Nov 282015

The website has been updated to work better with mobile devices like mobile phones and tablets. The website now has a link on each page that connects to the same webpage, only optimized for mobile devices. You can stay on the “mobile” side of the website or return to the “regular” web pages. Eventually, the pages will be merged, there will be no “mobile” web pages. The main sections and main pages of the website will not change; bookmarks, links on forums, social media and search engines will continue to work. Might have to throw in an extra click or two, but everything should be there.

Some of the web pages do not work yet on mobile devices. This is especially true of the pages with video on them. The MPEG and Windows Media(WMV) videos do not work reliably on mobile devices so those videos have to be re-edited and encoded to a more suitable format. There is a lot of video on the website and it is going to be a lot of work to do that, it’s going to take some time. The good news is that the videos will be much higher quality and have better sound, but they can be much longer. We have got a lot of video to add to the website along with the updated video that is already there.

If you want to comment or complain about something on the website, please email us or leave a comment here on this blog post. If you don’t want the comment to be public, mention it and it won’t be posted, but we’ll read it.

Nov 272015

After today, it’s would be perfectly correct to label me a complete and total fool. I don’t really like shopping in stores, especially “big box” places, but against every shred of reason and logic, I decided to go to the Black Friday sale at Cabelas Outdoor Superstore in Tualatin, Oregon, which is basically Portland. I’ve been mainly satisfied with Cabelas’ products, mostly outerwear, boots and fishing stuff and have spent a lot of money there, but I’d never been to a Black Friday event and have zero interest in participating. Tempted by the Black Friday ad, I called Cabelas on Wednesday before Thanksgiving and told them I didn’t want to drive all that way for nothing. The Cabelas representative told me the items I was interested in were well stocked and expected to last the entire weekend. I live in a fairly remote area with not many stores around, so when I saw a number of things I wanted but can’t get locally at a fantastic price, well, I couldn’t resist.

Long drive to Portland; to get there about 4:00AM, I left at 2:00AM to go to a friggen store. When I got to Cabelas at about 3:45AM, there was already a long line of people, some who looked like they had been there all night. Got out of the truck and proceeded to stand in line in a strip mall in sub-freezing weather for the privilege of entering a retail establishment. Bizarre. I wasn’t alone; within a half hour, the line to get into the store easily doubled in length.

Black Friday at Cabelas

About a half hour before the store opened at 5:00AM, bundled up Cabelas employees came out handing out numbers and “gifts” for the first six hundred people in line. I got a $10 gift card, a girl next to me won a weekend trip. I’ve got $10 and I’m actually not far from the beginning of the line, number 365. I’m beginning to think I may have been wrong about Black Friday sales and people actually get great deals!

Black Friday at Cabelas

I got into the store about ten minutes after opening and moved quickly through the mob to the counter to get what I came for. “Sorry, out of stock.” OK, item number two; “sorry, out of stock”. This was repeated for all the half dozen items on my list. These things were common outdoor-type items, I could have got most, if not all of them, at any WalMart in metro Portland, albeit at a higher cost. So, ten minutes after the “sale” starts, 375 people in the store, everything that anybody wants is sold out. Tough shit for me and the 700 or so people in line behind me. Cabelas deliberately short stocked all these items to suck people into the store and steer them to stuff they were trying to get rid of.

So, I’m the fool. I should have known better. All Cabelas family run, flag waving marketing is a bunch of BS. It’s just another big corporation with Chinese stuff and minimum wage employees. Cabelas lost my trust and my business today, although I’m 100% sure they don’t give a damn about me or any of their other customers.

Nov 252015

It’s been mostly cold and wet for the past week, so when the sun came out this morning, we had to get outside and ride the bikes. Been stuck pretty much indoors working on the mobile website, so we had to get while the gettin’s good. The sun was out, but it was cold, about 38°F. Headed up the local mountain road and it wasn’t long before we hit the snow.

Local mountain snow 11-25-15

After a few hundred feet of climbing, the first snow patches appeared, followed quickly by snow over ice, a result of the local “freeze-thaw” phenomenon. Eventually, the road got to the point where is would be unsafe to ride, so we headed back with a chilly downhill.

Looks clear and cold for the next few days so we’re hoping for a couple rides in the sun before the next cold and rainy stretch of winter sets in.

Nov 192015

The weather here in the PacNW has been pretty bad for the past week or so, that’s bad news if you have outdoor activities planned, but good news for visitors to the website because we are indoors working on the WatermanAtWork mobile website. It’s not done yet, but many of the big jobs are just about finished. A lot of it involves rewriting all the website computer code so it works on as many mobile devices and computers as possible. This is time consuming and tedious work, but the website should work a lot better. The mobile website will probably look a little better on a mobile device than on a big computer monitor, but we’ll tweak that later. The link for the mobile website, still under construction, is HERE if you want to check it out. There may be a few dead ends and all the pages aren’t finished, so keep that in mind. Some of the older video clips are going to have to be re-edited, that’s going to take a little longer. mobile website

There is a lot of new stuff waiting to be edited and uploaded, but if we don’t get the grunt work out of the way first, we’ll never do it. Check out the mobile website to see what we’re doing when the weather is nasty.

Nov 102015

The days are getting shorter and colder and the sun is lower and lower in the late autumn sky, casting long shadows even at midday. There are still leaves on the trees due to the warmer late October weather, but they will be gone soon and it’s been raining off and on; the ground will be wet until next June or July. It’s still pretty spectacular scenery, even if it only lasts another week or so. It’s been nice the past couple days, but it looks cold and wet for the next week so you have to get out there when it’s nice.

Autumn cycling in the Columbia River Gorge

Mountain biking is more fun, but from a fitness standpoint, it’s hard to beat road riding. The trails are muddy and riding on them when they are wet pretty much wrecks the trail, so trail riding in the winter is somewhat limited if you are a responsible rider. If you want to go for a two hour bike ride, a road ride takes two hours and fifteen minutes, it’s pretty much an all day deal with a mountain bike ride, especially with the short winter days. Also, walking out the door and getting on the bike is preferable to walking out the door, getting in your car and driving somewhere to ride a bike.

Bicycle riding near Hood River, OR

We are on the winter schedule of working on the website, taking a couple hours, when weather permits, to get out from in front of the computer and get a bike ride in. It’s easy to get out of shape and pack on a few extra pounds over the winter “indoor sports” season, we’d like to keep that to a minimum. We are making good progress on the mobile website. There’s still work to do, but it’s headed in the right direction. When that is finished, there are a lot of photos and videos waiting for editing and posting to the website, so good things are coming up.

Nov 042015

Well, winter is just about here; when the thermometer dips below 32°F, that’s getting into the cold range. Getting up at 4:00AM is tough enough when it’s shorts and T-shirt weather, hopping out of the sack when it’s 50° makes it extra special. We wait as long as possible to turn on the 24/7 heat(money, you know), because we fight winter to the last stand. Anyway, even though everything is going against us, the sun is shining and there is at least one fish in the river, so we are out there.

Fishing is dead on the Columbia River, so we head way up into the hills for salmon and steelhead. We had a pretty good run of rain for the past few days, a lot of it probably fell as snow on Mt. Adams, but the Columbia tributaries are still murky from rain, visibility is only about a foot. We hoped for better conditions, but nature runs the show around here. Like they say; “it was a great day of fishing”, but not for catching. Not a huge disappointment, this is the time of the year for the hardcore fisherman. When you fish for trophy fish, sometimes you get nothing. This time of year, one last fish is all you want, one more fight before packing it in for the winter.

SW Washington salmon river

Not even a nibble today, I would say “man, the fishing sucks“, but then I look around and wonder how I could complain about anything.

Oct 292015

The fishing season is over, so it’s back on the bikes. This is the time of year when it’s not too cold, but usually plenty of rain. It’s been raining the past couple days and looks like a significant storm over the weekend but, hopefully next week we will be able to get a few days in. After storing the kayak for the winter, I was pretty depressed; summer over, fishing over, etc. The only thing I could do to make things better was go for a bike ride, so that’s what I did.

Cycling near Mt. Hood

Headed towards Mt. Hood, taking it easy because I haven’t ridden in a couple months. It would rain later that evening so it was kind of hazy. Headed out on the backroads to check out the fall colors. After the storm that’s supposed to hit this weekend, there probably won’t be many leaves left on the trees.

Fall colors in the Hood River Valley

Turned around and headed back towards the Columbia River with Mt. Adams in the distance with a fresh dusting of snow. Winter isn’t far off now.

Cycling in Oregon with Mt. Adams in the distance

For us, it will editing photos and video and working on the website. When it’s not raining, we’re going to try and go riding. Keep checking in because there is a lot of new stuff for the website.

Oct 292015

“Turn out the lights, the party’s over”

We gave it our best last ditch attempt, but the late run salmon fishing was just not happening. The water levels and fish counts dropped, the fish stopped biting and that was all she wrote. Everybody knows the salmon runs are limited, but it’s tough when the fall salmon run ends because that’s usually the end of the fishing season and for the next few months; cold, rainy and gray days will be the norm. It’s already started to rain and the high temps for the days are falling short of the sixty degree mark, so all the kayak fishing gear has been packed up and stored away for the winter.

We had a good salmon fishing season; keeping nine chinook salmon, four coho and two steelhead. The spot we fish at most of the time has a lot of native fish, so I released at least as many fish as I was able to keep. Lost a few as well. After last year’s record salmon run, we have to adjust expectations back to a normal season. The weather was mostly good so it was an enjoyable fall fishing season.

Salmon fillets in the freezer

Now it’s on to editing the photos and video from the season and posting them on the website, we are getting busy with that so keep checking in for new stuff.

Grilled salmon from the Columbia River

Now it’s time to have a few beers, tell fish stories and have some salmon. Then, when the rain stops, get back on the bike and do some riding.

Oct 252015

Last week was not the best of the fishing season, but the conditions are pretty tough and it is the end of the salmon run. There are still some fish coming over the downstream dam, but just as many, if not more fish going over the upstream dam, so that’s a net loss. The water levels in the rivers are still low, that’s not helping. I had one solid hit while trolling but lost it; that’s about my best result and caught one sturgeon that confirms that fishing with eggs is not going to work any longer. Disappointed that I didn’t get a fish, but I saw a few caught, so I’m willing to give it one more try.

It’s raining today and tonight, so maybe that will get the fish biting. I don’t think there will be enough rain to muddy the rivers, but if there is much more rain, we’ll probably wait a day or two. One more skunk and I think that will do it for me. I might go fishing a few more times, but there’s no advantage to using the kayak, so I’ll wind up the season with a few “river runs through it” sessions.

Oct 212015

Well, we’ve been giving it a good try, but I’m pretty sure our favorite salmon fishing spot has pretty much had it for the season. The water levels have come up a couple feet, but the fish were not biting today. We didn’t even get a nibble and we didn’t see any fish caught. There was a pretty decent surge of salmon over the big downstream dam, but no evidence of that today.

The weather is cooler in the morning, but pretty darn nice; makes you want to go fishing. We may have had our last go at the home spot, but there is one ace in the hole to play.

Kayak fishing for salmon on the Columbia River

There’s a shot at the late arrival Chinook salmon, hope they keep coming. Then, there are the “pretty rare this year” Coho and “fish of ten thousand casts” Steelhead, so we have that going for us. At this point in the season, any fish would be a victory. Thing about this kind of fishing is that you could catch the fish of a lifetime tomorrow, even if you haven’t caught anything all week.