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Still shaky openings

Find the latest word about what’s open and what’s not is at wdfw.wa.gov/about/covid-19-updates (or coronavirus.wa.gov).

Fire danger

Fires are banned on most public ground most anywhere in the state. Find current fire conditions at 800-323-BURN or www.dnr.wa.gov and www.dnr.wa.gov.

Please report wildfire or any untended fire to 800-562-6010.

Kids need outdoors

KEEN is asking for help in adjusting to the demands of COVID-19 as they get kids outdoors. You can help with a few bucks toward what they need to match some grant funds. Find info about their GoFundMe project at www.ycic.org.

Wildlife and family fun

Viewing is ripening along with the huckleberries and other high country berries. This means grouse, bears, deer, elk, coyotes, cougars or maybe even a wolf in the berries. Take cameras and binoculars, and be careful not to harass, or be harassed by, any wildlife. (With bears, especially, back away slowly, talk quietly and avoid eye contact.)

Butterflies are still following nectar-producing flowers around the county, particularly in the mountain meadows. Watch open, sunny areas for blues, coppers, fritillaries, hairstreaks, monarchs, painted ladies, and viceroys. Take kids, a guidebook and the camera.

Remember to take your Discover Pass.

Fishing

Yakima River is producing. Homeys like large dry attraction patterns tight to the bank. Given the current water and air temperatures, 5 to 10 a.m. is ideal fishing time (6 to 9 p.m. if you insist on evening fishing). Try hopper dropper techniques and full-on nymph set ups. Summer stones providing action, too. More from the Evening Hatch folks (509-962-5959 or www.theeveninghatch.com).

Brook trout fishing reported to be pretty good in the headwater areas of the Cle Elum River. Other Upper County streams have been good with spinners and flies.

Upper County ponds and lakes are worth an evening with the family, too. Basic trout baits.

Best fishing in the county right now is probably in streams and the high country. All info can be found at wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/reports — check the various links.

Current reports, great videos, lake and stream maps and anything else you need to know about fishing around Paradise is free at www.northwestfishingreports.com.

DFW’s Trout Derby is on through Oct.31. Check it out at wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/contests/trout-derby and go play.

Salmon

Lake Wenatchee sockeye season is likely. Stand by.

Upper Columbia fishing is on, however. Summer kings are doing well at the moment (Wells Dam area) and fall kings are looking very promising. Get info from Hooked on Toys (509-663-0740) and Travis Maitland at 509-665-3337.

Ocean salmon fishing is on. Current info is available 24 hours a day at www.funbeach.com, www.westportcam.com, www.oceansportfishing.com or www.pacificsalmoncharters.com.

Hunting

Deer hunting will happen on the 6,000-acre Charles and Mary Eder unit of the Scotch Creek Wildlife Area in northeastern Okanogan County. Apply online now atwdfw.wa.gov/hunting/special-hunts/scotch-creek (or contact the DFW Northcentral Region office at 509-754-4624).

Online hunter safety classes are available, and can be completed prior to upcoming hunting seasons. Find them and register on DFW’s web page at www.hunter-ed.com/washington/.

PSE hunting access (Wild Horse Wind Farm) is now all by reservation — no longer available at the visitor center. Starting two weeks prior to the specific season you want to hunt, reserve your time and access by going to privatelands.wdfw.wa.gov/private_lands/ and following the “Hunt by Reservation” link. Then scroll down to the Wild Horse Wind and Solar Facility and register. Happy hunting! (This same site has access info for every county in the state.)

It is once again off and on hot in Paradise, but may I remind you that you will be missing this in four or five short months. Get your loved ones and a picnic out into the county for a memory to keep you all warm through the winter which inevitably arrives. Be careful, it is still tinder dry out there. Teach your youngsters about fire safety.

— JH

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