Fishing The Coast, Oregon and Washington

August 2005


Jennie's
Fishing Life


 

August 1, 2005

Just had to be the first to say, "Happy August!"
...and what a happy day, it is! It's cloudy, cool, and a bit drizzly, here at the coast. Makes me long for Fall, all the more! Think I'll go check for berries on the blackberry vines. I don't think they are ripe yet, but you never know! After all, it's August!
The birds are having a great day, today, with the cooler weather. Many are coming to feed. Grosbeak, a couple goldfinch, a random hummingbird, chickadees, and two summering juncos! We have no partridge, nor a pear tree, but that's coming, I'm certain!
The other day a chickadee hit the window, and I rescued him. Put him in a feeder basket until he was out of shock. I had no idea they were so tiny! They are fast becoming a favorite of mine. When we first started feeding them, they were very shy. Now, they are used to us, and very comfortable in our presence. I just adore them! They are so sweet! They talk to me when I'm lounging on the patio.
I've got a list of chores to do today. If I get through two of them, I'll feel great!
Off I go... first to walk the river, then to try to get my things done. Have a great August!

 



Violet Green Swallows

 

August 1, 2005... later

Click here for Stan's latest adventure with peacock bass in the Amazon! It's an incredible read!

August 4th

I was pickled tink to receive a phone call from Hobart Manns last night, with wonderful news!
They are back!
There has been an incredible silent void on Saturday mornings, since Hobart Manns and Jack Glass went off the air, some time ago.
Saturday mornings just haven't been the same!
Well, I have great news!
Tune into to AM 860 KPAM on Saturday, August 13th for the wonderful return of Hobart and Jack!!!
Woo hoooo!
I was so glad to hear Hobart's voice, and now I have an answer for the dozens of e mails I have saved, asking where they had gone!
For equal information, you may comment and welcome them back on this thread. Click here!
I'm off to Portland for a couple days. Today I'm comforting a friend who lost her husband. Both, very dear friends of mine.
Tomorrow, I have my three month check up for my aortic condition. I'm a tad nervous about that one!
Today I get to have lunch with my son! I can't wait!

August 6th

Yay! I won another three month pass! You guys all get excited about kitchen passes... well, imagine the excitement over life passes! Whooo hooo! I made it!
The doc casually waltzed in after filling me with so much radiation that I glowed, and said, "Let's get this out of the way. Your CT has not changed at all!"
So, glowing green or not, I'm free for another three months! The neato thing is that after I pass this next one, (which I WILL!) then I get a SIX MONTH PASS! Now, THAT will be really exciting! I'd say that merits a bigger celebration!
So, in celebration I'm going to go get after some cutthroat trout. I can't think of anything I'd rather do!
I was told that I was acting really cocky, today, and I have to admit, I am. Who wouldn't? I am alive! When said person told me to be careful setting the hook, today, I answered, "Almighty!"

August 8th

There is a welcome branch as I enter the river clearing, from the forest. It reaches out and catches my attention by the stickers that rip at my skin. Round, juicy and finally ripe blackberries hang in a cluster and stop me for a snack, as I halt my pace down to the river.
It's always a welcome site, to see the ripened, juicy berries along the river side. They mark the first of the wait for Fall. Long, warm, indian summer days are laid out before me.
Often, there is some kind of thermal warmth that clings by the river. At the very same moment, just a city block away, a cool coastal breeze marches across the meadow, bending and sweeping across the long grasses of the field. But down by the river, it is still, humid, and warm.
The clothes that I chose as I stepped outside of my home are completely wrong for down by the river. Often, you can find me by a trail of clothing that I leave at the blackberries and on up. I follow my way back, picking up sweatshirts and overcoats, and put them back on, in my return.
This morning is cool and cloudy. The bird feeders outside my window are busy with fledgling grosbeak and their parents. What a raucous and hilarious bunch they are! The babies flutter their wings, and cry. Depending on their stage of growth, they are either mouth wide open, crying for more food from the parent, or clumsily pecking at their own seeds. They make me laugh as they try to roll the seeds in their mouth, getting little reward for work done, but trying, all the same. The parents land on the feeders with a grace that the babies lack. The babies land with great awkward movements that leave the feeders swinging wide like a clock pendulum.
Right now the feeders are totally silent, reminding me that these are the last birds to leave this season before the late summer pinch period.
Sometimes I wonder if I could be just as happy totally skipping August and the start of September. It is an odd and lonely season, where my colorful flowers fade and die back, and the vegetable garden begins to droop, yet still yeilds too many squash to feed my family. Can you freeze squash?
The feeders that line my porch and dot my yard become totally vacant. In the morning when I wake, the songbird's melodies are distant, or completely gone. The grasses in the field turn a dusty brown. The trees yet cling onto their leaves, although they are beginning to wither and hang despondently.
Fast forward me, Fall!
Fast forward me to the colorful leaves that twirl from the sky in a swirling wind, and crunch on the cool river rocks under my feet. Walk me to a river current that carries fast the color filled leaves over the riffles. Down, like an assembly line they shoot with the current, and work their way to the bottom of the deepest hole. There, a patch worked color carpet of maple leaves mirror the trees above! Take me to the first rains that fall and fill the river with Fall chinook! The sea run cutts making fast, their journey to spawn. Give me a morning with a nip to it, that wakes me with a start, and leads me from my warm, down blankets.
The river becomes alive with the purpose of creating new life!
Like everything and anything, there is a season of wait. A bridge that takes us from here, to there. Just like there is a healing period before I fully appreciate my returning health, there is a time before my favorite season that builds my love and longing for Fall.
Each year, I yet have to stop to realize that this part of late summer builds my anticipation. Without it, I doubt my enjoyment of Fall would be so exquisitely rich.
And so, on this dusty trail that leads to the skinniest of late summer flow on the river, I strip off my sweatshirt, lay down my fly rod, and stop to enjoy the "welcome" berries that late summer offers as gifts, to those of us who are in wait.

 

August 11th

There is no better sleep than what pride produces.
I slept so deeply last night!
There was a bit of fear and worry, before it resolved to pride, but thankfully, it all resolved.
Last night, I sat up in bed, rigid, with the remote control fast at hand. The mute button was becoming worn, fast. Mute! "Is that a car? Is that David?" No.Mute! Is that a car? ...Or that?
David is a newly licensed driver, driving my Ford Explorer!
David is a new employee at Fred Meyers!
Both, pickle me tink!
But man, how fast things change! Just a week ago, I was upset and worrying about how many video games he was playing. Now, he's turned his life around with a 35 hour week at Fred Meyers and a brand new drivers license!
I let him take the car, yesterday, on his first day of work. What a relief it is, as he doesn't get off work until 10:00 PM, and I can't drive at night!
As I stood in my nightgown and flashed the spotlight out on the meadow, I spotted a large deer in the meadow. That deer could easily follow the trail to the road, and I was a bit panicked that David would meet up with that one, or several others, known to frequent our roadway. Not only that, but the road home is a windy, dark, country road, with unexpected fast paced (drinking?) young drivers, driving to the park, to party.
Heck, yes, I worry!
Just the other day, David and I drove to the DMV for his test. I sat on the concrete steps in the sunshine and waited while a very kind gentleman took him for a spin. The test seemed so short! When they drove back, I thought sure he had committed some roadway sin, and was being turned down. But, no! The examiner told me he was a great driver, and that he had passed! Yay! I slept well that night, also!
I have to admit, I'm not a patient driving teacher. I have to breathe deeply while I'm letting David drive, or I'm apt to loudly remind him to not go too fast, or remind him he's turning a corner too tight, and "Oh! David! Look out for that deer!"
Sigh... it's not my favorite thing to do, teaching new drivers! But, "we" passed. He did well!
The very next day, he was called in for an interview at Fred Meyers and was accepted. I let him drive, alone. That was a big step for both of us!
You know, the trampoline that sat out in my yard for years is gone. The memories of two laughing and screaming young boys still linger in my mind, and play as ghosts, as I fish the river, alone. There is a bare spot, now neatly mowed and watered. It is a place I try to avoid. A hole in my heart, that will be hard to fill.
As I look back on their youth, I realize how fast everything changes! I was a Mother to them for so many years, and now they are both learning lessons that Mom can't help with. Big, life lessons! And one for me, also, as I try to adjust to a new life, and to fill those holes with things I want to do, now!
It's exciting, it's change, it's new!
Andrew has his apartment in Portland and college on the horizon, and David, learning to drive, alone, and also handling the responsibility of a real job.
I called David upstairs, as I heard him close the garage door. He was tired, but very happy.
He sat on the chair, beside my bed. It was one of those nights that will long be in my favorite memory file. I wanted to hear all about it!
He mentioned how nice people were, at work. He enjoys the social experience. I knew he would! He told me about stocking shelves, and cleaning the isles. He told me about being handed one of those big black telephones as a co worker took a break. He had no clue how to use it, and when a checker called for a price check, he stumbled to find the product. So much to learn! So little time!
David looked older in his uniform for Fred Meyers. He looked like someone else's son. Not my little boy, anymore. He was a grown person, now socializing with strangers, and doing well, indeed.
When Andrew left home, it was such a shock, as he was usually home until his very abrupt departure.
I think it's going to be easier watching David leave. I'm more prepared for it. I'm starting right now.
David is taking gradual steps, leaving home. His job at Fred Meyers is his first step out of the house, and onto independence.
And me? I'm still glowing with pride. I woke with a smile as the dogs and I all wagged our tails toward the cookie jar.
Yeah, it's just a job at Fred Meyers, and it's just a driver's license.. but that's my son wearing that uniform, and by golly, that's my son, driving carefully next to you, as you make your way down our Oregon roadways.
And... That's my son, David, helping you with your groceries. He calls women "Ma'am" and gentlemen, "Sir".
I am proud to have two sons. Both of them, I am told repeatedly, are nice, polite kids. There are times I am disappointed in their activities, frustrated with carelessness, or worried about their finances.
But really... what more can I ask for, then to have kids that people like, and comment positively, on?
David is scheduled to work again, tonight. Off I go! I have to hurry off to the store to buy a new remote. I wore out the mute button, worrying last night.
I don't expect worry to leave home, anytime soon. Maybe I'll buy a couple of those remote controls. I'm going to tape over the mute button and carefully place the words, "peace" there, instead... to help mute my worries.

August 11th

There is no better sleep than what pride produces.
I slept so deeply last night!
There was a bit of fear and worry, before it resolved to pride, but thankfully, it all resolved.
Last night, I sat up in bed, rigid, with the remote control fast at hand. The mute button was becoming worn, fast. Mute! "Is that a car? Is that David?" No.Mute! Is that a car? ...Or that?
David is a newly licensed driver, driving my Ford Explorer!
David is a new employee at Fred Meyers!
Both, pickle me tink!
But man, how fast things change! Just a week ago, I was upset and worrying about how many video games he was playing. Now, he's turned his life around with a 35 hour week at Fred Meyers and a brand new drivers license!
I let him take the car, yesterday, on his first day of work. What a relief it is, as he doesn't get off work until 10:00 PM, and I can't drive at night!
As I stood in my nightgown and flashed the spotlight out on the meadow, I spotted a large deer in the meadow. That deer could easily follow the trail to the road, and I was a bit panicked that David would meet up with that one, or several others, known to frequent our roadway. Not only that, but the road home is a windy, dark, country road, with unexpected fast paced (drinking?) young drivers, driving to the park, to party.
Heck, yes, I worry!
Just the other day, David and I drove to the DMV for his test. I sat on the concrete steps in the sunshine and waited while a very kind gentleman took him for a spin. The test seemed so short! When they drove back, I thought sure he had committed some roadway sin, and was being turned down. But, no! The examiner told me he was a great driver, and that he had passed! Yay! I slept well that night, also!
I have to admit, I'm not a patient driving teacher. I have to breathe deeply while I'm letting David drive, or I'm apt to loudly remind him to not go too fast, or remind him he's turning a corner too tight, and "Oh! David! Look out for that deer!"
Sigh... it's not my favorite thing to do, teaching new drivers! But, "we" passed. He did well!
The very next day, he was called in for an interview at Fred Meyers and was accepted. I let him drive, alone. That was a big step for both of us!
You know, the trampoline that sat out in my yard for years is gone. The memories of two laughing and screaming young boys still linger in my mind, and play as ghosts, as I fish the river, alone. There is a bare spot, now neatly mowed and watered. It is a place I try to avoid. A hole in my heart, that will be hard to fill.
As I look back on their youth, I realize how fast everything changes! I was a Mother to them for so many years, and now they are both learning lessons that Mom can't help with. Big, life lessons! And one for me, also, as I try to adjust to a new life, and to fill those holes with things I want to do, now!
It's exciting, it's change, it's new!
Andrew has his apartment in Portland and college on the horizon, and David, learning to drive, alone, and also handling the responsibility of a real job.
I called David upstairs, as I heard him close the garage door. He was tired, but very happy.
He sat on the chair, beside my bed. It was one of those nights that will long be in my favorite memory file. I wanted to hear all about it!
He mentioned how nice people were, at work. He enjoys the social experience. I knew he would! He told me about stocking shelves, and cleaning the isles. He told me about being handed one of those big black telephones as a co worker took a break. He had no clue how to use it, and when a checker called for a price check, he stumbled to find the product. So much to learn! So little time!
David looked older in his uniform for Fred Meyers. He looked like someone else's son. Not my little boy, anymore. He was a grown person, now socializing with strangers, and doing well, indeed.
When Andrew left home, it was such a shock, as he was usually home until his very abrupt departure.
I think it's going to be easier watching David leave. I'm more prepared for it. I'm starting right now.
David is taking gradual steps, leaving home. His job at Fred Meyers is his first step out of the house, and onto independence.
And me? I'm still glowing with pride. I woke with a smile as the dogs and I all wagged our tails toward the cookie jar.
Yeah, it's just a job at Fred Meyers, and it's just a driver's license.. but that's my son wearing that uniform, and by golly, that's my son, driving carefully next to you, as you make your way down our Oregon roadways.
And... That's my son, David, helping you with your groceries. He calls women "Ma'am" and gentlemen, "Sir".
I am proud to have two sons. Both of them, I am told repeatedly, are nice, polite kids. There are times I am disappointed in their activities, frustrated with carelessness, or worried about their finances.
But really... what more can I ask for, then to have kids that people like, and comment positively, on?
David is scheduled to work again, tonight. Off I go! I have to hurry off to the store to buy a new remote. I wore out the mute button, worrying last night.
I don't expect worry to leave home, anytime soon. Maybe I'll buy a couple of those remote controls. I'm going to tape over the mute button and carefully place the words, "peace" there, instead... to help mute my worries.

 

August 13th

I thought I was watching my raspberries, closer than anything. The first crop, came on about the last of June. Just before the very few young berries were ripe, the deer came and just totally stripped them!
So, we bought some deer repellant, and used it judiciously. I waited. Soon, another crop popped up! The berries were almost ripe. In fact, I could have picked them, but no! I waited just one more day, until they were perfect! I woke, walked out to the field and they were stripped clean! What a total disappointment! Every berry but one, gone! All the new leaves! All the new buds!
So, yesterday, I bought deer netting. We'll see! I haven't checked yet, but I imagine my one berry is gone, either by bird, or by deer. Last night before I retired, there were two deer at the corner of the field. They were waiting... waiting to steal my last berry!
Yesterday I cooked a beautiful meal on the Traeger for Andrew's Birthday. We had a blast. It's been nice having him home. He's having the normal problems that anyone living in their first home have. Figuring budgets, room mate social conflicts, etc. I think he sees that it's not all fun and games.
So far this morning, there have been no birds to greet me. My feeders are hanging bare, except for a raucous blue jay, who rocks the feeders and tips everything out until I spook him off.
The stillness of late summer is upon us. The fields are brown. The trees don't sway in the wind. It's still. It's warm. It's dry.
It's supposed to rain this week, and I feel that would be a welcome cleansing for all of us. It might bring fresh fish into the rivers and bays. I could go for that!
I'm busy trying to judge the photo contest this morning. Now that is one tough job! The contest entries are here. Every single one of them is grand! How are we supposed to choose? Yikes!
Bill drove me to the county fair the other day. I think I walked more than usual, because since then, I've been having a bit of trouble with my legs. It was so worth it, though. The Pig and Ford races had me in stitches. We met a very nice couple sitting in front of us, who were from Texas. I love visiting and helping people understand why, in Tillamook, we pick up small pigs and race them around a filthy track in old Ford vehicles. I can understand their confusion. I did my part (between giggles) explaining our dementia!
I wonder if they'll come visit, again?
Anyhow... Off I go. Thanks to Sweet Louise on the board, I have some Tuna to can, with the help of my kids. (Who adore it, and eat most of it!)
It should be a wonderful day.
God bless the change of the seasons, and God bless all of you, too!
I have so much to be thankful for!

August 16th

The closest I can come to knowing the feeling of being "shipped out", or fighting in a war, or going to Iraq, is going through the emergency heart surgery that I went through, in December, and the resulting post surgeries.
It was a personal war that seemed to go on, and on.
I know it's an odd thing to compare to, but I feel it is relative. I still have a bit of "post traumatic stress disorder" from the whole experience. I am haunted by images, both in nightmares, and in permanent visions. When I close my eyes, I still have an image that won't go away, due to the high doses of morphine I was given. Oddly enough, it's in the shape of a fish. If I have to have an image, that's the one I'd want.
I think back and remember my angels throughout it all. Ginger the nurse, in the cardiac care recovery, and some girl that I barely remember, that was in ICU. Long hair, thin, pretty, and so very, very kind. Ginger would sneak me ice cubes when all of the other nurses seemed to almost revel in keeping me from any liquids. I'll never forget the discomfort I felt, the extreme thirst in the middle of the night. I actually cried out in desperation for a drink, an ice cube, something! Once I ate a cup of ice cream, and I'll never forget the nurse who counted that as part of my daily liquids. No fair! More than once they promised me something when they got off shift and come to find out later, they'd forget, and go home. The next nurse on duty would begin the shift by following strict orders and I'd have to wait for what seemed like forever, for the tiniest sip. True thirst is an awesome warrior against comfort.
I remember the hallucinations I had on morphine, and the things I thought happened, that really didn't. When I'd inquire about these events, I was met with either a grin, or a shaking of heads. "Is this girl crazy?" I was certain they thought I was... or are they used to this kind of behavior?
Why, of course the male nurse had a party last night, and was entertaining that blonde nurse on the terrace, outside the ICU. He was serving her martinis! I saw them! He kept a long box of fancy cigarettes in that drawer! RIGHT THERE! Shouldn't he be reprimanded?
I wasn't certain if I should tell on him or not, as he was one of the nice ones who did allow me to drink water. In fact, I think he gave me a martini, too! I still have the plastic OSHU glass that he served it to me in.
Oh well, it's all a blur to me, now.
Days turned to nights, and nights turned to what seemed like months. Cumulatively, I guess it was months. I drug around and behind me a cardiac monitor that was heavy and cumbersome. Wires entangled my sleep, and wrestled with me, day and night. Nurses came and nurses went, poking me with needles until my arm swelled to twice the size. My veins were difficult to thread, and more than once, they called in the "one stick" team. Even they failed to insert the catheter. I still have scars there, to prove it.
I was puzzled when they asked me to walk, and I could not. I was made to feel lazy, and I tried so hard to walk! The pain was excruciating. Thank God for Ginger, who quickly gave me another shot of morphine, seeing that I was indeed in pain. Thank God they finally realized I had no blood flow to my legs. Without that, I'd still be in a wheel chair. I'd still be considered "lazy."
No matter that I'm numb in both legs from this oversight. I can walk, now. I am grateful.
Thank God for the people at Stanford, and the angel of a nurse who held my hand while I watched on a television screen the source of incredible pain, but a complete and successful miracle of a surgery. They had trouble medicating me sufficiently, since I had become immune by so much, for so long. They were shocked that I was watching, but there was nothing I could do. It was one of those things you don't want to look at, but can't help it. Like a bad car crash, I kept nervous watch.
My doctor cannot explain the migraines that I have now. They started after my surgery. However, he says that the brain that I went into surgery with, is not the brain I came out with. That I should be happy that I don't have what is known as "pump brain" from being on the heart and lung machine, too long.
There are times I don't think I can remember things as well, and times that I feel a little strange.
I am very grateful, fish image or not... migraine, or not. Smart or stupid, memory, or forgetfulness.
The fact is, I can hear my heart beating...oh-so loud and clearly! --or I can hear my mechanical valve, that is. So can you, if you'll step a little closer. Listen!
It's a constant metronome to any music that I write. (That by the way, is all in one tempo, now!)
But, the constant rhythmic clicking keeps beat to a victory march that I try to keep up with, as I walk along the banks of the Kilchis river... as I step in time while cooking dinner for my son, as sit, and tend to ifish...A constant and somewhat intrusive battle scar that I have come to accept, and grown to be proud of.
I have been to my own kind of personal war.
Life is so darn short. You've heard that before... but it's so true, and so many of us leap and bound through life, without giving it a second thought. Take a look around you. Thank those that are a blessing to you. Care for them. Take time to visit. Take time to make someone feel special.
My life has been truly rich. I have done so much! As I look back over my life, and see the many things I have been blessed with, and the many experiences I have had, I feel truly blessed!
I believe with all of heart, that despite all of my adventures, I have missed out on something, and that I have been given a second chance at life.
I truly believe that through all of the haunting memories, and all of the pain, that I have grown to be just that much richer.
I may not have come home with a purple heart, but I have a purple scar, zippering down my chest. Sometimes I wonder about wearing low neck things, or swim suits, but heck! I wear them anyway! That scar is a constant reminder to me of my own personal battle, and the resulting victory.

August 19th

The Nehalem up river fishery is a gentleman's fishery. Calm, peaceful, and quiet. You'll see retired men at the trolling motor, dressed in Norm Thompson-style attire, often accompanied by very lady like ladies, adorned with extra large sun hats. It reminds me of George Seurat's famous painting "Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte". You know, "Sunday in the park, with George".
I was "invited to tea" there, just yesterday.
I have no large sun hat, so I stuffed my hair under a "Fiji fishing tournament" baseball cap and called it good.
The more that my friends love me, the more they "lure" me out fishing. I am grateful!
My friends all know that they very well may get the boat put in and finally fishing, and I may have to go back to the dock. They put up with that! If in the reverse situation, I wonder if I'd have that patience!
Kilchis my dog, however, has no patience whatsoever. It is that very attribute that makes him so charming to me.
We fished, and it was fine, but I was relieved when we headed in. The large tidal exchanges this week have filled the river with grasses. I couldn't believe the logs and debris we had to dodge, upriver! Huge logs floated by, and the low tides exposed snags we hadn't ever noticed. Please, be cautious!
The fishing is slow on the Nehalem. It's been forever since I've felt the familiar tug of a salmon on my line. That's what I need to rev me up! The Fall chinook runs are just around the corner. Just try and stop me, then! But, that's a different season... a different feel. Far from the retired gentleman season of late summer.
Usually, our boat take out procedure runs smoothly. I feel confident and rather proud of both my skill, and our teamwork in getting the boat out of the water quickly and efficiently.
Yesterday was not that way.
Several "gentlemen" blocked my course to the maneuvering area as they prepped their boat for travels home. I sat in the truck and revved the the engine a couple times, in hopes they'd notice. Nope! (Just a woman in a truck, don't worry!) I finally had to get out of the truck, and kindly ask them to pull forward.
Finally at the ramp, I noticed a bunk flipped wrong. I got out to try to wiggle it loose, and it was stuck hard! Uh oh!
The loading procedure was anything but smooth.
On arrival home, I caught myself up on ifish, and then took a late afternoon nap.
After dinner, Kilchis reminded me that it was time for the river. He cracks me up. He absolutely can not wait for me to go for my shoes after the dinner dishes are put away!
The river was like a pond. In the stillness of late summer, the water mirrors the seasons of trees above. What was a solid palette of rippling spring green, now bursts random bouquets of Fall. Bouquets of orange and yellow wake up the stillness of the water. Warm blackberries hanging in clumps line the dusty shores and are a wonderful after dinner treat.
It's been so odd and backwards, of late. I can go out to the river mid day when the full sun is on the water, and the fish will take a fly without hesitation. However, in the evening, when fishing is known to be much better, I can fish up till dark without a bite.
I nudged the canoe to the water's edge. I brought along a handful of berries to snack on. I had no current to work against. Soft dipping paddles propelled me, skimming across the river.
I barely broke water, as I stared into the depths. I mindlessly float, gazing into the cool, clear water to the structure on the bottom. I try to memorize every rock and crevice for future fishing success. I can't help but dream that I'll see a salmon there. I doubt that will ever happen. By the time the water will be high enough for salmon, it won't be so clear, or such an effortless chore to paddle there.
I got out on the opposite shore, carefully holding the boat so I wouldn't tip. Walking to the lower hole, I had great expectations. The bite is always better on the other side. Yes? I was disappointed, all but for the bounty of berries there! I refreshed my treat supply and then walked back to my canoe and floated back home.
I very lovingly turned down a trip to the ocean with some dear friends, today.
Instead, I woke to heavy fog, tucked my pajama legs into my boots, and sleep-walked my way to the river for breakfast. A handful of berries and a couple casts into the depths clears my head and starts my day off with a kind of peace that I can't imagine being without.
The fish aren't biting. But that's far from being what it's all about, for me.
I like the idea of being retired, all dressed up in Norm Thompson attire. I need to get me a trollin' motor. Maybe I'll settle for a large sun hat, though.
Every summer day on the Kilchis is like a George Seurat painting, come alive.
Think I like it here? Oh! I do!

 

August 21st

I'm afraid I have a little grosbeak baby. Her parents flew the coop after teaching her to feed. I watched every morning as the parents first fed her cracked sunflowers seeds, and then taught it to twirl seeds around and crack them, herself.
Her wings shook and fluttered as she learned to keep her balance. Now she has that down, and she is very steady.
But, there is something wrong with this female fledgling. Her legs don't work. She literally sits on the feeder, and each day she has become more proficient in cracking seeds. She sits there for hours. She also hangs out on the back porch... sitting, instead of standing. I'm so afraid that nature will take it's course and she'll become food for something or another. Nature can be so cruel.
I think she'll need a heated condo for the winter. I knew I fixed up Andrew's room for a good reason!
She's been sitting on my feeder all morning, now. I talk to her, and she listens. Chickadees light beside her, thinking they'll scare her off, but she remains calm. She is very unafraid, as if she knows she needs help. She flies wonderfully. I can't help but be curious if she'll make it, against all odds. I'm here to tell you, it can be done!
I've taken several pictures of her, close up through the window, but they haven't come out clear, or I'd share them. She's just an ordinary grosbeak, but she is so extraordinary! I'm becoming very attached to her. It's a solid case of broken wing syndrome. I have a lot of compassion for animals... and people, that are hurt or struggling.
My grandfather was like that, with me. He always showed a special consideration for me. He had so many medical problems. Diabetes, polio, and eyesight problems. He defied the odds more than once, as they told him he'd never walk again after being struck with polio. Walk, he did, and he raised a family, and fed them all through hard work raising beef and vegetables on his farm. If you want to read about him, you may, here.
As I look up, the grosbeak is now gone. I am simply amazed how well it gets along. Our lives are each one, a miracle. Still, I feel closer to those who struggle. May God Bless each one of you!
I haven't read my Grandfather's (Roy Davidson) article in quite some time. I'm going to do that, today... and dedicate the day to remembering, and appreciating him. I miss him so much! How I'd love to take him cutthroat fishing!
He'd love the Nehalem, too!
.With that thought, I'll end with Roy Davidson's prayer written for his 50th wedding anniversary.
...And finally, with your indulgence, just a few words to someone I have known longer than any of you “Thank you, God,” I’d like to say, “For all you did through all those fifty years to make it possible for this occasion today. And a special Thank You for Grandma and all she has done, though there have been trying times when we did not accomplish what we would have liked we are still thankful for what we did get done. Half a loaf is better than no loaf!
“And forgive me, please dear Lord, for all my mistakes, and there were many. You know, Lord, that I dislike crowds and the likes with all their rabble and babble. I believe that perhaps, you have spoiled me a little by going with me on every fishing and hunting trip that I ever took. Many were the times, that just you and I, up some winding canyon, with nothing but hush clean up to the brim, save the low moaning of the wind in the pines and the music of tumbling water, interspersed occasionally by the raucous cry of a bird, who challenged not you, but me for being there. And how I loved and enjoyed all of it.

 

August 22nd

Meet Reba. She's a handicapped grosbeak that has come to adopt us. We are doing everything we can to assure she makes it, but I don't know if it will work! She's not very wise. She wants to bed down on the feeder at night, so we have to scare her into the trees. Also, she'll eat right out of our hands. She's so darling. She talks to us in the morning, and is so calm! Her legs just don't work. She isn't in pain. I wonder what the problem is?

August 25th

Well, for sure it is down comforter season. I adore sleeping with the windows open, and the bed piled high with heavy down and wool. In the middle of the night, I wake to the sounds of coyotes howling, or elk crossing the river. When light comes, I'm faced towards the river, and I watch as fog comes winding down the river's canyon. The coming light changes the leaves of the trees from light orange to green, and back again.
The nip in the morning air reminds me of Fall chinook fishing, and causes my heartbeat to quicken.
Reba is here, this morning. Each night I go out to shoo her from unusually dangerous perches. Like, on the porch steps, or on the fish cleaning table. "Reba! you can't sleep there! You'll surely be eaten!" So, off she finally swoops to a nearby tree. I do wonder how long she'll stay with us. She is by far the last grosbeak of summer. I do think she wants to stay on as a pet. I coo at her through the open window, even though I'd much rather close it, and turn up the heat.
The Kilchis river is very low and clear. It's changed so much over this last year. The deepest holes are shallow. The current has cut new holes. Steelheading will be much different. It's hard to memorize a river, when it keeps changing!
Last night, I really did not want to go out fishing, but Kilchis gave me no choice. He barked incessantly and insisted that it was good for my health.
On Monday, I had a surgical procedure that left me with 20 stitches. I wanted to rest.
Instead, I tied on a new tippet, and added a small nymph of some kind or another on a size 10 hook. It was so tiny!
Big mistake! Little 5 and 6 inch cutts and steelhead smolt absolutely went nuts for it! I couldn't make a decent cast without the interruption of a small bite. Shakers, I guess! So, off it came. Instead, I tied on a larger Borden's Special and started new.
Success comes with no smolt this time of year, on the Kilchis river. In fact, I had absolutely no bite. Funny, how that can be called success. There is not enough water in the river to attract the bigger cutts on a brightly colored fly, but plenty of water to nurse the smolt and smaller cutts.
I finally gave in and sat to watch the river. The Kilchis came alive with an evening ballet of smolt at play. Kilchis, my dog, waded knee deep. A smolt continually jumped out of the water, nearly hitting his nose. Kilchis swatted at it, as if it were a fly. He pawed at the water, trying to locate it. The wily smolt just kept up his playful jumping until Kilchis gave up, and came to sit beside me.
Curious, how a river changes and adapts to the needs of what it produces. Right now, it's low and clear, and calm. The perfect playground for these tiny fish. Later, the rains will come and the banks will swell. Sand that makes up the beaches will become wet and muddy and chunk off, into the flow. Just as my garden dies off, the river will begin it's production of fat, large salmon, ready for harvest. I love the first rains when the river begins to swell. The first smells of home hit the ocean, and call the salmon upriver.
There is a special place that I go, and drag a chair close to the river. I sit to watch the salmon try to make it over the rocks. "First one home wins!" They seem to shout, as they tirelessly work and jump to clear the yet rocky barrier that keeps them from the next pool. Soon, the rocks will disappear under the water, and the later salmon will have an easier time of returning home.
Later comes the joy of wading knee deep in the river, and holding close encounters with chum salmon, who seem not to notice me, and rub against my legs. I love that!
Often I've thought of walking barefoot through the riffles, and if I could do it without harming the spawning beds, place a chair right there in the middle, and spend the night wrapped in a down comforter, out there in the river, listening to the salmon rush over the rocks under me, all around me... singing, home... home... home...
There is a party that is coming to a river near you. A homecoming that is more celebrated than any family reunion you have ever attended. And to some, it goes totally unnoticed.
As they race their cars over the city bridges, and head towards their work, they cross over the most amazing of activities! Not even noticing!
However, it's my very favorite time of year, and I'm already looking fast forward to Fall's festivities.

August 27th

Every since 911, I get this eerie feeling, this time of year. I remember that after I watched it on TV, I had to get out of the house. I had been watching for hours, and I had to get away.
My kids went off to school, like it was any other day. I wanted them home with me, but I think it was better that they went to school. All the normalcy you can buy, amidst the terror.
It was hot and dusty later that day, if I remember right, and I went out to the river. The brightly bleached river rocks nearly blinded me. I picked berries. It was windy, and when I cried, the dust that kicked up off the opposite logging road made my face all dirty where the tears were. I'd wipe away the tears, and my shirt sleeve was filthy!
The beach was just so lonely, as was the sky, and the huge canopy of trees that were just starting to shed their leaves.
The sky was just that odd, lightened and vacant blue, like it gets in the Fall. Almost chalky, like someone could come along and erase it.
I dunno. It haunts me to go down to the river at times, when the conditions are similar.

It is like that, today.

 

August 28th

Fished Nehalem for a bit, yesterday. Man, was it slow. B-10 is really picking up. I thought... just maybe... maybe the Nehalem might pick up, also! Actually, I heard that there were about 8 fish caught at the tide change up by Nehalem. Of course, I was too late for that. I just can't seem to be "Johnny on the spot" and get up at a a quarter and a half past midnight, anymore. I think it's my meds. I used to wake up bouncing. Now... I stagger. I'm foggy, until I have plenty of java.
For instance, take this morning.
The power went out last night. I had no idea what time it was when I woke up, but the coffee did not get auto brewed. As I waited impatiently for the coffee to brew, I decided to set up my morning's drinks. I always have a big glass of water, and a cup of coffee with Hazelnut creamer. I love that stuff! I'm an addict.
Reaching in the fridge, I groggily reached around and went for the lemon juice, instead of the creamer. Hey! They are right next to each other, and just about the same size! With a huge sigh of relief, proud that I had the wits about me to notice, I giggled, exchanged it for the creamer, and proceed to pour the proper dose of Hazelnut creamer straight into my glass of water.
Eh hem!
If that's any predictor of how my day will go, I'm going back to bed!
I'm really worried about the hurricane, Katrina. I'm not sure how close my niece is to there, but her husband is stationed over there, and they are getting ready to fly home to see her Mom, (my sister).
Not only that, but I'm just praying for all of the folks over there. At the same time, I'm grateful for our gentle Oregon rains, and comparatively wimpy storms. So, with that, I start my Sunday with some words of thanks and concern, to my Father above.
And Father, be with Tim and Shana Juarez, as they face a very difficult situation with illness in their family.
...and be with Gary Hilton, and with Willie of Willie Boats, and with the family of "Freetofish" of ifish, who was lost this past week, on the Columbia.
Several people are adding black tape to their ifish stickers, in honor of Freetofish, to show respect for his passing onto greater waters. Their ifish stickers will stay that way for one week.
...and while I'm at it, Lord, thank you for the Kilchis river. If I might borrow my Grandfather's prayer, "Many were the times, that just you and I, up some winding canyon, with nothing but hush clean up to the brim, save the low moaning of the wind in the pines and the music of tumbling water, interspersed occasionally by the raucous cry of a bird, who challenged not you, but me for being there."
I think I'll go there, now... to share more of my concerns, and my thanks for my relationship with You.
And Father? Thanks for not letting me drink that Hazelnut creamer in my water.

August 30th

Stan's latest column is up. Now these hooks sound great! Why didn't someone think of this, before?
Thank you, Stan, for bringing these to our attention!
Can you believe another month has passed us by? I'm almost starting to regret wishing Fall here, so soon. Before you know it, it will have come and gone! Slow down, world! You move too fast! You gotta make the fishing last... anyhow...
I have been fishing... but mostly in my back yard, which isn't too productive. I would most rather call it dinking around with Kilchis. (My dog.)
Mostly, I've been having a heck of a time trying to get to sleep at night, which leads to frustratingly sleepy days.
Night before last, Molly the cat brought an entire family of wild rabbits into the house, one by one. You know, with just enough time for me to nap, in between crashes. The entire downstairs was nearly demolished, due to the battle between cat and "wabbit". I saved them all, including the cat!
Then, last night I heard mysterious huge crashes in the night, like trees falling. I couldn't wait till the light of day, to go investigate. I nearly went out with a spotlight last night, but I chickened out.
Anyhow, this morning's walk did not reveal the cause. It's still a mystery. Things that go bump in the night...
Tonight, I will sleep... except for the fact that David is working late and will be driving my car, by himself. That's good for a late night panic on Mom's behalf. Until I hear that door open, I will not sleep a wink.
Well, off I go. Have a great day! One of these days, I too, will be out at B-10!
P.S. Reba has been missing for two days, now. She was getting stronger, last I saw her. Perhaps she is catching up with her clan. That's what I'm going to think, anyway, should I not see her again.

August 31st

Katrina has really thrown me for a loop.
I don't like getting older or wiser. I don't like having an aortic dissection and I don't like watching this suffering on TV.
I want to go back to my Disneyland life.
Things were seemingly perfect until my Mother died of ovarian cancer. Was it rose colored glasses, or did I honestly live without sadness? If heaven is a place without sadness, I'd relate it to the times before my Mother died.
And then, my illness brought about an actual reality of my own mortality, and now Katrina... I see so many people facing mortality, facing extreme suffering. Where is the Disneyland in that?
I wrote out my check to the Red Cross last night. Well, things are different, now. I actually donated online. It was easy, painless... of course, until I get my Visa bill. But, I'll be proud to pay it, even as I struggle with less than enough to go around myself. I think I have less?!? Can you imagine how these folks back in Mississippi feel? Talk about LESS! Hey, I can do without a box of Frosted Flakes this month, believe me!
Watching it, I almost feel guilty doing anything fun. Bill asked if I wanted to go fishing. Yes, I do. But you know, I bet those people on TV would give anything in the world, to go!
To feel so free, just to pick up and go fishing. Not a worry in the world! Ha!
I have the opportunity to do just that. Thank you, Lord!
I think I'll go while I can. Life is so short. I know that! I know that, and remember that, as I spent so many days in the hospital wondering if I would ever get well enough to walk, let alone live, or ever heal from the trauma my aorta went through.
All I can do, is all I can do.
If I were healthier, I would hop a bus and get down there and help. If I were to be granted one wish, mine wouldn't be to go to Disneyland, anymore. It would be to go there to help. I want to hold someone's hand and tell them that I will do anything that I can to help. I want to make someone smile. There is great joy in that, and I need some of that joy. It would be double joy!
Bill and I talked about how we could help. Bill was an insurance adjuster for many years. He is seriously contemplating donating his services. But what can I do? Very little. Very, very little, except to comfort others. I used to be a certified nurses aide, but I'm not anymore. I feel useless.
All I can do, is donate what little cash I can comfortably give... which doesn't seem enough, either.
Yes, I'm frustrated. I want to help so badly. I wish I could.
But, I can pray.
I guess I will go fishing. After all, I've got life right now, and that will not always be the case.
Come to think of it, comparatively, I do live a Disney life, still!
If anyone knows of any way I can help the victims of Katrina, please let me know. I've written to the Red Cross to ask how I can best reach people. I'll pass it along. I have lots of people accessing ifish. If I can send a message of hope, I will.
I need to use the gift of ifish that God gave me, in the best way that I can. I just don't know how.

FISHING THE COAST
A journal of my adventures.

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