Rockhounding adventures: Lookout point Reservoir

Some days the constant fog of winter in the Willamette valley just drags you down into the gloom. Luckily though you do not have to go far to get away from it. And it leads to one of my favorite hobbies that does not involve fishing. Yes I know nearly everything I do somehow involves fishing, but on this adventure I did not even bring my fishing pole.

Oregon is a great state if you like to rock hound. Along every river that feeds into the Willamette you can find some type of rock. My favorites tend to be a variety of different agate and Jasper. Both tumble well and make great jewelry or just polish and add to the fishtank or into a jar. My fishtank is nearly all agate I have found over the years. And since they are polished usually algae cant grow on them. But I am getting sidetracked. Our adventure today was to check out the upper end of the reservoir and the exposed area from the lake being at low winter levels.

First stop of the day was way up where the river is.

For years I have drove by when the lake is at low levels and saw what I thought was an old road along the flats. Today was the first time I have ever walked down to it. Any old flooded town that gets exposed is considered an archeology site and by Oregon law cannot be disturbed. But you can still walk around and explore. What I thought was an old road is actually an old railroad bed. All the tracks and most but not all of the timber has been removed but old railroad spikes are everywhere.

Lots of these old concrete bridges along the old tracks.

On our first stop the rocks looked promising and we found several smaller agates and some green jasper. It looks like the gravel and rocks that were used to construct the railway were all brought in and the agates and jasper were from wherever that was dug up at. Climbing up the edges beyond that we did not find much of anything. After a nice walk and some complaining kids who didn’t like the lack of pretty rocks we headed back to the truck and headed down the road some more.

First agate at stop two.

The next location was much better for some agates and jasper. My oldest daughter found a nice pocket of blue agates exposed on the surface. They should tumble up nice for her. I was finding some nice larger pieces of red jasper. And found enough to run through my tumbler.

Very rough piece of jasper

Overall it made for a nice day out of the fog and into the sun with the family.

Fall fishing 2021 at Lookout point with Agates

If you have been reading my blog or watching my YouTube channel you have probably heard me say that I am not a bass fisherman. But I keep trying and learning more. Today’s adventure was back up to lookout point reservoir. Somewhere in that lake I know there has to be something bigger then the pikeminnow I caught during the summer.

I have realized this year that I need to get more exercise other then kayaking. Even though I love to kayak it doesn’t ever really give you a good workout unless you are going fast which makes it a bit useless for fishing. On today’s adventure we found a random pullout on the road and hiked down to the lake. This time of year the reservoir is dropped down to a low level in case of a massive storm to control flooding. Fun fact of the day before the dams were built in the Willamette basin most of the valley would flood every year. The dams hurt the salmon runs but were very effective on reducing the floods. Sadly they were also very effective in destroying most of the native salmon runs in the water basin.

All along the reservoir there is a lot of tiny pullout spots to park and walk down to the water. Until this trip neither of us realized there is a nice path running along the edge of the high water mark over half the length of the lake. We just stopped at a random spot and walked down along the path.

Not to steep right here

As always walking around on the loose rock and mud you really have to watch you feet. On a bonus note when you are walking and watching your feet it makes it easier to find agates and Jasper. Found a nice piece of a blue agate as we walked along the edge.

Nice blue agate I stepped on while walking

As much as I like to look for rocks to polish up our main goal is fishing for some late fall small mouth bass. Today was a bit of an experiment for both Jeremy and I. I used a jig with a curly tail grub and Jeremy used a larger brass mepps. With as many stumps as there is along the lake we didn’t want to lose a fortune in lures to the stumps.

Fish number one of the day.

After several miles of walking the shore and casting we finally started catching bass. Not that the three total we caught in three hours is really what I would call impressive. But all three were over 14″. I have noticed that walking the shores of the lake produces larger bass then when we troll in the kayaks. My thoughts are that the bigger fish are hugging the shore and the stumps and we are just a bit to far offshore when trolling and hit the schools of small ones that are away from the bigger ones. Something to experiment with next year

My biggest of the day

Sadly this is our last fishing trip of the year. The holidays and wet weather make it a bit difficult to coordinate and get out to fish. My goal for the next year is to get out and fish more and do more blogging and more videos.