Monday, June 12, 2006

Banks Lake Weekend

The annual Fishin' Club of Whidbey Island's Spring weekend outing and campout to Banks Lake is now over. (sigh....)

Getting there was interesting, to say the least! We had bright sunshine, gusty winds, heavy rain, hail, and just about everything else except a tornado, although I did see a dust devil or so! The weather was mostly a large number of squalls, and you'd be getting hammered by hail only to drive a quarter of a mile and the road was bone dry. Drive another half a mile and it would be pouring so hard you could barely see to drive. It certainly wasn't boring!

Banks Lake is in the Eastern part of Washington State, in what is basically desert. Being from the Western part of the state, the scenery is a huge change for us. Tall trees, snow-capped mountains, and Puget Sound are replaced by sage brush, long canyons, or Coulees, sheer rock cliffs, and good sized man made lakes. Banks lake is a storage reservoir for Grand Coulee Dam, and is also the source of irrigation water for the Columbia River basin reclamation project.

Every year we reserve one end of a resort, so we have all of the campsites on the lake to ourselves.

Three of our club boats on the beach right in front of our campsites.

In addition to the bass, walleye, and perch fishing, one of the big attractions is our club's potluck dinner on Saturday afternoon. Tons of food, fellowship, fish stories, sunshine, what more could you ask?

Great food, great people! Fred's probably telling another fish story!

Eating until we could barely walk!

Grand Coulee dam with water going over the spillway. Very unusual!

Usually Grand Coulee dam drops most of the river water through the turbines to make electricity, but this year there is so much water in the river that they can't run it all through the turbines, so they are letting a lot of water over the spillway. Sometimes that doesn't happen for years. It makes an incredible roar that you can hear for miles.

Columbia river valley below Grand Coulee dam.

KeeWee with a fine mess of yellow perch!

Since this is a fishing club, we definitely DID go fishing. High winds and rain kept us off the lake for much of Saturday, but we all still got in some rod time. KeeWee and I caught a number of small mouth bass on light tackle, which is a whole lot of fun. We also went after some yellow perch to bring home for dinner.

Yellow perch for dinner YUM!!

I've had the very best Alaska salmon and halibut, sturgeon, Ling, rockfish, cod, and a number of other highly touted fish, but for pure taste yellow perch and their close cousin the walleye, are hard to beat for taste! Boneless fillets battered and deep fried, what a treat!

It was a fantastic trip, and we all had a grand time. I just wish it wasn't such a long drive, but it was certainly worth it!

KeeWee has two posts up on the Banks Lake Weekend with a lot more pictures, HERE, and HERE.


At Tuesday, June 13, 2006 9:29:00 AM, Blogger Fugger Nutter said...

Great stuff Mr C.!

What a wonderful trip.


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