Fishing The Coast, Oregon and Washington
February 2000

Jennie on the Columbia.... an upriver bright!

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FISHING THE COAST

A journal of my adventures.


Feb 1st 2000

zzzzzzzz what a night.... bang, whirrrr, crash, "Mommy.... I can't sleep...Can I sleep with you?"-- "woof woof" dog wants out....(3 A.M.) Wait for the dog to leisurely hunt rotten salmon in the rising waters...get back to bed....Crash! The drift boat tips to accommodate the rain and wind.
You get the point. So the girl wakes to 10,000 things to do! Why can't I go back to bed? BECAUSE! The contest winner is picked today! WHEEEE!!! Congratulations! Now, can I borrow it Eric?
Not only did I need to do that, but it is a new month. Say good bye to January reports, and on with the new February report.
I forgot to even celebrate the Ifish birthday! It started in Oct of 1998! Guess I better break out the Champagne!
I put up a new, updated picture of Steve Hanson on his website. It's on the bottom of the page... Thanks Steve!
Anyway, I am toggling back and forth from watching my anemometer, gusting in the 50s, and wondering when the power will go out and I will lose all of this work. I am saving everything about every 5 minutes! It is SO fun to watch! I wish I could get it on the net so that you could stare at it too! It is very relaxing... yes..... vvery.....zzzzzzzz
I made the decision of a lifetime yesterday.... Geeeez... what turmoil. The kids have had a very hard time adjusting to the move. We all have. I have been single for a while, and I am sure you can imagine with Bill being single for over twenty years..... well, frankly.... step families are very difficult! The kids had to get used to new schools.... say goodbye to the constant fun and busy social life of city living and of having neighborhood kids to play with.. Don't get me wrong, this is a wonderful place for kids to grow up, out here in the woods. But they were used to a neighborhood that was very much like the show "Leave it to Beaver:" There are memories there that will endure forever, and thinking back, yes, I too miss them.
So my old landlord calls Friday night, in the midst of an emotional night anyway, and says, "Gosh, Jen, want your place back? We have it all fixed up and ready to re-rent. If you don't want it, then we are going to totally redo it into a two bedroom that will never be suitable for your family. We just thought we'd check on how things are going and see if we should proceed?" Oh myyyyyyy.
Did I want to move back? Part of me, very much. I do miss my independence. The ability to get up in the morning and do whatever I please. I miss my view, my old fishing buddies, my old jack salmon hole. I dislike making my kids ride an hour+ to school each day. I think of the neighbor kids shoes stacked in my doorway and the sound of kids in the basement laughing and playing. I miss jaunting over to the neighbors for coffee..I miss my old piano students.
My Landlord gave me until Monday to decide.
Yesterday was Monday and yesterday was absolute torture. I love Bill with all my heart and soul and mind and I love this place, and the fishing, and the solitude. I wrote a list of plusses and minuses. I wrote it again. I didn't know how to weigh each one. I prayed. I prayed some more. I knew that if I moved, I could still come and see Bill, and this wonderful place. Long distance relationships.... hmmmmm. What if I moved, and then we ended up with enormous phone bills crying about missing each other?
I talked with Bill and I talked with him some more. He will support me in whatever I do. He loves me.
I am watching the water rise, and the wind blow, and the mist over the mountains that protect this valley. I am feeling sad at the loss of my home in Astoria. The trees that my Goldfinches lived and fed in has been chopped down. They also cut the 16 foot hedge that provided my privacy down to a naked 3 feet. You can't go back. You can only move forward.
Adaptable.... That is what I am learning to become. I am learning to grow, to not quit, to hang in there.
I have a new home now. I have the family that I always dreamed of. I have a Man who cares intensely about me and my children. I don't want to give up. I want the chickens in the yard, the family dinners... the whole shootin match! I am wearing his engagement ring, and to me that is a commitment. I said yes..... and I meant it.

Feb 2nd

No more soap opera writing, let's get back to fishing.
The Kilchis..... (can you believe it?) is looking devine! Looking like it will be fishable today! WHEE!!!!!! That was a quick recovery! And the creek that flows into it, that was producing tons of mud, and muddying up the Kilchis looks to be clearing, and not causing the problems it once was.
This has to be quick, because darnit..... I'm going fishing!
Byeeeee!
Tomorrow I have a grueling day in Portland at the Low Vision Clinic. How fun..... try and fix my vision, just try! What kind of nifty new surgeries do I get to pick from? Has my cataract grown? Curious med school students lined up down the hall to see the 'freak girl' with Marfan Syndrome..... I have done it since I was a child! It's interesting to see my son Andrew go through the same thing and how he reacts. I think it makes him feel kind of special! He shows them all the contorted things he can do with his body... Marf tricks!

Feb 3rd

It is February 3rd, so if you wake up and think you have nothing to do today, you are wrong!
Len Self reminds us:
Feb. 3rd 2000 Rally (BOATS in TOW) 10:00 AM meet at G.I. Joes and Fisherman's parking lots Delta Park.
10:30 AM there will be a talk about reason for rally.
11:00 AM we will put banners on vehicles (provided).
11:30 AM we will start the drive to Air Port Holiday Inn.
Everyone should wear something RED so we stand out!!
Please tell everyone you can as we need all the help we can get!!!
We do not want to have another Sport Fishery taken away from us.
Thanks again Len!
I am on my way to Portland, but I don't get to join in. I have to go the the doc. I guess the guys from Tillamook are meeting at the Guide Shop at 8, driving in together. If I get caught in a line up of boats, I will be understanding!
The river should be in peak condition today. It was starting out nice yesterday, and fishable last eve, but I had no luck.
I did find a curiously dead steelhead on the bank though. It was a hatchery runback, but did not appear to be old enough to be dead naturally. She had Seal marks on her, but they had healed over. Her eyes were clouded over, as if dead for a couple days. I felt kind of weird fishing next to her, thinking if someone saw me, it was my poor method of catch and release! It was sad though, and I had Bill go look at her to see what he thought. I was right, it was a she, was a comeback, but still no answer on what happened.
After a bit of fishing, I got this real heavy feeling in my body, and started getting a headache.. Yuck, I thought, I feel flu-ish.... I trudged back to the house, layed down a bit... and no better. So I went down to the computer to see if the weather station was working....(Darn thing needs to be babysat a lot!) and got an e mail from a client that I am having trouble with. Argh......that didn't help.. My headache increased.
Then..... Then!--- I got on the discussion board to find RT, out of the blue, had written some of the nicest things about me! WOW~! I feel better! So.... I'll tell you a trick that modern science could benefit from. Compliments and nice things said about a person seems to cure the common cold/flu virus! YES! It really does! Try it on someone!
I think, like the common medical remedies that come in a box or bottle at the pharmacy, you need to take these at least every four hours. They are very easy to swallow..... I am continuing to improve! Its a dang medical breakthrough!
Thank you, RT, and all others! I feeeeeeel good..... (doo doo doo doodoodoo you know that I should now.....) I feeeeeeeeeeel good! Who sings that? I DO!
Off to the showers, and into my car...
Do good at the Rally, and let's make some serious noise out there! I want to see you guys on the news tonight! YAY! Well..... off to the tackle room I go!

Feb 3rd

It is February 3rd, so if you wake up and think you have nothing to do today, you are wrong!
Len Self reminds us:
Feb. 3rd 2000 Rally (BOATS in TOW) 10:00 AM meet at G.I. Joes and Fisherman's parking lots Delta Park.
10:30 AM there will be a talk about reason for rally.
11:00 AM we will put banners on vehicles (provided).
11:30 AM we will start the drive to Air Port Holiday Inn.
Everyone should wear something RED so we stand out!!
Please tell everyone you can as we need all the help we can get!!!
We do not want to have another Sport Fishery taken away from us.
Thanks again Len!
I am on my way to Portland, but I don't get to join in. I have to go the the doc. I guess the guys from Tillamook are meeting at the Guide Shop at 8, driving in together. If I get caught in a line up of boats, I will be understanding!
The river should be in peak condition today. It was starting out nice yesterday, and fishable last eve, but I had no luck.
I did find a curiously dead steelhead on the bank though. It was a hatchery runback, but did not appear to be old enough to be dead naturally. She had Seal marks on her, but they had healed over. Her eyes were clouded over, as if dead for a couple days. I felt kind of weird fishing next to her, thinking if someone saw me, it was my poor method of catch and release! It was sad though, and I had Bill go look at her to see what he thought. I was right, it was a she, was a comeback, but still no answer on what happened.
After a bit of fishing, I got this real heavy feeling in my body, and started getting a headache.. Yuck, I thought, I feel flu-ish.... I trudged back to the house, layed down a bit... and no better. So I went down to the computer to see if the weather station was working....(Darn thing needs to be babysat a lot!) and got an e mail from a client that I am having trouble with. Argh......that didn't help.. My headache increased.
Then..... Then!--- I got on the discussion board to find RT, out of the blue, had written some of the nicest things about me! WOW~! I feel better! So.... I'll tell you a trick that modern science could benefit from. Compliments and nice things said about a person seems to cure the common cold/flu virus! YES! It really does! Try it on someone!

Feb 5th

Good Morning from the Kilchis River Canyon!!! Dang I'm cheery for not catching any fish!
The Kilchis was a "pick a lane, any lane" kind of day yesterday. Boats everywhere, which is most often what happens when the Wilson is out of shape. The Wilson should look good today, but I haven't seen it. A friend said it looked great last night, so looking forward to a report. Just saw a boat and trailer head up to the park here on the Kilchis.
I fished yesterday from the park to 101 bridge with Bill, and although it was a beautiful day on the river.. you couldn't ask for nicer Steelhead weather, we didn't produce much. Most boaters we talked with were having equal luck. I did hear of a nice 15 lb wild buck, and a couple of boats that did real well.
I got up this morning, and tried to beat the boats to the holes out front and succeeded there, but the river is getting pretty low. Saw a nice bright one roll, so they are out there. I came in to rethink my tactics, and I will plan my attack and return with different gear later.
There is something about men who row drift boats, their shoulders.. something.... mmmmmm I love it! (Where did that come from?!?) I guess Bill's shoulders!
Anyhow, I'm out of news. Read the discussion board for way more tips and tricks and news than I have!
For now,....... I'm going to go build some waffles and bacon! YUM!
Feb 6th

With my vision, or lack thereof, it is not a good idea for me to drive at night. Sometimes there are occasions, and memorized routes, where the need arises to drive at night. At these times, I call all my closest local friends and tell them to stay off the road.
At this time, I find it most appropriate to warn all people on the Wilson river tomorrow...I warn you because I care about you. Because I have come to be rather concerned about water safety issues, about care and handling of boats.
Ladies and Gentlemen....Tomorrow I will be learning to drift. I am putting in at the Guide Shop and attempting to make it at least until I crash into your boat.
Ha! I'm not that lucky! I don't even come equipped with a hard body boat! Bill is teaching me to drift in the raft! You think, honestly, he would let me take the drift boat???? NOT!!!!!!! It is a really nice raft though, that he bought from Buzz Ramsey.
Honestly, though, I am SOOOO SO SO excited! Come on, guys... no groaning.... I won't hurt your boat..... But please, please don't scream at me. I will try to do all the courtesy things.. You know, like for bank anglers--you go as close to them as possible so you don't go over their fishing water....("Uh oh.... there is a man under our raft? Did I really run him down??") And then boaters, like at Duycks hole--- I'll go behind them, if there is room, and close in front of them if not.... ("Oh shoot! Is this a spider web of lines? Crash !*$()#&@! Oh! Look Bill, a new G loomis is following us!!! Is that man yelling at me?")
No seriously.... I can't wait... and I think I will do O.K. andddddd I think... I just think.... I may also catch a fish!!!!!!
Had a great day today.. Went to Church, and then came home and worked on the chicken's Fort Knox. No raccoon is going to enter these premises.... no sir. We dug a foot down, and lined it around with chicken wire....
It's going to rain big time tonight.. I hope the water isn't ruined by it.... Well, here is to drifting... See, when I learn, then I can teach the kids, and then we can all drift, and then....!!!
Bill made me promise not to get mad at him if he yells at me. He said it has nothing to do with how much he likes me, or how cute I am, and he says he is not really mad at me.... We'll see about that. I did promise I wouldn't get mad.... I'm not stupid.. I want to go. But if you happen to see me down the river, and I don't look pleased, you'll know I have been scolded. Just stick your tongue out at Bill and ask him how he could be so harsh with a nice girl like me. Even if there is a big hole in his raft.

Feb 7th

I did it! I really, really did it! I drifted the lower Wilson, all by myself!!! The Whole darn thing!
I didn't crash either, and Bill only yelled at me once, but you know what? He said something just awful and unrepeatable here, and you know what I did? There was a long pregnant pause, and I yelled it right back at him! It was during one of those moments when I could hear what he was saying, and it was going to my brain, but my body wasn't responding... Pull? How do I pull left? And my body would push instead of pull, and the oars would go which ever way they pleased. I think Bill was a little afraid of running into the wall or something, I don't know, some silly thing that could have sunk us. Big deal, huh? He gets so excited when I just about sink the raft. I wish he'd calm down.... SHEESH!
No, it all went fine. I don't think I am ready for the North Fork from the hatchery or anything, but heck, I could row in Coffenbury lake now, ALL BY MYSELF!
I did have a blast though.. you know, my back aches, my fingers are raw from the rope, hey, I don't want to be a guide..... I'll tell you that. First off, the people riding get to fish while you navigate.... NOT FAIR! I think I'll stick to being the fish princess in the front. I'll tell ya, Bill already catches more fish.... the last thing I need is to have yet another handicap.
But I am so glad I did it, and seriously, I do look forward to doing it again, and someday I want Bill just to flat out leave me at the park at the top of the Kilchis, and wait for me at home. I CAN DO IT. .... maybe.
Well, off to make dinner. I didn't kill anyone or anything. Life is good!

Feb. 9th

Let's see. Today... to Lake Oswego to Andrew's Eye Doc, Tomorrow, to Astoria to the accountant.. Friday, to the Sportsmen's show..Saturday.. Sportsmen's show.. Sunday... to Astoria.
Monday....... FISH.
I sure hope you guys get to fish.. Poor, poor fishless girl.
Wouldn't it be awesome to do a live broadcast from the Sportsmen's show? You know, have live chats with fishing personalities, etc.? Dream on.... The show will be a blast though! I get to meet and have lunch with Stan Fagerstrom....! Fun! I also look forward to meeting David Johnson, future guide on ifish, and Dennis Stewart, and Dan Ross..... Oh boy!
I am mumbling at 5 in the morning. Bill is taking some guys down the Wilson today. Hope the water isn't too swift!
Marie is doing a good job of river reports on the Wilson, so if you want to check out her board go to:
Tillamook Bait Company.
I am thinking of putting up a new discussion board with new features. It will take me some time, which I don't have right now, to configure and install, but it is in the future!
Other than that, I can't think of any new news.
I am looking forward to Springer Fishing...but I am sad that Steelhead season went so darn fast. Of course, the Native run is going to be fun!
I better sign off before I sound too stupid... Off to the showers.

Feb. 11th

Yesterday I went to Sea Shirts in Seaside Oregon and had ifish shirts made up for the boys and I for the P.N. Sportsman show! They are so fun! It is a great little shop and Chuck there is so helpful! So now, if you see Jennie, Andrew or David on our gray shirts, from Ifish.net. Say Hi!
I was so excited about going that I didn't sleep well last night!
It sure is easy to get someone to stay with the dogs here, so the house and the dogs are safe and sound...
I think the Kilchis, and all the rivers here are in between the two runs of steelhead. Come on in, natives! It's TIME!!!!!!!!!
What happens if I come home pulling a new boat all for myself? YAY! Not a chance..... do they sell for $10.43? That's what I have left in the bank!
Maybe a pair of fish earrings.....
Anyway.... off I go to teach, pick up the kids and travel! I love adventures!


Feb. 10th

I talked with my good ol' fishing buddy Ben over in Warrenton last night. I was being negligent in calling him lately. I miss him SO much! Miss all the old fishing on the Lewis and Clark days... The Clatskanie days.... The Coffenbury lake days....
He has been fishing Coffenbury lake with his son these days. Says he caught a beautiful Rainbow, about 2 Lb. yesterday. He also reported that the steelhead that are in there are about to die.
Really looking forward to the Sports show..!!
I may fish out at Coffenbury with Ben after my meeting in Warrenton today. That would be so fun!
Went to lunch with Don of the Sturgeon, Salmon and Steelhead page yesterday.... He is such a nice guy..... and ladies..... He's single and fishes! Who could ask for more? (Sorry Don!)
See ya later..... happy fishing!

Feb. 13th

R.T.'s post on the discussion board about Stan Fagerstrom pretty much sums it up. I wonder how many people are going to go home and get out their casting weights and try to accomplish what Stan can!
If you missed the show..... you just have to see the video... You can buy it here, direct from Stan.
I took a whole bunch of pictures of Stan, got home, and somehow I had erased all of the images. WAH! I took pics of the kids target shooting, and of swimming, and and.... they are all gone! POOF! Think I'll go back to my regular camera!
I am going fishing today after I go to church, then I am going to get out my bass rod, put on some casting weights, and try Stan's tricks. I watched two of his performances, and I think I have it down! (not a chance, I know....!)
One more day of driving.... I can do this.....!

Feb. 14th

Happy Valentines Day!

So, Don of the Sturgeon, Salmon and Steelhead page gave me this great idea to paint a Hot Shot, or a Wiggle Wort for Bill for Valentines day. So I tried it. Don, it is NOT easy! I grumbled and painted, painted and grumbled, used fingernail polish, and remover.... ARGH! Finally, I have a product, but I doubt if it will catch fish. But I think I might capture a piece of his heart!
My son David has a fever of 104.5 and I need to play nurse today. Hope he gets well soon, this is scary!
The river is low..... low and clear....I think I may get my trout rod out and pretend it's summer, because I really want to fish! I don't have time to drift the Wilson.... What is a girl to do?
Actually, a couple days this week I do have time, but Bill doesn't. I can't go alone.... or could I? YIKES!
Happy Valentines Day to all of you, I have met SO many wonderful people through this site! I Thank God every day for all of you! Hope you have a great day filled with lots of.

Feb. 15th

Iv lost my confidence! What is happening to me? I went out to the river, graced with confidence by the rain we had last night, although not reflected by the river rising much. Within 5 minutes or so, I hooked one of those bucks that belong in the "reduced for quick sale" slot in the meat department. It was, however, a very lively hatchery buck who broke through the water four or five times and gave me a good wrestle. It felt so good! My water is alive again! I am alive!
I was beginning to feel doubt that this river had ANY fish in it, although I was also pretty sure it was just me.
So we let that hole rest for a while and moved downstream... Kind of discouraging when you can see your whole outfit move down the river because the water is so low.
Bill took off for the house, and I went back to my hole where I caught the fish, and guess what? I caught his brother! I screamed at the top of my lungs for Bill, because the fish hit like dynamite and I wasn't sure just what I had on. BILLLLLLL!! No answer... Oh shoot.... what do I do? Fight the fish, I guess.. BILLLLLLLLL!!!! Dang, another buck with the wilders! BILLLLLL! I didn't know what to do! I had totally lost my confidence after being babysat by Bill all Fall this year. Finally my hero comes parading down on his white horse to release my fish. Ah..... the wimpy woman complex has hit me. NO! I refuse to believe this is happening! I did fight the fish and bring him into shore... He was also very lively, but in the river a little too long for the dinner table.
Last night was fun, although I was very worried about David. His fever hit 105.2 and I was thrown into fits of the worried Mother complex.I put him in a tepid tub of water, made him eat popsicles. He was on 2 Motrin and two Tylenol!-- Doctors orders, and still no relief! Finally it broke last night, and he is sound asleep and very weak.. Poor pup.
So, for dinner we had the traditional heart shaped meatloaf, heart shaped cake... then I took a heart shaped cookie cutter and cut some pickled beets into hearts.... I feel like Martha...Outlined the meatloaf in pink mashed potatoes and Wallah! We have Valentines Dinner.... although a bit incomplete without David. We had a special music event with me singing "Will you marry me Bill?" by the Fifth Dimension. Poor Bill....No pressure, dear.....
So all is well at the Kilchis River lodge. I'm hungry after all that fish fighting!..... See ya!

Feb. 15th

Iv lost my confidence! What is happening to me? I went out to the river, graced with confidence by the rain we had last night, although not reflected by the river rising much. Within 5 minutes or so, I hooked one of those bucks that belong in the "reduced for quick sale" slot in the meat department. It was, however, a very lively hatchery buck who broke through the water four or five times and gave me a good wrestle. It felt so good! My water is alive again! I am alive!
I was beginning to feel doubt that this river had ANY fish in it, although I was also pretty sure it was just me.
So we let that hole rest for a while and moved downstream... Kind of discouraging when you can see your whole outfit move down the river because the water is so low.
Bill took off for the house, and I went back to my hole where I caught the fish, and guess what? I caught his brother! I screamed at the top of my lungs for Bill, because the fish hit like dynamite and I wasn't sure just what I had on. BILLLLLLL!! No answer... Oh shoot.... what do I do? Fight the fish, I guess.. BILLLLLLLLL!!!! Dang, another buck with the wilders!

Feb. 16th

You know how when you really screw up on the computer your learning curve goes way up? Not in a nice way either? This is what is happening to me. The discussion board has gone haywire! I don't know if someone hacked in, or what. Probably not, probably just a quirck, but I am working on putting up an entire new one, while trying to fix the old one at the same time. I have had some help from very nice people wanting to share their knowledge. Thanks!
I feel like Humpty Dumpty and I can't put it back together again! So! We may have a new board coming! Yay! (trying to stay positive)
For now, since I have JUST about had it.... I am going to go throw some jigs out for the hungry fishies..... BYE!

Feb. 17th

"There is one good thing about fishing today...." I thought as I headed out to the river... The sun was shining through the clouds. Low clouds were hanging over the hilltops that surround our valley. The world looked like a shot out of some glorious magazine that depicts vacation get aways. The colors were so vivid to me. Since I had an eye operation colors and textures never cease to amaze me. The green moss on an exposed rock stood out so shockingly in its bright green clothing that I had to stop and stare. This is paradise.
I took a jig out to work the upper stretches of the clear cool water of the Kilchis. Surely this would be the lure of choice if they were going to play ball with me at all. I worked it methodically in a slow semi circle making longer and wider casts, covering all of the most likely productive hideaways. Silence.
Before I gave up I got out the old faithful gob of eggs and orange corky. I closed my eyes, feeling every obstruction on the bottom of the river, memorizing and remembering where it would hang up, where it would pause..Wait! I don't remember it stopping here...... HEY HEY!!!! Fish on! The familiar tug and heavy pull of a steelhead! YES! I brought the fish in, and released him.
I continued playing the close my eyes, fish/feel method for another 45 minutes! Caught and released 3 more on the same lure.
Bill wasn't even home. I did it by myself, and my confidence was there! I remembered that I used to do this alone all the time! Not a prob!
I left the river wondering how much vacations like this would cost. Who do I pay?
Back to the computer I went, with a fresh, new outlook on life, and that old time good feeling of going catching.... instead of going fishing!
P.S. the discussion board is fixed too! Life is goooooood!

Feb. 22nd

Well, I had my fun today! I caught and released a couple more steelhead, had another big one hooked but it got away! That was a biggie too! The water is the lowest I have seen it since fall. Not for long, though! Big storm brewing.. Come on, everyone..... OOOHHH AHHHHH....
Surprising to me to catch fish like I have been! I do like it though! FUN!
I was thinking about my fascination with boats..I bought a boat at a garage sale once. I just wanted a boat SO bad! I didn't have the means to buy anything nice. This boat was a beat up wooden pram, about 7 feet long. 35.00 dollars total! I took it into my basement, bought a whole bunch of fiberglass and had fun downstairs learning why people don't like to use fiberglass. What a mess! It would of made a great "I love Lucy" theme for a show.
I finished the boat by getting some good marine paint, and painted it white with blue trim. It was SO cute! Then I shoved it in the back of my station wagon and took it with me wherever I fished! It was great for Jacks in the Klaskanine.. Great for trout in the lake. NOT great for Salmon in the Necanicum. I put in, finally caught a huge salmon, and I went waterskiing, and almost tipped over, before I could cut the line.. Never again did I try that one!
I miss my boat!
Slow time of year, huh?
Have to go pick up my kids and go to a basketball game....Springers soon.... I promise!

 

Feb. 23rd

It was a grand day! I had more fun than I ever could have planned myself. My girlfriend I'd known since I was 5 came down and we had a great time. She carted me off to Chinook Winds Casino in Lincoln City and we had fun. Giggled alot, talked girl stuff, ya know.
Then I came home and headed out to the river, and caught my Birthday fish. A 5 Lb hen... hatchery comeback. Not in bad shape either and she was fun to play!
Now off to dinner that Bill had fixed. Ribs, home made bread, the works. It was sooooo good....!
Now for the exciting part! Bill got me a Shimano Calcutta 250! I first saw this reel when I met Bill Madden on the Kilchis before we drifted together later on the river. I thought it was SO gorgeous that I could, perhaps, even wear it around my neck as a fashion statement! Now I don't need to do even that, because my Sis sent me a fish necklace! Anyway, the reel is SOOOO nice... You should try one! I can't wait to try it! YAY!
All in all, 40th Birthdays are GREAT!

Feb. 25th


I kind of feel awkward this time of year writing, because I have been writing about non fishing events. I feel out of touch or in between seasons. I don't know this area well enough to do as I did in Astoria area. You know, I fished the lakes on off seasons, or for flounder.... or clam... or...
But I am new here, and don't have the confidence to know what I am doing. I have been dying to go out and try the jetties. I wish Marie of Till Bait would take me! (Listening Marie?!?)
I have been catching steelhead daily, but they kind of, I don't know... don't count? They are comebacks and I feel like I am picking on them! Feels to me, kind of like a bully picking on a sick little kid or something. It is fun though, and I am learning to discriminate between bites.
Well, off I go to a weekend with no responsibilities or work! I love it! I am going to try some NEW fishing this week. Was going to take advantage of the smelt opportunity, but I simply don't want to drive that far. So....put out a fish warning for somewhere local.... I'm coming to get you!

Feb. 27th

Welcome to Ifish David Johnson!
David Johnson has been fishing Oregon and Alaskan rivers for salmon, steelhead and sturgeon since his childhood. The knowledge he has of these rivers and the habits of the fish has made him one of the top professionals in the industry today.
I am glad to have him on board. Hopefully, he will be available for one of our Chat board sessions that we are working on.
If you would like to try the chat board, Click Here. It is still in it's development stages, but it will be really fun! We hope to have guides, magazine people, top people of all kinds in the fishing industry scheduled for different times, and available to answer questions. FUN!
Stupid me... I told Bill I didn't want to fish the Wilson today because of the incoming wind storm. They canceled the warning.. duh.... Bet they do real well today! ARGH!
Going out on the Kilchis though.. I'll show em!

Feb. 28th

The fact of the matter, is that I don't know exactly how big the fish was. The fact of the matter, also, is that I will never see a fish that big again. I am convinced. It was a trophy fish. At least 20 Lbs. I measured him as 37 inches long, and 23 fat around the girth. As I carefully and slowly released him, my hand not big enough to reach around his tail, I imagined him mounted on the wall, and believe me, I am not all that crazy about mounted dead creatures on the wall, but I can relate to this one!
My voice barely croaked yesterday. When I had this fish on, for 35 minutes, best I could tell, I screamed at my kids in the house who were busy playing Nintendo...."GET THE CAMERA!!!" ANDREW....... DAVID..... SOMEBODY! No answer.... If a tree falls in the woods and nobody is there, does it still make sound? If a girl catches a 20 plus steelhead and no one is there, did it really happen? I am faced with the terrible reality that I could be totally lying as far as anyone knows. Except for the breathless encounter I had with my kids when I came in the house. They thought I was wounded by how shaken I was. My left hand, not used to playing fish, was shaking so badly that I couldn't control it.
No way can I complain about my fishing this week. I caught 14 fish and released them all. Yesterday I caught an absolutely bright, beautiful 12 pounder. One of those blue babes, the torpedos you see flashing you in the riffles. Also released a come back. It seems the fish are collecting in spots, and I happen to have access to one of those spots. Part of me feels cocky, part lucky, part spoiled. But most of all, appreciative, to have been given the opportunity to learn to tell the difference in bites. I have been to Steelhead 101 class all week. I have learned to cast with my new right handed reel. I'm not great, and it feels so awkward at times.... But just like I don't want to quit software programs that I have learned, to go to a newer, better one, I am forcing myself. And darned if I don't appreciate it. That Shimano is so smoooooth!
Anyway, the weather forecast has been hardly right on, and with that comes perfect water levels that weren't expected and resulted in lower angling pressure.
The Kilchis, however, yesterday did have pressure. I counted 7 drift boats.
I am going to get my gear on now, and proceed down to the river. I can hardly hope for my luck to continue. All good things must come to an end. And I am grateful that I didn't cause my big Steelheads life come to that end.
I find myself wishing that we could keep just one trophy steelhead every lifetime. Just one. But then again, I remember that big beautiful creature, who had survived the worst of conditions. That beautiful strong fish, that big buck, who had terrible seal marks on his side, who had every scar, every strong muscle, every instinct that calls him to keep his species going amidst so much adversity. And still he survives. Who am I to end that?

As I released him... I said.." Go Fish.....continue on your journey." I continued to work him back and fourth, as if petting him... caressing him with the cool water that has called him back home every year. "Go fish.... Go."

 



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