Uplake to scenic Nez Perce Creek

Saturday – July 11, 2020

Six Mile Creek to Nez Perce Creek

17 miles cruised today; 116 miles for the trip

Chalk cliffs near Nez Perce Creek

Beautiful, sunny morning. We change the breakfast routine of cereal by fixing up french toast and sausages. Yum. I try sailing off the anchor, but the wind is too variable, and the cove too narrow for it to work. With a little assist from the outboard, we jib sail in light air out of the cove, pausing for a little walleye trolling. Tug on rod, heavy pull. I know walleye are light biters and poor fighters, so figure I’ve finally got one one. I reel in a nice wad of twigs. Darn.

Entrance to backwater cove at Nez Perce Creek

We motor up and continue our passage up lake. The hills are beginning to show a little more green in the understory. Grasses aren’t yet completely cured out. Lots of sheer chalk bluffs along the eastern shore. We eat lunch while underway, and arrive in the vicinity of Nez Perce Creek around 1pm. This looked like a good place to spend a night when I was studying the map back at home. Attractive pair of coves, one fairly deep and straight, and the smaller one with an interesting, curved entrance. I head for the smaller one, and find a large houseboat beached at the mouth. However, the little cove hooks around, and there may be just enough swinging room in the inner bay. Sure enough, it’s a pretty, intimate place, very calm, and far enough in that we can’t see the houseboat. Lots of interesting birdlife, including several Lewis’s woodpeckers. I drop the anchor in the center of the pond, not bothering to set with the motor. I rely on the weight of anchor and chain, and the ability of the Rochna to reset, in the very unlikely event of a strong blow. This place is so protected, that we have little to be concerned with on that score.

Quiet backwater pool near Nez Perce Creek

I set up the reflective awning, which drapes over the boom. It provides excellent shade in the cockpit. We follow our now established pattern of relaxing with book and a nap, followed by a nice hour long walk. We are favored by a dirt road which starts at our pond and leads us up a gentle draw. It’s nice walking, with just enough shade to be comfortable. After returning to the boat, I put my swim suit on and go for a dip. Water temp is 66 degrees, and it feels very refreshing following our warm walk.

Scarlet gilia

While getting ready for dinner we hear the sound of chain saws and see a couple of guys cutting out deadfall along the little road we walked. I row over to chat. They’re tribal members, and they’re improving access to this spot. They use it as a camping place, and the fallen pines have made driving to the camp area difficult. I bring them a couple of cans of ice cold lemonade, which is appreciated. I learn that they have good luck fishing in this little pond. I give it a try after dinner. They have also grabbed rods, and they cast from shore while I fish from the dinghy. I have no luck casting plastic baits for bass, so switch to my walleye rig and try dragging it behind while I row. I catch a little walleye, my first. It’s only about 10 inches long, so I toss it back. Next fish is a bit bigger, around 15 inches, and I put him on the stringer. I hook a third, but it throws the hook close to the dinghy. I’ve finally broken through, and we now have two small fillets in the freezer. It would be nice to get 2 more. That would make for a nice fish fry.

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