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The Gearboat Chronicles

Floating Steelhead Camp on the Grande Ronde

Just launched a 4 day guided steelhead mission on the Wallowa and Grande Ronde rivers, with good flows and nice looking water clarity, so we’re looking forward to brave yarns of what this crew of fishers got into down there.

How To Offload a Boat the Quick Way

Here’s the pre-dawn scene at the Winding Waters boathouse, getting ready to head for the river. Notice the presence of frost. That comes into play.

Now here we are, below, at the ramp just downstream of the confluence with the Wallowa and Minam rivers. To get this party started, you first unload the cataraft on top of the three-boat stack. OK. Easy enough.

This should be a gentle procedure, easing the boat down in a controlled slide. Only the boats were frozen together. Hmm. I gave a nudge. Nothing. So I put my shoulder into it, broke the ice bond and the cataraft shot off the trailer, exactly like a large slippery thing on ice will do – gravity got involved and it went right for Morgan as if it had a Morgan-seeking guidance system.

No harm done, except for the sonic boom made when Morgan moved faster than sound while getting out of the way. Also, the intense look he sent my way burned two holes in the hillside behind me, and would have got me if I hadn’t dodged that glance at the last second. Phew.

Spey Casting Progress Report: Haven’t Injured Myself . . . Yet

I’ve watched exactly the right amount of intructional videos on spey casting to confuse myself and have too much to think about. So far I seem to be very good at concentrating on one aspect of the cast and not doing that very well, while forgetting entirely about all the others and doing them exactly wrong.

I zinged a few casts right by my ear and that will certainly get your attention. Anchor points, man. Focus on anchor point placement. I’m putting my anchors everyplace but where they belong. I might start wearing ear muffs until the zinging of hooks past the side of my head is significantly reduced.

Hells Canyon From Afar

Been out gathering firewood recently and came upon this viewpoint, looking out across Hells Canyon into Idaho, with a smoke plume kicking up from a fire over there. This was taken a week or 10 days or so ago.

Kind of cool to look at the country we float through from a distance once a while.

Here’s the view on the drive out to the woods. Just lovely, those tamarack this time of year.

And here’s the finished product. All ready to heat up the woodstove and dry out waders after a day of steelhead fishing. Give us a shout if you hear the Grande Ronde steelhead calling and we can get you set up with guided day trips, or the super deluxe catered 5-day floats.