Until May 1, a footloose angler can stride through the racket of gathering waterfowl and into a curious group of desert lakes stocked with trout.
Ice Age floods excavated about 60 potholes in the parched Columbia River Basin scablands. Man added the water through irrigation seepage.
Only three of the 11 lakes in the Pillar-Widgeon group have vehicle access. The rest are accessible only by hiking a hundred yards to a mile into the desert where sage meets the cattails south of Potholes Reservoir.
Some go light with a casting rod and bait, but the lakes seem custom made for a hiker with a fly rod in his hand and float tube over the shoulder.
However, beginning May 1, new rules enacted by the Columbia National Wildlife Refuge will restrict spring fishing in the area to protect waterfowl. Summers are too hot for good fishing, leaving the new September season as the month of choice.
The nearest information source for Seep Lakes anglers is several miles away at Mar-Don Resort near O’Sullivan Dam, (509) 346-2651.