Looking for some things to do outdoors in the days ahead? Here are seven suggestions, allowing you to get outside and do something new every day this week.
WILDFLOWER HIKES – The wildflowers are blooming around Eastern Washington and now is a great time to go on a hike and immerse yourself in their presence. A few of my favorite places to go include Columbia Hills State Park in Klickitat County, Hay Canyon and Nahahum Canyon near Cashmere, Ingalls Creek south of Peshastin, the Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge south of Cheney and the area around Palouse Falls State Park.
WATERFALLS – Speaking of Palouse Falls, this is the best time of year to visit this state park near Starbuck in Southeast Washington. The spring runoff on the Palouse River sends a voluminous amount of water crashing into the 198-feet deep basalt basin below the falls. Other waterfalls worth checking out right now include Rainbow Falls near Stehekin, Silver Falls west of Entiat and Periwee (also known as Peewee) Falls in Pend Oreille County which cascades 233 feet into Boundary Lake.
BASS FISHING – The bass are in the shallows and getting ready to spawn. This is arguably the easiest time of year to sight fish for bass. Casting finesse rigs like senkos, jigs or Texas rigged worms and lizards can readily draw strikes. Look for these bass in thick cover and be prepared to scratch up the boat a bit to get at them.
TROUT FISHING - Most of those trout planted prior to the lowland lakes opener two weeks ago are still there and this is a great time to go fishing for them. If you are looking for places to go check out the WDFW derby lakes where trout with blue tags have been planted. If you catch one of these trout, they are worth a prize which could be anything from a gift card to a canoe. https://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/contests/trout-derby
CATFISH FISHING - Another option for anglers right now is to go after catfish. You can find them in the lower John Day River between the mouth and the falls as well as the mouth of the Palouse River near Lyons Ferry State Park. Channel catfish are also plentiful in the Snake River.
DESERT HIKES – As the weather warms desert hikes become a lot less enjoyable but if you go now, you can still take advantage of the great scenery and some of the lakes found in these regions. Some of my favorite desert hikes are the lower route to the Ancient Lakes or Dusty Lake (1.5 and 3 mile one-way hikes respectively) or a walk near Frenchman or Winchester Wasteway in the Desert Wildlife Area in Grant County. If you go check yourself for ticks at the conclusion of your excursion.
TURKEY HUNTING – The spring turkey season continues through May 31 and the northeast corner of the state is definitely your best bet if you want to bag a gobbler. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife staff say, “If you’re not sure where to hunt, there is plenty of opportunity on public land in Pend Oreille, Stevens and Ferry counties, including the Colville National Forest, the Little Pend Oreille National Wildlife Refuge, and WDFW’s Sherman Creek, LeClerc Creek, and Rustler’s Gulch wildlife areas. In the southeast part of WDFW’s Region 1, the Asotin Creek, Chief Joseph, and W.T. Wooten wildlife areas also have good hunting opportunity.”
John Kruse – www.northwesternoutdoors.com and www.americaoutdoorsradio.com
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