Mar 232015

The regular late winter/early spring showers are back for a few days, but the weather overall continues to be very mild for this time of year. You won’t hear this very often from someone who lives in the PacNW in March, but we could use the rain. The water levels of rivers and lakes around here are very low and there isn’t much of a snowpack this year. As of today, we only have 7% of our usual average snowpack. That is not good news because water has to come from somewhere, and around here, when it’s not raining, it comes from melted snow.

Anyway, the mild late winter weather is making us think that it’s going to be an early start to the fishing season, so we are starting to get the fishing gear ready to go. A good way to spend a rainy day indoors is to clean up all those fishing reels. I’m not a believer in expensive fishing gear, I try to get good fishing tackle at a reasonable price. The thing with less expensive fishing reels is that you have to do regular maintenance on them to keep them working smoothly. The fishing tackle used for kayak fishing tends to get banged around and dunked in the water a bit more frequently, so at least once a year, I take the fishing reels apart, clean them up and re-lube them with waterproof silicone grease. That’s enough to keep them working smoothly for an entire season of fishing.

Cleaning and re-lubing the fishing reels

First up are the reels we use for smallmouth bass and trout; a few light spinning reels and a baitcaster or two. Taking care of fishing reels is pretty straightforward and easy to do. All you do is take them apart, making sure you pay attention to how the parts fit so you can put it back together, clean them with alcohol so you don’t damage plastic parts, re-grease them(I use Slickoleum, a lightweight, waterproof, silicone grease) and put them back together. If you do it correctly, you shouldn’t have any parts left over and the reel will work just as good as when it was new.

In a week or so, we’ll be getting the kayak out of the garage and checking it out to make sure it is ready to go. We have to fix a crack on the deck and a few scratches on the hull along with the usual pre-season kayak checkup, so stay tuned for that.

Work is still continuing on the mobile website. We have a lot of it done but it’s a time consuming process, but it won’t be long before the website will work flawlessly on any digital device.

Mar 042015

Steve from Amphibian USA has sent us some his Spex Amphibious eyewear. A hybrid of sunglasses and goggles, these action sports oriented glasses look perfect for active watersports like kayaking, rafting, SUP, sailboarding and kiteboarding.

Amphibian USA Spex eyewear

The frames are soft and comfortable on your face and are held in place by an adjustable, replaceable neoprene strap and come in a variety of colors. The easily interchangeable and replaceable lenses come in a number of tints as well as clear. There are polarized lenses which are perfect for water oriented sports. The lenses are optically correct, block 100% of UVA and UVB light and are scratch resistant. If you wear contact lenses, Spex eyewear will keep water and dirt out of your eyes. The glasses float, which is a big plus, especially if you’ve ever lost a pair of $100 designer glasses over the side.

We are looking forward to using these glasses as soon as we get back out in the kayak. The way the weather has been going here in the PacNW, that shouldn’t be too long. Check out the different Spex colors and lenses and get ready for another season on the water.

Feb 042015

Since fishing kayaks are fairly expensive, you may want to know how long a kayak is going to last. Even if you don’t keep the kayak yourself for five or ten years, it’s important to know how durable a kayak is as far as resale value goes if you choose to sell it.

When I got my Hobie Quest fishing kayak in 2005, I had already been kayak fishing for a few years so I knew what I wanted in a kayak. I started fishing out of the Quest on the Pacific Ocean and later, on the rivers and lakes of the Pacific Northwest. When conditions permitted, I would go kayak fishing whenever I could, often two or three times a week. When I go fishing, whether the fish are biting or not, I like to fish all day; on the water before sunrise and in as it gets dark, so the kayak has seen more than average use. I like to find the not easily accessed and more remote areas, so it’s only a small part of the time where I am launching from a ramp or beach.

Click HERE for the Hobie Quest review after ten years of fishing

We did a video review of how the Hobie Quest has held up under ten years of solid fishing use in some of the more rugged conditions a kayak fisherman is likely to find. Click HERE or on the photo above to check out the video.

The editing team is hard at work and there will be more videos up on the website shortly, so keep checking in.

Jan 082015

Have you ever said to yourself; “Gee, I sure wish I knew an easy and inexpensive way to cure salmon eggs”? Well, it’s your lucky day! We have just uploaded step by step instructions on how to cure salmon eggs. You’ll find out how to cure salmon eggs using the time tested “3-2-1 Cure”; a simple and effective egg cure used by generations of Pacfic Northwest salmon fishermen. Click HERE or on the photo below to go to the Curing Salmon Eggs web page.

Click HERE to go to the Curing Salmon Eggs web page

If you don’t want to read the easy directions and look at the photos on the web page, there is also a Curing Salmon Eggs video.

Stay tuned for more good stuff from WatermanAtWork!

Dec 252014

Just to prove that anything and everything can be controversial in today’s world, Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi has been arrested for distributing 3D printer files of her “vagina kayak”.

Artist Megumi Igarashi's controversial vagina kayak

Human genitalia are taboo subjects in Japanese society, but Igarashi has taken it upon herself to change that. Why she picked a kayak to do that is something only she knows. One thing for sure, this has got to be the most unusual and unexpected ways of using a poor, unsuspecting kayak.

What’s next?

Dec 202014

2014 was a great year for salmon fishing from the kayak and the proof is on the website. The 2014 Kayak Fishing for Salmon on the Columbia River highlight video has been uploaded to the PacNW Kayak Fishing Video collection. There is a lot of great coho and chinook salmon kayak fishing action from the 2014 Fall/Winter salmon fishing season in the Columbia River Gorge.

Click HERE to check out the 2014 Kayak Fishing for Salmon on the Columbia River video

Click HERE or on the photo above to check out the video.

Dec 092014

2014 has been a fantastic year for salmon fishing, especially coho salmon fishing, here in the Columbia River Gorge but I think that the show is just about over. The good news is the coho salmon are still biting and if you know where to go, you can catch plenty of them, the bad news is that most of the fish are pretty dark and not good to eat, so you are pretty much fishing for fun. You might get lucky and catch a more silvery fresh fish, but they are few and far between. Can’t really complain, we are still catching salmon in December instead of sitting at home on the couch. If you love to fish, you’ll get out there whenever you can.

We headed out to one of the local favorite late season fishing holes to try our luck on a cool, gray December day. It’s been raining, so everything is wet and there’s plenty of mud but it’s cold enough in the mountains to freeze the lower elevation rain into ice and snow. The river level has dropped quite a bit from the raging waters we’ve had for most of November that killed a lot of the late season salmon and steelhead fishing on the upper river. We tried casting spinners and a couple plugs, but the fish had no interest in them. We started using coon shrimp and started catching fish immediately. Most of the fish were pretty dark, about five to ten pounds.

Late run coho salmon

We could have kept a few of the fish that weren’t so dark, but the freezer is full of salmon so there is no reason to keep fish that are probably going to be dead in a week.

This time of year, if you know where to go, you can catch just as many fish from the bank as you can from a boat. This is a good thing because the kayak is already in the garage for the winter. These places are not easy to get to and you have to be careful. The banks and rocks are wet and slippery. One misstep and you are going for a swim in a very cold river. Then, you get to hike a mile or so back to your vehicle.

Bank fishing for late season salmon

We had a good day of fishing. Caught eight coho salmon, threw them all back. We lost a few more and had a few strikes without a hookup, a pretty fun day of fishing in December. With the salmon run coming to an end and nasty weather in the forecast, this could be the last salmon caught in 2014.

Last salmon of the season?

If the weather permits, we might try and get out tomorrow for one last day of fishing, but the weather is 50-50 at best. We’ll have to see how it goes.

We are working on the 2014 Kayak Fishing for Salmon video and will try to have it up on the website as soon as possible. We’ve got a lot of work lined up for the winter hibernation, there’s going to be a lot of new stuff on the website, so keep checking in.

Nov 242014

After about a week of snow, ice, rain and freezing fog, the weather finally cleared up enough to give us another shot at the salmon here in the Columbia River Gorge. It’s still late fall and the temperature in in the mid forties, but that looks pretty good after a week or so where it never got above freezing so we headed on down to the local salmon stream. We’ve packed up the kayaks for the season but you can still catch salmon from the bank just about as easily as you can from a boat; if you know where to go.

It was a cold start to the day but I didn’t notice too much because after a few casts I had a nice fish on. Turned out to be a late season coho salmon. Usually, we catch a lot of chinooks here, but this year it’s been mostly coho salmon.

Mature male coho salmon

I caught this guy before the sun came up and I put it on the stringer, but when it got light I saw how dark he was so I released him back into the river. Hopefully he’ll make it upstream to spawn.

After a few more casts I had another solid hookup. After a nice fight, I got the fish to the shore and saw it was a nice, silvery coho salmon, a definite keeper.

Late season coho salmon

The bite slowed down so we called it a day. After a week away from the river, we figured out where the salmon are now and we will be headed there tomorrow. Not too many decent days left before we see more winter weather.

Nov 122014

There are still fair numbers of coho salmon coming over the Bonneville Dam, especially this late in the season, but the salmon fishing is definitely slowing down here in the Columbia River Gorge. We haven’t caught a chinook salmon for a few weeks now, there are plenty of spawned out dead ones on the bottom of the local rivers, so the king salmon fishing season is pretty much over. The coho salmon fishing has been very good, most of the fish are still silvery and fresh, but the number of coho coming over the dam is dropping sharply every day. I spoke with a local guy who caught a few steelhead so maybe we are going to have a decent winter steelhead run although there are not that many fish coming over the dam.

We got out on the Klickitat River a few days ago. Usually, by this time of the year the fishing has slowed down and the locals can get a few days of relatively peaceful salmon fishing in, but on this day, the river was packed with boats. The Klickitat is not that big of a river, fifty or more boats on a mile long stretch of river that’s only ten or twenty yards wide is ridiculous; you could barely get around. The Columbia Gorge is about an hour’s drive from the Portland/Vancouver metro area, turns out there was an article in one of the papers telling everyone the Klickitat River was going off and to get out there; that’s what happened. Packed to the gills.

Thankfully, we got there early and managed to catch a few fish before the bulk of the mob got there.

Kayak fishing for salmon on the Klickitat River

I caught a couple nice coho salmon early and got a couple more later while trying to negotiate the flotilla of boats.

Coho salmon caught kayak fishing on the Klickitat River

We went back a couple days later and got a few more coho salmon, but the fishing was definitely on the downswing. This was the biggest fish I caught, a nice coho salmon.

Coho salmon caught kayak fishing on the Klickitat River

With the fishing slowing down and some nasty weather on the way, I sadly packed up the kayak and put it into the garage for the winter. It has been a great year of kayak fishing, the steelhead and salmon season was the best I’ve ever had. I might sneak out for a few more days of salmon fishing, this time of year you can do just as well fishing from the bank as you can from the kayak and it’s a lot less effort. Maybe I’ll get lucky and get another salmon or two, if I’m really lucky, a late season steelhead.

This is the time of year we add a lot of photos and videos to the website because we spend a lot more time indoors, so keep checking in here on the blog or on the website for new stuff.

Nov 052014

Today was an awesome day for fishing on the Columbia River; no wind, not too cold and the sun even came out for a couple hours.

Salmon fishing on the Columbia River

Only problem is the salmon fishing was really slow. Paddled around all day long casting every lure I have until my shoulders and arms were aching and only had a few half hearted strikes that came unhooked after a few seconds. I saw the same thing happen to a couple other fishermen so it wasn’t just me being lame. I did see a couple guys who were trolling get a couple fish, but they looked pretty small. I paddled up one of the Columbia River’s tributaries and saw a lot of fish, unfortunately, they were all spawned out dead ones.

I hate to say it, but this might be the end of this year’s great salmon fishing season. I will probably head upriver to see if I can squeeze another day or two of salmon fishing in, but I have a bad feeling that the salmon fishing season here in the Columbia River Gorge may be over. Gonna need a beer or two for that.