It is looking like spring might be here to stay. The rivers and creeks are starting to go down, and except for a turkey or two, hunting is on hold. That must mean that it is time to go fishing. I freely admit that I’m not a diehard fisherman. That being said, it beats mowing the lawn, so I go every now and then. My kids love to fish, even my little princess. Since I want her to enjoy the outdoors with me, I encourage it as much as possible.

When I started looking into places to take my kids, I was amazed at the opportunities we have right here in Grant County. Did you know the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife stocks over 25 ponds, lakes and streams in Grant County? The Eagle published the schedule in the April 3 newspaper, and you can find that online or check myodfw.com. Most of us know about Seventh Street, Holliday and McHaley ponds. They are great places to take the kids for some easy success, but did you know about all the others? The John Day office has a map of 22 ponds all within 20 miles of Ukiah. I’m pretty excited to go try them out this year. I’m thinking of getting a couple of buddies together and having a race. We are going to have a set time to hit as many of the ponds as we can while catching one fish at each pond.

If those ponds sound a little too pedestrian for your taste, or if you are looking for more of an adventure, the county can cater to that as well. Strawberry and High lakes, as well as the Aldrich Ponds, are a great choice. They all require a couple-mile hike to access, but provide amazing scenery. The fishing is a little more challenging, but a little more rewarding as well. Take your camping gear and make a weekend of it.

Rather wade a stream? We can do that. I have been drowning worms in the John Day River and Canyon Creek my whole life. Once I caught a 22-inch trout right underneath the Bridge Street bridge. The Burnt River out of Unity has always treated me pretty well also. Of course, the lower John Day is world renowned for its bass fishing, and I hear that it is good for catfishing as well, but I have never tried it.

I would give you some advice on tackle and techniques if I had any, but I don’t. I like to catch fish as long as I’m fishing so I always start with live bait, usually worms, wherever I go. I don’t know anything about depth or how to pick the right lure or fly. If the worms don’t work, I just start throwing stuff and hope for the best. If you have any advice for me, I would love to hear it.

Whatever your tastes, take a break from the yard work and get out and do some fishing this summer.

We welcome your thoughts and ideas at shootingthebreezebme@gmail.com.

Rod Carpenter is a husband, father and hunting fool.

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