Fishing The Coast, Oregon and Washington
August 2006


August 2nd

I have already been to the store, this morning. I squinted to read the box of dusty blood, holding my nose. It was supposed to keep deer away. Deer don't like the smell of blood, I guess. I don't either! It stinks!
But, I am declaring war. I've been fighting it for three years, but today comes the absolute declaration.
The declaration of war... against deer.
Don't get me wrong. Deer are cute! I love watching the doe and her new fawn folly and prance around the meadow.
But, dangit, those are MY raspberries! MINE!
Each year I have worked to improve my chances against them. I just want even one small basket of berries! My labor has been intensive! My achievement, poor to none!
I tried leaving the dog out all night. The dog slept and then whined to come inside.
I've tried a small fence. No luck. I tried spray. No luck.


This year, I told Bill that I have had it. I wanted raspberries, and I will do anything to win!
So, he built me a fence. Mind you, it wasn't a grand fence, but we thought it would do. Hah!
We read in an article that deer won't jump over a fence if there is something over their heads, marking it. So, we tied yellow ribbons overhead at about 7 feet. That should do it! We were well pleased at our work.
Oops. Last year Bill got a little crazy happy with the shears. He accidentally trimmed the raspberries all the way to the ground. He did not leave the new cane like you are supposed to. I have (or had) 10... count 'em! 10 berries coming on. I waited.. patiently. Now, let me tell you that I have a ten foot row of nice healthy and bushy plants. All that for 10 berries coming on! (giggle!)
O.K., so I'm waiting for them to ripen, and...
Yesterday, as I bent over the radishes and carrots, I looked towards the raspberries. I could see clear through them! The day before, they were so bushy and full that I couldn't see into them to find my precious berries. But, now they seemed sparse and thin! I rose to a stand and looked to my left. Ach! Sure enough, my fence had been totally decimated! So much for the yellow ribbons!
The netting at the top was in shreds. The poles holding up my fence, pointing at a 45 degree angle towards the forest and it's wood, split and splintered. The wire sprung from it's place like it had been made of pipe cleaners. Pheh!
Those were MY raspberries and they were gone! The ends of all of my raspberry vines poked up from the ground, totally without leaf! Just bare ugly stalks with everything stripped clean! Deer adore new raspberry leaves! But you know what? I adore raspberries! I will have them! I will!
Bill just called from his home in Lake Oswego. "I am bringing home the dog kennel." He stated.
Oh good! Maybe I could use THAT around the raspberries?
Tie a yellow ribbon round the rasp-berr-ies...
It's been three long years,
I'm losing terr-i-bly!
If they don't see a ribbon round the raspberries,
I'll just try this new dust, promise not to cuss,
Before I go crazee!
If they don't see that ribbon round the rasp-ber-ries!

August 3rd

This is Jack the office cat

I don't know whether to be worried sick, or to expect this. Jack is a bit wild, and sometimes he'll just pack his bags on go on holiday.
Each time, I worry sick. He's fixed. He's just got a mind of his own.
He's been 'on holiday' now for four days, best I can recall.
Jack picked us from a bunch of people looking at him at the pound. He reached out, as a young kitty, and grabbed me. No kidding. We had no choice. He just said, "Take me, girl!"
I had to! I couldn't get him off of me!
He's pushy. When he wants to sit on my lap, he does. When he wants to gift me with wild rabbit parts all over my office floor, he does. When he wants fed canned cat food, he won't give up till he gets it. I mean, look at him! You don't want to mess with this cat!
Every morning, he sits with me and watches the birds with me on my office desk. I have no room for anything but cat on my desk.
When it's wet out, his paw prints are on every document that I send out. Signed, sealed, Jack.
He's referred to in our house as "Jackcatty".
I've had him for 8 years or better. I love him. I want him to come home. He's just to the point where he's a good lap cat. He doesn't bother the birds, just watches them. He's on to bigger, better things. You know, rabbits and lions and tigers!
Jackcatty? Come home.



Jackcatty on a lazy day.

August 4th

There is absolutely no comparable treat in the world like a warm blackberry picked off the vine in late summer. Every night as I head out to fling a fly, I stop for way too long picking berries. I throw some to Kilchis. He seems to enjoy the buttery rich taste of warm drops of sugar on his tongue, too. No wonder the animal prints around the berries are so many! Deer, bear, coyote, elk! Red and yellow, black and white, we all join here every night!
Still no sign of Jack. You know, I used to get frustrated by Jack. He'd jump up to where I work and immediately go for my fresh glass of well water. It is so good, I know! But, sharing water with my cat, after I see what he prefers to dine on, (dead rabbits, etc...) is not my idea of a good thing.
So, up I'd go to the kitchen to get yet another fresh glass, once he had finished. Pretty soon, I'd turn around to do something, and there he'd be again, pawing the table top as if he were a baby kitten nursing, and drinking yet again, the Kilchis water of the Gods.
You know, life just isn't fair sometimes. How many losses and illnesses must I endure this year?
Last night I lay in bed in pain. I searched for something to be thankful for. Both my mind and my body were exhausted. I folded my hands in prayer to my Father.
I questioned why I felt so badly. Half emotional from missing Jack, or purely physical from searching for him? I didn't know. I had a touch of a fever and I just didn't feel well.
My skin slid across the soft clean sheets and I was warmed underneath a fluffy down blanket. Just that morning I was at the laundromat, cleaning my comforter. It was especially nice to breathe deep that clean laundry smell.
And then it occurred to me. I could feel. Regardless of pain, despite the aching and discomfort, I could feel! Thank you, Father!
Feeling is much better than not, you know! Without pain, I wouldn't know what it was like to get up in the morning, refreshed and renewed! Sure, I ache in the morning, too, but soon after, I'm able to feel that friction give way as my joints become lubricated with slow morning movements. I happen to think that coffee plays a major role in that happening! Right now, I've had two cups, and my limbs are starting to loosen up. See? :) Coffee is magic, that way!
Over a year ago, I almost lost the feeling of pain. I knew, even in surgery! Deep down somewhere in my conscience, I knew that it was worth it to hold onto that pain. I just wasn't done living enough to let it go.
And so on that positive note, I thanked my heavenly Father and I drifted off to sleep. It sounds odd, but I was appreciative for the very fact that I felt pain.
I suppose I should feel the same about my emotional sadness over losing my friend, Jack. Jack, who absolutely drove me crazy at times, drinking my water, jumping up on my lap when I was trying to type, all the ways in which he irritated me.
But, I'm not ready to appreciate my sadness over losing him enough to be thankful for it.
Now, if he were to enter the room right now, or come to my call soon, as I again walk the fields, calling out his name, I may feel differently.
But, right now... all I can think about is how it hurts to miss him.
Jack? I have water... please come home.
His absence is breaking my heart.

August 7th

Still no Jack... (sigh)
However, we do have some happy news! We are joined by our new family pet, "Rev!" Rev is a pretty good name for this dog. She is constantly revved! I guess that is normal for a 10 month old lab puppy!
It's Kilchi's dream come true. Finally! A dog to play with! A dog to run with! A dog to dig with!
Kilchis is so funny! He grabs his stuffed toys and rubs them in Revs face until Rev grabs it. Then, it's off to play tug of war.
I can just imagine how good this is on Rev's duck and field training. I can see it now! Bill reaches for the retrieved duck and Rev wants to play tug of war. Uh oh!
Rev also likes chickens. A lot! We are working with her, but she is so enticed with the chickens that I don't know what to do! When she chases them, of course, they run! That's all the more fun for Rev! Whoo hoooo! Birds on the run! (sigh!)
Rev has taken to Bill, especially, which pleases him to no end. Rev stays by Bill's side like a magnet, barking at anything that moves, around him. She'll bark, get up and check it out, and immediately returns to Bill's side. She protects Bill from all kinds of impending doom. Like... dripping faucets, the sounds of the dishwasher being emptied, the boys, entering the room. Oh! Impending danger! Be warned, Bill! They are all out to get you! Luckily, Rev will save Bill from all of these things, and more!
Rev was a kennel dog, trained professionally for hunting. There are so many, many new experiences for a kennel dog, here.
She's not known the softness of a down bed, or the wonderful feeling of covers, pulled up to her nose. She's never experienced hot roast beef and gravy, or a warming fire, after a swim in the creek, or the joy of chasing dippers down by the river. New to her is the sound of the refrigerator, opening, and the joy of a dropped piece of cheese.
I don't think she'd care to go back, but I may be wrong.
Yes, Rev likes it in the Kilchis river Valley "kennels". It's a nice place to be, and duck season hasn't even started, yet!
Oh! I hear her barking, just now! She is saving Bill's life... Bill has no idea that the sound of the dryer being turned on might just kill Bill, if she doesn't get on the ball.
Thank God, for Rev...
Bill has nothing to fear!
Rev is here!


Rev, the wonder dog

August 8th

The Coast Guard Appreciation Day was so much fun! Click here for all of the pictures! We had a blast!
I was deeply moved (to tears, actually) when I was awarded a certificate that said the nicest things! Wow! From the Coast Guard to ... me?
Of course on the way home I had to pull over and call my Dad to read it to him.
He was so proud! He said, "I hope Mom can see this!" I'm sure she can! The drive home was happy. The trees a little taller, the pavement, a little smoother. The sun, a little brighter!
I wished I had my fly rod as I passed over Drift Creek and other little creeks, starting in Lincoln City.
Also, there were cars pulled over by Salmon River. I wonder what they were doing. I didn't stop, but like I said, really wished I had packed along some bugs and my rod.
I'm working this week trying to get the new board up and running smooth as can be. I still have some settings for permissions that are driving me wacky, but I'll get them! I know I will! It's good to have something to challenge my old noggin.
Off I go, have a great Tuesday. It's supposed to rain this week. I think I'm going to like that.
And still... still no Jack. If he's going to come home, the rain will drive him.

August 10th

I found a treat almost as good as a sunshine warmed blackberry off the vine!!!
Oh! On the way out to fish, yesterday morning, the rain had cleaned the air, and rinsed the dust off the blackberries. Not only that, but the recent sunshine had ripened nearly all of them to perfection!
Not only were they expertly decorated with spider webs magically clinging with dew, (Oh! I wish I'd had my camera!) but the berries were sweet, dripping with fresh rain.
Kilchis and I ate until we were sick. Rev isn't quite so sure about berries, yet. He's only had kibble, and even duck jerky is a stranger to his culinary repertoire. He is learning!
The berries are huge and hang from inviting and irresistible clumps from the vine. (Where was my camera?) There will be blackberry pie, tonight!
All around me were tracks and droppings from other wild critters, who had obviously experienced the same satisfied condition as I.
I longed for the sun to come out, so I could roll around on the rocks and sand, and take a nap with my full belly and my two beloved dogs.
I was chilled. My pants were totally soaked around the ankles and had traveled to my knees. I shivered as I ate. Rain tipped and crowned the ends of my hair just as it did the spider webs. I was full, but the berries line the full extension of the river bank, and it led me much too far, and far too full! My mouth couldn't stop, despite my stomach.
What a morning! I had just been fishing, or attempting to, standing ankle deep in my favorite fly fishing hole.
The rocks were wet, so I wore my felt wading boots to protect me from falling.
I didn't mention it earlier, but I fell pretty hard last week. I am just now recovering.
That day, after my initial collision with rocks, water filled my rubber soled knee boots. The force of the water pulled me, feet first into a swirling hole. Had I hit my head on the way down, I could have easily been pulled in deeply, darned fast! That water is powerful, even at this water level!
Totally alone, I had no choice but to resist it's force, and pull myself out. After, I lay on the rocks and sobbed in the pouring rain, like a baby. My knees were badly bruised, my hips aching, and my pride severely damaged.
I finally rose to a stand and hobbled up to the house. It seemed like it took forever. Once finally on the porch (which was slippery in it's own right!) I reached for the doorknob. It was locked! I cried out for help! I finally gave up and made my way to the open garage door. That day was not fun, but fully reminded me of the need for felt soles. I will not forget!
Back to the blackberries... I must tell you. Rev keeps me in stitches. How can I expect to cast, doubled over in laughter?
I had forgotten how much I miss watching the antics of new experiences for a pup. Rev, having been raised totally in a kennel, has missed much.
As I stood, a small but rushing channel of water gushed into a pool on my left. I stood, ankle deep, trying to cast to just the other side of the current. Of course, and as you know, it's always 'on the other side' where the fish will bite.
I cast, and tried to hold my fly without being caught by the current, and carried to my side. (Where of course, there are no fish!)


Rev, Fetch!
Rev wanted to the other side, too. But, the rushing water was new to him, and fear kept him close by my side. It was only a half foot deep at most, but rushing water is intimidating in it's strength. Every time Rev put a foot in, he would rare up, and jump back into the air with glee and mystery. What was this strong water?! He made me giggle.
Kilchis, of course, well used to the current was happily exploring a patch of sand across the river. This further enticed Rev to go for it.
Finally, he rushed across and on the other side, so well pleased with himself, he reared and bucked, bounding straight up off the ground! He came down and his eyes laughed at me, as if to say, "Look, Mom! I did it!"
Instead of following Kilchis, he had to do it again! That he did! Again, and again, and again! Each time, raring and bucking as he reached safety on the other side! He must have crossed that four foot shallow channel 40 times! Back and forth, never losing his initial joy and hysterics over the whole learning experience!
Of course, every time he landed on my side, I was showered with water spray. I was not only soaked, but doubled over in laughter. Needless to say, we didn't catch fish.
I honestly don't know what I enjoy most. Fishing, or spending time on the river with the dogs.
The sun never did come out. So, I made my way back to the house with my belly full of berries. My clothes were taken off at the laundry room, and set to wash.
Instead of being warmed by sunshine, a hot shower was the fix. Fresh and clean dry clothes felt wonderful.
The dogs dried themselves against the couch and settled into the warm covers on my bed.
I joined them and soon we were all fast asleep.
There is nothing like a nap under the warm covers, after a morning on the rainy river.
Just ask the dogs.

 

August 11th

All of the photos below are enlarged, if you click on them.
Had a great day on the Nehalem, yesterday. It has been nearly three months, since I'd fished for salmon. That is a record! I mean, a huge record! I don't think I've gone without salmon fishing for that long since before I was 20!
Fishing the Nehalem is like home to me. It was so strange, therefore, when I went to dial up my circle of fishing friends, and three of them in a row had been changed, or disconnected! What's going on? I'll have to call them on their land lines for an explanation and an updated cell phone number! I felt like I had been transported into another time! I know that some of them have gotten newly married or divorced. I guess along with that, come new numbers!
However, a few of them that don't 'do' cell phones, were still on the river, as always! Of course, there was Bill, who I fished with, below!


Bill Hedlund.. We all know Bill!


And Jim Erickson.. We all know Jim!

Anyway, we had a blast! There were actually fish caught! That is, before we got there. (As usual!) As soon as we put in, we got to hear all the stories, but didn't see any of the action. Well, that's not entirely true. We did see a couple of fish caught.
I always love this view. If you only click on one picture, click on this one. I love the way these piers look, when fishing from the water. It's a landmark that is always welcoming to me! Lots of good memories associated, here! Memories of lots and lots of "fish on!"


The Pier

This is a great memory, too! "Here comes Jim! Wonder if he has a good report?

It doesn't matter to me, really, if we get fish on the Nehalem. It's just such a relaxed fishery. None of that craziness that you get into, when you go up to the jaws to fish. None of that Buoy 10 mentality of danger and sick kids and wild runs back and forth, searching for the bite. You just cruise the "gut" and wait for fish. Lots of locals to wave to. Lots of laughs. Hour after hour of pure content, pure relaxation, and good, solid fun. Add to that the chance of catching a fish, and you have my recipe for a wonderful day on the water!
Update around the home front:
Jack is still missing. It's been 11 nights. You know, you hear amazing stories about returns of cats, and I'm ready for one. Other than that, I have little hope to ever see my kitty again. :(
Rev is fitting in a little better each day. She's got boundless energy and it is tiring to me at times, but at others, she is my pride and joy. She'll settle in. We still have to work on convincing her that my cat Molly and my 12 chickens are our friends and that we don't eat our friends. She's learning!
I do adore how she loves to cuddle at night and unlike Kilchis, she loves to be under the covers. However, since Rev likes it, Kilchis wants under too, now! Uh oh!

August 14th

I went on a quick "fly and pie" trip last night. That's where you carry a fly rod for fishing and a tin bucket for berries for after fishing.
Later, you make the pie!
When you pick berries, you just slip the butt of your reel down the back of your pants. It's kind of hard to walk around that way, and the rod tip gets tangled in the berry vines... but hey-- it worked for me!
You have to be very careful, though... once while on a fly and pie, my fly rod acted as a bee hive finder in a tree above. They were NOT pleased. Neither was I.
So, last night we dined on berry pie. Man are they good, this year!
I've been sick, so it's off to the doc with me, this morning!
Please welcome to ifish, though, Old Mill Marina! I love that place, and I'm so glad to have them on board with us! Finally, it's open again! A place to launch where you don't have to wait, 5 deep to fish!
It's off to the showers for this girl. I hope I feel better, soon. It's been rough.

August 17th

I thought maybe if I didn't update this front page, then the time I have before ifishstock would be put off. It couldn't be August 17th already... could it be?
I've been taking care of party details. It's been tough, as I haven't been feeling well.
Yesterday I bought little swimming pools at Freddies to put ice in for crab, salads, etc. I saw them do this at the Coast Guard Appreciation Day. What a grand idea for a party!
Maybe I should have a contest after we are done eating. "Whoever can totally immerse themselves in the ice bath, wins a brand new steelhead rod?" Muhahahaha.... I'm afraid with this group, we'd have a mad dash to the pool, regardless!
Despite word that B-10 is picking up, (The chinook are in! The chinook are in!) that joy is shadowed by the loss of my cat.
I'm missing Jack.
I'm afraid I have to admit that Jack is just gone. We had even been keeping the cats in at night. The coyotes can be very bold, here. Sometimes in packs, they'll just lounge and clean themselves out in the meadow. My presence doesn't even seem to spook them badly. I've seen a bobcat out preening himself in the meadow. Yikes. The Kilchis Meadow can be a very wild place for a four legged house pet.
Laying in bed at night I hear the coyotes whooping it up under a full moon. It gives me shivers. It's not as peaceful or as comforting as the quiet summer solo of the river, or the rain on the roof.
A few days ago I was fly fishing the river in mid day. Everything was so quiet. No wind, very little current in the river, so peaceful, so still. Out of the silence rang a melody. David was playing his sax. It carried from his bedroom down to the shore. It rang the most beautiful and pure voice. The tones floated over my head and melted into the trees. It was a duet with the forest that matched my mood and accompanied the melody of the river. Thank you, David. What a treat!
A painter paints pictures on canvas. But musicians paint their pictures on silence. ~Leopold Stokowski
I am so lucky. My life has been blessed. I think back and wonder if I would have rather won the lottery, or lived my life the way it's 'played' out. I know the answer.
No matter the physical troubles I've had, I've been blessed with many opportunities in my life. I find it utterly amazing the adventures I've been on, and the situations I've just walked into!
I have two beautiful children that folks compliment me on that are kind and loving. I find them intelligent and talented. also! What a treasure they've been to me!
I've had the opportunity to play music in some grand places. I've poured into my musical instrument everything I've felt from the bottom of my soul and bared it, in front of other listening ears. Channeled through the piano my feelings dance around in sync with my musical partners own emotions and song. To do that for myself is pure joy. To share it with others is deeply satisfying. Music is truly what feelings sound like. It's important as a young adult to be heard. I did my shouting out, through music.
It was a very difficult decision for me to make when it came time to give up sharing music with the world. I finally felt I had no choice, as my vision got worse with each passing day. I could no longer find a steady ride to take me to where I shared my music, and I finally gave in. I now play music for my own enjoyment, and oh! How I enjoy it! I am truly lucky!
The household here is full of music. If it's not David playing his sax, it's Andrew, playing his bass. My gosh, but he's good! His music fills the house on a regular basis. He practices hours a day. I'm the lucky recipient of a whole lot of melody! I hope that they both have the opportunity to share it with the world. What an awesome outlet that can be for a young person who needs to shout out all those feelings about the world! (Note to parents: It's much easier on the ears, too!)
Even today, as I miss Jack and the silence of late summer echoes around me, I feel the need to let it all out, to have the sadness be heard. I have learned that often, the only way for me to do that, is through music.
So, I'll sit down at the piano and pour out the silence and the sadness over losing my Jack... by making music. After that, I'll feel better for a while! Then maybe we'll drive up and give it a whirl for those Columbia nooks!
I've always been lucky. I've had the opportunity to express myself through music, or through words, or through art, and I do feel sad for all of those that never get to chance to release all those feelings.
Alas for those that never sing,
But die with all their music in them!
~Oliver Wendell Holmes

 

August 19th

Old habits die hard.
"Noooooo!" I blurt out in an abrupt voice. "NO! No! No!"
But, it was too late. A deep puddle of piddle welled up in the wall to wall carpeting.
Bill's dog had done it, again!
House training a 10 month old can be very aggravating. I mean puppy 'doo doo' is one thing, but an adult dogs messes are way different. They can't be considered 'doo-doo' any more. That's downright feces!
"NO!!!!" I picked up the rolled up newspaper and headed towards the problem.
These messes shouldn't be my problem.
You see, when Rev puppy is a good puppy, she is my adorable, lover-puppy. My dog, who sleeps by my side, cuddles up her black loving face in my lap, and can't get close enough. That, my friends, is my dog. My dog rides quietly in the car, licks my face, gives me kisses when I return home, and fishes quietly, by my side.
You know, the one who heels, sits, minds me and makes me laugh.
But, when she is naughty, she is very much Bill's dog! Rev is registered, papered and pedigreed to William E. Hedlund. Says so, right on the certificate!
"Bill, your dog has made a mess!"
"Better take your dog outside, Bill! She needs to go outside after playing with Kilchis, or taking a nap, or in the middle of the night..."
"Your dog needs to be put in the pen for a while, Bill!"
"Could you please tell your dog to be quiet? I'm on the phone!"
I proceeded to march with newspaper in hand, closer and closer to the source of the problem. My footsteps probably scared everyone within hearing distance. Someone was in trouble! Beware!
I have been reading alot on dog training lately. Bill and I came from a time where house training a puppy consisted of making loud noises, and rubbing the nose of the puppy in the mess. (Or, near to it, anyhow!) What a disgusting thing to do, when you think of it! But, that's what we grew up doing. What little sense it makes, really!
And so, I've been intrigued to read of a different way, a way more in line with how I'd like to train a dog. This way makes way more sense, and is probably way more effective.
The way is to watch your dog and to precede the accident. In one article, with humor interspersed, it says that if you see an accident, you roll up a newspaper and hit yourself on the head, shouting, "I should have been watching! I should have been watching! I should have been watching!"
It's true! That makes sense. Doesn't it?
I've been using that method pretty much, for the last ten years. This method of watching your dog and fixing problems before they happen really works!
I've always been a big fan of Barbara Woodhouse. I used to watch her on channel 10. She's since past, but her book, "No Bad Dogs" is still on my frequently used bookshelf. I often refer to it. It's cover is broken, and it's pages, worn. I still call Kilchis for walks by merrily sing songing, "Kilchis! Walkeeeeeeee! Kilchis!"
"So, what would Barbara say?" A few things, even in her book, I would do differently, now days.
I prefer the "horse whisperer" method to dog training, and I think Rev will especially benefit from this. Rev has been trained for the field, and I believe has been spooked a bit, in her tender little life. She's a sweet, sweet dog. She needs to be handled gently.
Returning to the task at hand, I carried that newspaper straight over to Bill, who was busy reading his newspaper and not paying the least bit of attention to HIS little piddling puppy.
I had some training to do.
Practicing this new technique, I began repetitiously thumping on him with the rolled up paper. I swatted him three times briskly, and shouted,
"You should have been watching!
You should have been watching!
You should have been watching!"

I stood and waited for a response. Did it work? Did it had any effect? Did I do it, right?

Guess who is in the doghouse, now?

August 22nd

My feet are soaking wet, and the sun feels so good on my back. What a contrast! It makes it hard to put the hose down. But, the longer I stay, the wetter my feet get!
Every morning I water my plants and the darn hose leaks around the handle. Why can't I learn not to walk in it? Why don't I wear shoes?
Sometimes, lately, it's been near noon before I get dressed. One of these days, I'm going to be out in my garden in my pajamas and someone is going to "stop by". I just know it! Still, I linger... Still... I garden in my pajamas!
You know, though, that's why I like it here! Who needs to wear real clothes? Who cares? I get my chores done and I'm darn comfy doing it! There are days I even go so far as to slip on a pair of boots and cast a fly or two in a pink butterfly nightgown! The fish don't care!
I've been so awfully busy, trying to get ready for ifishstock! I think that's part of the reason the shower is put off for so long. And writing here? Pheh! As if! Finally, today, I decided to just do it. Life is always in too much of a hurry. I want to say something! It's time! Even if it's nothing- nothing at all!
I'm going to sit down underneath my freshly watered fuscia and have a cup of coffee. I'll breeze through my list of things still to do, and put them off for a little while longer.
Meanwhile, I can appreciate the very few grosbeak left haunting my feeder, or the cat, sound asleep on the chaise lounge, next to me.
It's late summer and there isn't a cloud in the sky. The wind is calm. The sprinkler is sprinkling constant, and the sun... oh the sun... it's wonderful! It's turned my beautiful green meadow to a golden crisp. Only the garden stands out in bright greens. Sunflowers that have taken seed from my feeders stand bright and tall. They weren't meant to be there, but I do like them!
The evenings have been so cool and crisp, lately. It's been sweatshirt weather! We better all take time out to enjoy the sun while we have it!
I'm opening our new trout forum, soon. I can't wait! Maybe even today!
You know, after my coffee, after the sunshine gives way to a cool autumn eve, after the garden is watered, after my shower... I'm not in a hurry, today.
I haven't read my list of things to do, yet, either. This may all change, after that! Out I go, onto the deck... rip these wet socks off and take a deep breath. I love the Kilchis river valley!

August 24th

My oh my but there is alot to do!
We have a team to move tables, to put up shade tents, to do just about everything! Thank goodness for volunteers! Without them, ifishstock would not be! I keep saying, "It takes a village!" It surely does!
Friday night the moderators are getting together at my home to make prize bags. I have the envelopes for the larger door prizes all made up and taped for durability. I've received the pretty ifish commemorative glasses. The volunteer list is going well. If you want to volunteer, and have no way to post on the board, let me know!
The Northwest Steelheaders are going to be there and all funds raised will go to their fine organization. First time we helped Tillamook Anglers. Last time we helped out NSIA. This time? ANSW! Right on!
I have some fun things to donate to help their cause that I have collected, over the years.
My brother and his son are coming down to crab on Friday night, too. I'll have a house full! Or a meadow full of tents, anyhow! Fun! I think I'll join them! Set up the tents! Let the fun begin!
I have two happy dogs that race me downstairs for treats every morning, once again. It's been a long time since I've had that, and I'm enjoying it alot. Happy dogs! Happy dogs!
I also have happy wet dogs on the bed at night, after to race me down to the river. I had to get out the old blanket to cover it. Rev is just a crack up. She darts into the water, trying to make the biggest splash that she can, and leaps out again, straight up into the air! Then she stops, looking at me in shock and laughing, as if to say, "Did you see that?" That's what her name should be. "Did-you-see-that?" Everything is comical, electric, and a big surprise for her. "Did you see that!?"
She runs around in happy circles all the time. Everything here is new to her. After being in a kennel her whole life, she has now died and gone to heaven. This place is just too good to be true!
Both Bill and my ages are showing, though, as a puppies energy is almost too much for us, at times. We want to laugh, but our energy is sapped!
Bill is a little frustrated, lately, as he doesn't seem to feel as good as he'd hoped, after his surgery. He has pains. The guy swore he'd never be the type to take a pill. Not even an aspirin, but now, I see on his bathroom sink, an array of things that might help him to feel better.
I told him that it hadn't even been a year, yet, and that big surgeries like often take a full year to fully recover. Patience, my man! Patience! I fully know about patience for the patient!
Someone sent me one of those passed around e mails and this one really touched me. Please click and really think about this, alright?
Even when I don't feel good, I have to remember, it's better not to feel good, then to not feel at all!
I have learned to be thankful, no matter what. There is no doubt, I am losing the vision in my left eye. I have an appointment for September to start on that project, but you know? I do have another eye. And even without sight, I can cast! That's really all that I need, right there. Right?

August 25th

If we could not laugh, we would all go insane. Yup. I cannot believe this. The day before ifishstock and all through the site, the board is all broken, all the links are not right!
They are upgrading the new release of the board, and somehow left the links go to the new board before it is ready. There are test posts by the mods on that board, and well, it's just a mess. How could this happen? How could this be? I think I will pull out my hair and just flee!
I could just die! No... I'm going to laugh.
And meanwhile, you laugh, too, alright?

August 27th

Someone complimented me yesterday on my writing. I looked up from my chair in the sunshine. All I could see were trees. Trees, all around me! They were very lightly misted and towering down onto us 'little people' on the ground.
The depth of color was stunning. All of the shades of green in your coloring box couldn't come close. The quiet song of the river was soothing. I took a deep and cleansing breath before saying, "Anyone who lives here could easily write. I cheat! Don't you think?"
It's the truth. I borrow from nature the very words that come out of my fingers as I sit at the keyboard, each day.
No, really! The first thing you need to be able to write is good subject matter. Oh! Do I have that! Not only that, but something I dearly love. I have that, too! It doesn't hurt to have something to inspire you. Yep. Got that all around me and upside down me, too.
Just then, the dogs nearly wiped me off my feet. They rumbled and tumbled and blew me legs down! I rolled around on the ground a bit, giggling with them. Yeah, I have something to make me laugh, too!
Just across the lawn is the Milton Tree. Memories! Oh, I have memories here! Somber, sweet, touching memories. I swept the lawns edge with my eyes. Hershey, Dee Dee, their resting places, the times we've had together, here.
There is a world of emotion here, for me. All of them put to words on paper. An accompaniment to my life. Memories, both happy and sad, good and bad, typed on my keypad.
Yes. It's easy to write in these conditions. Take me away from here, and I'd be short of words.
All the things above plus gratitude, and a feeling of responsibility to share it with those that aren't graced with this opportunity.
Speaking of gratitude, let's talk about Bill. Many thanks go to Bill, for allowing Ifishstock here on his property. Endless thanks to him, personally, for sharing this heaven with me. Without Bill, absolutely none of it would be possible! And he did work so hard to make ifishstock happen, this year. I was tickled pink when he told me we could have it, here!
Ifishstock was wonderful!
I barely had the energy to pull the covers up to my nose as I crumbled into bed, last night. There was still much to do, when my body wouldn't cooperate with my befuddled mind, and we decided to stop.
What a wonderful time and what nice people, too! I am blessed. So blessed that thinking about it, tears well up, yet again. Why am I so emotional?
No matter what happens in my life from here on, ifish has been a blessing to me. It's been a profound and wonderful blessing, and I have no regrets. There have been hard times, but what comes easy just isn't worth having.
The people that I have met and continue to be able to work with touch me. I'm surrounded by love, and people that I have something in common with. What more? I scanned the lawnscape.
Far by the edge under the holly tree on a blanket in the sun, a family that has been a part of ifish for a long, long time. First Bite Jigs. There was Mark, Cindy and their daughter. So glad they could come!
Chinookjinxed and Steelhead bum! What nice kids!
Over this way, a dear man we had just met, who is battling cancer. He couldn't eat anything due to recent chemotherapy. We have someone new to add to our roster of great people we've met. I was tickled pink to find out he had won a fishing trip, even though he had to leave, early, due to feeling ill.
What a great group! How thankful I am!
And Ginny, and Glen, and their dog Jet! -And my Dad, and my brother, and Dad's friend, Carol!
... and Fishbait, and Pete, (my co admin), and Crabby, and oh! So many people I love! I met them all here, (except of course, my family!) Right here on ifish! A whole world of love! How do you repay love? Friendship?
To the other side was 3riversbob and his wife. What a great team! What a great help! And Ampersat, and Justcallmedave, who forever keeps me in stitches! These, of course, just a few off the top of my present head! And Papahog, so mellow and nice to be around. (I love his fuzzy jacket!)
...and Ruth! Ruth, her husband, and her husband's friend. Ifishstock wouldn't have happened without Ruth, this year. She was everything and more! Ruth pretty much ran ifishstock single handedly! She is known as "STGRule" to everyone on the ifish board. She was checking with me and doing this and doing that. Did she ever have time just to have fun? I so hope so!
I wonder how she feels after this weekend? I hope that along with her tired body that she has the 'feel goods' like I do!
When the time came to close shop yesterday, I started wishing that it was just beginning. Though my body staunchly disagreed, my emotions came tumbling down and tears welled up in my eyes. Don't want it to end! With a wavering voice I said, "I wish that I could attend one of these events, sometime!"Oh, I do! I wish I could just come, sit on a blanket with my family in the far corner, enjoy the sunshine, the company, those beautiful trees towering down on us, and the river's quiet song. And I didn't even get to taste Crabbait's pulled pork! It was gone in record time, I guess! (laugh)
I wish that at night, despite the 46 degree temperatures that I could camp out like they did, and listen to the coyotes. I wish I could wake up and have camp coffee there in the meadow on the Kilchis river, and feel the chill in my bones.
But, I woke up this morning and threw the covers off to a warm house, and the sun was already dancing like a fairy tale scene on the tops of the trees.
Another beautiful beginning to a Disney like movie!
I walked out onto the porch, and the only trace of the party that (really did!) happen yesterday, was a pile of ice under the apple tree from the pop cooler.
"Wow. Those people in tents must be cold!" I thought to myself. The ice didn't even melt!
I can't complain. I do live in a fairy tale world.
The sun warmed the wood under my stocking feet as I took another sip of hot coffee. My head began to clear despite many doubts that it could ever happen after such a long, hard slumber.
All of the party had been swept clean by the clean-up crew. Every napkin, every dropped door prize ticket, and every half used bottle of bbq sauce was neatly put away.
I am blessed. I am truly blessed!
And now I have so many new things to look forward to! Fall fishing! The oncoming rains! Am I more excited about a rush of cutthroat trout coming upriver to my fly, or the onslaught of those huge, magical salmon that brush up against my waders?!? Ohweeeeeeee! Giggles of anticipation explode from me, just thinking about it!
I'm a kid in a candy store, and by golly, I'm going to share it!
Yep. I can sure write. In fact, I can't help but write! I'm full of the Kilchis river, and if it doesn't come out in music, it comes out right here in black and white. I'm so full of it that it just bubbles over!
You'd have to live here, to know what I mean. But, now that you've seen it, I'm sure that you understand.
Thank you for coming to share with me, yesterday.
And thank you, Lord, for most (another) amazing day!
(And sorry this is so long, but sometimes I just runneth over in floods with the Kilchis river.)

August 29th

I got up just to check on her. I don't think Bill realizes sometimes, how quickly a 10 month old lab can get into trouble. 30 seconds pass and she's gone! Gone to the neighbors! Gone up the hill! Gone, gone, gone! Rev the fancy lab has "trouble" written all over her forehead. It's just the way she is!
And well, I'm dramatic. It's just the way I am! She wasn't far, but when I saw what I saw, a guttural scream came from deep inside me!
NOT KINGLET! Bill!!!!!! Bill! YOUR DOG!
Rev is becoming Bill's dog, really quickly! He paid for her, and he's paying, still!
Kinglet is my favorite rooster. Obviously, Rev's favorite, too, and there it hung, upside down like an expertly retrieved duck. Rev, in all of her fancy lineage and black slick coat, standing proud, holding my rooster. My rooster was not happy about it at all! Neither was I! If someone is going to kill that rooster, it's going to be me. His hackles are out of this world, and a fly tying dream!
Luckily, Rev has a soft mouth and Kinglet was alright, after a little coaxing, from under the boxes in the garage.
All of us seem in danger, lately, and the household is on alert. Molly May, the resident kitty hides in corners, slinks around checking this way and that before sliding through the house, unnoticed, to eat.
The chickens are no dummies, either. They can sense when someone wants to eat them. When let loose in the afternoon to graze, they head straight into the woods. No more chickens on the deck. No siree, sir! They hide, and darn good thing they do!
Kilchis is even showing his age, growling at her when she approaches. There's nothing Rev loves more than to try to fit the whole head of my dog in her mouth. No kidding! Rev chews on Kilchis's head! As if it were a chew toy! Sometimes Kilchis tries to play along, and then I'll hear this pitiful cry coming from the other room. There's Rev, fully engaged in a head lock on Kilchis! "Rev, no!" She releases him, and is off to find her next victim.
Even the people are afraid. They are very afraid! When walking to the river, you never know when a black ball of slick fur will come racing at you out of nowhere at light speed.
"I'm coming to mow you down-you down... I'm coming to mow you down!" Look out! It's scary! And there is no stopping her, even if you see her coming. "No, Rev, no!" only serves to tell her to pick up speed. Your best hope is to hide by a tree and hope she misses. Rev has no sense of people needing to be on two legs. She immediately reduces you to all fours. Wham! Right on the backside of the knees. "Rev here! Whatcha doin'? Wanna play?" She licks you in greeting, having leveled the playing field to all on all fours. In pain or not, she thinks it's darn funny. I don't think it's funny! I'm too old for this!
Ever the eternal optimist, I think she'll grow up. I hope she'll find peace here on the Kilchis River. I hope she'll get over the puppy sillies and wilders, and soon! I don't know how much longer we all can take it!
When she does, I'll more than happily take her over as my dog, too. But, right now, Rev is Bill's dog. Mine is asleep on the couch, resting from a round with Rev.
Where's Rev? Well, it's been 30 seconds. She's gone!

August 30th

One thing you have to know is that the fishing is always better on the other side of the river. Always.
Getting there is half of the fun. Right?
I stood on the bad side of the river and gazed, longingly. I had no wading clothes, but it's summer. It's not cold, right?
The rain fell softly around me. It was barely 8 in the morning, if that. If there were any day that the fishing would be especially good across the river, it would be right now, and today. Fresh rain, early morning, and that oft so tempting 'other good side'.
I stuck one toe in. Not so bad.
I continued. It would be worth it, I was sure!
Knowing that it had rained, I did force myself to wear felts so I wouldn't slip. But, above the ankle, just plain cotton pants.
It was above the ankle that hit so hard. It was a good thing I was going forth. I couldn't stop now. I screamed so loud that I had scared all of the fish on the bad side of the river, anyhow. Shrieks of cold with every step. It better be good, over there! I half danced, and half slipped the rest of the way.
I finally made it, the dogs wiggling and waggling tugging and taggling behind. I'd better go to another hole. The dogs had made a fine mess of this one. The fishing is always better in the next hole up, anyhow.
Sometimes those dogs get so wound up that you can't even see them in the water. It's just splashes, 8 foot high!
I took off, walking upriver. My, but oh my did those ankle boots get wet. Oh, but they were heavy, now! I trudged doing the one foot drag like I learned when I was into hiking the Northwest. (It really works! Try it! Just drag one foot for a while, and then the other.)
I didn't think about it much, but I didn't think I could sit down to rest. Everything around me was soaked. (Why would that matter, now, I think? I was already soaked, too!)
Finally to the next hole, I checked to make sure the barb was pinched and straightened the wings on the spruce fly.
Ah, perfect! Yes, I was here! This was it! Here we go!
But, mid cast, I stopped to stare. Everything had changed! I hadn't fished this hole, this year, yet. The current used to flow strong through here, and it carried my line just dandy down to the deep hole where those big cutts lived. Now, the water was dammed up and it looked like a pond! There was no current, whatsoever!
Hm. I spent a while casting out, and slowly stripping in my line. Not a bite. I tried not to think of the bite I had earlier that morning. The fat, fourteen inch cutthroat I had released in the hole back upriver, and... on the other 'bad' side.
As I fished, I thought how it always used to be. I'd stand in a foot or so of water, cast out, let the current take my fly down, and I'd just hold it there for a while. Almost always I'd get a take. I fished for a while without anything, today.
Where was the good bite?
I stared longingly across the river.
The fishing is always better, on the other side of the river. Always...
And so, I cringed as I stepped in, and shrieked as the cold hit me once again. I made it to the other side. The dogs ruined the hole once more, due to their ceaseless play, so I had to work my way back downriver.
Trudge, drag, trudge, drag, trudge.
Except I was soaked! Everything weighed so much!
But, soon I was happily playing another big, fat searrun cutthroat in the same hole that I had fished at dawn. You know, the hole, on my side of the river?
The good hole?
That just doesn't happen. But, it did!
I'm staying on my side, tomorrow. Either that, or I'm going over to the Wilson. Fishing is always better on another river... You know, the 'good' river.

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