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Fall 2013

As they say, “life goes on.” Although I haven’t written anything for over a year, I’m still here at ClackaCraft and still selling boats. This has been a great year for the drift boat business. Things have been very busy. We continue to make small changes in drift boats, and we are making them better and easier to use.

My fishing opportunities have diminished somewhat since late January 2012. That is when I started kidney dialysis. I have dialysis Monday, Wednesday and Friday for four hours each evening. I’m not real fond of television, so I do a lot of reading. My old friend from West Anchorage High, Richard Bertellotti, gave me a Kindle for my birthday in 2012 so I have it loaded with books, and I do a lot of reading while at dialysis. Joyce and I have always enjoyed fly fishing for sea run cutthroat during the fall, but this year we can’t do that. I’m on the list for a kidney transplant and I must stay within cell phone range at all times. The stretch we like to float on our favorite coastal river is out of cell range.

This has been an outstanding year for salmon in Oregon. The run on the Columbia was the biggest ever recorded since the dams were built in 1938. Of course it’s not like the pre-dam days, but at least it’s an improvement. Grand Coulee ended the June Hogs that ran into Canada. We will never again see those 60, 70 and 80 pound giants that made the Columbia famous, but at least the river was full of 15 to 30 pounders this year.

In late August Steve Leonard ( invited me to fish with him on the Columbia at Rainer, Oregon. I was a few minutes late getting to the dock, but I made it just past 6:00 a.m. We started the day by anchoring and fishing with wobblers. By 7:45, we had three nice salmon. As the tide changed, we began to troll with small spinners, and by 12:30 we had a limit for the boat. This was an enjoyable day of fishing with a great guide.

I was amazed at the quality of the salmon I caught. The layers of fat in the flesh were really something.

Salmon runs on our coastal streams are good this year, too. Joyce and I have fished in tidewater three times so far. And although we haven’t landed anything, we have seen a lot of fish caught. One weekend all the fish were caught on bait under floats, and the next week end all the fish were caught on spinners. I even had a hit while casting a spinner, but when I set the hook the fish ran towards the boat and I couldn’t get a good hook set. The weather was great, pelicans entertained us, and our dogs, Buster and Logan, had a wonderful time swimming.

In the future I’ll try to keep this column more up to date. I don’t have any big fishing plans, but I will probably be able to get out on Devil’s Lake for some trout or grass carp.

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