Vancouver sportsman shares cooking tips

By Al Thomas, Columbian Outdoors Reporter



For years, friends of Vancouver sportsman Russ Harris kept coming to his house to borrow recipes. And his hunting partners? Most of them couldn’t boil water.

So Harris, 75, a former University of Washington educator, has compiled 300-plus recipes in a self-published book entitled “Cookin’ Good Grub.”

Harris has been collecting recipes for 62 years. He had three, 3-inch binders full of scribbled notes to draw upon in writing his book.

“Some of these go back to my childhood,” he said. “Some were collected in scouting. Some were my parents.”

Harris will be selling and signing books from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Wednesday at Luepke Senior Center,1009 E. McLoughlin Blvd. A portion of the sales will be donated to Loaves and Fishes.

Harris’ book is available for $30, plus $3 shipping and handling.

To order, write to Loowit Publishing, 3614 N.E. 65th St., Vancouver, 98661.

Trout-fishing tips

Northwest angling icon Buzz Ramsey of Klickitat says folks get caught up in salmon fever and forget how much fun it is go do a few hours of trout fishing with family.

“What started when our boys were young — catching trout from lakes near our home — remains an annual event that brings us together for a morning or evening of fun,” Ramsey said.

The family’s favorite early-season method is to troll an F4 or F5 FlatFish tipped with a small section pinched from a scent-filled Gulp! or PowerBait Maggot.

In the interest of full disclosure, Ramsey is brands manager for Yakima Bait, a Flatfish is a Yakima Bait product.

“Although just about any plug finish will work, the plain silver or gold color seems the most consistent — at least on the lowland lakes in the Columbia Gorge,” he said.

Ramsey slow trolls the lures behind light-action spinning rods with 4- to 6-pound-test monofilament line 40 to 60 feet behind the boat.

Fishing is best early and late in the day.

“We often start late in the afternoon and fish into evening,” he said. “Big trout, sometimes lots of them, prowl the surface just before dark.”

Evening is a good time to cast and retrieve spoons and spinners. Although a variety of colors work, copper is consistent and black, brown, yellow, chartreuse, white and frog green work, too, he said.

A crawl-retrieve with a bait like a three-inch PowerBait Trout Worm also works. Ramsey attaches a single No. 6 hook to the main line and a size No. 5 split show about 20 inche up the line.

“Once rigged, just cast out, allow your outfit to sink and begin a slow, twitch-often retrieve,” he said. “The idea is to work your bait at the depth the fish are cruising, which may be near the surface, bottom or in between.”

The crawl-retrieve methods works best on light line. While some anglers use 4-pound-test, or even 2-pound, Ramsey said a good compromise is Trilene XL’s 3-pound-test leader.