Tag Archives: Snake River

Back on the River: The Movie

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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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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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The River’s consolation

No crocuses. No daffodils, no tulips. No spring flowers yet at all. We usually have flowers by now, and we haven’t had a stem or leaf emerge from the ground. Even at five hundred feet lower elevation, spring is getting off with a yawn.

But fishing goes on! Fish remain cold and sleepy, but the ice is gone, the quest is on. We fished from Pisca-Dory on the Snake River in a light but cold rain with wind. We had our lunch in our boat on the river. My hands froze when I took off my gloves to eat. Our little propane heater warmed them enough.

Enjoying the river from our bonny Pisca-Dory taps my sensory responses to spring as surely as our beautiful flowers have done in previous years–and they may yet emerge.

My husband set up a small video camera on our boat’s deck to record our outing this 40-something-degree rainy day.

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Pisca-Dory’s first launch of true Spring

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-rollReady to roll. . . and we’re just 10 minutes from the launch!

onward-pisca-doryVic at the tiller, and we’re cruising at a pleasant 11 miles per hour

frost-frozen-treesI 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.

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The Snake breaks up

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.

ice-on-river-2

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