Fishing The Coast, Oregon and Washington
APRIL 2002


T and S Guide Service
Record day with Tim Juarez, T and S Guide Service!
Hooked 10, landed 8!

 

Jennie's Fishing Life

FISHING THE COAST

A journal of my adventures.


April 1st, 2002

I wish this were an April Fool's joke.
I had planned on doing one. I was going to put up a page that said nothing but, "Jennie's gone fishin for good."
Well, maybe she really has!!!
Even though I feel that way, I'm sure everything will be fine. It'll just take me time to get everything going again.
We will be talking with the guy who makes the array of disks today, and find out if any of the data is recoverable since March 9th. (The last full back up... grrrrr.)
Last night I was talking with Marty Peterson on chat. He was giving me a pep talk, and being very kind. I asked him, "Know of anyone who wants to buy a fishing web site-- or MOST of one?"
I'm glad I still have a sense of humor!
Until then, I get to cry over lost stats, and much more.
-- Record stats! We had the best month ifish has ever had, with some days reaching well over 200k hits a day! Unique visitors were up over 3k.
--Guide reports from March 9th on...poof! New board upgrades, professionally installed and paid for... poof!
--Prize package addresses, not delivered to people, poof! (Although I think I can regain that info).
--Well thought out posts on the current broodstock and hatchery debates... poof!
I reconstructed new pages that I had created, and tried to fill in the missing .jpg files that were included. I saved a copy of everything on my end. It's just the darn board that is missing.
My half just needs to be reconstructed.
Everything about the board is lost in cyber land somewhere...--settings, registrations, password changes, updates, posts, pictures, template settings, new advertisers .... argh!
"Yes," I thought to myself, "I work many hours a day on the board alone. Now I need to redo that work."
This is a fact. Hard to swallow, but I choked it down with one of the kid's chocolate Easter candies.
Despite it all, last night, I wandered aimlessly around the house. I made a grocery list, made notes that I really haven't been dusting the furniture very well. I realized just how time consuming this internet site is, in my life.
Somehow, this will turn out to our advantage. It may be a lot of work, but ifish is going to be better for all of this. You just watch!
It's April Fool's today, and it really is no joke.
Jennie's going fishing...
but I will be back, in full force... plus some!

 

April 1st, 2002 later...

Well, we are up... Can I go eat something besides Easter candy now?

April 2nd

I sat and I thought,
and I thought,
and I thought.
I made a list of things I need to do to update ifish-- to get it back to where it was before.
The list grew longer.
I realized, as I sat in this office chair, about how many hours I had been sitting in this office chair.
If you have registered on the board, and you have a problem, or if you notice something missing, please e mail me, and I will add it to the list.
I am jotting down things now, as they occur to me.
When I played piano for a living, I did some of my best practice in bed, reading music.
You know what? I think I do my best web thinking, while out fishing.
The more I thought, the more I knew.
I'm going fishing! It's a job requirement. Research and development.
I'll be back!


April 3rd 2002

I've been spending much too much time standing behind my hummingbird feeders and staring, in awe, at how they operate. It's my sort of meditation. I have to be totally still, breathe calmly, and wait.
I have always been thrilled to get up, close and personal with anything wild. I want to reach out and touch a salmon's silvery back, as he fights to get upriver to reach his spawning bed. I spend hours trying to get a gray digger to eat a peanut out of my hand. I've always wanted to live in Alaska, just to have a moose stick his head through my kitchen window to see what treats I will give him!
Standing 5 inches from a hummingbird, as they feed, is fascinating.
Yesterday I walked into the laundry room. I am getting frustratingly familiar with reaching down to pick up miscellaneous Kilchis-chewed items off of the floor.
I reached down and felt it. It was soft and lifeless. What mystery item is this?
A hummingbird... My heart sank. Not very friendly thoughts went through my mind concerning my cat.
Often times I sit at the kitchen table and am treated to a cat, shooting 4 feet, straight up in the air, to grab a hummy. I thought he would never be successful, and giggled at his attempts.
WRONG.
I held this lifeless creature in my hand and walked outdoors. The sun hit his neck. Those red, vibrant hues were still there.
I was up close and personal, but it did nothing for me but make my heart sink.
For three days, I have been bringing ifish back to life.
I have replaced files, fit them together, uploaded and downloaded. I can bring computers back to life. :)
I have juggled communication on the phone, while typing messages across miles to people in other towns on Instant messenger, and down the coast on ICQ, all at the same time!
Finally, ifish lives!!!
I get to get up close and personal, now, and see how it operates!
I've been spending much too much time standing in front of my computer screen and staring, in awe at how it operates. It's my sort of meditation. I have to be totally still, breathe calmly, and wait.
Watch the discussion board! It's wild!
However, anything wild needs a proper balance, and it is my turn to step away, and watch it grow.
I need to catch a springer now!
I want to feel that wild screaming and life on the end of my line!
I was haunted by this desire, while reading a letter a friend wrote me last year.
He was trying to convince me to quit working, and go fishing with him. It went something like this:
When that big chrome Chinook hits, look out!
All heck breaks loose!
Jump up, spill the coffee, grab the rod! I cast the anchor line, start the trolling motor and the pursuit is on.
Downriver we go!
Steadily you gain some line, the boat slides up next to the fish and the fish screams away at a heart stopping pace! Slow down....turn around...the line is UNDER THE BOAT!!
Dropping the rod tip in the water, you keep the line tight. The boat maneuvers against the current, circles....ahhh, the fish is near the boat again, the rod is back up, still the fish surges on! Diving deep, you pull at the rod. Your arms are burning as the rod is sternly lowered and raised. Bringing the fish closer, inch by inch, the line, almost vertical alerts us to the fish presence. We strain to catch a glimpse of the magnificent one, the one in our dreams, could this be THE fish? Maybe...maybe-- this is THE fish!!!
As you continue to pull hard on the rod, your knuckles white, back aching, the fish reluctantly releases it's hold on the bottom.
You know the time is near.
You keep telling yourself to be patient, keep the tip up, the rod out, watch the line, and there! You see him. (Or was that a her?) You don't care, because now you see the chrome sides and dark back. YES! "It's a chromer!!" You shout, get the net ready, pull the fish closer, take a step back. No--- DON'T thrash! You lower the rod a bit, keeping the head in the water. Gently, you pull the fish towards the waiting net, almost there! One more! Down and back, lift the head! Swusshhh.
The net in one clean swoop envelopes the fish. Your fish! Your chrome bright LARGE Chinook. The ones dreams are made of.
Yes, this was your day, your dream come true. As you watch the struggling fish try to get free, to continue it's life long journey, a tear creeps into the corner of your eye.
For you know this is your fish, and to claim it, you must end it's journey. You are saddened by the reality, the struggle between life and death.
You reflect for a moment, make your peace and accept the value of life.
Life gives life, and therefore, will be welcomed.
Then you smile, for you know this fish will consume your heart as well as your pallet.
You are truly blessed, to live in the land of freedom, where you can choose to take part in the time honored pastime of fishing.
As you admire your catch, you wonder if another fish followed this one.
Oh, lets' get back!
Maybe there are more!
And so it goes, life on anchor, where the good times abound, all comfortable and warm, where we dream of silent fish invading our life. Are we really fishing?
Oh yes, we are fishing, as you cast a glance towards the fish box.
Fishing never felt so good.
Now you wonder aloud, can we fish tomorrow??
Enjoy!

Who am I to sit here and work, still?
The wild child needs a fish, dangit.
Who could resist, after reading that?
Dead hummingbirds I can do nothing about.
Dead fish?
Dead Ifish.net?
Just watch!

April 5th 2002

Columbia!
Columbia springer fishing at it's finest!

We hadn't fished in big water lately, and I forgot my sports bra. You may giggle, but this is a crucial part of fishing big water in a sled, for a gal. Talk about bone jarring smashes! But... I didn't need it! The water was glassy on the way over, the sun was out, and all was perfectly windless and calm! We cut through the water smoothly at around 45 mph.
I glanced at my watch. 10:00 A.M.
We were anchored and ready.
I was cocky-confident.
The tide was perfect.
My chrome and chartreuse Luhr Jensen K 13 Kwikfish wrapped, scented, and tuned perfectly. (You can tune a K 13, by how you wrap it.) It wiggled like a million bucks!
One and one half ounce of weight held me against the weak outgoing tide, and produced the perfect action.
I was out to break in my new Lamiglas Back bouncer!
I slipped it in the holder, grabbed my coffee, and eased myself into the comfortable seats.
"Bill, I'll have my fish in the next 15 minutes."
That's all I said. I grabbed a sandwich and sat back.
He laughed.
Springers. What do they say? Fish eight days before you land one? Ha! Not this year! I believe you will find this true for you, too, as the record runs enter the area.
This was my first trip on the Columbia, and conditions were ideal.
I fished confident. I do believe that is half the battle.
Fifteen minutes went by without a wiggle, but it didn't phase me.
At 10:46 I yelled, "There she is!!!"
I waited till I knew she was hooked, and grabbed the rod.
I was ready for the fight I remembered about these fish last year.
I didn't get it!
"Whimp fish!" I yelled at it, as it lazily dragged in, without screaming my reel once.
Why it didn't fight much, I'll never know, but it was a springer, and I really couldn't complain.
We had a cell phone brag line set up with all the ifish people. After pictures, weighing in, and bleeding the fish, I began to dial.
All day my phone rang, off and on, reporting locations, fish on and fish off. Reports of seals stealing fish on the line, etc.
Pretty soon, Bill's rod went down.
"Oh no!"
This means I have to net the fish!
Stress!
I'll tell you one thing.
When a fish hits my line, and I grab it, I am excited and hopeful. If I lose it, I lose it, and I'm never extremely upset.
If I am the netter, however, I feel extreme stress.
Nobody wants to lose Bill's fish by a bad net job. Believe me.
It's not that he would yell at me, or treat me badly, or even say one word. It's just that I know that it would break his heart.
I mis-netted a fish once and that was enough for me.
Actually, I feel this stress with anyone's fish. Spring chinook, especially.
As the fish came near, Bill moved to the front of the boat, and the fish wanted to stay behind the boat.
The fish was ready, and so was Bill, but that darn salmon wanted to come in on the swim deck!
Argh!
Bill didn't realize it, and forgot all about that deck. I angled the net in between the two, at an odd angle.
Swoosh and scoop! Luckily, it went well. Clumsy, but successful!
Two fish in the boat! Now that is a successful springer day!
As we headed back, the water was stillm windless and calm. We cut through the thick, still water, dodging tug boats and other water craft, and headed back up the canal to the launch.
Next stress: A busy, two lane, narrow boat launch.
Not a problem!
I had quite a walk to get back to the rig, lined up with the rest of the big boys, and backed her in, next to a big Ford 350, and jet sled.
Bill powered on, and we were out of there, faster than any team I had witnessed before us.
I have gotten really good at this trailer stuff!
It's funny to see how long it takes some people to get their business in order. I feel a lot of pride in our team work at the launch.
Thank God for my Dad, who taught me to simply keep my hand at the bottom of the steering wheel. Want the boat to go left? Turn your wheel to the left. Go right? To the right!
I've got it down now, so that I don't use that trick, but it sure helped to teach me!
One fish in the brine for smoking, one in the fridge for the BBQ tonight.
I'm a happy springer girl.


April 7th 2002

Kilchis wakes at 3 or 4 in the morning. Sometimes he just wants to climb under the covers. It gets cold in the morning, you know!
This time of morning, however, especially with daylight savings time in consideration, was just WAY too early for me today!
I finally got him back to sleep.
Up again at 6:30 or so, we shared several kisses and stretches, and a couple of sleepy giggles. (Dogs do laugh, you know.)
The daily routine is that the wiggly happy ones, (dogs) follow me, tripping and beating me with their waggly tails, down the stairs and to the laundry room, where the dog cookies are.
They stand at the door to go out with their treasures.
As I opened the door in my pre coffee stumble, I was stunned for a second.
I stood, longer than usual, with the door open, gazing out at the dim light.
The thick, moist, warm air of Spring hit me full and lush in the face. The forest, alive with the songs of several returning species of birds began to bring me to new life.
They are all here now.
One by one, I have noted the newcomers. The white and golden crowned sparrows, the purple finches, the hummingbirds. We had a pair of evening grosbeaks a couple weeks ago, and a Townsend's Warbler, who has since departed.
Spring time has never been my favorite season. I really get excited about Fall.
Sometimes I wonder if it has to do with memories of deaths of people that I was close to, throughout my life. I have had several people leave my life in the spring.
I lost my Mother, my Grandmother, my Grandfather, and several pets in the spring. (A couple of lost loves, also.)
I find it odd, that at a time when the world is celebrating new life, that I should reflect on loss.
To me, Fall means life! As all the leaves fall and die from the trees, as my tomato plants wither in the garden. As the side of the road to town turns dry, yellow, and brown... I celebrate! I celebrate the return of the fall salmon! I feel the excited anticipation of steelhead!
So, it is with mixed feelings that I open this door to spring.
I see incredible transformations.
The road maintenance crew has not mowed the side of the road yet. The lush new growth crowds the asphalt. Travel space becomes narrower each day. Overhanging leaves of green trees, long grasses and wild flowers dance beside my speeding truck.
It really is an eye treat!
Every day, I note each returning bird in a log.
The doors are open in the daytime, and the house is smelling fresher.
I worked in the garden last week, and felt so lucky to have such rich earth between my fingers, to work with! The weeds pulled out easily, leaving space for my imagination to go wild. What will I plant this year, and where?
Soon, the overgrown, weedy garden was an empty slate of rich, brown soil, just waiting to grow anything my heart desires!
I even wore a T shirt one day, and the sun felt so good on my skin.
Spring is here!
Perhaps this is the year that I will begin to heal from losing those I have loved. The natural world is beginning to come alive.
As I hold a delicate flower in my hand, I think... Could it be true? Is part of my Mother here in this flower? This lush forest? This cloudless sky? In the zillions of different colors of green that surround me?
Spring traditionally brings hope, and new life.
Is it just the anticipation of another spring chinook-- or do I really feel a touch of magic, in the hope of Spring this morning?

April 8th 2002

The Canyon at dawn

How can you wake to this, and stay indoors?
I tried for an hour or so, to work, uninterrupted, but a walk on the river was imminent. (Is imminent a homophone that I am misusing?)
The sun was shining. There was no wind.
The river is closed to fishing, which forces me to explore other wonders of the waterway. This, the season where ownership of the river is turned over to follies of fun. Kids swim, dogs retrieve, families raft.
I gazed at the rods on the rack, and instead picked up my camera, with a sigh.
My tennis shoes got wet, spitting dew, as I made my way across the lawn to the river's edge. I was joined by the dogs, who found the water slow and inviting. Too much to resist! The sandy beaches... the worlds biggest sandbox. They raced over the fresh tracks of elk and deer, so that I could barely make out who had visited in the night.

Kilchis and Dee Dee

The canyon was quiet, except for the growling fight for ownership of the last of several Frisbees, left unchewed. We played fetch, and disturbed the still pool where I wouldn't even consider breaking the water last month. The splash of the Frisbee made me cringe, as it hit where my lure usually lands, anticipating a steelhead or salmon to take.
I spooked the fish! Argh!
Doesn't matter, the river is closed.

Further upstream, the sun hit the water, filtering through the trees. See that strip of still water towards the rocks? Many a fly has hit there, and been voraciously taken by a sea run cutt. Many a jig, attacked by a steelhead. I'll have to get my fly rod ready. I'll run up to the house, put it together and...
Oh yeah, the river's closed.
I giggled as I remembered the deep voice of a long ago fishing friend. "Jennie, you only need 6 flies in your box. But I'll take the other 2000 anyway..."

Water water water

As I moved upstream, I sat to take in the song of the stream, where the rocks are now exposed in the lower, spring water levels.
I longed for the sound of aluminum screaming against the rocks, as I fished downstream, alerting me to the fact that a drift boat was coming. (One that didn't know how to navigate this river correctly!)
It's the guides coming down river that always surprised me, sneaking, with stealth, through this rapid. I could see scrapes of aluminum on the rocks.
The kids are going to have fun this year! This is their Jacuzzi and their inner tube hole! Known to spend hours here, Andrew and David set up camp here, and I often don't see them all day!

The river now belongs to the late native steelies, safe, to make their journey.
The river belongs to the kids, climbing trees that overhang the river. Letting free, they land with a splash.
The river belongs to the dogs, racing along the shore lines, chasing the ducks, and shore birds.
My role as predator is finished for the time being. (I count the days. It's been nine now...) I am merely a guest.
It's all good, I decided, to walk along the river, with a different perspective.
I can wait. The river will open again.
But as I wait, I study the bottom of the river bed to see how it has changed, and where the fish may lie this fall.
I know where I have lost jigs, and lures.
Last year I paid the kids 50 cents for every retrieved fishing item.
I wonder if the price has gone up?
As I wandered back up the hill, through the lawn, and into the house, I sat down at my desk, noting my soaked shoes.
Should have worn my waders, I thought... Should have tried a jig and shrimp tail.
No fish this morning?
Oh yeah, the river's closed.
As I sit here, recalling yesterdays walk in the sunshine, I note that I left my office window open yesterday, letting the warm air breeze through.
A cold blast of wind and rain just hit me in the face.
Reminds me of winter.
Reminds me of steelhead, of salmon, of waders, and rain coats, and neck warmers, and fingerless gloves..
Reminds me to go make coffee to put in the thermos, perhaps grab some smoked salmon.
Don't forget the shrimp, hooks sharp, rods rigged...
Load up the drift boat...
and sit in my office and dream.
I check the regulation book just to make sure.
Uh huh. The Kilchis river is closed.

April 11th 2002

Off to Portland, to take my truck in for a couple small repairs at Doherty.
Then, to buy supplies for ifish, and... and.... OK! I'm going to Nordies!
I really wanted to go fishing, but Bill says the weather is lousy. SO???

April 14th 2002

It was a busy weekend for all internet fishermen!
F4 turned sounded to be a whole lot of fun, as seen on the ifish discussion board, and on Piscatorial Pursuits. Many thanks go to Gizmo and Thumper for organizing a huge event.
Haven't checked yet, but I wouldn't doubt coverage on Marty's board also!
It was unfortunate for all, that the fin clipping for The Tillamook Anglers was Saturday, the same day as the Flotilla 4. This enabled the Washington team to win the tournament. (Oh! OW!!!)
Many of our finest Oregon fishermen met, Saturday, to clip fins at The Whiskey Creek Hatchery.
We had an absolute tremendous turnout! Usually, fin clipping takes place until 2:30 P.M. or so, from the 8:00 A.M. start time. We were done clipping hundreds of thousands of salmon by lunch!
We clipped along at an amazing pace!
It reminded me of a busy bank fishing hole! Most often, people were two deep, waiting behind the main line, in anticipation to grab their spot.

I showed up at 8:30 AM, and that was too late! I had to wait my turn to clip!
Everyone was interested in seeing just how this was done. It was not uncommon to have three people glancing over your shoulders to learn the procedure.

Clipping the tiny adipose!

Everyone was interested in seeing just how this was done. It was not uncommon to have three people glancing over your shoulders, taking pictures, trying to learn the procedure.
Handling the little chinook was an awesome experience.
Finally, it was my turn.
Standing in front of the conveyer stream, you are given about 30 fish at a time. I was SO afraid I couldn't see well enough, but I could!
The fish delivery man nets them out of the tranquilizer tank, and deposits them in your bucket. Many clippers wore gloves, but I liked to feel those little guys. I needed all the Braille help I could get, and feeling where the fin was helped me out, tremendously.
Holding the little fish, you clip their fin, and count: One, two, three... until you get to ten. You shout "Ten!" when you get ten, and the fish counter records your clippings. Then you are back to one. If you run out of fish, you stand back and yell, "Fish!" until your bucket is again, filled. Hypnotic work.
It reminded me of the cold nights, working at Smucker's Cannery in Canby, when I was a teenager. I sorted strawberries, standing beside that freezing conveyor belt for hours on end.
This, however, was rewarding! These little fish? These are miniature spring salmon! I am certain to appreciate my work in the coming years when I might land one of my own fin clipped fish!
As you lay them gently in the stream of water, you bid them farewell, knowing full well you are sending them out on a dangerous journey. They are flushed down the stream, and out of sight.
A bit like sending your kids off to College when they are 18!
Take care! Be good! Be careful!
Come back home to Mama, little salmon-- the door is always open!
It was extremely rewarding, and I am very proud of all the "parents" who helped out.
It was the most fun, for me, to see the children of these adults become involved. Children, under 12, stood at the line, methodically clipping fins, with a very serious concentration going on!
We were all rewarded by a wonderful lunch, sponsored by the community.
Jerry Dove and The Tillamook Anglers have so much to be proud of!
Thank you, Tillamook Anglers, for what you have done! Thank you to the community, for your food donations! Thank you to all who showed up to participate!
It's a network of support that keeps us fishing in the Tillamook Rivers.
See, Salem? See what the volunteers can do? Just watch!

April 15th 2002

Yesterday was a bad day.
I have never had a ticket or an accident in my entire history of driving.
Wait! That's not entirely true. Once, when driving a friend's car, which had much more power than mine, I got a ticket for speeding. I had no idea I was going that fast!
I went to court and the judge made me stand in front of the whole court as an example. He said something like... "This woman, in 20 years of driving has never had a ticket. Let her be an example for all of you" Then he proceeded to take the ticket off of my record and set me free. YAY!
It was a bit embarrassing, but at the same time I was rightfully proud.
I still have no ticket to my name, but...
Yesterday, I was parked at Costco in Warrenton.
I backed out of my spot, and began to proceed forward. I moved two feet, and realized that my right tire had not cleared the parking island. Man! Ford Explorers go anywhere! I actually went up on the curb with my right wheel with little or no gas! I felt like a mountain climber!
I scanned around me, as usual. No cars in site. I glanced in my rear view. No cars. I turned around to my right, and glanced over my right shoulder while coming off the curb, and backing two feet to clear the island.
Crunch!
After looking to my left, and while turned to look to my right, a gal in a small car had zipped around me on my left, and drove behind me, into my vacant parking space. That fast!
She was honking like mad! Too late, I had already hit her.
"Where did you come from? I mean, she came around me so fast, that I didn't even see her! I think she was in a great hurry to get my spot. It was a good spot! Second in line toward the store.
Anyway, filled out the police report, and surveyed the damage.
I had nothing but a paint smear on my bumper, but she had a small dent and a scrape.
She still thinks it was my fault. I don't think it was my fault at all.
I think she should have waited before zipping behind me.
Anyway, I had my first accident. It happened. It bums me out.
On my way out of Warrenton, Chris Sessions called. He wanted me to see his new boat. It is SO gorgeous! We had breakfast, and thank God for Chris! He has a good shoulder to cry on! :) I'll post pictures of his new boat soon. It is SO beautiful!
On top of everything else, my zip drive, loaded with data, got a serious illness called, "The click of death". It's all replaceable, but still... 250 zip disks aren't cheap, and the work to recover the info will take a while.
My ATT cell phone connects to my auto charger and says, "Charger Connected!" Well good! But then it proceeds to tell me, "Not charging".
???
I have been through three phones, two chargers, and a two cars to try and isolate the problem. ??? Perhaps a new Ford Expedition will solve the problem?
"Hello, ATT?"
"We appreciate your patience. Your expected wait time is approximately 56 minutes." Ever cook dinner, serve dinner, and do the dishes with a phone nestled in your neck? Permanent neck kink!
Came home to my Teva sandals chewed up in small black chunks, all over the bedroom floor. Glanced outside to find 5 holes dug in the lawn by our beloved Kilchis.
I think he was stating his dissatisfaction of my absence yesterday.
Spent last night tossing and turning with jaw pain. I think I have to have another root canal.
Now, come on!
Today is a new day! Things have got to get better! They will! They have to!
I was going to go fishing with Bill in the Willamette today or tomorrow, but the CFS is up to... 109565???
What? Oh my....
I'm going to handle biz today.
Allstate? This is Jennie.
Dentist? This is Jennie.
Shoe store? Nah....
Trick I learned for doggie dug holes: Place doggie doo in the holes, or a blown up balloon. I'll try them both!
I'm off to the races. Things are starting to look up!
On the lighter and brighter side, I got a new trailer hitch, and I'm going to tell you all about it soon!
It is the COOLEST boy toy!
Already, parked at Costco, I have gotten two inquiries.
"Wow! That girl has the coolest trailer hitch! Must be driving her boyfriend's truck".
NOT! :):):)
That trailer hitch is mine all mine and I love it!
Just wait till I post a picture. You too, will be drooling over Jennie's trailer hitch!
Now for a boat! My very own boat! Yeah... I need a boat!
Hey, I can dream, can't I?

April 17th 2002

Having a bad day?
Slip Bonnie Raitt's new CD, "Silver Lining" into your car CD player and just see what it does for you! I was rockin' down the road in no time!
It's amazing what good music does for me! The old days come back, and I crank it up so that even my kids whine, "Mommmmmm!"
I feel I should turn it down as I pass by my neighbors, out to get their mail. After all, I'm over 40.
How embarrassing!
I can just hear them, as they walk into their kitchens... "You know David and Andrew's Mom? She's nuts! She plays her car stereo so loud, I can hear the bass booming for miles before she gets here!"
Guilty as charged. SO? :)
Hey, it makes me FEEL good!
--and feel good I do, thanks to Bonnie!
I'm sure I baffle them, as one day it's Bonnie, the next, Randy Travis, the next Chopin.... ??? I like all music! Gimme a little Van Halen, too! But whatever you do, play it LOUD! This Ford Explorer is the best sound system on wheels that I have had yet!
Last night I took the dogs out for a walk after dinner. My weapon of choice? My camera.

Kilchis river, at higher levels of flow~

My little creek of a river has grown! There is barely room on the sandy banks to be able to see the tracks of deer or elk.
I laughed out loud when I threw a stick over the creek that feeds the river at the lower boundary. It usually runs about 2 feet wide. It was five! Kilchis leapt over it like a wild man! I had him do it over and over, just for the giggles! He laughed with me. We had a ball.
He's no longer afraid of the water. Mom is! After conversing with Dee Dee about a mouse she was digging for, I looked up to see Kilchis, midriver, in fast current, going down even faster!
"Kilchis! Get back here!" Lesson learned, I think. He was a bit shaken.
Yesterday I got tons of necessary business items accomplished.
Today, I finish up, then play!
I have two items of interest on my mind.
1. A bird photography blind:
I have so many new spring birds! (Yes, birdy, birdy, wheee!) :):)
I still have juncos. They haven't left yet! Will they? I have new white and golden crowned sparrows-- and purple finches and hummingbirds! They are thick!
I just love the purple finches. Their beaks are so large, they remind me of tropical birds. They are gorgeous, and fascinating to watch feed.
I'm going to build a blind in the corner of the feeding area so I can hide, and take close up pictures.
Time to get out the Nikon camera book and refresh myself on some of the zillions of settings. I am new at this, you know!
2. Fishing the Wilson. Since the Columbia and the Willamette are blown, I'm either going to grab my TH bobber rod, a bobber and jig, and go after the late steelies--or--grab the drift boat with Bill and go on down. You know, there might... just might be a springer in there!
I could always use another TH rod! Check the contest! I think lots of people have forgotten that there is still a rod available for the Spring Chinook Contest! You take the rod if you follow the rules, and get the longest springer this year!
Remember to get your ifish hat! You must have one to win!
Good luck!
I'm off to take David to school.
"David, wear ear plugs. Mom's going to embarrass you with ear blasting Bonnie Raitt music on the way to school."
Yes, neighbors.... I am David's Mom, and I'm not turning it down!
I'm just going to smile and wave!

April 17th 2002 later!

See the likeness? :)

My little hummy harrier!

Or this? Awesome!
P.S.-- If you know of a good photographer that would like to have the opportunity to get this close to a hummy, let me know, I'd be glad to share. Even if you aren't a good photographer!!!
This opportunity shouldn't be wasted! :)
I had a great time!

April 19th 2002

I don't want you all to be really green with envy, but the fact of the matter is you should be.
Look what I have!


Magnum Quick Draw
Hitching System

I needed a trailer hitch! Man, do I ever have a deluxe hitch now!
Bill is green with envy! Guess whose rig will be pulling the sled now!
Last winter, we had a friend's drift boat stored in the yard. I had total permission from the owner to use it. But no one had a tow ball that would fit it! Now I do! I can pull anything with the "pull of a pin" now! Just hook me up! Bring that boat back, Jack! :) I'm towing!
No more shin scrapes! When I'm not using it, I can fold it under. Nifty!

Of course, I'm not going to. Who in their right mind would want to hide that beauty? It just looks... Beefy! Beautiful!
I have the baked on black powder coat finish, but it also comes in durable chrome!
It's a boy toy, I know, but I love it!
It has a 5 1/2" rise or drop at 1" intervals just by pulling a pin.
Bill's hitch sits too low, and every time we tow, everything in the sled slides forward. No more! Adjust it! :)
You can learn more about The Quick Draw Hitching System by writing to our very own discussion forum's, MOFISH.
Or call him direct! He is so pumped by this product, that he'd be glad to talk to you about it.
His real name is Todd. Phone him here: # 503-799-5154.
Todd has been a great supporter of ifish, a friend of our rivers, and of our fisheries.
Amongst many other good deeds, he helped set up the Eagle Creek Cleanup by providing the dumpster, and buying you all breakfast! What a guy! And what a hitch he has to offer!
By the way, The Eagle Creek Cleanup gathered around 1,095 pounds of trash!
***
I'd love to do a new clean up on the Kilchis this summer. Think how fun it could be! Bring the kids and the inner tubes! We'll do a float cleanup! I want to try and find pieces of our trampoline. I'm doing it with the kids, anyway. Afterwards, back to the house for a bbq!
JOIN US? E mail me!
***
My thought process has changed over the course of owning/operating ifish.
I recall the days when I was SO excited to have 1000 visitors in one day... or hey! 1000 hits! Man, I am old if I can remember that!
Now that we usually hit around 3000 unique visitors a day, I get excited about 250k hits in one day. Whee!
The interesting, and changed part, is that when hits are down, I get excited too! I know that when hits are down, people are out fishing, or outside because the weather is nice!
You can see that the activity on the board slows. It makes me stop and think, "Hey! My friends on ifish are having good days out of doors!-- No one is fighting!" Long stretches of bad weather and blown out rivers cause the board to get heavy use. That's great, but it also brings fishless tempers that flare more easily.
Let's not get too happy outside, though! There is a fine balance! Nice to see you are out fishing, but please, do come back! :) Please, drop in and share with us how you are doing!
Today is my fun day. Clamming or the Wilson? Hmmmm! I'll let you know what I did, later!
Oh! I have some pictures from F4 that I am working on getting out. They were sent in by Glenn Garrett. I'll share soon!

April 21st 2002

The annual Association of Northwest Steelheaders Banquet was held last night at the Portland Airport Holiday Inn.
I always find it inspiring to be in a group of people dedicated to saving our fisheries.
I was so tempted to have ifish make a donation to The Association of Northwest Steelhead Heritage Society.
I still might. I'm working on it!
I think that ifish should support these sport fishing groups. The Steelheaders, and NSIA, also.
I was left with this most pertinent thought, afterwards:
Our fishing future lies in the hands of our youth.
I took a class by the ODFW on teaching kids to fish, and I'm so glad I did. I recommend this to all of you! At least, I can take other kids to fish!
My kids don't like to fish so much. I really believe that you are just born with the desire, or not.
I hope I am wrong. Or perhaps it skips a generation? This illness? This affliction? This syndrome?
Perhaps, like other things, you raise them in the way you want them to go. They may stray, but they'll come back.
I surely gave it my best shot when I began taking them at the early age of two and three. Perhaps that was too early to be standing out in the rain? :)
I remember gathering all of their toys, early in the morning, and driving them out to the Columbia Beaches in the summer. They played in the sand for hours, as I fished for silvers.
When I had a fish on, I'd scream and yell and have a grand time. It somehow never set the hook for them. They'd rather build a castle!
Andrew was born legally blind. I was lucky enough to have the handicap ramp at N.F Nehalem to take him to fish for Kings.
After he would land yet another salmon, I'd ask him, "Andrew, how was that?!?!
"Well, they are kind of heavy, Mom..."
Argh! I would die to get to fish there! Do you need some help with that fish, Andrew? :)
For those of you lucky enough to have children who love to fish, take advantage of it! Take them often!
You are blessed!
Know that these are the people that will join N.W. Steelheaders and Tillamook Anglers in their pursuits! These are the next generation of ifishers!
I was quite envious of the Dads at the fin clipping who had children, standing in line, scissors in hand, helping out beside them.
I wanted my kids there too.
I struggled with a reason to require that they go, but came up blank. They don't fish for these hatchery fish, or not very often, anyway.
If I forced them to go, I am quite sure they would have enjoyed it. But at the same time, I wanted to let them make up their own mind.
They chose to stay home.
I was a bit heart broken.
Perhaps someday the salmon generation cycle will come full circle.
They will have wonderful memories of fishing with their Mom.
They'll grow up. They'll go to rock concerts, go to college, live in the big city, get married and then finally (!) start to think...

"Remember the good old days?"

Columbia Silvers

Andrew will call David on his satellite phone some day, or e mail him, living half way across the state, or perhaps across the United States, and say...
"David? Let's get our families together and go fish on the Columbia River Beaches.."
(They will still be open and the runs will be wonderful, because your children worked to save the runs!)
And their kids will LOVE IT! And they will be the generation that will join the Steelheaders, and NSIA, and The Oregon Wildlife Heritage Association!
And one day... one of my Grand Children will have a web page.
And it will be called: www.ifish.net.

April 22nd 2002

Bill and I ducked branches, slid down hills, and struggled to find casting areas along the Wilson River yesterday.
Found some great holes to fish, if only I could learn to stay upright on the slippery rocks, while side casting!
Either I ended up in an unstable slippery position, or the tree got my jig!
Bill caught a pretty broodstock fish, and I landed an alder tree. We put both of them back.
Still, it was beautiful out on the river yesterday! Visited with Pat Able, as he made his way down the river with a boat load of happy fishermen.
Later, I convinced a friend's Mother to take David overnight, so that he could make it to Jazz Band in the morning.
Bill and I made a trip date with David Johnson to fish Springers, and we figured we'd have to leave really early.
I take David to Jazz Band every morning. I thought I would hate it! It's a round trip drive of 30 miles at 7 in the morning. But I wanted David to have this opportunity, because he worked hard to get into the band.
It's turned out to be great! David and I have our quality time every morning!
Anyway, the trip with David Johnson got canceled somehow. Bill and I didn't want to waste the opportunity to leave for fishing early. We used up our ride for my son David, so we decided to go ourselves.
Off to fish Springers... Will report later.

April 23rd 2002

Goldfinch!

Guess who showed up today?
I'm so thrilled! Last year they were earlier! My Goldfinch! It is so fun when they first show up!!! YAY!

April 25th 2002

Get out the calculator and help me figure this out.
If I want my health insurance to pay for a root canal, I need to wait until Tuesday, when the preferred provider can do it. The doc has no openings until then.
Now... If I go today and have it done, I pay $1200.00 out of my pocket. I looked in my pocket. I have $4.53.
How much work does Jennie lose in 5 days if she is too sick to work? I'll tell you. It isn't anywhere close to 1200.00 so put away that calculator!
I have had a fever for a week and some days now. Don't want to work, don't want to fish.
You know that if I don't want to go fishing, something is seriously wrong. I did go fishing on Monday, but it wasn't much fun. I slept on the way there, and on the way home. In between calls to doctors and endodontists, I slept off and on all day yesterday.
Perhaps if I would have caught a springer, I wouldn't be sick right now?
Do I need a root canal, or a springer?
When the sun is out, the steaks are on the bbq, the kids are out in the yard playing with Kilchis, and little goldfinch are visiting my feeders, it is tough not to join them all! I want to go outside and play! I want to feel good!
Instead, I lay on the couch watching the news.
When I watched the events of 911 on television, I was horrified, like everyone else. I do not remember crying once. I may have, but it was insignificant. I was left with visions that haunted me. It changed my life.
Last night on the news, a Portland Policeman held his dog's dish in front of the camera. The dog had been on the second floor of the World Trade Center, waiting for his owner to pick him up.
A rush of tears flowed freely, as he spoke about the loss of his friend.
Was it my fever? My general malaise that made me so vulnerable to emotion?
I turned to Bill and explained. He felt the same way.
The story hit me hard. I love my pets so much that it brought it all home to me.
OK, enough!
I'm going to be happy today! It was going to rain today, but there has been a revised forecast. Sunshine again!
Get out the Advil.
I'm going to watch my goldfinch, play with the boys in the yard, plant flowers, and barbecue salmon tonight!
I don't care how badly I feel. I can wait until Tuesday.
Twelve hundred dollars to be well?
I think not.
Give me a day of sunshine.

April 25th 2002 later...

I figured it out!
Key to wellness:

  1. Make sure to get the news out about the May 7th meeting, here in Tillamook. Be there! I don't care what you have planned. Cancel it, and BE THERE!

  2. Paint your toenails bright pink!

  3. Take the new sandals that you bought at the last Nordies Sale out of the box and put them on.
  4. Go strut your toes! :)
    I feel SO MUCH BETTER!!!

 

April 26th

The Columbia closes Sunday night.

Yada yada yada... I could write my frustrations, and did... But I deleted them.
Who is at fault? Give me your version!
----
Since the two little male American Goldfinch (Carduelis tristis) showed up the other day, I couldn't for the life of me find my other thistle feeder. Mark, of First Cast Jigs, and his wife had given me a big box of thistle, and I was anxious to use it.
The bird population at our house is divided between "his" and "hers".
Bill spends most of his off time at the kitchen table, which looks out onto the porch. This back deck is adorned with almost 20 feeders. He had the thistle feeder where the American Goldfinch were.
Outside my office window, I have a little private area, where I feed birds also. I have under 10 feeders, but the area is well hidden and the birds feel protected there. I often have as many birds in this little area, as Bill does out back.
We often shout back and fourth about our visitors. We have beaten a path between both viewing areas.
Yesterday I bought another finch feeder. It wasn't 2 minutes after I hung it, and walked indoors, that heard it!
My open window filled with the sounds of "per-chick-o-ree". I was shouting for Bill and searching for my camera! I couldn't believe it! I had 10 goldfinch on one feeder! ---8, 9, and yes! 10!!!
I finally located my camera, but between trying to shoot through the glass without reflection, and getting close enough, I missed my chance at capturing 10 on disk.

But I did get 5 of them!

I couldn't stop staring!
They are all males! Where are the females? Females are much duller, as are males outside the breeding season, with some gray.
During breeding the male is bright yellow with black forehead, tail and black on the edge of the wings. They are so brilliant!
The wings are barred with white, which makes them stand out even more.
I have one male that will be fun to watch and identify. He is missing his black forehead on one side!
O.K., so the Columbia is closing Sunday, and yes, I am very depressed about that.
Somehow, these American Goldfinch lighten the blow, just a bit. :)
Note: If you plan on feeding Goldfinch, or any breed of birds via hanging bird feeders, be sure and clean up beneath the feeder, and keep the feeder fresh and dry. Click here to read more about mold in bird feeders. Scroll down to April 18th.

April 26th later...

Got 'em now!

April 27th

The Daily Oregonian loved my Goldfinch picture, below, and bought it from me! Yay!
Does that make me a pro? No... But I'm honored! :)
I received a letter from Bill Monroe today... I'll post it, along with his column for The Sunday edition of the Daily Oregonian on the board.
Click here for the column.

Jen,

Thanks for the chance to reach your ifish members. I read some of the threads from time to time and know they're very passionate about their fishing, to say the least. A few of them also have taken the time and energy to step back, educate themselves and keep the bigger picture in mind over the cobweb that has become fisheries management in this area.
That said, I also want to follow up on a few things in Sunday's column, spun off a comment by someone named Blackdog concerning my support for both native American and commercial fisheries. Incidentally, I don't know who he or she is and apologize in advance if any personal insult was taken. It certainly wasn't meant. The comment about having no spine was simply a very convenient tool to carry a larger message.
First, please understand that by in large, I am not told what to write, who to support, what not to write or anything else. I am mostly my own spokesman, not a mouthpiece for anyone or the newspaper. I say mostly because, of course, I am edited for style, grammar and occasionally for taste, since even I get hot under the collar sometimes. And, unfortunately, at this moment outdoor pursuits such as hunting and fishing aren't as high a priority as other issues and news, so I don't get as much space as I'd like. I also am winding up my year as president of the national Outdoor Writers Association of America, which has kept me pretty busy. With that done, I promise to devote more time to fishing and hunting coverage.
But back to the spring chinook questions.
From my view, anyone who considers this their personal fishery or the sole realm of sportfishing has their head in the sand. Spring chinook are valuable to us as sport and edible fish, but they're just as important to those who don't fish…and who DO pay taxes that support federal and state hatcheries. Those hatcheries are under intense fire right now and you folks are wasting a lot of valuable energy carping back and forth when you could be going to meetings, writing personal letters (not signed form letters) and making telephone calls. Ifish has a powerful voice if you use it collectively.
Yes, the tangle (OK, gill) netters got more than we did this year, but everyone knew going in that this was a continuing experiment. Yes, there were isolated cases of abuses among the commercial fishermen and I challenge you to show me that sport anglers don't also have their dark shadows. And yes, the steelhead take with 5 1/2 inch mesh was unfortunate, but that message is loud and clear. The courts and the conservation community will oversee the corrections next spring…if the run is large enough again to support fishing like that.
Remember too (and this didn't get into the column because of space) that this is only the second time in more than 20 years we got to fish out there in April. On an endangered species, that's pretty good.
It saddens me to sometimes read messages like those comparing native American treatment to gas chambers and wishing "they were the endangered species." What on earth would cause anyone to talk like that about another human being? Even in jest? Without tribal power in the courts right now, we wouldn't have any fishery at all…and probably far fewer hatcheries.
Hatcheries certainly aren't the panacea our forefathers envisioned, but they will have a place in restoring runs unless you guys (and that's only generic, apologies to the ladies) continue bickering and sitting around on your thumbs between emails. This computer and internet business is very convenient for bitching…no names, no real effort, no one to shut you up in a bar or to shout over to be heard…just fire away with or without thinking and go mow the lawn.
But with a little thought, you could make a difference every time you sign on.
Jennie asked me how to get through to the complainers, especially those who used to be here and are apparently ranting aimlessly on some other site now…she wondered how to make her and you all understand…how to cope with the constant carping.
I told her she and many of you have too much work to do to worry about the others and to consider the source and let the water roll off the goose…In other words, ignore you.
"I couldn't disagree more," she told me…"they have passion, energy and want to do well and what's right."
She was, of course, absolutely right.
So my suggestion then is to stop and think before you respond to a situation or an event. Weigh the arguments, arm yourself with facts…not just what you want to believe…and find constructive ways to contribute.
And for god's sake, please spellcheck your posts. Nothing, but nothing, causes a reader to pass by a perfectly good thought more quickly than mispelled (I mean misspelled) words.
I should quit, since I've probably lost some of you by now. I hope not, though. You have a voice and you are being watched by much of the public who never responds, but ends up making value judgments about us all based on what they see.
Show them some public responsibility.
Well, I guess I'll go look for that spine now.

Thanks again for the ear,
Bill Monroe

P.S. I forgot to encourage any of you to contact me any time at
[email protected] (home) or [email protected] (work).
I would far prefer to talk on the phone, though...503-221-8231 local or 888-222-8231,
toll-free to my desk.
Like Jennie, Jerry Dove and a few others of you, I always sign my name.
That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

April 30th

zzzzz ....whattimeizzit?
I have to drive to Portland, hop in Bill's boat, catch a chinook, be driven across the river to the endodontist, get this darn tooth fixed, and come home! I'm tired! :)
Have a bunch of new Evening Grosbeak at the feeders yesterday, and 6 wild pigeons!
The summer birds are here!
I'm going to go stare at the weather forecast on the net for a while, and see if the pictures of sunshine will wake me up!
I am going to get well! As soon as this tooth is fixed I'll be well, and the sun will shine, and the fish will bite and the world will be all fishy again!

 

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