Monthly Archives: January 2014 – A New Low In Customer Service

As a frequent purchaser of computer software and equipment, I thought I had seen it all. However, my recent purchase of an Iriscan Book Executive 3 put any of my other nightmares regarding computer-related purchases to shame.

The nightmare started with the product arriving nearly three weeks late.

Then I discovered the wand-type scanner obviously had some sort of adhesive inside of it making it very difficult to open to insert the required four AAA batteries.

When that was finally accomplished – I discovered the on/off button did not work.

In the meantime, emails to the company’s support section were unanswered or not helpful.

If the product had worked as advertised, I would have been ecstatic. But it looks like I am going to have an exremely difficult time getting my money back – or any sort of satisfaction.

I have since found that my experience is far from unique and feel an obligation to warn others before they suffer a similar experience.


Pete Heley


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Pete Heley Outdoors 1/08/2014

The area’s hottest fishing is for winter steehead on the Umpqua River. The most productive stretches on the mainstem Umpqua are from around Sawyers Rapids upriver.  – and the hottest technique seems to be backtrollimg with diving plugs like Hotshots and Wee warts.Some of the best areas in the lower ends of pools where the water starts picking up speed (tailouts), although other areas where water flow is the right speed will also produce – but the steelhead are usually more concentrated in the tailout areas – especially those that have long stretches of poor holding water on each side of them.

Virtuaaly every other potential steelhead fishery has been held back by near-drought conditions that have resulted in very low stream flows and clearer than normal water. A good rain, or two, and that heavy fishing pressure currently directed at the Umpqua River will quickly be redirected to a number of smaller streams.

Tenmile Creek has been slow, but a few steelhead have been caught on the bottom end of Spin Reel Park and while Eel Creek is now open for steelhead fishing – don’t expect many steelhead to enter it until we get some major rainfall.

There has been a surprising amount of crabbing activity recently at Winchester Bay and although crabbing success has been better than it was all summer, it has been very inconsistent with boat crabbers doing much better than dock crabbers. A few weeks ago, a few people commented that some boat crabbers decided to crab quite close to the Coast Guard Pier. I cannot think of a poorer way to use a boat to catch crabs. In addition to crowding dockbound crabbers that have nowhere else to go, they are dropping their rings and traps in the water that receives the heaviest crabbing pressure in the Winchester Bay area.

I take great pleasure in being able to write that the 2014 trout stocking schedule for the Florence-area lakes is now out and available to read on the ODFW website. The first plant will take place during the week beginning February 10th – and it’s a big one with a total plant of about 10,000 trout – with more than 5,000 slated for Cleawox Lake. I will write more as the actual date of the trout plant nears.

The trout stocking scedules for the Coos and Umpqua districts are not yet out – but hopefully will be shortly.

As of January 1st, retaining cabezon became illegal. Bottomfishing at all ocean depths is only legal through March when the deeper, more productive spots close for six months.

Icefishing is now possible ay a number of central and eastern Oregon spots as well as Diamond Lake. However, Oregon doesn’t have anything that compares to the fishing currently available at Potholes Reservoir in southeast Washington. The Lind Coulee area of the 28,000 acre reservoir now is covered with ice of a safe thickness and fishing has been good for yellow perch, crappies, rainbow trout and walleyes with a chance at smallmouth and largemouth bass, bluegills and even channel catfish – and every fish species present in Potholes is capable of reaching truly lunker sizes.

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California Outdoor News – 2013 Steelhead Report Cards Due In By Jan. 31st

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) reminds anglers that they are required to return their 2013 Steelhead Fishing Report and Restoration Cards between Jan. 1 and Jan. 31, 2014. Anglers are requested to review their cards carefully and complete the information as accurately as possible. Information collected from report cards provides CDFW with data necessary to monitor and manage California’s steelhead fisheries.

The Steelhead Fishing Report and Restoration Card is a fishing report as well as a catch report. Steelhead anglers record where and when they fished, even if no fish were caught on a given trip. Anglers are encouraged to submit steelhead report card data online at, but report cards can still be submitted by mail. Information must be submitted regardless of whether or not the angler fished for steelhead.

Those who did not fish for steelhead in 2013 are asked to select the “did not fish” option online or write “did not fish” on the card.

Additional information and a list of frequently asked questions about the program can be found on CDFW’s Steelhead Fishing Report and Restoration Card Program webpage, Also on the webpage is “A Report to the Legislature (July 2007)” that includes an overview of steelhead biology and statewide status, projects funded with steelhead angler dollars, angling data, and monthly angling effort and monthly catch for a majority of California’s streams. Anglers may download a copy or they can request one be mailed to them when they return their Steelhead Fishing Report and Restoration Card.

Anglers who wish to return their Steelhead Fishing Report and Restoration Cards by mail should send them to:

CDFW – Steelhead Fishing Report Card
P.O. Box 944209
Sacramento, CA  94244-2090

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Check Out “” On Youtube For Some Awesome Fishing Videos

I “discovered” when I googled Brian O’Keefe.

Although I had never met Brian, I was well aware of him as his flyfishing and photography skills have allowed him to land some wonderful “outdoorsy” jobs and travel to fishing-related photo shoots to some of the most beautiful and interesting places on earth.

Some of the publications that have featured Brian’s work are: Fly Fisherman, Fly Rod & Reel, American Angler, Gray’s Sporting Journal, Fly Fishing and Tying Journal, Fish & Fly, The Drake, Saltwater Fly Fishing, Fly Fishing in Saltwaters, Northwest Flyfishing, Eastern Flyfishing, Cabela’s Outfitter Journal, Men’s Journal, Outside, Field & Stream, Outdoor Life, USA Today, LA Times, Miami Herald and Fish Alaska as well as product photography for many retail catalogs featuring products related to outdoor recreation. His photographs have appeared in numreous outdoor books.

While pursuing his craft, Brian has had many interesting and someimes dangerous adventures. He has been a fishing guide, fishing tackle rep and the books and videos he has authored and co-authored are available on

Along with Todd Moen, Brian started catch magazine in September of 2008. The video “magazine” features some of the most interesting fishing videos I have watched – with the best video photography.

Catch Magazine is bimonthly and some of the issues can be viewed for free on – but a subsciption is inexpensive and the magazine has subscribers in more than 100 countries.

The video titled “Alpine Bass” has had more than a million views in four years – and I have never watched a video that made me want to go fishing as much as it did. The video on spring creek brown trout fishing was also incredibly interesting.

Powell Butte is a small community located in Crook County about 35 miles northwest of Bend – and in retrospect, – if Brian O’Keefe hasn’t led the most interesting life of any Powell Butte resident – I would like to meet who has.

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Washington Fishing News – Nooksack River To Close To Fishing

Action: Close the Nooksack River and forks to fishing.

Effective dates: Jan. 9, through Jan. 31, 2014.

Species affected:   All species.


The Nooksack River from mouth to the confluence of the North and South Forks.
The South Fork Nooksack from mouth to Skookum Creek.
The Middle Fork Nooksack from mouth to city of Bellingham diversion dam.
The North Fork from mouth to Nooksack Falls.
Reasons for action:   The Kendall Hatchery has been unable to collect enough returning hatchery winter steelhead broodstock to meet egg take needs. Closure of the fishery is necessary to collect sufficient fish to meet egg take needs.

Other information: On Feb. 1 the fisheries will re-open to fishing as listed in the 2013-14 sport fishing pamphlet.

Information Contact: Brett Barkdull, 360-466-4345 ext. 270.

Fishers must have a current Washington fishing license, appropriate to the fishery. Check the WDFW “Fishing in Washington” rules pamphlet for details on fishing seasons and regulations. Fishing rules are subject to change. Check the WDFW Fishing hotline for the latest rule information at (360) 902-2500, press 2 for recreational rules. For the Shellfish Rule Change hotline call (360)796-3215 or toll free 1-866-880-5431.

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Umpqua River Steelheading Still Hot

Until the area receives major rainfall, count on the Umpqua River to continue  to offer the area’s best fishing for winter steelhead.

As usual, very few of the steelhead are finclipped keepable fish, but there seems to be more of them showing up this year than in year’s past. Backytolling with diving plugs remains the most productive strategy.

Kimberlee caught this nice steelhead while fishing the Umpqua River near Elkton with Bryan Gill of the Umpqua Angler

Kimberlee caught this nice steelhead while fishing the Umpqua River near Elkton with Bryan Gill of the Umpqua Angler

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Trout Stocking Schedule For Florence-Area Lakes Now On ODFW Website

The Florence-area lakes are slated to receive their first trout plants the second week in February – and it’s a big one with Cleawox Lake scheduled to receive 5,400 trout by itself – including some foot long and 16-inch rainbows.

For more information, visit the ODFW website.

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Umpqua Steelhead Bite Hot

Bryan Gill (The Umpqua Angler-541-852-9889) reports that fishing for winter steelhead has been very good in the Elkton area recently and the most effective technique has been backtrolling plugs over pool tailouts.

Bryan recently announced new lower rates for Umpqua River steelhead trips. They are: 4 anglers – $100 per person; 3 anglers – $125 per person; and 1 or 2 anglers – $150 per person.

A typical bright Umpqua River Steelhead

A typical bright Umpqua River Steelhead

A jumbo late run coho salmon caught over the Xmas holidays

A jumbo late run coho salmon caught over the Xmas holidays

C.J.O'Conner atempts to prove she can lift an uncooperatve steelhead

C.J.O’Conner attempts to prove she can lift an uncooperatve steelhead

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Potholes Reservoir Adds Ice-Fishing Option

Levi Meseberg fished with a professional productions company and Shaw Grisby in June 2013 to produce this nationally syndicated program. This views on sportsmen channels on Dish (channel 395) and Direct TV (channel 605) and on most cable channels as well.

The airdates and times are now in place…

2014 Program Run Schedule on Sportsman Channel

Sat 10:30 am EST (new episode), Sunday 7:30 am EST, Mon 2:30 pm EST, Tue 4:00 am EST

Fri 3:30 pm EST

Episode 1 with show description and airdates:

Potholes Bass (Saturday, Jan. 4; Sunday, Jan. 5; Mon. Jan. 6; Tuesday, Jan. 7; and Friday, Jan. 10)

For bass fishing, the Pacific Northwest is the least known region of the country — but that’s just where Shaw is headed on this trip with California pro Kent Brown. They fish Potholes Lake in central Washington, where largemouths and smallmouths alike come in large editions. Fishing different kinds of cover — brushy shallows and rocky channels — they adapt by using several kinds of rigs with the Ocho worm.

Enjoy the show!

Here’s to a healthy, happy and successful New Year!

Don’t forget we have free dock fishing every Friday until Spring-time.  You still have to come into the store and get your free dock pass and car pass and you can fish until dark every Friday evening.  The dock is still showing some nice Crappie, Perch, Bluegill, Trout and Bass and a few walleye are being reported.

Please call the MarDon Store for more information (509) 346-2651.

The Lind Coulee area of Potholes Reservoir proves to be quite popular icefishing spot

The Lind Coulee area of Potholes Reservoir proves to be quite popular icefishing spot

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Pete Heley Outdoors 1/01/2014

At the risk of beating the subject to death, I would like to convey additional information regarding the new Columbia River Endorsement that is requied this coming year to fish for salmon, steelhead and sturgeon in waters draining into the Columbia River. There is considerable information about the CRE on the ODFW’s website including a question and answer section.

While recipints of Oregon’s “free” licenses (pioneer & disabled) are entitled to a free Columbia River Endorsement (CRE), according to the ODFW website, it is free upon request”. According to the ODFW regional office in Charleston, anglers fishing in Columbia Basin Waters requiring a CRE and not having one – could be ticketed – even though they are entitled to a free one. For that very same reason, even young anglers under the age of 14, that are not required to have a fishing license unless they fish for fish species requiring a combined anging tag (salmon, steelhead and sturgeon) should request a free CRE when purchasing their tag.
After all, the area where a CRE is required to fish for salmon. steelhead and sturgeon covers about half of Oregon. Basically, the Oregon waters subject to the CRE are the waters that are expected to benefit from the removal of non-tribal gill nets from the Columbia River.

Crabbing in the lower Umpqua River at Winchester Bay remains surprisingly good – for boat crabbers. A few dock crabbers are making good catches as well – but usually with far more effort. The number of people purchasing 2013 shellfish licenses in the last week of their validity always amazes me, but it is probably the easiest Oregon license to justify purchasing – economically.

I got a little excited while checking the ODFW website and noticed 2014 trout stocking schedule – only to read the following disclaimer “The 2014 trout stocking schedule will be posted as soon as it becomes available – usually in February or March, depending on the zone. In the meantime, the 2013 schedule often can be used as a general guideline for 2014.”  – which means that a few waters in both the north and south Willamette watershed districts will receive trout plants in January. Last year, Junction City Pond received a plant of 12-inch rainbows at the start of the second week inf January.

The Florence-area lakes received their first trout plants of 2013 in mid-February. The Empire Lakes received last year’s first Coos Bay area trout plants in late February.

Winter steelhead fishing is currently suffering the “double whammy” of low stream flows – which limits or delays the steelhead entering the rivers and clear water, which makes it more difficult to get them to bite. It’s bound to get better, but it’s going to take a decent amount of rain before there is noticeable improvement.

The coho salmon seasons on Siltcoos, Tahkenitch and Tenmile lakes ended on December 31st. – as did cabezon retention by ocean bottomfish anglers

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