Fishing The Coast, Oregon and Washington

February 2011

I'm a yearling, now!

Happy February 1st!
Stan Fagerstrom's column is up one day early! I love reading about El Salto!

February is always purple in my mind! Always! It's pansy month! Violets! The start of the dream of Spring and big puddles of sunshine on the porch!

It is the month where the dogs beg at the door, so that they can find a "piece" of sunshine to lay in. Where the cats lounge on the wooden slats of the deck, for as long as the sunshine lasts!
Time to get the deck chairs out, even though Bill laughs at me that it's too danged early!
Time to get the canoe out, in anticipation of low enough water to paddle up and down, in search of fish! Fish! Fish!
It's the time of year when I long to get out the big boat and cruise Memaloose, in search of waves of springers waiting to bite my line!
Do you know that some years we have actually seen them in two feet of water, collected before the shallows, waiting for the tide to come in, so they can shoot upstream? I've seen it with my own eyes! I've even tossed flies out, trying to lure them into my boat! (No luck so far, but someday....!)
I'm trying with all my might to hang on to the will to be well. I'm not there, yet, but by golly, I'd better be by next week because it is the Pacific Northwest Sportsman's Show and I have a schedule to keep!
Happy February, you guys! Springers are near!

February 3rd

My thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Larry Schoenborn.
Just got back from Portland. I'm looking to buy a small condo so that I can be closer for medical appointments. I'm going to have to be in Portland every day for weeks, for radiation. There is no way I want to drive 2 hours each way, every day. So, this way, I'll have a place in Portland for medical appointments, and for Springer fishing!
There is so much to know, though, when looking for a house! I have my sister in law, who is a realtor, helping me. She took me around to try to find one that I could afford, that wasn't too badly run down! Not easy!
Anyhow, I'm ready to rest, now. The slightest things exhaust me! We'll see how I do at the show, next week! Look for me, taking a nap, behind the counter! LOL

February 4th

Larry Schoenborn

Tuesday, February 8 at 1:30 p.m. – Vancouver Church of Christ
Viewing in the Fireside Room : 12:45 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Vancouver Church of Christ
9019 NE 86th Street,
Vancouver, WA

36th Annual Pacific Northwest Sportsmen's Show


February 6th

There are a ton of people in the world that have it worse off than I do. I know that to be true. But, why then, when evening/night time rolls around, do I make myself one of them?
At night, I have it worse off than anyone, I'm just sure! Why it is that I can't sink it into my brain that I am only worse off, because I'm tired, I just don't know! It even says in the bible: Psalm 30:5 -Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning. I know this in my heart! So, why can't I put my book down, and go to sleep, restfully, knowing full well that this, too, shall pass?
I worry! I fret! I cry!
And then night passes, and I wake in the morning, full of hope and joy. Thank God!
So, no. I'm not a night person!
Since I've had cancer, I've become a night person, not due to any choice of my own, and believe me, it's not a good thing! I can't sleep very well, and I'm not a good night person! I can't wait to get over this chemo, which I think is causing it, and get back to going to bed early. Then, I will totally skip that period of misery!
Just a lot going on. I watched a movie that my nephew Joel made for my Dad's memorial, and just cried my eyes out. (Again!) I wonder if I haven't totally processed that my Dad is gone. I wonder how long that takes, anyhow?
Sometimes I wonder if some of it is due to the stresses I've been thru, both good and bad. So much has happened! -the changes in ifish, (which by the way, are announced here!), the death of my Dad, the diagnosis of cancer, all of these things! It's no wonder I might not process them all!
Night before last, my niece Allison called and said she'd like to bring her boyfriend out for some fishing at about 10 in the morning.
I rose early, yesterday (after staying up too late worrying!) tried to clean up 5 months of a chemo-house-mess, made fresh coffee, dusted off my beautiful steelhead rod, got out all of my jigs and picked out a couple, made sure we had live sand shrimp, and waited. 10 O'Clock rolled around, and no Allison. I sat down, exhausted, and watched TV. 10:30... 10:45... 11:00. Finally, at 11:15 I called. They weren't coming!
So, I gathered my fishing things, and headed out! I hadn't been fishing in ages! Bill was at the steelheaders executive meeting, so I had the river to myself. (Well, in company of two beautiful dogs!)
The river has SO changed, since the last flood! I was devastated! Yes, the river is too low, but usually, even then, I could catch a fish. Somewhere! But, all of the good, deeper drifts were... Poof! Gone!
Starting at the top hole, where my neighbors live, everything was filled in with a light silt. It was so sad to see! It's not even good spawning gravel, and it's so shallow, all the way across. Maybe one small deeper channel clear across the river held fish? I could almost walk across the river in places where it used to be at least four feet deep!
I stood on the side of the river, and put my polaroid glasses on. I moved downstream to the next hole. Same thing! One gushing falls into a shallow pool. One that used to be over 10 feet deep! How could this be? Even the maple tree hole was filled in! I sat for a while to rest, and then headed down to the bedroom hole. OH-MY-GOSH! Totally filled in! This is where I could cross. As I headed out into the river with my knee boots, I kept glancing down to make sure that my boots weren't going to flood! No chance of that! It was about 10 inches deep, if that! Almost half way across the river! Over against the other bank was a small 3-4 foot deeper area, like a creek, flowing. I cast over, and my bobber dragged, set at about 3 feet. There was no fishing, yesterday!
So, picking up my goods, I headed down to the road hole, down on the corner.
On the way, it was incredible how much land we had lost. The trail to get down there had seriously eroded, and I had to balance on my right side, hoping that more land wouldn't slide, as the weight of my body urged the loose chunks to fall in. Big clumps of wet earth lay on it's side in the shallows, breaking away from the trail in puzzle pieces.
The last flood we had made the road slide into the river, leaving a big chunk out of it, that you couldn't see, until you were almost upon it. It was scary to drive! It's since been fixed. I do worry that this area will slide, so we are well prepared to be stuck in our house for a while, if it does.
You know, it's amazing how easily our landscape can change. It occurred to me again, how true it is, that -Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,"
That came to me as I stood on a mound of dirt, high above the water. I was on solid ground, and one thing is certain. One thing always remains the same. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
I was relieved to see deep water, here... finally! At least it was somewhere! But, it was still and clear and certainly, if it held fish, they'd be really spooked.
I changed my jig to something stealth and small, and ran it thru the only deep channel that had any current at all. Who was I fooling? I could see that there were no fish. Visibility was at least 10 feet deep. This is when I imagine fish to laugh at me.
So, Allison and her boyfriend and her Dad were right not to come fishing.
The part that was wonderful, however, is that I made the entire stretch of the river, only sitting down twice!
Oh! And more good things!
The other night, I was in a hotel that I've stayed at maybe three times, since I've begun having chemo. I love staying here because they have microwave popcorn in the room. It's a treat!
However, the popcorn wasn't tasting the same. It was so bland! I wondered if perhaps they had changed brands? I couldn't taste the butter or the salt?! I was disappointed with it. It didn't do the trick for munchies, as it had so many times. But-- last time I stayed, just a few days ago, it tasted good again! It wasn't the brand of popcorn! My taste buds are coming back! I was thrilled with both the popcorn, and my progress!
Oh! And although I have almost enjoyed the fact that I don't have to shave my legs, I was even more excited to realize that my hair is starting to grow back on my legs! Yay! I am healing, I think!
I still have a ways to go, I know. I still get nauseous out of the blue. I still get tired, and have good days, and really bad days. But, I do see that the good days are becoming more frequent!
Yesterday I was able to grocery shop at Fred Meyers. I haven't done that in ages! I have been sending the boys! It was fun to wander the aisles and decide what sounded good for dinner. Let me tell you, it's hard to cook dinner, when you are uninspired to eat!
So, yesterday I had a very full day. I cleaned the house up a bit. I fished! (Or tried!) And then, I went grocery shopping. I was tired after that, but I did take a big chuck roast, and after braising it on both sides, I covered it with foil in my big cast iron pan, and slow roasted it, while I slow rested!
Then, I got up around 6, made gravy and mashed potatoes and ate like a fairly normal person! I provided like a fairly normal person! Veggies, mashed potatoes and roast! It almost tasted good! And I had an appetite!
So, despite the nights, when things look really, really bad, I know in my heart of hearts that "joy comes with the morning" and can last, pretty much all day... if you let it!
God loves me, and that's a darn good thing, because without God's love, I am nothing.

February 8th

STGRule said to me, "Jennie, PLEASE don't try to do the show, this year." My answer? "But, I have to! Where else would they get their ifish lures?"
Never did I consider not doing it, even though... even though I'm on chemo. Even though I'm sick! Even though I'm tired. All of those things, but I'm STILL excited!
You'll just find me smiling, but sleeping in the back quarters of booth 1253!
So, here is the address of the thread where we'll post the webcam and updates to the show! Fun!
Click here!
I'm off!

February 14th

Honey, I'm home! I lay in bed yesterday afternoon, absolutely dead, while the kids helped me put some things away, and cook dinner.
Wowowowow... what a week! It was awesome, but very tiring. Ruth was right, as usual!
I felt like an old cripple, trying to make it up the stairs! Anyone know where to get one of those stair elevators? :) I'm kidding!
I met and talked to the most wonderful people, though! The moderators gave of their time, freely to help ifish meet and greet and sell Kwikfish.
We are trying to cover the bills for the lures, and then maybe start an ifish scholarship for OSU for fisheries students! Wouldn't that be cool? I didn't sell all the lures, so there is a new mail order for lures, here! I was hoping not to have to do mail order, but ha! I am! I am! :)
I have so much to do to catch up. Better get going!

February 17th

Good morning, lovies. :) It's going to snow on my Birthday! It is! I know it will!
I've rested and played in the snow, and I'm feeling a bit better! Here's a video of snow on the Kilchis!
It all melted, but we had a good frolic in the snow, yesterday.
It was so beautiful! I woke up to these beautiful, huge flakes falling. The silence of the snow woke me. How can you sleep with all that silence that snow brings? Honestly!
I don't think there is any dispute over the fact that things have been a little rough in my life, for a bit. You know, you see those stress tests and they ask you about deaths in the family, moving, selling a business, illnesses. Yep, yep, yep... I could go down the line, checking each one.
Usually I find writing comes very easily to me, but while I digest all of this, writing has been a bit more difficult.
I keep thinking, "When God closes a door, He opens a window." Well, in my case, I think God has closed a window and He is going to open a bunch of doors! Everywhere!
I can't look back. I have to look forward, because if I don't, I'm going to miss those turns ahead, that lead to all those open doors!
Ahead, right now, I see Springer fishing on the bay. Something I haven't been able to do the last couple years, due to being so busy on ifish. Ifish was using all my energy, however little that was! But, all of it was going to ifish.
It feels so good to have Allcoast backing me, now. Helping me, organizing what was overlooked, because we were too darn busy keeping ifish running, day to day!
On the mod board, I'm doing my best to cut my time back a bunch. Sometimes I don't even feel missed, and that is a good thing! The mods on the mod board are so efficient! I'm not even needed, there! In one way, it's a good thing, and in another, I am going to miss my mod family!
For a long while, ifish was my entire life. I missed out on family, fishing, slow, lazy mornings reading the paper and having coffee with Bill, as we watched the birds. I rarely do that, any more! I get to do that, now! Not only that, but I want to do that!
For the past busy years, I'd get up in the morning, and head straight to the computer.
I'd read the ifish mail and answer the following questions, over and over. "How do I get on the board?". "May I change my moniker?", "I can't register!", "I'm not getting your ifish mail!", "How come I can't post on the classifieds?" All of these and more!
I had templates written out, to answer most of them. I'd include the template, write a little personal note to go along with it, and send them off.
Then, I was off to the mod board. Lately, it hasn't been unusual to have 30 new topics to greet me, there.
I didn't even have time to read the public board! Now, I will be able to!
Allcoast is going to make an automated reply to cut down on the time spent, on mail. The ifish board lists that we have 34 thousand members!!! Of course, these aren't all active members, but still! Even if it were half of that, I can't keep up!
It's time for change, Jen! I still have to convince myself!
So, all those templates will go into an automated e mail back to folks, and then, if they still need help, there is an option to e mail us, again.
Hobart Manns was over the other day, and he asked me, "Jen, you must feel some sadness over the change."
It was more of a statement than a question.
You know, I should. Maybe I will. But, right now, as I look over the changes I have listed above, it spells relief! I will miss that kind of direct communication with the people. But, the board is still there and I will be able to do fun things, again! Contests! Talking fishing! Because, I can go fishing, again!!!
When I started ifish, I never wanted to make money on it. It was a hobby site. It wasn't my goal to be a marketer or be in the advertisement business! I wanted a place to talk fishing! To make a difference in fishing, and to learn more about fishing from others!
Thank God we had sponsors, though! The sponsors on ifish are all friends and they all know each other, and have each other's back. Ifish is such a cool network of fishing people!
Way back when, we had maybe 100 members and we were all friends.
Have you ever seen the Wayback Machine? I plugged in here and look what we find! Click on some of the old dates, and sometimes, you can even click on the discussion board and read some old conversations! So cool! Some of those friends are still on ifish, but some left, for quieter waters. I understand that! I nearly left a dozen times, too! Growth pains are very real! Adding new rules is something that you have to do, as people push buttons. The AUP (Acceptable Use Policy) has grown from a couple paragraphs to a long page! Other people saw what we had, and of course, they wanted to be a part of it, too! Ah, growth!
It was so fun for me to watch it grow! To check the stats each day in absolute wonder!
Ifish has been thru a million changes. I have so many fond memories... The Barview jetty parties in the summer, ifishstock in the Fall, the Christmas party at Christmas! Remember the fish-a-longs? I want to do a fish-a-long, again! What was it we called them? I forget! I'm going to go look! LOL.
Well, I'm going to go sit and watch some birds with Bill, for a while. We just hung some fresh, new suet out for them.
Simple things. Life. Those are the things I can't miss by returning 100 e mails, a day. :) I just can't!
We only live once, you know... and I want to really live it up, good! Because, remember? Remember this?
I've had this on my signature at ifish for a long, long, time. It's about time I practice what I preach!
The goal in Life's Journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting "holy moly what a ride!"
You can't skid in sideways by sitting in a computer chair!
And, of course, the Edward Abbey thing, to the right column, here....
So get out there, and hunt and fish, and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, encounter the Grizz, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, that lovely mysterious and awesome space.
Ah, life! Oh, sweet life! Here I come, while I still can!

February 18th


Muhahaha... You know, on my BIRTHDAY! I don't know what a 12Z RUNS OF THE ECMWF but I like it!
What could be more fun that snow on your Birthday? I don't ever remember it happening! Ever! I'd rather have snow than anything!
I'd even give up a german chocolate cake for snow! Muhahah! I'm so excited!
I'm sitting here right now, watching the snow come down. We have about three inches, right now. I hope no one ruins the driveway before I get out my sled! Dare I? In the poor physical condition that I am in, get the sled out? YES! Tee hee!

February 19th

My nephew, Joel Mertz is so talented. He made this video for the memorial service, for my Dad.
Sometimes, I think that all that made me proud in life is gone, with both my Mom and Dad gone. But, as I watch this video from my nephew, I know that's not true. I'm so proud of Joel for making this.
I don't know what touches me more at the end, where Dad waves goodbye, with the tip of a hat? That, or when he looks back at the motor of the boat, as all fishermen/guides seem to do.
Have you noticed that? It's like boats are such a pain, and at the same time, it marvels us, when the motors actually work. Fishermen have to check the stream of water flowing out, etc., but Bill, when he goes really fast with his boat, sometimes turns around and just stares at the engine. Who is driving? LOL. So, after he waves, Dad turns around and stares at the motor. That really got to me.
Oh, I miss my Dad.
I'm so proud to share that video with you, and my pride in my family that I have from my Mom and Dad is only exemplified to the nieces, the nephews, and my sisters and brothers. My whole family is quite a great lot, you know. :)
By the way, that's Diamond Lake he is on, but you knew that. Right?
After I cried to the video, I switched over to Joel's other videos. How bout this one? Don't know that I'm so proud of this! I was scared to death, though! Joel? Fallon? You nutcases! LOL

February 23rd

Today, I start all over, again! I have cleaned out my column so that only February 23rd is here. A clean slate, and from now on, it's new!
I don't know about you, but on my Birthday, I celebrate! BIG TIME!
I don't need gifts. I just need my physical presence! (Not presents, get it? Muhahaha...) I just need the ability to start all over, again... and I'm so ready to do that!
I mean, when you've been thru what I've been thru and a Birthday rolls around, saying that you are still here, still alive, still breathing, still struggling, still feeling, still hurting, still trying...
My aorta dissected what? Six years ago? My heart is still beating!
That's reason to celebrate a Birthday! It really is!
As long as you are breathing, as long as your heart is beating, You can start all over, again.
Oh, dang, I love this song....
Listen to it, OK? Please? Watch the video! It so moves me!

Wake up to the perfect sun (Snow?)
The long night is over, a new day has begun
Oh yes, dare to believe mercy flows in the morning
Your spirit is set free

These are the things your mind will tell you
These are the words your heart will say
These are the thoughts that leave you fearless
These are the hands that point the way

Lost songs in my head... I have had this happen, before, but yesterday it was so frustrating!
Yes. I have been a touch depressed, lately. I know it is hard for everyone, but lately, it seems that so many things have gone down in my life. So many, that I haven't had time to let them sink in, individually. Things just happened, and I was so busy "happening" that I couldn't stop to live them, to feel them. I just kept going, and then something else would try to slap me down! Ever been so busy being slapped down, that you couldn't get up to feel any of it?
I was listening to a shuffle of songs on my iphone in my car, when this wonderful song came on that I hadn't heard in a while. I pulled the car over, to see who/what it was.
I remembered swaying to it in the car, before, singing along, having it touch me. But, this time, I wanted to mark so I could hear it again, later.
I carefully picked up the iphone, knowing full well that while doing so, I could easily accidentally hit the screen and lose it.
Well, I did! I hit the screen and lost it! When you are on "shuffle" the back button rarely works. Dang! Lost it! So, I spent all day searching for it! Listening to every song that I have, (and that's a TON!) trying to find it.
I finally found it! Happy Birthday! Small things can be so big!
And, oh, it gets me! Down to my soul!
I am going to start my life over again!
Goodbye, sorrow! I'm going to start all over again! And I can! I can stand in the midst of a field of flowers and marvel at the beauty, and start all over, again!
Hello, tomorrow!
Spring is coming! I'm going to get past the death of my Father, and look only to the good memories that we have had, and our family will make more good memories in the future!
We'll go to Diamond Lake, together again! We'll play horseshoes, and sit by a campfire! We'll feel happiness as we celebrate Christmas, together! We will start all over, again!
I can fish, again! So long it's been since I've been lost in a full week of fishing, day after day, giggling about lost days where I get nothing done, only to get up in the morning, and fish again! I want to live that, and start all over, again!!
I'll stand by the river and squint my eyes until I find Spring's first steelhead redd on the Kilchis! And start all over, again!
My cancer will be gone, and I'll have a clean bill of health! And I can start all over, again!
Isn't it just awesome, how we always have a chance at new beginnings? As long as we have Birthdays, we own that right! To start all over, again!
Any new day marks the possibility, as long as we have Jesus Christ in our lives, to start all over, again!

Everything can change if all our things are new
The impossible is here and it's crying out for you
Everything is gonna work out right
Just like we prayed it would
Growing miracle after making a yes
It's working for you

This morning, I woke to the snow gently falling, that I prayed, that I wished for, that I longed for, (And yes, it happened!) I can start all over, again! It's my Birthday! I made it to another one!

Long as you are breathing (you can start all over again)
Oh, and your heart's beating (you can start all over)
Umm, Goodbye Sorrow (you can start all over again)
Hello Tomorrow (you can start all over)

Happy Birthday, to me!
Celebrate these things, you guys! When we get older, especially! Look how far you've come and know that you can always start all over, again!
For those that don't know, I have a tradition of eating Birthday cake, first thing in the morning on my Birthday... so, gotta go!
Breakfast awaits!
Shall I have Ice Cream, too?

February 24th

STGRule gave me her Birthday, today, so I could have the mass snow! Isn't it beautiful?

February 25th

Click to zoom

Photo taken by Kay Brown,
our lovely neighbor!

Playing in the snow, round two!
Why can't I ever be happy with what is? Why do I look forward and think that the snow will be gone, soon! Live in the moment, Jennie! Live! Love! NOW!
Have you ever seen happier dogs? Have you ever seen a happier Jennie? I love snow!
I walked all the way down to the river without stopping for a long time, or sitting! I'm getting better!
Hope radiation doesn't ruin me!

February 26th
Extreme Makeover for the Aguirre Family!

I woke up this morning and had like 100 e mails that I didn't recognize in my facebook account. What was going on?
Why, it's my niece Jamie, doing good things, again! But, this time it's huge! Please, help out and spread the word, and let's get this going!
Can you help?
Bill just went out and caught a little buck! I'm going to go try to do the same... but mine won't be little! LOL

February 27th

I'm going to link this, as it takes up a bunch of space. Part of the "scary" in this is that it's all in caps and it sounds like they are yelling!
I have a doc appointment in Portland tomorrow, and again, for the third time, I'm going to have to cancel, I think! This is February, you guys! Blizzard conditions? I always read the forecast discussion, as I like to hear it right from the source.
It's here, if you want to bookmark it.


Wow! So, be careful out there, tomorrow, whatever happens!