On the Grande Ronde

We spent a fair amount of this sunny, windy Saturday fishing on the Grande Ronde River, which flows from the mountains near La Grande, Oregon, into Asotin County, Washington, ending at Heller Bar. My husband caught a fine trout and a good bass, and he has canned them. After catching the trout, Vic started walking out of the slick-bottomed river with his open creel over his shoulder. Neither of us noticed his lure box falling from his creel, or saw it bob on down the river. We lost all the lures we had but the ones on our rods.

We moved on down the river and I caught Moby Dick Trout on my first cast. My husband estimated him to be 14 inches. He fought and he jumped and I held on to him, but never having caught such a pugnacious fish with such strength, I didn’t know how to land him. I knew the hook was set; otherwise he couldn’t tug as hard as he did. After a little more than three minutes, I knew I’d lost him. Moby D. Trout managed somehow to break the swivel, and departed with my swivel and my Red Devil lure. I run a clean blog, so I’ll just say I was chagrined. We had no more lures.  We had our fly rods and some flies, and Vic brought in the bass.

I’m still working through a number of frustrations with fly fishing, especially with strong wind and significant current. I like spin rod kinetics: cast, reel, cast, reel. . .fly casting is an art form and then you can mess with the line and watch your fly drift. I admit to clodishness: I’d rather be casting and reeling continuously. I like mechanical things. I don’t focus on the aesthetics of my line’s overhead rodeo circles. I’m in the gig to catch fish, and enjoy the river and scenery and time with my husband.

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