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The Gearboat Chronicles

11th hour Imnaha steelhead

Steelhead season wrapped up April 15th and Team Winding Waters put together a fishing expedition for the last go-round with fishing guide Tom Farnum, guide Mike Baird and myself heading for the Imnaha Canyon.

Tom landed that fish up there, a nice wild male to cap his season. And I continued my streak of hooking steelhead and failing to land them. Happened twice that day. It hurts. I don’t want to talk about it. You can’t make me.

We didn’t see many other fishermen down there. A handful of folks fishing bait down at Cow Creek. And this osprey, fishing with talons.

He did pinch the barbs on his talons, though. Very sporting.

Paul is headed for the Owyhee River next week. Beautiful stretch in southeast Oregon with some harsh landscape and Coyote and Roadrunner looking hills.

Owyhee River…you can see an anvil and Acme crate in background.

I grew a crop of grey hair trying to float that same stretch some years back. Low water and exciting, oar-snapping fun trying to wrangle a gear boat down that stream. There was an inverse relationship as the water got lower and my blood pressure crept up. Have fun down there, Paul. And look for my initials carved on one boulder in particular in the middle of the channel that I spent some time pinned against.

I’m heading south. Last minute trip to Mazatlan where friends are celebrating a birthday and the weather is in the 80s. Overnight lows are still higher than daytime highs here in the Wallowas, so that should work just fine.

But things are picking up here in WallowaLand. Baby cows sprinting around trying out their spindly legs…geese cruising in Vs…and river season is knocking on the door.

Got an email from a college friend looking for some whitewater fun with her kids and I told her to come on out – whitewater rafting in Hells Canyon is hard to beat with the spring wildflower display and after some beach time in Mazatlan I just bet I can do with some canyon vistas and sunny but crisp Hells Canyon days. The wildlife watching is also at a peak during springtime rafting trips down there in the deepest gorge in the lower 48. Always enjoyable to spy a spring bear wallowing on the hillside across the river.

Come join us. See you on the river.