Saturday, August 28, 2010

Scaling a Silver Salmon

Here is a GREAT trick our friend showed us this week after fishing - a fast and easy way to take scales off a silver (coho) salmon.

Its always been tough to pick the little scales off the meat when filleting them...

Its simple - just hold the fish by the tail, and BLAST the scales off with a hose pointing at the head.

Here's another shot of it - the scales come right off and into the weeds.

Just blast the water against the grain of the scales.

Very slick trick! Filleting the fish afterwards was never so clean and easy before!

It is great when more experienced friends clue you into something that works so great.

Salmon Fishing at the Mouth of the Columbia

A friend took us out fishing at the Astoria Bridge.

This is always a good time. Lately, the fishing has been tough out there - in fact herring haven't been catching much, so we decided not to even take it.

Just spinner fishing. Within 5 minutes of dropping our lines, we had FISH-ON!

The day turned out sunny but windy.

A great time, the boys kicked back and were quick to jump when the rod started dancing...

We put alot of time into trolling - all above the bridge.

Most of the crowds left just as the high tide was slacking.

We got 2 nice silvers into the boat, and let a third Wild fish go.

After slack tide, the fishing was much slower. We had a few take-downs, and got a nice Chinook to the boat but it spit the hook!

When the sun is warm and the fishing slow, even diamond-plate looks comfortable!

He had one heck of a face-rash when he woke up!

There was bait everywhere! The pelicans were fun to watch feeding, and we watched bait jumping all around all day long.

We regularly hooked anchovies while trolling, and could see our line hitting the fish often.

Oops, now you've seen one of the 'hot' spinners of the day! After boating 3 fish, one of the boys got to name it. This one is now "Mega".

Here's a nice shot of Saddle Mtn above the bridge.

The pelicans were waiting to greet us as we motored into Chinook, WA.

It is a pretty little port, but not a very big launch.

These huge gray pelicans were dive-bombing bait all day. Incredible to watch a big animal like this hover, point, then plunge into water from 30 feet up!

Fishing was tough and the slowest we've ever seen, but we still had a great day. 9 Take-downs, 3 netted fish, 2 lost at the boat, and only 1 was wild.

And we only had to touch bait to take it OFF our hooks! Fun.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Don't Overlook the Purple

Just because the salmon are starting to run, don't forget about the berries!

Blackberries are ripe and everywhere. We can pick-em-by-the-handful!

The kids are getting good at picking...
This time of year we keep a few empty buckets handy.

And here's the payoff - homemade Blackberry ice cream!
Alot of jam, cobbler, and pie, too!
As prolific and troublesome as blackberries are in the Pacific NorthWest, they do have a sweet spot in our hearts.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Here They Come!

Word got out that there have been a few fish caught in Longview... and by the looks of the hoglines, alof of folks have heard the news.

We went out this week and setup camp. We camp out every year to avoid the boat launch, and for some good fishing.

We picked a great spot for this year, and got the tent up.

For the rest of the evening it was perfect for playing in the sand.

We visited our neighbors and waited for the tide to finish so the current would start running.

Nice, easy days ahead!

Someone brought fat-free pretzles... and they lived up to their name.

We found a better use - ring-toss!

Ring-toss proved too difficult, so we added a few more sticks!

Finally, the river started to run again. Lets go!

We sat on anchor for an hour or so, while everyone else around us was hooking fish!

Here is a nice one our neighbors got.

And here's another nice one our neighbors got!

A bunch of dumb fish pushed through, and our friends limited out fast.

They were great to give us their spot - we pulled our anchor and tied up to theirs...

... and soon another dumb fish came by! Fish-on!

We got a FAT 30 lbs chinook in the boat.

This fish really had some shoulders - it was a long and difficult fight!

Look at the width on this bad boy. Err, it was a girl. No wonder it put up such a fight.

Here's some of the video...

We hated to leave, but when the sky lit up, we pulled the boat out.

We'll be back soon, and make good use of that camp.

We weren't too sad to leave - fresh corn, watermelon, and fried sturgeon was waiting!

Fall Fishing - its hear already! Stay tuned for some more great times in the Pacific NorthWest...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Hitting the LONG Beach

We had a great weekend in Longbeach, WA for a family reunion.

Alot of fun, alot of beach!

The weather was awesome! Hot and even sunny at the water! How often is that going to happen in the Pacific NW?

We took a drive around Willapa Bay and saw the site of one of the area's old pioneers - James G Swan.

His original place was at the mouth of the Bone River.

Didn't find any bones, but alot of mud and oysters...

We took alot of bikes, and had a great time riding everywhere.

The breeze kept the heat at bay. You can see the fog and ocean spray kicking up a fog bank early in the day...

We did alot of go-cart racing.

Even the little kids got in on the action.

The only real complaint everyone had was the stickers! These bad boys were everywhere, and seemed to grab anyone and everyone.

Even the dogs had troubles.

The sunsets and evenings were beautiful.

The sun was hot enough on Saturday that we did some serious body-surfing!

The water was COLD, but the waves and current were perfect and we hit it hard.

The little kids enjoyed the water, too.

The bakery in LB was a family favorite - they've been talking about "Texas Donuts" since 2008 when we were last there.

Good thing we got a quick picture - they were gone in a New York minute!

The bigger go-carts were fast (most of them!) and a big hit of the trip.

Later in the afternoon, the fog and ocean air cooled off and started to block out the sun - typical in the Pacific NW!

We stopped and visited Captain Clark several times.

Another highlight was building a fire on the beach and listening to Grandpa tell stories.
The fire was hot, the breeze cold, and it all ended too soon.
It was a great trip where everything went just right.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Rafting the Deschutes River

The last few weeks have been full of projects - yard and garden. Lots of good stuff, but not blogworthy.

But that has all changed!

When August rolls around there is one word on everyone's mind... "Whitewater"!

We packed up and drove to Rhododendron, OR to camp on our Annual Deschutes River Rafting trip.

The fishing was pretty good, but not great.

The weather was sure nice, though.

We stayed the night at Tollgate CG. A Private company now runs the park, and it was very expensive to camp one night.

Sad that we have to pay a private "for profit" company to use our public land. Taxes are probably involved, too.

The river was nice and relaxing, so all political troubles were lost.

We even got to take the kids to see the old family cabin.

This was the first year for the 9 year old cousins, too.

The current owners let us in - the place looks great, and still smells great, too.

After a good nights rest on the ground, everyone was eager to hit-the-water.

So we did!

The weather was perfect - hot, but not too hot.

All the younger ones tried out the water slides on the White River...

... and we hiked the hills above.

The hiking was rough in water shoes, but it was beautiful and warm.

No snakes were spotted, either.

We buried another treasure on top of "Belle's Butte", but don't expect to find it on any map ;-)

After the White River, we conquered "Surf City".

Over and over, we body-surfed the river and dashed back up to do it again.

The water was lower than last year - about 2-3 feet lower.

The rapids were tough, too! Alittle scary for the little kids, but everyone was ok, and eager to do it again.

Oak Springs was tough on us, too!

We swamped the raft, and had to bail it out just to flip it over and empty it!

Hey - where's Grandpa gone off to?

After the first day of rafting, we camped on the lower river.
Another "Gypsy Camp" in the setting sunshine.

We hiked a nearby campground, and found the old "Santos" we'd left behind the year before.
She was still there, but someone had put her on a different ledge... and her head was gone...

Fishing the next morning was beautiful and clear.
The fishing wasn't so good, though - just a couple of big suckers.

Saturday was PACKED on the river.
The warm sun got everyone eager to get wet again.

And the warm sun helped dry off our wet lunch after submerging the raft!
You know its bad when the drybag gets full of water!

Another fantastic trip and a safe ending. We're all ready to do it again!