into the water in the middle of a great run, threw a short cast and started working the water. With each cast, I worked out to the sweet water and was tossing 70 feet before I started the steelhead shuffle through the run. My casting skills sucked but I was still tossin…

In search of the mythical steelhead and getting hit in the rear

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After a great start to the summer, the second half was a series of trials involving an accident, insurance, a mysterious sound and searching for the mythical steelhead.
       The excitement of the John Day River rafting trip crashed into a two month ordeal starting literally with a young woman crashing into rear of my Escape in early July. The woman did not want to involve the insurance company - something I would never advise now. Ultimately Progressive was involved and after three months I ended up with a new differential but instead of the insurance company paying for it, I paid the $3,000 (BTW - Progressive is a good insurance company if your the insured. I, unfortunately, was the victim).
       The Courtesy Ford Dealership Service Center lived up to their name during the ordeal. Only a few weeks earlier to getting hit, Courtesy did a service check and green-lighted the Escape including the differential which they checked and changed the fluid. After the young woman hit …

In the heart of summer

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The spring fishing season started with a surprising successful trip to Hagg lake on opening day. The surprise was finding a pod large of rainbows on Scoggins Creek arm. The Hobie proved its worth that day easily pedaling from the Sain Creek arm which had frustrated me that morning.
     The following weekend wasn't nearly as successful but I did land another big stocker. During the next couple months, trips to Harriet Lake, Benson Lake, Willamette River, Tillamook Bay, Deschutes River, Columbia River and Swift Reservoir were all mixed with some days outstanding while others a total bust. The trips are all recorded on my YouTube channel.
      The weekend before 4th of July was the highlight of my summer so far when my son, Sam, and I joined friends of Western Rivers Conservancy on a four day float trip down the John Day River. The canyon was stunning and the guiding and support from Little Creek Outfitters made it a trip that will likely be a lifetime memory for my son. I posted thr…

Tillamook Bay - Sturgeon Quest

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In my desire for new adventures in the kayak, one topping the list is catching a sturgeon on a fly rod from my kayak. I have told many fellow anglers about this quest and most looked surprised, skeptical or intrigued. None have laughed.
      It's a complicated task and there are many people, including me, who have caught large sturgeon from their kayaks. There is even a handful of people catching sturgeon on fly rods in British Columbia on the Fraser River. However, I have yet to find anyone combining the two.
       With the Willamette so close to home, I have ventured several times to the "willy" in hopes of catching one of these ancients on my 12 weight. Last summer I had identified the "perfect low tide" and marked the calendar. On that beautiful fall morning I launched my kayak from the Milwaukie boat ramp a couple hours before the low tide. With the low water and the low tide, I had determined this was the best possible opportunity to get my line on the …

The season starts and I donate to a good cause

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The blog has suffered the past month as I continue to focus my energy on the YouTube channel (in addition to my real job and family). The channel continues to grow with subscriptions closing in on 80 and the views closing in on 20,000. I am expanding my social media channels with Twitter  and Pinterest accounts. The Facebook account also needs more work and that is another goal for the year.

Giving a little to the Native Fish Society 
      Feeling philanthropic for a great cause, and looking for more content for the blog and YouTube channel, I donated a 1/2 day kayak fishing trip to the Native Fish Society Banquet and Auction. The theme is HomewatersReflect Hopes and is promoted as the largest wild fish fundraiser/party in the universe. The auction is in Portland, Oregon on Saturday, April 13. This year’s auction features a dinner by Food in Bloom Catering, beer by GoodLife Brewing, and wine from Lange Estate Winery, Yamhill Valley Vinyards and Z’ivo Wines. Registration tickets are c…