Communities, Front Page, Outdoors

Outdoor report: Despite the coolness, fishing’s heating up

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Clay Jones of Oakridge and Grandson Steven, who is visiting from North Carolina, with a nice catch of Odell Lake Kokanee. Rob DeHarpport photo

By ROB DEHARPPORT/for The Herald  —  My, how time can seem to fly. It seems only yesterday that the April 22 opening day of fishing season arrived. Now we are approaching the official beginning of Summer with Father’s Day on the 19th and Summer Solstice on the 21st.

Despite another wet weekend forecast we should celebrate Father’s Day and the beginning of Summer in the best manner we know of, or perhaps create a new tradition. In my opinion that should include some sort of outdoor activities.
Traces of snowpack reflect the recent weather phenomena well into June. Rob DeHarpport photo

Create your own Father’s Day tradition

We have the “Take a Kid Fishing” weekend, if possible, “Take dear old Dad” fishing or hiking, biking, BBQ, picnic, or a quiet moment or two at a favorite place to remember a father or father figure who’s no longer with us. Share some memories and create some new ones. Pass along the outdoor life.
Fishing opportunities are numerous. Chinook are in the rivers; shad is plentiful on the Columbia. Halibut, lingcod, and other bottom fishing are great at the coast.
Clam digging and crabbing are good as well.
Some of our rivers and creeks may be high due to snowmelt and recent rains. Many lakes are producing Trout, Kokanee, Lake Trout, Bass and Crappie.

Odell is mostly open

Trapper Creek Camp Ground and Gold Lake remain closed, but should soon open. Rob DeHarpport photo
Odell Lake continues to be good for Kokanee anglers who are trolling. Princess Creek boat ramp is now open. However, the campground is closed until tree mitigation is finished. Trapper Creek is basically free of snow; however, tree clean up scheduled. It should open soon as well. A few are finding a bit of success jigging.
Mackinaw Fishing continues to be good at Odell, Crescent, and Cultus Lakes. Paulina continues to produce a quick five-fish limits of Kokanee. Diamond Lake has been good for Rainbows. Miller Lake is accessible, but I haven’t received any reports. It may be a good time to travel the bumpy road into Miller and give it a try?
A few high lakes will soon be available to hike into as more snow melts. As of a couple of days ago the road into Gold Lake was still gated. I would think it will be open soon. Waldo Lake access is still blocked by snow.

Don’t be fooled by the wet weather

Regardless of the wet weather, be safe with campfires. It looks like hot weather could be in the long-term forecasts. Fuels can, and will, dry out quickly when the warm weather arrives. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a Summer without the catastrophic fires and choking smoke?
Sunsets on Odell Lake Resort Marina. Rob DeHarpport photo

Wetter weather possible for years to come

A few weather experts have been discussing the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) cycles. El Nino and La Nina patterns are modeled using PDO data. I’ve read a few opinions that believe here in the Northwest we may be entering a cooling cycle with wetter and cooler weather. Time will certainly tell. For now, I’m very thankful for the wet Spring weather that we’ve had as well as the late snow. Fair warning- Mosquito season has arrived in some areas; a “benefit” of our wet weather. Carry bug spray if you venture out as a precaution.
Happy Father’s Day! Whatever and wherever you may go outdoors, have fun, and stay safe.
Rob DeHarpport was a long-term resident and former mayor of Westfir. Rob now lives in the Crescent Lake area and is The Herald’s reporter for the Outdoor Report. Rob DeHarpport photo

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