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While the sun still lasts

by: File photo Marty Liesegang is the owner of Roadrunner Gas and Grocery in Scappoose, an avid outdoor enthusiast and a contributing columnist to Spotlight Outside.

Finally, the weather we have all been waiting for.

Now what to do outside to take advantage of it; as Oregonians we need to find ways to be out in the little sunshine we get as much as possible.

Before school starts, why not take the kids camping at any one of the numerous lakes in the area. The lakes on Mt. Hood are beautiful this time of year. Lakes like Lost Lake on the Hood River side offer great fishing for brook trout, kokanee, stocked rainbow as well as very large holdover rainbows. There are no motors allowed on this lake so a quieter, more peaceful setting is hard to find.

I have caught many trout over the 3 lb. mark on Lost Lake. The campsites are nice; picnic tables and fire rings are standard in most.

If fishing is slow there are myriad hiking trails surrounding the lake. Another good choice is Diamond Lake to the south. After the retanone treatment a few years ago to kill off the tai chub, the lake is once again producing stringers full of fat trout.

Diamond Lake is on its way to once again becoming Oregon's top trout lake. This lake's campgrounds have all the amenities of home, especially if you rent one of the cabins. The lodge even has a guide service and boat rentals. The most successful fishermen at both these lakes tend to troll the edges in morning and evening, but bank fishing with powerbait works often also.

If lake fishing with the kids is not exciting enough for you, the tuna are in close right now. Though the fishing is sporadic, the real adventure lies in the boat ride.

Typically tuna are found 30 to 50 miles off shore, so the oceanic ride can be breath-taking. I will admit that is hearsay, since I get really sea sick and, for me, nothing is worth venturing over the bar. However, I have eaten plenty of fresh caught and canned albacore, and it is phenomenal. The limit is 25 per person, but who could fight that many of these powerful fish?

One other good choice is salmon fishing. They are predicting a giant run of fall fish on the Columbia River this year.

Some anglers are reporting good days out of Hammond right now, while a few fish are being caught as far up as the 'picket fence.'

If both the weather and biologists' predictions hold, it should be a great late summer/fall fishing season.

Whatever you choose, just get out and enjoy being outside.