Friday, June 23, 2017

Joe Again

One of Idaho's best fly-fishing rivers is the St. Joe. The wild cutthroat trout population is the draw and I am rarely disappointed when I get a chance to fish up there. Yesterday we drove up the river and launched our boats at the Huckleberry Campground.

Tom, Mark, and Jeff were in Tom's drift boat and I took my fishing cat up for the ride down river. The river was still a bit high but we had a good day of fishing. I had a little trouble at the start that affected my day on the water.When I got my gear on and went into the water to put on my fins, I found out that my new wading boots were bigger than my old boots and they did not fit on my feet. I had to float down without the flippers and that meant that my boat control was lessened greatly.

With the lack of control and added influence by Mother Nature (wind), I flowed on down the river a bit out of control.  The day was spent tending fishing lines, setting up for runs, and trying to provide the fish populations good drag free fly presentations. In my little cat, I swooped on down the river, plunking sculpin patterns along the bank. I had a ton of hits, but my connection average was a bit low. A great day of fishing ended up being downgraded to a good day, due to all the missed strikes. I sort of felt like the Mariners. Many times I thought I could hear the fish giggling as I sped by their holds.

In the end, I caught several real good fish and had many big hits that I couldn't handle. We spotted a moose in the brush, feeding by the river and one by the road on our way up to the put-in. I would call the day a great Idaho outing. Of course any day you get to play in the Idaho woods is a great day!

This is a 17" Cutthroat Trout. I had caught two fish just prior to this one and had set up my net and got my camera ready hoping to get a photo. I had to work fast but I was able to bring it in and get one really poor photo before releasing it. 
It was a fatty!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Two Days on the Joe

It has come to this. We spent the last two days up the St. Joe River at Huckleberry Campground with Daren and Marcy Upchurch. I did not take a single photo during the entire trip.  I drove the camper up and then after Linda took care of some appointments her parents had, she joined us.

The water is high, but we fished quite a bit. Our first day was better the second. The wind blew real hard on Tuesday and that made fishing hard. Linda rested and read her book.

Wednesday we returned home and cleaned up the camper.  Quick trip, wish we could have stayed longer but Linda needed to attend a couple more parent appointments. Next trip I'll try to remember to use my camera.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

The Weather Changed, We Came Home

The rain was the topic of conversation on Thursday. We spent most of the day hanging out, taking walks and trying to stay dry. Linda and I went to Port Townsend and looked around. Linda found a consignment shop and bought a couple things. I think she might have spent $10.

We ended our evening at dinner with Don and Caroline. The Samuelsons always eat at least one meal at Hillbottom Pie when they are in Port Townsend. I was a bit confused because they serve pizza pies and they have a reputation for serving really good dessert pies. When we talked about pie, I was thinking pizza, but Don was talking strawberry-rhubarb pie. I ended up having clam chowder and salad. Both items were very good, by the way.

After dinner, we returned to the campground and set about getting ready to leave in the morning. I emptied all the gray and black water in the holding tanks and packed everything we could. 

We said our goodbyes and were headed out of town by 9:00 am the next morning. Our stay at Ft. Worden was very memorable and we will do it again some day.

Highway 101 lead us south and connected with I-5 north. Traffic was really bad all through the Olympia, Tacoma area and at times we were almost at a complete stop in bumper to bumper traffic. The traffic going north was much better then the poor traffic going south. It looked like they were stopped dead most of the time, as we crept on and eventually got up to speed.

The pass was a race to the top and then a bumper to bumper speed race down the other side. We filled up with fuel in Ellensburg and then drove down to the Columbia River at Vantage, where we turned south and found Wanapum State Park two miles downriver. They charged us $40 for the camp spot, but I was too tired to keep going. We set up, ate dinner and walked about. By 9:30 pm we were asleep.

Morning coffee was quick and painless. We packed up and were on the road for the final leg home. We drove non-stop to our front door. As we backed in to unload, Linda was connecting with friends to get out camping this week. All I could do was smile and head inside to the restroom.

Click here for a link to our photo album of this trip.