Posts Tagged Steelhead

More plunking at Meldrum's Bar

I went Saturday and yesterday to Meldrum’s Bar again to do some steelhead fishing. I hadn’t been there in many months, but things haven’t changed since my last posting on the subject. A lot of the same people still fish there, the fishing success is as sporadic as ever, and the geese are still fighting. The Clackamas County Sherrifs showed up for a while to talk, and I actually had a state trooper check my salmon tag. I now feel justified spending the $46 bucks for the license and tag this year.

I was surprised to see all the boats in the Willamette considering how many logs, trees, and UFOs (Unidentifiable Floating Objects) there were going downstream at a good clip. The water was chocolate brown, and as high as to be expected during this time of year. A bit of excitement occurred when a guy out in a boat seemed to have lost his motor. Steam started pouring out of it pretty close to the mouth of the Clackamas, and everyone watched him as he drifted downstream trying to get it running. He drifted out of site, about that time the police were contacted, but eventually he managed to come back upstream on his own.

There were only two fish landed (almost 3, but the guy’s leader broke when he was hauling the fish on shore) in the 14 hours I was there for the two days. Of course, none of the fish were on my line. This is not the sort of fishing you want to take your kids unless they have infinite patience and you don’t mind them learning a bunch of new four letter words. There is also one guy who thought Hamms is good for breakfast (well 6:30 am, I suppose he could be working nights), so eating habits might be better learned elsewhere… 🙂

I tried to make observations about all the different plunking rigs I saw there, and I’m going to put a posting together that shows pictures of all the different ones I saw.

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Plunking at Meldrum Bar

I have been spending some parts of some of my weekends trying to catch a Steelhead at Meldrum Bar in Gladstone, Oregon. I’ve been using a technique called “Plunking”. The name sounds derogatory, and I believe it is intended to be. Plunking is generally looked down on by “real fishermen” whoever they are. I’ve been using it as a means to get some “me time” without a lot of driving, as well as an opportunity to see a different segment of society that I don’t normally.

Typically, the weather is terrible. It is usually cold, and rainy. I’ve been going some various weekend days since the middle of December. Occasionally it is a nice day on the bar. This photo is an example.
Plunking on the Willamette at Meldrum Bar

Plunking, involves hammering a pole holder in the ground, setting up a heavy weight rod with heavy weight line, and using a spin-n-glo, or something similar anchored by a heavy weight above the lure. This is cast into the river. The spin-n-glo floats a bit on its own, and the current makes it spin in place. Some place bells on their poles so they know when a fish decides to commit suicide on the gear. On a good day, I’ve seen five fish landed in a ten hour period. A typical day only one or two fish are landed.

The people that regularly commit time to this odd form of fishing are odd themselves. Many of them are retirees, that appreciate the proximity to their homes, as well as the ability to go crawl into their vehicles when the weather turns bad. Did I mention that you can just about drive up to the water?
Drive into the water, why don't you?

Most of the people there drive American vehicles and use the “F” word as an “every-other-word” concept in English language construction, both of which I choose not to adopt. Aside from a bit of brusque language, the people are generally friendly. This is a positive, because as I mentioned before, when the weather is nice, it gets very crowded. I’ve seen over 40 poles in the water, with about 6 feet of ground between them. This situation leads to regular tangles, and few fish caught. Fortunately the tempers seem to stay in check. The Gladstone sheriffs make regular drives through the area just to make sure.

The only fighting I’ve seen is from the local fowl population. There are a good collection of geese, and ducks that seem to hang around all the time. They get regular feedings from the kids that show up, which must encourage the birds to remain. Occasionally one of the birds does something antisocial to one of the other birds. This leads to a large amount of carrying on and occasionally some feathers flying. I’m glad this, and the occasional fish death on the bar, is the limit of the violence there.

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