Ron Bryant of Mt. Angel provided some fishing-related inspiration and incentive with a recent picture that he sent of him with a 30-ish-pound Chinook that he caught on the lower Nestucca River.

“I think there’s some concern about giving away the location of a ‘secret spot,’” he wrote in an email with the photo attached, adding tongue firmly in cheek, “as if it’s not crowded enough on the day after someone caught a fish.”

As a compromise, he identified the not-so-secret spot as “the poggy hole,” so named because of the numerous small bullhead “that strip the bait off the hooks.”

Poggy, Ron informs me, is a nickname usually followed by a string of obscenities, for any small grab-and-go bait-stealer.

Ron caught the large buck (male) salmon on a bobber-and-shrimp combination, although when the poggies swarm, most anglers switch to a bobber and jig.

In the news-you-can-use department, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s weekly Recreation Report said that the forecasted storm this week should get additional fish moving up coastal rivers from bays and estuaries where the runs had stalled.

Closer to home, with the reopening of the renovated Willamette Falls fish ladder at Oregon City, coho salmon are heading up the Willamette River and into tributaries such as the North and South Santiam rivers.

On the downside, because of fire damage, access points such as Packsaddle, Niagara and Minto county parks on Highway 22 on the North Santiam are closed.

The self-mandated public-service reminder being to mask up and social-distance during the surging coronavirus pandemic.

Some of the popular fishing hangouts can get crowded.

As an example, Bryant said that when action fell off at the poggy hole, he ran into about 20 anglers bunched upriver at the Mouth of Three Rivers at Hebo.

Speaking about fishing and social distancing …

According to the same recreation report, 1,200 rainbow trout (1,000 keepers and 200 foot-longs) were planted the past week along the Alton Baker Canoe Canal in Eugene.

The best access point is Alton Baker Park, from which you can hike and fish the length of the 2-mile canal that goes right past Autzen Stadium.

For directions, go to the city of Eugene’s Alton Baker Park page on its web site at or plug the address, 200 Day Island Road, into the GPS on your smart phone or navigation system.

In addition to the fishing, it’s also a pleasant walk on a well-pounded urban trail.

For these and other highlights, check out the fishing reports zone-by-zone statewide in the weekly recreation report, usually updated on Thursdays, online at

BITTERSWEET PARTING – My brother Jim’s life partner, Jan, said during a recent phone call that he’s getting ready to retire.

A longtime and supremely dedicated nurse at a hospital in Santa Rosa, Calif., the physical strain and the long hours during decades have taken a toll, she said.

The kicker is the mental and emotional fatigue of dealing with critically ill and dying patients during the pandemic.

My other younger brother, Steve, is similarly virally stressed. He’s a nurse at a hospital in Springfield

I’m looking forward to getting back to the outdoor pursuits that we all know and love once the cloud disperses.

Even Superman, it seems, needs a break.

SPLIT DECISION – I’m writing this column on Monday, election eve, for online release and in the print edition after Election Day.

Not being clairvoyant, I have no clue what is about to happen.

Except to say that with the foreshadowing of the screaming and shouting about the expected protracted legal brouhaha, a few words come to mind.

My blessedly limited experience with lawyers informs me that it’s not a good idea to pay someone a lot of money by the hour when they get to set their own hours.

It’s like the punch line for that old joke about going to Vegas.

“Want to know how to make a small fortune at the casinos?”

“First, start with a large fortune.”

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: One of the best lessons that fishing teaches is that if you’re tempted to snap at something, it’s better to keep your mouth shut.

Contact Henry via email at [email protected]

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