My husband took the day off from work so we could take our dory for a fishing cruise on the beautiful lake at Dworshak Dam in northern Idaho. I caught my first Kokanee salmon and Vic caught a Kokanee and a bass. The weather was clear and a little hot, but comfortable. I could never have asked for or imagined a lovelier birthday.
The dam viewed from the access road to the boat launch
At the launch
Heading into a cove
My rod trolling in the rod holder
I wear a lab coat to prevent sunburn.
View of Dworshak Lake from Pisca-Dory
Our catch: Two Kokanees and one bass
Black Swallowtail butterflies swarm the boat ramp, drinking water.
Road construction on U.S. Highway 12 stopped traffic for 15-20 minutes on the way to Dworshak, and at least 40 minutes on 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.
At last–a sunny day in the warming spring–and we went fishing. Alas, the fish were 8-15 feet below us, and still too sleepy and cold to test our lures. Fishing does not always yield a catch, nor is fishing defined by catching fish. Going out on the water and casting our lines is nonetheless the soul-profiting act of fishing.
The weather was sunny and felt mild in the 40s. The water was 34°-37°F and unlikely to inspire self-respecting fish to surface. It was a beautiful time to be out on the Snake River.
Ready to roll. . . and we’re just 10 minutes from the launch!
Vic at the tiller, and we’re cruising at a pleasant 11 miles per hour
I loved the white frost-killed branches of these willows. They brought to mind a motif, “Death is the mother of beauty,” from Wallace Stevens’s poem, “Sunday Morning.” The trees might grow back later in the spring.
Ice floes that covered the eddies of the Snake River upstream of Asotin, Washington all winter are finally breaking up and floating downstream, making it possible to take a boat close to shore where winter fishing is potentially fruitful.
My husband took this photo at the Clarkston boat ramp this afternoon, between a meeting at the local Department of Social and Human Services, and a hearing at the county courthouse. He has a knack for making the highest and best use of his time.
Because of our relative proximity to the Mountain Time Zone about 170 miles east of us, dusk comes just before 4:00 PM these days.
The fall color was spectacular along the river. I took this photo about halfway between Asotin and Couse Creek.
Couse Creek originates east of Anatone and trickles briskly into the Snake River halfway between Asotin and Heller Bar.
Another pleasant day on the Snake River, watching fish jump but not on our lures. . . .After a while we headed upstream to a beach where Couse Creek trickles into the Snake, cast our lines for a couple of hours, and enjoyed the scenery immensely. Several cockle burrs, unlike the cautious trout, showed a clingy affinity for us and hitched on to our clothing for the trip home.
We return to this stretch of the Snake River often because it’s close to home and we love it here. Today my husband caught an 11-1/2-inch bass; my fish-catching habit remains stalled, but I am no less gratified to be out in our skiff together on a purposeful mission, with the beauty of the river and its canyon walls surrounding us.