STALKING THE 30-LB. SALMON — STEELHEAD & SALMON FISHING on the Columbia River

One of George’s fishing buddies, Scott Morgan, was skeptical about George’s FoldCat until he reeled in his first Chinook salmon – a 38-inch beauty. Now he can’t wait to go out in the FoldCat again.

One of George’s fishing buddies, Scott Morgan, was skeptical about George’s FoldCat until he reeled in his first Chinook salmon – a 38-inch beauty. Now he can’t wait to go out in the FoldCat again.

Imagine for a moment you’re a farmer in a fertile, temperate valley and your crop is cherries. Your orchard commands all your time and attention from March to August, but things slow down from September to February. And imagine your farm is a stone’s throw from one of America’s greatest fishing rivers. What would you do in the winter?

If you were cherry farmer, George Davis, of The Dalles, Oregon, you’d go fishing in the nearby Columbia River. And you wouldn’t go just once in awhile. You’d toss back bass other fishermen would prize. You’d go fishing almost every day in your Sea Eagle FoldCat fc375, and you’d haul in what many consider the world’s finest salmon and steelhead measuring over three feet and weighing 30 lbs. and more!

“I’m addicted to the outdoors.”

“I’m an avid outdoorsman,” says George. He’s living full time the life other outdoorsmen have to squeeze into an occasional weekend. “You could say I’m addicted to the outdoors.” All summer, he’s out in the cherry orchards. And all winter, he’s fishing and whitewater rafting on the Columbia and Deschutes rivers, river rafting on the John Day River, trout fishing in high mountain waters like Badger Lake, fly fishing, camping, rock hunting, crabbing, clamming, as well as “exploring and watching peaceful sunsets.”

Two boats in one

“I do a wide variety of boating and fishing,” George told us. “I especially go after steelhead and salmon. I catch bass, too, but I release them.” He chose a Sea Eagle FoldCat fc375 and says, “I got two boats in one with the FoldCat – a boat for fishing and for river rafting.”

One of George’s favorite river rafting spots is the John Day River, named for one of the Oregon’s early explorers. He floats 10 or 11 miles a day for a week at a time, camping on shore in the evenings. “It’s an undammed, scenic river,” says George. “No houses or power lines, just Nature.”

George is ready for just about any outdoor adventure in what he calls his “Pacific Northwest Weekend Package.” He carries his FoldCat on his truck rack and tows a popup camper with his mountain bike on top. Oregon’s Fall Creek Lake, Willamette National Forest in the background.

George is ready for just about any outdoor adventure in what he calls his “Pacific Northwest Weekend Package.” He carries his FoldCat on his truck rack and tows a popup camper with his mountain bike on top. Oregon’s Fall Creek Lake, Willamette National Forest in the background.

George leaves his FoldCat inflated most of the time and heads for the backcountry in a rig he calls “My Pacific Northwest Weekend Package” – a truck with FoldCat on top, towing a camping trailer with a mountain bike on top. Still, “I like the FoldCat’s foldability. When I don’t want to take my truck, I can break the FoldCat down and put it in the back of my wife’s Ford Focus. It fits great.”

When camping overnight, George often brings firewood to his campsite strapped down on his FoldCat.

When camping overnight, George often brings firewood to his campsite strapped down on his FoldCat.

10’ sturgeon

“It’s stable and the fabric is outstandingly durable. I was jigging for salmon,” George told us, “and hooked a 10’ sturgeon.” These bony fish are covered with plates and have distinctive barbles.  “It kept running, I ran all around the boat trying to land it. I had it up alongside the boat twice. I wanted my jig back,” he says, “but my fishing buddy cut the line.” That’s one that got away, jig and all.

More than paid for itself in memories

George’s 11-year old son, Zain, snagged his first steelhead – all 32-inches – with his dad on a recent fishing trip to Prineville Lake, nestled near the headwaters of the Crooked River in the Ochoco Mountains.

George’s 11-year old son, Zain, snagged his first steelhead – all 32-inches – with his dad on a recent fishing trip to Prineville Lake, nestled near the headwaters of the Crooked River in the Ochoco Mountains.

George has introduced several others to salmon and steelhead fishing. “My friend Scott caught his first salmon from my FoldCat,” says George. “He was skeptical about this boat at first but now he can’t wait to go back for more.” And George’s 11-year old son, Zain, is well on his way to becoming an avid outdoorsman like his dad, having landed impressive bass and steelhead of his own.

Coming up, George and Zain are going after salmon on the Columbia and fly fishing on the upper part of the Deschutes River. “What this boat allows me to do is remarkable. In terms of memories, I’ve made more than I paid for it.”

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10 Responses to STALKING THE 30-LB. SALMON — STEELHEAD & SALMON FISHING on the Columbia River

  1. Phyllis says:

    This is a great article with super photos. Thanks for posting!

  2. Don says:

    Just living where George lives, would be the answer to my dreams…..all the rest would be a BIG bonus !!!

  3. thomas thompson says:

    Still priced high for me. My friend has a small sea eagle for one person he loves it. I would like to purchase a two person with an electric motor I’m waiting ok the prices to come down on new ones

    • Wally Williams says:

      Dude call me I have this setup, with oars and trolling motor and a trailer. $1400 and its all yours.
      Wally 229-854-8555

    • Ralph Mehlbrech says:

      HAVE A 1 YEAR OLD SEA EAGLE YACHT TENDER THAT I WOULD SELL FOR $600. RALPH 815-503-0065

  4. Ben Hinkle says:

    If you see George, please tell him I said ‘HI’

  5. Pingback: RV’S & INFLATABLE BOATS ARE PERFECT PARTNERS for idyllic family vacations | Sea Eagle Boating & Kayaking Blog

  6. Tommy Brasher says:

    I had had a fold cat for 3 years now. I’m 72 years old nad I just pull up to the lake and throw the thing into the water, hook up the trolling motor and take off. I love the boat, and I have caught tons of fish out of mine. I live in the pacific northwest and it’s a great place to own a sea eagle, but I think that anyplace that has water and fish would be equally good. I couldn’t reccommend it more.

    Tommy

  7. David Hutton says:

    I’m 73 and handicapped and can handle my FC375 with no problem. It makes it possible to go for trout ANYWHERE in Northern Alberta.

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