Fishing The Coast, Oregon and Washington
August 2003

Fishing Life

August 1st

What a way to start the month! I'm going fishing!

August 2nd

Fishing was a hoot, but most of all, it was just nice being out in the boat. Moments after anchoring, Bill's rod bent over! A nice four pound little hen steelie! Dinner!
Moments later, it happened again, but this time, he crackered it off. He was using a K 13 Orange Kwikfish. ... Uh...I wasn't!

Bill's first 2003Nehalem Fish!

We fished Puget Island, out of Westport. They were doing a dredge operation, and we weren't sure if that would mess up fishing, but guess not!
I am so proud to announce the pre opening of ifish's ISP business. You can't order yet, but be sure to reserve your name now, so that it won't be gone when you decide to sign up! We will be offering specials when it opens, and I doubt you can match the prices I have heard mentioned. I know that I can't, with my ISP!
On the way home, I pointed to the bathrooms at the Ghost Hole on Tillamook Bay. I excitedly said, "Bill! Only two more months and it's Fall Chinook!" He said, "Two months? Five weeks!"
Out of curiosity, I asked Bill where in the world our Fall salmon are, right now. Does anyone know? When you catch a chinook out in the ocean right now, are those our fall salmon, or are those salmon heading to California? Where, in their travels, are our fall fish? I'm curious!
So, I'm not the only one counting the days. T Bay Fall hawgs is really my very favorite season! I've been noting alder leaves falling from the trees, and on the way to Portland, vine maples are already turning a bright red! Whooo hooooo! Fall, you guys!
Buoy 10 reports so far are slow, but it's coming right up! As soon as the ocean closes, I'm sure Buoy 10 will be heating up! You guys! It's time! My very favorite time of year! Fall salmon, EVERYWHERE!
The Nehalem was packed to the brim with boats. We took a spin through the take out to talk with a guy just taking his boat out. The report for yesterday was pretty slow. A couple taken at the jaws, and that's it, as far as he told us.
When I got home, I cooked a nice dinner, and headed out to the river with Kilchis... and... MOLLY! I couldn't believe my eyes! For some reason, the cats that I've owned have not liked the open river beach. Molly loves it! She runs along side Kilchis at full speed! She follows me on walks! I really love it, and it makes me giggle most of the way. She followed me all the way down the river, stopping to fight with vines and pouncing on crispy leaves that skitter along the rocks in the wind. She jumps from rock to rock, over river puddles.
It does frighten me that she is so fearless. As I recall several lost cats, the Kilchis River valley seems a dangerous place for a small creature. Kittens, and even full grown cats make nice snacks for the bobcats, cougars, and raccoons.
I'm keeping a close watch on my baby, and locking her in at night.
Jack, our grown cat, refuses to play the game with us. He refuses to come in when called, is independent as all get out, and shows up when he darn well pleases. I worry about him, but he seems very wild-wise. His 4 years of experience in the wilderness seems to prove his smarts. I can only hope that he remains safe. Each and every time he shows up to eat, I breath a sigh of relief, and report my "Jack sighting" to Bill. He's gone this morning, and I'm holding my breath, yet again.
Next fishing adventure? The Nehalem. I have plans to go on Sunday. See you there, if you venture out. I rarely go on weekends, but... a girl has got to keep fishing, or risk being a grump at work. Right?

August 5th

It's four in the morning, and I'm exhausted... I fell asleep around midnight. Molly, the new kitty, was purring and licking and playing on my head. I woke up with her draped across my neck, lifeless. She was just sound asleep... It scared me.
Yesterday ifish moved to it's permanent home, hopefully! We moved to the Opus Interactive host, with my very own server! It's running like a dream, isn't it? I bought the SCSI drives, and we have our own dedicated server! It's kind of fun that I bought and paid for the server, but it really belongs, at this point, to my Bank of America, Alaska Visa. I bet they are proud, too!
Welcome to the board, Stevens Marine used boats! Now, when you are looking for a used boat, check the Ifish classifieds, and then wander over to Stevens to see what they have on their site! They have been gracious enough to host the Boats and Tackle For Sale board on Ifish! Thanks, Stevens!
Yesterday, I also spent hours going through all the prizes for ifishstock, separating them into door prize bags. We have a lot of neato stuff!
I had a rough night last night, though. The boys threw a game controller against the wall, while fighting. They fight so rarely. People have always been amazed at their close relationship. When they do, it shocks me. So, after they did that, both Bill and I ran into the room, yelling at them. "What is going on?" This surprised them, too, and escalated into an unusual shouting match. Now, the boys have no controllers, nor do they have remote controls, or mouses for computers. This is their punishment. I'm afraid that they will wither away and die without them. --Or, perhaps they will learn to canoe better, or fly fish, or find some really neato agates, or reinvent the basketball hoop, outside the back door. They will make it, and perhaps be better for it, when they finally get their hands on those electronics, again.
Four hours of sleep makes it difficult to get ready for fishing, but that's what I'm trying to do. Somehow, though, the thought of sitting here typing is more inviting. I must stop. I must take a shower, get my gear together, and climb in the truck, in the early morning mist, with Bill.
Bill better not put me at the tiller though. It would be a whole new chapter of "Asleep at the wheel!"
Off I go, back by noonish, I guess.
If where you live, you hear my boys screaming in misery with a bad case of electronics withdrawal, please ignore them, and go fishing, yourself. That's why I'm leaving. I am an easy target, and don't think I could do this, unless I simply left the house.
I'll give them back, when I get home, but I'm not telling them that... and there is no way they can read my column while I am gone. I have the mouses!
Ohhhhhhhh... I am a cruel Mother! They'll probably call child services, and tell them there Mother is a fishing bum that leaves them alone, with no form of entertainment, for days on end!
Can you tell this is hard on me, too? Oh well! Off to fish!

August 5th later...

One large salmon and a few hours later, (Yes, I had to teach Jim and Bill how it's done!) They don't learn very fast, however, because they couldn't seem to hook up. Am I a bad teacher? Perhaps. :)
We got run off the water by the electrical storm. It's wild out today!
I chose the contest winner for the monthly ifish fishing trip, by spinning the official ifish carrot! How funny! Guess who it landed on? A member of the carrot team, Chris Wesley! Congrats, Chris! Have fun with Talons!
Please, feel free to enter the contest for Chris Vertopolous! How exciting! Thanks, Chris!

August 7th

Wow! I got up early this morning!
I am so busy getting ready for ifishstock 2003. I have so many prizes to sort through!
I have to do maintenance on the board tonight. Someone tell me not to forget. Thus, the board will be down for a bit.
I have this new game I play at night. The blackberries are coming on, here on the Kilchis. They are huge this year, again! You have to walk a bit to find the big ripe ones. I walk until I find a really good one. Some are sour. If I find a good one, I try to leave it at that, rejoice in the sweet after taste, and walk on, not being tempted by another. That doesn't always work! So, say I pick another, and it's sour. Well, then I have to keep going until I find a big one that isn't sour! Needless to say, I walk for hours in the evening, Kilchis romping at my heels, or racing to catch dippers. Dee Dee prefers to stay at my side. Molly scampers from rock to rock, occasionally hides in the bushes and sometimes gets stuck in the heavy brambles of the berries, and pathetically meows to ask for rescue.
My kids are older now, and don't join me much. I have replaced those constant companions with four legged ones.
The water in the river is flat, low and calm. It's amazing to stand still before it, and imagine the winter's heavy currents. Tiny smolt and fry jump in the evening light. I've always wanted to see a fire fly. I imagine, as the dim light picks up the silvery sides of the smolt, and flickers against the golden hue of the sunset before it disappears into the flat water, that it must be similar. Soon, the river's palette is erased, the show is over, and the sun is almost down.
I gaze down to my feet and realize that there are golden, crispy leaves scattered about the rocks. This always brings warmth to my heart. I get lost in visions of fireplaces, and cold, crisp mornings. I glance down to my hands, now warm, and imagine the cold shock of rinsing bright red egg dye from my hands in the early morning Fall water of the Kilchis River.
A brisk breeze stirs, and brings me back to reality. I really did feel a hint of Fall in the air, as if it came to say, "Yes... I'm on my way!"
The wind stills, and the August evening returns.
Back up to the house we go, slowly, our footsteps crackling on dry leaves and debris. Against the still night, we are so noisy!
I stop at the nearest bramble of berries, and think, "Just one more, for the road." It's sour! The search is on!
It turns into two, then a sour one... then three, then, darkness surrounds me.
Inside the house, I take the flashlight and search around the meadow. There, as every night as of late, stand the doe and the fawn that come to visit. I wonder how close they were to me, as I picked those berries, just minutes ago. I quickly turn the light away from them, satisfied in the knowledge that they are still safe, not wanting to scare them.
The evening chill makes an extra blanket on the bed just right. Fall is coming, and sleep comes easy for me.

August 8th
Getting ready for Ifishstock...

"There's a fire in the oven!" David screamed at me.
The boys decided, of all days, that it would be good to bake Chocolate Chip cookies!
This, on a day filled with preperation for 2-300 people coming to visit!
I sighed. I still had to bake a cake for Thumper. People are showing up at the door, one after another to deliver goods, ask questions, or just to say hi.
I was knee deep in prizes, making gift certificates, hanging banners, and moving tables and chairs.
Reeldick had just left, and so did Atworkalot and Captain J. I had given Atworkalot a vial of the secret Ultra Bite, in exchange for his gifts of food for tomorrow.
It's a good thing SOMEONE got some!
I quickly opened the oven door, and flames burst out at me. Hot, stinky flames. When I walked in, I swore I could smell Ultra bite!
Black smoke poured into the kitchen.
Stump had sent four vials of Ultra Bite to give away at ifishstock. UltraBite is a new product, that is not yet for sale in the states. It was shipped from Britain in tiny, very special vials. It was laying safely out on the cutting board, in a zip lock bag, seconds earlier.
As I searched for the fire extinguisher, I yelled for Bill's help. Bill was out talking to a visitor. I could NOT find the extinguisher, and the flames were growing larger and hotter, and the smoke, blacker. Panic set in. "BILL!!!!! HELP!"
The smell was sickening, and not at all like Chocolate Chip Cookies.
"What have you done, David!?"
Finally, Bill arrived in the kitchen, grabbed the extinguisher, pushed way back in the cupboard, and extinguished the ugly fire.
I picked up the cookie sheet with a hot pad, and it stuck to the cutting board. Strings of hot plastic stretched from it's resting place, and clung to both the cutting board, and the cookie sheet. It quickly cooled, and the cookie sheet stuck fast to the board.
A little label, stuck in between, and burnt on the edges read, "Salmon troite"
David, with hot pads on, had accidentally grabbed the plastic bag containing the vials, with the cookie sheet... and.... SLID IT IN THE OVEN TO BAKE!
I would cry.... if I had the energy.
I did not need this today.
The smoke is toxic, and smells awful. My entire house now smells not only like Ultra bite, but BURNT ultra bite!
The oven is on clean cycle right now, and we tried to scrape all the burnt plastic off the bottom. I hope it doesn't ignite again.
I had planned to make Thumpers cake about right now.
Guess what Thumper? It's a good thing that other people are bringing chocolate cake! I really don't know that that is something I can do, after this.
Someday this will be funny. Right?

August 11th

What a party! I'm finally feeling a little rested just in time to go fish the Nehalem! :)
We had a great time, counted well over 200 people, and the field was so cool! Full of huge boats!!!
Everything was wonderful! The food! The people! The prizes!!!
Off to fish! Work later... much, much, later!

August 12th

It's Andrew's Birthday today! Happy Birthday, Roo!
I took a walk last night with Molly and Kilchis. Molly thinks she is a dog. I am convinced. How many cats do you know that follow along on a long walk up and down the river, chasing the dog, digging in the sand, attacking pretend monsters, and splashing in the shallow waters? Talk about making me laugh. I can hardly keep up my walk! To see her bounding next to Kilchis, full speed, across the field towards the house in foot tall grasses just tops it off. She's a dog, alright! Kilchis is counting his blessings. Finally, he has a puppy pal!
I stopped for a while in the soft sand, and she sat next to me, digging a hole. We watched the river together for a while. The wind had stopped. Do you know that if you take away the wind, the ripples on the water stop, totally, and all of the water becomes a mirror for the forest? The only thing that cracks the mirror is the very occasional feeding of a smolt, breaking a bit of the calm, in order to suck up an insect.
I was thinking what it would take to make the ocean a mirror for the sky. No wind, no gravity, just flat water. It doesn't happen often, and do you know why? I think it's because it has nothing fascinating to mirror, except the open sky. No golden trees, no deep green mosses and ferns. Regardless, this would be the day I would choose to be on the ocean. I would like to see the open sky mirrored on the water. Every wisp of cloud, the deep blue of infinity, or a dark, still thunderhead moving slowly across the canvas.
The sky over the Kilchis Valley is a deep pink this morning. I'd like to catch this on water, this morning, so the dogs, (Molly the cat-dog, too!) and I will go for a walk.
A deep pink ocean would be delightful, also! What do they say? Red sky in the morning, sailors warning? I guess I'd rather go to a "red sky at night, sailors delight", ocean! Yes, an evening cruise on a flat, pink ocean!
Hey! Something different! Let's talk fishing!
Bill and I fished the Nehalem yesterday. It was dead slow. I don't know why we didn't fish the incoming on the bar. We should have. But, somehow, we felt like a more peaceful trip. When you fish the bar on the Nehalem, you have to have your wits about you. Changing baits can be a challenge when you are locked tight, inches apart, in a row of boats, all trolling towards the bar.
After Ifishstock, we needed to relax. A troll on the upper bay sounded just right.
"What would we do with yet another salmon?" Bill asked. He was right. Our freezer is packed full. Our closest friends have received their annual gifts of salmon. He glanced at his tag, and mentioned, "I think I'll be doing some catch and release fishing this Fall!" Same here. We've been lucky this year, salmon fishing. It's been a prosperous year for both of us. Noting that, we threw the cutthroat gear in the boats, and instead headed way upriver to fish catch and release for cutthroat.
While doing so, we noted not one salmon netted from Wheeler to the Barn hole, way up the Nehalem. We saw fish rolling. They are there. It just wasn't a good catching day, for salmon anyway. As I carefully released a beautiful, scrappy 15 inch searun from my barbless hook, I marveled for a moment. Right before she splashed away, I noted the clouds of the sky, intricately mirrored on the sides of the searun, in between several sea lice! I'd seen that on up river bright salmon, but never a fat cutthroat! Beautiful!
I spoke with a couple guides, while out fishing, and got some reports on B 10 on the Columbia. I guess a small flush of up rivers came in a bit last week, but since then have been difficult to find. Dennis Stewart had two up rivers in the boat, and a couple silvers. It's heating up! Soon! Soon!
Right before we had our fill of fishing for cutts, we decided to catch high tide, and fish for salmon at Wheeler. We put the engine at full throttle and raced from Nehalem to Wheeler. Interesting! The water, which had been a warm, brown 65° degrees at the barn hole, turned to a salty green 55° at Paradise Cove!
We didn't hook any, but did note several smaller salmon jumping around us. The rain started, and we started back to the dock.
Note: Be careful putting in at Nehalem on a low or minus tide. As I backed Bill's trailer in, I had to negotiate a one foot drop off to get the boat trailer wheels in. BUMP! Easy does it on that one, ok?
Off for a walk in the pink sky!

August 15th

Whether it be a tiny yellow flower that pokes its head out in the green lush grasses that lead to the river, or a mass of beautiful plump black berries that stand out against the river rock, I have to stop and take it all in.
In all of my 43 years, I have never seen a shooting star. I have tried, with all of my might, and I have lied, with a fight of conscience, about my eye sight.
I recall several summer nights staring face up at the stars, with my brothers, during our childhood sleep outs in the summer.
I can see the stars, just as plainly as that little yellow flower stood out, against the dark green grass. I cannot, however, see a shooting star, for all of my life!
They'd shout, "There! Did you see that one!"
I started out honestly, saying "No! Where!?"
But that gets very tiresome after a while, I learned, and people become impatient with you. I decided it best, just to join in the glee, and say, "Yes! Yes! COOL! I saw it!"
I wonder if they ever wondered why I never saw them first, and declared their presence.
So, it was with much determination, that the other night during the meteor shower, I gathered my binoculars, my GPS for direction, and stared into the NE sky. I stared for hours upon hour, and I didn't see a single one.
I thought since my operation on my eye, things might change. I also thought that about those stupid "magic eye" picture books, where you stare at a design and a ghost picture of something else stands out. Both of these have turned up negative. I have decided that only stupid people can see those Magic Eye images, Right? I have spent many hours, waiting in our dentist's office staring at those books, squinting this eye, or that... and now I feel I've made a true fool of myself. They don't exist, right? It's all a big hoax.
"David!" I'd shout downstairs. David has seen shooting stars! "Do they go fast, or slow? Come here and show me!"
The stars twinkled in the deep blue sky, and I pointed out to David the Big Dipper. He had never seen the Big Dipper! I can point out the Big Dipper! Now give me a shooting star!
Finally, exhausted, my neck aching from arching up to the sky, I put my binoculars down and headed to bed. I gave up.
It's all a hoax, right? A shooting star... Give me a break!!! As IF!
I didn't fall for the Bigfoot scheme, and I'm not falling for shooting stars, either.
Pete even went so far as to tell me they make a buzzing noise, if you listen very closely.
The more I think about it, the more I realize it's all a lifetime joke.
So, I've grown now, and I realize that I too, must pass on this joke.
Randomly, I will, just as you all have taught me, point up to the sky, and yell, "Look! A shooting star!"
It is a novel concept, and I do, in my mind's eye, have a picture of what they must look like.
Kind of like Bigfoot.

August 18th

The days are long, dry, warm, and still. The sun beats down on my back, as I walk along the blackberry brambles. Molly, my new cat, scampers after a dry leaf. Kilchis runs full speed on the banks of a low, clear river. There's barely enough water to get him wet.
My kids are not splashing in the river. They aren't screaming and bouncing on the trampoline. They are inside, cleaning closets, readying their books for school, going through their outgrown clothes, filling sacks for the Good Will.
It brings about an eerie feeling, and memories rush back to me. It always starts with the first "back to school" ad in the paper.
When I was young, the first couple of weeks back to school in the Fall were eerie, like this. After school afternoons hold a ghostly quiet in the neighborhood. What had been summer days full of club houses, slip and slides, and noisy laughter, turn to a windless, warm silence in my back yard. I'd climb a huge Douglas Fir, sit on a branch, and listen for kids voices. I could hear none.
It's not only just the voices, though. There is some kind of change in the echo of any sound when Fall first arrives. The deep, thick carpet of spring grasses, and the full lush of summer trees insolate our laughter, and wrap us up in a warm, moist, summer cocoon of fun.
Fall leaves you exposed. The trees thin. The echoes travel further.
September 11th... Windless, still, warm, and eerie. I had to pull myself from the television set. It was dry, arid, and calm outside.
Tiny bits of dust seemed suspended in clouds over the river. The lack of moisture in the air choked me. When tears came streaming down my face over the tragedy of it all, the dust in the air clung to my cheeks.
It's early Fall again. You can feel it in the crisp morning air. You can see it on the river banks, where the beautiful new green leaves of spring have spent their life, and are drying now, dying.
They fall, one by one. It's not like the raging wind and rain storms to come, where leaves fall in a colorful flurry of beauty. These leave fall, lonesome and sparse. One soul at a time, sometimes suspended briefly in flight, departing from it's life line, and leaving home, for good.
As the sun lingers, as the dryness increases, day after day, week after week... it's no wonder that I crave the first Fall storm.
The later Fall winds and rain will gather leaves together in a celebration of color, and wash them downriver to the sea, all in one gulp.
Away with the leaves! Away with the dry! Away with the odd, lonesome feeling of late summer!
The river will once again sings a song of movement and joy. It rises with each raindrop, gathers energy, and calls life back to the forest, around me.
Dry, sun parched rocks sizzle as they are taken over by currents. This seems natural to me. These rocks are supposed to be under water! They were created as nesting spots for salmon, hiding places for steelhead!
I can stare into the pools and watch chum salmon in the shallows, darting this way and that.
Rivers have seasons, all of their own. As Fall in the outside world approaches, spring is just starting in the Kilchis river. Life is beginning! The swollen river brings life, and activity and movement!! It swallows up the dryness and death of summer, and fills us with all of the life that late summer has stolen.
I am hopelessly addicted to having something to look forward to. Spring in the outside world seems months away. Spring on the river, however, is just around the bend! I can count the days!
As I head for coffee, Andrew meets me in the kitchen.
"I want rain." He says.
So do I.

August 19th

As the sun rises this morning, there is a chill in the air. The sky is deep blue, with pink clouds feathered over the tops of the trees.
All of the sudden it hits me. Chanterelles! Chanterelles! Soon there will be golden mushrooms poking their heads up off the forest ground. Little elf like treasures! Difficult to see, but once you see one, they all come out to greet you!
Yet another thing to look forward to!
I'm off to Portland for meetings. Tomorrow Andrew has to have oral surgery in Astoria. He's not looking forward to that!
Oh! And Estee Lauder has a gift with purchase and [email protected]! :) Mental note: Must stop! You never know! I might get some color of killer lipstick for free that really catches fish!
By Thursday I should be back on the water! Now, that's another thing to look forward to!

August 20th

I have a virus of some kind, and feel awful. I'm going to bed, but before I do, let me share this with you! I'm proud of it! Click here!
I bought the Weather Monitor ll! I used to have Wizard lll, but it's oudated now. I couldn't afford the outside humidity thing, so some files are missing. I have some tweaking to do, but... it's cool, isn't it?
It made me smile, sick or not!

August 22nd

Well, it seems that everyone is telling me that I am working too hard. Bill, clients, even my kids!
"OK!" I shouted! "Sick or not, take me fishing!"
...and so, Bill did!
We drove way up the South Fork of the Nehalem. Let me tell you. It was a nice boat ride... well, kind of, but the fish sure weren't biting! The reason I say it was kind of a nice boat ride, is because there is barely any water! We'd be smoothly flowing along, and then CRASH! I don't know what we did more. Pull the boat over low spots, or float. Probably pull!
It was very relaxing, however. There is something magic and settling about sitting on the river, (in the deep spots) trees surrounding you, with no one in sight! Just staring at a bobber! It just sends me--whether or not it goes down!
But if it goes down, WATCH OUT! Girl gone wild!
I have to mention this. I just have to, as it's been eating at me. People think I get sick a lot. Well, I do. I can almost plan that when I over exert, I will get sick. It's not unusual, it's not odd. I don't wonder what I have... I expect it. It's part of my illness. It's part of having Marfan Syndrome. I've had it all my life. I don't know any different way, so it doesn't bother me. When I over extend, I... get sick! There is something about not absorbing nutrients, or something about our immune system. But, I actually do plan for these times. After a Sports Show, or after traveling, I probably will get sick. I have to take that into consideration when I do plan things. So, it was only expected that after Ifishstock I would get sick... and get sick I did!
I often hear people say, "You sure get sick a lot!" Well, no, I have marfan syndrome. I'm sick all of the time! It just catches up with me when I pull a marathon!
Sometimes Bill mentions that he can't believe that even with a fever, I'd go fishing. Well, if I don't, I won't get to go much, right? He says that when he has a fever, he goes to bed. I do too, sometimes. But other times, I go fishing! Sometimes fishing in like medicine to me!
Anyway, I said it and I am done saying it. Yes. I get sick a lot. I am sick a lot. I am sick, a lot of the time. But who says you can't smile, work, and fish while you are sick? Go ahead. Tell me you think I'm sick an awful lot... but never, ever tell me I shouldn't go fishing!

August 24th

Had a blast yesterday jigging for anchovies off of the Old Mill docks. Talk about giggle fish. Three at a time on a herring jig!
A little boy was fishing for, well, I'm not sure what he was fishing for, but he was using a trout rod with power bait. He would catch a mud cat, and say, "Do you like catfish? I just caught one!" Then, he would show me his bucket. His enthusiasm was too much for me to tell him that I get frustrated when I catch those! He was very impressed with our jigs and anchovies, so I let him try for a while. He couldn't thank me enough! I don't know if I had more fun catching them myself, or watching his excitement over the small, wiggly fishes.
Last night, I searched in the cupboard for Grandma's tin bucket that I traditionally pick berries in, found it, and David and I headed for the river banks to fill it.
I get such a kick out of Molly Mae following us. A river cat. Go figure. She is so tiny and delicate, yet climbs the big rocks, slithers through tall grasses, and surprise attacks pretend enemies.. like my fingers as they search for low berries!
I can't say her hunting is ineffective, however. Every morning, I am gifted with the "presents" of random dead mice or rats scattered about the floor.
Why, I believe I just stepped on one this morning, while I was wandering blindly for my coffee cup! Who needs coffee? That woke me up, pretty darn quickly! Ugh! Thanks, Molly! NOT!
No more barefoot in the kitchen for me. Time to pull out the protective slippers. It's Fall, anyhow, right?
The other day, it was half of a dead wild baby rabbit. Now, that was disgusting!
Out in the berry patch, David and I spoke in low voices, except for the "ouch!" that comes when we get attacked by the stickers. The river had that odd, late summer mist hanging over it.
We discovered that Kilchis loves berries. We'd throw one in our mouths, several in the bucket, and turn around to find Kilchis, head down in the bucket, enjoying our harvest.
Life has been pleasant and laid back for me lately.
I could get used to this.

August 25th

Mr. Lund with a huge beauty from the great white North!

I just loved that picture! Whooooo hoooo! Fall is coming here on the North Coast, and it won't be long until I hold up a fish like that, right? RIGHT!
Bill and I went to the State Fair yesterday. We couldn't settle on where we wanted to fish, so we just didn't! You know, there are other things to do! (Not many, but some!) It wasn't very crowded, and not too hot. We had a good time eating corn dogs, wandering around the animal displays and petting huge Clydesdale horses. I told Bill I thoroughly expected him to buy me a Clydesdale colt for Christmas. Somehow I doubt that will happen, but I've really always wanted at least one. They just look so darn huggable! If he begins to build a 10 foot fence, I think I know what I'll get for Christmas!
B 10 is at it's peak, and I haven't even graced the waters! Now, that is unusual! Usually by now I've been a half dozen times! I'm just enjoying some peace and serenity at the house. Somehow, this summer has been especially hectic. It feels good to just be home, and enjoy the surroundings. It is nice, here!
It seems like everything is going on right now. Bill is out fishing with Marty. I begged him to go, so that I could enjoy a little time alone. The kids are with their Dad, so it's so quiet here. That's just what I ordered: Quiet.
However, as the boat pulled out this morning, I did feel a twinge of hesitation. What have I done? Why am I not going fishing? Wait! Stop!
No. I wanted it this way. Right?
If they pull in with a limit of salmon it's going to hit me hard. I won't even be able to sulk.
I asked him to go alone. Right?
The clock is ticking. I have berry pies to make, and a business plan for ifish to start on. I have been putting that off for... let's see. Four years? Uh huh!
All this, while I watch the few remaining birds that we are retaining this summer. It's the first summer we've kept a couple winter junco around. We still have a few goldfinch, and a couple grosbeak. Two flitting hummingbirds are resisting departure, too. I do, however, have a whole flock of pine sisken who are enjoying the thistle feeder. Of course, they would choose the most expensive feed! They are cute. I can't complain. They keep the birding interesting, while the summer birds begin to leave us.
The ifish ISP is soon to be up and running, and I'm looking forward to that. If you'll be needing an account, please don't hesitate to reserve your user name, here.
Stevens Marine's used boats has joined the ifish sponsor team. Welcome them, and if you are in the market for a used boat, take a peek!
This is the year that Jennie gets her own boat. I am looking for a small, flat bottom jet sled so that I can do tide water nooks, and a little calm bay fishing. I have looked at a couple John boats, but I think I want something a bit bigger. You know, those fish tip the scales at 50. I need big!
O. K., Off I go. The berries are waiting, and Mom's pie crust recipe is hidden somewhere in the depths of several sheets of internet recipes I have printed out.
Have a grand, sunny, fall day! Enjoy the warmth of the few remaining late summer days that we have. I know I will!
By the way, say a prayer for my Jack-cat. He has been missing for two days, and there are many, many coyotes around, lately. He's been gone before for this long, but it never ceases to worry me. I've tried getting him to come in for the night, but he just doesn't come when called. I'm so hoping to hear him walk in and meow at any time. --Or feel him brush up against my leg, and purr... any time now...


August 27th

I'm getting an irresistible urge to.... Go fishing!
I'm going to leave a whole stack of papers, several envelopes unopened, 2 phone calls waiting to be dialed, and over 50 e mails, and GO!
Quick! Open the door! Run! The fish are waiting to be harvested! Hey, it's my job, right?

August 28th

Glad I went fishing!

Power Bait scores again! Bill is beginning to wonder. Gosh, first fish Jennie caught on Power Bait was a pure fluke. The second one was luck. The third one was, "Hey, what is going on here?" and the fourth one, "Give me some of that!"
Power Bait on a spinner. It really does sound weird, and look really strange and novice! But it's working!
Just gobbed a bunch of that stuff on the hooks, and "fish on!"
I really didn't expect this fish. I had my rod in the holder. That's not a good idea with spinners, because of the kind of bites you get when spinner fishing. We had been bobber fishing with no success. Although fish were moving all around us, I just had no confidence. I was lazy! My rod nearly bent over beside me. I thought I was snagged. Nope! Snags don't dance!
Bill and Marty Peterson went out to the jaws of Tillamook Bay to prove that the salmon season has begun. They proved it! With an Old Salty diver, a red flasher, and a cut plug herring, Bill brought in a beautiful 38 pound early season buck! It was gorgeous!
Boys and girls-- Tis the season to be fishing, fa la la la laaaaaaaa la la la la! I mean, they are everywhere, scattered from Astoria, to T Bay and both North and South!
Soon will come the rains, and I can add chanterelles to my salmon dinners!
OK, not sure if I'm going to load up the boat and go fishing, or stay home and work. What sounds best to you? There must be something wrong with my vision, because I just can't see staying at work!

August 29th

I just love a good drama! NOT!
It began, quite like any other night. I prepared dinner. Bill barbecued some nice steaks. I asked him to get the baked potatoes out of the oven. He opened the oven, touched them and said, "Well, we could have potatoes tomorrow night!" Oops. I'd switched the dial to bake, but it didn't quite make it! Cold bakers! Oh well!
So, we ate a starchless dinner, and, as usual, Kilchis sat at my feet at attention. He knows that we go for a walk after dinner. Want to be assured of exercise? Start a routine like this one! Sometimes I really, really don't want to go. But.. how could you resist this face staring at you?

So, off we went. I still marvel over our new kitty, Molly Mae, who joins us each evening. She knows well the tradition of walking after dinner, also.
Bill had recently weed-whacked a path along the lower river, and I had just entered that path, as Kilchis, two feet ahead of me, began yelping.
First I heard bees, then I saw them! A huge cloud of Bald Faced Hornets! He was yipping, and snapping at them, and the whole cloud of the bees surrounded him!
Last I knew, I was allergic to bees. I was 10 years old. I had been stung under my big toe, on each foot .The next day, while at school, I realized my pants were really tight! I couldn't take them off! I couldn't breathe! The school office called my Mom, and we were off to the ER for adrenaline shots. After cutting my pants off, my legs revealed bright red blotches and both legs were extremely swollen. After that, months of bee sensitivity allergy shots commenced. I haven't been stung since.
My first reaction when seeing those bees was RUN!
...and run I did! In very loose boots that I had cut off from old waders, I ran and ran and ran! While running, I kept glancing at the river thinking, "I'm going to have to go in that cold river!
When I finally stopped, there were no bees around me, yet Kilchis had followed me, and he was still snapping at them.
I threw a stick in the river for him, and luckily, he went after it.
I took him to the house, combed the sleepy, cold bees out, and waited.
Sure enough, his face began to swell, and I knew I needed Benedryl. Off to the store at 9:30. Kilchis's little face was swollen like a football. His eyes shut, his lips huge! He was a sight for sore eyes, for sure.
Bill, later, walked down to the river, and spotted the hive. Kilchis loves to dig for mice down there, and he had swiped a large hole out of the side of the nest. Yowza! I bet he won't do that again!
Bill is going to exterminate them tonight, because by golly, they reside in my favorite fishing hole for Fall nooks!
On a side note, I have to apologize to some of the folks on the board. It seems that an ex (and disgruntled) member of ifish has harvested e mail addresses off of several member's accounts, and sent them spam. This disappoints me, as I have been approached in the past about selling our e mail list to advertisers. I have always declined.
I despise spam mail that takes up my free time, and do my best to discourage it.
If your e mail address on ifish is exposed, know that you are an open target for spam. Please read this notice, and change your e mail options for your security.
It wasn't the content of the current e mail going around that bothers me. It is the fact that this could happen more often, if you don't protect yourself. Random internet robots, malicious users, and desperate advertisers can all target you, if your e mail is left exposed on ifish.
Do yourself a favor, and don't allow people to e mail you outside of the board.
So, off I go... It's another day. I'd go fishing, but the joke around here now, is "What do we do with them once caught?" Our freezer is full! I can see many caught and released salmon in our near future!
Bill and I were joking the other day about just that.
Imagine the look of horror from your neighboring anglers, if you catch a chrome 50 pound salmon and toss it back?
Yesterday we headed down into tide water after cutthroat trout. It was spooky and desolate! The river seemed dead! Usually, we see many large cutts darting about in the shallows. I wonder where they are? Out in the bay, because of the low water? Perhaps.
Have a great and safe Labor Day weekend. Wear your life jacket! Remember, life jackets float. You don't!
Side note: I forgot to tell people that Jack is home, and safe. Another mental note to try and keep him inside at night!

August 31st

You can't round the bend on the road to approach our property, without glancing at the river, and mumbling, "Man, the water is low!" No matter how repetitious, no matter how many ways we say it, both Bill and I remark at the trickle of water that has become the Kilchis river.
The other day, we let our boat take us as far down river as the Kilchis was able to carry a craft, towards the bay. Usually, at this time of year, the river is alive with cutthroat trout, and perhaps, even a few salmon that have wandered up from the bay.
The river, in places, narrowed to but a few feet, and less than a foot deep. I got out of the boat, and Bill and I pushed it through the feeble waterway.
"We need a picture of this!" I told Bill. "I can straddle the Kilchis river with my legs!"
There was not a sign of fish, as far as we could float. Even the birds of the wetlands seemed scarce.
The wind moved the trees above us in full force, as we navigated through several fallen spruce and alders. High tides had eroded the banks, and afternoon North West winds combined until huge, towering trees lost their grip, and fell to their watery death.
I've always felt a hollow awe at the river's pinch period in late summer. This summer is perhaps the most severe and prolonged pinch period that I have witnessed.
Pools of water have evaporated alongside the river, upstream, where I live. Tiny lifeless skeletons of steelhead smolt and salmon fry decorate the rocks like tiny, papery headstones in a cemetery.
Thinking back to my attempts at saving a few, earlier in the season with an aquarium net, I am humbled. Was my work futile? Out of the hundreds that I put back in the main stem, did I actually save, even one?
It seems impossible to think that species will exist, and perhaps flourish in years to come, after a season such as this.
Oh, resilient creatures of nature! The survival of the fittest!
It really does humble me to think of how much I have, in my personal life. How few my sufferings are, and how comfortable I am, in my lifestyle.
Sometimes I feel tossed in turmoil, and lost in frustrations, helpless as to which way to turn, or how to react to emotional stress, or financial toils.
Yet, the rains finally come, and the water fills the river banks, swallows up the tiny fragments off of the rocks, and uses them as nutrients to feed the life that routinely comes back, year after year.
The current in my life, runs rich and deep. The waters may recede, and my throat becomes parched and thirsty at times, and sometimes, I feel I may not make it through.
It's interesting to think back, and realize that routinely and seasonally, my emotions seem to mirror the stages of the river that flows so close to my home.
I feel connected, somehow.
The tiny trickle of water that flows past my home, however small and weak at present, represents hope in my own life.
That trickle has never come to a stop, and I have faith that it never will.
Likewise, I know...
That when the Fall rains come,
and the river banks fill,
and the salmon return to my back door step...
so will my hope renew,
and my thirst be quenched,
and my joy matched
by the immense power, and the extant, symphonic music of the Kilchis river at full current.



A journal of my adventures.