Soldiers Meadow Lake, elevation 4,500 feet, is about 12 miles past Waha Lake, where we fished Saturday. Soldiers Meadow Lake has Kokanee salmon, Rainbow trout, and Smallmouth bass. We encountered no crowds–a kayak and a skiff were the only other boats on the water in our nearly three hours there in Pisca-Dory. We caught no fish, but a few chased Vic’s lures a few times. It was a beautiful day, notwithstanding the 11 miles of rugged, dusty road, arriving and departing.
Soldiers Meadow Lake
Water Smartweed, a riparian native of the northwest plains
Wild roses at the shoreline
Vic recently installed a shade over my chair!
Vic hitches Pisca-Dory to her trailer and the trailer to the truck. . .”Gosh, Vic–you couldn’t do this back home on Krypton!”
(My husband Vic took all the photos in this post, except the final one, which I took.)
We decided to make our first visit to Waha Lake today and see how it would be for fishing. The 94-acre lake has trout, bass, crappie, and pleasant scenery of the Waha Mountains and lots of trees. Waha Lake is south of Lewiston, Idaho, about 45 minutes from our home in Washington near the Idaho border. We hold fishing licenses for both states.
After driving down an unpaved hill to the parking lot, it was obvious that our truck and boat trailer wouldn’t fit. Vic barely managed to get them turned around so he could unload the boat at the ramp. He tethered the boat and returned to the top of the hill where there was room to park our Ford 150 and trailer, and walked back to the dock, which took just a few minutes. I remained with our boat while chatting with an amiable lady fishing from the dock. Her husband was fishing from the shore, and he caught a large trout and hailed her to let her know he had “one on!”
It was my turn to be skunked, but Vic caught two hefty trout, 14-1/2 and 12 inches. I helped him net them so they would not escape–trout can be canny about staying on a hook.
The scenery was serene and refreshing, and the lake was quiet. Very few fisherman were out, and none were in boats, except for one kayaker. I think it’s likely we will return soon.
I chat with a woman fishing while Vic parks our truck up the hill from the boat launch.
Vic runs Pisca-Dory’s motor.
Rocks and plants along the shore
Vic’s 14-1/2″ trout
A canola field provides colorful scenery along the way home.
Following another temperature drop into the low 20s, patches of ice returned to a section of the Snake River near Asotin, Washington.
Pisca-Dory’s Garmin fishfinder showed a lot of fish directly under our bonny boat. The fish moved slowly and mostly vertically, and from their 8-15-foot depth, they showed no interest in our lures. The tugs on our lines were most likely river weeds and the River’s currents.
The clouds blotted the sun, leaving us cold, but our propane heater kept us from serious chill.
For my husband and me, fishing is not defined by the objective of catching fish; if it were, we would shun the River all winter, and that is not an option. We like staying in touch with “our” River.
Our county prosecutor and his staff have a tradition of organizing a Thanksgiving dinner at the jail, and this year my husband, who is a county public defender, and I took up the offer to help serve the dinner. I’m so thankful that we did, because it turned out to be the most enjoyable Thanksgiving I have ever had, and I didn’t eat a thing. We served, and the “resident guests” as I call them, took their plates back to their quarters.
Everyone was in pleasant, gracious spirits, and all the resident guests were upbeat and thankful for everything. One fellow even took the opportunity to thank the prosecutor for getting him there!
I was pleased to meet several of my husband’s clients, who very kindly extended to me their appreciation for their attorney. Our resident guests all were pleasant men and women. Had I thought about it beforehand, it would have been difficult for me to imagine such contention-free warmth in a diverse group of 50 people at a holiday event. It would have been difficult for me to imagine being comfortable around so many people. But there it all was: the unimaginable. My best Thanksgiving ever.
This past Saturday, having decided to fish from shore because of the wind, we took to Snake River beaches north of Heller Bar, where the Snake and the Grande Ronde have their confluence. Some beaches were rocky, some were sandy; they had varying ease of access, and all were incredibly beautiful. I caught several smallmouth bass; my husband caught some bass and a Northern pikeminnow, which he pronounced quite delicious after canning it. It was the first pikeminnow either of us has caught, as well as being very pretty.
My husband took all the photos this time; I wouldn’t put my rod down long enough.
My husband caught this 14-1/2-inch Northern pikeminnow. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife pays a nominal bounty on these fish because they eat salmon eggs, and thrive better with the dams than do the salmon, so they are regarded as a threat to the salmon population. We forewent the bounty in favor of keeping and eating the fellow. I think the pikeminnow is an elegant fish, with his golden scales and red-tipped tail and fins.
No dearth of seaweed here, and it’s a cinch to catch (as well as a nuisance)!
According to Dan Landeen, the basalt formations of Hell’s Canyon were formed 1-2 million years ago.
Fishing from the shoals means frequent encounters between lures and rocks. . .
The sandy beach seemed a wonder of the world after negotiating so many rocks.
“Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world. . .”
–W.B. Yeats: The Second Coming
I will be able conscionably to vote for exactly one candidate for office this year, out of all the presumptive hopefuls whose names will fill the federal, state, and local ballots I will receive. I had hoped there would be two, but my state’s admirable Lieutenant Governor decided not to run for a sixth term.
Things could be worse, and they are. For instance, some rough beast driving a huge white truck slouched into Nice, France during a festive celebration of Bastille Day yesterday. As if pretending the crowd were ramparts of the Bastille, he drove along the sidewalk, maniacally slaughtering 84 humans and injuring another 200-plus. This was exactly no one’s finest hour.
My cat Effie can take down a 2-inch grasshopper, play with it, and consume it in less than half a minute. She possesses raw talent as a huntress, and reveals little evidence of malice or forethought. She descends from animals who killed other creatures for pragmatic reasons, like food, fear, survival. But I will not set up a comparison between human and animal behavior–it makes me too nuts to think about it. I’ll just say that practically nothing is ever her fault.
Effie purposefully stalks a trophy-size grasshopper. . .
and she always gets her bug.
My husband has wanted for so long to go fishing again–a simple and pleasurable aspiration belayed by his work as an attorney, and as a reverser of entropy in the four houses that have been our homes in the past 20+ years. Today, Memorial weekend Saturday, we went fishing at Evans Pond, just a few miles from home. We visit the pond fairly often, but never before with fishing gear. The pond is stocked with Rainbow trout.
My husband caught an 8-inch trout, sufficient for his lunch. He cooked it in on a charcoal stove in our back yard. Although I am violently allergic to fish, we shared the imperishable bliss of the fishing outing, and my husband’s catching of his lunch.
* Two late and very different poets, Richard Brautigan and Wallance Stevens, contributed the title of this post. The first part, of course, is the title of Brautigan’s famous novella; the second part appears in Stevens’s poem, “Sunday Morning.”