Early morning beauty!!!!!!

peeking out of camper this morning and what a view in front of me!
peeking out of camper this morning and what a view in front of me!


The boat looks like it wants to try one more day for that BIG one….our cooler is full and we are content after breakfast……time to head out……..


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Happy Trails!!        MJ

A little frustrating watching the Native Indians scooping up salmon…..

Fairness……………..I have to wonder…………gill nets spread out across the river day and night


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While the sport fisherman must crimp the hooks on their pole for barbless hooks only,  in the Columbia,  along with all the regulations …….one little hook going thru the water up against  gill nets……..puuuuuuuaaaaaaaa Yes, it’s their livelyhood…….whatever….Don’t get me started

Very cool wildlife along both of these rivers…..

While fishing , this afternoon brought out these 3 racoons that came down the water for a little foraging……

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They were having fun together!       Then on the way back , I think it was a Heron sunning itself, and didn’t bother to fly away…….


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One ity bity dark brown mink that is really hard to see on a shore rock, drinking  water from the river on this hot day…….


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A few pan fish today, that we both really like but no salmon. A couple of perch and bass, supper tonight!


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All in all , a beautiful day on the John Day and Columbia Rivers…………


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Happy Trails!!        MJ

Water is getting too warm for salmon…..where is the rain????

After launching  and exploring the river somewhat, we noticed that the temp of the water is up to 69 or 70 degrees!  That is way to warm for active salmon to bite…they like it cold around 55 or so and rain would bring the temp down at least a few degrees but we give it all we have for the next 10 days…….


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Swimming was great in the hot weather and decided to call it a day……took the boat out and made some margarita’s!! Ole!!


Happy Trails!!      MJ



waterside camping right on the river……….nice

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This part of the Columbia River Gorge is very different from the Western side of the state……much more arid and the temps run quite abit warmer. The forecast was for low 90’s and it was right  on the button even though it was fall. No rain forcast yet but we didn’t care since setting up camp isn’t the easiest in the mud….WE arrived about noon and sure enough , no one was in our site so we backed in and arranged for camper, boat, and pickups , all pretty long for these sites. We have a canopy for the picnic table and that keeps most of the leaves, dust and tree droppings at bay while there. I also have lighting with candles etc. that get hung out for the evenings.


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Tomorrow we launch and fish……This place requires us to get the boat out every day also because the parking lot is questionable at night. The Indians have they’re part of the lot with tents etc. and whole families are there and they come and go all night, as they fish with gill nets and harvest salmon by the container full…….No problem, we are getting good at launching and retrieving……


, Happy Trails!!



one day before check in…….

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LaPage Camp Park--9-14 007


We were off again for a place that we had never camped at until now . The night before check in was spent down below one of the many dams that we were going to stay at for 2 weeks…….The weather was superb since no rain was forcast until 5 days later…….We met my brother and wife  not far from this spot and together found a nice , flat place that our rigs could easily get into behind each other……it was a pleasant afternoon, late in the day and we all pulled out one of our lawn chairs to sit by the river and drink a cold one in the shade…….we would get some supper a little later but for now we relaxed and visited about what we were going to do when we got to the campground just about 2 miles from here on the upper “lake”  (above the dam) which stretches about 80 miles upstream…….salmon are here in the river and everyone is thinking about getting that whopper……….but would any of us have any luck, as we have had no rain yet and the salmon, on their way to their spawning grounds, won’t bite much until they feel that cold water on their nose! All you can do is troll ,troll and troll………….we’ll see…….



Happy Trails!!




My crop of Hops for my homebrewing is ready for harvest!!


Cascade Hops

These hops , which are part of the flavor and aroma of your favorite beer ,are ready for harvest in my yard. Three varieties  gives me plenty of different kinds to try....
These hops , which are part of the flavor and aroma of your favorite beer ,are ready for harvest in my yard. Three varieties gives me plenty of different kinds to try….

I started homebrewing now I guess, about 5 years ago…….It all started with me going along with my daughter over to Europe  (Paris, Rome, Florence, Munich) on a trip that she had always wanted to take and now she had the chance……As far as I was concerned, I wasn’t that interested at the time……(1997) This to her was all she dreamed of for many years and talked about it whenever the subject could be cultivated to be the top subject at the table……we both listened for sure, but it seemed to be out of the question so it just wasn’t a top priority. One day she came home and announced she was going to make it happen and would I go with her?  I said” I don’t think so , I just don’t have the money for a trip like that  but maybe you can get someone else to go along”……..She begged and begged me and finally Daddy-o said” Just go. When will you ever have a chance to go to Europe again and especially with our daughter? That would be so memorable and we’ll figure out the money part”. So away we went, and I can’t tell you how exciting and wonderful it was!!

Anyway, that trip introduced me to German, Asian, and Italian style beer……When I got back, I just couldn’t drink the same old Miller Lite anymore!! I needed more richness,boldness and color along with flavor to sit and  dwell on while just enjoying a good beer…….. Living in the NW part of the US, there was plenty of small breweries that were springing up all over and each had their own “receipes” . As time went on, I decided to try a 5 gallon batch myself and so I went out and bought the equipment that I needed to try this out……My first receipe was an IPA (India Pale Ale)…..and it turned out very inviting with a golden copper color and a rich , creamy head on the top…..I bottled all the beer in dark brown , long neck bottles and capped them with a bottle capper and place them in some boxes where the light could not get to them and let them condition( let the flavor develop) in a closet for about 6 weeks. the first one I opened and poured in a tall, cold, frosted glass, I was hooked in homebrewing forever……..Next I planted three hop plants, all different varieties,  in our yard early in the spring, about March, I think……That’s when its good and rainy here yet  and on the cool order for another 6 weeks until it starts to come alive with blossoms all over the yards. The hop plants come as just a 5 or 6 ” piece of stalk with a bud . You plant it sideways, not too deep and wait…….soon a few leaves appear and you are in luck. Sprouts will push up through the ground and after the first year , most of the sprouts should be  trimmed off, leaving about 4 nice , sturdy ones and have a pole about 12′ tall for it too climb…they naturally climb clockwise. Leaves appear and then flowers(cones). They are ready to pick around August, which then need to be dried and packaged. Best to freeze them until brewing day………….


hops cut off the pole and being taken to the front yard for picking
hops cut off the pole and being taken to the front yard for picking


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picking spot
picking spot


It won’t be long and a new batch will be fermenting and be ready for the fall Holidays……

Happy Trails!!






Buoy 10 on the Columbia River for Salmon fishing……….Whoopers!!

Everyone must respect and give way in this case for large ships coming in from the Pacific which is only about 1/2 mile from this spot......
Everyone must respect and give way in this case for large ships coming in from the Pacific which is only about 1/2 mile from this spot……

It seemed like an eternity ago (January 20, 14) that I had busily made reservations for this fishing trip and now it was August…….we managed to get morrage  for the boat which would not have happened if we had not gone up to Astoria right then and put in for it……….The attendant at the Marina could not assure us but said ” I’ll do my best, I should know for sure by July”………….I always hate to commit to camping spaces when I get an answere  like that but  none the less, I needed to make arrangements. All I could get on the weekends at the local state park was one night here then one night there and then 5 nights in a row……….. then the same thing for the next weekend, all that moving around……..grrrrrrr… since we were going to stay in this area for 2 weeks, I made one reservation at a private campground near by for 6 days in a row that they had left, but it would be packed in like sardines………the best I could do…….

Now , from the fishing reports coming in, the Coho salmon (Silvers)  and Chinook salmon (King) were starting to come up the river………YES!         They migrate back to the river that they left from and this year is supposed to be one of the best years with the most fish in history fighting upstream to get to their spawning spot (there are also tons of hatchery fish along with the wild ones)  …..They are quite the creatures .  No one has, of yet figured out how they know which river to come to and continue up stream to the tributary that they were born in………They are marvelous fish that grow to 50lbs or more and then die………Meanwhile, fisherman getting ready for this event and believe me , there are hundreds of people from all over the world that are in the Astoria , Or. area …..waiting…….waiting……until we get a shower or rain storm. They feel it on their noses and in they come with the tide…………….although they are not very hungry, you may catch one just because they become annoyed with that pesky lure going by them……keep your fingers crossed!   All of a sudden , your pole tip goes down……..and the fight is on!! It really is one of the best experiences  up there.   On the other hand, it’s big water, meaning , you can barely see across in some places, along with deep shipping channel and choppy water, fog, wind,rain, shallow sand bars,waves that can come up the back  and rollers!  Alot of people get sea sick out there even though you are not technically in the ocean……..

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After a couple of days of getting to know this part of the Columbia, we both lost a couple of fish but finally ended up with a good Chinook , about 33″,   (you have to use barbless hooks on the Columbia)

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All those fish will eventually go up stream (we check how many go over the Bonneville Dam)  and we will be about 110 miles East from this spot the middle of Sept. trying for more of these plus walleye fishing for 2 weeks there……….


One evening we went into Astoria for some supper, and the town was sponsoring a regatta  in the river for all the people to see……..nice time and good beer!

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Happy Trails!!

A week of fishing and it paid off this time!!

Just arrived back from a week on a mountain lake where the elevation was about 4800′. We were going fishing for Kokane, which is a land locked Sockeye Salmon. They are very good eating  and this lake is know for it’s Kokane. There is also Huge Lake Trout here but those can be down to 150′ I figured that it would be chilly but not in the least except there was a small front coming up from the South and was forcast to be around up there in a couple days, maybe a slight chance of rain. The first day we checked in, found our camp spot and took the camper off, pluged in,put up the canopy over the table and unloaded the firewood that we brought from the house(we are trying to get rid of extra wood from cutting down a couple of junk trees where we needed to build an extra shed for a workplace) and went to launch the boat. Since never launching from there before and knowing that this lake is very deep, maybe 250′ in some places  we didn’t realize that the boat launch right at the resort was real  shallow right where you have to launch and you need to get the boat right in the middle and back out straight into deeper water……NOW we know, as right after the boat comes off the trailer, its only 2′ and we drug on the bottom. Daddy-o was a little concerned because the boat is new and of course didn’t want any problems but all was well and we found our moorage and parked. It usually takes us a few hours to accomplish all this and by that time it’s beer time……since we know what we are fishing for(we have a bunch of lures that are known to work for these) but have never fished for them yet, we wonder down to the store at the resort and check to see what they have hanging on the wall (every lake can be different). Sure enough , we have most of it………we think….

The next morning we sleep in and get out on the lake about 10am………Nothing!   everybody else is at the fish cleaning station and had scads of fish…..so later in the afternoon, I go back in the log cabin store with picknik tables out front for all the hikers that come off the Pacific Crest Trail, and get talking to one of the guys that work there and he steers me to the right lures. Small , bright orange, or pink lures that we don’t happen to have along. And he said you have to be out on the lake by 5 or 5:30 because they only bite for a couple hours and they then disappear?????

OKAY…….its still dark out and we need a flashlite to get to the lake as I see a few small lites in some of the RV’s which means people are shuffeling around, getting up to get to there boats and out on the lake. As we come onto the pier, I can see just a glimpse of twightlight and am thinking this should be about right…..The stern cover comes off and folds up fine while Daddy-o starts the big motor and the little one for warming up. Around 50 degrees out so we are dressed pretty warm but I didn’t bring my good ol standby, down wintercoat  and no gloves……dang………(we hardly ever go fishing that early). As we back out , it’s getting more light out and about three boats are already out there. Now , this lake is very deep , and the fish on the fishfinder say about 60-75′ so once we get trolling at a slow enough speed, we drop our line down (about 8 oz. of weight) and watch the line counter saying, 20-30-40-50-60-74′, stop the bail quickly and we look at each other and say” Whose going to get the first one?”  It’s not long and one of us gets one ……..pretty nice fish too . They run about 12″-14″  or so and really like to jump off just before getting in the boat! That day we got 6, the next day , we got 22, the next day, we got 26…… we were tired and needed a day off by that time but was soooo much fun.


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early morning, about 5″30am                                              light busting thru with fog on the lake

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morning coming tru                                                                    resort and snow capped mountains


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ahhhhhhhhhhhhh the catch                                                    after cleaning…..(that’s a bunch to clean!)


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our camp while there                                                                   I do dishes outside

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Daddy-o getting campfire ready for supper…………….just the right temp…


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Supper                                                                                               Resort and lake


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Happy Trails!!!

Getting alittle further on with joining the past blog and the new blog…..



All past pics have been loaded back onto entries (that took a couple days)  and now I can devote the next couple of days to making this look more inviting to all that check in……We just arrived back from a local fishing trip   in the mountains for a week and I have some interesting pics to share. Camping and great bonfires are always satisfying…….Will be posting periodically…….should be fun, I like to take pics of ordinary sites…..


Happy Trails!!