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Columbia River Adventure....

Old 07-30-2019, 02:51 PM
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Default Columbia River Adventure....

I posted a while back about wanting to get out on the Columbia with my new-to-me 97 18' Reinell and got some good feedback (thanks for that everyone who responded). This last Sunday I managed to get out there, it was probably the worst day I could have chosen to go, but my schedule is limited and I had the rare eve without my son so I decided now or never.... The weather was beautiful. I put in at Chinook Landing at around 4pm along with about 1,000 other people. It was insanely busy at the boat launch. People screaming at each other, pretty tense... I took the boat up to Rooster Rock where I anchored to a sandbar and swam and hung out for 3hrs. It was perfect up there, water was calm, no crowds, quiet and relaxing. Upon my return there's a brawl breaking out in the parking lot complete with a park ranger unsuccessfully trying to break it up, people running around screaming, fighting, acting like animals.

Couple things I learned...

1. The boat handled well in pretty rough water (I took it pretty easy on the speed) the river was like a washing machine around where I put in with all the people driving around in circles....the further up river I got the calmer it was.
2. Anchoring to the sandbar wasn't bad at all (this was what I was initially most worried about).


3.After witnessing the fighting, posturing, and screaming I've decided Wednesdays might be better to be out there.


It really is a bummer that people act that way. I grew up in that area for the most part so I'm not sure why I was so surprised, it's known for trashy violent behavior. Gresham is still Gresham if not amplified at the boat launch (for anyone who knows where I'm talking about)....

Overall it was a success getting out there but damn, maybe I'm getting old IDK, I'm really over watching half drunk idiots trying to punch each other out.

Anyone ever been there?
Old 07-30-2019, 03:13 PM
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I guess legalizing weed up there did not have the intended affect? Ha Ha.
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Old 07-30-2019, 03:26 PM
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Not been there. But I know where it is. That's insane. It is exactly why I won't normally go out on American Lake (near Fort Lewis WA) on the weekends. On the weekends it is insane. Boats of every kind going like mad from one end to the other, towing skiers, pull toys, wake boards. Jet skis zipping around. Even a few go-fasts, which is nuts. The Lake is 3 miles long. At 30 mph you go from one end to the other in 6 minutes. And almost zero enforcement. I broke my rule last weekend. Got there about 8 am to do some fishing. No one on the lake but us fisherman, a few kayakers, and the rowing club shells. We fishermen were all at the south end of the Lake, and anchored, except the kayaks. Part of the Lake is actually on Fort Lewis, The North end is in Pierce County. About 10 am I saw a boat coming down from the North, fast, Looked like a ski boat. Didn't think anything of it. Usually they turn and head back north before they get to where we were. Well he didn't. It was a wake board boat towing a wakeboarder. He roared right through all of us turned and went back north a short ways and did it again. We were all scattering like mad. The guy was nuts. There is a small part of the lake at the South end that is entered by going through a small inlet about 50 yards wide and that part is no wake zone with big signs saying so. We went there. However when we left at 11 he was still out there. Gave it up for the day. Didn't catch anything anyway.

Last edited by PeterDE; 07-30-2019 at 03:34 PM.
Old 07-30-2019, 03:42 PM
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No. People were smoking weed here just as much before they legalized it. The only difference is now is it's $50 an ounce instead of $250 and a whole bunch of people had to go out and get normal jobs... Portland is now a grid of strip-clubs, weed shops, and overpriced condos....
Old 07-30-2019, 03:49 PM
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Fort Lewis WA- I worked as a liaison transporting soldiers to and from the base to a private psychiatric hospital for treatment for substance abuse and PTSD. Met a lot of nice guys and a lot of guys I wouldn't wanna be around if they were either drunk or angry or both... I'd imagine you'd get a few of the not so happy guys out there on some days.... I was up at Mason Lake a few weeks ago, a place where I grew up boating, fishing, skiing. It was a complete zoo. Saturday was so crowded I hardly took the boat out, I still have family that live up there with a dock. Thankfully they have a boat launch on there property so I didn't have to mess with the park. Things have drastically changed. I guess word got out that boating is fun or something..
Old 07-30-2019, 03:56 PM
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Your launching right in the main time for summer steelhead as well as all the summer traffic at the ramp.

Try portco or one of the other ramps on Washington side
Old 07-30-2019, 04:11 PM
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I wasn't aware of the fishing. I just checked out the Port of Camas/Washougal, the website looks pretty nice. Anyone have any experience there? It's actually closer from where I'm storing my boat (Vancouver) too. Thanks for the suggestion on somewhere else-
Old 07-30-2019, 04:17 PM
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I can appreciate the disclaimer on the website-

"Those utilizing the ramp and/or parking areas shall ensure that their actions and property do not become a hazard to others in the area. Loud, boisterous, or lewd conduct is not permitted in the ramp and parking areas. The use of alcoholic beverages or non-prescribed controlled substances in the ramp and/or parking areas is prohibited. Operation of boats or vehicles in any area owned or controlled by the Port while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is forbidden."
Old 07-30-2019, 05:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Max3 View Post
I wasn't aware of the fishing. I just checked out the Port of Camas/Washougal, the website looks pretty nice. Anyone have any experience there? It's actually closer from where I'm storing my boat (Vancouver) too. Thanks for the suggestion on somewhere else-

I launch there during spring chinook season as well as others on that side , good ramp 5-6 lanes I believe , nice ramp , don’t park on the corner of a trailer line, just like any ramp ,

I live just north of you 50-60 miles , we are fishing the ocean right now in the other boat out of Westport so river stuff is in the fall for us in the sled .

F21
Old 07-31-2019, 07:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Max3 View Post
I wasn't aware of the fishing. I just checked out the Port of Camas/Washougal, the website looks pretty nice. Anyone have any experience there? It's actually closer from where I'm storing my boat (Vancouver) too. Thanks for the suggestion on somewhere else-
I live near the Camas-Washougal Port and use the marina often to launch my kayaks and wheel launching my inflatable. It's pretty quiet around here, even on weekends. I don't know if that's because it's port property (they keep a pretty tight leash on things) or because you have to pay to launch. While it can get crowded on summer weekends, I've never seen any fights or people getting stupid (Disclaimer: I've heard about such things, but have never witnessed them). Outside of July 4 and perhaps Labor Day weekend, I can't say I've ever seen more than about 30 vehicles/trailers in the parking lot. Although I've never trailer launched from there, I will note that it seems pretty long and steep to me. It's hell just pulling a fully loaded kayak up the ramp on wheels. As a result, you'll see quite a lot of hair raising moments with wheel spinning and wondering if somebody is about to launch their truck in to the river.
Old 07-31-2019, 07:34 AM
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Glad you are enjoying the new boat!

Ramps can definitely be crazy. We were at Hagg Lake in June when a guy had a heart attack at the ramp. It was closed for an hour or so and the backup made people turn into a-holes, but at least no actual fights.

Old 09-14-2019, 08:30 AM
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I use to fiah the Columbia. I don't like the people there. For the most part the Alcohol and Meth makes them A$$ holes.
Old 09-18-2019, 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Max3 View Post
I wasn't aware of the fishing. I just checked out the Port of Camas/Washougal, the website looks pretty nice. Anyone have any experience there? It's actually closer from where I'm storing my boat (Vancouver) too. Thanks for the suggestion on somewhere else-
I live about 10 minutes from there, and have been launching there for over 20 years. It's a nice 4 lane ramp with plenty of parking. There's no park/beach on site like there is at Chinook Landing, so the clientele is only boaters, none of the questionable beach-going riff-raff. The biggest problem is people blocking the ramp with their boats (you launch and then move to a staging area to keep the ramp lanes free - in theory).

Originally Posted by Kingrex View Post
I use to fiah the Columbia. I don't like the people there. For the most part the Alcohol and Meth makes them A$$ holes.
In my 2 decades of using this river and these launches, I haven't found anything close to your representation. Sure, on a hot sunny weekend there's going to be a few drunk idiots out and about, but that goes for just about everywhere. Methamphetamine addictions aren't conducive to boat ownership anyway, so you don't need to worry about them.

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