Monday, February 25, 2013

February Fishing

Friday came and almost went but we hit the road heading down South to do some Steelheading on a couple of the rivers a hop, skip and Jump from Uniontown, Washington.

Snow above the river. Good fishing!
We worked over the gear until late evening, our wake up call was set for 4:00 AM. 

We woke up a bit groggy and tossed down some coffee and oatmeal.  Our gear was then transported to Tom's truck and the four of us loaded in, willing, if not ready for our drive to the river.  The destination was somewhere on the Grand Ronde in Washington.  We have fished it before and so we were eager to get to the water and start snapping things down.

The river was a bit high, a little murky and a whole bunch of cold.  We fished hard the entire day and in the end we had hooked eight steelhead, landing four of them.  I hooked one and landed it, a wild one, so I set it free.  All four of the fish landed were wild so we came home meatless.

On the drive home we stopped at the store and picked up dinner.  As we ate our chicken dinner, we watched "The Big Lebowski" and laughed.  Gear was re-set and ready for the morning so we hit the sack to get some sleep.
This wild one hit the bead!

Sunday brought a 5:00 AM wake-up call.  We were moving slower this morning. Not much conversation, a lot of grunting, but not much stimulating conversation.  We loaded up and drove down to the Clearwater.  This river was much clearer, but the air temperature was colder then up the Rhonde. 

We hit the water before the sun did.  Casting was crazy!  Every cast you had to get the ice off the rod eyes.  It took a bit to get the hang of it, but within the hour we were casting and dragging with our usual efficiency.

Last fish of the day for Tyler.
I fished down the water for a couple hours, and the sun came up over the mountains warming the air.  I turned up river and tossed my bobber and jig up into a slower area where two currents came together and boom.  I hooked up on a beauty!  She ran and fought like you expect a Steelhead to do.  In the end I got her in close and Mark noted that she was a hatchery fish, what we call a keeper! We got her landed and up on shore.  Tom came over and we measured it up to get a calculation for weight.  She measured 33 inches and Mark calculated her weight a 12.65 pounds. Nice, real nice!

We fished till about 11:00 AM and moved to another run.  By 1:00 PM I was beat and so I took a break.  The sun was out so I stretched out in the rocks and fell fast asleep.  The sun was out and it was warm so what did you expect? 

This girl came home with us, she couldn't resist the jig.
After about an hour and a half I was back at it, casting and not catching.  We fished into the afternoon but we didn't hook another fish.  I had a good record for the weekend.  I went 2 for 2, landing and releasing one and landing and keep another.  Would like to have hit more fish, but fishing Steelhead is not ever an easy endevor.

We drove back to Uniontown and packed all our gear.  We arrived in Coeur d'Alene at about 6:30 PM and I was home and unpacking by a little after 7:00 PM.  I was beat, even with the nap.  A good weekend of fishing in the books I hugged Linda, patted Kobi and went to bed.

Monday, February 18, 2013

The Last President's

We arrived at about 1:15 PM and the cabin was warm and cozy. Usually we have to start a fire in the fireplace and wait as the combination of baseboard heat and the fire gets the room up to a comfortable temperature, but not this year.  I carry the massive load of items from the truck and Linda gets us settled in for the three days. 

Our truck was packed with everything you might need for a weekend in the snow.  Snowshoes, cameras, clothing, computers, tablets, table games, food and of course great quantities of drink filled the cab.  A large cooler rode in the back filled with refrigerator items. In all when we got all settled it took about a half hour.
Raina and Dean arrived at about 2:00 PM, they had about the same amount of necessities as we did, it took them less time to pack it in with the four of us laboring on it.
Bridget and Dennis arrived at about 4:00 PM; we all agreed that they had made great time.  Every year Bridget and Dennis are the last to arrive, it’s a tradition.
The sky was blue and we had a beautiful view of the Selkirk Mountains reflecting in the rippled waters of Priest Lake.  The mountain peaks appeared and disappeared as the clouds socked around them.  We were able to get some great photos as the sun set and the sky faded to dark.
Raina made dinner as the rest of us played with our electronics and talked about the happenings of the past year.  I mention the electronics because this year we had brought with us to the cabin, smart phones, Mac tablets, Droid tablets, laptops, point and shoot cameras, point and shoot DSLRs, Garmen GPS units and a solar panel to charge them.   We were so tech-ed out that we really didn’t need to talk to each other the entire weekend.
Dennis and I had brought the same new cameras, so we played with them all the time trying to figure out the settings and buttons.  Bridget either had a iPad or her Mac laptop opened as she chatted.  Raina, Dean and Linda kept us grounded and only used the technology if they had a question that could be Googled or viewed on a map. 
We had a great time reminiscing past visits and catching up with the past year.  Raina made dinner, tacos and such.  After dinner Dennis and Dean brought out the maps and scanned them reliving past camps and hunts.  The rest of us played a table game called Qwirkle, it was a fun evening.
Morning came and went quickly.  The weather had changed and we were seeing a bit of snow out the window.  At about noon talk turned to the Gonzaga game and everyone but Dennis walked up to the main lodge and commandeered front row seats.  The game was good and the Zags won, the broadcast was a bit odd because the sound was 4 seconds in front of the action.  You would hear a whistle and then 4 seconds later see the foul.
After the game we hiked back to the cabin and settled in for the evening.  Bridget had given Dennis instructions on putting the meal together and so when we returned she only had to do a few final touches and put it in the oven.  She had prepared a Greek shrimp recipe that she served over rice.  It was phenomenal!
After dinner everyone gathered at the table and Bridget readied the second annual Tim Tam Slam dessert.  If you want to know more about this experience, check out last year’s event.  Once everyone had slammed, or watched a slam, we played an all-inclusive game of Qwirkle.  The evening ended and everyone retired as the fire burned down to embers.
Morning came and we all started discussing next year’s events.  With Linda retiring the events of the past will no longer need to happen as they did in the past.  Her teaching required that we travel and such when she had a day off or a break from school.  Net year we will be able to go any time we want.
Another factor involved is that we will be in Mexico next year during these dates.  We decided that we still want to meet up at Hill’s but changed the date to late October.  After almost 20 years of going to a cabin somewhere on President’s day this will be our last winter gathering.  It is sad and exciting at the same time.  Until next October!  

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Bug Visits the Zags

Can't beat free tickets!
Bug gets ready for the tip off.
Game on!
Proof that we were there!

Yeah, Mike Heart got the rebound.