Fishing The Coast, Oregon and Washington
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David James Duncan, author of "The River Why"
Stan's column is up! I was supposed to put it up yesterday,
but as you've read above, we've been having board troubles. Due to several
fishing addictions, this board overrides nearly any other concerns on ifish.
When 10 thousand people can't reach their favorite fishing forum, I tell you,
I'd better be working on that, and only that, or else!
So, this morning it was my pleasure to put together and read Stan's Column. I think you'd be pleased if you took the time to do so, yourself. It's the start of a story on Gamakatsu hooks, and worthy of your time off the water.
I have learned so much from Stan. Even though I seldom bass fish, his advice is always helpful and entertaining. How often do you have a chance to read what folks elected into the "Professional Bass Fishing Hall of Fame" have to say? We have that opportunity, right here on ifish! Thank you, Stan! Click here for his most recent column, and here, for his archives.
Bill and I took a lovely trip down into tidewater this weekend, on a sunny, windless day. Usually we don't run into anyone down there in the channels, but on this particular day it was like a zoo! Canoes, kayaks, everyone was exploring! Everyone had one thing in common. Smiles. I couldn't think of anything better to do, and obviously, neither could they.
Although fishing was rather slow, and the salmon are late, I had a wonderful time just gazing into the depths, studying the structure down there. Tidewater holds such wonderful places for fish to hide. Just look at this!
Can't you just imagine a beautiful searrun cutthroat trout, hiding in that? Well, I could... but I didn't need my imagination! A whole school of them darted out from underneath this woody pile of debris!
Cutthroat fooled by spruce fly!
This time of year, it gets a bit crowded in our boat as we don't know which kind of rod to carry along. Fly, gear, salmon, trout? The lower rivers are full of fish just waiting to be fooled!
I caught ya!
I love this picture of Bill. Have you ever seen a more fishy
fisherman in your life? This guy is made for water and fish fear him. Any
kind of fish!
I was reading through his journal the other day. Man, oh man. He has kept a journal for over 50 years, now! Should I tell that? Yes, I should. I don't know many people who keep a fishing log, anymore, and it's wonderful to see those little books in a row on our fishing book shelf. I can get lost for hours, sitting cross legged on the floor reading all about the bodies of water he's become intimate with, over the years.
Lots of pictures, today. Have you noticed? I read in a note that I wrote to my moderators about waking in the morning, and not being able to see out of my left eye. That was a month ago, or so that I had written that. It concerned me, but somehow I thought it wasn't serious. I've become used to it, as of late, and it's become just another fog of morning, until the coffee hits me and clears my brain, and then later, my vision.
It's something that I need to deal with, though, as I learned last week. I am losing my vision. It's serious and it may not be fixable for a complicated eye, such as mine. It's my cornea and it's damaged, somehow. I don't really understand it, but I sure would like to. All I know is that I have to deal with it. Promise me that you won't let me forget about it, and just go about my business, fishing? I don't want to lose my eyesight, all together, and it would be just like me to cast, and cast, and catch and catch, until one morning, coffee doesn't clear it up, at all.
I need surgery, and I'm going to need to force myself to deal with that fact.
But-- in the meantime, I think I'll pray about it. Hey! It worked for the MySQL database, it might just work for my vision, too!
Oh, it's a nice October morning... A little rain, a lot of damp!
It's fall on the Oregon Coast!
But, where are the fishermen? Where are the boats?
On the way North yesterday, we stopped at the Tillamook jetty. Man, were there alot of boats! That's where folks are fishing. The ocean was a little lumpy, but I'd say around 100 boats were bobbing in the waves from the Coast Guard tower, out past the jetty and into the ocean.
Yet, a breeze past Nehalem was enough to throw me into a deep winter freeze. No boats, anywhere! OK, we did see a couple clear upriver at the forks, but other than that, nothing! No boats at Wheeler, nothing at Nehalem! It was so ghostly!
I've got so much to do! No time to chat. No time to fish. So much to do with the new board software. Hope you get out there! I'd sure love to!
I've always loved a crisp sheet of unblemished paper and a pen.
The same thing is true of an unwritten column, here. I've kept a journal since
I was in the 8th grade.
Most of what drew me to the computer was how I loved to wake in the morning to a fresh, clear mind and a clean slate to type on.
I bought a monitor that displayed the whitest of whites and the blackest of blacks. I can almost smell the ink. :)
Ifish continues to grow by leaps and bounds. My e mail has too much unread mail, my private messages blink at me madly, and the moderator board is chock full of unmet issues. The new board needs work, my contests are running behind. You know, my mind ceases to be fresh, by the time I get to my favorite part! I just sigh, exhausted!
This little spot on the web of mine, "Jennie's fishing life" is what pulled me into ifish. It used to be the thing I concentrated on first thing in the morning, and what I loved to do. It is how ifish got it's start!
Now that ifish offers so many areas to it's members and friends, there is so much to be done! I'm trying, but there is just no way that I can do all of what needs doing!
Not only are other areas going unattended, but I am not writing, which is what I need to keep me going! I fish to write and I write to fish, and I do both, to allow me to breathe!
I'm not a html genious or a marketing wiz, I'm a terrible book keeper. I don't know coding, nor am I a geek... none of that!
I'm just Jennie who fishes and writes a bit. I adore to play the piano... I used to do that, too! Where is my music? Where is my heartbeat? It's been replaced, mechanically, but I'm not going to let it change my soul!
You know how when you get so busy you think you can't possibly do one more thing? Especially with my health, I think, "I can't even keep up! I can't even try to help myself by starting your process of helping myself! I don't have time!" My mind would simply stop when they told me what to do. I don't have time to help myself!
I can't count the many business pros that have tried to help me organize ifish along the way. They have donated their time and asked me to write down everything that I do, or would like done, on a daily basis. They have asked to help me write a business plan. Lacking the confidence that ifish was going anywhere, anyway, I put it off. I was too busy! But they insisted that it should be done. That way I can figure out what I need help with. Well, guess what? I do need help and I finally did it!
A dear friend of mine told me that I'm like a cell dividing. You know how they buzz around, right before division? Then, when it finally divides, peace and calm take over? Well, I haven't divided yet... but I'm going to! I have no choice!
I am not well. My vision is really awful and my health is not so good, either. I need help!
I want to write again! No! I need to write again! I need to play music and fish!
My doctor told me as I left the hospital. "Jennie, live a happy, stress free life. Fish! Play Music! Rest!"
That prescription has not been filled, but I'm going to fill it! I have to! I want to live, my friends!
The list of things I came up with are far too much for me to even think of attempting to do! I dabble in many of them, but fail to do the thorough job that I would like to have done--but at least I have it down on paper, now!
Next, is to try to figure out how to get help. Not many are willing to do what I do, for the return that I get out of it, but something has to give.
I miss Jennie's fishing life, and I'm going to reclaim it, or lose it all together. That last sentence can be taken in many ways, and I think it could truly happen, in many ways! I'd bet my doctor would agree. And these are ways that I do not even want to consider a possibility!
My family misses my carefree fishing life, and so do I.
From this day forward, on my desk beside my computer will stay a piece of clean white paper and a brand new pen. It represents everything that I loved about starting ifish.net.
I have to return to that, by getting some help with this ever growing community that is www.ifish.net.
Honest to God, I love ifish.net with all of my heart. Never have I met a group of more wonderful, gracious and generous people and I am truly blessed.
Until my last breath, I want to play a role in ifish, but just as it is made up of thousands of people, it must be tended by a balanced percentage!
It will all work out, and I am ready to accept the help that has been offered to me.
Until then, please be patient with ifish. Your e mail might not get answered as fast as it once was and the changes in the pages, not so quickly-- until I find the help that I need.
Because, and quite simply-- It's the beginning of the return to "Jennie's Fishing Life" and right now, I'm leaving to fish. It's for the benefit of all of us, but mainly, so that I don't have to buy a new domain called "iusedtofish.net".
I'm lazy today. I want to go to church, but only for the praise
part! Is that awful? Is it alright if I go to church, sing praises, and then
walk out? I think that's rude of me, but sometimes, I just gotta sing! --With
a whole bunch of people!
Last night it was just incredible by the river. Right before dark, the river comes alive with a hatch and from shore to shore all you see is feeding dimples!
It was so dark by the time I headed in, that I barely made it home. I did so by holding onto Kilchis. He is so wonderful! There are times when I get stuck in the river and my legs want to give out. I can call Kilchis. He knows how to stand steady and help me. He's an amazing dog. I really don't know what I'd do without him. I just call, he comes, and stands strong beside me. I just say, "Kilchis, Mama needs help." He's right there! I grab onto his collar or his neck and he slowly walks me to shore. Last night, he walked me all the way home! Thank you Kilchis, the wonder dog!
Due to his help, I was able to watch the most amazing sunset, complete with a million dimpling smolt! The river was molten in the deep crimson sunlight. Molten, boiling water! I could almost feel the heat. Is there a volcano nearby? :)
There were a couple of bigger real fish splashes, too, but despite my beautifully tied fly landed next to them, I did not fool them!
I can't catch a fish for my life, lately, but it really doesn't matter. (Convince me! I'm trying!)
I've been gifted with sight, and I'm more appreciative of that gift than ever, lately.
That... is why I want to sing praises.
After that, I want to go see some more, please.
So funny--With my eyesight problems and the problems surrounding
not being able to do all of the work on ifish... just all of the stresses
of life, I've been overwhelmed into saying with a sigh, "It is what it
I was talking to my Dad last night about my upcoming eye surgery and he said. "Well, you know what David always says, (David is my brother) He says, "It is what it is!""
I laughed. Funny that we'd both be saying that.
It really is... just what it is!
So, let's all live with it! Let's laugh! Let's eat! Let's fish! Let's just live! It is what it is!
I love this time of year. I always have.
There is something about cool days, frozen morning toes, warm socks, hot showers, the smell of bacon sizzling and coffee brewing, and then emptied into thermoses for a long day on the river! I don't know... I just love it all!
Stare up into the sky and you just might be lucky enough to have a golden red maple leaf swirl down and hit you in the nose. Now, that's cool! That happened to me, the other day. I was thrilled!
Fall sure brings out the winter menu in me. I start thinking about thick and rich things like beef stroganoff, chicken and dumplings and full turkey dinners.
Oh! Full turkey dinners are my favorite! And night before last, I did just that!
A fire burned in the fireplace. The sky was cloudy and gray. Our pet chickens retired early.
When the dogs and I stumbled into the kitchen from the cold of the river, wonderfully rich garlic and sage hit us as the rush of warm air met us at the door. I nearly fell over it was so wonderful. I had been cooking in it most of the afternoon, and I hadn't realized how wonderful the smells!
I thawed my hands under a warm faucet and breathed deep.
I am so glad that I do things like this. For the boys sake, especially. They are growing up and out, and they will remember these smells, forever.
They'll remember my silly decorations of pilgrim candles, and colorful squash on the piano top. They'll miss the family feel. I want them to miss it. I want to draw them back home from time to time!
I set the table with candles. Carefully, I set out each plate, surrounded by napkins, the appropriate silver, butter, baskets of fresh blueberry muffins, (just like my Mom used to make!) and cranberry sauce.
The news blared in the living room, mingling with sounds from the boys room. Bill enjoyed his 5 O'clock cocktail.
Wonderful, (awful) familiar noises like video games and loud rock and roll filled the pre dinner air. They all combined to form a muted, chaotic, soon to be nostalgic symphony of sounds.
The sounds of family life.
Bill and I giggled together as we tried to mash the potatoes from the garden. This is usually his job. They were wonderful potatoes, but somehow weren't made for mashing. Instead, they crumbled! We made due, added yet more sour cream and butter and set them on the table, anyhow. All they needed was more butter, and a little more gravy. Who is counting calories? Not us!
I began to steam the absolutely beautiful purple green beans that I picked earlier in the day. Just steamed long enough to be crunchy, and add what? More butter(!) and sea salt! Perfection! And oh so pretty!
The stuffing was transferred to an elegantly beautiful bowl. Who uses the good china? We do!
The gravy was perfect. I'm the gravy queen, you know. I have it down to an art. The ladle sunk through to the bottom of the boat. YUM.
The boys are 18 and 19, but for old times sake, they are brought to the table with the words, "time to wash up!" It's tradition, you know. Other, but yet the same words for "Dinner time! Come eat"
I heard the sounds of the faucet in their bathroom, giggles, and then the bathroom door slamming.
The TV and stereo noises were silenced as we approached the harvest table. The TV is switched off. The bedroom doors are closed.
Even our voices are quiet as we sit down to eat. I was able to say grace, but as usual, I felt hurried.
All these are the sound of food too good to be talking.
The kitchen is now the center of attention for all. The only noises are dishes clanking and silverware hitting the plates.
We are all hungry. It is all perfect.
The boys have seconds. I am beginning to feel the frustration of getting full too fast. Imagine a place in heaven, where you never get full. Oh! I'd love that!
I searched over my plate. I only will be able to eat a couple more bites, but yet can't figure out what in front of me would be the best, deserving of the last little bit of space in my tummy. The blueberry muffins or the potatoes and gravy? The stuffing, or... what about pie? How am I ever going to fit pie into this eating schedule?
Andrew laughs as I explain my plight. "Mom! You have it all wrong! When you begin to get full, don't slow down! This is when you have to just start gorging! Go for it! Hurry, Mom! Quick! Before you get full!" He puts his head down in demonstration, trying to eat everything in sight! We all laugh. I could try that! I could try!
The dogs wag their tail. They can tell the conversation is picking up. Soon, the people will be done. Will they offer anything up for the dogs in the family? Will there be any plates to lick? Leftover turkey scraps? Anything? They put on their cute-adorable faces and wait. Kilchis, a little more politely than the puppy dog, Rev. Both, however, well behaved.
I adore turkey dinners. I adore my family!
After dinner, we filled our coffee cups and began to talk. It was an absolutely perfect evening. The candles were burning down as the chatter built up.
A lively political debate ensued, and with no hard feelings! We all mostly agree, although the boys are a little more dramatic in their feelings towards things, a little more, well... youthful! I remember when I had the energy to put so much into "I will change the world!" I am proud of them. I glow.
I know, I know... I long, sometimes... for the quiet of the house. I do have thoughts of, "When will they ever be on their own?"
As the boys clean the kitchen, the dogs (after their treats) and I go back out to the river for a last late evening romp on the shore.
The cutthroat trout are rising to flies and the sun is beginning to set. Just for tonight, all of the problems of the world set with it.
Thank God that sometimes life is just nothing but plain 'good' all the way around. No, it can't always be like this. But there are times that I can truly say with a smile and complete satisfaction, that
"It is what it is."
You know, with gravy on top.
When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
Yesterday it hit me. It couldn't be any worse, so it's going
to be better. It's got to be!
I'm having eye surgery soon! I'm excited, instead of worried. Like I said, it couldn't be worse!
Bill and I were staring into a holding pond at the Trask river hatchery. Swimming beneath us were several coho. Many sported those white spots of age all over them. Old, beat up coho, after their long journey.
I said to Bill, "Oh, Bill! Look at that one! It's awful!" I pointed. He said, "Where?"
"Right there!" I insisted.
He stared, blankly.
"I don't see it. Are you talking about those two leaves?"
I bent over and squinted. Two leaves floating on top of the water, four feet in front of me came into focus.
"Yeah, that one."
So, you tell me. Should I be worried about the possibility of my losing my vision?
I don't think so! I was worried about the surgery. What if I lose my vision. Uh, Jen? It's toast, already. :) It can go nowhere but up!
We had a beautiful day, yesterday. We were going to go fishing, but I woke to take my INR blood level as I do every morning. Oh my gosh! It was way, way high! Last time it was that high, I had a huge hematoma in my leg. High INRs are kind of scary. That means my blood is too thin. It's always a juggling game, trying to keep it in range, but this was way off!
The doctor ordered me home, or quiet, anyhow. No bumping, bruising... and no fishing!
So, instead we went fish scouting! We drove around in his pickup looking at fish, fishing spots, fish hatcheries, fish bridges, everything fish!
While we were at the ghost hole we were treated to a great show! Friends of ours in Gary Krum's old boat had a double on! Gordon and Terri Southwick are devoted fishing people. They are such a neat couple! I envy them their time on the water. I always enjoy meeting up with them. Talk about solid fishers and a couple to admire!
Bill and I had a great time watching their boat fall out of line as the zoo ensued!
It's a double!
One fish boated, now for the other!
They landed both! Talk about teamwork! These guys are awesome!
I turned to Bill. "I am jealous. Downright jealous!"
Bill can relate.
Normally I'd be happy for them and nothing else, but I'll tell you. Neither Bill nor I have hooked a large fish since May! MAY One single springer in May!! GET THAT!
When I was married, I fished way too much. In fact, I'd probably credit my divorce largely due to the fact that I fished, and he didn't. There were times I'd walk in the door, and not 15 minutes into our time together, he'd say, "Jennie, I'm really sorry you didn't catch anything."
Them are fightin' words because I knew it meant I was in a foul mood, and he was blaming it on a bad day fishing. Worse yet, he was probably right!
I was young, and still had that problem that if I had a fishless day, I'd be grouchy.
I've grown up some, but I'll tell you... not entirely!
I can go for a fishless day or two, now. Even a week! Maybe, even a month!
You know, now that I've grown up.
But... since May?
I'm sorry, but I hope I'll never grow up that much! I have a right to the grouchies, now and then, and especially after that long!
So even though I have much to do on the internet, and lots of house keeping, instead, and specifically for my personal health, I must go try, try again.
I woke up, took my INR, and was elated to find it back within range! YAY! That's a darn good ticket to go play, today!
The sun is shining, the fish are in!
I am going out on the water, again!
I can cast and fish without having to have good vision at all! Bill will lead me!
If I get poked by a hook, I won't bleed out!
Everything is in my favor!
Together, we will catch fish!
Soon, the grouchies will leave me and I'll be limited out with smiles!
You just watch!
There is fog all around me. Pretty much like I'm feeling. All
closed in for the weekend!
It is time.
I have waited for so long! Months! A half of a year, maybe? Vbulletin! We are changing software for our discussion forum, this weekend!
And my brain is all fogged in, and so am I!
It's going to be one long weekend!
I can't wait for it to open, and I'm prepared for lots of whining as us old folks try to learn something new. The younger set will snap into it like nothing happened, and have fun taunting us with new tricks that the board can do.
The older set will get more and more frustrated, perhaps send me nasty notes like last time; "Jennie! Now you've gone and done it! It's too hard for the casual user and I refuse to play!"
I giggle... at least for a while. And then I get stressed after the 10th one, thinking, "Is it too hard? Have I done it now?"
But, within a month, I really think that all faithful ifishers will be back on board. We'll probably lose a few for a while, but that's OK. I can't keep up with 11 thousand people, anyhow! It'll be much like the old ifish for a while, with mostly our old die hard group. That's always fun!
We will begin Saturday at 1:00 in the morning. At least my techs will. I think I might be asleep. I will try to be asleep, anyhow! When I get up, it will be time to really go to work setting permissions and options and the sort, and making certain that everything works.
I went fishing two days ago for longer than I have, ever, since my surgery. I was so proud of me! However, since then, I have had a physical hangover that won't end! Help me! My achin' bones! It's getting better, though!
No fish, and now our kicker motor is down for the count. Oh well! At least I won't be tempted to ditch the project and go fishing!
Rain! Rain is coming! I hope it's enough to make a difference! GO RAIN!
OK, I'm off-- enough rambling from Jen. Please wish us well with our move! Have a great weekend!
Do I sound nervous? Oh, I am!
Do I need prayer? Oh! I do!
Do I want rain? Yes! Yes! Yes!
Salmon, come home to Mama!
Yes, we are closed! The forums, anyhow!
Bill bought a new kicker motor. He bought an old something with a guaranteed buyback. It's more like a rental to get us through.
HOWEVER, today I have to work on getting the new software all working for you. You know, the final import!
I'm excited and nervous. OK, better get started!
I'm losing the zip in my doo dah, but I'm going to get this
I have tons of help, so we are working like little elves, and I have ice on my neck. It's all good. A little of that, and a little Starbucks and I'm good to go. (Well, kind of!)
OK, nuf of this... come on, rain, and come on ifish!
October 15th later...
We have had to hobble the discussion board so that only a limited number of people can be on at once. This is because it is the weekend. I have had to call Opus twice to have the tech drive down and reboot my server. This is expensive on off hours. So, until tomorrow, when they are open and my tech is available, expect limited service. Thank you, I'm going to rest, now.
I'd rather be fishing. It is so hard to watch Bill pull out
of the driveway, and leave me here with my e mail box full of frustrated ifishers!
I'll tell you, this is starting to grow tedious, to say the least. I have worked really hard, and it is difficult for me to see the frustration that people go through, when changing software.
Especially when we are having difficulties on our side. So, it's double frustration!
Last night we had to limit the server's activity, so that we didn't crash. We had to make a decision last night to risk crashing, close altogether, or have limited service. We chose limited service.
So, people get the "server too busy" message when we go over a certain amount of members online. That is frustrating! I got it, too! It was too frustrating for me, so I went to bed. I couldn't even browse.
Hopefully, it will be fixed, today. They are already working on it.
I so hope everything goes well. I am praying hard!
OK, off to answer a bazillion e mails.
Honest to God, I can't do this. Honest to God! I can't! This
is too much work, but I have no choice! I can't just quit! Can you imagine?
If I just up and walked away? That can't happen!
I love ifish so much, but I need help! Big time!
Some people are asking me, "The rumor on the net is that you are selling! Please tell me it's not true!"
Well, what's true is that I need help. What the solution is, I don't know. Whether it be selling, or co working with someone else, I don't know. All I know is that I can't do it alone, anymore.
It's terrible, too, because I care so much for ifish that I refuse to sell it to certain people whom I know won't care for it the same way. I need it to stay... well, I need it to stay ifish! A community site. We are a community. We are friends. Ifish is a very special place, unlike most communities. I will always want a part of it to keep it on track. To keep it ifish.net.
But, this morning, I'm leaving it all behind. The E mails, the posts, the outages, the moderating, the planning for better connections. I have no choice. I just have to have a break.
I'm going out floating around in a boat, looking for some grand swimming thing to jerk on my line.
I was sitting at the table with Dudley Nelson yesterday, and he was telling tall but true stories of 40 pound steelhead on the Naas river, on a fly!
You know how dogs stand in front of you while you are eating, and they get that long drool coming out of their mouths? Their eyes are fixed on you, and that's all they can think of? I could relate! I could feel the jerk of the line! I could feel the rod in my hands! My body started to go into involuntary jerking movements, as I held a pretend rod in my hand, just imagining the pull of my rod!
THAT. I have to feel THAT!
Oh, I need that so badly!
Even my doctor said I need that. He's so right!
And even if I don't get THAT, I could sure do for some time on the water. You know, the lapping of the bay water, the salt air, the freshness, the mist, the fog, the chill. I need to go fishing.
I couldn't sleep all night thinking of it. I lay in bed, and I felt like I was rocking in the water. I felt like I had a fish in my lap that I had caught and Bill was taking a photograph! I woke up to find Rev spread clear across my body, sound asleep. It was no fish! I giggled.
And so, please be patient with me as I take a break. Pray for ifish that a solution is coming my way, because physically, I am in pain trying to keep up. I don't want to die without living.
Sitting behind a computer all of the time that I'm well enough to be out of bed is not my idea of living.
I love ifish. I am dedicated past the point of good sense. I will find a solution. God has promised me this much. I trust Him with all of my heart. Everything happens for good reason.
It is well with my soul. It really is. And oh! How that song has been running through my mind. The story behind that song is really moving. Look it up on google and read about it. Read the lyrics. They are at the bottom of this column.
After reading it myself, my mind keeps wrapping around it and I repeat, over and over, "It is well with my soul."
God meant for everything to happen that does, and I know He is with me in this.
I am here to serve my beloved ifishers for a reason, and I will do it with gladness and joy while I do. Because... It is well with my soul!
Oh... updates on the server are these: We have to reinstall
or kind of reformat the servers to a more updated Apache web system called
Redhat. That is probably what is going wrong. That means that it's more complicated
and we will be living with a limited capacity until that can be accomplished.
I will let you know when this will happen. They say that we won't have to
go down, but we'll see!
I'm sorry it's that way, and I realize it is frustrating. Just hang in there. Believe me, it bugs me, too!
My Grandma used to say, "Oh me oh my!"
That's how I feel after helping nearly an entire community of 11,000 people, login to the new board! I'm glad I'm still giggling about it!
I do like the new board! I do! And it will get better, yet! We are going to upgrade Apache, and then all the server errors will go away! YAY!
Yesterday found me cruising the ghost hole with 100 of my closest friends. Out of all of my buddies out there, I only saw three (count 'em!) THREE fish caught!
Back and forth, back and forth we went...
Interesting. I had never thought of this, but Bill said you can always tell what the tide is doing by the direction that most of the boats are going. It only takes a short while to cruise South, if the tide is on it's way in. So very few boats will be going South, if the tide is still coming in. Interesting!
So, we didn't catch anything except for a glow of sunshine on our cheeks. It was a beautiful day. The grass on our lines was plentiful, so even if with Fall and the green of the trees fading, there's plenty of bright greenery in the bay!
I did notice that everything is fading to the dull colors of winter around here. It's an interesting season. I can still pick fresh beans, yet it is nearly November! The sun is warm. Can you believe that I came home and picked a handful of raspberries? I even found 5 blueberries on the vine! They aren't as sweet as in the dead of summer. Every bite tasted much like Fall or winter. None of that juicy sunshine, but still fresh and delightful!
After I got some work finished, I grabbed my trout rod and a bobber just to see what was in the river. I debarbed my hook. I always use a pretty big hook, so that whatever it is that might show interest in my offering is easy to remove and return to the low waters of the Kilchis river.
The other day, Dudley Nelson stopped by. We took turns tossing a fly out to the river, and could not turn up one bite! I was amazed. The river had just come up, and it looked very fishy!
So, I had to try bait. Marie's beautiful eggs, to be exact. Oh, they are pretty!
Something has got to be in there, I thought, and if I can find it with Marie's help, it would give me more confidence in my fly fishing. Fly fishing is so much more fun!
Anyhow, I was mostly outside to run Kilchis, and to rest. Into the deepest hole, I tossed my bobber out carelessly, and sat down on a rock to pet Kilchy.
Immediately, my rod went skating across the rocks and into the water! I leapt up and was able to barely grasp the end of the cork! As soon as I made contact and began to call the rod mine again, the line gave. Thank God I looked out into the river, because just as I did, a 15 poundish salmon rolled right where my bobber had been! I had hooked a salmon with a trout hook and Marie's eggs! (And a little of her shrimp scent!)
Oh, by the way, what I love about Marie's eggs is that they are nice and dry and so nice to handle. However, I find that during bobber season, fish like a nice sloppy egg. Before I leave for a day of bobber fishing, I pour half a bottle of her shrimp scent into the eggs, and they turn nice and juicy and milk out really neat in the water. Just perfect!
So, there I sat, just stunned. I had hooked a salmon. I knew there would be cutts in there, but salmon? In this low, clear water?
I had no extra hooks, as I rarely fish long enough out there to care. If I lose my gear, I simply quit.
The adrenaline flowing through me caused me to walk all the way back to the garage, grab another tied up rod, and play again!
I got several bites, but no one was fooled enough to try me for another round. I eventually gave up.
I gave up with a smile, though. What could be more fun than a salmon on a trout rig? If even for one pull!
I think it's the curiosity in all of us that makes us love to fish. It sure is in me, anyhow. The surprise of taking something out of nothing. Of finding a monster that lives deep behind what we cannot see. I just love that! I'm still giggling, now as I tell the story. I suppose that's the reason that I can still giggle after writing so many e mails on how to login to ifish.
After all, it's not every day that I can pull a trick like that out of the low, clear Kilchis! On those days that I'm not so lucky, I have the ifish board to read about the days that you pull those tricks. With all of the combined stories, I can't wipe the smile off my face for long!
Knock on wood, somewhere, but... I've not had a driving ticket,
except for once... a long time ago, when I was driving someone's new car.
I wasn't used to the speed of it. Yes, I was speeding!
I went to court, and they embarrassed me by making me stand up in front of everyone. I nearly died! The judge made an example of me, by saying how many years I'd driven without a violation. He let me off and didn't even put it on my record! YAY!
My Mom used to say, "I haven't had ever had a ticket!" I can't say that, but I am proud of my record. (or lack of!)
David has had his license, (at least I think!) for less than two years. Last night while I was watching my favorite show, I realized that he was late coming home, from picking up my other son, Andrew. I was worried.
I can't afford to insure both kids, so Andrew isn't driving, even though he has a license. Plus, he doesn't drive well at night. So, David does his driving to and from college for him.
Anyhow, when I called, Andrew answered in a panicked voice. He said a policeman had them pulled over, and David did not have his license with him.
"WHAT? Where's his license?"
Long story short, they'd stopped at DQ to get a bite to eat. It's kind of the kids hangout around here.
Andrew had left some food on the top of the car, and it fell off. David turned around (legally) so they could go back to pick it up. It was garbage, and he didn't want to litter.
A policeman saw this, and was suspicious of what was going on. So, he pulled them over.
Of course, they said the policeman was mean to them. I just wonder... You know, when my kids get nervous, they giggle and act silly. I wonder if the policeman thought they were being disrespectful. I wouldn't doubt it.
I am just so bummed.
David got a ticket for 240 dollars for not having his license! Oh__my__Gosh!
David doesn't have 240 dollars to his name, unless he takes it out of his college fund.
I was so upset last night, that I couldn't sleep.
David has no clue where his license is.
So, this morning we are going to tear the house apart before I take him to school.
Off I go! Wish us luck!
By the way, the river is looking more and more like a river, and I saw a couple salmon leap over the big riffle at the end of Bill's property, yesterday. There is, indeed salmon in this low water! A few, anyhow! I saw them!
It's neat, because when you step into the sands by the water, your feet sink like in winter time!
I removed a dead rotting silver carcass from the river bank so that Rev wouldn't get salmon poisoning. I just threw it further in the water.
'Tis the season! I am thankful!
It's girls day! I get to go have my hair done. It's been so
long. Can't wait to chat with the girls and get pretty. I just adore doing
this! It makes me feel good!
Yesterday I had fun teasing the cutthroat out back. Man, there are alot of them, all of the sudden. With this last rain, they just shot up the river. Big, fat, sassy searruns!
You know, as I release them, one by one, I think about the last time I've had cutthroat for dinner. I'm just about tempted to go South and catch some for dinner. But, they are so magnificent and so holy to me, I don't think I could do it! I just don't think I could! What beautiful, spiritual fish they are! Close encounters are enough.
I've gotten so that I can release them without so much as a touch, but sometimes I'm so tempted to touch them. It's like a magic lantern. Somehow I feel like if I touch them, I'll be filled with goodness and luck!
I haven't been salmon fishing in a while, now. Saturday we had an electrical problem and somehow a circuit breaker in the garage failed. We are sure having a heck of a time, this year, keeping our food frozen! We had to run extension cords from the freezer to the bathroom, inside. It's like a cobweb of wires, until we can get an electrician out, this week.
So, this week we'll get out in the boat. We must!
I've never seen more boats in Tillamook, then this weekend. They were everywhere!
On the way home from eating at Alice's last night, we passed boat after boat after boat. It was a darned parade of boats!
I feel kind of left out and out of the loop. It's not too late, though. Never too late! We must! We must fish for salmon!
Off I go. It's about time I had some time for me. Wish me a "Pretty Hair" day. Those salmon... I swear. What those big Fall nooks like more than a good shade of lipstick is... you guessed it! Pretty hair! You watch!
I kind of feel like it is the end of my seventh day of work on the new board. I am well pleased with it! It is time to rest, now.
It's time to get darned serious.
It's time to slow up on admiring the beautifully painted leaves splattered and stuck to the shiny black rocks on the walk to the river. The rocks stay wet all day, this time of year. The sun is low in the sky, and does not shine there. It probably won't, until around February, now.
It's time to stop gazing dreamily at the tall maple trees, in hilarious full color and waving on the reflection of the glassy low waters of the Kilchis. It's time to get busy. No more dragging a piece of carpet to lay on the big rock so that I can sit to rest. I gaze for much too long at the leaves as they float, one by one down to the water, kissing the top, skittering across the flatwater lighter than air, and then getting sucked under in the powerful riffles. They end their journey adding to a patchwork quilt of expired leaves, at the bottom of the deepest hole. It is magnificent. It is Fall.
But now, it's time to get to work!
It's time to get 'in the loop'!
I feel so out of it! I've been doing nothing but resting with any time I've had, at all! If I haven't been laying in bed, I have been at the computer, making this change over from Threads to Vbulletin. And as I look over my work, the song below becomes my anthem; "It is well with my soul!"
What isn't well, and what needs much change, is my knowledge of the local salmon bite!
This is the first year that I can recall that I wasn't full of information on where they are biting and where they aren't. My e mail has been totally empty of friends tips and zipperlips! Instead, it's full of tips and tricks of how the new software works, and of course, questions that need an answer.
Enough! Enough already!
I'm back to the river, starting today. I may be tardy, but it's never too late! I belong in a boat, this time of year. Quickly! Before I have to have my eye surgery! Time is limited!
Yesterday I began with a phone chain. I went through my list of friendly guides and local fishermen and made calls. Because of the fact that they appreciate what I do, I was able to find out a few things. Not much, but a few! Enough to give me a start on where to fish, today.
For the first time, Bill and I are actually thinking of hiring a guide to get in the know a little. We've lost time and time is knowledge! In order to do really well, you need to be out there, alot! Nothing can replace experience and a steady diet of fishing, day after day.
With the water conditions so low this year, it is hit or miss for many, it sounds like. The fish are collecting in the bay and at the jaws, waiting to trickle up the rivers. At high tides a few poke up the river, and you might hit one or two there, also! The first ones up, however, tend to be the darker fish.
I could fish lower Tillamook Bay, or the Nehalem with bobbers. I haven't looked at the tide book yet, but if there's a high tide, we could try to navigate down into tidewater and fish with very light and sneaky leaders!
The choices are many. What's exciting to me, is that finally, the weather people are predicting rain. Solid days of rain next week! I must be ready! I must be prepared!
I have all of my favorite lipsticks ready to go in each pocket of each of my fishing coats! That, in my right pocket, and in my left, a pair of pliers! I come prepared! I have purchase scents! Enough scents to please any salmon on any particular day!
We are ready and our appetite is strong.
Onto the river and with heavy anticipation, I will expect a fish with every cast!
There is nothing better than a job well done, and the anticipation of play with a clear conscience!
Let's go! Are you with me? Bobber down! I can't wait! Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!
Note the obvious lack of excitement the day after I went fishing.
If I had caught fish, I would have posted. Instead, there was silence! Oh,
the sad sound of silence...
What have I done? What on earth have I done to tick off the salmon Gods?
I can't buy a bite! It's the weather, right? It's the lack of rain. Yep. That's it!
Bill and I cruised around the ghost hole, went to Bay City, cruised there. We tried everything! It was another "Should have been here yesterday, you guys!" day.
And that's what we heard from the fishermen in the other boats, shouting across the wake. "Oh Bill, yesterday was red hot!"
Fishing has been spotty, and you can just never tell which day will be good. For some reason, luck does not follow our schedule on the river, this year!
There was a bite, and a good one, the day before we went on our adventure! (and most probably the day after... but don't bother telling me, alright?) But, on the day we went, we only saw 5 fish caught, per 100 boats or more!
We fished with plug cut herring. Then, I got frustrated and put on a whole herring with my secret "eye tie". Bill taught me this method and Oh! The roll is deadly! I'm darn good at tying the secret eye tie!
I kept admiring it, trying to keep it out of the seagulls way, but yet close enough on the top water to see that wonderfully slow roll, that only I can produce on a tied herring. I'm proud of my slow roll! It's perfect! I kept saying to Bill, "Bill! Look! What fish could resist that? Bill! I'd bite that! Wouldn't you?"
You know that feeling when you are fishing right?
It's the same feeling when you are spinner fishing, and you get that perfect revolution per minute? That thump, thump, thump, that feels so right? Well? I tried that, too! I gave up on the herring. Picked out my favorite Bob Toman 'specially designed for Jennie' chinook spinner, (Bob made it for me!) and right away, I felt that perfect fish grabbing sensation. The perfect speed, the slow, deadly thump. And... nothing! Pht!
Desperation set in. I was losing that, "Expect a fish with every cast" mentality, and I progressed to the "maybe this will work!" mentality!
I got goofy! Maybe a little power bait stuffed down the mouth of the herring? Maybe a glob on the treble of my spinner? Clean my hands with WD40! Or-- or--- Perhaps anise oil, straight from the pharmacy-- Oh! I know! Anise mixed with Marie's banana scent, with a rubber squid on the trailer hook and a pink ribbon tied to the swivel? Don't forget my favorite "Tiger Eye" lipstick with a little clear gloss? Oh! Put on the red shirt! "Put on your red shirt, Bill!"
Bill! Bill! WHERE IS MY FISH?
Time was running out. Tubes to the top of my lipsticks were getting thrown to the bottom of the boat, rolling around as I rifled through my purse, searching for just the right fish catching color.
It's got to be here, somewhere!
Humor or not, I was going mad! Who said you can't laugh and go insane?
Mid afternoon, we got the frustrated giggles. Everything was funny, and people probably thought we were nuts, as we swerved in and out of the boats, totally fishless, but laughing our heads off!
You know... it is what it is, and it is October 27th. October 27th, and my fishing tag is as neatly folded as the day I bought it.
Where's the fish blood? Where's that crumpled piece of a catch record that I usually own, that's too filthy to put into my purse?
I think back to the usual Fall seasons, when Bill and I would say, "But, if we catch another one, what on earth will we do with it?" and giggle.
Oh! The arrogance. Where has it gone?
Fall is when you can't keep fish off your hook! Doubles were chaotic, exciting, hysterical and frequent! We'd hook and land a beautiful big and legal salmon and release it, much to the shock of the boats, next to us. We were accomplished, lucky, talented, and cocky out there! People would shout over to us as our rods buried in the holders yet again, "Don't tell me! You have another one?"
And now... I cower. I'm fishless and embarrassed. The air... deflated from my arrogance. I'm as if the captain of a guide boat, high and dry on an outgoing tide, and perched upon a sand bar.
Hide my head!
Nah... I'm still laughing, so far. I have to! I mean, other people go through this...don't they? Someone?
I have a myriad of excuses, but I'm running out of them as quickly as the Kilchis seems to be running out of water.
I'm still hanging onto hope. When the rains come, I will catch fish.
Anyone hear a good forecast?
I have a friend that lives right on a tidewater slough. From
her living room windows, she can gaze out and watch chinook salmon jumping!
It's so awesome! Can you imagine falling asleep at night with your bedroom
window open, hearing the crashing of salmon splashing and jumping in the narrows
of a slough? I couldn't sleep!
I absolutely love tidewater sloughs, and I'm envious! She has a business there, renting kayaks.
Even if you don't fish, it's just a total rush to be amidst these beautiful creatures, and so close! I've often thought of renting one, just to paddle through them, and to gaze down into the waters, hoping to catch a silvery glimpse of schools of salmon, shooting beneath the boat.
The salmon that go up Dougherty and Harquarton Sloughs have lost their way, and usually turn a little dark, there. They can be hooked by fishing with bobbers and eggs, but they don't bite as well as when they are in saltwater, in my experience. But, this column isn't so much about fishing for these fish. It's about close encounters! Close encounters with salmon!
In the tidewater sloughs, not only will you see salmon, but it's a pretty sure bet that you'll also fill your day with sightings of eagles, herons, (I love the little green herons!) and shore birds of all sorts. Watch for the workings of beaver, for an otter family, frolicking in the water as they play.
There is nothing more beautiful than the tidewater sloughs in Tillamook. The rain forest provides for dark, sultry grasses and thousand year old tree stumps and root wads that you'll need to work your way around. The whole experience is magically enchanting!
Bill and I were down in tidewater a couple days ago, and I can't tell you what a rush it is, to have a 50 pound salmon jump next to your boat. It's just one of those experiences that is better than the Discovery Channel! I mean, you are right there! It's awesome! Frankly, to me, it's as good or better than hooking one!
I recommend that you go as a family and take a notebook along. Stop occasionally to note and keep track of the animals, fish, and wildlife that you encounter.
In the evening, read the notes and look up the critters on the internet and learn more about each one. It's fascinating, and a type of knowledge that is rare in today's education system.
Imagine sitting quietly in a boat, powered only by the movement of tide as you poke your oar against the root wads of thousand year old trees, steering your way. The water is glassy and still around you. Stop! Listen!
The water is still, but seems to move with the reflection in the water of the wildly colored leaves of the Fall trees waving above you. The only noise, the dimpling of the boat as it rocks from your movement, and the rustling of the leaves.
Out of nowhere, and who knows where next, an explosion of chrome boils up with the pressure of a 50 pound strong, beautiful salmon breaking water! I'll tell you! It takes my breath away! Whoo hooo! Tail flapping, enormous fish, clear out of water! And then landing with an equal splash, making waves big enough to rock your boat! An equal and opposite reaction!
Sometimes you think nothing is going on around you, but if you watch carefully, you'll see little "V" movements through the water, down or upstream. Watch them! You'll be able to follow their trail! Especially in this low water, and at lower tides, the fish are very, very spooky.
I've found tricks to see entire schools of salmon. If you know where it's going to be deep, row your craft through that deep water, and while doing so, watch the shallow side of the river. Sometimes entire schools of salmon will shoot by you in the shallows, if your boat is in their usual holding spot.
You don't have to rent a kayak in order to get access to Tillamook sloughs. They are accessible in many ways, if you are willing to take the chance of getting wet, having to get out to push, or worst scenario, get stuck for a couple hours!
My first recommendation is to get an aerial map of the area. Check the date on it, first. The sloughs and the channels change, unexpectedly and often. But, they'll give you a general idea of the intricate systems.
You'll have to plan with a tide book, too. You often can enter a water system, float upstream with the incoming tide, and float down as the tide changes and flows out.
Throughout my life, and especially as a young adult, my best memories have been of exploring tidewater. I have spent entire days, sun up to sun down, (and beyond sun down! Yikes!) scouting different channels, eddies, sloughs and backwaters. Getting lost is part of the fun and excitement! I have explored on foot, on inner tube, canoe, or small boat.
I haven't done it in the full sense for a long time, as it often entails getting out to carry your craft over logs and root wads, and actually climbing over logs to make your way. It's dirty, cold, fun! It sure brings out the kid in you!
Now I do most of my exploring at a less adventurous pace, but the secrets and surprises are plenty! I travel from the comfort of a motor boat, and only where a motor boat might go, and I still get the same feelings that I once had, as a child or young adult. There are plenty of opportunities to get lost in the unblocked passages of the Tillamook backwaters.
And, now, thanks to my friend, even if I get so tired that I'm not up for a boat ride, I can always visit, and watch the salmon jump in tidewater, right from the comfort of her back lawn!
If you are interested in renting a kayak on the slough,
my friend's website is "Passing
I don't know that it's open so much in the Fall/wintertime, but you might give them a call to see.
If it isn't truly Fall! It's so cold and icy at the coast! I
woke to a chilling 28 degrees. Yesterday, I balked at the idea of putting
away my fuchsias and pulling my dahlia bulbs. Today, I have no choice! Oh!
I do love Fall, but admitting to be the end of enjoying my flowers is tough
There really is so much to enjoy about Fall, though. On Sunday, Bill and I drove up to the summit to get our fill of chanterelles. It was tough going for me, both visually and physically, but it was sure beautiful up there on the summit. I enjoyed every minute. For the first time, Bill collected more than I did. I simply had troubles seeing them. It really is fun to look for them, though. They appear absolutely hidden in the orange and red leaves that have fallen, until one pops it's face out. Then, like little leprechauns, they appear all around you, dancing and laughing. Catch me if you can! It appears a late run for chanterelles, this year. Hunting was not as prosperous as we've seen, but we did get plenty.
Yesterday, I prepared our favorite Fall soup. "Cream of chanterelle." There really is no recipe, but in general, here's what I do. I simmer about 2 cups of chopped chants, leeks, garlic and celery root in 2 cups of good chicken stock until they are well soft and mushy. Then, I put that in the blender and give it a good whirl. Pour it back into the pot, and add 2 cups of whipping cream. (Yes! Whipping cream! Yikes!) Then, add julienne carrots and celery root. (so pretty in little matchstick shapes!). Don't overcook that and never boil it! Right before serving, add small whole chants to decorate the top. I always add spices and a little paprika to dress it up. A grind of sea salt and you are good to go. A good loaf of freshly cooked wheat bread and a fresh salad tops the dinner off. Add some fresh pumpkin cake for a wonderful finish! What a perfect Fall meal! It was so yummy. I'm glad that &roo requested it!
I have this odd desire to decorate for Christmas this morning. I suppose the fact that Andrew just came in and wished me a Merry Christmas might have something to do with that! And, here it is just Halloween! I do wish you a Happy Halloween! Have fun out there, and be safe!
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