Fishing The Coast, Oregon and Washington

Fishing at Memaloose for Spring Chinook
Memaloose Springers..... Coming up!


Jennie's Fishing Life


A journal of my adventures.


Feb 1st

Deflected. The "strongest promised weather system" of the year has deflected to Canada. Every time they promise a storm it gets deflected! I could feel this one coming in the air.... and it is gone! POOF!
I think that hundreds of years from now, they will dig down and take soil samples and say.... ahhh... A layer of leaves an inch thick. These leaves represent a long dry spell. The leaves lay on the river bank, matted into clumps. They haven't washed out yet. The edge of the slow pools on the river are spongy and mushy when you step on them. It's not soil yet, they haven't decomposed.
Someday it will rain, really rain down hard, and the water will come up to the mean high water line, and the leaves will be forced from the rock crevices that hold them.
I'm still going to fish, though. I am going to wade through those February leaves to the bank, and hope that something is out there!
The storm has been deflected once again. I think this whole winter has been deflected.... Till next year?

Feb 2nd

Interesting. Some of you ask me what Marfan Syndrome is. Pretty accurate news clip on the Today Show. Here is the audio clip. Just click on "What is Marfan Syndrome?"
I went to bed thinking maybe I was going down the Wilson river with Kim Katsion of Clam Gulch Lodge. I woke up to an absolutely still morning, with wind gusts registering 40 MPH earlier this morning at 2:02. Things were looking up! However, the wind picked up again by 7 or so, and I gave up hope. No calls from Kim so I was on to the next plan.
Bill and Bigstew had made arrangements to fish the Wilson. I thought I'd hop in their boat and ride with them, but by the time we all got to the Guideshop, the wind was howling and I was slowly backing out. No, I am not a fair weather fisherwoman, but I don't really care for Southwester's on the Wilson!
We sat at the table with the smell of good food and hot coffee. Surrounded by interesting fishing memorabilia scattered about on table tops, we quietly traded ideas for fishing that day.
RT and Mark showed up, after Mark hooked a native upstream with jigs. We all visited for a while, watching the trees sway in the wind and listening to the window crack's reaction to the first real winds of winter. I didn't want to get blown off the river today. Too snugly and warm at the Guideshop!
Besides, web work that I have been putting off was piling up, and I figured I could sneak in a few casts out back, in between web projects. I did.
The Kilchis river, however, has gone back to a fairly low level and I was skunked again.
So, the plan wasssss.... that they would do a short Wilson drift, come here, pick me up and we would do the lower Kilchis. Hmmmm It is now 1:00 and I am tappin my foot. Where are they? Dang! I told them they could fish, cast, drift without me, but they better not be catching any fish! I told them todays rules on the Wilson. "Hookless lures only". Wonder how they did!
Honestly, I would love to hear a very fishy report. I could sure use good news about now! I'll let you know.... or BigStew will on the board!!

Feb 3rd

So, there we were, in the boat, second hole from home. We are pulling plugs, just about to give up and switch over to back sliding some bait down the current. This particular hole flows swiftly down a chute, directly into a rock wall before it tails out, pulling your bait at a 90 degree angle into an eddy.
Our plugs were working about twenty pulls from the boat, exactly where we had seen a fish rise. We thought we had given it a fair amount of time to attract anything that was living there.
Just as the word came to switch rods, Bill notifies me he has a fish on. I sulked! Can you believe that?
Let me preface this story. I waited and waited for a promised trip down the Kilchis yesterday. Time ticked by as slowly as it could as I slaved away at the computer. Put up, waited...Put up an under construction sign on, waited... Updated Marie's page at Waited... did some billing, and some more billing, and some more waiting. I put off any other fishing plans to wait some more for their promised return and a launch out of my office, away from my work, and onto some fish.
They never showed. Guess they ran into some fish at Duykes and Jennie was long forgotten. My reaction to the fact that they hooked three fish was not what he expected from me. I did not leap with glee. Let me tell you, Bill won't soon forget that I was forgot. :(
So, Bill is frantically trying to make it up to me, 'wherever I'd like to go', he says, 'whatever you want to do', he says.
So, down my favorite river, The Kilchis we went.
Back at the tailout....
Bill has a fish on. "Oh, goodie, goodie" I mustered.
I am about at the point where I could stand to have one handed off to me. I usually feel a bit insulted when men offer this, but right now, in the depths of my fish drought, I whimper.... "Lemmmmmmeee....."
"NO!" He says..... "This is a big fish! What if it is my record steelie?"
Oh well, there are fish in the river, and this is good, this is good, this is good, I repeat, trying to lift myself out of my self pity. I try and smile and as the fish shows, I feel it. That rush of excitement when someone has a fish on.. anyone.... Even Bill! I tried not to show it, but I was felt the rush.
"This is big!" He shouts! "Really big!"
"It's........ A CHROME CHINOOK!"
Ladies and Gentlemen, it is February 3rd. With chinook season long closed, and most chinook long spawned and gone, this is quite a surprise!
What a beautiful hen it was!!! Probably 23-24 Lbs of beautiful, flashing silver darting through the current, shaking her head in that way that identifies her bite, her strength, her species.
On twelve pound line, Bill fought this fish to the shore. She was released gracefully to complete her mission. But where the heck is she going to find a buck this time of year?
Oh, and RT, I guess you need to know. The fish was caught on your chrome custom cop car, 35 hot shot that you gave Bill last year. Where is mine?
No other fish were caught on today's outing. But I needed the whole thing.
If you want to keep this girl happy, you have to keep me on the river. Fish or no fish.... I gotta be there. Don't ever forget to pick me up. EVER.

Feb 6th

There is a book by the name of "The Miracle Season" By Linda Kline, and I am searching for it. It is out of print.
All I know is that the story is about some animals and their view on the earth. The crow in this story, flies over the earth and describes it's observation of humans.
The crow notes that everywhere humans inhabit, things die. First they (the people, us...) cement over the wild grasses, they cut down trees, they kill the animals....
It touches me deeply and I wonder why, with all of our brains, and all of our good intentions, we can't get it right. Is our intelligence a good thing?
I asked Bill, why, when God gave the fish an adipose fin, do we feel it is appropriate to cut them off and feel that it is OK? Do we know for a fact they don't need these fins? Are we sure that this fin doesn't serve some unknown purpose?
He answered that we have a appendix, five toes, do we need them all?
I don't know. It doesn't appear we need them all, right?
Then why, with all of our knowledge, planning and good intentions are our salmon populations dwindling?
"We just don't have all the answers".
Came Bill's final conclusion.
I am not suggesting that the removal of adipose fins is to blame for anything. I am just wondering about our overall decisions on things.
We fished the Kilchis as well as we knew how yesterday, Chris, Bill and I. I believe that if the fish had of been there, we would have hooked some. Where are they? This has been a very poor season for fishing. What have we done?
We as a population are so divided. There are some very unpopular views out there about why the population of fish aren't what they were. I am beginning to read The Fishwire advisory in more depth, and I wonder.
I am afraid at times to listen to them, because deep in my heart I tend to believe some of these things. If I believe them too much, I will be overcome with guilt when I hook a fish and kill it. I don't want that to happen, but I do want my kids to have salmon in their rivers and I do find myself releasing more fish.
With all that goes on between people, all the scattered ideas, the scientifically proven facts, the unproven theories, and the division between people that is so strong, I feel caught in the middle.
All I know for sure, is that we don't have all the answers.
On a smaller scale, between my friends, in my small social circle, and in my family, I see things go round and round and although I know there is love, there is often conflict and unresolved feelings.
I wonder about our intelligence, I wonder why we destroy relationships. Do we kill all that is around us? Even love?
At the end of the sermon on Sunday, my minister Doug Rich, an environmentalist from way back, quoted this writing by Albert Reginald Gold.


Tangled in nets
Of our wild philosophy,
Caught in the backlash
Of ideas ill-cast
Heaving the lead
Into unplumbed infinity,
Baffled, we stand
Beside the shore at last.
Snagged barbs, snarled lines,
Torn sails! What fishers we!
Teach us Thy skill,
O man of Galilee.
God, give us hearts to hope for God's divine activity among us.

Feb 7th

Chat Tonight!

I feel like a one armed paper hanger! But at least, that paper hanger had a lot of fun today! I caught two really nice natives and lost one. I was beginning to think I had lost my touch! Know that feeling? Like, what, what, WHAT am I doing wrong that I used to know how to do???
I got it back, babe! Those fish like me! They all swam away from me, happily released with a smile on their faces.
O.K., tomorrow-work, Friday, to the doc and then to the Sportsman Show at the Expo Center. I will be at Dennis Stewarts Booth, right by the Womens restroom from about 4 until 8 on Friday Evening, with breaks off and on to go play around and see the sights. I will have ifish decals at that booth for sale, if you would like to pick up a couple.
Then I have a meeting with the N.W. steelheaders at 8. I will also be at the show on Saturday, but just kind of cruising around with the kids.
Uncle Josh sent me some awesome baits and I can't wait to try them all! Some really neat new things, like spawn sacks! Go to the catalogue on their site and check them out! I have a few ideas for these scent soakable items! Uncle Josh is not just for bass anymore!!! They also have some wonderful floating trout bait in some new scents. I can't wait for trout season! You know, "Giggle Fish!?!"
"Lil' Jennie's"! The great new driftable jig that just may catch on! Thank you so much to Silent Approach Jigs! I haven't tried mine yet, but they look like real killers! They are so beautiful that I hate to use them! They are hanging by my computer right now, because they make me smile! I suppose I should try them soon, because steelhead make me smile too!
Lots of new people coming on at Ifish. I can't wait to get a TH custom rod! Travis of TH rods says I need a GL3 1143s wrapped in my favorite color... with 'Jenny the ifish Queen' inscribed on the side! I think I need that, right? ;-)
Anyway, they will be joining ifish soon, and I can't wait! If you have never fished with a custom built rod, take my word for it...there really is a difference!
So, welcome, Tom and Travis, to!
O.K., now the fish have had time to rest, right? I think I will tie on one of these "Lil Jennie's", add a tail off of one of these Tillamook Bait Shrimp, and take it for a drift!

Feb 8th

Time to order your custom rod!
Thought this was appropriate and cute!
No fish on the Kilchis today for me, unless I get one later. Fishless Jennie!
Memories, and looking forward to Memaloose Springer fishing!

Feb 9th

Soon I leave for the Sportsman Show. You can find me at booth 776 from 4 till 8 or so, Salmon Masters Booth. Come by, pick up a decal, and say hi!
Oh! Marie at Tillamook Bait Company has some excellent prawns for Spring Chinook. She writes:
Hi Jennie, Just to let you know I did get my prawns in and I cured up 46 dozen today. WOW!
You'll have to see them! Tell Bill to come look at them, I think he will be impressed. I hand dipped them into my shrimp scent so they have a real good Prawn/Shrimp smell.
A guide on Hells Canyon used my shrimp scent on his prawns and he said that my scent was great! He really praised my shrimp scent. He liked it so much he ordered a GALLON of the stuff. So I know it works!

Yesterday, Bill and I drove for miles and miles up the river. I like to drive really slow to watch for the spotted owl that resides on the other side of the river from our house. I watch for other birds, deer or elk... I glance over the side of the road, far down to the river. I dream and plan how to get down to those pockets of water that call me. It wouldn't be bad getting down, but back up, that is what keeps me from trying.
Seeing the beauty of it all, I can feel why the fish are so drawn to this wild water. I drive up the river in a warm car. They fight to get here, and often don't make it.
Each corner we turned held the surprise of a dusting of snow. I started singing "Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow! Bill grumbled. Bill doesn't like snow. I don't care, I love it!
We finally chose a fairly easy spot for me to get down to the river. We followed a rough and muddy trail to the water, deep in the silence of the forest. Trying to keep rod tips from getting hung up by overhanging branches, both hands occupied with two rods and tackle bags, we balanced our way down the trail.
It's like opening a Christmas package for me, when I get my first glance of the water through the deep thicket. I dream this place is untouched by anyone but myself and the wildlife that reside here.
I still had one big muddy drop off to maneuver to get down to the river bank, but as I rested, I stood still there and stared, deep in thought and wonder.
How many thousands of years had it taken to mold this canyon, Bill pondered. What was it like 100 years ago, I thought. Did children come here to swim, did they fish with a stick and hook, sitting in an over hanging tree? Did Indians fish here? What happened here last night? Did a cougar pass by? A bear? Some elk?
Then, my eyes and mind stop at the riffles of churning water and follow the rush of water down as it feeds this deep pool. The final and intriguing question enters my mind. Could there be, is it conceivable, that my record steelhead lies somewhere here? Quietly, does he rest under that car sized boulder that juts into the water? Is he holding in the tailout of the pool?
I glance down at my rods, one with a jig, one with a corky and shrimp and decide which lure might best entice him.
The hunt. I am the Indian, I am the huntress, I am a thousand years ago.
Unlike any ancestor who may have fished here, I would not be 'hunting' for food. I could no more retain a salmon or steelhead that lives here than shoot to kill a dove or mallard that lives in my backyard. But I do hold a camera.
By the time a steelhead reaches this point in the river, it is home free from me.
I will fish, and if I hook up, I will play it and release it. Even at that, I weighed my intent.
I marvel at the stamina of any creature that could defy these odds. To survive as a smolt, to live through treacherous ocean conditions, then to pass by the assorted lures of fishermen in downstream waters. Finally to arrive here, to break the ribbon in the marathon, where it is quiet and natural..... No, I could not kill a fish here.
Knowing, as I fish the lower waters, that this is where the fish that travel are heading will make it tougher for me to ever keep a fish. How can I stop a fishes journey? The real talent for me as angler, is the grace and gentleness of a successful release.
Bill chose the whitewater for drifting. I casted a jig into the deep, slow pool against the huge boulder, a perfect holding place for these hardy fish.
We fished quietly, both paying attention to our lures, but held in amazement at the beauty that surrounded us.
We didn't hook up yesterday, but as the snow softly fell, we drove home with contented hearts. A satisfaction that there are some very beautiful, silent untouched places in this world. We drove slowly, watching for birds, glancing down over the cliffs to the water.
Strong, odd defying steelhead hold down in that river. They have worked and planned how to get there. They were not stopped by you, or by me, or by Bill. Somehow, as I gaze down at those waters, far down from the road, I know they are thanking us.

Feb 13th

Whew! What fun, and how tiring! Three days at the show!
The Sportsman show was absolutely a blast, but I am still recovering!
I met so many neat people, so many people from the board from places I have read about, heard about, and then here they are all, live and in person!
Just a few highlights:
I met a very sweet little girl. She came to Salmon Masters booth where I was sitting with Dennis. "How do you know my name?" I asked.
"Because you are on the internet" She says...
Just so happens this little girl likes to fish on the Trask with her Daddy. She brought a present to me that I have hooked on my keychain. It is a group of small plastic tags with different species of salmon listed, pictured and explained. It will stay on my key chain forever! This little girl touched my heart!
Her Mother's name is Nona, I believe, but I can't remember the child's name. Write to me, and tell me, OK?
Then I met Giz, Michael Coogan, Oh... So many people, I can't even begin to list!
I heard a story about a local river that I just have to share.
Steelheading has been a bit slow for some, but you never know quite what you will run into on these wild coastal rivers. This one is a once in a lifetime event.
Anchored near a hole that usually produces steelhead, two of my friends noticed movement behind a log on the nearby bank, perhaps 20-30 feet away. Was it a feral cat?
On the shoreline was a very happy seagull, feasting on a rotting salmon carcass. As their eyes continued to search where the movement had come from they noticed the seagull was becoming a bit agitated and nervous.
Behind the log the fishermen saw the source of danger. A bobcat, frozen in a pre-attack stance.
The fishermen held still, not moving, watching the natural events that were unfolding right before their eyes.
The seagull resumed his feast, and at that very moment the bobcat leapt in one graceful, four foot leap and pounced upon his prey. The seagull let out a small cry and within seconds was put to death.
This is the stuff that National Geographic stories are made of! I would give a day without fish anyday to see this story unfold.
How many seagulls has this bobcat conquered using this method of attack?
Later, amidst the buzz of the sports show, I was given a quick illustration of the event that had me laughing out loud. Laughing, and in amazement still, he tells me....

Bobcat in prey
"This is the last image the seagull had before his untimely death."

Feb 14th

Happy Valentines Day!

This is a picture of Marjorie and her Dad. Marjorie is the little girl who came to see me at the Sportsmens show! I love her smile!
She is such a little fisherperson - most of the guys at the Trask ask her Dad where she is when she doesn't show up with him, even though she preaches about picking up garbage and not littering the river! She can also tick off some guys by telling her Dad - really loud - "hey that guy is cheating - he didn't hook it in the mouth!" or bugging the guys to show her their fish so she can do a fin check to make sure they are not killing the natives!
I am going to be speaking tomorrow night at the Tualatin Valley Chapter of the Northwest Steelheaders. R.T. will be speaking also. The address is 285 West Main Hillsboro. The meeting starts at 7:30 but the doors open at 6:30. Come on by and say hi, and while you are at it, join up with The Association of Northwest Steelheaders!
As I walked out to the chicken cage yesterday, I did that sudden intake of breath that often happens as I hook a fish. This time it wasn't a fish. This time my eyes were filled with the site of delicate bright green buds all over the apple trees! Spring? What happened to winter? The sun was shining and it was warm outside! There are daffodils blooming down the street!
Seven months ago...In August, I remember being promised by the weatherman that a big rain storm was coming. The kind of storm where the coast turns bleak and grey for days on end and sheets of water come down. The wind howls and the trees bend sideways towards the river.
I have finally come to terms with it. We missed winter this year. I couldn't help but sit down on the picnic table outside, my hands full of a half dozen fresh chicken eggs, and let the warmth of the sun penetrate clear through me. You know what? It felt good.
Soon we will have baby chickens. Soon I will have flowers growing on my deck, the bunnies will be let loose to romp on the fresh grasses of spring, and I will put away my winter clothes.
If you can't beat 'em, join 'em! I'm not waiting for rain anymore... I'm just going to sit in the sun!
Wait! The sky is red this morning... What is the saying? "Red sky at morning.... sailors warning?" Could it be???????

Feb 16th

The Tualatin Valley Chapter of the Northwest Steelheaders are a terrific bunch! R.T. and I had a great time! We spoke about ifish, and a little about jigs.
They are so organized, and all such nice people! I want to join them!
Imagine what we could do with the ifish membership if we really put our heads together and got organized! I can only dream!
Last night, lying in an unfamiliar hotel bed, tossing and turning, I decided to practice my method of counting sheep. I imagine myself on the river bank, casting my bobber. I cast it out, watch it float towards the sea.. Retrieve.. cast.... and all the sudden my mind took a turn for the worse. There was no dog there. Hershey, my chocolate lab was not in the picture. This is the dog that traveled to every stream with me. Sitting next to me as I plunked, running on the beaches of the Columbia river as I visited with friends and fished.
My mind traveled to an awful place. A place, sitting in the back seat of Bill's car, holding my aging 14 year old lab, as the vet administered a shot that would mean his last breath.
This is not what I had in mind for a peaceful nights sleep, and I argued with my mind through the tears that soaked my pillow.
Finally, I hit reverse until I saw that same dog, as a puppy, doing those wild happy dances that dogs do when you set them free in large, wild spaces. The round and round, claws digging into the dirt, tail wagging, tongue hanging excited freedom that brings smiles and joy to the owner.
At that, I finally fell into a deep slumber.
The traffic in Portland is a nightmare to me. As I climbed the hill over the coastal range, I glanced at my cell phone. The words "No Service" was all it said. No service... It calmed my soul. I was closer to a place that I call home. My shoulders started to relax, and my whole body felt the ease that the forest, the coast, the outdoors brings to my soul.
I took in a deep breath. I love to travel. I love to explore.
But most of all I love my home, deep in the heart of the coastal range on the Kilchis River.

Feb 17th

It's a tough job, guiding... Oh, the pressure! The pressure of getting your people into the fish! It is a skill, learned after years of experience. It really takes a lot of scientific boat placement to put the plug in the precise spot where the fish hold.
As I rowed my fishermen, ex professional fishing guide, Bill Hedlund down the river today, we got a once in a year or so opportunity to plug through the logging bridge hole. Usually the bank anglers are there and we push on through.
I was right there with the "shallow dipping of oars" holding the boat against the current that wanted to pull me one way while the wind insistently argued with me. I persisted. Pulling hard, then, against my right oar, I lined his lure up right where I knew they would hold!
I got Bill into the nicest, fattest native steelhead today! See?

Bill Hedlund
Bill Hedlund with a nice fat Nate, while fishing with nonprofessional
fishing guide.... Jennie Martin

Further down the river, I turned the oars over to Bill.
Now for the HEADLINES...
Jennie Martin catches and lands her first Steelhead on a jig!!!!
Bill says to me, "Better get out your jigs, you know there are some places you might want to toss them as we are traveling."
"I really don't have that much faith in jigs today". I say to Bill. "But O.K.".
I am standing in the bow of the boat, knees braced against the knee holds in a lookout stance. I spot a deep hole against the bank, the current swift, amidst over hanging brush.
I toss one out, it flows swiftly under the brush right next to a log and then poof! GONE!
"FISH ON!!!!!" I cried, with all I had, and it really, really was a real fish!!
A fine, fine specimen of native steeelhead! It was 31 inches and very, very grand! After a good long fight, I landed it!
The jig of choice, of course, was a pink and white jig, pink head with a little flash in it! YES! Thank you Silent Approach!
For the picture, click here!
Good day on the river.... 3 natives landed! My faith in jigs is building too!

Feb 20th

Back to low, clear waters! What beautiful weather though! I am starting to enjoy it, and just quit hoping for rain.
If it happens, yay! If it doesn't, well, the sun is shining and it feels good to me!
Springers....... I can't wait!
Off to Portland I go.......

Feb 21st

Chromer of the week posted here!
Hey! I am so excited! I am getting a TH Custom rod this week! The picture is of Travis from TH Custom Rods! and his beautiful bright steelie!
Andrew was sick all last week with some awful virus. Laid around the house just about comatose. Now my throat is sore and I feel weak. Great!
I will not take this gracefully! FIGHT!
On with the Wellness Formula from Fred Meyers... On with the zinc lozenges. Garlic on toast.... Give me it all!
I have five days before I have to drive anywhere over two hours! Whoopie!
O.K. so I decide not to worry about rain, and what does it do? Rain!
Interesting, I think. Bev and I were talking about how when you go down to the river feeling really fishy, like you know you are going to hook up, we most usually don't. But yet, if you stop worrying and planning on it, go out to the river just to enjoy the river for what the day brings..... FISH ON!
So, everyone..... quietly enjoy the sunshine.... it will go away!
Last but certainly not least, I'd like to share with you a prayer sent in by Crusty, better know as John Rowley. He cracks me up!
God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked...the good fortune to run into the ones that I do, and the eyesight to tell the difference.

Feb 22nd

Wow! I love these pictures! Look at this one! Congratulations to Jawbreaker of the discussion board, and Alaskan fishing guide, Chris Sessions! Despite low water conditions, they had a great day on the North Coast!

Feb 23rd

Last year at this time, maybe a little later, I was gifted with a migration of hummingbirds. I want this to happen again! This time I am preparing. I read in the news yesterday that hummingbirds have been spotted at the coast. This is where I live! Here hummies, I have the food ready!
What does a girl want for her birthday? A bright native hen about 20 pounds, and that is what I am after! Down the river I go!
Later today, both my sisters are coming to take me out to dinner at a great place in Oceanside called Roseannes.
My Dad called last night.
I love Birthdays because I get to talk to all the people who mean alot to me.
I have a great day planned.... This.... and lemon cake!
Can I open one present now, can I, huh?!?

Feb 24th

Jennie's Birthday Fish!

First Cast Jigs That is what happened to me!
On my Birthday, I was waiting for Chris Sessions. so I could shuttle him and I down the river. Bill was not feeling well, so he opted to stay home.
I was staring into the low tide-low water and I imagined a fish there. I cast out my First Cast Jig, a pink and white one with just a small piece of shrimp tail on it. I peeled out some line, thinking surely I would lose this jig. I was only fishing 20 inches deep. This spot in the river is full of sunken logs and debris.
As the bobber made it's way under the overlying thickets in the early morning air, it took a short dash to the right, then to the left... right, left, and down! I mean, you could see this fish shake his head! Quickly reeling in my unmended line, I finally made contact with this fish! Immediately, I saw flashes of silver, just like birthday candles, glowing in the dim light!
Happy Birthday to me from Mark Anderson of First Cast Jigs! Thanks Mark!
I heard Chris' rig pull up, and I breathlessly said, CHRIS!!! QUICK! PICTURE!!!!!
So, there you are! I have a movie too!
Those take a bit to download, but what fun! The sound effects are there! Chris should have been singing "Happy Birthday" to me, though, don't you think?
I had a great day! Got a Stearns CO2 life vest, some pliers, electric thermal socks! WOW! Lots and lots of bubble bath from my kids, chocolate, a fish purse, and a wonderful picture of my late Mother. Oh! And a neat-o book about living along the Mississippi River!
I got some surprise Silent Approach Jigs in the mail too! A jig fishermen, I am going to be!! WHEEEEE!
Had a great dinner with my Sisters... All in all.... a perfect day!
A fish on your first cast in these low water conditions? I think someone was being extra nice to me yesterday!
Last but not least, this picture made me smile!
Sent in by Brian Russell:
Here is a picture of my 10 year old daughter Jill, holding her first trout, caught fly fishing with out any help from dad.
This beautiful trout was caught on Fall River. I was fishing just up from Jill when I heard her cry "Dad". I looked down river to see her rod doubled over and this fish jumping across the river. I ran down and did a little coaching, but this was all her fish, start to finish.

Thanks for sharing this with me! She looks so happy!

Feb 26th

This is the true test.
'Tis the season for me to wake at 4:30 in the morning and feel what a valley girl angler must feel.
"How come you didn't bring your wife?" I sometimes yell to the drift boats that go down the river, past my back yard, early in the morning.
"She didn't want to get up at 4:00 A.M.!"
It is a long haul. It is an early hour.
The bed seems especially warm and inviting at 4 in the morning and it seems to pull me back like a sleep magnet.
I have so much to do, to pack, to prepare!
In order for me to fish for Spring Chinook, the roles are reversed. It is I who must travel! I am willing and ready! So much so, that I woke every hour last night... "Is it time yet?" zzzzzz... "Now?"
It's time now. I am putting the batteries in my battery operated heating sox. Gathering coffee, snacks, tackle, if I remember something I forgot, and I am halfway across the coastal mountains... it will be too late.
I have the utmost respect for anglers that routinely drive to the coast for fish. When they put their boats in at the crack of dawn, I think about the hour at which they woke, the preparation, the excitement and I know they love this area as much as I do!
It is now 4:50 and the coffee maker is making that final gurgle sound that alerts me to get going.
I think I'm going to pass the test!

Feb 28th

Wow! I didn't like that earthquake at all! I wonder how many steelhead got a scare out of that! I wish I would have been watching the river!
The birds were acting really strangely right before the quake. The chickens were very, very noisy too! Now I know why!
MY FIRST HUMMINGBIRD showed up this morning! So I had to go out to the garage, make up some feed and now I am anxiously waiting for him/her to come back!
Boy, do I have computer problems. I can't still do much with this one, I have a corrupt installation of Win 95 is what it says... Oh good! Corruption everywhere! Even in my computer!
On Sunday, my 21 inch monitor, that helps me to see so very much, went on the fritz. It is fried, said the monitor doc. So, I borrowed Bill's 15 inch monitor and I am squinting to see! Then, my computer decided to play along, and it is having major crash problems too!
When it rains, it pours... and the river levels still do not show any change! If it is going to rain on my parade, shouldn't the rivers rise?
Now, in the midst of all this stress, the earth decides to quake. PHHEH! What next? DON'T ASK!!!
Contest drawing tomorrow! Who is going to win? Better get your entry in today! You can't win if you don't fill out the entry form. (Somehow that just doesn't have the same ring to it.)
Please, join us tonight at 8:00 for a chat with Marty Peterson of Gone Fishin Guide Service!
I'll catch you all there tonight! See ya!