Cooper Lake Brown Trout

 Posted by on June 28, 2016 at 12:04 am  Outdoors  No Responses »
Jun 282016
 
Cooper Lake  WA

Cooper Lake WA

Last week I fished Cooper Lake, a high altitude lake northwest of the Salmon-La-Sac Campground on the eastern side of the Cascades. With rain and wind all day, it was a challenge keeping comfortable but the chance to catch some big brown trout helped us persevere through the weather. Near the end of the day, a storm eventually blew us off the water but not before we landed some nice brown trout. Black ants, stillwater nymphs, and leech patterns produced for us.

 

Cooper Lake brown trout

Cooper Lake brown trout

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Spring Mushrooms in the Eastern Cascades

 Posted by on June 8, 2016 at 11:56 am  Outdoors  No Responses »
Jun 082016
 
Calbovista subsculpta from Eastern Cascades

Calbovista subsculpta from Eastern Cascades

My friend and I went morel hunting last week on the Eastern slopes of the Cascades near Leavenworth. After searching many miles of forest service roads, we were humbled by the elusiveness of our prey. However, I did find three new (to me) edible mushrooms as a consolation.

White interior of a puffball mushroom

White interior of a puffball mushroom

By far, the easiest mushroom to spot was the puffball. These white mushrooms, mostly the size of a softball or grapefruit, clearly stood out in the middle of the fields. Puffballs are edible if they are pure white inside but must be differentiated from young Amanita mushrooms that may have a similar appearance. My puffball was Calbovista subsculpta, which is characterized by the warts on its thick cover. Although several references stated this puffball was edible, I found it to be bitter tasting and not something I want to try again. 

Yellow Ramaria species mushroom

Yellow Ramaria species mushroom

The second mushroom I found, was a yellow coral mushroom, a Ramaria species. This ground-dwelling mushroom looks like a buried yellow cauliflower. It was a pain to clean because its numerous stalks trapped all sorts of soil debris. But it was worth the effort. Sauteed in butter and garlic, it had a nice nutty flavor.

Slippery jack mushrooms

Slippery jack mushrooms

The final mushroom, a slippery jack (Suillus brevipes), was the best tasting of the three. In contrast to the previous two mushrooms, this one was hard to find. Typically, the mushroom was partly buried under a thin mat of pine needles and its brown color provided good camouflage from harvesters.

Mushroom hunting is a great way to stay active and get out into the forests. Of course, before you start salivating, make sure all mushrooms you intend to eat are verified by trusted mushroom experts first.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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