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Well, problems arose and I wasn't able to make a trip to Oregon to drift along in Bestlever's boat, trying for steelhead. Did manage to salvage a couple of days and took the lads up to the Methow Valley, up north here in Washington. Beautiful country with the North Cascades Highway, and the Methow River both running right through the valley. Too darned many people here this time due to some sort of Blues Festival, but I found out those music lovers weren't fishing anyway, so we got along fine.

High temps sorta hampered the appetites of the cutts and rainbow, but a few grabbed onto various wet and dry flies, including a few of significant size. That was fun! All fishing was catch and release, which I don't mind at all since those regs have resulted in climbing trout populations in the river, and more important (to me) more large fish as well. If you go, stop in at the Carlton General Store and talk to Bill. He's been fly-fishing the Methow for 20+ years and is on a first name basis with all the big trout. He also ties and sells a particularly productive wet fly called the "Carlton General." It works on steelhead and big cutthroat.

Counted 8 deer one day, wasn't really looking for them. All mulies. One 3x3 buck, two doe, two pair of spotted twins and a single fawn tagging along. Deer don't seem to spook much when they see a fellow on a mountain bike. Must file that one away for future reference...

Also saw a golden eagle, and a couple of osprey working the river. Normally I see bald eagles in the fall and winter here. Not yet, they're still farther up north. They tend to show up about the same time as the salmon and steelhead.

Mountain bikes provided great transportation once the family bivouac was set up. The kids (14 and 18 years old) still think I'm crazy and refuse to do some of the rides I enjoy most. At least with me leading the way. I've developed a bad reputation for having fun at the expense of skin and bones... Outstanding recreational trail system in the Methow Valley, maintained for horses, mountain bikes, hikers, joggers and in the winter the trails are groomed for cross-country skiing.

Yup, this is a Marlin forum and I have to admit that my Marlin didn't even make the trip this time. Didn't fire a shot either, but it was a great, although short, trip into the hills with my sons. We ate, swam, fished and goofed off for a couple of days w/o cell phones, radios, televisions or anything else. It was real nice. The younger one wants to come back during deer season, he's developed a bit of an attitude about gleefully filling the freezer... Gotta respect that in a youngster.

Regards, Guy
 

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It's nice to just get away from the rat-race for a few days and just get back to basics. Sorta gives a guy a whole new perspective on priorities and life. Sounds like you and the family had a good time. Thanks for sharing. 8) :wink:
 

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m700:

i aim to be close to that area in a couple weeks. i fished the skagit there once around marblemount. i may get to again this time once i get a few other tourist trappy things out of the way. my wife enjoys the touristy things....i love running trout water!

i may have to get out to anacordes for a day or so and a hike over hurricane ridge is in order. some trout fishing is mandatory though.

good story.

luck!
 

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I fished the Methow last year. We did pretty well in quanity but didn't bring anything impressive to "hand". The weather was hot and I wet waded. Very refreshing, even in the early AM. They hit most of my nymph patterns but no takers on drys.

I'll be there again later this month. My neighbors have property near Pateros and it's a good base camp for fishing and mountain bike adventures.

In October I'll be there too with my Marlin 336 and/or 1894 for the deer. I too have noticed a LOT of deer (in past years) from the seat of my mountain bike. The Lightning Creek & Blue Buck trails have some real potential for combining some excellent riding and hunting. I haven't commited to a hunting area yet but the Methow is on the top of the list.

I'm still working out how to carry my rifle while riding though. I'm setting up a "hunting bike" with racks and I'm considering a trailer too. It's an older steel frame with rigid forks. I've put on some old Suntour "bear trap" pedals, built a nice XT/Mavic wheelset , fenders to keep the dust/mud/grit off of my gear (and with any luck deer) and front and rear racks.

I've tried mounting the rifle in a scabbard vertically on the side of the front rack and stablized it on the handle bars. It's a little weird with the rifle barrel sticking up but it doesn't affect the handling that much. It's protected fairly well from everything but an endo. I need to find a better case that is both shorter and waterproof.

Slinging the rifle is probably the easiest but I do worry about a taking a tumble with it. I won't be pushing the speed but crashing is part of mountain biking and I've done my share too.

Any experience or ideas?
 

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I'm also looking at the rifle mount problem on the pedal bike. Tryin to think of ways to get a gun boot mounted on the consarned thing. Post here if you get something successful figgered out. Any tips on silencing noisy brakes will be appreciated too. I sound like a city transit bus when I hit the fronts....

Regards,

Doc Sharptail
 
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We used to ride 10 speeds way back when and the squeaky brake problem can sometimes be cured by toeing in the brake pad. The front edge of the pad should make contact with the rim before the rear. I used an adjustable wrench on the arm that holds the pad, bending so that the front pad is angled just slightly inward at the front.
 

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Steel banger is correct about toeing in the brakes. If it's a mountain bike it probably has cantilever brakes. Newer bikes, sold 1999 until present probably have "V-Brakes, " AKA linear pull brakes and toeing in the pads is as simple as using a 5mm (usually) allen key to loosen the locknut and repositioning it so the foward edge makes contact first, make sure the pad is in line wiht the rim without tire rub, then retighten.

The older style cantilever (cable from lever centers on a yoke is a bit more complicated. I can provided detailed instructions for them if that is what you have.

In my rifle toting tests the simplest has proven to be the best. Slinging it over my back diagonally seems to have the least negatives. If you wear a helmet or fully brimmed hat while riding the barrel can get in the way. My other concern is the rifle is exposed to sweat, weather and crashing. A waterproof rifle scabbard would mitigate a lot of those issues.

I tried mounting the rifle vertically from the front fork. It worked well. The rifle was fairly well protected and it didnt affect the handing too bad. A carbine length gun is the best and was easier to get used to. Unfortunately I don't have a scabbard that mounts well for this but I'm looking as it seems to the best place. My scabbard was too long and would slightly impair my vision, and the straps too weak to secure the rifle. I don't think I'll have the dust to contend with during hunting season but it was an issue during the period I was testing.

Strapping along the top tube changed my riding position too much. If a short distance was all I planned to go then it would be good but riding with my knee bent outward felt less stable on rougher trails.

Vertically in the rear worked too but with the rifle out of sight if sometimes forgot about it and I would catch it either with my leg or when ducking under brush. I feel it would be less protected in a crash too.

Now if I was a handgun hunter... Problem solved.
 

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It is a Mtn bike, and the front pads are well worn. The pad mount stems have the bevelled adjusters on the fork side. I'll get new pads and experiment with the angles.

I've been considering mounting swivel studs on the left side of the rifle- an older 39-A with no studs. It would be nice to keep the lever off my kidneys. I have a Bowning Excellerator sling that mounts the rifle "back pack" style. I've used it on X-country skis and it works well. The only fly in the ointment is it's slow to get out of when wearing bulky cold weather clothing... They have Gorilla atv mount grips on for 30 bucks- I'm gonna pick up a pair Friday, and see what I can work out.

Looks like I've taken this thread well off course :oops: ....sorry guys!

Regards,

Doc Sharptail
 
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