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The Gearboat Chronicles

River Trip Planning Guide and Gearboat Chronicles What The? Photo Contest Winner

Announcing this month’s winner of The Gearboat Chronicles What The? Photo Contest:

Congratulations to Jana S. of Bend, Oregon who did not successfully identify the subject of the photo below, but got closer than the other contestants:

Not a submarine. Thanks for playing, Scott in Pasadena.

Jana guessed: stand up paddle board. It’s actually the bottom of an inflatable kayak, but SUP board was closer than: iceberg, sturgeon belly, un-suntanned leg and the other wrong answers.

River rafting comes with a fair amount of kicked-back attitude, so I made a new bylaw that awards fabulous prizes to whoever gets closest. So congratulations, Jana, and enjoy your Collector’s Series First Edition Croakie from the Winding Waters River Mall, available at the bottom-left of the home page. Santa shops there too.

Legal pad not included.

Also enjoy your Grande Ronde River Gearboat Gandydancer, which is the name I just made up for this bead-head nymph I tied the other night. Jana says she isn’t in the market for hand-tied flies, as she’s not a fisherperson. But I clipped one of the wings off accidentally when I was cutting the thread right at the last, so consider it an earring and enjoy. Might want to pinch the barb.

Planning River Trips and Fishing Expeditions

“Winter is the time for tying flies and thinking about fishing, right?…”

That’s how a fishing friend started the conversation on the phone the other day. I was calling to talk him into coming over for some Wallowa Valley steelhead fishing on the Grande Ronde, so technically I disagree with him. There’s still fishing to be had out here in the Wallowas as the rivers aren’t iced up and the steelhead are in there waiting for you — but I see what he’s saying.

Grande Ronde River steelhead on the fly.

So he’s coming up with three options for a big fishing expedition next year and I’m supposed to come up with three more. Criteria: Up to 10 days. Keep the costs minimal and target rivers with exceptional fishing. Remote and uncrowded preferred.

We’ve had this talk before, this guy and me. And I always advocate him coming over here and floating the Wallowa and Grande Ronde because Wallowa County streams check off all the items on his list. He tells me I need to explore more, and I see his point and love exploring — but I ended up living here by exploring and finding a spot I didn’t see any reason to leave.

So. We go round and round on that. But he’s right that this is the season for looking ahead to your next river season or fishing expedition. Here’s a handy guide for choosing your next river adventure:

Step One: Start a list of all the things you’re looking for in a whitewater rafting adventure. Include things like scenic river setting, wildlife viewing, perfect family river vacation, great food, safe and fun guides. Go crazy. Put down everything you’re looking for in the rivertrip of a lifetime.

Step Two. Throw that list away and contact Winding Waters River Expeditions.

Step Three: Done.

This time-saving River Trip Selection Guide brought to you by The Gearboat Chronicles Office of Streamlined Time Management.