It had been way too many years since I was on the Grande Ronde (2013 was the last trip), so I was pretty excited to make the trek across the state to get on the river. The Grande Ronde may just be the prettiest float trip in the state, but that probably depends on what you are looking for. The long drive and short flow window have limited trips to an every few years kinda affair. But here we were, after a half day trek to Minam the day before, ready to launch. As is my usual experience at the launch, it’s the big scene playing out. People who must, from all appearances, only rarely do this kinda thing. You’ve seen them, they have gear spread hither and yon, taking up every available slot in the launch, no apparent direction, you could watch them and wonder if they are taking out […]
So much for plans. The plan was to take advantage of spring flows and spend Memorial Day weekend on the North Fork John Day. Well, spring must have ended a few days early, the snowpack was gone and the flow dropped like a rock during the week leading up to the launch. The night before departure the flow dropped below 800 cfs and we pulled the plug and looked downstream for an alternative. Friday we found ourselves at Service Creek and off we went. Service Creek to Clarno is a popular float for Memorial Day, the flows are usually good and the weather hasn’t turned out quite too hot yet. This is the perfect recipe for crowds. Fishing wasn’t red hot the first day but there were definitely bass to be found.
The weather turned sunny overnight and Thursday morning was beautiful. Wait, it’s Thursday already? Where did the time go? Anyhow, we were ready to get back out on the salt and see what we could do now that we could cover some water. We trolled our way out of the Cove with only a few fish marked on the finder and headed north. We tried a few other areas on the way north looking for kings but we couldn’t find any takers except for one colorful rockfish. We ended up at tide island mid morning and got rigged for halibut. By the time Ole found the bottom he had a halibut on. After that quick one we moved around a lot and it wound up being afternoon before I hooked up into something a bit more meatier. This thing did not want to come up off the bottom. And bottom […]