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Welcome to the fourth annual installment of Bob's Journal. This year's trip is planned for roughly five weeks length and we hope it to be as fruitful as some of our past years. The journal exists to provide a little entertainment for the readers and a camp history book for those of us who make the trip every year.


  • Tuesday, September 4, 2001 ... Got into camp around 9 this morning after a longer than normal trip into our abode for the next five weeks. This season, Fishgal and I reserved a different cabin than years past as we needed just a little more room than we've had. So, this year, Cabin 7 is home. Good thing we got the bigger cabin as we came heavily loaded with lots more gear and all our food (we usually buy groceries locally). We would have never fit into Cabin 8 with all the stuff ... especially with the 40 inch satellite dish, receiver, and TV we brought along this year to watch the Mariner's final push of the year. As per the norm, camp is pretty empty, with Art & Sue, Jim S. and Nancy, and Jim R. the only regulars here. Two other guests right now, Chuck and Joy (been here before, but not for a few years) and some "River Guardians" staying in camp as well this year. Took all of five minutes to hear more rumors of "my guiding operation here". Glad to see some things never  change ;)

About half-unloaded, our first day in camp.Water is pretty high (lots of rain on the way here) and fairly dirty but Jim S. and Art both caught a fish today at Mickey's on gear, so there must be a few around already.

Corey and I spent most of the day unpacking and setting up our dish ... did feast on about a half dozen king crabs that we brought along as well. We're all ruined at cocktail hour for the rest of the trip now!

  • Wednesday, September 5, 2001 ... Lots of sleep for Fishgal and I today. My back (always a problem from time to time for me) is in really bad shape so regardless of the river conditions, I'm going to have to give it some time to heal up before I start going at it.

Got lots of gear tied up (Corey doing the coneheads and myself tying flies and rigging rods) inbetween a couple of naps mixed in. Weather sucks, it's been raining fairly hard all day and is very cool for this time of year. We're getting close to being ready to fish when my back and / conditions allow.

I finally got the camp gauge in this afternoon, starting it at 24 inches. By evening, it was down to 22.5 inches, but I imagine that'll change before too long.

Got to watch the Mariner's come back from a 4-0 deficit tonight and win 12-6. Corey wasn't too sure about having the dish and TV, but I think the game tonight may have changed her mind :)

  • Thursday, September 6, 2001 ... We're not Alone! Another late wake-up for us today, and not too much to report from camp as we spent most of the day tying and napping again. I think we've finally recovered from the trip into here sleep-wise, but my back's still a little on the tender side. 

I could only wish the cabin was this bright ... tying flies by tap lights!We've watched the river climb all day long, starting about 22.5 inches and this evening around 31. Lots of debris in the water which isn't totally brown yet, but getting close. Looks like a day off tomorrow as well as I'm not going to do much hiking or playing golf for another few days.

Big story today was the loss of power this afternoon which had everyone scrambling for flashlights and propane stoves for dinner tonight. Good thing we had a good supply of tap lights and AA batteries on hand ... we had them pasted all over the place in our attempt to keep trying to tie up gear. The loss of power at least came on an evening that we had no M's game so at least we didn't miss out on that. It day provide some anxious moments though as when the power finally came back on around 9 PM, we found that leaving the door open for the last bit of daylight Holy smokes Batman!!!earlier had left us with a visitor in our cabin ... a very unhappy bat that started flying circles when the lights came back on. Corey left the cabin in a blink of the eye, leaving me to capture the poor guy (after snapping this pic of his rounds) and set him free outside. With all the bugs we've got in the cabin tonight, maybe we should have let him hang around for a bit :)

  • Friday, September 7, 2001 ... Awoke to a hard frost this morning and a river on the drop. Level this morning was around 26, a significant drop from last night, but still quite high and only about 10-12 inches of visibility. Despite the less-than-ideal conditions, we decided we were going to make this our first day of fishing as we were getting a pretty bad case of cabin fever. Art, Corey, and I headed up to Mickey's to give things a whirl. With the recent wet weather, rather than driving in, we walked about a mile into the hole passing lots of unhappy, half-stampeding cattle much of the way across the broad field along the river.

We found the gravel bar at Mickey's to be almost completely submerged ... I think this was the highest we had ever attempted to fish the hole. The three of us worked the hole for nearly three hours with only a couple of "maybes" for the group. Finally, just as we were growing antsy and talking about heading down to Yoda, Art finally hooked up with a fish on his corky / squid combo. Not a spectacular fighter by any stretch of the imagination, we didn't get an idea of how big the fish was until Art had him up in the shallows. Only then did we see that the fish was in the 20 lb. class, a tad over 38". Well, at least if we weren't going to have numbers, we were going to have a big 'un to make up for it.Art with the first fish we 've seen from the Zipperlip this season :)

With renewed interest, we all flogged the hole for another hour or so to no avail :( So, we opted to head down to the Yoda to see how things looked there. 

Again, the water was raging, but we decided to give things a try anyhow. For three hours, we tossed coneheads and squids with no luck at all. I spent about 20 minutes tossing a 400 in close just to goof off, but that was probably not much different than beating a dead horse at this point.

Switching back to the gear rod, I began playing games with Fishgal tossing the conehead onto the rocks on the far bank with the new magnesium-spooled Shimano Cronarch that I bought for myself. Casting out over 1/3 of my spool, we were giggling as we bombed points at such far distances. We'd make short drifts as the heavy flow would quickly grab any rigs dropping into the water in the far slot. No sooner had Art given in for the day and sat down to watch us playing around, one of rocks that the rig bounced off in the shallows of the far bank began to shake its head My first fish of the season!a little bit ... hmm, a fish :) But it came right across the current and I was disheartened thinking I had an old rotten humpie. Things soon changed though as the buck made four or five high leaps when he finally seemed to figure out what was going on. A few minutes later, I was pulling the conehead from the jaw of a buck about 12 or 13 pounds. Seemed like a fine way to end the day ... nothing really serious fishing-wise, but a nice primer for things to come we hope!

Realigned my dish this evening, and we're now able to get KIRO out of Seattle and we're happily watching the M's leading 6-0 at this point. Life is good!

  • Saturday, September 8, 2001 ... Short fishing day today. River looked better this morning with a little over two feet of vis and a level of 22.5 inches ... still pretty high, but certainly better than it has been. Art, Sue, Corey, and I headed up to our usual stomping grounds at Mickey's to give things a try. There was a guide boat already in Mickey's, so we opted to head down to the Yoda instead where Sue managed to hook a fish on her second cast while the rest of us were still getting dressed or drinking coffee (yep, that was me). Kind of a a funny fighter, it did almost the exact thing the fish I took out of here yesterday did. Unfortunately, it was the only steelhead we hit in here. Art and I worked the lower half of the hole with flies and went on a seriously annoying humpie rampage ... no soaking of the fly downstream of your position for any period of time or you had the pleasure of a face-to-face with a brown and purple pancake. This got old really quick :(I thought this was supposed to be tough :)

After the guide boat passed our position (with a few snide comments from the guide ... "How much are you paying for the week?" to Sue and Art), we opted to head back up top for a little bit. Mickey's looked much better today, and I thought we were going to have a little flurry of action when I promptly hooked a fish on the far bank at the top end of the hole ... the same area that produced so well last year with higher water. The fish soon unbuttoned himself and was promptly replaced by a coho on the end of my line ... but that turned out to be all the action we had. After starting at about 9:30, we threw in the towel about 12:45 in order to get back to camp and watch the latter parts of the Husky game against Michigan (23-18, Dawgs!)

Getting set for a big Taco feast and an M's game in a few minutes. No hot-and-heavy fishing yet, but I think I can handle this for another month :)

  • Sunday, September 9, 2001 ... The arrival of the fish, and Kent First hard day of fishing for us today. River was down to 18 inches with about 3 1/2 to 4 feet of visibility, not superb, but certainly the best it has been since we've been here. We started out the morning with Art, Jim S., Corey, and I heading up to Mickey's around 7 AM. Leading the way down through the hole, Art was quickly into two fish, but he set the tone for his day by losing them both. We headed down to Yoda about 8 AM upon the arrival of a guide boat and things looked far better there water-wise for both flies in the lower end and the gear up top. Jim, Art, and I began working the lower portion of the drift with 400's and lightly weighted flies ... it was still a struggle to Corey's first, and second??????, of the trip.get down with these heavy set-ups. Corey, meanwhile, worked the upper end of the hole and promptly landed a pair of steelhead, her first of the trip. Her fish were both bucks of around 16 to 17 and may very well have been the exact same fish from the looks of an entry point in the fish's mouth in what appeared to be the same spot.

Jim scores on the bugrod!The three of us didn't have quite that much luck with the bugrod. Art continued his streak of losing fish today, losing two; I rolled one on a cerise / black bunny leech; but Jim did manage to land a very nice fish ... rack up one for us!

About 11 AM, our pal Kent, his buddy Wade, and Sue came up from camp (Wade and Kent had just arrived) to join us. Art, Jim, and I continued our pass through the bottom end of the drift, while everyone else worked the top end. It was only a matter of minutes before Kent was into a fish ... but alas, it turned out to be a small king of about 10 pounds that jumped all over his spoon. A few minutes later, he hit another fish, this one turned out to be a coho ... everything but the steelie for Kent :) Wade held his own though and banged a nice steelie of about 18 pounds or so. After our noon chocolate chip muffin break, Kent finally scored and beached a nice buck that left him wishing he had a little more rod than a 1025. Things seemed to quiet down for all of us after that point ...

What's this ?????????????????????????That all changed a little later though as Sue, Corey, and Jim headed up to Mickey's, Art and I headed down to Killing Creek via the SS Rubber Ducky, and Kent and Wade invaded the fly water of the Yoda with gear and they managed to hook several more fish apiece. Art and I managed to hook well over a dozen fish downstream ... but only one on a fly. I did finally succeed in landing a couple of acrobatic hens when I switched over to gear ... but Art kept up his "looseys" and never was able to physically touch a fish despite hitting 10 fish today. I think we're gonna be back here again tomorrow ;)

As we all met up late in the day, we found out that Mickey's hadn't fished as well as the other two holes, but Corey stayed perfect for the day and landed another.

Big bar-b-que tonight ... missed the M's game though :( River is beginning to look very good and judging from what we saw today, things might be starting to heat up!

  • Monday, September 10 ... Well, unfortunately, our big day failed to materialize today. With a big number of us running around today, we opted to split into three groups for the days fishing. Corey and Sue headed into Mickey's, Art, both Jim's (R and S), and I headed for the Yoda with the fly rods, and Kent and Wade chose to float from Mickey's back to camp. Most of the action came for the gals, with Corey banking two and Sue three out of Mickey's and loosing a few more as well. Yoda turned out to be a big disappointment despite some nice water (16 inches this morning) for the bug tossers as only Jim S. and Art getting into fish, Art one and Jim S. two, one of which came an hour before the rest of the group got there. The girls called it a day a little early, just after lunch, so Fishgal could get back to camp and do some phone work. Art, Jim S., and I opted to head down to Murder Creek after lunch.

While it didn't turn out that the hole held as many fish as yesterday. It did finally produce my first fish on the bug rod for me. A hen of about 10 pounds took a red and black version of a fly I call Bob's Blob. I did find another buck that hopped onto the Ugly Butt, but a leap set the fish free. Art also managed to land a fish in here as well, but even with a final pass with gear, we could only find one other biter right at the break of the tail.

Back in camp, we got another lackluster report from the boaters, Kent and Wade. It turned out that the only fish they hit were a pair for Kent tossing flies in the bottom end of Killing Creek a few hours before us.

Hardly the fishing we were hoping for, but oh well, lots of laughs today and continued nice weather made up for the fishing. Time for an M's game now, gotta go!

  • Not this big a smile tonight.Tuesday, September 11, 2001 .... Short report tonight, got into camp and flipped on the news and we're now all watching the sad reports of the terrorism in New York. Floated today, everybody got some fish ... raining now, yuck :(


  • Wednesday, September 12, 2001 ... Not much to report this time around either. Both Fishgal and I decided to take the day off. A combination of a sore back and the desire to watch the boob tube for news on the attacks on the east coast made it easy to make this an off day. River was down to about 12 inches this morning, but is rising slightly this evening following last night's rain. Camp is kinda somber despite some decent fishing for those that headed out today ... although many people didn't go out.


  • Fishgal learning the ropes!Thursday, September 13, 2001 ... Fishgal lowers the odds. Back on the water today. River started the day around 13 inches, about 12.5 right now. I joined Corey and the two Jims in the Yoda today. It was a fly-only day for everyone, including Corey, who put her birthday present (a nine foot, 8 weight Loomis and a Ross Canyon reel & spools) to use for the first time. Unfortunately, the bite didn't pan out to be all too hot for anyone today, with only three fish "caught" and "two" inadvertently snagged between us. I was fortunate enough to account for a two of the former, and, unfortunately, one of the latter. Still not seeing a lot of really big fish, with high teens seeming to be the top out point of most of the fish so far.I found one to munch an ugly butt!

While she didn't hook a fish, I'll admit that I was a little surprised at how well Corey did handling the rod ... and commend her on her patience for sticking with it all day long. I have a feeling that if the water conditions stay favorable for light or medium weight lines, she's gonna have one on the end of her new rod fairly soon. Stay tuned!

  • Friday, September 14, 2001 ... River continues to drop, and is now down to about 11 inches, with about seven feet of visibility. Fishgal and I made a half day out of fishing the Yoda and the choppy riffle below it. We were the only ones in the hole all day as everyone else headed elsewhere in search of a little more action than we've all been seeing. We flogged the hole for about four hours with flies with not so much as a take. Water was starting to get a little skinny in here with the hole really beginning to look like it has filled some. Finally, we broke down and grabbed the gear rods to try some heavy water about 100 yds. below the tail of the Yoda. While it didn't produce a lot of action, it worked out as we both hooked into some fish ... Fishgal managed to get hers, I wasn't so fortunate and lost mine in the shallows. Had the fun of Corey saves the day!watching mine grab hold of the spoon though as I had spotted a pod of coho holding about half way across and I swung the spoon just in front of them and a solitary steelie broke away from the pod of fish and followed the spoon for about eight or nine feet before I saw the flash of the fish followed by a surge of the rod tip ... what a rush :)

Corey and I made it a 2/3 day, heading back to camp around 1:30 as laundry duty overwhelmed Corey (wish that happened at home!). Lots more people rolling into camp tonight, Greg N. showed up as well as Bill, Robin, Chuck, and Jill, some first-times to camp in the cabins next to us.

While I fully understand the reasoning behind the lack of games, we're all suffering from major M's withdrawal ... just a couple of more days to wait!

  • See you next year!Saturday, September 15, 2001 ... Kent and Wade's last day. Swapped holes with these two today after they managed to have a good day in Killing Creek yesterday. While we didn't manage to match their nine fish day on Friday, Corey and I managed to land three .... shoulda been higher, but I had the "looseys" today ... going 0-2 on the fly rod and 1-2 on the gear rod. Corey managed to do a little better, going 2-3 including one buck of about 20 lbs. Wish she could say she got it on the bugrod, but we hung them up around 11 and switched over to gear.

A nice fish on a nice day :)Kent and Wade didn't find any better fishing up above than we did yesterday :( Both landed just a single fish on their last day. Unless some fish show up soon, it appears that we're going to have a pretty hoh-hum season.

Gonna be sad to see these two go, but our noses will be thankful :) For the second year in a row, Kent managed to go the whole week without taking a shower. Rachel, have the fumigator ready for his arrival! P.S. ... Wade's guilty too!

  • Lots of fun in the sun on our day off. Art and Sue posing for picture time.Sunday, September 16, 2001 ... Not much to report today. Took the whole day off, sleeping until about 10 AM. Hard to take it off with the water level down to just under 10 inches ... about time to hit Cable Crossing ... an old haunt of the last lower water we had a few years back. Reports this evening from there were pretty good, so we'll be out there first thing in the morning to get on them fisheys!


  • Jim S. sitting guard over all our gear.Monday, September 17, 2001 ... Corey's patience pays off!  Our first trip to Cable Crossing in over two years with some expectations of decent fishing. River level was down to 9 1/2 inches this morning which we figured would allow the bottom end of the hole to fish well with flies. Through the course of the day, we found ourselves to have made the right call. Armed with everything under the sun, Corey, Art, myself, and both Jims walked the trail into the hole (no longer can drive in thanks to a a washout of the road) at first light and after a initial dry spell, things began to heat up.

We found that 300's fished the bottom of the hole just fine and everyone took turns passing through the lower end of the hole (usually while one sat out drinking coffee) and around 8AM, the bite turned on. I hooked a pair of fish, loosing one right at my feet in the shallows and the other being LDR'd. Jim R. also rolled a couple of fish, but they too, were released just a little too soon. Art, in the midst of a serious funk, lost connection with the first five fish that he touched today ... making a streak of eight in a row for him.

Corey playing her first steelhead she's hooked on the flyrod!After a couple of dry days with the flyrod, Corey finally connected with a nice hen ... with just some "Ohh, Ohh, Ohhhs!", followed by a cry of "Oh Shit, whadda I do now??" :) She played this fish for about five or six minutes before it finally came unpinned in the riffle below the hole as Corey gave chase to it.

Corey got another shot at one about an hour later, but this fish too shook free as it danced across the top of the water to the far side of the hole. The rest of us continued to hit fish every so 20 minutes or so, I finally managed to land one and ended up 3 for 6 for the day. Art finally stopped his streak and got one to the bank as well. Both Jim's had a number of chances, but the loosey's seemed to be contagious and I don't recall either of them landing one today.

About 2 PM though, the day finished on a superb not as I sat and watched things unfold. Jim S. was leading the way through the hole (Jim R. went to camp about lunchtime), with Corey just upstream and Art batting clean-up.

Jim rolled a fish, and seconds later, Art was into one. Corey, just getting ready to pull her line in, hit a fish as well. Almost a triple-header, but a double going on!

Corey with her first-ever steelhead on the flyrod :)Corey chased her fish down through the riffle and finally slid it into the shallows about 100 yards downstream of where she hooked the hen of about ten pounds. Like a little kid, she was grinning from ear to ear while we snapped a couple pix of her first fly-caught steelie. Yippe!!!!! A big congrats for her from everyone in camp tonight.

A few minutes later, Art slid his fish into the shallows just a few feet from where Corey landed hers ... not a toady, but a very nice fish of about 18 pounds to finish up our day.

Some rain coming down this evening, but we should be able to get one more day in Cable Crossing before the water rises if the weather keeps up. We hit somewhere around 25 fish on the flyrod today in there ... we're hoping to do as well tomorrow, if we can just hang onto a few more!

  • Monday, September 18, 2001 ... Our return to Cable Crossing today turned out to be a big letdown. Very sporadic action overall despite a number of us taking turns pounding the lower half of the hole and even tossing a little gear in the upper end as well.

I went down with Corey and Art before sunup to grab the hole as we figured we might have some company today, as it usually works out when you go in early, no one else (competition) showed for some time. Both Jims and Sue came a little bit later and we resumed our normal pattern of 4-5 people fishing and one or two sharing 'The Throne" a natural seat in a rootball along the riverbank.

Despite seeing some rolling fish, we found them to not  be very receptive to our offerings. I was perfect on the day, but that only meant going one for one. Corey did hook a very nice fish on the fly again today ... I've created a monster ... but she wasn't able to land that one. Late in the day, she did succeed in landing a nice fish of about 17-18 pounds on her 'special' rag on our clean-up run through the hole.

I think most everybody hit one or two fish, but only a few were landed throughout the course of the day.

Mike N. even came down to join us around 9 or so this morning, when he and Greg returned to Killing Creek to begin their float back down to camp he found that his pontoon boat that he had left overnight had been slashed in four places in one pontoon. Without a boat for the day, he opted to come down and join the rest of the pack ... sad that crap goes on even here :(

Some very heavy prolonged showers tonight have us a little worried about the water tomorrow ... the river rose from about 9 inches this morning to almost 11 tonight, and I'm sure we're going to see a little more of a rise. Might be a sleepy day if things get too dirty ... but we're not in too much danger of a prolonged blow-out ... yet!

  • Tuesday, September, 19, 2001 ... With the river beginning to rise last night, Corey and I opted to get up late today to see how things were progressing before we decided to fish today. We found that the water had risen over four inches and had colored slightly, figuring that there probably wasn't going to be much of a bite, we opted to take the day off. Reports this afternoon confirmed our suspicions as most of camp reported very slow fishing overall today. A good day to rest my back which has seen a little improvement in recent days and a breather for Corey's arm which has pretty much been left feeling like a wet noodle after continuous casting with the flyrod ... we'll get it in shape before too long :) Spent the day napping, watching movies, and finishing up a new tip for the site. Lots of people over tonight to watch the M's clinch the AL West ... glad to see life returning to normal to some degree back home! Planning on a normal day right now for tomorrow with the Yoda as our planned destination if water conditions allow. 


  • Thursday, September 20, 2001 ... The fish kick our butt. Early start this morning for Art, Corey, and I. River level was up to 15 inches but looking at the bank, it had crested and was beginning to drop. We headed up to Mickey's and made the walk in as the field access is temporarily closed due to wet conditions. The three of us pounded the hole hard with flies. Level was right inbetween a 300 and a 400 so Art eased his 400 through while I ran a 300 with a weighted fly. Corey ran her 300 as well and concentrated heavily in close. Three full passes we made of the hole, and not even a tug :( By this time, it was almost noon so just as Corey and I were finishing our third pass, Art was starting at top with gear ... without even having our typical group conference about swapping over to gear ... but I think he read our minds :) Little good did the gear do us. We all made one full pass, casting and two-stepping ... save for what was probably a good-feeling rock for me in the tail, none of us connected. Kinda discouraged, we said the heck with it and headed back to camp for a little phone work and unfortunately, a little tire changing on the Durango ... the rocky roadways seemed to take their toll. A good excuse to go into town this evening for a dinner out ... and a tire fix as well :) Maybe tomorrow!


  • Friday, September 22, 2001 ... The fish kick our butt again - sorta. Lots of rain last night :( A bunch of us met at 6:30 this morning to check the water. It hadn't started to rise yet, but we were sure it was coming. Everybody decided to go back to bed for a few hours and see where the river was going a little later. By 10, the river still hadn't risen so Art and Jim S. headed a little above camp to float down while Corey and I headed up to Yoda since we had promised Greg that we'd do his turnaround for him anyhow. A number of rigs were already parked in the area when we got there, so we figured things must be full, so we opted just to bring Greg's rig back to camp. Corey and I chose to drop the Puma in the river and row across to fish the camp hole ... water was about 13.5 inches and still looking fine. We made two passes through the long drift across from camp and I was able to briefly connect with a fish but the first long run saw the hook pull free. The water seemed to be rising by our second pass and was definitely picking up color so we opted to make our third pass with gear ... nothing doing :( Midway through our third pass, we noticed a number of people at camp pointing across the river ... since there was an angler in the next drift below when we came across, we figured he was just coming back up the river or something. When we returned to camp, however; we learned that everybody was pointing at a sow black bear and one black cub and one light blonde cub that were just feet from our boat. We never saw them ... good thing as Corey was only about 50 yards around the corner from the boat and I don't think she woulda been really happy to be the closest one to them. By the time we figured out was probably going on, they were nowhere to be found when I went hunting with the cameras ... hopefully somebody from camp got a good one.  By the time 4 o'clock rolled around, there was a lot of debris in the water, so we just headed back in. River is at 19 inches tonight and quite dirty ... still rising too, looks like a full day off tomorrow.


  • Saturday, September 22, 2001 ... Oh boy, we're going to have some time off now. The river has been steadily rising all day long ... from about 20 inches at midnight to 32+ right now. Nobody in camp fished around here today for steelies, a few went to local lakes in search of trout, something we might do tomorrow. River will need at least three days to mellow, so there's gonna be lots of TV watching and tying going on for most in camp, although some will likely head to other areas to fish rivers that run cleaner. We may, but not in the immediate future. Water tonight was high enough that the camp gauge got whacked hard by a log and got bent, so I had to go on a impromptu fix-it dive. I hope that is the last of those, but probably not :(


  • Sunday, September 23, 2001 and Monday, September 24, 2001 ... We'll make this a joint Journal entry as there has been very little going on around camp. River went off the gauge yesterday and was probably somewhere in the neighborhood of 40-42 inches as nearly all the rebar was under water. Lots of doom and gloom in camp as many people are wondering if the river will even come back in during their stay and the Seattle area sports teams have left lots of long faces this week-end, save for the Huskies romp against Idaho. Annual big bash at Peter's place tonight ... good timing with everyone hanging around camp and giving  us the day to prepare our massive clam feast that we bring every year. Even with all day to cook, we were still behind schedule ... fashionably late let's call it. River is down to about 30 inches late tonight, should be able to fish the day after tomorrow I think!


  • Tuesday and Wednesday, September 25 and 26, 2001 ... The Waiting Continues!  Not much to report again :( River got down to 26 inches Tuesday afternoon and many of us thought about fishing on Wednesday if things continued to drop a little bit. However, late Tuesday night, the river began to rise again and is almost at the top of the rebar holding our gauge on Wednesday afternoon. Looks like we'll be sitting for a few more days. Lots of people are now on the verge of leaving, and some already have. We plan on waiting things out for a few more days, but we're starting to get a big case of cabin fever. But we're eating well, Corey and I made a monster prime rib last night for the usual gang and we all ate until we were blue in the face ... looks like we're all going to head out to eat out tonight so no one has to do any dishes :) Sun just broke out a few minutes ago for the first time in days, but I'm not going to hold my breath to see if it lasts!


  • Thursday, September 27, 2001 ... The sun shines down on us! The sun came out in full force for most of the day and the river is dropping fairly fast. all day long, the stream of people coming to check the "Bob-o-meter", AKA camp gauge, has been steady. Most of the gear fishermen are planning on fishing tomorrow, despite 29 inches on the gauge and about 6 inches of vis ... but I think everyone's going stir crazy and will give it a whirl regardless. We spent the day packing some things up as if the river gets really high again, we're close enough to our departure date that we might leave and get home to take care of things there. With the nice weather, we even gave the "camp golf course", if it can be called one, a whirl this afternoon ... my back wasn't really happy about it, but I was getting a little sick of hangin' around the cabin all day long. We're planning on hitting Killing Creek first thing in the AM ... probably going to be a little high yet in there, but you can't catch fish sitting at home :) Lots of season premieres on the boob tube tonight, so I adjusted the dish to pick up network feeds and we'll spend the night tying flies and watching our Thursday night shows ... after we bar-b up a few ribeyes first:)


  • Friday, September 28, 2001 ... Return to action!  Back on the water this morning. Not very good conditions, about 26.5 inches height with about 18 inches of vis ... but good enough to try to shake off some cabin fever and give it a whirl. I joined Art and Corey in a sweep of Killing Creek today. Art and I began with the flyrods ... making a pair of compulsory passes with 400's and heavily weighted flies, but even feeding loads of line through our swings, it was pretty much impossible to stay near bottom, even in close. Around 9:30 we opted to give it and grab the gear rods and .... nothing :( A full pass and not one of us touched a fish. Hmmmm, maybe a little too much water after all in here. Getting to the point where we were going through the motions in the increasingly steady rain that began around 8, I was kinda surprised to feel a tug about 2/3 of the way down through our second pass. Following Corey and Art, I playfully gave a "Naah-nah-nah-nah-nah" to Corey below only to watch her rod buckle ... doubleheader :)  Go Figure, no action for three hours and then we double. Corey's turned out to be a smallish hen that didn't do much ... mine turned out to be a buck of about 13-14 that, although not much of a leaper, was quite the tugger and took off well downstream. Oh well, so much for the doubleheader pic we were looking for to have for an X-Mas card this year. Hoping things were going to pick up, we were a little disappointed that we finished our passes through the hole with no more action. A brief break for lunch and some soaking in the short sunbreaks that were now passing overhead, we opted to make one more pass ... it turned out to pay a little reward for us, a small buck that gave a few tugs but wasn't much of a battler that grabbed my conehead just a few feet from where I got my fish earlier. We quit a little early today as we had a small get together planned with Peter, Art & Sue, and Jim & Nancy. Corey served up some super deep-fried ling cod and we heard many of Peter's tales as we feasted as a group one last time. Jim and Nancy are headed out first thing in the morning ... things are winding down for 2001. Sad to see them go back home, that means our time is limited as well ... maybe we can get one last hurrah with some good fishing before we go. There certainly hasn't been too much of it this year and the skies are clouding up again ... a big rain may mean a tip back home :(


  • Saturday, September 29, 2001 ... And the winds blew, and blew, and blew ... A day to rival any of the ugliest spring days on the Peninsula, we saw a little bit of everything today weather-wise, but the biggest story was the wind ... which probably gusted to 40+ mph at times. Not a really hard day of fishing for us ... Art, Sue, Corey and I went back to Killing Creek with the river and almost exactly the same level as it was last night. A number of opportunities today, but I was the only one to succeed in bringing a fish to the bank ... another small one like yesterday, but what the heck :) Art lost both fish he hooked, Corey hit three, and all three shook free ... 'bout the same luck as the M's had tonight against Oakland. A great report from the Camp Hole, one fella had six on the fly working a dead water seam that the fish probably tucked into to escape the massive flow of leaves that were coming down the river by late morning with the wind. Art and I went on a little recon for tomorrow and we're planning on heading to the High Pea Garden bright and early to find some good fly water ... hopefully the leaf flow will have mellowed some to allow us to swing some feathers. River will hopefully drop some, but the rain that came through last night and early this morning may not allow that to happen. Weather forecast looks good, so we may have some nice water by mid-week, but I think Art and Sue will miss it. Corey and I won't :)


  • Sunday, September 30, 2001 ... And the winds blew, and blew, and blew  PART !! ... Hoping things were going to mellow somewhat with the winds overnight, we were disappointed this morning to see the winds still howling away even before the sun came up. I headed for the Upper Pea Garden with Art and Corey well before the sun came up and we parked the car, loaded up, and made the long walk into the hole in the pitch black ... interesting with an inflatable raft over my head. Just as we go to within about 100 yards of the river, I saw a flashlight on the island we were planning to fish from ... damn! Someone actually beat us in here, 30 minutes before daylight. Oh well. We sat down and mulled our options over, we decided to go ahead and drop the raft in the bushes and blaze trail through the brush down to the Middle Pea Garden. The main flow turned out to be way too high, but there was a very nice looking inside seam right at the top of the hole. Art hopped in and had a fish boil under a fly he was stripping back in ... so we sent Corey right in above him. I went up with her and got her going with a little roll cast that the seam needed ... just about ten feet between us and the brush behind. Once she got going, I went up a little higher and stripped out some line and gave it short roll cast to work out some line ... whamo! Fish on :) That was tough ... first cast of the day and a hen of about 8-9 pounds jumped on the pink Bob's Blob. We worked the top end for about an hour and we saw that the person on the island above was packing it in ... so up we went. The water was a little higher than what we were outfitted with to fish, but a little line manipulation and we were fishing! Not even a sniff on our first past through the drift, but Corey, working a showgirl into the seam at the end of the Island, banged a steelie on our next pass. Another small fish, we're long overdue for some jumbos, gonna have to get our act together :) By late morning, the steady breeze built into a full-fledged gale ... casting became increasing difficult and was becoming more work than fun. Our third pass with flies turned out to be our last one ... I managed to hook a heavy fish at the very end of the drift, but after about a fifty foot run, the hook pulled free. We switched to gear ... and that wasn't much easier casting wise. Corey hooked another fish on an aeropuff, but after becoming tangled with a log, of it came. We packed it in about 2:30 ... we'll wait 'til things mellow out some ... like tomorrow maybe :) Good reports from Killing Creek and Yoda from the gear-only guys today ... if the water level drops enough tonight, that's our plan for the AM!


  • Monday, October 1, 2001 ... And  when the wind stopped, it got colder than Hell! ... Frigid this morning with the temps dropping into the mid-20's. Not unusual this time of year here, but far and away the coldest morning we've seen and everyone felt it. Yoda trip today ... nice to be back after a whole week or more off from our favorite drift. Art and Sue joined Corey and I on their last day of fishing ... although it was cold enough that Sue spent much of her day on the bank after punching a hole in her waders and not wishing to have frigid water flowing through the calf area. Jim R. came in as well and we finally found a little better fishing overall ... hooking 14 fish between us. I went 3-5 today, 2 for 3 on the flyrod, and 1 for 2 with gear on our late afternoon cleanup pass. River was just a tad under 20 inches this morning, still a fair bit of water, but low enough to fish the drift with a 400 and a weighted fly. Our big highlight of the day came late this afternoon when Art finally got a fish to the bank ... rooting for him all day and letting him lead whenever possible, we were hoping for him to bang a fish before he left and end this bad karma streak he's been in the last few days. Unlike him, he never touched a fish on the flyrod, but also hooked two on the cleanup pass and got the second one to the bank, not a huge fish, but one to finish off his trip with. Lots of sighs of relief from Corey and I (Jim and Sue went back to camp late morning) as he finally shook off the stink. I think he may have transferred it to Corey though, as she went 2 for 6 ... all on gear in the head end, although she gave a valiant effort working the 400 through the lower part of drift from time to time. Decent reports from most of our favorite spots today, but nothing spectacular. River is down to 19 tonight, hoping for 18 or maybe even a little less by morning to make Yoda fish a little better. Planning on a short one tomorrow, laundry duty calls again ... jeez, you'd think we had ten kids running around with all the dirty clothes we've got piled up!


  • Tuesday, October 2, 2001 ... All alone, except for that stranger ... Just a half day for Corey and I today. Corey hoped to flyfish again, so we went back to Yoda to give it a shot. Water was down to 18 inches this morning and the 400's fished quite well, ticking bottom every so often across most of our swings. But we made two full passes and not even a sniff from a fish ... damn! We either sore-lipped them all or they had all left without any replacements. Figuring on a short day, we decided to walk up to Mickey's to try gear, but as we approached the hole, we found someone already there so he headed back to Yoda to try that with gear. It only took a about 4 or 5 casts at the very top end before I had a fish ... from a spot I never would have put a fly into. No sooner did I hook the fish, three fellas hopped out of the woods and sighed that there was already someone in the hole. They watched the ensuing battle and the one fella who turned out to be from Vancouver, BC decided that he was going to tail my fish for me ... somewhat reluctantly accepting the kind gesture, I was surprised that when Corey knelt down to take the pic while the fish was still in the water, the guy hoisted it up for a pic ... hmmmph! Okay, I just hopped next to him ... and there we go. He held it as I removed the hook and off it went. We invited them to fish their flies below us as we planned to quit early anyhow. They only gave it about 15 minutes before they just decided to pack up and go, so we just continued where we left off with our gear rods. We worked every inch of the drift to see what we may have left, but the only fish we found was a small hen of about five pounds that grabbed my conehead in the deep pocket at the very tail of the hole ... another spot that is nearly impossible to get a fly down into. I guess there just wasn't much in there. We returned to camp early and took a long nap before taking Art and Sue out to dinner on their last night here. All the regulars are heading home, felt strange fishing the drift today without the gang ... just not quite the same :(


  • Wednesday, October 3, 2001 ... Do Northern Lights make the fish bite better? Yep!... Awoke on this chilly morning to find a pretty decent light show going on overhead. Must have had some sort of effect on the fish as he found much improved fishing today ... although I suffered from a pretty good case of "Art-itis" (loosing fish). Corey and I hiked back into Yoda and tossed bugs in the sunshine 'til about noon. I hooked five fish ... only managing to land two and Corey got a nice hen of about 15 pounds. All fish came on our cone-headed purple / black bunnies. After a break for lunch, we walked up to Mickey's to give it the first try in some time ... I tried working a 400 through the lower half, but it was still a little heavy, so I switched back to gear and followed Corey down through the hole. We hooked three fish in here, Corey going one for two ... all on coneheads. Greg came down from above, floating with Scott and Angie so we decided to go back down to Yoda and give it a whirl with gear letting Greg lead the way as it was his last day here and was trying to get to 40 fish for the trip. It took all of three casts for my big fish drought to end by landing a stubborn buck of 20 pounds or so. I hooked a couple of more on my pass, landing one and Corey lost another ... all in all a pretty good day, we hooked 13 fish, 7 on gear, 6 on flies ... but we're going to have to do something about only bringing 5 to the bank ... we had our chances though, all we can ask for. Same plan tomorrow, lots of people running around and we've pretty much had things to ourselves so don't see too much reason to change. Gonna be cold tonight ... not a cloud in the sky. Corey's feet are hurting already!


  • Thursday, October 4, 2001 ... Does our luck repeat itself??? ... Nope, not today. We walked our now well-beaten path back into Yoda hoping that there were still some fish moving or that we hadn't sore-lipped them all. I thought we were in for a gangbusters days when just a few casts into the morning, I felt a tug-tug-tug working my black and purple bunny ... upon setting, things didn't feel quite right ... a sucker of about three pounds decided my fly was food. Hmmm, not the way to start the day. A few minutes later, Corey leading the way hooked a nice steelie on a fly she found a few days back ... now I gotta tie a bunch of those :) This fish came loose just as was she was leading it into the shallows. I finally hooked a steelhead about 3/4 of the way through the run, but it went completely ape and shook the hook during its fourth or fifth leap. Getting down to to the honey pocket at the tail, I thought I was finally going to get my steelie when another tug got my attention ... but the short runs of the fish and the bright crimson belly quickly told me otherwise ... Coho. The first one in a while, and although dark, he was quite the sight with all his color and gnarly jaws. As it turned out, we never got a steelie in Yoda on the flyrod today ... although I did hook and lose a heavy fish on gear in here on our clean-up pass later in the afternoon. Mickey's provided me one ... a change of fortune for us. We had walked up there about noon and found the tail of the hole flyfishable with a 400 and a weighted fly. I hooked a nice hen of about 17 pounds that came unpinned in the midst of a lengthwise cartwheel. Next cast was a little more rewarding ... third time was the charm today and a nailed a teener buck that wasn't quite so acrobatic. With the time flying by, we walked back to Yoda and made our clean-up pass and headed home ... watching a strange sight ... a driftboat headed past Killing Creek ... the last take-out before the sweeper and logjam about 1/2 mile below. Hope they had fun!!


  • Friday, October 5, 2001 ... Our next to last day :( ... Made it a half day today as we needed to get some sleep for the trip home and also some packing back at camp. Art was kind enough to leave us the SS Rubber Ducky before he left and we put it to use going to Killing Creek this morning. Water level was down to just under 14 inches which made for a pretty soft flow. We flyfished the hole for about three hours with just one hook-up for both Corey and I. I lost my fish .... thanks Art, I appreciate the generosity of you sharing your luck with me after you left. After a long tug-of-war, Corey landed her largest steelie to date on the flyrod ... a buck of around 18 pounds that grabbed her showgirl. Odd, both Corey and I have caught our largest fish on the same fly now ... a note perhaps to heed in the future.  After a couple of passes with flies, we tossed worms throughout the drift making a two-step and cast pass through the hole. I hooked a couple of fish, but only succeeded in landing one of them, a smaller buck of about 8 pounds or so. Knowing we had lots of work back at camp, we headed back around noon and slept for several hours before we began some packing and a night of watching the M's set the American League record for season victories. Corey thinks I'm getting nervous ... a World Series win means a ring for her ... she'd better win a bunch in Reno next week :)


  • Saturday, October 6, 2001 ... Our last day, well it supposed to be :) ... Made tracks for Cable Crossing this morning with the river level down to just above 12 inches. Coming in here on a week-end day always means an early start to grab the tail end first as it can be a busy place, but save for a few locals that came for about an hour and fished up top, there was no one else around. Corey had a turn at a big day on the flyrod today, hooking five, but she only managed to land a couple of them. There must have been a pod laying around a rock on the inside corner, as it seemed every time I turned around, she had hit another fish. I only hooked one on the fly today ... and came unpinned as it shot past me doing about Mach 7. I did find a nice buck later on in the top end on gear ... glad I had the gear rod, it about kicked my butt as it was. The fish only went about 14-15 pounds, but when it headed downstream, there wasn't much stopping him. We made it a short day so we could visit Dorothy before we left and get our packing finished. We were planning on heading out late tonight, but after Corey hooked all the fish on the bugrod and the fact that we'd miss both tonight's and tomorrow's M's game if we left made our decision to stay an extra day an easy one. A little ribbing from Corey tonight ... I'm going to start calling her Carson ("Don't I make you angry :)!") ... I'll get her tomorrow!


  • Sunday, October 7, 2001 ... This WILL BE our last day - and Bob gets paybacks on Fishgal ... Back to Cable Crossing for our last morning of fishing. River was just a fraction lower, but the fish certainly weren't in the same spot as they were yesterday. We made three passes through what is normally the honey water with flies and not even a for sure tug ... one maybe for me. Knowing our time was limited, we switched over to gear with about an hour left and went on patrol with coneheads in the upper end of the hole. I led the way and hooked a tiny fish of about four pounds about 1/4 way the drift. Corey let out a laugh at it when it jumped about eye level with me on the bank ... bad move. It PO'd the Fish Gods and opened the door for my payback. I ending up banging four steelies and a Coho over the next hour to Corey's nothing. Serves her right :) But I better not tease her too hard or it will come back to haunt me next year. Good timing on our leaving ... pouring down rain now, just enough signal on our dish to watch the M's go for 117 wins. We'll know soon if they did it! Sad faces in the cabin right now as we know it'll be 11 months before we're back, but it'll be nice to get home and get back to a normal routine as well. 








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