Here Comes Trout Season — And Our April Issue Delivers Limits!

There wasn’t much distinctive about the old pond. It was only a few acres and just as rectangular as our farm. There were berms and culverts at either end, trees had fallen in on two sides, and it was maybe 7 feet deep tops.

But the pond held trout, beautiful things, fat too.

It’s not clear where they came from, but most of my earliest memories of fishing are from here:

Getting Dad and uncles to haul our behemoth of a canoe out the back gate, up the grown-in dirt road, past the bramble bushes, around the corner and to the pond;

Quarreling cousins packed into the canoe; casting competitions with cousins; a cousin’s bobber up in a tree;

Lining a wicker creel with grass and slipping rainbows through the hole on top;

The first crawdad I ever saw;

Casting a bobber and ’crawler one evening wherever an uncle saw a trout dimple the pond’s dark surface;

Fishing in the rain and wondering whether in any single moment all the drops on the surface formed the shape of a battleship;

Galloping through mud puddles when the action was slow.

LOOKING BACK, I realize how lucky I was to spend half my preteen life with that pond so close by.

And I sometimes wonder if I would have ended up in this field – writing and editing hook-and-bullet stuff – if my folks had not decided to move out there when I was just five.

With two boys of my own now I feel a tug to get the hell out of the big city and set up somewhere similar.

If the boss would let me telecommute, I know where I’d move: Mason County.

Writer “Uncle Wes” Malmberg’s been killing me with stories and pics of very nice rainbows from the numerous lakes down there, four of which, he reports in out April issue, are “under-rated,” “underappreciated” and “overlooked.”

Or would it be Bend, with quick access to the trout-, char- and kokanee-rich waters of Oregon’s Cascades, which Larry Ellis details in this issue?

Then again, there’s the Okanogan and its myriad of trout lakes primed for the opener, as Leroy Ledeboer advises.

Argh, that’s the great thing about the Northwest. We’ve got more lakes than anywhere else west of Minnesota, and most will be jumping with trout this month, to the delight of youngsters and their canoe-packing dads everywhere.

OUR APRIL ISSUE ALSO SERVES UP whiskerfish! We check in on the spring bites on the John Day and Palouse Rivers, as well as Brownlee Reservoir and Henry Hagg Lake. And if you’re a catfish newbie, Larry Ellis has a fantastic setup in our Rig Of The Month!

As springer fishing picks up steam on the Lower Columbia, we get in front of the run with stops at Wind River, Drano Lake, Deschutes River, Tri-Cities and The Wall at Little Goose Dam.

Since it is spring, we also head out on the Turkey Trail, with stops in Medford, Eugene, Colville, Okanogan, Dayton, Lyle and The Dalles! In a nutshell, gobbler prospects look good around the region, even the hard-hit northeast corner of Washington.

And spring isn’t spring without spring bear hunts. We finish up our four-month-long series with a look at Southwest Oregon!!

We also delve into the mystery of Jameson Lake’s “algae” blooms, how Oregon highway engineers are preventing roadkill near Bend, the state of North Puget Sound steelheading circa 2010, two pages worth of game poachers, scofflaws, boneheads and jackasses, Portland’s Kings For The Kids springer tournament and why Gov. Gregoire may owe you some dough.

And we celebrate that Northwest holiday known as opening day of trout season with a peak back to 1962!

All that and more in the April issue of Northwest Sportsman, on shelves and mailboxes later this week!

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