Feb. 5-9 — Annual Pacific Northwest Sportsmen’s Show, Portland Expo Center, 2060 N. Marine Drive, Portland, $12 for adults, $5 for youth, $2 discount coupons at www.thesportshows.com, $8 parking fee at Expo Center. More than 800 exhibitors of hunting, fishing and other outdoor goods, plus guides, resorts and free seminars. Youth trout pond.]]>
On Sunday, I had to go to Teacup Lake, which is about 4,500 feet on the side of Mount Hood, to find enough snow to go skiing. The Oregon Nordic Club grooms at Teacup Lake, so conditions were good, at least given the not-much-snow situation. I’d guess the snow is 3 to 4 inches deep there.
Just north at Pocket Creek though there was really too little snow to enjoy trying to ski.
With the current weather pattern, it looks like this will be a lean winter for those of us who enjoy the skinny skis.]]>
I’d netted them for my neighbor on the Oregon side of Government Island and on Ough Reef at Washougal. I was in the boat with author and tournament angler Ron Boggs when he caught them near Arlington, Ore.. I’ve watched Jim Liddell of the Oregon Bass and Panfish Club catch them at Coon Island in the Multnomah Channel.
It had gotten to the point where I no longer much cared to fish for walleye, because I never, ever caught one.
Then one magical hour happened on July 11 at Coon Island. We launched at Gilbert River ramp on Sauvie Island at 7:30 a.m. and at noon my streak of never catching a walleye continued.
Just a bit downstream of the island, I caught one — a nice 24-incher on a chartreuse spinner and nightcrawler trolled downstream.
In the next 60 minutes, I caught three more and my neighbor caught one.
Then it got windy — too windy to fish effectively — ending the day.The next weekend I tried again at Coon Island. The new streak of not catching walleye has begun.]]>
Normally, I stop fishing Merwin in late July and shift to fall chinook in the Columbia. I’ve caught kokanee in Merwin as late as Dec. 2, but that was one fish one time many years ago.
To make a long day short, I caught two kokanee, measured at 11 and 12 inches, and one small chinook, which I’d guess was 10.5 inches. My fishing partner caught one kokanee. We fished five hours with two rods each.
Two of our kokanee came on orange-green-copper spinners and one on a silver Smile Blade spinner. The Smile Blade was fished 55 pulls behind the boat with .5 ounce. The tricolor spinners were fished at 2 ounces and 35 pulls. The Smile Blade also caught the small chinook. I lost one kokanee at the net while using a pink hoochie.
The water temperature was 52.3 degrees. There were six to eight other boats on the reservoir. I chatted with one boat (three rods) who had five fish and single angler (two rods) with one kokanee.
Four rods fished five hours for four fish isn’t much, but it did show that it’s possible to catch some kokanee almost a year before they spawn.]]>
Sturgeon retention will not be allowed in the lower Columbia River in 2014.
That’s not news, but it begs the question: Is the non-retention rule a one-year deal?
“It hasn’t been discussed,” said John North of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildife.
Washington and Oregon fish and wildlife commissioners, during the discussions in 2012 on reforming the lower Columbia River salmon fisheries, decided to put a halt to sturgeon retention downstream of Bonneville Dam.
The ban on retention was supposed to begin in 2013, but Oregon opted for a one-year delay to give guides and others time to adjust and Washington followed Oregon’s decision.
North said at a sturgeon meeting in The Dalles recently that no clear criteria have been established for resuming retention.
State biologists believe the retention ban needs to continue for several years for it to be effective, he added.
October is fun time to fish at Swift. There’s perhaps a dozen boats, at the most, on a 4,500-acre reservoir. It used to just be a trout fishery, but now there are lots of “resident” coho and chinook that apparently did not find their way to the fish collector at the dam.
It took a bit of experimenting, but we found the most bites came using a half-ounce sinker with 45 to 50 pulls of line off the reel. Wobbling lures like an Apex or Wiggle Hoochie outperformed spinners, except for a Smile Blade spinner.
The trout are 12 to 14 inches, while the coho are about 9 inches and the little chinook about 10 inches, so not too big at all. To select for trout, we found tipping the lure with pieces of worm made a big difference.
The reservoir is only seven feet below full pool, so launching is not a problem.]]>