Author: Gary Lewis

PacWest Outdoors: Hunting With Heroes On The Klickitat Prairie

By Gary Lewis Cured to a golden brown, the tall grass bent with the wind. Leaves, ablaze with October color, skittered down the dirt road. As the sun warmed the hilltops on a Saturday in October, we gathered inside a barn on a ranch called Horseshoe Bend between Klickitat and Goldendale, Washington. Sitting on folding chairs and hay bales were 45 men and women who had signed up for this adventure. Among them were scattered volunteers and sponsors, there to make sure the men and women who served our country had a chance to enjoy themselves with a gun...

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PacWest Outdoors: Prospecting For A Muzzleloader Blacktail

Mining the record books for blacktail gold with binoculars and blackpowder rifles. By Gary Lewis The new route follows the California road about 350 miles from here, it then leaves Ogdens or Marys river and enters Oregon by the way of the Clamet Lakes, Rogue river, Umpqua and the head of the Willamette valley—it shortens the road—avoids the dangers of Snake & Columbia rivers and passes S. of the Cascade Mts.—there is almost every place plenty of grass and water & every wagon ox or cow may enter Oregon.” – from a letter written by Jesse Applegate in1846 In...

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PacWest Outdoors: Hell’s Canyon Smallmouth

The Snake River scribes the border between Idaho and Oregon and Idaho and Oregon and Washington. Who is guarding the gate? It’s a horde of smallmouth bass, ready to do battle. By Gary Lewis In the late 1800s, engineers sought a passage to build a railroad in the Snake River gorge and when, after a decade, they threw up their hands and left, they called it Hell Canyon. Today we call it a piece of heaven between Idaho and Oregon. There were 15 of us on a boat, on a corporate fish camp trip with Alpha Ecological, a Northwest-based...

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PacWest Outdoors: Salmon In Tree Bark

To Ketchikan to camp, paddle and fish a living tide of salmon By Gary Lewis In southeast Alaska there are salmon in the trees. And if the essence of the ocean is in the timber, it runs also in the totems. A bear plucks a salmon from a shallow stream. After weeks of fish runs, he can afford to be picky. If the fish is an unripe female, he may kill it, drop it and go back for another. One bear might carry 40 salmon from a stream in one day. He’ll eat some, but he’ll leave most of...

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PacWest Outdoors: Oregon’s High Altitude Backcountry Brookies

Hike-in trails offer fast action for trout in the Cascades By Gary Lewis According to the trail description on the web, this lake was “one of the Mount Hood National Forest’s best-kept secrets.” In the latest Fishing in Oregon book, which has just found its way into my library, the description reads, “The fish here don’t get large, averaging 8-inches.” We began to believe the first description after making two wrong turns that amounted to 15 more miles on washboard tracks than originally budgeted for. If we could just find our road, we could fact-check the length measurements. Packing...

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