Friday, July 23, 2010

Grande Ronde - a Beautiful River

Had a blast drifting and fishing on the Grande Ronde River in extreme south eastern Washington.  One of North America's finest steelhead fisheries.

Hot temps, family, good friends, good wine picked up on the way from some excellent wineries and by the way - hot fishing.

Trout and Dolly's were biting on Joe's Hoppers, smallmouth bass were slamming a deer hair mouse with yellow feather tail.

But even tho fishing was hot sometimes you just have to serve that inner child and jump off a cliff or two.  No, that was not me doing a back flip -that honor belonged to Jake who was showing off successfully to the niece.

I am a master of the belly flop.

By the way, it was interesting casting fly's from the sit on top ocean kayak while drifting backwards through small rapids, trying to maintain a hold on to the paddle while the legs straddled the waterproof camera case to keep it from shifting around.  Ended up casting backwards, sideways, left handed, right handed, under handed, overhanded, under the arm pit, around the neck......

It was fun just dinking around with the son on his first fly fishing experience.

Fishing a deep hole on the Grande Ronde

Jake launching a 50' back flip

Niece Jenna giggles through whitewater

Mackenzie riding her breast cancer pink Ocean Kayak in the clear, cold waters of the Grande Ronde 

Dylan surfs a small hydraulic

Brother-in-law Bob carries one of the little one's, the family dog and lunch 
in his old beater canoe - casually chewing on a cigar

Over several days and several car ferries we drifted approx. 25 miles roughly between Troy, Bogan's Oasis and Schumachers Landing.  From Schumachers it was an approx. 13% grade road that would have been a bit sticky if wet or slick.

Next time we will either float the upper wild river portion starting in Oregon and possibly end in Troy, or continue down to Heller's Bar where the Grande Ronde joins the Snake River at the lower end of Hell's Canyon.

We were a motley crew.

On the lower drift we had the river to ourselves and everyone was able to hoot and holler the afternoon away - songs and laughter bounced off the canyon walls. Teasing over past mishaps were casually, offhandedly discussed.  Casually??? Yeah right!

The drive home was long and tiring but the next morning I woke up chuckling to the image of Bob going thru the whitewater casually shaking droplets off that soggy old stogie.

Families, friends and little adventures - the good life.

The Pacific Northwest - we live in an interesting and beautiful part of the world don't we?

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