Skip navigation

Category Archives: Fishing

On the banks of the Cowlitz River, near the mouth of the Blue Creek stands a small snag with a cozy little cavity.

As I stand a few feet into the river I can hear the call of the Chickadee whenever he flies in to the tall branches just above the snag. He is either crowing about his hunting success or he is just giving us fair warning that he’s coming in for a landing — I don’t know which.

One second he’s there, perched at the edge with a bug of some sort hanging out of his mouth …

… and in the next second he’s gone.

Can you see him? That’s his tail feathers sticking up in the air.

Maybe he’s got a bully for a big brother that keeps stealing his lunch so he has to hide to eat his catch.

He didn’t seem to worried about me bullying him, what a handsome bird!

And yes, this was the day that I fell into the river (I talked about it briefly in my column this week). My son is on the left of the line of fisherman, I was standing to the left of him.

It wasn’t deep and I didn’t go under, but that Cowlitz River flows from the snow melting off of Mt. Rainier, so it ain’t cozy warm!

Still, it was a good day of fishing and friendly conversation with a couple of easy going combat steelhead fisherman.


… this time with my granddaughter.

I bought my granddaughter her first fishing pole last month. It has taken us this long to find the time when she and I were both available and it wasn’t raining for us to head out to the waters.

We went down to the Cowlitz River because even if you don’t catch a fish (and I was actually kinda counting on our failure), you get to see lots of wildlife. We had a huge, white seagull that was keeping an eye on us, hoping to steal a bit of our catch, I’m betting. And we scared a Bald Eagle out of a tree as we were walking down to the river.

Casting was a little tough to get used to. But once she had it down, she really had it down!

And she never knew what her spinner with a treble hook would bring back to her when she reeled in.

Sometimes it was grass, or weeds, or pond scum or even pine cones and a snail.

“Gramma, I … ”

” … Gramma, I think I caught a rock!”

After last night’s skunking at the Barrier Dam, my son and I decided to try again this morning. We worked the banks at the Barrier Dam for about an hour before he said he wanted to try Blue Creek. As soon as we were at the top of the hill, a Toledo man hauled in a nice 9-pounder from our spot. (See tomorrow’s Chronicle.)

But we (or HE, actually) had better luck at Blue Creek.

Lucky shot, not the best quality image. He was a fighter!

This one is smaller than the one that got away (of course), but he’ll do!

A nice 24-inch, 7-pound summer run hatchery steelhead.

All I caught was a Great Blue Heron, sneaking in to see if he could get our take.


He certainly isn’t the prettiest example of a heron, kinda scrawny looking.

Makes me almost sorry we didn’t hand over the fish. Almost.

I thought maybe we scared off the heron, but then I looked up again after shooting the last frame of the heron flying away and spotted this killer red-breast perched in the heron’s place.

Ya gotta watch out for those Robins, they’ll ‘neak up on ya.

Spent a couple of hours trying to find myself a steelhead to take home. Not even a nibble! But I spotted a few birds, and common though they may be, I enjoyed watching them work the waters.

This little robin was peeking up over the rocks at me, keeping one close eye on my movements as he kept the other eye out for yummy bugs.

A Crow …

A mallard hen duck …

And some fingerlings.

My oldest boy and I traveled over to Swofford Pond yesterday for a little bass fishing in the weeds along the eastern shore in his aluminum boat.

Outside of my own backyard, Swofford is my favorite place to be in all of Lewis County. Peace is pervasive there (yes, capital “P” kinda Peace), it invades every molecule of my being as I sit on or beside those waters.

Not even the sounds of a loud, large family on the other shore could break the peace of the pond. Filtered through the air over the water, heavy with the pulsating breath and life underwater and overhead, the sounds drifted to my ears as a Symphony of Joy and Celebration, the perfect accompaniment to a perfect day spent in the worship of the God of Peace.

Besides, even on a bad day of fishing, that pond is sure to give you a reason to grin like a happy goon. (See below.)

When I got tired of casting I rigged up a bobber and worm and then hauled out my camera to focus on the even smaller aquatic life forms while Stosh skippped through the lily pads with a frog lure. He didn’t catch a bass with the lure, but he DID lure this guy out of the weeds …

The blob of yellow on a swivel is the frog lure. I thought at first that the lure perhaps brought out a romantic side in the frog.

But then I saw that he wasn’t trying to get romantic with the lure. He was trying to eat it.

P.S. No frogs were hurt in the taking of this series of photographs … although my son did get a little irritated at me asking him to cast and drag through the weeds for a good half hour. 😛