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Published: October 20th 2009
43 days on the road and 4,000 miles.
On the 16th we picked up Mark and his camping equipment and headed back to the Columbia Gorge for the sturgeon fishing trip.
Here is Ron's account of their fishing charter:
Arrived at the dock at 6am Saturday morning….Mark and I met Ed, the fishing guide. Took off up river toward the Bonneville Dam at 50 mph using a 225 hp Yamaha. This was a trip looking for Sturgeon. Strange fish not found in very many places. We were fishing the famous Columbia River on the Oregon-Washington border. We anchored 200 yards below the dam in 65 foot of water. We used large fresh frozen smelt for bait with a single barbless hook and 50 lb leaders. We were bottom fishing looking for the big guys. We were each allowed to keep one fish between 38 inches and 60 inches. Anything under or over had to be released unharmed if not a bit tired. We caught about 15 fish that had to be released. Mark caught a 48", 30lb keeper and I caught a 38", 16 lb keeper. Mark also caught another keeper at 40" and 20 lbs. The smaller
ones were called shakers since they tended to thrash and shake the line more than the larger ones which tugged heavier and harder and are called keepers. The action started within a few minutes of putting three lines out and continued in about 15 minute interval, either missing a bite or pulling in a fish. We fished about 5 hours and had a ball. Most of the time in beautiful fall 60 degree weather with only the last hour raining, since this is the rainy season here near the Pacific coast. The fish are quite prehistoric in makeup having no bones and lots of very sharp protruding scales called scutes along their sides and back. Mark has the scars to attest to that, gotten when he picked up a large one by the sides and it twisted in his hands. The skin is very shark like or sandpaperish with no scales. The river section being fished is called the gorge since it has very steep mountains on both sides. We took the fish to a processor who will vacuum pack some and smoke the rest. Checkout the pictures these are really cool fish..
Sunday there was enough time to
check out the Fish hatchery and to hike in to 3 more waterfalls. The first was the Wahlella Falls. This was the best waterfall yet, I may have said that before but I mean it every time. The walk to the falls was in a canyon with house size boulders where everything was covered in moss and ferns and trees.
On the hike in we spotted a Water Ouzel, this is the local name for an American Dipper. This has been a long awaited life list bird for us. But back to the waterfall, it was a 2 tier fall, 350' and then another 60' drop onto huge boulders. When we returned to the parking lot a woman with a camera approached Ron and told him she had taken a picture of him at the falls because he is so photogenic and asked if she could use the image in a greeting card!!!???!!! It will be quite a while before he lets go of this one!
Just remembered Mark spotted a mink along the rocky shore of our campground and he poked his head out just in time for me to see him too.
What's a little rain
The rain came in - the fishing comtinues
currently on the Pacific coast again in the Olympic National Park - more fishing on Thursday in a drift boat for King Salmon.
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