Our display of (3) giant kokanee from Wallowa Lake.
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Jan and I had planned this trip last year but my back surgery postponed it for a year. This was a “no fishing” trip and I was resigned to some hiking and sight seeing with the little lady.
We started the trip at Crater Lake after getting on the road from Bend around 7:00 a.m. It is around a two hour drive from our house to the north entrance. We were taking the boat tour of the lake for the first time and the only way to the boats is to hike down the rim for about a mile to the lake....no problem! The hike out is another story though and at my age, and in my shape, it was a little tougher than I anticipated. Luckily we found another “older couple” who took their time and we got to know them on the hike out.
If you have never been to Crater Lake, put it on your “bucket list” for sure! It is a beautiful and amazing place to say the least. The second deepest lake in the world at almost 2,000 feet deep and the clearest with a visibility of 144 deep! We have been there many times but never been down into it. I was surprised at how many trout we saw rising to take the flying red ants that were everywhere. They claim the rainbows can get to 24 in. long and you can fish for them from shore and don’t need a fishing license in this National Park.
The day passed quickly and we took a few shots off the rim that afternoon before heading down to Idelywld Park to stay the night. I was hooking up with master fly tier, John Waite, (The Serious Fisherman) to purchase some polar bear streamers for Pend Oreille for the upcoming trip this fall. He ties some of the most killer streamers I have ever seen. If you are interested, you can contact him by phone at (800) 347-4654. He is also selling polar bear hair direct to anyone wanting to tie their own flies. I really enjoyed our visit that evening before heading back to the motel room.
A T-Rex welcomes you the the attraction.
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The next morning found us on our way to Crescent City, Ca. to start our trek back up the Southern Oregon coast to Bandon. Several years ago we made it all the way down to Bandon and swore we would see the rest of the south coast some day. After getting our room, we took off to see a stand of giant redwoods at Stout Grove, only a few miles from where we were staying. You actually take a 6 mile dirt road barely wide enough for two vehicles to pass to get in there. Once we got there, It was a short 20 minute walk around through the grove and we were amazed at the beauty and size of the coastal redwoods, which are taller but not as big around as the giants of the Sequoias found in the Western Sierra’s.
The next morning we were on the road up to Brookings to see the cool rock formations at Harris Beach. Check out the photo of the old ship that served as a gift shop years ago. After some beach combing and getting our feet wet, we had the best meal of the trip that night at O’Holleran’s in Brookings......excellent food if you ever find yourself in Brookings.
Early the following morning we headed out to Gold Beach. We had signed up the the famous Mail Jet boat ride up the Rogue River. We decided on the 64 mile round trip affair with lunch in Agnes, 32 miles up river. It took us 6 hours including lunch and pretty much shot down the day. The boat ride was a blast and it can navigate in only inches of water....really impressive, especially the captain and what he put us through....we got soaked several times!
After checking out a car show the next morning in Gold Beach, we made our way north toward Port Orford. Outside of town we took a little tour of the Prehistoric Rain Forest and enjoyed the dinosaur display. After a walk on the beach south of Port Orford, we headed to Bandon and then on to Roseburg to spend our final night. The next morning we back tracked to the Wild Safari Park in Winston to see some wild animals from all over the world. It was so hot that many of them were holed up in the shade or near water because of the 90 degree plus weather in the area. We did get to see quite a few critters though and get a few good photos.
Jan and I at the crater rim.
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Our final stop was in Eugene at Cabela’s. I had not been there in several years and wanted to see the giant kokanee display we sold them when the store opened about 4 years ago. As I took these photos I was amazed again at the sight of three kokanee that weigh right at 25 LB. We were very lucky and blessed to get to do the World Record ( 9 LB. 10 oz.) and several of the Oregon State Records (7.5 to 8.8 LB.) as well.
I will be back on the fishing trail this next week so check back for some fall fishing reports!