Pete Heley Outdoors

This coming Saturday the Lower Umpqua Flycasters will host their annual Fly Fishing Expo at the Reedsport High School. The event will be held at the Reedsport High School and run from 9 am until 4 pm. As free events go, this is as good as it gets with fly tying and casting clinics and informational and equipment displays. There are also raffle drawings and making this event even more unique is that despite the free admission, there are free door prizes given out.

The Emerald Bass Club’s Front Bite Open, held last Saturday on Tenmile Lakes, featured some very good catches with the team of Dodd/Wicks winning the event with 20.41 pounds for their five keeper bass. Their winning weight was barely one ounce more than second place and only 18 ounces more than the third place team. Some of the event’s entrants traveled several hundred miles to compete in what is almost certainly the most popular bass fishing event held on any lake in the northwest. Hopefully, would-be bass anglers will take a look at the tournament’s results and decide that they do not have to wait until late spring to start catching bass.

Judging from a recent ODFW online post, there is a serious problem on the Umpqua River. It seems that a number of anglers on the river are finclipped the adipose fin of the steelhead they catch prior to releasing them. It seems that these anglers are hoping that these minor wounds on these fish will heal quickly enough so that either the anglers or perhaps some of their friends can claim that they are catching hatchery fish when these fish are recaught. Besides stressing the fish more than a simple quick release would, such on-stream fish mutilation is strickly illegal and the ODFW is hoping that people witnessing such behavior contact the Oregon State Police. Anglers catching steelhead with freshly clipped adipose fins should call the Oregon State Police at 541-440-3334 with the location the fish was caught. The unauthorized clipping of the adipose fins of wild steelhead may not result in the intended angler benefit. Although the Umpqua is pretty much a catch and release fishery, there are a small number of hatchery fish that enter the river and if the Umpqua is closed to the retention of all steelhead, even finclipped ones, there is no reason for anyone to clip wild fish in the hopes that they, or their friends, might recatch it later and keep it.

Forty nine lucky Oregon hunters won a 2013 sports pac and one California hunter won a non-resident hunting license because they applied early for their 2012 fall big game controlled hunts. The Sports Pacs were valued at $ 164.75 and the Non-Resident Hunting License at $ 140.40 and they were awarded to the lucky 50 hunters who applied for their big game controlled hunts by January 31st. Since only 13,887 people applied early, the odds of winning are pretty good as lotteries go – and the non-winning early entrants are eligible for future drawings giving out 30 such prizes for those applying my March 15th and 20 more for those applying by April 15th. So the earlier you apply for such hunts, the better your chance of winning a sports pac for next year or a nonresident hunting license if you live outside of Oregon.

For 45 years, a major source of fishing gear and especially upper Rogue River fishing information will no longer be available. Pat’st Hand-Tied Flies is in the process of selling their inventory prior to closing down. While most of their business was from salmon and steelhead anglers fishing the upper Rogue, I always stopped in for current information when I was fishing the Rogue system above and including Lost Creek Reservoir and the Holy Water. In the future, anglers, anglers are going to have to get their information from spots much further downstream and it will almost certainly be less relevant. It would be nice if the resort on Lost Creek Reservoir would pick up the slack regarding the area’s fishing info, but that is unlikely.

Years ago, when I was much younger, I used to try combining serious fishing with late night bar visits. Fortunately, I did this almost exclusively on long trips where I was pretty much anonymous and I only did it because I was convinced that my vast powers of recovery would not limit my fishing ability in any way.

Well, with years of hindsight, I can safely say that I was living in a false reality and I can now admit that my fishing stamina, casting ability and even my starting times were not always what they should have been – all because I refused to fall asleep too early. But there may be hope in the near future for those that want to emulate my early fishing behavior. In the most recent issue of Science News, in an article by Laura Sanders, test rats were dosed with a compound from an ancient herbal remedy and found to be nearly impervious to the effects of drinking alcohol. The compound is from the seeds of an ancient tree, Hovenia, first described as a hangover remedy in the year 659. The compound, referred to as DHM, not only reduces the effects of alcohol intake, but greatly shortens those same effects. If humans respond to the compound as these test rats did, there may be a much easier price to pay for anglers, and other people, wanting to stay up late and still get up early.

About Pete Heley

Writes and self-publishes Oregon and Washington fishing books.

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