Thursday, June 19, 2008

Return to the Heart of memory

So the lack of posts has a reason. I've been fishing. I returned to the great homeland of my youth Omak, Okanogan, and Conconully for a reminiscent weekend of fishing with my brother Hal. We navigated mostly by memory and were able to find all these special places of our youth.

We went and visited Dave and Fran the owners of the apple orchard our grandparents lived at overlooking Omak. All these memories came flooding back as if I was a child again. Hal and I both agreed that we were high on life and proud to be who we are and where we are from.

After visiting with Fran and Dave we drove up into the hills to the tiny resort community of Conconully. We quickly set up camp at the state park in the middle of town and were off for dinner and karaoke at the Tamarack. It was really really funny to hang out with the locals who took to us fondly after discovering we used to live there.

The next day we fished all day long. We returned to Whitestone Lake outside of Tonasket because we had really good luck there once 12 years ago. Unfortunately the blue gill have taken over the lake and made any sort of respectable fishing impossible. It was fun, beautiful, and a nice swim.

We then moved on to a pond at the end of the Upper Conconully Lake. After some treacherous footing and bad luck we moved down the reservoir and fished along the rocks for bass. After more bad luck my brother spotted a very protective fish along the banks that was pretty big. He couldn't get it to bite on anything but it would always chase fish away. I put on a crappie jig and basically reeled it and hit him in the head. This seemed to piss him off and hit bit it! I reeled him in but he was so big he snapped the 4 lb. leader. I got away jig still in his mouth.

But, then he returned. I put on another jig, hit him in the head again and he bit it again. This time I got him out of the water on the shore before the line snapped again. Without hesitation I leaped into the water and grabbed him with my bare hands. I threw him up the bank immediately to my brother. The look on his face as this monster bass was flying through the air towards him was priceless.

We fished a few other places too but after that we were done. It was the only keeper fish we caught all day. I joked with Hal that if you added up all the gas money, gear, camping fees, food and fun expenses, this was atleast a $300 fish.

The next day we fished a little, visited the top of the hill and our old home. We just couldn't get over the feeling that this place is real, we are from here and we are proud to be who we are. We made a pact to come back and do the trip every summer, if only for a weekend. Hopefully our parents will be able to join us next time.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I remember doing some of that 'trip' with Chris. 11 years ago when we were expecting Alex. We went to visit grandma and grandpa and I just cracked up the minute we got into Omak and saw the 'cute' fire hydrants all dressed up. I couldn't believe someone had painted all of them to look like people!

Or when we drove to Conconully and stopped at the cemetary. Half way out there in the grass, Chris kept thinking I needed to get out of there, for fear of being bit by a snake. My favorite part was going into 'town'. We ate at the pub, went to the smoke shop, saw a few shops, went to the post office and got to see the BRAND NEW WALMART (with the second traffic light that had to be added).

I'm glad you had a great time with Hal. It always means more to do trips like that with someone else!!!

Have a great wkend!

loves-
C, J and of course A and M Wicks

Susan Iverson said...

We will definitely do this trip together next summer. Your memories of the area and Grandma and Grandpa are priceless and I am so glad you have them in your heart always.

Dirk Martin said...

Dude, nice fish! I love fishing in the deep nooks and crannies of our childhood. My Dad, uncle, and I went out this morning on the Potomac river and had a blast. I am definitely looking forward to visiting Nunavak for some fishing adventures. Tight lines!

funky punk said...

What a beautiful place! You are blessed.

Tackling a fish... step back.

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