Fishing The Coast, Oregon and Washington
January

Where am I?
Dang, I love to fish.

 

Jennie's Fishing Life

FISHING THE COAST

A journal of my adventures.


 

Jan 1st 2001!

Happy New Years! What a way to start the day for Bob Gragert of Tillamook Oregon. He won the Contest!
I have a new contest I am putting together for a very special guided trip. I will get all the info together ASAP! It'll be way cool!
Gotta get back to work....
The new contest is up! Welcome aboard, Captain J Charters and the chance to win a Spring Salmon or Sturgeon trip for two! Joe is a great guy, with tons of experience. He'll get you into those fish if anyone will!
Please visit his web page!

 

Jan 2nd

I remember a dramatic interpretation speech that I listened to my sister recite over and over for a high school speech tournament. It touched someplace deep and permanent in me.
The words to this paragraph that haunts me has come to me in bits and pieces for over 30 years. I have searched for the original so that I could read it, and again know every word.
I finally found it! I hold it tightly in my hands. I slowly read it, and it almost brings to me the storm I so badly need. Joan Baez grabbed my exact feelings with this poetry.

Joan Baez
Daybreak

Sometimes I get lonesome for a storm. A full-blown storm where everything changes. The sky goes through four days in an hour, the trees wail, little animals skitter in the mud and everything gets dark and goes completely wild. But it's really God--playing music in his favorite cathedral in heaven--shattering stained glass--playing a gigantic organ--thundering on the keys--perfect harmony--perfect joy.

I was probably 10 when I heard this. But it stuck to me so hard in those young, emotional, and very dramatic days.
I have been wanting this storm since August of this year. At this point, I am left just a little grated as I drive down the road in the car on bone dry pavement. The leaves from fall are still in the river, still laying soggy on the rocks of the bank.
There is a storm in my soul that needs to be unleashed, and can only come out when the barometer falls low.
Forecast: Local morning drizzle...becoming partly sunny in the afternoon.
Sometimes I think the fish and I are going to go crazy.
We need a storm... a full blown storm where everything changes....

Jan 3rd

O.K. Deep breath.
So far today, I did web work, taxes, billing, cleaned the boys room, set up a computer, fed the rabbits, did three loads of laundry, and took off for town.
There I went to get medical records, went to the dry cleaners, Les Schwabs for a flat tire, the library to check out a book on how to write an article for a book I am encouraged to submit one to, photocopied some writers contest entries for a contest I am encouraged also, to do.
Off to Freddies to pick up Andrews newest pain prescription and antibiotics, and to the school to personally administer them. Then to three medical offices to track down medical records for Andrew, that have to go to the Doctor we are going to tomorrow.
This is because they packed Andrew with gauze after his surgery, and forgot to tell us. Infact, they forgot they did it. As Andrew continued to get worse instead of better, Andrew found that the cause of his disgustingly bad breath, was packed gauze in one of the chambers. O.K, no big, this could just get into his Mitral valve regurgitation and cause a deadly infection, but what the heck? No big, right?
So, we spent the day in ER having gobs of gauze removed from an almost healed area, and then today I had to talk to tons of doctors to try and find out what now.
At this point, sitting in a car, driving to Portland sounds relaxing.
Who is going to fix me dinner tonight? Whoever it is, better hurry. Basketball practice in 20 minutes.... Bye!

Jan 4th

Is there anything more gorgeous, in the whole world, than a sunrise okie? Thank you BigStew! They are so beautiful! I can't share them, Bigstew. MINE!
We had .44 inches of rain up until 6:00 P.M last night, and .72 since 6:00!
I have been up since 5 madly trying to get everything done, so at first light I can fish!

Jan 6th

I was very surprised to get up and find that the Kilchis was absolutely fishable yesterday. The river had come up quite a bit. I am beginning to have very little faith in the weather man!
I called in stressed and sick yesterday. Woke up just exhausted from what I have been doing for three weeks, dealing with Andrews surgery, screwed up post-op, trying to deal with Andrews disability claim, on and on... a legal mess! It is extremely demeaning dealing with state health programs.
I feel better now, refreshed! I have a terrible habit of run, run, running until I am sick. Then I collapse, regain some energy and am off again!
I got tons of paper work filled out in my pajamas, laying around the house, doing very little other than that.
I went upstairs and glanced out at the river. Lo and behold, I saw Bill releasing a wild fish.
When you are sick, you can take Tylenol, nyquil, anything, but nothing will make you feel all better than seeing someone catch a fish!
I grabbed my clothes, put my hair in a pony tail, grabbed my rods and did I ever feel better (temporarily!).
I didn't catch anything, but the sound of the river rushing at my feet seemed to clear my stuffy head. I fished with a jig all day. I will catch a steelie on my new rod and my stealthy "silent approach" jigs! I will!
Oh! The nice people from Silent Approach made me some absolutely beautiful blue jig earrings! I love them! They are mahvelous, dahlink!
Today I am going to do the 'quality time' thing with my kids. We are going to the beach to run on the dunes, build sand castles and just be together. I need to unwind, to listen to them talk, to give them my full attention. O.K., so I might drive by the popular ramps and see what is happening, but I will listen to my kids as I do. I will not bring a rod. I will not bring a rod. I will not bring a rod.
School again Monday. Then it is time for me to seriously hit the rivers again. Until then, fish on!
Gotta go put the rods in the car. :)

Jan 9th

Last night my car drove me home from a fishing trip. Through the lush coastal forests, along the flats of tidal bays, up steep cliffs overlooking the ocean. My felt wading shoes were still sopping wet and clumsy between the brake and the gas pedal. My hair was beginning to dry out on the long drive home, heater blowing hard, music filling the air.
A big, full winter sun shown strong between the clouds. Right before the sun slipped behind the South Jetty of Tillamook Bay, it stood bold, against the clearing sky. It reflected long rays of light, over the rocks, across the expanse of the bay, and searing through my sunglasses. I had to stop the car.
We spent the day fishing the "Qua" River with Chris Sessions. It drizzled and showered throughout the drift The sunset provided a perfect ending to a perfect day.
We pulled plugs, and yes, my rod exploded with the force of a beautiful native hen!
"This is an exact science, Jennie, put your rod right over the bow of the boat..."
I giggled, "Yeah rrright..."
WHAM!


It was! It was a perfect science! The perfect science of a perfectly tuned plug that attracted the most beautiful, flying, leaping, chrome, perfectly tuned steelhead that I had felt all winter!
The term 'exploded' hit my rod with worse than PG violence, right while I was holding it in my hands! I loved that!
Chris pulled the boat over to the bank and that fish screamed across the water, then did the Bill Monroe leaping "silver fan blade" action through the air! This fish was wild!
Tonight I am going to sit on my couch and hold my G Loomis in my hands in that non expecting way, and make the kids replay it at the tip of my rod over and over.
Kids, you want to make your Mom happy? Learn the bite of a steelhead! Then grab that line and zip around the living room! PLEASE!
I had a wonderful day!
The pleasant exhaustion a day on the river provides the perfect backdrop for the perfect nights sleep. As my legs rebelled against the climb up the stairs, the full moon shown across the meadow, lighting up my bedroom. I didn't turn the light on, as I climbed into bed.
I pulled up the covers and was lulled to sleep by sounds of the river. My mind full of leaping fish, and my heart filled with the kind of satisfaction that only a fish can bring.

Jan 11th

I have never been really close to a cat. I have always had dogs, but something about this little winsome and pitiful creature that I plucked off the road 5 months ago softens my heart! Ginger is so cute! Wakes me up at 5 every morning, purring softly.. Lick, lick, lick, nibble, Oh! My nose! Sometimes it even hurts, but I just love her!
Marie from Tillamook Bait is playing with her new digital camera and the pics turned out great! I posted a picture of a fish that David Johnson got a client into on The Guides Catch page. One beautiful Christmas Chinook!
I also got this stylin picture of a sturgeon from Dino Constance. I put him on the Winners Page! Way to go Dino!
I fished the Wilson yesterday. The peak of the steelhead season, and yet, eerily, there were only 4 boats on the whole river. I fished hard. I felt fishy. I knew I was going to get into something! I didn't! Not a thing! Bill caught a broodstock smolt, with the left vent and adipose clipped. Interesting.
Did you know that if you have a Washington fishing license, and an Oregon fishing license that you can still only retain 10 legal sized sturgeon? I found that interesting as I soaked in a hot tub and studied the Washington regs last night. Hmmmmm, I wonder how they track that? Not that I need 20 sturgeon, but just found that interesting.
I will catch a fish on my new ifish rod! I will! But I have rules and regulations to this rod. I use it only with Silent Approach jigs right now. That is all I will use it for exclusively at this point. I am at that point where I don't yet have faith in jigs because I haven't caught anything with them yet. Still, I believe they work because of what I have heard. I think I need lessons! How deep do I go with these jigs? I have heard you don't need to go real deep, but I must be doing something wrong!
I have lost two of my favorites now. A black and red one and a light blue one. I have to order those up again, since they are the ones I liked best, or had most faith in.
Every time I fish, I put in my time with my jigs! I have pretty green high resolution line and a bright bobber. It is a pleasure to fish and to be able to see what is going on. I can't wait for that bobber down, and believe me, you will hear about it when it does! And it WILL go down!

Jan 12th

Simply amazing what a good nights sleep will do for me! I went to bed last night feeling hopeless and depressed. Woke up this morning singing Elvin Bishop's, "Goin Fishin". Had to hear it, so I looked it up, heard a clip and ordered it. Now it's time to go out and do it! Got my jigs, and my new ifish rod...Is today the day? Ahhhh feeling much better!


Jan 13th

I am beginning to believe with all my heart that the Pacific Northwest has lost it's ability to rain. How could that be? I want the skies above to cloud over and cry with all it's heart! An intense rain storm, with sheets of water blowing sideways! Heck, now I even want a flood! Great big muddy waters that finally clear the leaves out! Please???
Spring Chinook! Wow! It's coming, and I am pumped! Not new news, but still......2001 Willamette Spring Chinook Forecast Greatest Since 1993 - The 2001 forecast is 61,000, the highest since 1993. The forecast is about evenly split between age four and age five fish. The adipose fin-clipped mark rate on hatchery fish is expected to be 96% on age 4 fish, 41 % on age 5 fish or 69 % overall. Thank you Nanook on the discussion board! Will it rain by then? :)
Thanks to Don Larson for pointing out this excellent article on Sturgeon Fishing.
Dead Sturgeon Tell No Tales. Please.... Take action on this immediately! Thanks much to Rich Wooten. Take Action!
Don Larson of the Sturgeon, Salmon and Steelhead page is writing again! Yay!
R.T. submitted a great article, Dead Elephants in the Room, written by Dr. Jack Ward Thomas. There is plenty of reading to be done, and plenty of room for your responses and ACTION. I left the Elephant post with a very sad heart.
Speaking of hearts, and every time I hear the word lately, I am scared. Next Friday is the day. The day when Andrew and I have our yearly echoes to check for aortic root growth, a common occurrence with Marfan Syndrome. Mine has been stable for quite some time, but last year mine stretched and grew. This is not good and I don't want the pattern to continue. I don't want open heart surgery, but neither do I want the alternative. It is the most helpless feeling. Wish I could do something, some kind of exercise, something! But it has a rhythm, a life of it's own. I think perhaps what is best for it is to fish.... right? What is really great is the network of friends I have come to love on ifish.net. For this I am truly thankful!
All in all though, above all the good and bad news in fishing, above all the stress of medical stuff, above the lack of rain... I find peace and hope and I am excited about the future! Let's fish!
Oh Yeah! Hobart Mann called last night and wants to do an interview with me on his radio program! Oh! Scary! What do I say? "I like to fish?" Duh!
I want to write more now. I want to share with you just what it was like to fish yesterday morning.
I walked out to the river bank as it was becoming light. It was one of those foggy, warm mornings where you feel tucked in and held protected by the sky.
I crouched down on the river bank to tie a jig, far from the low, clear water. I didn't want to spook the fish that held there.
My attempts paid off with the wild exploding of a steelhead at the head of the hole. My heart started beating fast, my fingers so shaking in anticipation, that I couldn't tie the jig on!
Finally, the rig set, I began to rise when the water again exploded at the tailout! Like a warning: this river and all it holds is far to wild, far to smart for me to conquer. Perhaps I would be better off just to sit back down and enjoy the show? I was humbled.
The story ends here, almost. I didn't catch that beautiful fish. I knew from the beginning, that he would outsmart me. I worked the hole thoroughly, with every trick I knew. Jigs, 6 lb line, the tiniest tail of a shrimp.... All the hope in the world couldn't get me into that fish.
Later, I was standing knee deep in the water. My legs were slightly tugged against the current. My focus was so keen on the movement of my bobber downstream, that I jumped as I felt an odd sensation. I looked down to see a salmon, barely alive, totally unaware of my existence,and totally unafraid of my sudden movement. I think that she expired right in front of my eyes. She quit moving, the current carried her downstream, and it was powerful, awesome, sad. I saw her go over the rapids. I saw her float helplessly to the bottom of a clear deep pool.
As I read about the salmon's demise. As I read about what the world is about and why we can't fix things, I think of this salmon and her successful journey.
I saw a fish go full circle, and she had deeply touched me, with her last breath, with her last pull against the current, with a soft touch against my waders.
It is an up current battle.
I see in my minds eye these salmon leaping through the air to reach their destination, over falls, fish ladders...
They must....
If only we could fight this battle with all the strength, all of the natural instinct, all of the pull that these salmon have, we too, could win this battle.
This battle, against all odds. We must.

Jan 14th

Nice pic of some Portland caught salmon on the winners page, and some yummy new recipes on the recipe page.
Having a rough day, but I'll be better soon.....

Jan 16th

You can see the fish that you desire, with all of your heart, all of your mind.
Down in the low, clear waters, just behind that rock, he glistens as he holds, then flashes past you in all of his strength and glory. Silvery sides entice you, leave you with visions in your mind that won't soon leave you. My legs shake and my mouth goes dry as the sight imprints in my mind. I fished this hole with all I knew!
You can use all kinds of new technology from simple polarized sunglasses to an underwater camera to see this fish of your dreams. That fish is so close, but so far away.
Sometimes my rod will load up and my breath sucks in till I can't breath. I whisper hoarsely..."I got him I got him I got......" The rod goes slack.
The vision, the thought, the hope of hooking that fish and yelling "fish on!" with all of your soul can keep you from sleep at night. Dreams of this fish will bolt you out of a dead sleep as your bobber goes down and you think you have him. Roll over, go back to sleep... It's just a dream.
No power on earth, no special lure, no scent, no tactic, no skill can make this fish consistently bite and hold.
The hunt is on. I have touched this fish. I have felt him and I know, I know.... what I want!
Conditions on the rivers in Tillamook, and through out the coastal system, make for a tough steelhead season. In this, which should be the peak week for steelheading, the main systems that hold steelhead are low and clear, with no hope for rain in the direct future.
Some people are successful, but I am sitting here writing, feeling a little skunked.
This morning I have been asked to accompany two very fine jig fishermen who are going to try and get this girl into a fish.
In anticipation, and still hoping, I am up early. I must see to the kids needs, start a load of laundry, take care of bills and e mails, as I always do, before I leave on my adventure.
Although I feel a bit hopeless and helpless, 'I get by, with a little help from my friends'. I am so thankful for my friends at ifish!
I won't give up. "Fish on!" I'll say, as my bobber goes down!
The road is long, with many a winding streams.... Isn't that how it goes?

Jan 18th

I have a little flock of chickadees out my window. They come every day. When they first started to show up they were extremely nervous little birds. They would light, peck one seed from my feeder and then be gone! Now it is as if they are right at home. They stay for two seeds, or more!
Rain in the future? Is that right? A substantial system? Really? Do we believe?
I heard one opinion stating that perhaps the fish will arrive in February like they did in 1997? Conditions then were similar to this winter? Long, dry fishless spells. Could it be? I am somewhat hesitant to hope, but wouldn't that be great? I'm not giving up yet!
Today and tomorrow will be filled with the aroma of medical offices and not Marie's shrimp scent, stethoscopes instead of G loomis fishing rods.
But I'll be back. Yes, I'll be back. I will soon be back to chase the race of whitewater downstream. I will be prepared to toss my outfit on short notice to secret places where those steelhead are hiding from me.
O.K., how come I've kept in the dark about this book ? I have been reading "A River Never Sleeps" by Roderick L. Haig-Brown. I looked it up on amazon, and it is out of print. Available, however, in used editions starting at about 24 and going up to 72.00. Available, also, in Bill's library, but you won't catch me loaning it out! It is a gem.
It touches me, deeply. I can read passages over and over, and then close my eyes and be there in my sleep.
I feel like I am fishing with him. I want to go to all of these places, perhaps form a fishing trip that visits all these places and travel through the year as he did. I want to see how they have changed. I want to see if the words he uses come to me as I cast out a fly on a high mountain lake. I want to see if I can see what he saw, feel what he felt.
Bill says Haig-Brown is no longer living. How unfair. I would have bought the most expensive 'Ticket Master' tickets to hear him speak. Oh, how I would love to have met this man, to listen to his expression, to see the look in his eyes as he talks about the rivers, the lakes.
I hear his daughter wrote something on him and his life. Does anyone know about this? I want to read that too! More, more!
I guess some women fantasize over rock stars, movie stars, love songs, and I do too, but the romance in this book is not built on the love between humans. (Although there clearly is that also.) It is the love of the river, the outdoors, the birds, the fish, the land. It moves me far more than any classic romantic novel could.
I first heard of this book on the discussion board, and this was quoted, thus capturing my full attention:

I still don't know why I fish or why other men fish, except that we like it and it makes us think and feel. But I do know that if it were not for the strong, quick life of rivers, for their sparkle in the sunshine, for the cold grayness of them under rain and the feel of them about my legs as I set my feet hard down on rocks or sand or gravel, I should fish less often. A river is never quite silent; it can never, of its very nature, be quite still; it is never quite the same from one day to the next. It has its own life and its own beauty, and the creatures it nourishes are alive and beautiful also. Perhaps fishing is, for me, only as excuse to be near rivers. If so, I'm glad I thought of it.

Oh boy.... ah.... um..... I'm a hopeless romantic. Sighhhhhhhh....
I'm taking this book with me wherever I go!

January 16th, later, no fish.
(Course, I didn't fish either!)

Put up a little fishing list for ya, just for fun. Add to it, I know I forgot some things! I printed one out for my fridge, and several others just to have for on the run.

People talk of some magical, mystical heightened ability to use one sense if another is decreased or absent.
Nonsense. It is not magical, it is necessary. It is developed.
I have for years, and sometimes without realizing, listened more intensely than others. I attribute this to my poor eyesight. I know that my love for music is due to my challenged vision. We naturally do what is easy, and it is easier for me to listen than to see.
At the age of three my parents were still not aware that I couldn't see well. My Mother said she really didn't need to hire a baby-sitter for me. I would sit at the piano for hours on end, listening, playing, picking out tunes. In my baby book it is recorded that I would pick out tunes on the piano such as "Puff the Magic Dragon", and others, as early as four. I was developing my listening skills instead of my vision. Gifted? I don't know. I think I was just doing what came naturally to me. Listening was easy!
Thus, it is true that when I fish, I listen. Sometimes I feel left out and unhappy when people point out fish to me, and I can't see them. In reading "A River Never Sleeps" by Roderick L. Haig-Brown, I read how often he sees fish before he casts to them. My first reaction to this is self pity. Wah! I can't usually see them rise, nor hold near rocks at the bottom of the river. I don't see those shadows of great fish very often.
This leaves me at a serious disadvantage, although I truly believe that listening while you fish makes up for it in many ways.
I have learned how to cast by listening. I get a thrill out of hearing my line peel out, as I cast 8 ounces of weight from the Oregon beaches of the Columbia. An uneven, strong whir, caught by the wind, that tells me before it hits that perhaps I should have purchased a Washington license. Sure enough the screaming reel sounds long enough for it to hit somewhere near the opposite bank. Well, not quite, but I can dream!
I have admired Bill's casting for two years now. I do see how gracefully it lands, thus not tearing the bait to bits. I learned how to mimic that by the sound of his reel, his line, and the final landing of his lure.
"I must have a G Loomis rod and a Calcutta" I told him. "I must, so that I can totally mimic what I hear when you so artfully cast!"
Bill's cast is a beautiful symphony of the spools release of line. A lob, that sends out monofilament gracefully, arching across the rivers width, with a constant and steady melodious tone. I believe it to start with a low A, below middle C, then rising to a D Sharp before it descends in tone again. It lands with a gentle breaking of water. The tricky part is to make it smooth, legato... The goal to not disturb what lies beneath.
I close my eyes as my feet adjust to the feel of the rocks on the river banks, and shut out any visual input. I practice those tones as I hold that piece of cold-gold Calcutta in my hand and rehearse.
"Listen while you fish" repeats through my head to the tune of "Whistle while you work".
You can learn about rowing, also, by
by the sounds of the approaching waters, and the reaction of the oarsman. I hear the rhythmic beat of the shallow dipping of the oars. It mimics my heart beat and lulls me to what I know as calm waters. As I hear faster waters, my heart beat quickens and I hear the oars response, deeper, faster pulls.
"Shoot one out there" I hear, and look to see the bank close. That would be a staccato, quick cast! I know the sound of a quick cast, and I have practiced listening to it. I know how to produce that sound by feel.
My rod, my reel, and my line are my orchestra, my hand the conductor, and my river the audience. My fish, therefore, my applause.
I sincerely believe that if I had eyesight by magic someday, that I could be a seriously competitive angler.
If you already own the rights to good eyesight, try listening. Close your eyes, listen, not only to the sounds of the squawking gulls, the delicate chirp of dippers, but to the sounds that you create. Practice the sound of your cast, the sound of your lure landing on the water. Then, open your eyes and use all of your senses!
Locate the fish, play your rod and reel like an orchestra and wait.... wait for the sounds of the applause.... The applause that echoes water breaking against the canyon walls of the river. Look up as the sight of that silver sided, tail dancing steelhead gives you a standing ovation. Then play it again, Sam.

Jan 22nd

Jig fishing lesson 101.
That's what I get today from board member and friend, Mark. Oh Boy!
I can't wait! Have to be there by 8!
I have decided that I need a power horse computer.
I want a bare model, nothing on it, no games, no "free internet". Just a bare screened power horse model that can handle all of my work programs. I am tired of the kids playing on my biz computer and filling it with "The Sims" and other games and causing huge crashes. They need this computer. I don't need a fancy graphics card, do I? I need lots of RAM to handle photo and art programs, Tons of memory to back up ifish, a cd RW, to make copies of the board. Where do I start looking, and does anyone have any comments?
Remember, budget is extremely limited, but I have a tax return coming! YAY!
Anyway, off to jig, have a great day!

 

Jan 24th

I believe...
That jigs do work. For some folks!
I went fishing with pro-jig fishermen, Mark Anderson on Monday. Wow! Three beautiful native steelhead pulled from the river, one hen at about 11 pounds! Beautiful!
Mark is a calm, patient fishermen who carries at least four rods with him at every hole. All rods are rigged up with different jigs or lures, and he uses every one of them! Mark catches these illusive fish consistently, in a relaxed, confident manner, even when conditions keep other fishermen at home.
"All the better for me" He says, of low water conditions that others moan about.
He carefully instructed me on how I should rig up, gave me a cork bobber to use, handed me some absolutely gorgeous, hand tied jigs that work for him. I felt lucky!
I fished the same waters that he fished, followed him down his fish producing waters, imitating his every move. I would allow my bobber to perfectly go down a riffle with a jig and a shrimp tail and he would follow it down with a pink worm. His bobber would go down! Fish on! So I would change to a pink worm and he would change to something else. Fish on! His rod would arch against the strain of a steelhead in the very same waters I had just covered.
Mark fishes with confidence, which I must admit, I still lack.
It was difficult for me to leave my pink pearl corkies and yarn at home on Monday, but I did.
I will still catch a fish on jigs. I must. I went home and practiced on the Kilchis. It has become an obsession to me, and Mark only increased my interest.
The most wonderful part of this occasion was revealed when Mark told me he was going to tie jigs with N.W. fishermen in mind and have them available for sale in the next few months. I will certainly back these jigs up. They catch fish!

Jan 25th

I think I am beginning to know the feeling of being a steelhead stuck in a deep pool in these low water conditions. The feel of banging my nose against confined spaces. Circling without purpose.
If my tears don't raise the water levels, I don't know what will.
I can't think straight, but I know, just like those fish know, that I have to move upstream.
Things may be a little chaotic in the next few weeks. Hang in there, I'll get it all straightened out. But if there are glitches, or things that are mixed up on ifish, I may not have enough time to fix them all right now.
I look out though, on this bleak winter day, and I keep thinking it is going to rain, and it just sits there doing nothing. The promise of a storm that doesn't materialize. I think I'm going to have to cry me a river if those fish are going to move.
Oh, put up this pic of a great sturgeon caught by a woman. I love it!

Jan 27th

Saturday morning, 5:30 A.M. The kids are at their dads so why am I up? I could be sleeping in!
I am a morning person. I love the early quiet mornings enough that I sacrifice my sleep to be there when they happen. The quiet, dark, untouched moments of the pre dawn. Here I am.
I caught it.
I have jig fever. I am going to be ready when the sun comes up. Ready to cover waters that I dream in my sleep hold steelhead that can only be accessed by bobbers. Deep in the forest, where slow, clear water hold the secret of these fish.
They can't be caught in back of the house. No, that is way too easy, or way too hard, I've tried that. I have to work for these fish, right? I have to drive for miles, trudge through deep mosses, fall a couple of times on steep muddy trails, climb over fallen trees and play the mighty huntress.
Then, with mud on my face, and twigs stuck in my hair, these fish will recognize the trouble I have been through and will respond. Bobber down! It is going to happen today. I can feel it!
Steve Hanson suggested giving up my passion for using my ifish gift rod only for jigs, as I spoke with him on the phone last night. I could have taken his advice, but I have made this pact and I am going to stick with it. I might, after I catch my first fish on a jig, use the rod for other purposes too. Like Steve said, "that rod is special, hang it on the wall and admire it". Every time I see it there, I will remember that I have met some really wonderful, supportive people on ifish.
But for now, it has a very real purpose, and it glares at me with challenge. I have to catch a fish on a jig using that rod. I don't know why.
After than mission is complete, I will hang it on the wall. I will have one more reason to smile. Friends help friends catch fish. That will touch my heart with just one more strike.
Off I go. A time to think, a time to be alone. Just me and the fish. The early mornings are made for just this.

Jan 30th

PLEASE ATTEND:
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Contact:
Anne Presenting Young
(503) 872-5264 x5356
Internet: www.dfw.state.or.us

For Immediate Release January 26, 2001

Fish and Wildlife Commission Meets in Special Session Tuesday

PORTLAND - The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission will meet in a special session 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 30 to discuss hiring an interim director for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW).
The public meeting will be held in the 4th floor Director's Conference Room, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Headquarters, 2501 SW First Avenue, Portland.
The Commission is the rulemaking body for ODFW. The six member body hires the agency director. Current director Jim Greer announced earlier this month
that his last day as director is Feb. 15. For more information, please contact Dodie Staudinger at (503) 872-5272.
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Wow! Time flies!
On Sunday, I came home from church, asked David if there was any homework I could help him with.
"No thank you, Mom".
Good, then you can do what you wish today, after you empty the dishwasher and bring in some wood.
Ah, the day to play.....
8:00 P.M., I'm ready to jump into a hot bath and retire for the day. David meekly approaches me.
"Mom, I have to make a rubber band car out of pop cans and miscellaneous. It is due tomorrow. Can you help me?"

I couldn't believe it.

What did I do? I knew I should say no, that I would not be helping his overall responsibility level to say yes.
I cut up tin cans, pop cans, got out the tin foil, the glue, the tape, the birthday wrapping paper, and we have the most fantastic looking car! Streamers hang out the exhaust, plastic cups for nose cones... It is cool!
Yesterday I walked down to the river with very little in my mind but trying to clear my head. A little casting, whether or not you think you will catch a fish is very good for my soul-mind-body.
Just to watch the bobber slowly float, while the little bit of current that is left pulls it toward the ocean.
My first cast was a good one. It headed directly through the same waters that I hooked my 34 pound chinook this year.
It dipped in an odd way, not once but twice. A sudden uncontrollable intake of breath came over me. A fish?
Couldn't be.
My second cast landed precisely in the same spot. I had carefully adjusted my shrimp tail on the pink and white jig, complete with two red beads, in a presentation that pleased me.
Dip... dip.... Under!
"It is a fish! It is! It is!" The words came out of me loud and clear, echoing through the canyon, louder than the warning of a red tailed hawk! I set the hook!
A beautiful flash of silver greeted me as I fumbled to my gear bag to get my forceps. O.K., so it was a quick release fish. I lost it, but I did hook one!
My ifish rod has now almost accomplished what I had reserved for it to do. I hooked my first steelhead on a jig! I was so excited!
Now all I have to do is do it again! This time, making the fish give itself up on the banks. I will still release him, most probably, but I want to do the decision making!
We have had .39 inches of rain again, since 6 P.M. last night. Another freshet, another fish in the hole? I hope!
Pete Morris sent me in this great pic and story of his wife. Please read!
Oh, and by the way, for all of those concerned about me, I am doing better!

Jan 31st

CHAT tonight, with Mrs. "Gone Fishin!" Lee Peterson will be hosting the chat tonight, so let's get together at 8:00 P.M. and talk!
I fished all morning, with every color jig that you can imagine, every worm, every corkie, okie, shrimp, egg, and nada... nada bite, nada fish. But it was beautiful! Not one boat down the river! Where is everyone??? :)
Take it easy, and see ya tonight!

 

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