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The Gearboat Chronicles

Go Forth and Steelhead

Not all the rafts are tucked away for the season, oh no. Tom, our fishing guru, has the Super Puma stationed down on the Grande Ronde for a steelhead fishing season that — no joke – is eclipsing historic numbers of fish passing the dams further down the river.

If you’ve got the steelhead nerve, you’d best get out here. But don’t tell me about it when you catch some of them silver torpedoes. Morgan and I had a float planned, just the two of us, to go down from Minam to Troy and … well … oh, it pains me to write this. I’m sobbing right now. Where’s my hanky? Oh, man, that looks like a … well, never mind that.

What I’m getting at is, I took the responsible route and waved off our impromptu steelhead trip for other, good, important reasons. Grownup reasons. Getting things done. Taking care of business. Priorities and all that. But I’m beginning to crack. I may heave responsibility on the dust heap and go fishing yet.

So we know where Tom is. He’s where I should be. On the Grande Ronde.

Here’s the rest of your Winding Waters crew update:

Just saw Penny in the grocery store parking lot an hour ago. She was buying cups for a Wallowa Resources board meeting.

Paul’s been on a tear lately. He was down in Caracas fishing for marlin with his brothers, I believe. He said something about catching 20 marlin. I suspect he’s lying. I need to see those pictures, Paul. And after that, he headed to Kentucky, or Indiana, or somewhere, as a chaperone, I guess, for a high school group attending an FSA convention. I confess I haven’t the first notion what FSA stands for. But I do know what FBLA stands for, so let’s just say he’s at one of those conventions.

Morgan’s been busy, cooking for a group of steelheaders. Then he’s heading home to Virginia to see the fam for a while.

Let’s see … Mike Baird’s been cutting firewood when he’s not teaching school. I know that because I’ve been out there cutting it with him. Fix the bar on your chainsaw, Mike. I’m tired of splitting curvy pieces of wood.

Sam Macke’s heading this way pretty soon to pack into Hells Canyon with that same Mike Baird for elk season.

And young Baird, Patrick, had his first big college test this week at the University of Oregon. Always guess “C” Patrick, on a multiple choice test when you’re not sure. That’s how I got my degree.

And I’ve been taking pictures of ants. That photo there is in my kitchen sink, looking down on a hitchhiker that ended up in my plum harvest. I liberated him shortly after noticing him floating around during the plum cleaning. Those air bubbles on the plums are a little bit crazy too.

All right, I’m off to do responsible things. While knowing I should be on the river, fishing. Go in my stead. Someone needs to be down there latching into those silver torpedoes.