HAIKU MONDAY: On Early Springers and the One We Let Go Away

Welcome back to Haiku Monday, where Fish Hack helped break the ice on the upper Rogue’s spring chinook salmon season by stumbling into what might be the first upper Rogue springer of the season.

Twenty-five pounder./Hit plug meant for a steelhead./Still an epic catch.

For you few Haiku Monday virgins still out there, this is when and where Fish Hack waxes on and off non-Brazilian style about the outdoors and whatever the hell else comes to mind. The bad versions of old Japanese poetry is the schtick that keeps on schticking.

So got best bud Jeff Barnard in the front seat of the driftboat Saturday on a steelhead float downstream of TouVelle State Park. The fishing was far more prevalent than the catching for everyone, and I opined aloud that hooking the first sprigner of the season would erase the ills of the day.

Been rumors of a couple caught earlier but no photographic evidence. Besides, there were just two in Cole Rivers Hatchery, so it’s not like their are many of these somewhat rare critters out there.

Fish in a barrel./Talking springers, big barrel/And not many fish.

So we got one steelhead released when we pulled into the old First Chance hole. It was the spot where the Rogue flowed into the Gold Ray Dam impoundment for 106 years before that dam was jettisoned from the Rogue in 2010.

Barnard lets out one plug then gets obsessed with changing out a hook on a plug destroyed last week by Eric Winkler’s first steelhead that anchored Friday’s Oregon Outdoors story about how there’s so many winter steelhead in the upper Rogue that even one-armed rookies can limit out. Check it out HERE.

Fresh steelhead abound./Break an elbow, catch two fish./Wince the hero shot.

So I tell Barnard, why don’t you let that other plug out before you fart around with that plug?

So he lets out the hand-painted K-9 Kwikfish and starts to dissect said hook.
Uhh, you gonna get that?” I say.

The rod is pulsating but the fish on the other line isn’t running. Just swirling around in the deep hole.

“Dude, that’s a springer.” Hack says.

Yadayadayada, after four times trying to net the damn thing (it was 5 inches longer than the net ON EACH SIDE!), Fish Hack finally put the corral on this-here bad-girl.

35 inches. Maybe 25 pounds. Chromer than a new truck bumper.

Wild.

One too many fins./Released 200 bucks worth of/Primo ‘nook fillets.

Woulda turned Fish Hack’s Fish Camp into an impromptu fish party if that adipose fin was gone.

No prob. Still made the trip.

And the opening salvo on what should be a primo springer season.

Stink out of the boat/Earliest springer Hack’s got/ Great sign for the times.

 

 

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HAIKU MONDAY: On Hot Steelhead and Hotter Weather

Welcome back to Haiku Monday, where Fish Hack has hung up the rain gear for the season and pulled out the flip flops, even though spring’s supposed to be almost two weeks away.

No snow to speak of/Mid-70s days not good/To this steelhead bum

For you few Haiku Monday virgins out these, this is when and where Fish Hack waxes on and off non-Brazilian style about the outdoors and whatever else comes to mind, with a little bit of bad Japanese poetry sprinkled in as the schtick to stick out in the Crapland known as the blogosphere.

What’s sticking out these days are crocuses and other flowers that should be in the dirt in early March. But the weather has been so balmy that everhthing’s early out of the ground.

But it comes at a price. With no snow, that means no water for snowfed streams that spawning steelhead rely on.

Fish need cold water./Snow makes the cold water flow./Brutal snowpack sucks.

But the adult winter steelhead keep coming, making 2015 the latest example of how drought hurts fish but is good for fishing.

Hack’s most recent float on the fave stretch of the upper Rogue yielded five adults, including one big buck pushing 30 inches and 11 pounds.

Just as relevant, however, was the 68 degree temperature when it hit a new Mag 3.0 plug.

Hot fish, hot weather/Prefer to wear the rain gear/Need a normal year.

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HAIKU MONDAY: On Sunscreen Steelhead and Flat Earthers

Welcome back to Haiku Monday, where Fish Hack is decked out in shorts and flip-flops waiting for nature to put the winter back into winter steelhead fishing.

Steelead fishing and sunscreen are a fine mix on Fish Hack’s home waters of the upper Rogue — in July. But February?

What do you expect when there’s more snow in Boston Harbor than at Diamond Lake and Lake of the Woods combined.

Knocking climate change?/Round world once just a “theory.”/Don’t drive off the ledge.

For you few Haiku Monday virgins out there, this is when and where Fish Hack waxes on and off non-Brazilian style about the outdoors or whatever the hell else comes to mind, with some irreverent versions of bad Japanese poetry sprinkled in as the schtick.

So temps hitting 70 and a piss-poor snowpack has Tax Deduction No. 1 and his snowboarding elk wheelin’ it to Bend every weekend to get in competitions that should be on Mt. A.

It’s also making it difficult to ply the upper Rogue for winter steelhead because out-flows at Lost Creek Lake are down to the bare mid-winter minimum

Rain’s coming Friday. That should get things hoppin’…much better than the rockin’ of that VW park on the TouVelle boat ramp last week.

If you missed that blog, check it out HERE.

Steelheading in the sun/Good for fishing, bad for fish./Bad dilemma here.

 

 

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HAIKU MONDAY: On Early Steelhead and Boat Ramp Romp Interrupto

Welcome back to Haiku Monday, where Fish Hack’s puttin’ it down during Presidents’ Day because the Fish Wrap doesn’t recognize it as a paid holiday.

So Hack’s bangin’ away kinda like the California dock workers. He’s here, but typing…real…slow.

Holiday work stinks./Hard to write crap:No sources./Saves Hack from himself.

For you few Haiku Monday virgins out there, this is when and where Fish Hack waxes on and off non-Brazilian style about the outdoors and whatever the hell else comes to mind, with a few bad pieces of bad Japanese poetry sprinkled in as the schtick to stickout in the Crapland of the Internet.

Early February’s big splash of rain jump-started the Rogue’s winter steelhead run enough that Hack decided to take bud Jeff Barnard down the upper Rogue in search of early winters.

Always prefer fishing home waters than driving 50 miles to where most of the action, and effort, are.

So we pull into TouVelle seeing we’re the only rig there, so there won’t be much, if any, competition on the run.

Except there’s a pink VW bug parked in the middle of the ramp. Barnard walks up to get the driver to move, but he starts barking at the occupants and gouging his own eyes out.

A couple of locals were swapping fluids instead of cards in what can only be described as Valentine’s Day 826-er Style.

I told them at least to take that to the tie-down area. There’s a 15-minute limit there, but looking at the guy, I’d say he’d have more than enough time.

They sheepishly — and for us, thankfully — pulled their duds on and drove away.

Boat Ramp Etiquette::/No fishing, parking or sex./That’s for tie-down spot.

Luckily, we had more — and better — action Saturday than that guy.

Hooked five fresh winters and boated three in the best mid-February day ever for Hack on the upper Rogue.

Nothing like the earlier-ever record return of winter steelhead in the upper Rogue to make for a fine Valentine’s Day.

 

 

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HAIKU MONDAY: On Water Rat, Poetry Poaching and Sleeping It Off

Welcome back to Haiku Monday, where Fish Hack has transformed into Water Rat while wading through the USGS graphs to figure out when the the Rogue River will be down and clear enough to start winter steelhead fishing again.

And the off the Rat guess: Wednesday.

Can’t fish ’til Wednesday./Might try doing honest work./Or just sleep it off.

For you few Haiku Monday virgins out there, this is when and where Fish Hack waxes on and off non-Brazilian style about the outdoors, while splashing in some bad forms of old Japanese poetry as the schtick to stick out in the blogosphere commonly called Crapland.

It’s good enough for you to read, and to be poached by the Ashland Daily Tidings.

Tidings poached haiku’s./Can’t beat up Fish Wrap’s own sis./It all pays the same.

Big weekend water is dropping quickly, with flows already under 4,400 cfs at Dodge Bridge on the upper Rogue, Hack’s home waters Only 2,000 cfs of that is clear water flowing out the hole at Lost Creek, but good pluggin’ and plunkin’ water will definitely be here Wednesday.

The new good plunking, side-planing and kiting water is the sands upstream of the old Gold Ray Dam site, Fish that big inside turn right in the migration lane.

Let’s go float a kite:/Sideplaners and kites will rock./Fish the old dam slot.

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HAIKU MONDAY: On Monday Mourning and Worst Play Ever

Welcome back to Haiku Monday, where Fish Hack promises to run Skittles over left guard instead of the worst play ever called in Super Bowl history.

Hey, Pete. Beast Mode time./Instead, Gisselle’s in Feast Mode./Gave fourth ring to Tom.

For you few Haiku Monday virgins out there, this is when and where Fish Hack waxes on and off non-Brazilian style about the outdoors or whatever the hell else comes to mind, with a few bad forms of old Japanese poetry sprinkled in as the schtick.

Bloggers need a schtick/Stick out in cyber Crapland./Others then poach it.

Very entertaining Sub Par Bowl for those not emotionally invested in the Water Birds, though most of the Northwest was pulling for them over the Institutional Cheaters and their hair-extensioned quarterback.

The heavens are still mourning the loss, bringing some much-needed rain to the region. This will jump-start winter steelhead fishing again, and make the upper Rogue a playa earlier than normal.

 

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HAIKU MONDAY: On Pasty Legs and The Flying Tax Deduction

Fish Hack and TD#2 on Mt. Batch

Welcome back to Haiku Monday, where Fish Hack is rolling in shorts and flip-plops, and that’s a bad thing beyond the pasty appendages.

It’s not supposed to be mid-60s in late January.

Snowpack’s sucking bad./Boarder son needs to catch air./Must travel to Bend.

For you few Haiku Monday virgins out there, this is when and where Fish Hack waxes on and off non-Brazilian style about the outdoors and whatever the hell else comes to mind. The bad forms of old Japanese poetry is the schtick to stick out in Internet Crapland.

Tax Deduction No. 1 is a top snow bum like the Old Man is a steelhead bum…except OM gets paid for it and TD#2 hopes to match that some day.

The kid can bomb on the hills. Fish Hack doesn’t ski or snowboard, so most of what Hack sees of TD#2 in action are short vids of tricks — any of which would get him banned from Mt. A for a year.

Front flip, then back flip?/Better carry twenty bucks:/Hospital co-pay.

Did see him go aerial during last spring’s state championships at Mt. Bachelor in the midst of a snowstorm.

Hack dons the bloody yellow Gortex boat pants and mingles with the Snow People on the hillside next to the 60-foot jump. TD#2 stops by during a practice run and I asked him if he has his tricks planned.

“I’m gonna do a front flip off the big jump,” he says. “I’ll get DQed, but I’ll win the crowd.”

Did a 360 instead.

The Flying Tax Deduction and the rest of his teammates are doin’ the big practice commute to Bend for the foreseeable future. Mt. Ashland’s snowless and the forecasts aren’t looking like that’s changing.

Tax Deduction woes:/Sucks to be a Fish Hack spawn/If you can’t catch air.

 

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HAIKU MONDAY: On Dropping Rogue and Wild Steelhead

Welcome back to Haiku Monday, where Fish Hack is in the Fish Wrap spending Martin Luther King Jr. day the way most Hacks do — trying to milk a articles from a vapid pool of resources.

Only news wonks work holidays like this.

Hack stuck in Fish Wrap/No one’s answering the phone./Non-productive day.

For you few Haiku Monday virgins, this is when and where Fish Hack waxes on and off non-Brazilian style about the outdoors and whatever the hell else comes to mind, with a few bad forms of old Japanese poetry tossed in as the schtick to stick out in this crapland known as cyberspace.

Crapland: So much noise./Every douche now writes a block./No one left to read.

There are several dozen places better to be right now than on this blog, with the middle Rogue River one of the best. The water this afternoon was at 5,750 cfs and dropping faster than the price of Super Bowl tickets in Green Bay.

The winter steelhead fishing should be blowing up there today and likely will stay hot well into the week.

A good early showing of winters often means a good year, and bio’s are predicting one on the Rogue. See Hack’s Oregon Outdoors story about this phenomenon HERE. .

Stop reading, go fish./Read bogs at night when bite’s off./Burning daylight’s wrong.

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THREE-WORD THURSDAY: Steelhead. Playa. Weather.

Welcome back to Three-Word Thursday, where Fish Hack is waiting for a change in the weather to catch the first winter steelhead of the season without having to travel to the Chetco River to do it.

Steelhead. Playa. Weather.

Looks like the late December storms drew fish all the way to the upper Rogue, which happens to be Fish Hack’s home waters. But usually the first valley fish are caught in the Galice area in mid January and then below the mouth of the Applegate by Feb. 1. But everyone’s a playa now that fresh steelhead are river-wide…even up to Murphy Dam on the Applegate.

One of the adages of Rogue runs of the past is, if the steelhead aren’t early, it doesn’t mean anything. But if they are early, it usually signifies a good run.

.Unfortunately, the low and cold water makes catches tough up here until the weather breaks next week.

Then it’s time to get your steelhead on.

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HAIKU MONDAY: Post-Vacation Malaise

Welcome back to Haiku Monday, where Fish Hack is weighing in with the first post of 2015 after a week in the basement thanks to the Fish Wrap’s use-it-or-lose-it policy on vacations.

And just where do outdoor writers go on vacation? We visit other people’s cubicles, just to get away from it all.

Hack bucks work, relax./Insurance salesmen’s the best/cubby. There’s whiskey.

For you few Haiku Monday virgins out there, this is when and where Fish Hack opines about the outdoors and whatever else comes to mind with some bad versions of old Japanese poetry sprinkled in as the schtick to stick out in the bloggosphere, a.k.a. Crapland.

Crapland, cyberpit./Every idiot now blogs./Don’t steal haiku schtick.

Winter steelhead are starting to show their metallic heads throughout the middle and lower Rogue, part of Hack’s home waters. Gave it a whirl last week, only the high and muddy and cold water didin’t produce any steelhead.

Now back in the Fish Wrap trying to remember passwords and all the other erased intelligence that occurs when Hack’s gone for a week.

Hack’ll have to call the call center in India for help.

“What’s my password, bro?” /”Sorry, Sir, I don’t know ‘bro.’”/”"Just gimme the code.”

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  • Blog Author

    Mark Freeman

    I've underachieved as the Mail Tribune's Fish Hack since 1989. I can't help but find a few things to yuk about with pathetic regularity in the outdoors. My most treasured award? An OSHA citation for a messy desk -- Fire hazard. YEAH! Read Full
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