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Field reports: Worden, creator of ‘Rooster Tail’ fishing lure, dies at 93

FISHING – Howard Worden, creator of the world famous Rooster Tail spinner, and many other fishing lures, died in Arizona on Feb. 11. He was 93.

Worden was one of the owners of Yakima Bait Co., founded in Granger, Washington, by his father in 1929.

Spinning reels had just been introduced to the USA. in the late 1940s, inspiring Worden to experiment and build a weighted spinner with a willow leaf blade and a hackle tail. Initially called the “Retreat Special,” he later renamed it “Rooster Tail” after watching Seattle hydroplane races on television – another fairly recent invention of the time.

“Dad and I are both fishermen and inventors,” Worden told the Yakima Herald-Republic in 1971. “We are both guys who can’t go out fishing and be satisfied with a lure somebody else made.”

“In the U.S., Rooster Tail is probably the No. 1 selling in-line spinner, on sales volume, versus any of the other national competitors like the ‘Panther Martin’ or the ‘Blue Fox,’ “ said Dan McDonald, Yakima Bait president. “We have 10 different sizes and over 100 different finishes. It’s a significant piece of what we do.”

Low water closes Coffeepot boat launch

FISHING – Low water levels will prevent the boat launch at Coffeepot Lake from being opened when the lake’s fishing season opens March 1.

U.S. Bureau of Land Management officials say the unusually low water levels would lead to boat trailers getting stuck in the deep mud.

Small boats not requiring trailers can still be launched from the shoreline but larger boats will not be able to access the ramp.

Recreation managers at the BLM’s Spokane District will reopen the boat launch when conditions improve.

An alternative fishing site is the BLM’s nearby Upper Twin Lake just northeast of Coffeepot, where water levels are higher and the boat launch is open for trailered boats.  Both sites are located west of Harrington, Washington.

Both lakes have perch fishing, but Coffeepot – a quality fishing lake with special regulations and a ban on bait – is especially popular with fly fishers who cast for the lake’s rainbow trout.

Paddling could expand in Yellowstone Park

PARKS – Legislation has been introduced in Congress that would allow paddle-powered watercraft on up to 480 additional miles of rivers and streams in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks.

U.S. Rep. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyo., introduced the “Yellowstone and Grand Teton Paddling Act” this month.

Lummis said her bill would erase a federal ban that was enacted in the 1950s.

“I took great care to preserve the discretion of park managers to actually manage paddling as they do any other recreational activity in the parks,” Lummis said. “And to ensure park managers have the time and resources necessary to go through the proper studies and analysis.”

She proposed a similar bill last year that caused debate about opening and managing additional recreational uses in the parks and rifts in conservation circles and within the paddling community.

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4 favorite Gonzaga basketball teams

The basketball court at the McCarthey Athletic Center is photographed before an NCAA college basketball game between Gonzaga and BYU, Feb. 25, 2017. (AP Photo/Young Kwak) (Young Kwak / AP Photo)

While we look ahead to future seasons of Gonzaga Bulldog basketball , it’s fun to look at highlights from past years.