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La Grande Observer Paper 07/23/14

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STEELHEAD, CANYON GRANDEUR BECKON ANGLERS TO THE LOWER IMNAHA

Brothers Gary and Larry Wishart of Enterprise float their riggings around the corner where the old bridge once crossed the Imnaha River at Cow Creek during the late afternoon light. (Ron Osterloh).
Brothers Gary and Larry Wishart of Enterprise float their riggings around the corner where the old bridge once crossed the Imnaha River at Cow Creek during the late afternoon light. (Ron Osterloh).

— Ron Osterloh

- For The Observer

The elusive steelhead lures fishermen in search of new fish tales to the depths of the Imnaha River Canyon. They aim to wet their frying pans with fish and restock their memories with fish tales. I partook in such an expedition last weekend with my master fishing friends and returned with many images captured with my Canon and memories jotted in my journal of tales.

Though many wiggling worms and other scientific sorts of fishing paraphernalia got thoroughly soaked in the Imnaha, the frying pans remained free from fish scales throughout the weekend. But all those who dared to navigate the treacherous road that hangs dangerously along the edge of the cliffs leading to this breath-taking country had much to enjoy even without the excitement of snagging the Big One.

This was an opportunity for man (in the general sense of the term) to spend some quality time with his best friend, the dog. It was also a time to spin stories with a few of his two-legged friends. It was a time to gaze at the rich geological features that are stacked vertically between the river and the upper rims of this incredible canyon. And it was a time to appreciate the presence of other forms of flora and fauna.

Even though the fish didn't show up in camp, the fish stories flowed around the campfires while friends from the past got reacquainted sharing stories slightly changed, possibly more accurate than before. The food was tasty, as camp food always is. And the nerves of regular weekly activities relaxed into care-free existence.

But I fear to make this place sound like paradise, because we all know what happens "when you call someplace

Paradise ... " Oh, by the way, did I mention the snake that silently slithers under the truck while man fixes his flat tire ... introducing himself with the shake of his dry rattle? Paradise wouldn't dare have such fanged critters as those.

 
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