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The Gearboat Chronicles

Salmon flies and bighorns on the Grande Ronde

Todd Kruger and I just got back from the shakedown trip for the season. First packout from the new mothership boathouse was a breeze.

Kruges and I were along for a float with our pals from Wet Planet, over in the Columbia Gorge land. Always a pleasure to see those folks and we had a great weather window that even caused us to dig for a strange substance called sunscreen.

We did encounter a spell of howling wind on the last night. Three tents did not take kindly to this development. Todd’s was one, pictured here:

And my tent didn’t fare too well either. I had every point staked down and all my gear stashed inside. Mr. Wind laughed at these precautions and pasted my belongings up against the hillside. Thanks to Todd and Tall John from Wet Planet for helping peel my temporary home out of the bushes.

Tried to get a picture of ugly ducklings, but best I could do was cute goslings. Scientific name: baby gooses.

Every bighorn sheep in the greater Grande Ronde River basin region came out to say hello. We saw them all down the canyon. Here’s one band of boys, seen downstream from Rondowa.

Todd’s faithful companion Little Bear got along great on the river. He’s a strong candidate for employee of the year if he keeps it up with being cute.


Trout season is a ways off, but I sure got in the mood after seeing a few big ol’ salmon flies out and about, ten miles or so below Troy.

Here’s a pic taken at camp in the evening shortly after someone noticed a transformation happening right before our eyes. That finger on the left is pointing down to the recently shed husk on the rock.

And here’s a bunch of adults circled around taking pictures of bugs. All high school biology teachers would be proud.

Floating the river isn’t all biology seminars and watching bighorn rams or baby gooses. It can be hard work too. As seen here, with Todd and Little Bear during a grueling rowing session.

See you on the river.