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Experiences – Not Things… Minam River Ranch, Oregon

From Trophy Sized Elk to Trout Fishing at Minam River Ranch

Jerry Hicks, the listing broker, told us about a great day fishing with a client this summer.    

Minam River Ranch

“A favorite property of mine, the Minam River Ranch, sits just outside of La Grande, Oregon. It is a quintessential sportsman’s paradise. The property is huge, and wild, and quiet plainly has not changed since this area’s only inhabitants were Chief Joseph and the Nez Perce tribe. Minam is not for the average person but likewise it is not your average ranch; so when the chance to show presents itself… ‘Clear my schedule next Thursday and Friday,’ I told my assistant, ‘I’m showing the Minam River Ranch.’

Knowing just how much I enjoy the mountains and outdoors, with a grin she replied, ‘That will be a rough couple of days.’

‘Yeah, someone’s got to do it.’

I met my client and his son in La Grande for breakfast before our drive out to the ranch. I knew this would be a good day and I couldn’t hold back my excitement. Telling them about all the wildlife, views and fishing we were going to have, hoping I didn’t fail to meet my own expectations. Sure enough, as soon as we pulled in, we were surprised by a trophy sized Rocky Mountain Bull Elk. As a big game hunting guide for over 20 years, this was certainly a top 10 contender!

After coming down from the high of seeing all the wildlife and spectacular views, we were ready to embark on the next adventure, to fish. It was the perfect Eastern Oregon summer day. Sunny but not too hot. The mountains in the short distance felt like a miniature Switzerland. With our fly rods in hand, we made our short hike down to the Minam River. My client’s son, an avid angler, was as happy as a kid on Christmas morning. I could see the excitement on his face and knew this was what he’d been waiting for all day.

The trout were biting left and right and we lost count after about the 8th rainbow trout. Just as we were thinking this is too easy, a killer size steelhead took my fly. This was a monster and had me fighting. He was pulling hard and had my line peeling. I kept chasing and reeling, reeling and chasing. Finally, my leader snapped. He was gone. The three of us looked at each other, all grins.

That steelhead may have gotten away but that day on the Minam River Ranch is a day I’ll never forget.”

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