Spring and Summer Fun- 2013

Diane and I have had a busy spring/summer this year, and as we move into the monsoon season in the Northwest, we thought we would recap what we’ve been up to.  We continued fishing for kokanee during the months of April and into May with good success.. We are still learning this fishery, next spring will be better…

Kokanee- Lake Merwin

Kokanee- Lake Merwin

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In the cooler it went!

We also did a little sturgeon fishing, this was the last year for keeping sturgeon, so we made the best of it…

Abby waiting for the bite

Abby waiting for the bite

It didn't take long!

It didn’t take long!

Let's get another one Mama!

Let’s get another one Mama!

A great fish for Diane

A great fish for Diane

Wow!

Wow!

And another!

And another!

Annalysa gets in the game

Annalysa gets in the game

Tannyr's first sturgeon.  This was a proud moment for us!

Tannyr’s first sturgeon. This was a proud moment for us!

Even got Darrin in the game!  His first sturgeon as well

Darin with his very first sturgeon

Thanks Mama for taking me fishing today!

Thanks Mama for taking me fishing today!

I'll guard the fish!

I’ll guard the fish!

Next up, a great trip to the San Juan’s with our best friends Darin and Karin for ling cod and shrimp… Some of the best times of our lives are spent here.

Home away from home

Home away from home

Like no place on earth

Like no place on earth

Diane's first ling

Diane’s first ling

one for the grill

one for the grill

teeth anyone?

teeth anyone?

Darin gets in the act

Darin with his best ever ling

nothing like a little Jack to get the day going

nothing like a little Jack to get the day going

keep your hands away from that mouth..

keep your hands away from that mouth..

great eats!

best eating fish bar none!

a fish of a lifetime!

a fish of a lifetime!

where's Waldo?

my best Kilroy imitation

setting the shrimp pots

setting the shrimp pots

pulling the pots- there's 600 foot of line to coil

pulling the pots- there’s 600 foot of line to coil

a full pot, time to grade them out

a full pot, time to grade them out

they're everywhere!

they’re everywhere!

what a great smile

what a great smile and a job well done!

nice fish, Erik!

nice fish, Erik!

let's go already

let’s go already

at the top of Henry

at the top of Henry

best friends, best of times..

best friends, best of times..

a great day

a great day

Wescott Bay

Wescott Bay

spring flowers on Henry Island

spring flowers on Henry Island

shrimp and ling cod- nothing finer!shrimp and ling cod- nothing finer!

And of course, we caught a LOT of salmon!

early March in the San Juan's

early March in the San Juan’s

Jay got us started with this nice blackmouth

Jay got us started with this nice blackmouth

fish scales are always a sign fishing is good

fish scales are always a sign fishing is good

fish on!

fish on!

one for the table

one for the table

Darin with a really nice blackmouth

Darin with a really nice blackmouth

day's catch

day’s catch

stack em up Jay!

stack em up Jay!

we love silvers!

we love silvers!

another silver for the cooler

another silver for the cooler

let's have some kings too..

let’s have some kings too..

plugging the boat

plugging the boat

A great day's fishing!

A great day’s fishing!

As we move into the fall and winter season, there are always more to do and catch.  Winter kings, steelhead, and silvers to name a few.  It has been a wonderful year so far, filled with love, adventure, and great times fishing. ….

Tight Lines!

An Astoria adventure

peaceful morning

peaceful morning

Early Saturday morning Abby and I headed off to Astoria in search for an early season sturgeon.  It was raining when we left, but the sun broke through the clouds after we got over the coast range and it looked to be a good day in the making.  We arrived at the boat basin around 9,  parked the rig and looked around for a few minutes before getting started.  The air was crisp and full of the sweet, salty smell of the ocean, and the stress of the last week fell around my feet.  Abby was excited, she chased a few sea gulls around the dock and stuck her nose in all that she could find.  As I stood looking out over the water, she ran back and sat beside me, looking up with her large brown eyes as if to say “what are you waiting for? Quit daydreaming and let’s get down to business, the fish won’t catch themselves you know!”  I had to laugh a little, then proceeded to get everything rigged and baited.  For this trip I brought my big casting rod, the extra length provides enough leverage to get the bait out far enough to where I know the sturgeon run with the tide.  I carefully half hitched an 8″ smelt to the hook, attached the 12 oz weight to the slider and let it fly.  The bait settled to the sandy bottom and I brought enough tension on the line to place a slight bow in the top of the rod.  Now the waiting game began.  The tide was due to be full at 12:32, so I had a couple hours to go for prime time.

 

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the wait begins

The sun worked it’s way through the clouds, one minute bright and clear, the next covered and gray.  Abby kept herself busy, stalking the seagulls and ducks that lit on the dock.  I chewed through half a bag of sunflower seeds, the pile of shells a sundial on the deck marking time.  A few large ships made their way up and down the Columbia in front of us, and time continued to slip away with no signs of fish anywhere.  I reeled up my line a couple of times to check and recheck the bait, adding a little scent attractant each time before it went back into the depths.  Finally Abby jumped up into the truck and sat, watching the end of the pole with interest for a while.

 

Watching for a bite

Watching for a bite

 

When she had had enough, she just layed down on the seat and fell asleep.  HIgh tide was almost on us, and I certainly expected at least a bite or two before then.  We fished through the tide change and another hour of excruciating nothingness and decided to call it a day.  I was hungry for something substantial and a change of scenery.  A quick stop at the local burger joint filled the hole in our stomachs and we turned the truck towards home.  Abby laid in the back seat sleeping, her legs kicking while dreaming of seagulls and ducks, and I was filled with the blessings of a great day on the water, my nose full of the sweet smell of the ocean.

 

Tight Lines……

 

 

Mystic Rhythms….

Seasons of life

 

From our earliest moments, we are pushed and pulled by the rhythms of life around us.  We are instinctively aware-  the sun’s rays reflecting off a tall cedar tree on a winter’s day, the first blades of a mountain meadow’s flower, the lilting song of the red winged blackbird.  Lately, I have been thinking more and more about these rhythms and what they mean to my life and the world I live in.  This post is an attempt to put those meanings to word and picture, a way to clean the palette of my mind if you will.  The photos placed here all have special and deep meaning to me, each one a special time in my life, each one an emotion in the heart…

Wyoming… 

Wyoming is my home, the place I go in my mind when times are hard and the spirit is bleak…….  Her beauty has always lifted my heart and cleared my mind.

haunting memories

The playgrounds of my youth, the desire of my heart in age……..

 

In all matters, my wife, the most important life in mine….

This picture was taken a couple of years ago, it was a trip to show Diane my home, my roots, the innermost me.  We were deep in the colored soul of my home when our son Tannyr called from Afghanistan. He was stationed there, doing what Marines do in battle.  We had not heard from him for quite a while when this unexpected call came.  The strange number on the phone was a cause of concern, as is witnessed by the look on her face.  Another call a few seconds later from the same number was met with elation and joy as we heard our son’s voice for the first time in months.  In the background stand tall the Big Horn Mountains.  My son stood tall in Afghanistan like these mountains, of this I am most proud.  The mystic rhythms of life pull in even the most remote of places….. (I place the good fortune on the beauty of my home)

A new life in ours… Absaroka

Later that year we bound a new life to ours, a beautiful little puppy we named Absaroka,  after the mountain range in Wyoming.  When our grandchildren couldn’t pronounce her name, we shortened it up to Abby, but in our hearts, she represents the wild and beautiful mountains she was first named after.  Her presence has changed our lives in countless ways, the love we have for her is only paled by the love we share for each other.  For me she is the living example of unconditional love and friendship and I love her so……

 

Our hearts are bound..

 

 

Salt is in our blood..

Perhaps the strongest current pulling Diane and me now is the ocean. Memories of the ocean drift through our minds individually and shared.  Water is one rhythm that pushes and pulls us both with the most consistency…….

 

A look back, a strong bond going forward…

The ocean holds many memories

the colors of life..

 

 

 

The rhythms of life flow through us in countless ways, some more than others, but all influence the course of our lives.  I am humbled to be aware of that influence and will be adding to this post as time drifts by.  There are so many more words to say.

 

Red sky at night……..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From Mt Saint Helens to Cape Disappointment

Wind storm in the crater

On Saturday, we trekked up to Mt. Saint Helens with the intentions of fishing a beautiful little place just below north summit called Coldwater Lake.  This lake was not present before the eruption in 1980, but was formed by the changed outflow of Spirit Lake.  It was a beautiful drive up the mountain and we took our time and stopped at most of the turnouts and looked over the immense scoured valleys.  We spotted several small herds of elk and a couple of blacktails on the valley floor.

The lahar from the eruption scoured this valley. Now it is a haven for elk and deer

Coldwater lake is managed as a trophy rainbow trout fishery and as such you are allowed to only keep one fish and it must be longer than 16″  Also, no bait is allowed and  whatever artificial lure you are using must have a single barbless hook.  The upside to all of these regulations is the fishing is incredible – on a good day you will catch 30+ fish  in the 2-3 lb range with an occasional 5 pounder mixed in for good measure.  Needless to say, we were excited to get up there and get down to business.  However, as with all good plans, something goes astray and it never quite works out as you would like.  The fly in the ointment on this trip was the wind… 40+ in your face and unrelenting.  We spent a little  time on Johnston Ridge 

A small group of bull elk laying in the grass. In another month they will be fighting for herd dominance during the rut….

gazing up into the crater and then went down to the lake.  One look at the whitecaps on the water told us all we needed to know.  What a bummer, but it was a great trip nonetheless with an incredible view of the mountain.  We will be coming back, I think later in the year right after the first snow flies, the tourists will be gone, and the fish will be fatter from a long summer of feeding…..

Cape Disappointment

A cloudy, cool day at the beach….

On Sunday we decided to head down to the beach.  It has been unbearably hot, the beach is a great place to cool off on hot summer days, and there are fish to be caught!  It’s early in the season yet for the fall run of chinook and coho salmon so we were betting we could catch some surf perch and have a tasty dinner when we got home.  Boy did we guess right!

Dog is my Co-pilot!

The secret to fishing for these tasty treats is to use a small hook baited with a sand shrimp or clam neck, and gear stout enough to get your offering out to the first set of breakers.  Surf perch patrol the near shore looking for just about anything that looks edible.  They are aggressive biters, a lot of fun to catch, and the reward to your work is a very tasty dinner!  We just had a great day!!

Gear used:

  • Penn Torque surf rod, 10 ft long
  • Penn Battle spinning reel, spooled with 40 lb tuff braid
  • 1/0 Gamakatsu red bait holder hooks, one tied at 10″ above the weight, another at 4″
  • 4 oz pyramid weight
  • small sand shrimp tied to the hook with stretchy string (ghost string)

That’s it, pretty simple rig for a tasty fish.

I love this picture, need to work on the form, but I love how Abby tries to help me out! A faithful companion she is…..

Catch a fish old man, I’m tired of waiting!

Waiting for the bite

First one, a big female….

I have to hold this thing? Yes Dear, just take it to the cooler….

Ok, now I’ve got the hang of this…. Check out the smile! I love my wife!!

Another great fish…

Partners for life….

Just get your hooks baited and back in the water please! yes Dear….. 🙂

Memories for when we are old and grey…….

It was one of the best days we’ve had in a long time.  Can’t wait to do it again………