Wildflowers, bear bait, BBQ and hidden lakes

Pretty good headline, eh? Well, it was a pretty good weekend. It started out with a keg of Ninkasi at my house on Friday night. I did what was expected, grilled food, drank beer, pitched horseshoes and eventually busted out my guitar. The crowd actually cheered when I threw the lyrics and chord chart to Long December into the fire. Looks like it’s time for a new set or give up the rock. We kept it PG till most of the respectable people left. At some point in the night, I did a keg stand and that pretty much ended the festivities. Apparently, people aren’t big on keg stands out here.  

The next day we had another BBQ, this time for TU Chapter 678 and I was on catering duty. The crew: Karl, Paul, Todd, Brent and the Shelly Posse managed to tear down a bunch of invasive blackberries from a streambank on the Willamette River that our chapter has been working on for a while. For a full post on the project, check out the Mule’s site.


Later that day, The Mule and the DoubleD and I headed out to find a little known, completely random lake in the Oregon Coast range. The lake was formed when a landslide blocked a creek off the Siuslaw River. We figured it was a good bet for fishing, since all of the West Side rivers were blown out from high temperatures causing crazy snowmelt in the Cascades.

What we didn’t bet on, but should have, was bear. In a half mile hike, we counted over 15 piles of bear shit and each pile seemed to get wetter and fresher as we followed the bear down the trail. I’m assuming it was a mother and cubs, because we found some big turds, but also some little paw prints. Not a good sign. I was on point, so I stuck my giant float tube out in front of me like a sheild and pushed on. The fishing was uneventful, but the trip was great. More on that on the Fly Fishing Blog when I get time to write it. The Mule has it as well.

Esmond Lake Bear shit

Esmond Lake

Then Sunday KP and I stopped by the Mt. Pisgah Arboretum Wildflower Festival and Plant Sale. I picked up a nice potted salmonberry bush. I’m going to try to grow it in a container on my back porch.

Mt. Pisgah flower fest

Mt. Pisgah flower fest

Mt. Pisgah flower fest

We spent the rest of the day up at Pfeiffer Vineyards under a giant madrone tree and then hiking the woodpecker loop at the Finley Wildlife Refuge. Some pics below.


Finley Wildlife Refuge

Finley Wildlife Refuge


Finley Wildlife Refuge


About mstansberry

Matt Stansberry currently lives in Eugene, Oregon with his wife and son.
This entry was posted in Conservation, Events, Oregon Fishing, photos and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Wildflowers, bear bait, BBQ and hidden lakes

  1. David says:

    Can we BBQ and play guitar when I get out there?

  2. Bpaul says:

    I dig the columbine picture where you cut the flower in half, very cool graphically.

  3. Ronan says:

    So a bear really does shit in the woods, huh?

  4. Nstanz says:

    Nice turkey….the birdery continues!

  5. This is the first year I didn’t bring the guitar to our annual pike on fly expedition. For some reason nobody missed it.

  6. Josh Carr says:

    I have had your blog bookmarked for about 10 months and I enjoy reading all your posts. I have lived in Eugene for my whole life and am still finding new places to explore in the fishing and hunting fields. I am a multi- purpose sportsman: flyfishing, baitfishing, bowhunting and rifle hunting. I saw the blog on Esmond lake and thought I would reply. Not many people know about this lake but When I was still in high school I tried to find the lake from the upper end by looking at old maps. Pretty freakin tough and rugged country, but it looked like it was the closest route from a road. Then I got smart the next time and figured I would just walk the outlet from the road on up. That worked out much better. But I had the same experience as you once I got to the lake. I was there with my uncle and all we could catch were a few 6-8 inch cutthroats. Pretty intriguing lake though. One place you might want to check out sometime is Crescent Lake in the old cascades off of Highway 20. This is another lake that no one seems to know about. My grandfather took me and my brother there in 2004 and I remember looking into the water in the sunlight around a logjam and seeing brook trout that were easily 24″ and longer hovering all around. All we could catch was a 14″ brookie. I do not see where the odfw ever stocked the lake, but there are some nice fish there and it is a pretty good hike to get there. Anyway, keep up the good writing. Thanks, Josh.

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