Tree Huggin – Part II

The early 1970’s marked the beginning of the way Oregonians (and the rest of America) saw their environment.  Change was brewing, not just regarding the environment, but also on numerous political and social issues around that time. Vietnam War protests were heating up and becoming more violent.  Cigarette advertising was banned from Television.  Woodsy the Owl joined Smokey the Bear at the US Forest Service.  Not only were we reminded that only we could prevent forest fires, but we should also give a hoot and not pollute.

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Tom McCall was the Governor of Oregon at the time and was pushing his message about the environment.  The “bottle bill” was enacted, SOLV was in it’s infancy, and the Willamette River was being cleaned up after decades of being treated as a sewage dump. Continue reading

NOT Steelhead Green

“Steelhead Green” is a term used by NW anglers to describe a river that is dropping and clearing after a winter storm.  When that happens, the river takes on a greenish look.  It’s generally when fishing gets good for steelhead.  The fish are on the move and in a mood to bite. Here in the Willamette Valley, we haven’t seen those conditions very often this year.

We finally have some rain in Oregon!  After an extremely dry winter, we’re getting some good old liquid sunshine here in Pacific Northwest.  The Little North Santiam, a river with a good run of Wild Winter Steelhead, has begun to rise.

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For over a month, the Little North Santiam (aka North Fork) has been low and clear, running at under 200 cfs, reaching a low of 152 cfs earlier this week.  Those are summer time levels. Normally we see flows between 800 – 2500 cfs this time of year with the 83 year average right at 1,200 cfs.  When the flow is under 200 cfs, the gravel beds are dry and only the deep pools and troughs have water. The water temperature has also been impacted by the unusually dry weather.  Temps spiked on the Little North Santiam to 53 degrees this week, where the norm this time of year is in the low 40’s.  The same situation exists all over the Willamette Valley. As luck would have it, we’re having a pretty decent run of fish this year with nearly 2,800 winter steelhead over Willamette Falls so far. Continue reading

Water Lovin’ Tree Hugger

Being called a “tree hugger” makes a guy stop and think.  At least it made me stop and think.  It was said in jest and I got a laugh out of it for sure.  I know where it came from too.  Lately, I’ve been a little more vocal about something I care about – Wild fish species of the Pacific Northwest.

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2015 – Transitioning to “KEEP ‘EM WET”

The Native Fish Society recently launched their Keep ‘Em Wet Campaign that encourages anglers to do a better job of handling wild and native fish. They’re even holding a photo contest with some awesome prizes for the top 3 photos submitted!  For details, visit either of the links above.

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For the most part, I’ve been pretty darn careful when it comes to handling wild and native fish.  I use rubber or mesh nets instead of the older style woven ones.  I try to keep contact to a minimum and revive and release a fish as quickly as possible.  But there is more I can do.  So, I’m making the commitment to do more,  as an angler and as a guide.  Starting now, the “Hero” shots are a thing of the past.  No more grip and grins with a fish held high over the boat, rocks, etc.  If the fish isn’t in, or partially in the water, I won’t post it on my website, blog, facebook page or google+ page. Continue reading

Lack of Fishing leads to Thinking

Obviously, I need to get out and do some fishing. Without it, I end up with time on my hands. With time on my hands, I start surfing the web and end up reading about fishing. This week I spent some time reading the ODFW 2015-2017 Budget. (You can lead a former accountant to water, but he’s still going to look at the numbers….)

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