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The Gearboat Chronicles

Enterprise HS Seniors in Hells Canyon

Winding Waters had a fine time with the graduates from Enterprise High on a 3-day jaunt through Hells Canyon. Fine group of folks and I’m going to quit worrying about where the world is headed based on these level-headed young gents and ladies.

Here’s a view of getting the boats in the water, looking up from the ramp at the launch site below Hells Canyon Dam. John Feeser putting some wind in the rafts, with the visitors center in the background.


And another shot, with morning sun lighting things up. It really is impressive surroundings down there. Can’t argue that.


We ran Wild Sheep and Granite Rapids the first day, two exciting Class IVs. Camped at Oregon Hole and Feeser, who is something of a sturgeon fishing dynamo, had two hookups. First one just plain got off but the second fish headed upstream and then reacted to being turned around by doing a convincing imitation of a freight train, peeling line and showing no signs of stopping until finally just snapping the leader. Would have liked to seen the size of that one. Here’s the sturgeon crew watching line disappear.


Camped at Salt Creek the second night and then paddled across to the Suicide Point trailhead on the Idaho side, snapping a group picture up top. How bout that backdrop, huh?


Here’s the view hiking up.


And an overhead view of Todd and Robbie rowing the gearboats away from the Salt Creek beach.


Joseph Harshman is among the Class of 2013 graduates from Enterprise and probably has lost feeling in his hands from being high-fived so much after being awarded a Ford Scholars Program scholarship, which is kind of a big deal. He’s been rafting with Winding Waters the past three seasons and I’ll just fast-forward to Joseph’s college graduation and assure anybody looking to hire a good one that Joseph fits that bill.


I get kind of big-brother thing going for the young folks that work with us and I’m awful proud of this Harshman kid. Among other things, I like how he fishes with a bamboo fly rod that belonged to his grandparents. Landed a steelhead with it last season. Boom. This kid is going places.

Day Trips on the Grande Ronde

We’ve been taking day cruises down the Grande Ronde since getting back from Hells Canyon and having a blast.

Here’s my pal Dave Nelson and his wife Kathy kayaking it up on the GR. I did the morning news at the local radio station with Dave for years and got so used to his voice reading the weather that nowadays if I need to know what the weather is going to do, I call him up and make him read the forecast.


Stand Up Paddle Boards are all the rage these days and the Winding Waters Boathouse Shop in Joseph has SUP board rentals for paddling Wallowa Lake. We’re also taking them along on some river trips – which is super fun.

Here’s Penny getting after it on the Grande Ronde.


Heading back to Hells Canyon this week, been seeing stone flies on the Grande Ronde and the Lower Salmon River is getting into shape.

So fishermen, get hold of us if you want access to all that great fishing in the roadless section of the Grande Ronde.

Whitewater enthusiasts, get on board for a Snake River or Lower Salmon trip.

See you on the river.