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Outdoor report: Labor Day weekend and Fall is around the corner

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Labor Day for many signifies the “Sunset of Summer.” Get out and enjoy our great outdoors.
Outdoor Report contributor Rob DeHarpport pictured getting one last cast before the sun sets. Rob DeHarpport photo

 

By ROB DEHARPPORT/for The Herald  —  Labor Day weekend is upon us! For many folks it signifies the end of Summer, for many of us it is a welcome to the best season of all – fall. Although Fall officially begins on September 22, many of us look forward to Labor Day. It’s not only the end of crowded camp grounds and beaches but also the time of year when we have a plethora of outdoor activities to choose from. Or, we plan to cram them into a relatively small portion of the calendar.
A Pyro cumulus Cloud was visible early this week from Odell Lake and the Crescent Lake area as weather conditions created a more active Cedar Creek Fire west of Waldo Lake. The fire grew by 600 acres and is now has burned over 8000 acres.

It’s a great time to enjoy warm or hot weather along with cooler evenings and mornings. For the hunters, upland bird season is open. Grouse, Pheasant and Quail hunters are already reporting some success. Bear season is open as well as deer and Elk season for archery hunters.

With a bit of relief in the record high gas prices, some folks may find longer Fall trips more appealing. Though gas prices remain high, the recent decline is noticeable. Across the state, opportunities in the fishing department are great and varied. Bass are available on the Umpqua and John Day Rivers as well as in many lakes closer to our Highway 58 corridor. This would include Hills Creek Reservoir and Crane Prairie.

Recently stocked trout make for a fun fishing day with the kids

For those with young children, North and South Twin Lakes were stocked with Trout recently. Ana Reservoir was also stocked earlier this month with 2500 legal sized Trout along with 200 trophy sized Trout. All three lakes are easily fished from the shoreline.
For the fly fisher, our local rivers should be good in the evenings. The Upper Williamson, Wood and Sprague Rivers still have a abundance of grasshopper activity making dry fly fishing a great option for those looking for a road trip and change of scenery.
On the coast, ocean fishing should soon be excellent for virtually all fishing. Coho Salmon, Halibut, Lingcod and Rockfish. Crabbing is also good.
In the coastal rivers Chinook are being caught in the Rogue estuary up to Indian Creek. Chinook are also being caught in the Yaquina, Alsea, Siletz and Coos rivers as well as the Nehalem Bay.
The lower Umpqua River has seen some beautiful Stripped Bass this year, with a few taken, incidentally, by folks fishing for salmon.

Closer to home, Odell is still good for early morning kokanee as well as Mackinaw. Paulina is still producing nice Kokanee as is Detroit Reservoir.

Take a hike but hydrate

The Highway 58 corridor is a gateway to many beautiful places. Pictured is Pulpit Rock from the Middle Rosary Lake, a 3-4 mile hike north of Willamette Pass on the Pacific Crest Trail. Rob DeHarpport photo
Hiking this time of year is great.  Don’t underestimate these hot days and the need to pack water. Huckleberry picking is fair this season, I believe the late snows and rain impacted the crop somewhat. It’s not quite as good as what was hoped for, but still worth the effort!
Of course, there are many other places to toss a line or simply relax. We all have our favorite places, traditions and pastimes.
Travel, camping, and recreation aren’t required on a holiday weekend. Many prefer to avoid the traffic and stay home to enjoy family and friends with a backyard BBQ or watch football. Whichever you choose, drive safely, be aware of the extreme fire danger. Be sure to make some memories, continue or start a new tradition, and simply enjoy this beautiful time of year in our wonderful area. Cheers!
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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