Taking the Troops Fishing

FISHING WITH TROOPSSPRINGFIELD, Ore. — After a streak of hot days, summer released its grip just in time for a special trip on the McKenzie River.

OMT Mortgage and Keller Williams Realty in Eugene teamed up to provide a day of fun and relaxation for some local troops.

When they called the Springfield Armory, they found many of the soldiers are overseas, but 10 were able to make it for a day of free fishing.

Many of these servicemen have been deployed several times. They’ve been through a lot, and to know that people care, is touching.

“An event like this just shows some of these guys how much the community supports us. It’s great to come out here, hang out with your buddies just like back when I was in, just have a good time,” said Shay Miles, 2-162 Infantry Battalion.

“It’s been awesome. It’s a good day, not too warm, slightly overcast, good for fishing, everyone’s been great, taking care of us,” said Sgt. Jeremy Heisler, 2-162 Infantry Battalion.

At the end of the long day, organizers are hosting a picnic dinner for the soldiers and their families.

Alton Baker Canal Stocked with Trout

9-4 fish picEUGENE, Ore. — Lunkers have landed at Alton Baker Park, much to the appreciation of some eager anglers.

On Thursday, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife crews backed up a truck full of large trout and unloaded them into the water. The smallest fish put in the water was 12 inches long.

“All these rainbow trout are intended for harvest and judging by the crowd here today they’re all going to get harvested and that’s what we want, that makes us happy,” said Casey Welch, ODFW.

This was an unscheduled stocking with extra fish that ODFW had at the Leaburg Fish Hatchery.

ODFW says Alton Baker canal is one of the most popular fishing spots, which is why they try to keep it stocked well.

Backwoods Bait Gathering

A backwoods bait trap

Although using live bait to catch fish is frowned upon in some circles, it is an old-school, highly effective way to get fish on the hook and to the dinner plate. Sure, you could go to the bait shop, and anyplace from Bi-Mart to hole-in-the-wall gas stations will have a tin of worms or some equivalent that you can purchase.

But here’s a quick tip that can help you harvest creepy-crawlies right from your own backyard: Get your hands on an empty coffee can. If you can’t find a coffee can, a Mason jar will do. Pick a shady spot that looks like a good place to hang out if you’re a bug. Bury your jar or coffee can in the ground up to the lip. Place a handful of grass in the bottom of the receptacle. Now put a small piece of board over the buried container with just enough room for the critters to slip under it.

Congratulations, you now have yourself a backwoods bug trap. For best results, set your trap the night before your fishing adventure, and check it in the morning before you get out on the water.

Happy April, Oregon. It’s trout season. Get out there and keep those lines tight.

Scouting for Spring Bear

Scouting for spring bear
Scouting for spring bear

If you were timely enough to score a first-come, first-serve spring bear tag this year then there’s only one thing on your mind these days: Ursus Americanus, a.k.a. black bear.

Oregon is the place to be if you’re a bear hunter because it is where approximately 30,000 bears inhabit 40,000 square miles of territory. Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) issues 4,000 tags for the SW spring bear hunt. ODFW intends for the hunt to help maintain black bear populations in southern Oregon. The SW spring bear season opens on Monday, April 1.

There are plenty of bear in southern Oregon but don’t let the numbers fool you. If you plan to have a successful bear hunt this year you can’t spend these last couple weeks before the season opener sitting on your couch. Put down the Dorritos, dig your hiking boots out of the closet, make peace with your significant other and get in the woods. You aren’t going to cross paths with Yogi by accident (that only happens when you’re deer hunting). You have to get out and scout.

Into the Wild:  To fill a SW spring bear tag you have to hunt in southwest Oregon, which is where we went to scout. It was me, native Oregonian Jake Norton and a truck full of camping gear. The goal was simple: traverse a series of notoriously remote backwoods roads that snaked through prime bear country, set up camp, and start looking for bear sign.

For the hunter accustomed to stalking fall bear in northwestern game units, southwest Oregon presents an entirely different landscape. It is dry, red-colored earth spreads out beneath fir trees, and there is wide-open space for miles. This is perfect for bear hunting because a great deal of a bear hunter’s time in the woods is spent behind the “binos,” glassing far-away slopes for black dots. Eventually one of those black dots moves, and you realize it’s a bear… that’s when the fun starts. But there would be no such fun on this adventure. It was a reconnaissance mission through and through. By the time we got to the mouth of the trail system we would be scouting in, it was early afternoon and we were greeted with a friendly sign that let us know just how deep in the bush we were venturing.

a sign

Boots on the Ground:
Traveling on forest service roads deep into no man’s land is a bumpy, unpredictable experience. After making our way around fallen trees and boulders, careful not to pop a tire or hit a log, we came to a closed gate. From there it was packs on the back and boots on the ground. We were met with the challenge of snow, which pretty much cut our chances of finding bears or bear sign in half. Oregon’s spring bears aren’t usually very active until the snow begins to melt and their food sources thaw out.

Slightly discouraged, we cut across a ravine to another series of old logging roads and set up camp. We spent the fast-approaching evening consulting our maps. We planned for the morning and cooked a delicious fireside meal that consisted of turkey chili, more turkey chili and some cheese tortellini from a military MRE (meal ready-to-eat) pack. When morning came we started climbing. For the record, this is the part where I discovered that Norton is part mountain goat. Keeping up with him was a humbling experience, and I am far from out of shape.


The best place to look for bear early in the season is on south-facing slopes where the snow melts first. We crested a ridge and glassed slopes for hours using powerful binoculars and a spotting scope. The snow told stories. Animal tracks crisscrossed and faded. Norton and I followed coyote tracks to where some unfortunate chipmunk or squirrel made its last stand. We found old bear tracks, and tons of deer sign. But no bear.
Walking the ridgeline and dropping into another drainage, we found an old mine. I clambered up to peer inside, hoping to find bear sign. What I discovered was the wooden carcass of a dilapidated mining cart. Our trek back to camp would have been disappointing if it weren’t for the fact that we were still surrounded by an absolutely breathtaking expanse of white-capped wilderness. The bear weren’t out yet and we’d have to try again in a week or so.

The Things They Didn’t Carry: The drive back was as pleasant as it could be considering that we had to return to civilization. We ran down a checklist of things that would make a long hunt in that country easier.

  1.  Moleskin: because blisters are real and boots can be unforgiving.
  2.  Diaper ointment: when the weather warms up, poison oak will run rampant. Sure, you should learn to identify poison oak and stay away from it, but just in case… this stuff helps.
  3.  Wind checker: you should always have one of these with you, even on a scouting trip. Knowing which way the wind is blowing and what time of day it is blowing that way can be the difference between tag soup and a big bear. Bears have an incredible sense of smell, and you must heed this at all times. Your local rod-and-rifle store should carry wind checkers, but if you want to go DIY you can get a squeeze bottle and fill it with some unscented talcum powder.

The most important thing to carry with you into the field is fierce determination. Mother Nature doesn’t give up one of her own without dishing something back in return. If you want to hunt black bear in southwestern Oregon, you will need patience and persistence. Get out there to scout. Keep watching those slopes.

In-Town Hook-Ups: Fishing Alton Baker Canoe Canal

The author with rainbow trout from Alton Baker Canoe Canal.
Photo by Cevinah Chotard

This spring, you don’t have to hike miles into the wilderness or paddle your way into a high-alpine honey hole to make good trout fishing happen. You don’t even have to wait for spring to officially start. Catching nice-sized rainbow trout, in town, is as easy as taking a walk in the park—Alton Baker Park, to be exact.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) has kicked off its 2013 stocking schedule and the Alton Baker canoe canal, located in downtown Eugene, right behind Autzen stadium, is now teeming with tasty trout just waited to be caught. ODFW trout-stocking lingo breaks fish into four different sizes: “Legals” are 8-inch pan-sized trout, “Larger” means the trout is 12-inches, “Pounders” are 14-inches and “Trophy” trout are 16-inches long. As of February 4, this year, the canal has already been stocked twice with a combined 3,200 “legals” and 400 “larger” trout.

So let’s say you don’t have time to sneak off into the wild or take the boat out this spring, thanks to ODFW, you don’t have to. A nine-to-fiver with an Oregon fishing license can fish on his/her lunch break and make it back to the office without disturbing that busy schedule. Just make sure to pack a cooler, and maybe an extra pair of shoes. At Alton Baker, what landlocked fishermen refer to as solid bank access, local birds call the bathroom … so watch where you step. Keep those lines tight, and get out there now.

Here are a few first-timer tips for eager anglers looking to hook-up.

  1. Spin to Win: #2 Blue Fox spinners work pretty well in the murky canoe canal water. Silver works best but it never hurts to go with gold. Cast so you can retrieve over the area where you think the fish are. If you are fishing in one of the narrow portions of the canal, cast your lure diagonally upstream across the current.
  2. No Set Trippin’: “Larger” trout in the canal can strike a spinner pretty aggressively. Make sure you set the hook. Don’t trip this part up. A sharp tug right after the bite is all that’s needed. The last thing you want to see is that big fish jump, spit your hook out and swim away.
  3. Bird Watching: Anglers aren’t the only ones out to catch dinner. If you are having trouble locating where the fish are in the canal, watch some of the aquatic life that feeds on them. Take it easy and let the cranes and other waterfowl do the scouting for you.
  4. Taste the Rainbow: The best part about catching trout, is eating them. There are few backwoods delicacies as rich and wonderful as smoked trout. But if you’re fishing in the canoe canal, you’re probably pretty close to home, so you can really do it up right. Here’s how— Gut and clean your fish, then cut the heads and tails off. Next, soak them over night in a large container filled with red wine, soy sauce, and just a touch of brown sugar. After the 24-hour marinade, pull out the BBQ grill. Place just a few coals in the bottom, let them get white-hot then cover them with a heap of hickory chips. Toss your fish on the grill, cover it up and let those puppies smoke. It will take an hour or so but when they’re all done, the meat will come right off of bone and you’ll want to head back to the canal.

For more information on the ODFW stocking schedule at Alton Baker Canoe Canal go

September 5 – Morning Headlines


Morning Headlines


Almost 300 people have submitted comments on the Lane Transit District’s proposed extension of its bus rapid transit line to west Eugene, and many of them were critical of the project.
  • Critics flood LTD with opinions
    Almost 300 people have submitted comments on the Lane Transit District’s proposed extension of its bus rapid transit line to west Eugene, and many of them were critical of the project. Most of the negative comments were generated by an opposition gro…
  • Raids send two to jail, upend medical marijuana club
    A narcotics task force searched a medical marijuana club in Eugene and four other addresses in Lane and Douglas counties last Thursday, arresting two men on various marijuana charges
  • Interactive map is guide to Eugene’s history
    Eugene has a new online map on the city website, showing points of interest and historical sites. The map, which lists more than 5,000 sites, was created as part of the city’s 150th birthday celebration this year, with the assistance of the State His…

Keep Current: – EDN Headline News, Sports and Weather

Tim Chuey Weather:


[gn_note color=#eee][Accuweather][/gn_note]

Our Summer weather will continue until the end of the week, then the change to cooler.

High: 87
Low: 50
Forecast: sunny and warm.

An upper level low (“U” shape in blue arrows shaded in grey) is moving eastward away from Oregon.  A high pressure ridge (“Arch” shape in blue arrows offshore) will warm us up a bit this week just in time for the kids to go back to school. A frontal system will slide into Oregon Saturday starting the cool-down, then another frontal system will move in Monday for a slight chance of light rain or drizzle.

Forecast for the Southern and lower Mid Willamette Valley including Eugene-Springfield and Albany-Corvallis: Sunny and warm today and Thursday with mostly clear nights, mostly sunny and a bit warmer Friday, then partly cloudy Friday night highs 85-87 lows near 50. A mix of clouds and sun and cooler Saturday, partly cloudy Saturday night, mostly cloudy and cooler Sunday, partly cloudy Sunday night, mostly cloudy and cooler with a slight (20%) chance of rain Monday, mostly cloudy Monday night and Tuesday AM, then mostly sunny Tuesday afternoon highs 82-70 lows 49-46. (seasonal averages high 80 low 49)

Because weather forecasting is a combination of science, intuition, and timing there can be no absolute guarantees that individual forecasts will be 100% accurate. Nature is in a constant state of flux and sudden unexpected weather events can happen.

Keep Current on the Weather:

Living The Family Business


Beckie Jones, EDN

Braxton, Tiffany, Kazden & Scott Haugen

If you would’ve told Tiffany and Scott Haugen back in the first grade that one day they’d be married and jet-setting around the world, they would have probably laughed at you, then went looking for cootie spray.  But that’s exactly the path their lives took, with a few minor detours.

Yes hunters, fishermen and outdoorsmen, this is THAT Scott and Tiffany Haugen.  To catch the rest of us up, Scott has been featured in dozens of shows in more than 30 countries in the past 10 years, tracking almost every type of game imaginable. Scott’s books on hunting and fishing are specialized by region and type of game, domestic to exotic. Scott also hosts a show on the Outdoor Channel called Game Chasers and his family is often featured hunting alongside him or stirring a pot with the latest catch. Often Tiffany completes episodes of The Game Chasers with unique recipes and cooking segments on some of her husband’s catches. Birds, deer, elk, bear and salmon are all covered in Tiffany’s books as she takes the meat from field to table, including cleaning, cutting and cooking.

How did these two kids from Walterville end up as arguably the power couple of Lane County?

“She lived about a mile up the road this way, and I lived about a mile down the road.”  Scott says with a characteristic smile.

Spending their elementary and junior high years in the same class at the tiny Walterville school, the two couldn’t exactly steer clear of each other, but hardly took notice either. They graduated from Thurston High School together, still distant friends. Scott earned his Bachelor’s degree at University of Oregon, and Tiffany earned hers at Oregon State. It was a get-together at the Lane County Fair with Scott’s cousin, who was also Tiffany’s roommate, that started the spark that has resulted in 22 years of marriage, 2 sons and hundreds of thousands of fans.

Before they were married, Scott told Tiffany that he wanted to move to Alaska and live with the Eskimos.  Finding they possessed kindred adventurous spirits, Scott and Tiffany moved to Alaska shortly after they were married.

“We lived a subsistence lifestyle in Alaska. All the game we took care of ourselves, and ate,” Scott said.

“You had to. There were no stores or anything. If you wanted to eat, you went and got your food,” Tiffany added.

Having fished and hunted with his family growing up, Scott relished the opportunity for a new venue where he could scope out different game.  After seven years in tiny tundra villages,

“We knew it was time for a change, and we thought, ‘Well, why not make the most extreme change we can?'”

So they did. To Indonesia. A 208-degree difference on the particular day that they signed their contracts with the school in Sumatra where they would be teaching.  For two kids growing up in tiny Walterville, their adventurous spirit had to come from somewhere, and they both agree it started right here.

“I grew up hunting and fishing here. And that’s one thing we get asked a lot – ‘You’ve been to all these cool places in the world. Why do you live here?’ (It’s) where we grew up, and we just like the outdoors. You can hunt and fish something every day of the year if the rain doesn’t bother you,” Scott said.

“We have the best in the country – the salmon and steelhead and trout and all the other fish, and all the birds and big game,” Tiffany said.

After spending 199 days straight (in Alaska) in negative 40, 50 and 60-degree weather with the wind chill factor, “I’ll take rain any day,” Scott said.

His first forays into what has become the family profession began with an article he wrote on sturgeon fishing on the Columbia River. Then Cabela’s called to offer him a guest-host position on its ESPN show. Today Scott writes more than 100 magazine articles a year for Cabela’s Outfitter Journal, and other hunting and fishing magazines. Together Scott and Tiffany have written and published dozens of books on hunting and cooking a variety of fish and game. The Haugens decide where they go and what they hunt for the show. But with Trijicon, one of the world’s biggest scope companies as his sponsor, Scott is on the big game track regularly.

“The western big game flavor, that’s what they want,” Scott said. “What everyone in the country wants to do is come out here and hunt deer and elk, but very few people get the chance to do that, so we take it to them on the tube.”

As little boys, the couple’s sons Braxton and Kazden, helped narrate and co-host Game Chasers. Now 11 and 9, respectively, they sometimes do entire segments of the show by themselves. Braxton has even started editing alongside the show’s producers, using professional software like Final Cut Pro.

Braxton & Kazden wielding their new (at the time) hunters safety cards

“They both have been shooting TV since they were like 2. (Braxton is) pretty dialed in. He’s been around it so much, he knows exactly what he needs to do. He’s very camera aware,” Scott said. “And everything that they have hunted has been with TV cameras (rolling),” Scott added. “They usually have one or two TV cameras with them. So it’s not just one person in the woods, so it makes it much, much more difficult (to hunt).”

The couple said even though the boys miss out on some school when they head to work with Dad, “They’re learning how to work hard. It’s not just fun running around out there,” Tiffany said.

With both their parents holding Master’s degrees in education, the boys don’t exactly get off easy while away from the classroom. They’ve prepared their own Power Point presentations while on location, and shared them with the entire school upon return.

Braxton & Kazden in Africa

One year Braxton and Kazden held a Tiny Toy drive at their school, where they collected miniature action figures and tiny dolls before heading to Africa. They packed one suitcase full of 50 pounds of toys, and took them to remote villages, refugee camps and schools in Africa, handing them out to children whose eyes widened at the sight. Some of them had never even seen a toy. The boys took pictures while passing the toys out, and shared that, too, with the kids at Walterville School.

“Whenever we take the kids places, we try to get them in to experience the culture,” Scott said.

It’s rare enough to see a marriage last 20+ years, even more rare when the couple works together, but for this local family, it’s the family business and the shared love for the outdoors, hunting and nature that seems to be the key to familial harmony.

Tomorrow, in part two of our time with the Haugens, we go inside the family home and get a feel for why their books, shows and adventures are so popular.

August 12 – Morning Headlines



  • Theft of catalytic converters may again be on the rise
    Jim Hemmingsen said he didn’t mean to startle his neighbors when he started up his Toyota Tacoma pickup one day last week. The pickup “let out this huge roar, and I said, ‘Uh-oh,’” Hemmingsen recalled. “I got out and looked underneath it, a…
  • Trail Barriers Found on Lowell Mountain Biking Trails
    LOWELL, Ore. — Forest Service officials are trying to find out who is putting up trail barriers off of Highway 58 near Lowell.   The barriers have been found on the Hardesty Mountain trail, Eula Ridge Trail, and South Willamette Trail.   They say th…
  • Judge: Conviction stands for Ashland Islamic charity founder 
    A Eugene federal judge has denied an Ashland Islamic charity founder’s request for acquittal or a new trial on what the government called terrorism-related money-smuggling and money-laundering charges. U.S. District Court Judge Michael Hogan also set…
  • Sheriff: Two men in hospital after fight
    Two men are in the hospital after a fight outside a convenience store in the Glenwood area.
  • ‘People that fish this pond don’t even know this is going to happen’ 
    Construction is already under way putting in utilities for a new state prison, but people who use a nearby pond are concerned by the impact on their favorite swimming and fishing hole.
  • Wildish to replace defective asphalt on Marcola Road and Clear Lake Road
    Beginning on Monday, Wildish Construction will begin removing and replacing asphalt on sections of Marcola Road and Clear Lake Road, Lane County said Thursday. The asphalt is being replaced due to the failure of the asphalt to meet compaction standards…
  • UO aces fundraising efforts 
    The University of Oregon raised $117 million through private giving in the fiscal year that ended June 30, booking its third-largest one-year total in spite of a poor economy. The total marks the fourth year in a row the UO has brought in more than $10…
  • Forecast: 100% chance of meteor showers
    Earth is passing through a broad stream of debris, and specks of comet dust are hitting the top of Earth’s atmosphere at 140,000 mph. The result: more than a dozen shooting stars per hour.

Tim Chuey Weather:

A bit warmer followed by another cool-down, but the chance of precipitation holds off until the weekend is over.

An upper level trough of low pressure (“U” shape on orange line) off Vancouver will swing through today with more clouds.  A short lived high pressure ridge (“Arch” shape on orange line) will follow and warm us up a bit today. The Perseid meteor shower peaks through Saturday, but the nearly full moon will probably spoil the show. A frontal system will approach the coast Sunday and move in bringing the chance of showers to the coast and Southern areas of Oregon Monday through early Tuesday. The weather will continue to be perfect for the Scandinavian Festival in Junction City through Sunday and for the beginning of the Lane County Fair that starts next Wdnesday.

Forecast for the Southern and lower Mid Willamette Valley including Eugene-Springfield and Albany-Corvallis: Mostly sunny and a bit warmer today, clear in the evening, partly cloudy tonight, mostly sunny Saturday, mostly clear in the evening, mostly clear Saturday evening, mostly cloudy late Saturday night, a mix of clouds and sun Sunday, partly cloudy Sunday evening, then mostly cloudy Sunday night highs 85-77 lows 49-54. AM clouds, a mix of clouds and sun Monday, partly cloudy Monday evening, mostly cloudy Monday night and Tuesday AM, a mix of clouds and sun Tuesday afternoon, partly cloudy in the evening, mostly cloudy Tuesday night, then partly cloudy Wednesday through Thursday highs 76-82 lows near 53. (seasonal averages high 84 low 52)

Because weather forecasting is a combination of science, intuition, and timing there can be no absolute guarantees that individual forecasts will be 100% accurate. Nature is in a constant state of flux and sudden unexpected weather events can happen.

Keep Current on the Weather:


Outside, 3:45am tomorrow morning, bring coffee.