Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Banks Lake Fishin' Club Weekend

KeeWee and I had spent a fair amount of time last week getting everything ready to go for our Fishin' Club's Banks Lake weekend outing. Check over the trailer, tune up the RV, fresh license tabs for the boat ,the boat trailer, and the RV, sort the fishing stuff, get the interior of the RV straightened out, pack the food, and more.

Our plans had been to attend the Fishin' Club meeting Thursday night, then get an early start on Friday morning for the seven and a half hour drive across the North Cascades Highway to Banks lake. We planned to spend Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights at the lake, then drive back on Monday.

When we got back from the meeting it was around 9:30, and it wasn't quite dark. We decided, "what the heck!", lets load the small amount of stuff still to be loaded and hit the road. If we can get a fair amount of the driving done at night, we'd be at the lake that much sooner on Thursday, and not nearly so road weary.

The weather was good and the traffic was light, so we drove the length of Whidbey Island, through Oak Harbor, across the Deception Pass bridge, then picked followed Highway 20 through Burlington, Sedro Wooley, Concrete, and on across the North Cascades highway. Everything was running OK, so we continued on across the passes, through Winthrop, Twisp, and along the Chewuch river to Pateros, where the river empties into the Columbia. Just before reaching Pateros a mountain lion ran across the road right in front of us. I've never seen one in the wild before, and we were both surprised to see one!

When we reached Pateros it was nearly 3:30 in the morning, so we decided to find a spot to grab a few hours of sleep before continuing on to Banks lake. The parking lot of a closed down grocery store was perfect!

After a few hours of sleep we got back on the road, and a couple of hours later we pulled in to the parking lot at Coulee Playland resort.

Looking West Across Banks Lake from Coulee Playland.

We got checked in, and launched the boat. When we got to our campsite we saw that Elsa was already there, so we walked up to a local restaurant for breakfast. Biscuits and gravy -- YUMMM.......

A large family of geese swimming past our campsite.

After breakfast we loaded our gear into the boat and headed down the lake for some bass fishing. The lake hadn't really warmed up as much as it normally would be, so bass fishing was a little slower than in previous years. I hooked a nice small mouth and had a really hard time getting it in, as it had wrapped my line around a tree limb laying on the bottom, and I had to both the bass and the limb. KeeWee has pictures here.

After fishing, we built a small fire in the fire pit and cooked hot dogs and marshmallows over the fire. It doesn't get any better than that!

The next morning we headed out for more bass fishing, without too much success. We decided to give our favorite perch spot a try, and caught some of the biggest yellow perch I've ever seen. KeeWee, of course, caught the biggest one........ (harumpfff......)

For this area, those perch on the left are huge!

Six perch, enough for a good dinner for both of us!

I filleted, de-boned, and skinned the perch, KeeWee rolled them in pancake flour, and we deep fried them. Absolutely delicious!!

Saturday club potluck dinner.

Saturday afternoon was also the Fishin' Club's potluck dinner. Fred also deep fried some perch, and along with all the other food, everyone was stuffed!

Does that look good, or what?

The plate speaks for itself!

Saturday evening the wind started to blow, and it kept blowing all day Sunday, making it just about impossible to fish.

Some of our campsites, after just about everyone had left for home.

Sunday night we dined again on hot dogs and marshmallows. Monday morning we loaded up and drove home.

It was a great weekend!


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