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.