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The New Era Paper
Sweet Home, Oregon
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September 12, 2012     The New Era Paper
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September 12, 2012
 

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Page 12 ("1 JTh(hk-'hl.% :1 ,, ra - September 12, 2012 Wading the John Day great for bass fishing When I told my nephews that we'd catch at least 50 smallmouth bass apiece, they thought that 'ole Uncle Scott was one blade short of a sharp edge. However, at the end of a day on the John Day, both boys said it was one of their best fishing trips ever. The John Day River has always been one of my favorite places to fish and this day did not disappoint - lots of fish, very few anglers and spectacular scenery. What more could you ask for? We even took a little time off from fishing for a few refreshing swims in a deeper hole. Then we grabbed the rods and waded back in almost up to our necks and still caught fish. We didn't catch any lunkers - most fish were 6- to 12- inchers with a few just over that. In late summer and into fall, it's not uncommon for anglers to catch 75 to 100 fish a day per per- son just about anywhere on the riv- er between Kimberiy and Clarno. However, the river is way too low to float until after Oct. 1 when ir- rigation stops and the river level starts coming back up. Until then (00UTDOORS Scott Staats it's bank fishing and wading. We fished sections between Burnt Ranch and Twickenham and caught most of our fish on plastic grubs and worms. My favorite is a black 5-inch Ripple Worm from Outlaw Baits fished on a 1/8-ounce barbed jighead. It's hard to believe that all these bass originated from 80 fish introduced into the upper reaches of the John Day River in i971 by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. From that original stock- ing, the John Day is now considered ',Quality is the Difference" 07 CHEVROLET SIL 06 A  UBIF (CIC) 2500 HD CREW CAB CAB 5 PICKUP 4D 6 I/2  6 1/2 fl DUMM ONE OWEK 6" FABIE UR, N TR  WH 5 nRE TO 3, UII Vmffl, MBSSD PRIDE OF OWNERSHIP flmgU6H nl70 SC78 $34,995 S21,995 05 D6E DA QUAD CAB T PICKUP 41) 5 1/2  4](4 NRSBSH STOCK $15,995 3195 S. SANTIAM HWY, LEBANON, OR 91355 I 541-258-2175 I (DLR # 3102) MON-FRi: 8:AM TO 7:PM I SAT: 9AM TO 6:PM I SUN: 9:AM TO 5:PM CROCKERARS.COM DEN DEE 5fiLE5 FOR ALL YOUR SPORTING GOOD NEEDS 610 MAIN STREET 1 541.367.5544 I HOURS: MON.- SAT. 9 - 6 SUN. 10 - 4 8" HflTER00OOF BOOT PORELLE MEMBRANE i 400GR THINSULATE TEc'S #1614 OUR LOW PRI[E: S79.98 i FLEE[E LADLES OR MENS J WOOLRICH REGULAR PRICE: $19.98 00AL[: S100.99 700l00ffiW/En 10-PAIRS I GRABBER OUR LOH PRI[E: SS.OO [lip ACRYLIC KNIT MADE IN USA BUR LUH 00l[E: S00.gB WWW.LASSENRV.COM 541.917.7395 877.373.2678 1103 PRICE ROAD SE, ALBANY, OR 97322 Photo by Scott Staats The shallow stretches of the John Day River offers some of the best bass fishing in Oregon. by many to be one of the best small- mouth rivers in the country. We caught most fish in the deeper pools but many came from shallower riffle areas as well. I fished one narrow, fast slot for at least 20 minutes and pulled out at least 10 plump fish right next to the steep bank where the current was slower. The highlight of the day oc- curred when 15-year-old Nolan hooked into something huge. I was fishing upriver of him in a riffle and couldn't hear him yelling. I saw his lightweight spin- ning rod just about bent in half and thought he was caught on the bot- tom. A few minutes later I looked again and he still stood there with the bent rod. Thinking he was wast- ing precious fishing time I yelled for him to break it off. I returned to catching bass. When I looked back again I saw 000000ii!i!iiiiiiii!!ii!iiiii!iiiii!!i!!i!ii!iTil Nolan and Quinn show off some samples of the 171 fish they and their uncle Scott caught in a single day on the river. 212 ave " li 23"00 v. ..................... ralomlno 2100LTD Sandstorm 266SLR Stk#R8021 - Truck Campe r -H Stk#R7981  Tent Trailer SIk#RV118 - TOy Hauler MSRP $13,789 II MSRP $8,102 MSRP $45,390 Lassen Price $6,000 Lassen Price $38,215 Lassen Price $9,995 ]i /I 20130utDoorsRV II 20130utDoorsev l I ITimge70DenSll CreekSiae=mS 1 II La.e. eace II tassen Price $26,730 ] 2013 Dutchmen Kodiak 300BHSL Stk#RV129 - Travet Trailer MSRP 11687 Lassen e $35,505 his 17-year old brother Quinn with a net and he was waving for me to come and help. Right then I realized that Nolan either had a state record smallmouth on the end of the line or a big carp. I got my camera out, switched on the video mode and stood by to watch the show. It was give and take with the fish doing most of the taking for at least 20 minutes. Finally, Nolan gained enough line for us to see that he had hooked into a carp that appeared to be around 3 feet long. When he got it to within about 15 feet of the gravelly bank, the giant scaled fish made one more run to deep water and broke the line. What a fight. A few great blue herons joined our fishing expedition and I watched one catch a small bass and a frog. Nobody got skunked. As a matter of fact we ended the day with a total of 171 bass caught and released - an average of 57 fish per person. Perhaps next time the boys won't question their outdoor uncle. Scott Staats is a full-time outdoor writer who lives in Prineville. Contact him by e-mail, at news@ sweethomenews.com. Please put "For Scott Staats" on the subject line.