Trail to The Dalles

The Dalles, Oregon, is situated in the north-central part of the state on the Columbia River, the nation’s second largest river, and is bordered by the Cascade Mountains to the West.

So with spring just around the corner and our conference looming big, I am again asking you to clean out that closet, garage, shop, etc. Those treasures you no longer need could be of interest to someone else. NOWA’s raffle and silent auction are always so much fun at the annual conference.  Fun because of these treasures you no longer want. Filling up the truck and bringing us those items you can donate will help us create a “fantastic collection.” (And, since you are bringing so many things, please make us a list–thanks.)

This is our major fundraiser, so come prepared to buy lots of tickets! (Cash or check only.)

Contact Jo Wilson, 503-390-4557 or

Spring Trout Fishing – Explore The Dalles

By Gary Lewis

We have been looking forward to this for a long time. The Dalles is a great location for a NOWA conference and not the least of the reasons is fishing.

The Columbia River is the obvious fishery. Walleye action can be good in April and May, and the smallmouth bass are beginning to feed, stacking in the eddies and along the rocky points to ambush baitfish. But wait, there’s more to fishing at The Dalles.

There are a number of still water trout fishing destinations close by. Here are four trout hotspots that should be fishing well at the end of April and in early May.

Taylor Lake

This one is in city limits! Expect the water to be muddy. Fly-fishing can work here, but bait is probably a better bet. If you plan to fly-fish, bring a float tube or a small boat.

Don’t look at what the locals are using. When I was there last, they were using everything from crappie jigs to salmon gear, while fishing for trout. Really, people, this is why there is such a thing as outdoor writers. These people need our help!

Take exit 82 off of Interstate 84 and head in the direction of the Port. Turn left on River Trail Way and look for the sign to Taylor Lake. The gravel road ends at the lake in 6/10 of a mile.

 Bikini Pond

A 3-acre pond, about 10 feet at its deepest with rainbow trout and carp. Easy fishing from the bank. A bonus – carp can be stalked in the Columbia River nearby. April, May and June are the best months.

From The Dalles, drive west on I-84 and take the exit marked Mayer State Park. Follow the road west past the Rowena Boat Launch and look for a pair of boulders that frame the road approach to the water. Recommend you stop here and walk in. In your bikini.

Rock Creek Reservoir

Plan a few hours for this excursion. Built to hold irrigation water, Rock Creek Reservoir draws down in the summer, but April and May are prime time for this trout fishery. At 90 acres, the lake supports rainbow trout, bass, bluegill and catfish.

From The Dalles, drive to Tygh Valley, head six miles west on Tygh Valley and Wamic Market roads. From Wamic head west on Rock Creek Dam Road. Turn west on Forest Road 4820 and turn right on Forest Road 120.

Pine Hollow Reservoir

The biggest trout – brood stock fish to 10 pounds – and lots of 8- to 12-inch legals are planted here, beginning in early April. Pine Hollow covers 240 acres and can provide good fishing year-round, but check it out – Pine Hollow Reservoir really shines in April and May. Depth is 15 feet on average and fishes well with fly gear, bait and trolling methods. If bank fishing is planned, bait fishing is the best bet. The fly rodder can do well with a float tube or pontoon boat.

To get there, take Highway 216 and head west on Tygh Valley Road. Proceed to Wamic and turn left on Wamic Market Road. Drive for 4 miles then turn right on Ross Road. Drive for 3.5 miles and turn left at the intersection.

For more fishing ideas, pick up a copy of Fishing Mount Hood Country by NOWA members Robert H. Campbell and Gary Lewis


2019 NOWA Raffle and Silent Auction Donations

A big THANK YOU to everyone who helped make the 2019 conference a success! 

Supporting Member Donations

BoatUS: One-year membership with on-water and on-road towing, & PFD Belt Pack

National Shooting Sports Foundation: 10x28mm Bushnell binocular

Visit Lewis Clark Valley, Michelle Peters: Gift basket-wine, chocolate, wine glasses, peanuts, oats

Lone Wolf Distributors: $50 gift certificate, t-shirts, caps, patches, stickers

Tec Nu Laboratories: Cooler bag, cap UV glasses, 4 containers of product

TTI-Blakemore Fishing Group: Assorted Road Runner lures and hooks, Go-Go Runner lures, N-Tense Glow paint lures, Bucktail pro, Salmon Steelhead Runner

Member Donations

Dennis Dauble: Chinook Fall print, Book: One More Last Cast, CDs: Doug Seegers, Colin Lake, Billy Bragg, LouAnn Barton, Neil Young, John Prine, Johnny Clegg Savuka, Traveling Wilburys.

Bert and Janie Gildart: Explore National Parks from RV (autographed), Montana Icons (autographed) book

Greg Gulbrandsen: Painting of barn in field

Wayne Heinz: Electric knife

Cheryl and Dave Kilhefner: NOWA member quilts 2006 and 2008

John Kruse: Anglers Club sign, Lighted stag, Caps–explore The Dalles, STS, Danzante Bay, LOWA, Assorted Road Runner lures, DVDs: Field Dressing, Skinning and Caping; Meet the Outdoorsmen; Southern Idaho Waterfowl, Books: Flying Fishing Yellowstone Back Country; Saltwater Edge; Fly Fishing the Yucatan; Stillwaters Simplified; From Lure to Fly; Kayak Fly Fishing; The Tug is the Drug; Orvis Fly Fishing Guide; Pacific NW Road Atlas, 2 boxes of BBs

Alan Liere: Box of arrows, Decorative Wood Ducks, Duck shoulder carrier, Toboggan sled, 12 duck decoys

Matt Liere: 3 bottles of Matt’s Minoan Gold honey

Peter Schroeder and Risa Wyatt: Syran wine

Dick Streater: Albali wine and DVD, Bonair wine and DVD, 6-pack Spire Mountain Cider

Keith Szafranski: Penguin/iceberg photo, Penguins seen thru ice photo, Rose and lilac covered door photo, Moose photo, Teton panorama, Pink flowers/red hills photo, Box of slide sleeves, Microwave bowl hot pads, Cold/heat therapy rice pads, Acrylic pens, Wood pens, Thread catcher/litter caddy, Wine bag, Racoon note cards, Fawn note cards, Wooden spoons, Wooden spatula, Elk photo, Elk bugling photo, Barrington Bear Visits the Emperor, Barrington Bear on Safari, Wooden bowls, Wood handle seam ripper

Pam and Dave Vedder: Stainless steel cable, RV quilted wall hanging

Doug Wilson: Framed Welcome fish, Books: OWAA Outdoor Reference Manual, West Coast Salmon & Tuna, Northwest Sportsman Almanac, Fly Fishing Thornton Anthology, Advanced Alaska Fly Fishing, How to Fish the Pacific Coast, Back Seat with Fish Weight mold, Cajun line red, 30″ Test Leads, Foam Off, Assorted Outlaw baits, Worm Glo, Z-bag of assorted baits, Hevi-Beads pkgs, Bull Gummi Makk pkgs, Assorted jigs for squid, Norway made fishing lures

G.I. and Jo Wilson: Books: Rifle and Shotgun Shooting Guide; Spoon fishing; Fishing Oregon Guide; Outdoor Life Deer Hunters Guide, Red/white/Blue quilted table runner

Nonmember Donations

Gale Robbins: Books: Fly Fisher’s Guide to Montana by Chuck Robbins; California’s Best Fishing Waters; Fly Fishers Guide to Colorado


Loading the Wenatchee Wagon…

Time draws near to load up the Wenatchee Wagon.

As you do, keep in mind the NOWA raffle/silent auction.

We gladly accept all donations–new, slightly used, old. I have seen many folks excited to win something you no longer need. This is a great way to de-clutter and make room for the new.

We will send you an acknowledgement of your contribution. Since NOWA is a registered 501(c)(3) organization, you may be able to use your donations as a tax deduction. Every little bit helps.

Questions, contact Jo Wilson, or call 503-390-4557.