Tuesday, June 23, 2009



Mendenhall Fishing Trip 2009

Departure From Spokane Airport

   Please be aware, for those of you receiving this post via email, that I personally have not been able to figure out yet how to turn the active-x controls on in my Windows Email Client.  This post will contain three embedded you tube videos.  It may be advisable to view this post in its original URL here. Also, this post will contain a riddle that I want you to try to answer (except Grandma and Grandpa of course. . .since they already know), so I advise you to visit my Picasa web album and view my google maps for the fish caught at Billy Shaw Reservoir.  It can be found in the right "side bar".  Be sure to view the maps in all three modes for best effect (Map, Satellite, and Terrain). Another hint is to zoom in and out.

   So we flew out on Monday June 8th, while Grandma and Grandpa must have been packing their gear all day, and we arrived to find their trailer packed.  On Tuesday morning we drove to Billy Shaw Reservoir.  On this trip, thunderstorms would be the prevailing weather.

Grandma, Grandpa, and Eliason setting up camp.

View of Camp from Dam.

   While at Billy Shaw, we managed to fish the mornings, and would be forced off the water by thunder and lightning by lunch time. Unfortunately, due to bad management by the reservation, the quality in size of fish this year was way down.  For the last couple of years, the average size of fish we caught at this reservoir was in the 20 inch range.  This year, between all 4 of us, the biggest fish we caught was 19 inches.  For purposes of illustration, here is a picture of a fish that I caught this year.  Compare this to the picture of a fish that was average last year (found at the bottom of this web page)

18 Inch Rainbow Trout Caught by Dad.

   Honestly, the smaller trout this year is not too big of a problem. Compared to the trout we find up in northern Idaho, these guys are still big and fight like the dickens. So Eliason and I still had tons of fun with these fish anyway. Due to the weather I was not able to get a good picture of Eliason with a fish. However, I do have this video of Eliason fighting a good fight (and he is out on the water all by himself while the rest of us are getting dinner ready). He has already had the fish to his net twice, just to have the fish take off on him again. Watch for the reflection of light off his rod to see how much of a bend is in it. You can also see the fish make a splash in this video.

A Hard Fight at Billy Shaw.

   What amazed me the most this year, in regards to Eliason, is his independence on the water. Every evening, while we were making dinner, Eliason still insisted on going out fishing. Even when the wind and water were really rough. So here is another video to demonstrate this, although when the video starts you have just missed a wave that broke over Eliason's bow and sent spray into the air.

Watch Eliason Hold His Own in the Weather.

   Well, here is a picture of me with my biggest catch at Billy Shaw. Notice, it is a small mouth bass. Now, I don't mind fishing for bass on the fly rod, however this is supposed to be a trophy trout fishery. In other words, this bass is not supposed to be there. Bass tend to weigh more per inch than trout do, so while this bass is only 18 inches, it must have weighed in around 5 pounds. Grandpa also caught a couple of perch this trip too.

Nesting Bass are very Susceptible to the Fly.

   On Friday June 12th, after fishing in the morning, we broke camp and headed back to the Grandparent's house in Boise. So, before we leave Billy Shaw Reservoir on the Duck Valley Indian Reservation, here is my riddle. What is wrong with the picture below? Remember my hints above, and please post a response by either email or the comment box below.

Riddle me this. What is wrong with this picture?

   Amazingly, Grandma and Grandpa can unpack and break down the trailer, and get it back to storage, in just 3 hours. Saturday was a planned day off, and Grandma took both of us Birthday shopping so she wouldn't have to worry about us while she spends time with her new grandson Davis this summer. The plan for Sunday was to go fish the "Ranch", but the rain and thunderstorms were too much to even think about leaving that morning.

   The Ranch lies just about an hour and a half drive south from Boise in the Owyhees, which I think could be described as a high mountain arid desert. The weather improved just enough on Monday for us all to go, but we only got two hours of fishing in before storms blew us off the water again. However, I did catch this very nice rainbow trout pictured below. It took me 20 minutes to land this fish, and during this time Eliason also hooked and landed a very nice 20 inch, two and half pound trout also. Because I was fighting my fish, I was not able to get a picture of Eliason's.

25 inches and 5 pounds

   On Tuesday, June 16th, Eliason and I were scheduled to fly out late back to home in Moscow. Before Eliason and I witnessed Owyhee mud, we wanted to fish again. However, on Monday, after spending another three hours trying to clean this dried mud off everything, we decided that fishing Tuesday before we left was just not practical. Instead, Grandma and Grandpa treated us to a day of fun at Wahooz. Just outside of Boise, next to the water park, Wahooz has video games, bumper bumps, three go-kart tracks, batting cages, putt putt golf, and laser tag! So I will end this post with pictures of the very competitive go-kart races we had. Tight lines every body!

Grandpa and Eliason racing.

Grandpa Mendenhall


Grandma Mendenhall

Eliason and Me

Eliason and Grandpa