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!

Kokanee

Trolling for Kokanee

Trolling for Kokanee

Last Sunday, Diane and I took our little boat up to Lake Merwin to try our hand at kokanee fishing.  We had never fished for them before, but after reading a couple of blog posts and watching a fishing show on Saturday night, we decided to give it a try.  I put the boat on the hitch and we enjoyed the scenery on the 30 minute drive up the Lewis River on the way to our destination.  Once there, we got the boat in the water and headed out across the smooth surface.

calm day on the water

calm day on the water

I got the poles rigged and into the depths. To both of our surprise,  it was only about 10 minutes till we had the first one on and into the boat.  Great start to a great day!  From there however, not another nibble was seen and I spent a lot of time untangling lines.

Our first and only kokanee today...

Our first and only kokanee today…

We are new to this kind of fishing, and after further reading,  discovered that we need to purchase some different types of gear to become more effective catching fish and less effective getting tangled.  Even though we didn’t catch a lot of fish, it was an awesome day spent with  just the two of us on the water, fishing and laughing together!

lots of fish in the water

lots of fish in the water

 

reflections on a great day

reflections on a great day

 

 

 

Tight Lines………

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

Our little run about….

A little before the New Year, Diane and I found a cute little 13′ Bluewater runabout on Craig’s List and decided to pull the trigger.  For $500, the boat was really clean and had a nice running 18hp Mercury 2-stroke engine on it.  We had to do a small amount of fixing, but it has turned out to be quite a nice addition to our family for use in our local lakes.  It’s pretty crowded for any more than two when you want to fish, and certainly our pup Abby can’t come along, but other than that, it’s perfect for our intended use.  Our son Ryan made this video to celebrate the first launch and short run around the small lake near our home.  Please ignore the “no wake” buoy we fly by… 🙂

 

 

Tight Lines………

Blackmouth in the San Juans

038This last weekend, Darin and I went up to Scout Patch to see if we could put some fresh salmon in the boat.  We left early Saturday morning and took the ferry from Anacortes over to Friday Harbor.  An hour later,  we  jumped in the Hewescraft moored there,  motored over to Scout Patch to pick up the downriggers, poles, and tackle box, and got busy.  After rigging up, we headed to Rocky Bay and put the poles in.  Fishing for blackmouth in  winter is a hot or cold proposition, one day can be fantastic, the next very difficult to scratch even one up to the boat.  The key is finding long stretches of fairly deep water with a sandy bottom,  and fish the area with scaled down replica’s of needlefish as lures.  The salmon seem to hang in these areas feeding on what is remaining of the prodigious amounts of baitfish left over from the summer.  We fished for a couple of hours around high tide and were only able to put one of these tasty fish in the boat for our efforts.

Beautiful end to a beautiful day...

Beautiful end to a beautiful day…

The next morning, we got up early and headed out to the Speiden channel to fish a local hotspot.  We found the sandbar, set the GPS waypoints, and got the lures into the depths.  Back and forth and back and forth we went.  We were marking some fish, but just couldn’t seem to get one on the line.

Paradise

Paradise

Monday morning found us again out on the water looking for at least one more fish before we caught the ferry back home.  This time, we stacked the odds and enlisted one of the locals to help us out.  Gene drove the boat over to Eureka Bay and put us on the sandbar immediately and started trolling.  It wasn’t long before we started marking some small bait balls on the bottom.  This is what we were looking for.  We were eight or nine passes through when Darin’s pole lit up and we put a 7-8 pound chinook in the boat.  Expectations ran high, but alas, this was the only fish caught.

Great eats!!

Great eats!!

We loaded up and caught the ferry back to Anacortes.  The ocean was glass and the sun was shining on a cold winter day.  As the ferry made it’s way across the water, I reflected back on what a great weekend it was and how much I love this beautiful place…….

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Tight lines!

Sturgeon City

On Sunday, my two boys and I put the boat in the water and went hunting for sturgeon.   It is still catch and release,  but we have a great time anyways.  The chance to catch a very large fish is always a great time.

Must have gained a little weight since I put these on last… LOL!

We got the boat in the water and into position and anchored up.  The fish finder started marking fish right away and it wasn’t 10 minutes till we got our first fish, a nice 39″ fatty.

First fish of the day, only took 10 minutes!

The bites kept coming and we were able to put the hurt on a lot of fish.  The day ended with me catching a 41″ sturgeon.

Last fish of the day….

It was a great day, lots of bites and lots of fish.

Gear Used:

  • Shimano 9′ Talora rod,

  • Shimano Calcutta reel spooled with 80lb Power Pro braid

  • Gamakatsu 6/0 circle hooks

  • Pacific Herring

Looking forward to the next trip!

Tight Lines…..

Wyoming- cutts, bows, and browns

Fall – north fork of the Shoshone River

This last week, Diane and I made the last of our yearly trips to Wyoming to visit my parents and get them ready for winter.  On the way there, we decided to go over Lolo Pass instead of through Spokane and I90.  It was a good choice, the Lochsa river passage was absolutely beautiful, the tamaracks were a golden yellow against the green of firs and cedars, and the water clear and cold.

Beautiful fall day

clear, cold, and home to many west slope cutthroat trout

The trip home takes about fifteen hours of driving, and although this may seem a long time in the seat, the scenery through Montana keeps your mind off of the time.

Montana splendor

My father always has a long list of things he wants accomplished, and we got right after it.  I joked with Diane that in the span of a couple of days, I had been a plumber, electrician, carpenter, lumberjack, truck mechanic, and grounds keeper.  It was nice to check off everything from his list though, and after a couple of days it was time to go fishing.

North Fork of the Shoshone river

The North Fork of the Shoshone river runs from the border of Yellowstone east through Cody and Powell and out into Yellowtail reservoir.  The Indians that lived here named the river the “stinking water river” because of the smell of the natural hot springs that dump into it at the headwaters.  All of that warm water is a blessing for the wild trout that live here however, as there is plenty of feed available year round.  When we pulled up to the river, I wasn’t sure what we were going to find and was pleasantly surprised to find it very fishable.  I selected a gold bladed blue fox spinner and rigged up my pole and walked down to the waters edge.

Okuma rod, Shimano stradic reel, and 6 pound test line

only spinner used the whole trip- blue fox #2 gold blade with an orange body

On the very first cast, the lure was smashed by a fish I had not seen in a long time, a mountain white fish!   A couple of quick pictures and we got it back into the water.  The prospects for a great afternoon were looking good!

A big surprise on the first cast!

On the next cast, a beautiful rainbow hit the lure and so it went from there.  We were at the river for about an hour and caught a lot of beautiful fish.

Very healthy rainbow

very nice little brown trout. Notice the white around the dark spots… absolutely beautiful!

looking for the big one

biggest fish of the trip, a nice rainbow

We had a great time during the week we were back with my parents.  Fishing was great, the scenery was fantastic, and life was good.  We very much look forward to our trip back in the spring…..

Tight Lines!

See you next year!

A foggy weekend in Little Italy

Early morning fog

Two weekends ago, Diane and I took a trip down to one of our old haunts, Garibaldi, OR, to visit some dear friends and do a little fishing in Tillamook Bay.  For the last couple of years we have travelled there nearly every weekend from September to the end of October to fish.  A large run of fall chinook salmon migrate through the bay and into one of the five rivers that flow into it, and the fishing is usually quite good.  We have had success here and were looking forward to hooking into one of the 30 plus pounders this bay is famous for.  These fish are fiesty beasts, fat from a summer of feeding in the fertile waters of the northern pacific, and full of the wild spirit that makes their pursuit an almost mythical experience.  One takedown from a large chinook in the shallow waters of the bay will change your fishing perspective forever.

sun waves

We started early on Saturday morning, heading straight to a place in the bay known as the ghost hole.  I have no idea where the name came from, but I do know its shallow waters can hold a lot of fish.  The standard pattern here is to troll a cut plug herring up and down the shoreline and hang on.  The waters range from a nail biting two feet to little over sixteen.  It’s strange fishing here after spending time in the deep ocean waters of the San Juan’s, and honestly, I struggled a bit.  The ghost hole requires your constant attention, adjusting your line depth up and down to match the contour of the bottom, watching for the large patches of sea grass that float in and out with the tide, making sure your herring is spinning correctly, and avoiding the fifty other boats that ply the same waters as you.  It’s nerve racking!  After about forty five minutes of watching me struggle to keep it all together, Diane put her hand on my arm and gently  reminded me that it was ok,  all was well, and the fish would come.

traffic jam

We fished the hour before and the hour after the tide change and came up with a big zero on the scoreboard.  We were blessed to see several fish caught however, and it was easy to blame our lack of fish on being rusty on the waters here.

The next morning, we loaded into the boat right at sunrise and headed up to the bay bar, a place of concern on a good day, a very dangerous, life taking place when it’s rough.  It is so dangerous that the Coast Guard has a permanent outpost right on the jetty to respond immediately in times of danger.  This day however, the waters were calm and the bar held nothing more dangerous than a continuous pattern of large swells that are easily manageable if you pay attention.  In went the lines, and we were fishing.  Fishing among a few hundred other boats that had the same plans as us……..

A crowded fishy place

We left the lines in for a couple of hours and trolled our way in and out of the ocean and bay hoping to connect with at least one fish before the sun started its trek into the afternoon.  I had one really good takedown that didn’t stick, and that was the sum total of our action for the day.  On the way back to the marina, I could feel the disappointment creeping in and fought hard to keep it in check.  As we got closer and I pulled the boat off plane, I started to feel a little better, the beauty of this place has a way of doing that. The drive home through the coastal range was good, the Wilson River road is winding,and a canopy of deep green trees covers you with nature’s beauty like a warm blanket on a cold winter’s day…………..

Tillamook Head

The old Coast Guard station, a new one was built in the early 70’s

Coast Guard station

Waters of the ghost hole…

Tight Lines………….