Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Camping on the Shore of Wickiup Reservoir, Pt. 3

The fish had started to rise at 6 the previous evening so I thought I'd go pester them. I had located the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife buoy about a half mile downstream and I'd need to be on the other side of the buoy to fish legally.
Me, ready for kayaking, striking manly pose.

Kayaks, though, are very tippy, and there's no way to lean over the side to release a fish, so I reckoned I'd use hookless flies. Just to see if I got a strike. Besides, I would not know what to do with a fish if I caught one. I recall our old man bringing fresh trout to camp when we were kids, and have mental images of fish being split open, anus to gullet; I remember digging inside to scoop out the gooshy bits. But while it doesn't seem too hard, I'd want to get some instruction in the matter before making a big horrible stinky mess.

Back in camp I started to prepare my tackle. Here's where my general ineptness with fishing began to show itself.

The old line and leader had to be stripped off my old spinning reel because it hadn't been used since 2003. Bruce Miller had suggested that 6-lb line and 4-lb leader would be appropriate for the conditions, but I discovered I brought 4 lb line and 4 lb leader. Sigh.

Next, after some serious fumblage getting the line onto the spool, I found I could not get the reel to work right. After some studying, I discerned that I had wrapped the line around the spool backwards. So, off the line came, back on it went.

I then clipped on a bubble float and made a test cast. The float flew off the end of the line, hit the water, and promptly sank.

Fortunately it was within reach of the rod tip so I fished it back to shore.

After re-rigging the float, studying the action of the bail, fiddling with the drag, and screwing around with my grip, I pulled off several decent casts.

But I never did make it back out on the water that day. A nice bottle of a 2009 pinot noir captured my attention.

It was a beautiful day, with pelicans boating about, looking like swans in the distance. This was one trip where I wished I had brought the real camera with a nice long lens. Just the thing to lose overboard.

That whole day I saw a total of two humans: one man out walking his dogs along the shore 1/2 mile downstream, and a sheriff who came boating up the river, scanning the shore, looking' for trouble.

It appeared that she got stuck in some weeds upstream, I though briefly about whether I could be of assistance, but realized that a 61 year-old man in a kayak would not really be that useful. She had a radio anyway, so could have gotten help if she needed it. Didn't, got unstuck, putted back downstream.

And that's it.

It was so quiet that I could hear birds flying overhead.


  1. "Kayaks, though, are very tippy, and there's no way to lean over the side to release a fish"

    Maybe you'd enjoy a float tube.

  2. Float tube? I dunno -- can you paddle those upstream or anything?

  3. A float tube is no good in a situation where you have to fight a current. You have swim fins on your feet and you can move around with those. Fun in a lake.

    Although once, years ago, I read in a fishing magazine about a guy up in Seattle who fished for salmon in Puget Sound with a float tube. At night. How he escaped being run over by a ferry or a freighter I can't imagine.


------------ Facebook update page widget added 3/2012 --------------
------------ ends facebook update page widget -------------