Jul 272018
 

A break in the wind and back for more kayak fishing for smallmouth bass on the Columbia River in eastern Washington. We had a great time the last time we were here and we were looking forward to more hot smallmouth bass fishing. Turns out the smallmouth bass fishing continues to be very good with plenty of action and some bigger fish.

The fishing was not the only thing that was hot. It was swelteringly hot, every day above 100° with night time temps only dropping into the high sixties. Full sun protection and plenty of water, but whether it’s the Pacific Northwest or the Desert Southwest, anything over 100° is really hot and you have to be prepared and take precautions.

Knowing it was going to be hot, we paddled the mile or so to the fishing spot in the early morning darkness when it was relatively cool and were fishing an hour or so before the morning sun came over the eastern Washington hills.

Columbia River sunrise kayak fishing on a hot eastern Washington day

The smallmouth bass fishing was excellent. Most of the fish were in the one pound range with some smaller ones and a few that would be close, or in the trophy bass category.

Columbia River smallmouth bass caught by watermanatwork.com kayak fisherman Ron Barbish

I did manage to catch a few bigger fish and can probably say that this time, the big one probably got away because I also lost a couple big ones.

Kayak fishing for smallmouth bass on the Columbia River with watermanatwork.com

By the early afternoon we were usually out of water and fully baked so we paddled back to camp hoping for a following wind. It is the hottest time of the day so we hid under the desert-tested sun shade and got the fishing and camera gear ready for the next day’s early morning wakeup call.

Gearing up on a hot eastern Washington summer day

When the temperature is really hot, a little bit of shade can be a big relief. After being out in the blazing sun on the fishing kayak all day, it’s nice to relax in the shade.

Shade provides a bit of relief from the heat on a 100° day in eastern Washington

The hot, dry weather can be dangerous. One day, we came in from the Columbia River to see fires burning on both sides of our campsite. Rural firefighters sped in and out of the only road through the canyon. If the fires came too close to the road, we would have to leave, but thankfully the firefighters got the fires out before they caused too much damage. A few nervous moments though.

Wildfires burn close to watermanatwork.com kayak fishing camp

The heat and fire threat were not enough to keep us from getting after the smallmouth bass. We had three days of great kayak fishing on the Columbia River.

Jumping smallmouth bass kayak fishing on the Columbia River in eastern Washington

Had a great time fishing and got some great video, so it will be off to the editing studio for a few days to try and get that posted. I think one of my camera memory cards may have died, posssibly from the heat, so I have to try and get the photos and video off of it if I can. Keep checking in because we’ve got a lot of stuff going on.

Jul 192018
 

We’ve been doing as much kayak fishing for smallmouth bass in Eastern Washington as the continuing windy conditions will allow. There is so much great smallmouth bass fishing here it’s easy to see why the Columbia River is ranked as one of the best smallmouth bass fisheries in the country. It’s been a bit on the warm side recently, but with calm wind conditions, the kayak fishing for smallmouth bass has been great.

Kayak fishing for smallmouth bass in Eastern WA with watermanatwork.com

The daytime temperature has been over 100°, so we’ve been getting out before sunrise to beat the heat. With the long summer days of the PacNW, it starts getting light about 4:30AM. We’ve had some great fishing before sunrise.

Hot summer morning kayak fishing on the Columbia River in Eastern WA

The smallmouth bass fishing has been about as good as it gets. With a few slow spots here and there, the bass fishing action has been non-stop.

Kayak fishing for smallmouth bass in Eastern WA with watermanatwork.com

Most of the fish have been in the one pound or less category. You can catch a hundred pounds of smallmouth bass in a single day but you’ll need to catch about 80-90 fish to do it. Smallmouth bass are great fighters at any size.

Nice Columbia River smallmouth bass caught by watermanatwork.com kayak fisherman Ron Barbish

The smallmouth bass were really “on the chew”. Fish were coughing up their last meals that couldn’t have been but an hour or two earlier. The smallmouth bass in the photo below had a live crayfish in it’s mouth and still hit my 4″ grub!

Columbia River smallmouth bass with live crayfish in it's mouth

Most of the smallmouth bass were “one pounders”, but I did manage to land a few nicer fish. This year seems pretty slow with the big smallmouth bass so any trophy fish is a happy time.

Big Columbia River smallmouth bass caught by watermanatwork.com kayak fisherman Ron Barbish

We’ll be headed back out in a day or two looking for more kayak fishing spots in Eastern Washington. We posted a video on YouTube of good smallmouth bass fishing and we have more video coming up of even better fishing.

The Columbia River in eastern Washington

It was a slow start to the smallmouth bass fishing season, but it’s going full steam now. The only question is how much fishing we’ll be able to do before the river seaweeds choke off the fishing.

Jul 052018
 

Always nice to get away for a little mountain biking in the local Cascade Mountain foothills. There’s a lot of great riding and not nearly as crowded as some of the more well known mountain biking areas across the river in Oregon.

Forest Service road in the Cascade Mountain foothills

The trails are in pretty good shape, starting to get a little dusty in the corners, but green and pretty fresh. Not too many people, but plenty of bugs.

Cascade Mountain singletrack

There was some big-time road work going on one of the main Forest Service roads heading up the mountain. This usually means logging is about to begin, which is always a bit of a concern about the trails if they pass through the logging operation.

Road work on the Forest Service roads

They are laying down crushed gravel, which is pretty plush for a road that is in the middle of nowhere. Probably pretty expensive as well, that’s why it may be more likely that it is the timber company that is doing it instead of the State of Washington. The original road is dirt, then there is the light colored gravel from a few days ago. The darker gravel has just been dumped out of a truck and graded flat. It looks nice, but the dark gravel is like velcro. This is a pretty stiff climb as it is, this tacky gravel makes it much harder. Thankfully, there’s not much of the dark stuff and when it dries out to the lighter colored gravel, the road surface is really nice.

New surface on the Forest Service road

If there is any logging, hopefully it won’t ruin any of the trails. There’s more and more people using these trails all the time and we can’t really afford to lose any.

Cascade Mountain trail

Keep checking in because we have more mountain biking adventures coming up!

Jul 052018
 

The relentless wind has put a hold on the kayak fishing so off we go for a little cycling in eastern Washington. Most of the people in Washington live near the coast and there are thousands of miles of blacktop and dirt roads in the eastern part of the state that don’t get much use. When freeways were built, most of the traffic on these once main roads dropped to nearly nothing. They are roads through a time gone by.

Old farmhouse in eastern Washington

We started out by the Columbia River checking out some kayak fishing spots.

Mountain biking along the Columbia River in eastern Washington

Heading up into the hills around the Columbia River, you can catch a glimpse of Mt. Hood in the distance.

Cycling in eastern Washington with Mt. Hood in the distance

You quickly leave any traffic behind as the road winds up the hills to the north.

Winding road in the hills of eastern Washington

When you run into cattle guards at the intersections of the roads, you’ve come to a place where things are much different than in most of the United States.

Cattle guards on the roads in eastern Washington

Riding a road bike is a good way to go because you can cover more territory and see more of the countryside. Or, you can ride a mountain bike because there are plenty of dirt roads. Either way, take plenty of water because it is hot and dry. Carry a spare tube or two and everything you need for roadside repairs because there are no stores or gas stations.

Cycling the roads and trails of eastern Washington

Get away from the traffic and clouds, head east!

Jun 212018
 

Another kayak fishing trip to eastern Washington is in the books and it was a great trip. While we missed out on the state record for smallmouth bass once again, we caught so many smallmouth bass that we lost count of how many fish we caught. Lots of fish caught and a lot of half hits that didn’t stick made for plenty of smallmouth bass kayak fishing action.

The big thing is that the relentless wind we’ve had this spring and early summer died to near calm for a couple days allowing us to get out on the Columbia River and do some kayak fishing. It’s great when the sun rises on a glassy Columbia River, especially in a place known for it’s strong and consistent wind.

Sunrise on the Columbia River in eastern Washington

With very little wind, the days were sunny and hot, but not unbearable. Perfect kayak fishing conditions on the Columbia River.

Kayak fishing for smallmouth bass on the Columbia River in eastern Washington

As I mentioned earlier, we did not manage to get into any trophy smallmouth bass, but caught lots of half to one pounders. Smallmouth bass are great fighters, even the smaller fish put up a great battle.

Columbia River smallmouth bass caught by watermanatwork.com kayak fisherman Ron Barbish

We’ve got at least a week of wind coming up that will keep us off the river so we are heading up towards Mt. Adams to do a little mountain biking. We’ve got a few more videos coming up shortly so we’ll be working on those as well. Keep checking in because we always have something going on!

Jun 132018
 

Calm days have been few and far between this spring and early summer here on the Columbia River, so when a calm day rolls around, we are out kayak fishing on the Columbia River. We were fishing pretty close to one of the big dams on the Columbia, there were more than a few floodgates open and the water was high and the currents strong. Most of the spots we’d caught bass before at were still underwater. It was a really nice day and we were going to have to try and find where the smallmouth bass were hiding.

A beautiful late spring morning on the Columbia River

The fish were scattered around, but they were there. Just like a few days earlier, we caught a lot of smaller fish. We use pretty light tackle so even the small fish put up a good fight. Small fish are better than no fish and sooner or later a bigger smallmouth bass will show up. Not all the fish are big ones, but some of them are…

Columbia River smallmouth bass caught by watermanatwork.com kayak fisherman Ron Barbish

Looks like a few windy days coming up so it will be the editing room for us. Check back for more kayak fishing stuff.

Jun 112018
 

We had a really good day of kayak fishing for smallmouth bass on the Columbia River followed by a few windy days that gave us time to put a few video highlights together and post them on YouTube. The video quality on YouTube seems to be getting worse and worse so we’ll post better quality videos on the watermanatwork.com website shortly.

Click HERE to view the Kayak Fishing for Smallmouth Bass video on YouTube

Click HERE or on the photo above to watch the Kayak Fishing for Smallmouth Bass video on YouTube.

Jun 082018
 

The wind is not giving us Columbia River kayak fishermen much of a break, but we finally got a day when the wind was pretty much calm and we were able to get a great day of kayak fishing for smallmouth bass. The water level of the Columbia River is dropping, down a few feet from the high water marks. The shoreline is coming back, there has been some riverfront flooding for sure.

Columbia River beach

There isn’t too much doubt that the muddy water in the Columbia River watershed has had a negative effect on the fishing in general, but it looks like the river is clearing up as the water level drops and the fishing is getting better.

Kayak fishing for smallmouth bass on the Columbia River with watermanatwork.com

The smallmouth bass fishing has been pretty tough lately. When you can’t catch smallmouth bass on the Columbia River, or even the John Day River, on the first week of June, the fishing is really bad. The water conditions are improving and so is the fishing. We caught a lot of smallmouth bass today, so many that I lost count. That’s what smallmouth bass fishing on the Columbia River is all about. Most of the fish were half-pounders, but great fighters on light tackle. I was finally able to get a couple bigger fish, like this nice Columbia River smallmouth bass

Columbia River smallmouth bass caught by watermanatork.com kayak fisherman Ron Barbish

There was lots of kayak fishing action on the Columbia River today. The river is still a bit on the wild side and it’s going to be windy for a few days, but the smallmouth bass are out there.

Kayak fishing for smallmouth bass on the Columbia River with watermanatwork.com

Looks like windy conditions for a few days, so we’ll try and get the video editing going with more kayak fishing adventures. Keep checking in because we always have something going on.

Jun 052018
 

The wind and high river water has really put a damper on the late spring/early summer smallmouth bass fishing, but we hoped for the best and headed up to the John Day River for some kayak fishing for smallmouth bass. The wind only died down for one day and the water in the John Day River was high and an ugly coffee color from all the muddy runoff. The river conditions have a major effect on the fishing and the normally wide open smallmouth bass fishing was very slow. We didn’t catch any bigger fish and most of the smallmouth bass we did catch were really small. I only caught eight or ten fish the entire day. Normally, you could easily catch that many in a half hour.

There were a lot of people camping at Lepage Park making it seem like southeast Portland rather than rural Rufus, OR. There were a few other kayak fishermen and a normal weekend crowd of power boaters, but there is usually plenty of room for everyone on the John Day. I did get the full shakedown from the river patrol officer for invasive species permit and PFD.

Kayak fishermen on the John Day River near Lepage Park

We paddled upriver looking for the fish but never really hit the jackpot that usually is waiting on the John Day River. One of the best smallmouth bass fisheries in the United States, the muddy water shut down the usually hot smallmouth bass fishing.

Kayak fishing on the John Day River

Most of the smallmouth bass we caught were small and the big one did not get away because we did not find any of the big ones.

John Day River smallmouth bass caught by watermanatwork.com kayak fisherman Ron Barbish

The high water in the Columbia River watershed looks like it is beginning to drop a bit, but the wind continues to blow, which is putting a real damper on the kayak fishing. Looks like a relatively calm day tomorrow, but after that, it looks like at least another full week of wind. We will hit the Columbia first thing tomorrow morning and hope for the best. After that, we will either have to hit the road and run from the wind or trade the kayak fishing gear for mountain bikes.