East Side Cast and Blast


Active Member
I wanted to take my Dad hunting behind my pup, however, didn't want to spend some 'big coin' for an out of state license and possibly not seeing a bird at the local release site. So I booked a field at Cook Canyon for 12:30 on Friday after Turkey day. At first I chose 12:30 based on having to drive 3.5 hours from Bellingham, but then soon thought "we should fish the Yak too!"

Got out of the house at 4:30 and managed to be in Eburg for breakfast by 8:00 and Wolley Bugger by 9:00. We left a clear and cold Bellingham and arrived to colder than hell, and overcast in E-burg...and were beginning to think twice about putting waders on...until we saw another couple at Ringer getting geared up. Convinced my old man that his waders were not going to put themselves on! Managed to slide into the much warmer water of the Yak (funny when the water is warmer than the air temp...I believe it was 18 degrees vs. 34-38!) by 9:30. Fished a run next to the island upstream of the boat launch. We both fished stoneflies with a dropper (lighting bug, and small bead head). Dad had three on...zero landed, however, I walked away with my first 12" Yak bow!

After 1.5 hours we couldn't stand much more, and the wood burning stove I saw on Cook's website was our mental oasis!

Headed over to Cook Canyon and had a fun time walking around in field #4...we had 6 birds released (3 roosters, 1 hen, and 2 chukar), and even with our terrible shooting managed three birds. Our third rooster was winged and not found, and a 'hold over' was flushed at one of those 'awkward' moments...which flew to see another day. Never did see the chukar...but feel they must have flown the coop since Libby was 'on' the entire day. Total we saw 5 pheasants, zero chukar.

In the end it was a fine day spent with my dad even though our snot froze to our face, the chukar ditched us, and the drive was long.


Active Member
Glad you had a successful trip with your dad. Those pesky Yak trout continue to irritate me everytime i try to catch them, its much easier for me to chase birds :)
How did you like Cook Canyon? good facilities and people?
Andrew, sounds like you and your dad had a great trip! Congrats on the YR trout. Tell me about the place you hunted. Sounds pretty neat- :thumb:


Active Member
D3Smartie - I enjoyed Cook Canyon for a few reasons:
1. The terrain is totally different from the west side release sites, as well as, the private release sites I've hunted in the Midwest.
2. Alice and Doug are very nice...there son does a great job cleaning birds!
3. The facilities are lacking (outside porta-john), however, they are in the process of completing a new house next door and will supposedly be moving the small sitting area within.
4. Price was decent...for out here. They charge 135 for either 5 roosters, 3 roosters 2 hens, 3 roosters 1 hen 2 chukar, or 7 chukar (don't quote me on that, but I'm close). On top of that you have to pay a 55 dollar one time fee for the season...this pays for the leased land they use. I have a hard time with this since I would pay 60 bucks back in Indiana for 3 pheasant or 5 chukar, and no leased land fee.

qrider13 - Cook Canyon is a private (not associated with the state)upland bird hunting 'put and take' located outside Elensburg. You buy the birds, they release them in one of their 5 80-100 acre fields, and you either bring your own dog or hire one of their guides for 30 an hour. If you don't have the birds marked, or hobbled, it is pretty close to hunting wild birds...except you don't have to worry about shooting at hens, or limits.

My only worry is that as soon as the facilities get better the birds will become more expensive.