Voting “fish” is only the first step

I received the latest issue of Sport Fishing Magazine yesterday in the mail and as I flipped through the pages I read an editorial that just blew my mind!

The article was by Doug Olander the editor and started off by telling of a group called National Resources Defense Council that wants people to boycott Shimano bicycle products.  The reason is because Shimano makes fishing products.

That's right, another attack on an American pastime that's been passed down for generations by some well funded, radical, uneducated environmental militia group.  These groups don't care about facts, science, or debate.  They have an agenda and it doesn't include people like you and me that enjoy fishing and feel enriched by creation after a day on the water.  We are literally on a battlefield right now and the recreational fisherman is under attack from all sides.

If you think that I am overreacting, then just take a look around.  Commercial fisherman are proposing an increase in the commercial harvest of striped bass in the NE and some in the commercial industry are trying to get longlining listed as a sustainable method of fishing.  Commercials are constantly pushing for more allocation and in Alaska they have successfully shut out new entrants to charters wanting to halibut fish.

Whacko environmental groups are using junk science to push for a lead band.  Marine spatial planning, MPA's and arbitrary fishing closures have become the norm.
Locally here in the NW we still have gillnets in our rivers, lakes, and saltwater.  We have a commissioner that proposed closing the state's most productive fishing grounds so that he can have a place to dive without being disturbed.

I could go on and on but hopefully you are hearing what I am saying, recreational fisherman need to stand up and be counted!  There are several ways of doing this but I believe these three are key.
It all starts with voting.  This is as American as apple pie and if you aren't going to make your voice heard at the ballot box then don't complain the next time a politician that doesn't know how to hold a rod casts a vote to deny you access. 

After we have the right people in office then it is accountability time.  Groups like CCA, NSIA, and PSA here locally and many other nationally are very active behind the scenes and need our membership.  For just a fraction of what we spend on ice every year we can pay dues or donate money. 

Lastly, we need to be actively involved.  Grass roots activism is something that I am afraid we are going to half to have going forward.  It's no longer just enough to vote or join, we have to be active on the front lines.  In reading Doug Olander's editorial I learned of a website managed by the American Sportfishing Association called, Keep America Fishing

The great thing about this website is that it is just asking you to act.

It doesn't require membership or money, although you can donate if you want.  Keep America Fishing  takes all the work out of it for you.  They let you know when new issues arise and tell you how to help with action items.  They have a Fishing Bill of Rights to sign, alerts, and news, both national and regional. Take a look at this site and I encourage you to sign up and then take action. 

It's time that we as recreational anglers become just as passionate off the water as we are on.
 

 

Marine Area 8.1: “Inside” Information

Way back when I was a young fisherman, the waters of Puget Sound to the east of Whidbey Island were referred to by my saltwater mentors as the “inside”. Once one ventured to the west of the largest island in the continental United States you were said to be “outside”.

These days in my way of thinking, the term “outside” refers to Pacific Ocean waters west of the Straits of Juan de Fuca but the term “inside” to this day seems an apt description for Marine Areas 8-1, 8-2 and at least the southeast portions of Area 9.

Fundamentally, I approach 8-1 differently than the other two areas primarily due to the lack of predictable, consistent tidal current. Notice I said “tidal current” and not “tides”. To be sure, the tides do rise and fall in 8-1 as in all areas of Puget Sound. However,  the currents that provide the flow to allow the changing water levels are described by NOAA as “weak and variable” and therefore Current Prediction Tables are not available for the waters between Camano and Whidbey Islands known as Saratoga Passage.

Do I try to work 8-1 during the predicted tide changes? Yes, I do!

Why? I don’t know!… The force of habit probably..

The “book” on Marine Area 8-1 is that the largest fish of our winter chinook or “blackmouth” season generally come from one of three locations: Elger Bay, Baby Island and Greenbank.  

A working knowledge of these three areas will produce for the savvy blackmouth man and are great, protected areas that will be comfortably fishable in a stiff southerly wind that will have the Possession Bar boys back at the dock!

Elger Bay is a sandy flat that will often hold herring as well as the occasional candlefish hatch. Work Elger’s bottom with Kingfisher Lite 3.5 spoons or apple core hoochies with a strip ahead of Jim’s Breakaway or Oki Flashers.

Often, the drag (or trolling path) from East Point to Baby Island will hold suspended bait particularly closer to the beach homes adjacent to East Point. Don’t ignore these schools! Run one downrigger just below the bait and keep the other close to the bottom and see which gets bit first! At Baby Island, I’ve found blackmouth feeding on very diverse forage. We’re talking poggies or pile perch, herring and anchovies!

Greenbank is often the home of the “Saratoga Pig”, or the not-so-mythical 20 pound blackmouth! The drop off here can be steep and often choked with commercial shellfish pots but don’t let that discourage you. This is an area that merits serious attention. I love fishing Silver Horde plugs or herring in a helmet at “The Bank” but I have the flashers & hoochies handy in case the bait size is small.

When blackmouth fishing be prepared to perform a quick “autopsy” on your first fish to determine what his last meal was comprised of. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve “matched the hatch” and turned one fish into several!

Good luck this blackmouth season and look for parts two (Area 8-2) and three (Area 9) coming to a blog near you soon!!!

 

Waterfowl Weekend at Mar Don Resort

Seven of us descended upon Mar Don Resort on Washington's Potholes Reservoir for the first annual Outdoor Line Waterfowl Weekend. The blue bird weather we experienced in Washington the first week of hunting season rapidly deteriorated on Friday as a huge storm pushed into the Pacific Northwest, bringing with it high winds and plenty of rain. I don't need to tell you all what that means to a waterfowl hunter. We were hitting it just right!

The Meseberg's, who own and operate Mar Don Resort, recently added nine park cottages to the property and that's where we stayed. They sleep anywhere from two to seven people in each cottage and each unit has a deck overlooking the lake and a nice kitchen and sitting area. In addition to these nice cottages the resort also offers a hotel, rv hookups, a convenience store stocked with tackle and hunting supplies, a bar and grill, fish cleaning facility, duck plucking service, dock and boat launch, and laundromat. It's one stop shopping for the hunter or fisherman.

Here's cottage row overlooking Potholes Reservoir. 

The Honeymoon cottage features a hot tub on the deck. We had to promise to keep the decoys off this "pond".

Jason Thain and I stayed in this cottage that had a spacious room with a queen bed and a pull out sofa. Perfect for two hunters.

We quickly converted the living room into man town with shotguns, camo, fishing rods, and beer.

Saturday morning…time to go hunting! We jumped into the Duck Taxi operated by Levi Meseberg at Oh'Dark'Thirty and readied for a twenty minute boat ride across Potholes Reservoir to the duck hunting hidey-holes that have made this place famous.

After running well into the dunes in the jet boat we all thought we were "there". Not yet guys…Levi had left an air boat on the beach early in the morning to take us deep, deep into the dunes where the birds had been holding. The lake has been pretty low for this time of year and accessing the productive hunting areas was only possible with a piece of machinery like this one. Levi designed this boat himself and after having someone build the hull he put the rest together himself.  It's powered by a 502 big block Chevy…saweet!

Here's Levi running over one of the dunes in the air boat. This goes well beyond just a duck hunting trip folks…this is some good stuff right here!

Myself and four of the other hunters were on the guided hunted hunt with Levi and got the pleasure of hunting over his black labrador retriever Calvin on Saturday.

We got a LOT of shooting in the morning from our blind and five of us put sixteen birds on the ground. There were some great shots and some poor shots…early season shooting at it's finest. One drake mallard hit the dekes feet down and locked up at fifteen yards and fifteen shots later flew out the other end of the dekes unscathed. Nick Kester from All Star Charters summed it up…"Really! You've got to be kidding me!" Some great laughs in our blind and the same was going on over in the non-guided with my dad and his hunting partner Frank.

At 11:00 a.m. the birds quit flying and Levi broke out the duck kabobs and the barbecue. We feasted on Mar Don's trademark duck kabobs in the blind and laughed about the mornings hunt. The Mesebergs have the guided hunting program absolutely dialed in!

Tony and Jason feasting on kabobs.

The gang at the air boat prior to heading back to the resort for happy hour and football. 

Unloading the Duck Taxi back at the Mar Don marina. Those net pens in the background are full of rainbow trout. That's where the walleye congregate in the winter months, making a great cast and blast opportunity. I'll be back for that.

Jason with our mixed bag of ducks from Saturday's hunt. The early season is comprised of mostly local birds and you've got the opportunity to shoot seven different species.

We all met up at The Beach Bar and Grill on Saturday night for steak dinner and drinks. I dispersed the schwag from Hunter's Specialties, Outdoor Emporium, Buck Gardner calls, and Stihl Chainsaws in the bar over drinks before dinner. All the guys got Pro Series double reed HS duck calls, HS lanyards, HS camo face paint, camo hats from Outdoor Emporium and Stihl and we did the ol' name in the hat program to disperse two HS floating shotgun cases, two HS blind bags, an HS duck blind, and Buck Gardner duck call. A pretty good haul for all the guys that joined us this weekend at Mar Don.    

Levi and his guiding partners had been scouting a couple of local fields and had some good, no GREAT news for Sunday's hunt. Canada Geese had been piling into one of their local fields and they didn't have to ask us twice. We met Levi and Mike Meseberg at the Mar Don store at 5:00 a.m. and headed for the field with the excitement and anticipation of honker hunting fresh on the mind.

Levi knew the exact area the geese had been using and after moving the gear around to get things juuuuust right in the wee hours of the morning we were locked and loaded and ready for action. The second Levi said, "OK guys, the geese should start coming anytime now" I looked up and the first group was locked up and heading for our spread. Wow!


Levi strategically placed the 80 deke spread along the edge of the field and the layout blinds were well concealed nearby. Hammer time!


We had flock after flock of geese crashing the dekes all morning and at one point a cyclone of approximately 300 to 400 honkers…post publish edit…make it twice that number….were locked up on the dekes. I shot video of this goose hunters dream…check it out below.

By 10:00 a.m. we had nine limits of geese on the ground and it was time to pack up the gear and head home. Sound planning and meticulous attention to detail is what it takes to put up numbers like this. Like I mentioned earlier, the Mesebergs live, eat, and breath waterfowl hunting and have this place wired. All of us were extremely impressed by their professionalism, knowledge, and demeanor. You simply couldn't hunt with nicer folks.


Nick Kester and I with our limits of Canada geese. Notice the Columbia Super Wader Widgeon jackets, the most well thought out hunting jacket on the market. I'll be wearing this jacket for a long, long time. Check out the new Omni-Heat Wader Widgeon jacket from Columbia.   

The last time I hunted at Mar Don was over 25 years ago and this weekend just reinforced the great memories of hunting and staying at the resort with dad when I was a kid. Now all I can think about is making another trip back to the Potholes in November when the northern's begin to show up. The hunting addiction never ends.

One last big thanks to the folks that joined me at Mar Don for Waterfowl Weekend. You guys all made this such an enjoyable weekend. The laughs, the stories, and sharing in yet another outdoor adventure is what it's all about. Thank you very much!

Before you leave don't forget to check out the air boat video below. Good stuff!

Podcasts:

Post-hunt recap from Waterfowl Weekend: 

Live from the blind at Mar Don

 

Rob Endsley
The Outdoor Line
710 ESPN Seattle
www.theoutdoorline.com

The 100 MPH Winds of Southeast Alaska

BY JEFF LUND. Since my local school district has more high school students than Alaska's Prince of Wales Island has residents it was no surprise few had heard of the 100-mile per hour gusts that knocked out power on the entire island, isolating it from mail and cutting ATM machines off from the money bags that supply them. I contemplated calling mom’s school weak for giving kids and teachers the day off in light of there being no power, because we’ve gone without power here for part of the school day, but the argument was a little too unreasonable.

I don’t miss that part of Alaska, wind that shakes buildings and the stench of hundreds of thousands of fish carcasses washed ashore in the bay after drifting down river. Its a funk so intense that it infiltrates classrooms. Running cross country races on gravel roads when its 40 degrees and the clouds are shooting staples at exposed skin, or traveling to basketball games in four-seat airplanes the pilot de-iced by taking a broom to the wings (exposing at least a few pieces of duct tape in the process) are not nearly as fun as they might sound.

Its much gentler here, and I love it. The gradual curve of the seasons and the slight bite of temperature that allows me to pull out hooded sweatshirts and fleece from my gear room. I like twigs glazed in frost, delivering snow men to my buddy Gary’s yard, and walking across damp fields and meadows, over cold puddles lined with rose and bronze colored leaves, fly-rod in hand. I like warm clouds of breath and long shadows that extend in chilly, yet straight lines from the top of the bluffs above Knights Ferry and our favorite trout spots that will soon be closed. I like the fog sitting below the levees that separate field from fish and the overwhelming orange morning sky that shyly burns it off.

Even more than all this, I like my winter clothes.

When I consulted my gray hooded sweatshirt Monday, it had a small trout spinner in the front pocket which makes it difficult to pin-point the last time it reached the wash. It easily passed the smell check and there were no obvious blood, slime, dirt, mud, coffee or campfire stains so the last wear must have been a light one.

My blue Grundens hooded sweatshirt is by far my favorite. Its thick, hearty and has a double hood so even in the rain the worthless-when-wet cotton is thick enough to insulate. It also has one of those secret zip pockets in the front pouch.

If it is possible to feel more like a fisherman because of what you wear, nothing makes me feel more like a true angler than when I fit my waders over that faded blue pullover.

Its been poked by the spines of ling cod, slimed by silver salmon and smeared by campfire charcoal. Its simple, and synonymous with catching fish.

I don’t have much expensive stuff because I blow all my money on my annual trip to Alaska and the rest of my money trying to keep my lines wet around here.

I just want to be warm and what I’ve got works for here. I’m fine with that and the fact that there won’t be any storms that keep my orders of flies from making it down from Redding, CA or Montana.

I will say, though, I still laugh like Beavis whenever I think about the time we decided to go outside in the breeze that made it 30-degrees below zero to see if frozen dog poop would shatter when thrown against the street.


Jeff Lund
Teacher/Freelance Writer
Manteca, CA

How do you judge a successful hunt?

I just returned from what I would consider a very successful hunt in Washington's Okanogan County. For the large camp I was in success in terms of deer harvested was very low, actually three deer and a bear for the eighteen hunters in the camp. Deer hanging in camp isn't a necessity for a successful hunt though.

Three Generations of Hunters

An old freind has been encouraging me for years to swing by their hunting camp "somewhere in Okanogan County". I'm generally the lone wolf type, preferring to join forces with one, maybe two other hunters and head far behind enemy lines with frame packs, mountain bikes, or whatever method we can use to get away from people. One by one, however, my hunting partners have dropped off to chase kids, work, or sit at home and watch the boob-tube.

With the option of hiking into rugged country solo, which is not an option at all, or joining forces with Sid and his hunting camp I picked up the phone to see if the invitation was still valid. "Hell yes…get over here!" 

Camp was inhabited by some eighteen individuals from twelve to seventy eight years old when I arrived on opening weekend. Grandfathers, their sons, and their grand children were all having a ball participating in the yearly event known as hunting camp. What have I been missing out on all these years?

The kids were the neatest part of the whole experience. Sid had all three of his boys in camp when I left and the rest of the gang had kids coming or going throughout the week. I can only hope these kids will keep the tradition going as long as their fathers have.

Check out the whitetails three of the boys bagged on last years late whitetail hunt. These kids were eleven years old last year…are you kidding me?

 

Tigger Tags Out

I headed out on our first morning with Sid and his twelve year old son Chris, better known as "Tigger" around camp. We hadn't gone a hundred yards when I spotted a spike and a 2 x 3 muley buck with four does not more than fourty yards away. After determining it was a legal buck I frantically waved for Tigger to hustle over and take the buck. He did just that and moments later Tigger had his second buck down in three years. That's him on the left in the photo above with the 140 whitetail that Papa Sid rattled in for him on last years hunt. 

I'm pretty proud of how Sid and his wife have raised their boys and seeing the mile-wide grin on both their faces made this a successful hunt right off the bat. 

 Chris "Tigger" Poortinga and father Sid with his 2010 Washington Mule Deer

I Had My Chances

After taking care of Chris's buck I hustled on up the ridge that two of the guys from our party had already ascended first thing in the morning. I could see where they were so I chose another draw on that side of the canyon to work up. Working out for six straight was paying off, as I churned up the steep hillside fairly quickly and neared the top within an hour.

Within three hundred yards of the top I mentally checked myself to slow down, catch my breath, and start hunting. I was at the bottom of a large grassy area that the wind was crossing from left to right and since deer will often bed on the down wind side of an open area like this with the wind in their favor and a good vantage point I chose to work slowly up the tree line on the right side of the clearing. 

After twenty minutes of quietly picking my way along the tree line I was not fifty yards from the top when a good 3 X 3 sporting eye guards jumped out of his bed just below the top of the ridge and bolted. I had him in the cross hairs of the Burris long enough for a shot, but a bunch of branches were between us and I dropped my Browning to my side and ran to the top of the ridge hoping to catch a glimpse on the other side. He was gone. 

"Oh, well", I thought. That was a helluva lot of fun and my planning had worked. Had he not been bedded on the backside of that tree I'd have spotted him in time to make a shot. No biggy…onward and upward. 

I worked my way thru some beautiful mule deer habitat for the next three hours without spotting a deer, so I chose to hike back to the top of the ridge and glass the other side of the canyon that the rest of our party was hunting. It was sunny and warm and I felt like sitting for a while. The perfect time for glassing.

After finding a nice perch on a rock that even had a back rest I began canvasing the other side of the canyon with my Leopold 8 X 42 binoculars. The other side of the canyon was at least 800 yards across and I slowly panned up and down the draws, along the tree lines, and into every nook and cranny on the other ridge. I thought I was going to get a nice, relaxing break on top of the ridge. Was I wrong!

Within five minutes I spot a buck with a good sized set of antlers standing on top of a small cliff looking back down the canyon. He was with a doe and was looking intently down at one of our party members, who was also taking a break, probably glassing my ridge. It was too far to tell just how many points he had, but he was big enough to clearly see the rack on his head from 800 yards and that was good enough for me.

He and the doe didn't wait around long. They started working their way towards a large saddle at the end of the canyon and I knew my only chance was to get to the saddle before they crossed it. 

It took thirty minutes of agonizing hiking and climbing to get to the edge of that saddle and when I got there he and the doe were trotting down the backside and into the next canyon. He was 400 yards and moving away and a shot wasn't practical, so I layed back on a rock, let out a deep breath, and said my second "wow, that was cool" remark of the day.  Another break…right…wrong!

I looked up to my left and there's another large mule deer buck skylined on the next ridge at around 500 yards. This buck is a perfect 4 X 4, antler width an inch or two outside of it's twenty two inch ears, and equally as tall. I couldn't believe my eyes when I first saw it, so I kept intently staring thru the glasses and sure enough, it had a three to four inch kicker on the left side of it's antlers. Cotton mouth set in fast.

I got a good rest and turned the Burris up to full nine power and watched the buck, who was with two does. I couldn't pull the trigger though. It was just too far for my old Belgium Browning 30.06. I just couldn't take the shot and my stomach was turning inside out because of it. Dammit!

He walked over the ridge with the does and now for the third time on this particular day my legs were on fire as I churned to the top of yet another ridge to try to get a glimpse of this buck, hopefully in a big open area on the back side of the ridge where I might get a shot.

Fat chance! In typical mule deer fashion he was gone like a ghost. This time the remark I made definitely wasn't "oh, well…another learning experience." 

I've always been reluctant to purchase a long range bomber capable of shots to 700 plus yards, preferring to use my old school 30.06 that is nearly fifty years old and sound hunting skills to close the distance. I've harvested a lot of bucks with that gun, but old girl this might have been your last year in the woods. I've worked too darned hard and put far too many hours into hunting to have a buck like that slip thru my fingers.

There are so many hunters and so many more predators in the woods these days that close shots on trophy class bucks aren't as easy as they used to be. A short eight day 2010 mule deer hunting season in Washington has given hunters a lot shorter window to harvest a deer, creating further congestion, and I'm convinced that the crazy cougar, bear, and coyote population in Eastern Washington has both changed the deers habits and decreased the population substantially. The latter is a no-brainer.

We hunted for three more days and we were into deer every single day, including seeing twenty four deer with four bucks mixed in on my last morning hunt before blasting back to the west side last night. It was a great five days of hunting, successful on so many levels, and I got to meet some truly outstanding people. I'll definitely be joining the Three Generation gang next year. Next time I'll be toting a new rifle though.

Rob Endsley
The Outdoor Line
710 ESPN Seattle

www.theoutdoorline.com 

 

 

Director Anderson Steps Up for Recreational Anglers

"It's so nice to have a fish and wildlife director that actually fishes and understands the issues from a recreational anglers perspective" was Nelly's reaction when I told him about the WDFW recreational albacore meeting Tuesday in Olympia.  In 2009 there was a request that WDFW consider a bag limit for all food fish that didn't already have a limit.  WDFW decided at that time to set the limit at 2 for all food fish except albacore but it committed itself to a public process to discuss a recreational limit.  Fast forward to summer of 2010 and WDFW announced that public process and gave us the opportunity to either write in or show up at the meeting and provide public comment.  WDFW would then give their recommendation to PFMC which ultimately has final say with regards to albacore tuna management.

 

For us tuna loving recreational fisherman the idea of a bag limit was and is out of the question.  Albacore is the one fishery that we have in the NW that appears to be healthy and we are already limited by boat, weather, money, and short seasons.  Besides that, we are maybe 1% of the catch in Washington waters.  With that small a part of the total catch, what would a limit on us do if you didn't limit the commercial catch?  In addition, the last stock assessment for albacore was 2006 and showed that at the time albacore were healthy.  Where was the science to support a bag limit?  The next stock assessment was scheduled for 2011, why can't we wait for the best available science to determine what, if anything, should be done?  Doing something just for the sake of doing something usually leads to doing the wrong thing.

 Well, you'll be happy to know that the department and Director Anderson listened and recognized that recommending a bag limit at this time would be the wrong thing to do.  After the announcment was made and the sighs and applause died down we were cautioned that this would be revisited after the stock assessment in 2011.  We were relieved to hear however that any reduction, if needed, for rec anglers would be met with reductions for the commercial fleet as well.  I can live with that for now.

A special thanks goes out to all those that were proactive and wrote in or showed up at the meeting.  Mark Cedargreen from the Westport Charterboat Assoc. was key in organizing but also cautioned that this still has to go through the PFMC council process.  They meet in November and we all need to send letters to them by October 26 letting them know that we do not want to see limits in Washington for recreational albacore at this time.  All letters should be emailed to pfmc.comments@noaa.gov and reference "November PFMC HMS agenda item J-2".

 

 

Okanogan Deer Opener!!!

Short and sweet.

Brief, quick, don't blink or you'll miss it….

Eight. Count 'em, eight days are what you get for the modern firearm mule deer season.

No wonder hunters plot, scheme, schedule vacation and plan their lives around deer season. The memories of deer camp, bucks hanging from the meat pole and clear mountain mornings are enough to sustain hunters through the other 51 weeks of the year in which they cannot persue their passion!

Opening morning Saturday saw Jerrod Gibbons of Okanogan Valley Guide Service guiding Bill Boyce of Fetha Styx Rods and Bill's nephew into this fine pair of Okanogan Mulies!

The gang from Wooldridge Boats hunt an area south of Twisp that always seems to turn on after opening day pressure drives mule deer from lower elevation public lands. Don is all smiles after taking this Sunday morning specimen!

Day three of the Okanogan Season for the Wooldridge gang seem to be working out as Jared's fills his tag with a fine 3×4!

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to load my hunting gear up and get over the pass!!! Good luck to all you deer hunters out there and leave one for me willya???

One Tough Buck!!!

Contender for the Toughest Buck Award…..

This deer had some very uncomfortable days until he was harvested by this hunter.  It is obvious that there was a fight during the rut and this deer ended up with an extra antler (embedded below the eye).  You can see that the antler from the attacking deer was broke off below the base of the antler as there is still blood on the pedicel.  That takes a tremendous amount of pressure.  Pretty amazing.

 

 

You wonder what that little buck that lost his antler was thinking! I'm going with "HEY, PICK ON SOMEONE YOUR OWN SIZE!!!"

Buzz is Back with an Oregon Mule Deer

 Buzz Ramsey with his 2010 Oregon Mule Deer 
 

The most recognizable salmon and steelhead angler in the Pacific Northwest and the front man for Yakima Bait Co. was just here around two weeks ago with a moose from Northern BC and here he is again, this time with a mule deer taken in Eastern Oregon's Fossil Unit. Notice the ballistics chart taped to the stock of Buzz's rifle. Details, details!

In his words:

"After passing up several bucks during our seven-day Oregon Mule Deer hunt, and no shot available on a dandy 5X5 we saw the very first day, I finally spotted this buck across a canyon at 259 range-finding yards. The outside width of the rack measured 21 inches. Although we got the head out the same day, it wasn't until 2 days later that Wade and I went back to bone the deer and back pack it the 3 miles to the rig. My son Wade passed up a nice 3X3 later the same afternoon I got my deer but, likely due to it being even farther from the rig, ended up tagging a spike deer the next day that was much closer to the road. We were hunting the Fossil Unit SE of Condon, Oregon."

…and Tobeck wanted to go tuna fishin…

The following satellite photograph could have been utilized by Sebastian Junger in his best seller "The Perfect Storm"

What looks like a swift boot to the balls of the Pacific Northwest is the very strong rotation of a dandy low pressure system that is pretty well organized and poised to do a dump run on our rivers. Magic Seaweed is calling for 15 foot combined seas with a 10 second period, sort of a square wave wall of water for those bold souls venturing off shore… Tobeck suggested we "Man up" and go.  I suggested a more conservative "Man down" approach to stay home and watch football…

How much rain??? This graphic should give you an idea.

The black and purple hues are the scary portion of a precipitation forecast that calls for up to 8" in the Olympics and 5-6" in the central Cascades over the weekend. Thanks to the USGS River Level page we can track the effect of the deluge on the coast…

 

…and here on our local Puget Sound streams just getting the leading edge right now…

While it's tough to catch a salmon on a stream that looks like the Queets right now, the Snohomish system should be offering some excellent action until we lose water clarity. When the rivers start dropping…. HAMMER TIME!!!!

Stay tuned…and GO DAWGS!!!!