The conditions are truly spectacular for camping and fishing and recreating in the great outdoors this time of year. This past weekend, my son and I ventured out into the woods on a quest for some much needed rest and relaxation, as well as some camping, fishing and quality time together.

We enjoyed all of the above and found ourselves setting up camp along the shores of Clear Lake (the one in Yakima County near Rimrock Lake). The spot my son had been to many times was our destination and luckily for us, he's very skilled at driving his Jeep - as this campsite was off-the-beaten-path and down a seemingly impassable washed-out looking road. This led us to a spot only a handful of urban assault vehicle owners can reach.

Rustic, yes, as in no restrooms or showers - this is camping after all. In this setting, you answer the call of nature like the wildlife do or as residents of the former occupied territory of CHOP perhaps did.

Picture from the first night: Attack of the Killer Gnats. Millions of them.

Casey Stephenson

Here's the scene we woke up to the next morning as we began fishing.

Brian Stephenson

It's incredible to think that this kind of pristine beauty and solitude is only 45 minutes from home.

Brian Stephenson

In any direction, the surroundings are picturesque to say the least. Kayaking passersby, a few boaters and a handful of others who simply came to sit and take in the scene were nearby.

Man, I want to tell you we caught some of the most enormous and beautiful Rainbow Trout I've ever seen! I WANT to tell you that, but I don't want to lie so I won't. However, as my uncle Zeke used to say after a day on the water having gotten skunked: "Well, that's why they don't call it catching - they call it fishing!'

As we wrapped up the day, it was time to pause and reflect and take in this beautiful sight. The mountains and the lake aren't bad either.

Casey Stephenson



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