Monday, June 04, 2007

Oregon outdoors weekend warriors

I've been back from Alaska two weeks, but I'm having a hard time getting back into the writing swing of things (both here and at work unfortunately). I am making my rounds on the Oregon Outdoors though. Over Memorial Day weekend, I managed to get out on a drift boat with Karl from TU 678 and we covered Helfrich to Ikes and slammed the stocked rainbows. Karl runs a mean drift boat -- wish I'd have had a camera. Most of the fish were up at the beginning of the run and I caught almost all of them on the Mega-Prince (favorite fly of 2007). The next day, the bear climbed over the mountain and so did me and Al. We were on a mission to actually use the Spring Bear tags we bought and we ran up and down every backroad in the Smith River drainage. We got out and wandered a few old logging roads, I made a few squeals on the predator call, but it was a pretty half-hearted attempt. Good times, mostly an excuse to get out of the house. We came out of the mountains in Elkton and tried to hook into the Umpqua Shad run, but nothing happening. Lots of folks out on the banks, but not as many as Al expected. No shad. Then Monday, Sarah and Wild Bill pulled some strings to get KP and I out onto the North Umpqua for a whitewater trip with Destination Wilderness.

Rafting the North Umpqua

Rafting the North Umpqua

Rafting the North Umpqua

Then this last weekend, Wild Bill and I escaped Eugene to check out the scene on the McKenzie on Friday night. We tried to do the run again that Karl and I did, in my inflatable kayaks. I seem to have forgotten how hard it is to fish out of those things. We did pick up some feisty stockers in a hole at the beginning of the run. I also managed to "test" my new SOSpenders -- see pic below.

Emergency! Inflatable life vest saves local moron

We camped out at McKenzie Bridge that night. Pretty sad -- we forgot the beer and I burned my leg. The next morning we checked out Horse Creek though and that was really amazing. I'm pretty sure it's breeding/rearing habitat for the wild fish on the McKenzie. Bill and I caught three juvenile fish -- biggest one about 9 inches or so. We tried back on the McKenzie after that, but the fish weren't biting high up and the crowds were too bad down low.

River Sandal

Finally, yesterday I fished the North Fork of the Middle Fork Willamette with KP. I really need help with that river. It's one of my favorite places to fish but I haven't had a bite there. After getting discouraged on the NFMF we headed out to the confluence of Salt Creek and the Middle Fork and someone had set up a camper blocking access to the river and had 3 big agressive dogs loose that ran us off. I reported it to the Oakridge Police, but they said it was a Forest Service or Lane County Sheriff issue. We'll see if that gets cleared up.

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