Catching season is open
Smell that? Probably not, but the smoker is busy poofing out sweet wafts of smoked steelhead right now and the neighbor’s cats are eyeballing and nostriling the whole operation pretty hard. A low-pressure t-shirt zone blew in on recent weather currents and we’ve been catching fish. Here’s the good doctor James Hepworth with a friend he met on the river. Handsome fella. And Jim probably cleans up all right, too, I’m guessing.
Note the clenched teeth in this next action shot. You know it’s a formidable fish when you’re backed up on the bank using the Warn winch technique like that. I wouldn’t say he horsed this fish, but it did take a couple medium-sized ponies to land.
Frosty mornings have been a good time for lingering over hot coffee lately. About the time your fourth cup cools down enough you’re ready to toss it, the water temperature has warmed up enough degrees that the steelhead are stirring.
Brad Stephens knows what I’m talking about. Nice one, Bradley.
The Grande Ronde and Wallowa are happening. What are you waiting for? An invitation? OK—You are cordially invited to come catch steelhead with us. Fishing guides James Nash and Cam Scott are standing by. And they’re in their waders, so call soon. Those things get hot after a while. Give WWRE a jingle and let’s get this going.
Pipeline— Robbie Burns got toasted out here in little ol’ Wallowa County last week with a Burns Supper. I haven’t seen that much plaid in one setting since catching a glimpse of Mike Midlo’s impressive Pendleton shirt collection. This photo looks like I was sitting very close to the piper and that’s because I was. My word. Such beautiful, haunting music. Or what I could hear of it over the sound of my skull rending apart from the sound waves. I mean, that thing puts out some sonics. Is tinnitus a Scottish word? But really, it was great fun. And really loud.
Quail sighting—seen at the Josephy Center art show currently on display. This is the doing of Steve Arment. The guy can carve a bird, I’ll give him that.
Stuck Rod Update— Got it. Last ditch effort at unsticking the rod jam was to wind a piece of old bike inner tube around the butt section of rod. Clamped the ends of the wound-up inner tube in the shop vise, got a grip with more inner tube and backed up until I was sure the inner tube would snap and cause me some manner of harm. Instead, the joint popped apart nice as you please. Phew. Pleased to report the Echo is fishing just fine and it was nice to be back in the game with the 10-foot 7 weight rather than the fettucini-weight backup rod I had been using. I don’t know how long the fettucini is these days, since the tip broke off years ago and got a replacement glued on.
Well, folks, see you on the river. Whether that’s steelhead fishing in the soon-ishy future or coming up this spring and summer on overnight trips. May the fish be with you.