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Sunday, August 2, 2015

The Banana Boat

The Banana Boat

An new era begins...

I just purchased a new/used beater car to get out on my fishing adventures.  Wendi saw this 1987 Chevrolet Spectrum CL with a for sale sign on it a couple weeks ago and encouraged me to take a look at it.  For sure, it's not a Honda, but it only has 80,000 miles on the clock and appears to be in decent mechanical condition.

When I brought the car home, Wendi took a closer look and said eww... as she noticed that the windows were custom sealed with yellow duck tape ( the rest of the roll thrown in for free) and one of the cheap plastic hubcaps were missing.  For some reason she didn't like my idea of just trashing those hubcaps all together so she ordered a new set from Amazon to pimp my ride.

Granted, I needed to put two new tires on the front right off the bat, but still got a decent deal on this car for a few hundred bucks and no car payments.  As an added convenience, there are no power windows, cruise control, and automatic door locks on this bad boy.  No reverse camera either.  Just for my entertainment, I almost immediately started to hear a screeching noise coming from the front, telling me that the wear indicators on my front brake pads were doing their job in conveying the urgency of changing them out.

Okay then, off to the parts store to grab new brake pads and they had to be special ordered since "they didn't make many of those cars".  I picked up the brake pads a few days later and to my joy, I realized when trying to install them, that they were the wrong part!  Back to the parts store........ oh, they did a mid year change in 1987 so my pads are listed with the 1988 model, no wonder they look different.  Again, the pads needed to be special ordered.  Finally, after just a few bad words went through my mind, I got the pads installed and my car stops without sounding like a tire's about to fall off.

The car is adorned with a bright yellow Maaco paint job, complete with some chipping and masking lines still visible.  I decided to call this new fishing vessel "The Banana Boat", but just was reminded today by Josh Browning, via Facebook, that bananas are bad luck as to fishing.  I've been on a dry spell anyway so don't know how things could get any worse, but if my luck doesn't change I may have to change the name to "Yellow Streak".

I took the Banana Boat on it's maiden voyage to the North Umpqua this weekend.  Wendi is off to Strugis with her dad for the week so I took advantage of having no adult supervision.  I'll never get anywhere fast with this beast, but I did make it to the river without incident and found a camp spot for a weekend of solo fishing.

I decided to gut the rear seat out of the car so I could load all of my gear with the convenience of the hatchback for access.  I had room to spare and figuered that I'd bring my generator next time so I can keep my cell phone charged and crank up my coffee maker in the mornings.

I'd have to say that my first fishing trip with the new rig was a success.  I was able to lug all my junk to the river and this little car did great with jumping from me spot to spot.

It was great being out on my favorite summer river, however, due to the record warm weather, ODFW has issued an emergency closure with no fishing allowed from 2pm until an hour before sunrise until further notice.  Apparently, some folks didn't get the memo as I saw a couple guys who had been fishing after 2pm and didn't know about the closure until I told them about it.

Much to my surprise, I fished under overcast conditions most of the time on Saturday and all day today.  There was even some drizzle today, such a nice unexpected change with the scorching hot weather we've had.  Sometimes I'm glad when weather predictions are wrong.

I'd heard that a weather change like this can really turn the fishing on, but apparently that didn't apply to me.  Nevertheless, it was a great reprieve to fish in cool conditions and even having to wear a rain jacket in August.  I always enjoy being in this beautiful place and am always blessed with getting into the rhythm of the river.

I ended up going retro this weekend with equipment and brought out my Sage RPL 9'7wt that I built in 1993 and Lamson LP 3 fly reel bought at around the same time.  I uploaded the rod by two line weights with a Sage Saltwater WF9F line and that combo single hand spey cast just wonderfully.

With more idle time in camp due to the closure at 2pm, I was also able to get some fly tying done.  I was pleased with coming up with yet another color combo for my foam skater, this one incorporates chartreuse cactus chenielle and looks like a winner.  No end to my maddness with foam and cactus chenielle.  I'll post pics of this fly in the near future.

The Happy Zone


  1. Glad you made it out. Are they having the same low numbers on the NU as on the Willamette?

  2. Not sure about the numbers on the NU. I know people are getting fish now and then so it's gotta be better than the Willamette.