Friday, December 30, 2016

ODFW Stocked over 400 Brooder Trout; Here's Where to Find them

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife stocked 400 brooder trout in December 2016; Here's Where to Find Them

David Woloshun with a Timber Linn Lake Rainbow
ODFW's trout stocking program provides fishing opportunities for recreational anglers, and once the largest brooder trout have been spawned in the hatchery, they are strategically released to various locations around the state in order to proviide an opportunity to catch a trophy sized rainbow trout.

I first caught wind of a tip from Bill Monroe of the Oregonian that lists a few spots near Portland, including the Mt. Hood Community College Pond in Gresham, Blue Lake in Fairview, and Henry Hagg Lake near Forest Grove have been stocked with brooder trout. Hagg also recieved a fair stocking of smaller, but legal-sized keeper trout as well.
Further South, Sheridan and Huddleston ponds, Walter Wirth Lake in Salem, Timber Linn Lake in Albany and Cottage Grove Pond (now known as Row River Nature Park) are also scheduled to be stocked with brooder trout.

If you want to improve your chances at utilizing the state's trout stocking programs, find a trout fishing opportunity near you. Check the stocking schedule. You can also subscribe to recieve updates on trout stocking schedules via ODFW.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Endless Summer (SR 11/07/2015)

I'm incredibly grateful for my teachers that have shared their knowledge with me along the banks of the river and within the pages of magazines like Northwest Sportsman. The potential for product innovation and improving techniques is infinite, and I've been introduced to some very respected guides and industry professionals. I'm fortunate to have made some incredible connections as an outdoor writer that have sped up the learning curve of becoming a versatile and successful angler.

Don't get me wrong, but with that being said, at the end of the day, nothing beats fishing with your buddies. Every river has it's own set of locals that know every nook, cranny and boulder from the deadline to the ocean. The anglers that not only learned the ethics of fishing on that water, but developed their own set of rules through their experiences with their peers.

Stepping outside the box of our "home river," I always feel like the training wheels are coming off and it's time to get serious. However, there's something special, personal, sentimental to making that pilgrimage to the home river, even after you've moved away from it. The tractor beam of nostalgia draws anglers back to familiar waters, reconnecting groups that have drifted apart over the years. A reunion of sorts. The following is a story of one of those outings that happened on the central Oregon coast this November. The names of the parties have been changed in an effort to conceal the identities of those who wish to remain unknown.

"C-dub" taught me how to fish for steelhead. He wasn't there for my first steelhead, but he taught me how to tie a single-egg pattern and fish it under a float, which was a game-changer that got me my first limit. Eventually we developed a group of friends that started filming each other's catches and making short videos for our entertainment during long nights of cooking up fish, drinking cold beverages, tying jigs and flies on the vise in preparation for the next day. The camaraderie of our group revolved around C-dub being the one guy everybody could count on to drop everything and go fishing when the conditions were right.

Nowadays, C-dub resides in Santa Cruz, California catching striped bass, ling cod and halibut. However, the draw of our home river brings our group together each year as the end of the Central Oregon coast Fall salmon season approaches. There's an odd purgatory within the seasons where everything just falls into place and we usually have no problem getting a good stretch of water to ourselves.

While most salmon anglers have put a few on their tags, through the smoker and into the freezer by that time of year, elk season also draws many sportsmen away from the water. It's still a little early for winter steelhead, but don't count them out just yet. Summer steelhead on the other hand are a neglected fishery this time of year. While early summers overlap late winters, the late summers are often swimming with a mixed bag of fall salmon species and the earliest of winter steelhead. Some of the best river memories I have are fishing with close friends during this aquatic phenomenon.

With a few of our friends entering new marriages, careers and parenthood, this November's excursion seemed to be "the good old days" in that present moment. Meeting at the Moonshine Park campground, we rendezvoused and set up camp that Friday evening, chowed down on bear chili and smoked kokanee, rigging up for the morning on the water. A little rain brought the river up on Thursday and it had just started to drop and clear as we showed up to the water on Saturday morning. The Plum Creek Timber Company road is only open to public vehicle access Saturday and Sunday, which reduces a lot of the fishing pressure upstream. A 12 mile drive up the gravel road to the deadline, we rolled several vehicles deep enough to discourage any other anglers from even stopping along the road to check things out. We crawled down into the gorge to that familiar stretch where we had made so many memories before.

As we've all matured and the distance between us and the days we get to spend fishing together get further and further apart, it's understood that up there they've got to do what's best for them, because it's their time. Their time, up there. But down here, it's our time. It's our time down here, in the gorge, grown-up Goonies, stomping the banks for anything that will provide us with the tug that is drug we're all hooked on.

Every species of trout, salmon and steelhead are in the river this time of year, and all of them eat eggs, or anything that even closely resembles them. The action can be unbelievable at times, especially when you're fishing with a half dozen friends or so, searching through every inch of water like a fine-toothed comb. Summers that have held out for rain in deep pools along the lower parts of the river are racing to the finish line, with surprisingly bright patterns and firm-fleshed, quality table fare among the hatchery run. Changes included in the Multi-Coastal species plan that cut the release of summer steelhead smolts in half back in 2013 could mean that this year is as good as it's going to get. These are the glory days we'll be yammering on and on about to future generations of anglers about how good things used to be.

C-dub landed the first fish of the day just after daylight, a hatchery, which took a little pressure off him taking home some meat back to California. I hooked a wild steelhead only minutes later, then our friend "Biggums" pulled in a nice sized wild steelhead a few casts later, "Muskrat" put a hatchery summer on the bank, followed by several triple hook-ups that resulted in action that didn't seem to stop for at least an hour. When one pattern got slow, we'd change things up and the bite was back on again. We hole-hopped to a few other areas of the river miles apart and it was the same story.

A few hours into the morning, several of us had a fish on our tags and we were handing off the rods to each other to keep from limiting out. We headed back to camp around noon and proceeded to celebrate in proper fashion as the rain started pouring down, like a baptism cleansing us of the scent of roe and fish guts, drenching our worries and drowning our problems.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Rain or Shine Giveaway - Part one: Willamette Weapon Lures & Trigger Happy Comfort Grips

I'll be doing give-aways through the holidays to those who have shown their support as readers this year. The first give-away is for two custom-painted crankbaits from Willamette Weapon Custom Lures in the "Sculpin" and "Tualatin Craw" patterns. The detail in these custom paint jobs has been mentioned in my Wide Open Spaces articles Targeting all 4 Seasons of Big River Smallmouth and Big River Smallmouth Tactics. I'm also going to include a pair of Trigger Happy Comfort Grips to make those long days of casting and cranking easier on your hands. I wrote about this product for Wide Open Spaces in the articles, Get Your Hands on Trigger Happy Comfort Grips and 9 of the best Outdoor Products of 2015. To be entered in the contest, you need to like Willamette Weapon Custom Lures Facebook Page the Trigger Happy Comfort Grips Facebook Page as well as my Randall Bonner Outdoor Writer Facebook Page.

You will also be asked to like and share the post made on my Facebook Page about the contest. Good luck!

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Bumper Dumper Makes Going on the Go Easier

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This Taxidermy Mount Will Blow Your Mind

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Concealed Carry Yoga Pants

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These Duck and Goose hunting memes are almost Fowl

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Gillnetting Practices Continue to Threaten Columbia River Recreational Fisheries

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Millenials May Spend More Time Outdoors than we Think

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Spicy Teriyaki Venison Meatballs Recipe

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ODFW Confirms AHD virus in Blacktail in Coos County, Oregon

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Elk Poaching Case in Columbia County

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Pelican Pilsner Sales Benefit Fish Passage Projects

Pelican Brewery’s newest Pilsner contributes to the Tillamook area’s Salmon Super Highway fish passage projects.

Every coastal angler and guide in Oregon knows Tillamook for more than just its dairy farms and the air museum. Tillamook County has six coastal rivers that flow along the Oregon coast that are host to salmon and steelhead. Those who know it best also know where to grab a beer and a bite to eat after a day on the water.
Pelican Brewery, a frequent stop for recreational anglers and professional guides, is giving back to the community by donating a portion of their profitsfrom a new pilsner to a habitat restoration project called the Salmon Super Highway that is geared towards removing obstacles to fish passage.
Anglers Sara Dodd and Kristin Bishop prepare to chase a pair of oyster shooters with their Pelican Ales at the Tillamook brewpub after a day of fishing
Jeff Schons and Mary Jones founded Pelican Brewing Company, opening a brewpub in Pacific City back in 1996. Celebrating their 20th year in business, they now have brewing and brewpub facilities in Pacific City, Tillamook, and Cannon Beach.
With leadership under Pelican’s Brewmaster Darron Welch, the brewery has earned over 300 awards, including the 2014 World Beer Cup© Champion Small Brewing Company and Brewmaster of the Year. Pelican also recently won a bronze medal at the World Brew Cup℠ and eight medals including Champion Medium International Brewery at the Australian International Beer Awards.
The success of their small-town community supported brewery has allowed them to grow, expand, and now give back to the area it calls home. Pelican Brewery invites its consumers to “Drink a beer and save a fish” with its new Five Fin West Coast Pilsner.
A portion of the proceeds from every barrel sold will be donated to the Salmon Superhighway, a project to restore access to nearly 180 miles of blocked habitat in the half dozen local rivers where five ocean-going species of salmon and steelhead spawn along the North Coast of Oregon.
The Pilsner is brewed with a West Coast influence, incorporating a bold, hoppy flavor and aroma. It’s crafted with a Northwestern blend of Cascade and Sterling hops as well as Mandarina Bavaria hops from Germany. The fusion of citrus and floral notes balanced with Great Western Pilsner Malt make the Five Fin Pilsner a unique craft beer, in character with their award winning signature brews.
“We wanted to create a beer that would successfully support this unique restoration project—when we think about salmon, we think of the clean, cold, crisp flowing rivers here and imagined Five Fin to mirror that,” says Jim Prinzing, CEO, Pelican Brewing Company. “We love pilsners and we love American hops and this beer brings those two elements together in a bold, refreshing way.”
ABV: 5.3% | IBU: 45 | PLATO: 12ยบ
Five Fin Pilsner is available in the grocery craft beer aisle in 6-packs; 12 oz and 22 oz bottles; 50 liter kegs; and 1/6th barrels are also available for on-premise pours.
Small dams, tide gates, and other barriers that create bottlenecks, encourage flooding, and contribute to road damage, many of which include culverts at road crossings, are costly problems to address that the state can’t fund alone. Adult fish face obstructions to access spawning habitat, and juvenile fish face the same obstacles on their out-migration to the ocean.

The solution:
The Salmon Superhighway project is a strategic and intensive effort across a six-river landscape of 940 square miles to reconnect fish populations with the habitat they need to migrate, navigate, spawn, and survive. Starting in 2014, the project has identified obstacles and removal projects that will require a 35.8 million dollar campaign that is expected to run through 2024 in an effort improve habitat for salmon in 93 different locations throughout Tillamook County.

Author with his first chum salmon, caught from a Tillamook County river
“Pelican Brewing Company is a valued leader in our effort to raise awareness and funding to protect salmon in Tillamook County—which impacts all of us at some level,” says Terry Turner, Oregon Council Chair, Trout Unlimited. “We hope Pelican’s creative funding strategy will encourage other companies and organizations to join this very important salmon habitat restoration effort.”
Acting as a sponsor and donor to the Salmon Super Highway community partnership, Pelican hopes to also improve and stimulate the local economy that is closely tied to it’s fishing opportunities. Other partners include a broad range of state and federal agencies, local business and agriculture, and local watershed councils.
Doing your part contributing to the Salmon Superhighway is easy, drink a beer, save a fish!
This article was published on October 21st 2016 by Wide Open Media

10 of the Best Raingear Brands

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Portland Bass Club Revives Fishery

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Thursday, October 13, 2016

2016 Fall Mushroom Forecast

This article appeared in the October 2016 issue of Northwest Sportsman Magazine

Several early rains this summer have brought success for hunting Fall mushrooms as early as mid July. At this rate, the season is on track for a stellar showing of edible wild mushrooms. Dry weather stalled last year's crop, but still showed signs of life as early as August, particularly with lobster mushrooms. 2015's fall chanterelles were not nearly as plentiful as the following 2016 winter crop, but if rains fall early and frequent, a low yield year can potentially be followed by a significantly higher yield the next.
Early harvests of sulphur shelf, or “Chicken of the Woods,” along with lobster mushrooms, and the ever popular white and yellow chantrelles are easy to find once the rains appear. Pigs ear and bolete mushrooms also rise through the substrate of the forest floor later in the fall.
Chantrelles are perhaps the most widely sought after variety, and there is an abundance of them along the coast range at higher elevations. When you happen upon one, stop and pay attention to your surroundings. It’s not uncommon to trample several mushrooms in one area while overcome with the excitement to pluck the first one you lay eyes on. Look for mossy areas under old growth, evergreen debris, where salal and Oregon grape grow.
While moisture from the rain is key to activating the mcyelium, you will find that some of the mushrooms that are more exposed to the elements tend to deteriorate, become soggy and inedible. The best days for harvesting are during periods of warmer weather after rains have saturated the soil enough that it still remains damp. When the ground is really wet, look underneath the gaps of fallen logs that have made contact with the forest floor. The areas in which the log shields the ground from rain creates a dryer environment that will produce firmer mushrooms that tend to keep longer. If there's frequent wet weather, you'll also find better quality mushrooms on south facing slopes. On the contrary, if the rains are few and far between, north facing slopes, shady areas, and flat spots on hillsides will hold more moisture and provide more productive habitat.
Be sure to use these tips when hunting mushrooms…
-Being aware of your surroundings is vital to enjoying your outdoor experience; keep in mind that’s it’s fairly easy to wander into private property on accident. Check your local regulations on harvesting and entry permits for public lands.
-Do not consume any mushrooms you can not identify with confidence; lots of lookalikes out there have made people pretty sick over the years. A good place to pick up some resources for identification is at our very own Saturday Market.
-If the quality of your find is in question, the general rule of “When in doubt, toss it out” applies.
-While on your hike, keep track of time and your path so you don’t get lost in the woods after dark. If you are unsure about how long your hike will be, bring a headlamp or flashlight.

Gun Sales Spike among LBGTQ community following Orlando Shooting

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No Fly No Buy Gun Control Proposal is a Civil Rights issue

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Archie Bunker on HiJackers

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Men are like sport anglers

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Salmon Wellington Recipe

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Crankbait Fishing: What you need to know

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Flamestower charges USB devices with fire

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9mm Hi Point Parody Tests Out Urban Legend

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Weight your crab pot so it doesn't get lost!

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Smart Gun can only be fired by it's owner

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Worst Fishing Buddy Ever

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Turn your catch into Delicious Steelhead Burgers

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5 things to keep in mind when booking a Buoy 10 guide

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That's not an alien, that's a bryozoan colony

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Big River Smallmouth Tactics

The full version of this article can be seen on the Wide Open Spaces website: As the Willamette and Columbia begin to warm up with the return of consistent sunlight, dogwoods begin to bloom and lots of fishy activity goes on beneath the surface that most anglers in the Pacific Northwest tend to overlook. However, warmwater fisheries in the Northwest have a place on the map. Bassmaster Magazine has repeatedly listed the Columbia as one of the best bass fisheries in the country. The abundance of area, forage species, clean water, and little fishing pressure have developed a world class smallmouth bass fishery. Shad, smelt, pikeminnow, redside shiners, speckled dace, yellow perch, sculpin, bluegill, crappie, and even ESA-listed smolts are just a portion of the diet of these fish. However, the most common food source is crawfish. They're plentiful, easy prey, and always in season. Most bass spawn during the early spring, but as the water temperatures continue to rise, so do many of their forage species. As they bloom a feast of fishes into the system, those early spawning bass are recovering, and the late spawning bass are becoming protective of their territory. As they transition from protecting their nests, bass begin seeking out food to replenish the energy they've expended during the spawn. Many of the forage species often spawn on abandoned beds, and sculpins raid the territory, sneaking off with whatever they can grab. There are a number of small northwest tackle manufacturers that have zeroed on mimicking those food sources. Western Fishing Operations makes a soft plastic sculpin, and Willamette Weapon Lures custom paints lures to match the specifics of native forage species. While there are a wide variety of crawfish, bluegill and yellow perch patterns from numerous tackle manufacturers, keep in mind many of these fish have already seen them, and possibly fallen for them. Throwing something new and realistic in their path can often trigger strikes from reluctant feeders. When the female bass have dropped their eggs and moved off the bed to search for food, they'll feed on anything they can fit in their mouths. Slightly lethargic at first, they'll mainly target crawfish, then as they begin to gorge themselves and regain their energy, they'll move on to other forage species as their metabolism rises. During the post spawn, fish will often hang near ledges, current breaks, and cover, anything that provides them with a point to ambush and charge their prey. When it comes to big rivers, bass behavior isn't much different from salmon and steelhead. Bass will hang in fairly shallow water as long as deep water is close by. Deep, slow moving channels are like highways, and bass will stage in some areas where food will come to them. Bass gravitate to warmer water as much as cover, so fish anywhere something creates a shadow on the sunny side of the river. Cover like logs, boulders, and rockpiles that are standing in or creating a seam in the current will often hold fish. Rock or gravel bottoms will always hold more bass, while sandy bottoms are often deserts of silt, void of life all together. Having a depth finder will help locate schools of baitfish, rock piles, ledges, and other structure that bass will gravitate towards. More importantly, having a variety of presentations to offer the fish will better prepare you for adapting to where they are in the water column, and match whatever they are feeding on. Bass anglers are notorious for bringing a plethora of rods and reels rigged and ready to go. There's a good reason for this. Having a rod for soft plastics, spinnerbaits, and crankbaits is one thing, but having 3 rods for crankbaits to fish at various depths depending on where the fish are in the water column is a game changer. Having a squarebill that dives 2-4ft, a mid depth crankbait that dives 6-8ft, as well as a deep crank that can hit the deep side of ledges can make a difference, especially if you're not retying to adjust to where the bait is all day. While topwater bass fishing is mostly reserved for tossing frogs on lily pads, don't rule out injured bait fish imitations like a zara spook in open water. Fishing topwater over flats with moving water that rest above ledges with deep water can be very productive. As it gets later in the summer, smelt, and other smaller fish tend to get pushed out of that deeper water and onto the flats where the bass feed on them. Bait fish are also following bug hatches at the surface and the bass are simply following the food chain. Having a rod rigged up and ready to go when there are fish feeding on the surface can put you on fish that are looking to the sky and neglecting those bottom bouncing jig patterns.

Willamette Park in Oregon City is located at the mouth of the Tualatin River. Rock ledges, fallen timber, rocky points, boulders and shallow flats in the area all hold smallmouth. During the summer the fish will transition from spawning to feeding on baitfish, so if you find bait, you'll find bass by targeting ambush areas where they're staging to feed.

Just above the falls, Willamette Park in West Linn or Rogers Landing in Newberg holds fish on ledges and steep drop offs. Deep diving crankbaits and drop shot rigs dominate that deep water. The Cedar Oak ramp is a good lower Willamette River area with similar structure. Even the Multnomah Channel and Columbia Slough are excellent fisheries that are easily accessible from Cathedral Park.

Upriver, many of the larger tributaries like Hood River, John Day, and Snake River host populations of smallmouth that often stage at the mouth of the river to feed on outgoing smolts, shad, and other baitfish that are migrating to spawn. Even further upriver, the Coeur d' Alene and Clearwater fisheries produce consistent lunker bronzebacks.

While some of the sloughs and areas just off the beaten path of the mainstem are hidden gems, much of the big river habitat holds a lot of potential for successful fishing in both quantity and quality. These fisheries also hold a lot of potential for angling opportunity, consistently being included in Bassmaster Magazine's listings of the country's top bass fisheries. The diverse smorgasbord of forage species the Big C has to offer and the wide expanse of water with structure that is unique to smallmouth habitat, these are without a doubt world class fisheries worthy of the attention.

Oregon Kayak Bass Fishing Tournament Series Celebrates it's First Season

This is why Bird Baits catch Fish

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When things don't go as planned, laugh and smile

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ODFW Offers Free Pheasant Hunts

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Rock Stacking and it's Ecological Impact

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Footage of Sockeye Swarm

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Litter became a way of life for this poor Walleye

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How to find bass ponds with Google Maps

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Hardheaded Ling Cod pays dearly for it's stubbornness

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Columbia River Kings by Kayak

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Catfish smashes Savage Gear Suicide Duck

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Don't overthink your salmon brines

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Underwater Drone Explores the Ocean's Frontier

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The World's Best (Satirical) Fly Fishermen

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Lobster Mushroom Bisque Recipe

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Grouse and Dumplings Recipe

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Dave's Tangle Free Weights are a Game Changer

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If you've got the itch to do the twitch, watch this video

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Custom Weapons Builder Shoots AR15 from his Nose to Show Recoil Doesn't Cause Bruising

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Massive Mule Deer Gets Rude Awakening

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Cannabis "Smoked" Salmon Locks Recipe

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Dave's Tangle Free Weights - Get Down with the Best!

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Guides chime in on upriver fall salmon fisheries

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Thursday, July 7, 2016

Low Water Tactics for Summer Steelhead on the Siletz River

ODFW's Coastal Multi-Species plan reduced the number of hatchery smolts released into the Siletz River by 30,000 in the spring of 2014. This year, there will be fewer fish returning to the popular weekend fishery of the Siletz gorge, presenting some new challenges to anglers who have regularly targeted these fish, and newcomers who want in on one of the Northwest's most beautiful and productive summer steelhead fisheries.

As the water level drops and the clarity improves, the summer runs offer a challenge to steelhead anglers that greatly differs from the presentations that are most effective during the high, murky conditions of customary winter steelhead fisheries. When it matters most, being able to adapt to and mimic your environment will greatly improve your success rates. As spring chinook have reached their spawning grounds, eggs are a fresh, nutritious food source that is readily available. Chinook eggs tend to be larger, more bright red berries. If you're fishing a bead, the freshest eggs are nearly transparent, as should be your presentation.

On low, clear, sunny days, being a shade off and being able to match the hatch can make the difference. Early in the morning and late in the evening before the fog clears, UV colors that mimic a dead egg pattern tend to be more effective than during the middle of the day. If you're fishing bait, cured prawn meat or eggs will have the same effect. A transparent bead with a "wet" sheen to it that reflects white light can make the difference when the sun is hitting the water. Uncured prawn meat gives off a subtle appearance in daylight, however it also has it's own bioluminescent properties and reflects subtle UV light.

In low light or low visibility conditions, creating a presentation that reacts to ultra-violet light is crucial to offering a target that the fish can find. Decoding what colors work for the water your fishing is as simple as tying a different color on and dropping it in front of you, acknowledging your own visibility of what you're offering the fish.

Sam Wurdinger of Dinger Jigs designs his presentations for summer steelhead based upon removing the UV properties that are often "too loud," specifically pointing to the success of nightmare patterns. More importantly than UV properties, the red collar, black feathers, and white jighead create contrast in common summer steelhead conditions. None of those three colors in the pattern react to ultra violet light. Stem floats will track well with jigs in low water without the addition of extra weight or gear. Strung directly onto a mono bumper with a flouro leader to the jig, a stem float will communicate whether or not the jig is making contact with the bottom, and is easily adjustable to vary the depth. The Hawken's Aerofloat AF-1 model is a great float for this technique. A small piece of pencil lead threaded directly onto the stem can also make up the difference between the rating on the float and the weight of the jig.

When the water is low, adapting your equipment is equally as valuable as adapting the presentation. Clear, thin diameter monofilament in the 6-10lb range reduces the line visibility. Advances in flourocarbon technology have become deadly for line shy fish as well. Finding a good combination of low visibility mono with some good stretch to accompany flourocarbon leader line will add an element of stealth to the fish you're targeting. Clear floats also offer less contrast to distract fish at the surface.

Having a lighter, fast action rod with some good bend will also help relieve the stress on the line from a hot fish. Longer rods are typically better suited for high sticking and steering fish through obstacles as well. A rod in the 10 to 11 foot range will can be the difference between ruining and making your day once you've dialed in the presentation the fish want.

Scents have their place in low water conditions as well. It's a common misconception that the purpose of using scent is to "attract" fish. While there may some validity to this theory, it's short-sighted and misses the big picture. In some situations, particularly in water with low visibility, scent may help the fish locate your presentation. Steelhead are more sight-oriented, so in most instances of low, clear water, your presentation doesn't need scent in order for the fish to find it.

However, scent serves one particular purpose in all conditions, keeping the bait in the mouth of the fish long enough for the signal of the bite to reach your hand or give a visual confirmation as the synapses in your brain start telling you to set the hook. When you're hopping from one hole to another, pounding every piece of water that's deep enough you can't see the bottom, it's difficult at times to know what's going on down there. At times, scent can be the difference between getting a bite and landing a fish.

Gel scents are best suited for hard baits like plugs, spinners, and beads. Smelly Jelly's Pro Guide Formula and Pro Cure's line of Super Gels are ideal for their staying power. When the fish hits the presentation and realizes that it isn't squishy like a shrimp, baitfish, or egg, they'll immediately spit it out. The extra second or three that the fish keeps the bait in it's mouth tasting that gel scent will help the hooks find something to grab onto.

Jigs on the other hand are a little trickier. Gels and oil based scents detract from the natural presentation of the maribou or rabbit hair. If the feathers or hair stick together, you'll lose the natural, eye-catching, pulsating action. Pro Cure's water soluable scents, unlike gel scents, don't inhibit the movement of the jig's materials. You'll have to add scent more frequently, as it tends to milk out and leave a scent trail in the water column. If you don't remove these scents when your jigs aren't in use, the water soluable scents will still ruin the maribou. You can preserve your jigs by carrying a small jar of Lemon Joy soap, and shaking it up, like a miniature jig washing machine.

When targeting summers from a boat, the Moonshine Park to Twin Bridges float has the best water, but is also difficult and even dangerous to navigate in low water conditions less than 4ft deep at the tidewater gauge. The Twin bridges to Hee Hee Illahee park float is a close second, and can easily be extended to the other side of town as the river makes a horse shoe bend around it to Old Mill Park. While you can easily make the walk across town from one ramp to the other, the Siletz River Shuttle makes runs to all the ramps on the river and can be reached at (541)444-1111.

Moonshine Park has some very accommodating primitive and RV camping facilities, as well as a scenic waterfall and some great water for fishing. However the frequent traffic from campers also puts a lot of fishing pressure on that stretch.

Above the park, the Siletz River gorge offers excellent bank fishing and beautiful scenery as well. Vehicle access into the Plum Creek Timber area is restricted due to safety concerns with log trucks barreling down the gorge Monday through Friday. However, you can still hike or bike into the gorge and fish. Not everyone follows these rules, but there are harsh fines for the ones that get caught, and the danger of playing chicken with a fully loaded log truck is not worth the risk.

Some of the best water is in plain view for the first mile or two. Three miles into the gorge, there is a boulder field of rapids that is a popular destination for recreational kayakers. The water is very swift through this section of the river, so be cautious about approaching the water if you choose to fish there. About 5 miles up, there's a right turn that goes to a bridge over the river. If you stop on the bridge and look left at any point during the summer, you'll likely see the spawning grounds of spring chinook. There are almost always a few summers downstream feeding on stray eggs. There's lots of river to walk all the way up to Buck Creek through this section. The ironic challenge of the water upstream of this section is that it's all great water, and the fish could be anywhere. About 12 miles upstream there is another bridge that crosses a small creek that dumps into the river right at the road. This is another popular spawning ground for spring chinook where summer steelhead tend to stick around and feed before heading up to the falls. This is also a great pit-stop to just sit and enjoy the sounds of the water, taking in all the scenery.

While a combination of wild and hatchery summers are present in the river throughout fall and even into winter, getting there early during the summer months and picking off the more determined of the fish fresh from the salt is as challenging as it is rewarding. The earlier hatchery fish are some of the best steelhead table fare around, and commonly run larger in size. Even if you put forth the effort and fail to bring home the bacon, this is one fishery where every day is a beautiful day on the water.

This article was printed in the June 2016 issue of Northwest Sportsman Magazine.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Gay Pride Gadsden Flags Plastered all over West Hollywood


Yes, you can conceal that much ammo

Seeing is believing

Is Professional Bass Fishing A Joke?

Is it?

Lahontan Cutthroat Trout Fishery

Amazing footage! Watch it here:

Shark Week is Coming: Wide Open Spaces Top Shark Stories & Videos

Watch it here:

Fly Fishing for Smallmouth

Watch it here:

World's Top Archer does it with no hands

You'll have to see it to believe it:

Edible 6 Pack Rings Will Save the World

Okay, maybe not save the world, but they're pretty cool. Read the story here:

Oregon's Top Hot Springs Destinations

Photos and story here:

Watermelon Jello Slices with Vodka How To

See how to make them here:

Music Festival Survival Guide

Read these tips here:

Kick off Oregon Summer with Free Fishing Weekend

Read the details here:

Maximize Success in Urban Bass Lakes

Read these tips here:

5 Underrated Fish you should be eating

Read the list here:

Neko Rigging a Creature Bait

Watch the How-To video tutorial here:

Pro Angler Matt Lee rescues Boaters during Tournament Play

Watch the rescue on film here:

Chinook vs. Ling Cod Battle Caught on Film

Watch it here:

Smoked Salmon Stuffed Avocados

Full recipe here:

World Naked Gardening Day

Photos and story here:

Woodburned Shotgun Stock Art is Beautiful

View the story and images here:

An alternative ending: Be laid to rest as mushroom food

To view this story, follow the link to the Wide Open Spaces website:

Father Pranks Son, tells him he sold the boat

Poor guy, watch the video here:

Hilarious Prank Caller Calls in Sick to Work at a Job he Doesn't have to go fishing

To laugh your ass off at this hilarious video, please click the link below:

Tuna Eats Seagull Whole, then spits it out

To watch this video, follow the link to the Wide Open Spaces website:

Tournament Cheaters Caught with Fish in a Barrel

To see this clip, please visit the Wide Open Spaces Website

Columbia River Pikeminnow Bounty opens May 1st

To read this story in full, please visit the Wide Open Spaces website:

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

CCA Meeting Minutes 5/11/2016

Guest presenter: Damon Struble of Nomad's Fishing Adventures

Struble explained his methods of research for ocean fishing, utilizing weather & ocean planning with NOAA weather,, and Oregon Bar Observations. Reading the surf conditions, wind waves, swells in both height and timed distance between swells, wind direction, etc.

Reading topographical information to find target areas, as well as equipment, line, lures and rigging for bottomfishing ling cod and rockfish. Bait rigs for herring and octopus.

Drawings for Lured Beads and Sportsman's Warehouse gear were held at the end of the meeting.

No chapter business was discussed.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Drone footage captures Sea Lion shredding a Spring Chinook

To watch this footage, please follow the link below to the Wide Open Spaces website:

Salmonfly Invasion film captures epic fly fishing during the hatch

To watch this film, please follow the link below to the Wide Open Spaces website:

How Not to Use a Spinning Reel

To watch this video, please follow the link below to the Wide Open Spaces website:

Steer Clear when Spring Snakes Appear

To read this article, please proceed to the Wide Open Spaces website:

7 Reasons to Hire a Professional Guide or Charter

To read this article, please follow the link below to the Wide Open Spaces website:

14 Quotes about Fishing that Inspire

To read this article, please follow the link below to the Wide Open Spaces website

5 Best Fly Patterns for Spring Trout

To view this article, please follow the link below to the Wide Open Spaces website:

Oregon's Top Hot Springs Destinations

Oregon’s hot springs offer a calming, relaxing and therapeutic experience.

To read this article, please proceed to the Wide Open Spaces website at the link below:

Taking better salmon and steelhead photos

To read this article, please follow the link below to the Wide Open Spaces website:

15 thoughts anglers have when they're not getting a bite

To read this article, please follow the link below to the Wide Open Spaces website:

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

CCA Corvallis Chapter Banquet 2016

Coastal Conservation Association's Corvallis Chapter knows how to throw a party...

May your glass be filled and your tickets be drawn. The CCA Corvallis Chapter Banquet is buckets of fun!
Last year's Corvallis Chapter CCA Banquet brought 83 people through the doors of the Albany Eagles Lodge to gather for the cause of conserving our fish populations and preserving our fishing opportunities as sport anglers. This year's pre-sale tickets for the event have already greatly exceeded that number, and we still have a few groups that are expected to buy their tickets at the door. Needless to say, this year we are expecting quite a crowd!

CCA Members traveled from around the state to attend the inaugural banquet event
The event far exceeded our goals in the way of fundraising, netting the highest percentage of funds raised vs. overhead on the event itself in the state.

State Director Chris Cone leads the auction, assisting the auctioneer in spotting bids
At the State Banquet, held the Monarch Hotel and Event Center in Clackamas this past November, the Corvallis chapter was recognized for it's contributions with an award for "New Chapter of the Year."

Josh Tacchini (left) shows off the New Chapter of the Year award stands with state director Chris Cone (center).
Ty Wyatt (right) shows off his "Spark Plug" award at the CCA State Banquet
Ty Wyatt was also recognized at the State Banquet, receiving the honor of the "Spark Plug" award, an honor held for members who performed above and beyond as volunteers, contributing their service at the chapter and state levels.

Ty Wyatt and Stefanie Donaldson tear off their raffle tickets and toss them into the drawing
In the past year or so, CCA Corvallis has had held presentations by ODFW biologists, guides, product manufacturers, and outdoor writers, contributing a wealth of knowledge and inviting the most novice of anglers to improve their skills and increase their chances of catching fish. Each demonstration has packed rooms to the point that not getting there early could mean you walk into a standing room only audience.

Everything from booze to books were doled out to lucky raffle winners.
Donations from sponsors, as well as many product manufacturers, guides, writers, community organizations and businesses contributed to the success of the event. $27,546 in items, guided trips and vacation packages were donated last year. This year's banquet donations total $47,147, blowing last year's prizes out of the water. You have to play to win, but if you play, you will certainly not leave empty handed.

Bead Game participants call heads or tails by placing their hands where they think the coin will land.
Almost like a game of horse, if they miss the shot they call, they lose a string of beads. The last person with beads standing takes home the winning (crab) pot.
Games brought out the inner child of the young and old. Participants of the bead game, aka "Heads or Tails" played to win a crab pot filled miscellaneous fishing goodies. The card game winners took home a digital, wifi-controlled Green Mountain Grill wood pellet smoker.

Card Game winners Mei Li and Richard Jones celebrate with their stoked face and look forward to smoking their catches
This year's banquet promises to raise the bar, with tons of raffle prizes, silent and live auction items, trips, and vacation packages. This year's games include:

  • The Card Game

  • Kayak Raffle

  • Beer Glass Raffle
Prize: Guided Trip for 4 with Nomad's Fishing Adventures

  • Bead Game (This year's bead necklaces are strung with LURED beads!)
Prize: 90 quart K2 Cooler

In addition to the games, the live auction items this year offer quality crafted items, exotic destinations and adventures for the outdoorsman and angler in all of us.

1)      Guided trip for 2 with Northwest Connections.  This trip is for a fall salmon or winter steelhead trip with Nolan Davis. 

2)      Costa Rica Trip – 1 week in Costa Rica at Hummingbird Vacations, Los Suenos Resort.  7-nights accommodations for 2 to 6 people in a 2-bed/2-bath condo.  The resort boasts two pools, swim up bar, hot tub and passes to the Los Suenos Beach Club.  Discount fishing packages available to CCA members with the top 5 charters in Los Suenos.  Airfare not included.

3)      Iron Eagle fish sculpture “Rainbow Dancer.” This Beautifully detailed wall hanging depicts a rainbow trout exploding from the water taking a fly.

4)      Authentic African Adventures – 7 day hunt for 4 hunters in the Limpopo Province of South Africa.  Trophy Impala or Blesbuck for each hunter.  Additional animals per the pricelist.  Hunt with registered professional hunters.  Pick-up and drop-off from Polokwane Airport, food, drinks, laundry and accommodation all included.

5)      CCA Advocates package.  CCA Cousins Rod, Limited Edition CCA Simms Jacket, CCA Hat

6)      Sage Canyon River Company Rafting trip - A one day 6hr rafting trip for 6 people on the Deschutes River.  13 mile float starting at Harpham Falls, stop at Maupin City Park for a delicious BBQ lunch before beginning the final descent to Sherar’s Falls.  Experience Class III and IV rapids with spectacular views of high desert rock formations and wildlife.

7)      Sage Canyon Outfitters Pheasant hunt - Based in Central Oregon's town of Maupin, the trip includes a guided hunt utilizing a highly skilled guide and dogs, 20 birds, and one night's stay for two.  Customer's dogs are Welcome!  Fishing is also available on the ranch for an additional fee. 

8)      5-day King Salmon trip for 2 to the Togiak River Lodge in Alaska.  This trip is all about the fishing at one of the top lodges in Alaska.  It’s about getting into large numbers of big hard-fighting king salmon and carefully selecting the premium fish from your daily catch to take home.  Airfare not included.

9)      Kill Bag Game - Three kill bags loaded with gear.  Each bag contains a guided trip with a local guide.  The lucky winners will fish with one of several of Oregon’s best guides, Brian Campbell, Daniel St. Laurent, Mike Kelly, Damon Struble, and Nick Popov.

10)   Green Mountain Grills, Davy Crocket pellet grill.  The Davy Crockett is the ultimate portable grill. It comes with a digital WiFi, a meat probe, a peaked lid for stand-up chicken/ large fowl/ rib racks. Also included is Sense-Mate, a thermal sensor which constantly monitors grill temperature. It can run on 12V or 120AC so it’s perfect for home or camping, tail-gating, hunting, house-boating, music festivals or anywhere you can take it!

11)   King Salmon Outfitters, Nushigak River Alaska.  6-day/5-night adventure for 1.  24-hour power, hot showers, flush toilets, & memory foam mattresses in a remote rugged setting. 10-hours of guided fishing per day and unlimited bank fishing.  Float plane transportation from Dillingham to camp provided! Flight to Dillingham not included.

12)   Guided trip for up to 4 with Mike Kelly’s Guide Service.  This trip can be used for Salmon or Steelhead.  Pick your prime time!

This is event is all about having a good time, and building a community of anglers that care about our conserving our fisheries and preserving sportfishing opportunity. We look forward to seeing you at this year's Corvallis Chapter Coastal Conservation Association banquet at 5:15pm at the Eagle's Lodge in Albany Oregon at 127 Broadalbin St. NW, Albany, Oregon 97321. You can find a map to the location and get directions by clicking here.

There's still time buy your tickets in advance! You can do that here.

Your CCA Corvallis Chapter Secretary,

Randall Bonner

p.s. Did I mention there's FREE BEER from Burnside Brewing?!