Tag Archives: Eastern Washington

Back on the River: The Movie

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Snake and Clearwater Rivers cruise

No, we didn’t catch any fish. We tried, but none took us up on our offer to take them home with us. We have licenses to fish in both Washington and Idaho. The Clearwater River is on the Idaho side until it joins the Snake River at the boundary. The Snake flows along the boundary until it meets the Clearwater, at which point the Snake is in Washington. It’s complicated.

We moored Pisca-Dory at an enchanting little island and clambered up a trail. We named it Pony Island, after a dream I had when we were in law school.

on “Pony Island”

Both rivers are beautiful, and normally afford wonderful fishing. Right now, water temperatures are in flux and the fish seem to be laying low, though I observed one bass take a dramatic leap.

It was a lovely day; storm clouds gathered, but never broke while we were out on the rivers.

Pretty yellow flowers on Pony Island

Trail on Pony Island

Heading back to the launch

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Back to the River

Friday evening we fished at the pond, and took four trout. The pond is warming, and the trout will soon move to the cooler river by the end of June.

Bass favor warmer water than trout like, and some bass will come into the pond from the river once the trout are gone. Bass and trout will share the Snake and Grande Ronde Rivers when the trout resettle there for the summer.

Right now, the river is still too cold to urge the bass to much activity; ¬†they’re still sluggish and disinterested in chasing fishing lures.

We took Pisca-Dory on the river today, enjoyed the little lagoons, the families of geese shepherding their goslings along the walkway and into the water, and seeing a couple of bass jump, but not close to our fishing lures.

We enjoyed a pleasant zero-catch day, even though the heat was too much for me. Offsetting the heat were pelicans on the water and in flight.

My husband Vic took all the photos and the video for this post.

The osprey is the best fisher on river or pond.

A tribe of geese enter the river from the lagoon.

Lots of fluffy goslings were part of another troupe.

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Recent fishing and Pelican Island

Friday evening we stood on the edge of Evans Pond and caught eight trout in about an hour and a half. Cottonwood fluff balls stuck to our lures, competing unsuccessfully with the trout.

Saturday, we returned with Pisca-Dory to Chief Timothy Park, hoping to catch bass and crappie. We caught no fish in three and a half hours, but the quiet and beauty of the day, and especially the pelicans, made the day significant and delightful. Rain fell off and on, but we stayed warm and fairly dry with our gear.

The large flock of pelicans still held counsel on their island, and a smaller cohort occupied a smaller isle with a tree. I named the small isle Pelican Island, because the tree gave the tiny outpost a sense of enchantment.

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Catching a Rainbow

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Chief Timothy’s pelicans

Today’s weather was brisk, but far more pleasant than the last few days of thunder, lightning, and rain. My husband and I celebrated with a Snake River fishing cruise in our bonny boat Pisca-Dory, and decided to visit Chief Timothy State Park.

The park has a boat ramp and there was no wait, and in fact, no one else there. There’s a $5 parking fee, and it was worth every cent for the peace and quiet and absence of anyone else on the entire portion of the river. A gaggle of pelicans was a very special sight. I think of all birds, pelicans are the most beautiful in flight.

We were out for crappie and bass, but also to enjoy being out on our boat on a pleasant day. My husband caught an 11″ Smallmouth bass who fought a good fight before he was brought on board. We both had two bites from fighters who bolted before we could land them in the boat.

Fishing has a lot of variables, and the fisherman doesn’t always win, but a fisherman loves fishing whether or not he secures a catch.

You bet I shoot pelicans! At a
shutter speed of 1/2000!

The Chief Timothy Pelican Council

(Vic’s and my photos; Vic’s video)

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Our 21st anniversary cruise

My husband came home from work at 10:00 this morning –a very rare occurrence–so that we could celebrate our 21st anniversary cruising on Pisca-Dory and fishing in the Snake River.

The day was beautifully sunny and mild. Carp were jumping everywhere, but not biting anywhere. It was not quite warm enough for crappie or bass. Trout caught in ponds can be kept, but trout caught in the river cannot not be kept–they are catch-and-release until mid-June–but it didn’t matter; we never saw one. We saw only carp.

Spending the day on the river together on the boat my husband built was wonderful. I would much prefer being in our own boat by our own selves to any cruise, anywhere, ever. To us, the whole point of a boat is being connected to the water, the sense of being away from usual routines, fishing, and a primal sense that we are created to require earth, air, and water.

We enjoyed a spectacularly fruitful day, without catching a single fish.

Ready to launch

A coot glides around a lagoon

The river viewed from the lagoon

Carp

School of carp

A muskrat paddles around a lagoon

Vic took all the photos.

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