Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Ross Lake History

Editors note: We love getting stories from you, or photos or favorite trout recipes served with wild Ross Lake Rainbows! Please don't hesitate to drop me a line at: Paulinbham@gmail.com

If you have a good story, some good pictures, I can scan the images and then return them quickly.

Thanks Brad, what a wonderful sense of place you have for this area.


I can't tell you how much I have enjoyed the Ross Lake Resort Blog.

Let me introduce myself. My name is Brad Howell. I am a 2nd generation Skagit Brat. I worked at Ross Lake Resort the summer of 1965 when Wayne and Margerette Dameron owned it.

I first fished the Lake in 1952 at the age of 5 and can't tell you how many hours I spent on that little piece of paradise. Over the years Tom and I became great friends. I was the Sr. Operator at Ross Powerhouse for about 20 years and delivered Tom's mail every day. I am now retired and spend most of my time playing golf in the Palm Springs area but do sneak a peak at your blog to remind me how lucky I was to grow up and spend most of my adult life in or near Ross Lake. Keep up the good work.

I remember an old 8MM tape someone took of me landing a 5+ pound hybrid trout, cross between a cut and rainbow, at the mouth of Roland Creek, in Roland Bay.

I dropped a single egg with no weight under a log jam and the war was on. I think I was about 12 years old yelling my lungs out for help. Dad ended up crawling out to the end of the log jam and netted the trout with me hanging on for dear life with the rod and line under the log jam.

Another picture was with the old SCL floating camp at Boundary Bay. The City Light loggers were cleaning up the lake at the North end. I was about 8 or 9 and my dad and I spent a weekend up there. It was during the fall towards the end of the fishing season.

Anyway my father was an archer and hunter so he wanted to harvest a black bear. There was a big bear giving the crew fits and as luck would have it Dad was able to harvest the bear.

Speaking of bears, the year I worked at the resort we had several actually wander onto the resort docks. One of the girls who worked there was on her way to the restrooms, on the hill where Will lives, and the bear was coming down the hill.

Well Wayne shot the bear and the girl - I believe her name was Connie - didn't make it to the bathroom. Wayne and I drug the bear down to the boys cabin and propped it up on a chair. When the boys came in, Dave Johnson and Brian Howell, they opened the door to their cabin and almost jumped into the lake.

Wayne Dameron and I just about laughed ourselves silly. Where else could something like that happen? I guess it was in 1966 or 67. Keep up the good work.

If I run across some old Ross Lake photo's I will scan and send to you.

Next time you talk with Tom give him a big hello from Brad and Paulette.

Brad Howell

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Natural

@ Paul Anderson Haliaeetus leucocephalus near Skymo Creek

Tom and I were taking a quick run up lake in the water taxi with my kids. I casually asked if he had seen any bald eagles lately.

"No, but I know one hangs out on an old snag by Skymo Falls sometimes, lets stop by and check it out!"
We turned the point near the falls and looked up and the eagle had landed.
The light was quickly fading and the wind had kicked up causing the boat to bounce, I fired off several shots and was able to get an image, a small vingette from Ross Lake and the North Cascades.
The composition isn't perfect, the light not the best, but whenever I view this image in the future, or for that matter see another bald eagle, one of the memories that will pop out is hanging out with my kids and a good friend in the middle of Ross Lake.
It's a little thing, but it's enough coupled with so many other good memories from here to get me through a tough day at work, or when stuck in traffic on I-5, until my next visit to the North Cascades.

Eagle Sightings

Brad Luce sent me a short note this morning that I thought you might enjoy. He comes up at least twice a year, once with his wife and on another trip with a group of fishing buddies. He and his group have been fishing these waters every year since 1984. His father-in-law who is approaching mid-ninety has been fishing Ross Lake since the 1950's. Brad also writes a newsletter for his group of fishing buddies and from time to time I'll post some of his writings. We are also hoping to find some images from the 50's to display.


As for the bald eagle............last year, a buddy of mine and I were fishing the point just before you turn toward Big Beaver on Sunday mornning. There was not so much as a ripple on the lake. It was beautiful. There was a big eagle sitting a top one of the trees on the point, about 30 feet up. He sat there for nearly an hour and watched us repeatedly troll right under him. We hit a few fish and we were both waiting for him to attack our fish as they jumped. Luckily he didn't. I have often thought of that big beautiful bird watching us fish.....

Oh, and as for a perfect picture of him............neither of us had the camera!