Fishing The Coast, Oregon and Washington
January 2008

Snowbirds!

January 1st!

I made it! I was awake for the New Year for the first time in years!
And minutes after the noisy stroke of midnight on television, I clinked my spoon against an empty bowl that had been overfilled with ice cream, and turned off the excitement.
Much to Kilchis's disappointment, I placed the sticky bowl on my night stand, out of his reach. I giggled as I heard him lay down and let out a big sigh in the darkness. I'd have felt the same way, I think!
Rev lay passed out, exhausted from a day playing on the river bank. He stretched out the full length of my legs, and kept me warm. I yanked the covers out from underneath him, and pulled them up tight to my chin. It was so quiet! Even with the windows tightly shut, I could hear the song of the river. The current and the riffles crash together with a lovely song on crisp, cold winter nights, such as this. My mind's eye played with images of bright and silvery steelhead waltzing to the music in the moonlight.
I was comfortable in my solitude, yet I knew I wasn't alone. He is always with me. I spoke to my Heavenly Father in a whisper.
Thank you, Father... for a wonderful year! Thank you, Father, for always being near! Thank you for my children, for my family,
for the river and the trees and the salmon in the seas! -but most of all, Father, thank you that I'm happy,even though I'm full of faults, and just me.
Amen

January 4th

There's a storm out there, perhaps a couple 600 miles off the coast. I can feel it coming through the crack in my window. It picked up a Kleenex out of the box, and landed it gently on my lap.
In a couple hours, it might have ripped it to shreds and deposited it on the west wall!
I've had a spooky feeling about this particular winter since the get go. From the beginning, I personally predicted a very unsettled and angry winter. So far, it's come to pass!
I've been doing alot of thinking about ifish, lately, and why I do it. If anything should happen that I don't run ifish any longer, if I'm not the soul owner, you know what I'd like to do? I'd like to be a moderator! I would! That thought hit me so hard the other day, while I was contemplating my future! I would just love to be a part of things, still, yet not have the awesome responsibility of everything else! The moderators are my closest family, and I talk to them every morning, all day long, and every night!
Pilar, a moderator and a top Salty Dog member wrote a thank you for ifish on the board, and a response came out of me, so easily. I thought I'd share it, here.
This is why I do ifish!
You know that feeling (maybe it's a girl thing-- maybe not!!) but, sometimes [here at home] I make a really, really special dinner that took nearly all day to make. I do that mostly so that I can hear my family ooh and ahhh and be happy! There is just nothing that compares to a happy den of cubs, with their bellies full!
Well, sometimes those grown boys and men run through the kitchen, fill up their plates, shovel it down and are out the door, without so much as a word! They are so busy, I know! They have important things to do like school work, and work, I know!
But, but but? Was it good?
I never have to think twice about whether the fishermen on ifish have their bellies full, because you make sure I know about it, and I'm so thankful for that! It means SO much to me!
I've always been taught that the way to a man's heart is his stomach.
I'm beginning to think that this is incorrect...
The way to a {fisher)man's heart is through ifish-- and the funny thing is, there's plenty of room for more cooks (men AND women!) in the kitchen, and room for more people (men AND women!) to join us at the table!
Ifish belongs to all of us, and has enough "feel good" to go around and around!
Come on in, the talk is fine!

January 6th

The Kilchis River in the snow
Click to zoom

It's exactly what you'd imagine happens in the night when lost in a long winter's nap.
It happens in the quietest (sh!) times of the forest- when all household activity has stopped.
Lights out!
Buried in miles of soft down, we lie quiet and listen. Listen to nothing! The forest is quiet. Even the river's song that sings quiet through a crack in the window blends into the night as if it were nothing at all.
White rapids-white noise.
The cold whispers through the window and bites my nose. I snuggle in.
That's when it happens!
As my thoughts drift away, I see a picture in my mind's eye. Even the animals of the wilds are bedded down. The eyes of a doe and fawn are softly closing, their breath comes quiet after a long day of leaping fallen logs, in search of protection from predators. Their fur is wet but warm, and softly touching one another.
Falling off to slumber, I imagine myself with them, safe, quiet, warm.
Even the sound of a twig breaking would break the magic, as the snow begins softly falling. One intrusion of noise, and the flakes would suck back up into the clouds and stop.
We are all lost in sleep, lost in a lullaby of the wilds.
It was so much fun to wake up to!
"Well, you have your snow!" snorted Bill with a half grin. I threw the covers back like a kid with no school, and got up way too quickly.
Bill doesn't much like snow, but he likes how much I get a kick out of it! A grouch, who doesn't like snow? Not in my house! Tee hee! I love the stuff, and so do the dogs!
A little later, I heard Andrew rise and come into my office. Tempering his excitement, he asked, "Mom, I don't have my contacts in. Is it snow or ice?"
"Snow, Roo! Snow!"
"Well, Merry Christmas!" He said with a smile, and wandered off to the kitchen.


We love the snow!

I was so surprised to hear that Portland didn't have snow! It seems to be happening this way, lately! I'd bet, though, that even Tillamook has no snow. We seem to be in a bit of an ice chamber, down in this valley.
As I finished my coffee, a boat trailer headed down to the Kilchis park to put in a day of fishing. Wow! They are more brave than I! That road down to the park is treacherous in the ice! But, I bet they are having fun, now!
Fishing in the snow is a dream come true.
I just took a short walk out to the river with the dogs. Good thing the fishermen aren't down to our place yet, as I was dressed only in my bathrobe and boots. As I passed Andrew's bedroom window he said, "Not really snow attire, Mom!"
But, really? Who cares out here? That's what I love about where I live!
I'm going to get dressed and go fishing, next. I can't wait! I love the magic that happened in the night! I was not expecting this one at all!
I slept so soundly and peacefully, and it was just a perfect way to wake up! Dang, I love life!
And, as I stare out into the window of white wonderland, I can't help but ask someone to pinch me! Really? It's snowing again? Wake me, if I'm dreaming! Tee heeee! It just totally tickles me!
Oh! Here are some pictures I wanted to share that tickled me.

Click to zoom:


Jen (Ocean Blue) sent in this one of Crabbait and I!


This is our new logo on some of our ifish gear!

Have a winter wonderland day, and let's hope everyone stays safe out there! G'day!

January 8th
ode to feeling sorry for myself
(We all get to have these days!)

-I was told to take four drops a day
in my eye that was cloudy and swollen, so pray
that I remember and take them like the good girl I be

But no matter how regular, how good that is she,
the eye that I drop in, no vision I see.


My Traeger Snowman!
Click to zoom!

But, as long as I have a camera, I can always take a picture so that I can look up close and see what the heck is going on!
I am frustrated with my eyes. It makes me actually mad, sometimes! I couldn't see to build this snowman! It was just so bright outside! I actually tripped over him at one point! Plus, dangit!, I built the snowballs just fine, but then I couldn't (or shouldn't, I should say...) lift them on top of each other. Luckily, I had someone else around to do the hard work! It was fun to build a snowman! I haven't done that in ages!
I played outside with Kilchis, fished in the snow, built a snowman and a snow angel. I did all of the mandatory snow play! Even sledded a bit!
Today is the flip side. It is a bleary, rainy, icky day! My snow is melting and it's always so icky when that happens. Rain on top of snow is like melted ice cream. No fun!
The river is rising. It's so odd, it's still clear, but very, very high!
Well, sigh... it's back to work. I am having a blue day, but this too, shall pass!
Even in the midst of the gray, though? My freesia is still blooming in the greenhouse!
I'm going to spend today dreaming. All I want is a vacation to somewhere warm. I haven't had an hour off without worry for 10 years, now. With ifish, I do not get time off from worry. If ifish goes down, whenever... it's my duty. If someone posts nasties on ifish in the middle of the night, it's my duty.
Therefore, and SOON... I am going to somehow hire someone to take it on for a week or two and just go somewhere warm! I have to! I am going to win the lottery and do it!
My thoracic surgeon said that if I wanted to travel, I should do it now. Doctor's orders!

January 10th

Ifish will be at the O'laughlin Sportsman Show, Feb 6th through the 11th in booth 1252! I can't wait! It's always busy, but fun! We'll have the ifish Kwikfish 2008 there for sale. Come and get yours, but you'll have to sign up. I'll have the sign up poll done, today, and will link it here.
Do know that there was another sign up poll, but that was ONLY to tell me how many to order. It was NOT a sign up poll.


Greenbuttskunk Kwikfish!
Click to zoom!

Thank God for ifish and that it keeps me busy thinking and doing and out of trouble in the winter time. If not for this, I'd be in a world of hurt.
The rivers are blown, the weather is stormy, and I'm stuck inside.
Sometimes when I'm out on the river bank, a rogue wind will blow that reminds me of spring. The warmth transports me to a place in the sun, where I'm holding my little light fly rod, casting for cutts. I smiled, just now, thinking about it. It's a lovely thought, but passes way too quickly as the North wind picks up again, and puts me right smack dab in the middle of winter, where we belong.
Without Winter, Spring would not be nearly so appreciated!
There's usually a stretch of good weather, sometime around February that makes everyone feel so good. I can't wait for that! Of course, then it, too, sticks you right back into the cold and wet, but at least we get a teaser!
For now, I just took a loaf of fresh french bread out of the oven, and I'm busy with ifish, so it's all good.
I'll be back to edit the links back into here, after I post the poll for ordering.
Have a great day, and think Spring! It will happen!

January 12th

Ever seen that carnival game where you whack-a-mole? That's how I feel, sometimes!
It's like every time I poke my head up and get the anesthesia out of my system, they want to play whack-the-Jennie again by filling me up with drugs and cutting me open!
I'm going to mention this one time and one time only and only because I'll be out of commission, when I begin this process. Let me tell you, I don't really want to talk about this. And after this surgery, then I have to have my eye redone. Then? Can I be done? Please?
I have to have a softball sized tumor removed or embolized. That is, after it's cleared as non-cancerous. I'm confident about the fact that it's not, but they have to be certain. The only reason there is a chance, is because it's big enough to cross over the line of question. So, it has to be checked.
I really wanted to have this done before the Sportsman show, but it takes two weeks to recover from this surgery, so I can't. I want the critter out!
OK, let's move on... I dislike talking about medical stuff, and I'm trying so hard this year not to dwell on things so depressing!
Let's talk about fishing! I overheard Bill telling a friend on the phone that "(snip) the river has been at optimum traveling height for the fish, all season long."
Isn't that the truth?
I mean- It's great for escapement, but for us lowly fishermen? Us, who need a little handicap for our skill? Not so good.
I also giggled as he further stated that if he were to go upriver and hunt fish, that he'd probably be into some good fishing. But, we are all getting older, and upriver fishing means traversing "fanny falls" and climbing hill and dale and that he'll leave that mostly to the kids, these days! I couldn't help but laugh in agreement. I'm not "old" so much by the calendar but as stated earlier, by the Hospital's calendar, I sure am! I've been cut open more times than a guide's catch at a fish cleaning station! Stop it, already!
Yesterday I was walking on the river bank, singing a spiritual that I made up about high water, and fish that don't stick around in low water pools, and boo hooo, Lauddddd....
And so, life goes on. The Kilchis is muddy and high and treacherous. The Wilson is unapproachable! We could go trout fishing in the lakes! (Giggle!) I just might! I'm so desperate to feel something... anything at the end of my line!
Or perhaps I'll go to a carnival and play whack the mole--just to be on the giving end of the whacking, for once!
A little of WHAT'S HOT! around here:
I was a busy little mole this week.
I put up a contest for guessing how many bobbers are in a 2 quart jar. You can guess, here!
The "First spring chinook caught" wins a dandy Okuma-Lamiglas combo if you are the lucky entrant, in this contest! In fact, the first TWO springers, win!
What else? Oh yeah!
Are you going to the O'loughlin Sportsman Show? Ifish will be in Booth 1252. Where will you be? Post your location, here!
Have you ordered your First Bite jig DVD? If not, do that. You won't regret it and you will catch more fish!
The Salty Dog convention is taking shape. Don't miss it! I'm going to go, too!
The Coast Guard appreciation Day is also happening! I'll never forget being honored by the presentation they gave me, once. I love my medal!
A new forum on rod building! Whoo hooo! People are loving this!
Alright-- it's off to the shower for me, and off to Freddies. Can you believe I haven't even purchased my license this year?
Oh yeah, and be aware! The new ink they used this year is a real pain. Read this alert!
I will end this by saying, Thank God that I can still raise my head so that they can whack-the-Jennie!
When I quit raising my head, that's when I worry!
WHACK!

January 14th

Frances Caldwell's column is up. Remember- Stan Fagerstrom's column comes out the first of each month, and Frances, the 15th.
Mr. Caldewell's latest is Man Overboard! It's an enjoyable read and has some great reminders for all boaters! Winter is a great time to brush up on safety reading and boat prep.
I'm off to run errands for a while. I sure enjoyed that peak of blue sky, yesterday!

January 15th

Ifish people are the most thoughtful and kind people in the world. I'm sure of it. Or, maybe is it just fishing folks?
I have witnessed acts of kindness on the board that never cease to bring a smile (and sometimes, even a joyful tear!) to my face. And, it happens over and over again! I don't know what it is, but I see it happening and it just seems to snowball! It just blows me away!
Sure, we have our share of nonsense and people that post nasties, but the mods seem to keep a good handle on the site, and sooner or later we are back to a core group of great members.
There are tons of great fishing sites, and I'm sure they all feel the same as I do, but ifish is my family-my choice!
It's a grand and wonderful family here at ifish and I am forever thankful! I feel so lucky! I have the most diverse, loving and kind family in the whole world! Join us! Won't you?

There is so much more to it than fishing!

January 18th

I guess that Paul Welle was in a local store talking with Bill. He is a local guide, here. He told Bill that he was actually staring at the Trask log jam when it began to break up. That must have been awesome! According to Bill, he said that one log floated out from beneath, and then another... and one by one, as if an act from the drift fishing Gods, it just broke up! Cool! I wish I had that kind of power!
And here folks were talking about the need for huge cranes. Leave it to God and Paul Welle to get her done!
The Wilson is also clearing, finally! FINALLY! Sheesh! A whole winter of muddy water and finally you can fish it! However, the Sollie Smith ramp is not a great take out, right now, so be forewarned. It's mudded in. Bill called to complain, (nicely) to the folks in charge. I heard him on the phone ask, "Is this the complaint department?" as he chuckled. I wonder if that will do good? I hope so! At least he was nice about it. That goes a whole lot further than demands!
I'm longing to do a drift on the Wilson and forget all of my troubles! I want to listen to the water slap against the chines. Ahhhhh... I can feel it now. OK! Listen up, all of you in your little office cubicles... let's do a little relaxation through visual imagery! Close your eyes, now... and imagine the scene. What does it feel like? Sound like? That cool water, the vibration of your rod tip as that cop car digs into the current and here comes a fish, and...
Hey! Wake up! Your boss is looking! Set the hook!
Muhahahaha...
I love the sunshine! Don't you? It's so nice, even though it's really cold out. It's just invigorating, to me! I've been out fishing again, and it makes my heart sing, even if my reel isn't! Someday.. someday again, I will catch fish! Bill and I have made the decision that we will be fishing more in the near future!
It's been a tough winter for the coast, but we are now on the upswing, and waiting for Spring. Spring Chinook, and late winter steelhead! Yay! I'm looking forward to this!
Have a great weekend, all of you. I always love Fridays, as the board isn't quite so busy, and people tend to be in a good mood, looking forward to the weekend.
Andrew made some outrageous chocolate chip cookies yesterday and I think that is a wonderful breakfast food. Think I'll go have a couple, now!
Now, go catch fish!

January 20th

Dang. So, last night I was laying in bed, and I thought I'd do that visual imagery thing in my mind so that I'd fall asleep quickly and sleep soundly.
I closed my eyes and in my mind, began drifting down the Wilson. ZONK! I was out like a light! I didn't even get to fish!
I have a gift for falling asleep. :)
The night before I was in a hotel, and I drank chamomile tea before bed. That works equally well! Zonk!
I'm beginning to think I don't need help falling asleep!
I remember in years of heavy Fall Chinook fishing, I'd wake up in the middle of the night to 'bobber downs.' I'd sit straight up in my sleep and then wake with a jolt. Then I'd giggle. I love that! Nothing better! I mean, if you have to wake up, that's a great way to do it!
On Friday, I finally bit the bullet and called my eye doctor. The site in my left eye had totally clouded over. I couldn't see, and it scared me.
I really didn't want to go in, but I also really don't want to risk anything serious and totally lose that vision. Although it's not great, it does help me with peripheral vision, etc. The doctor really wanted me to come in. Thank God, it isn't as they feared. My retina is not detaching! Yay! The back of my eye is just very swollen due to all of the surgeries, and my cornea is also swollen. That's why I can't see.
The good(?) doc' threatened to give me a shot of steroids in my eye, and I likewise threatened to keep up my steroid drops like a good girl! I have been good about it. Those drops sting! I can't imagine a shot! And in my eye? NO!!! I have to use the drops three times a day like clockwork. I will continue, doc! I promise!
At least I have my other eye with the bleb in it, and thank goodness, the bleb has not popped. I will have surgery on it, after I find out on the 25th of this month, when I'll have surgery on my tumor. I'm the only person I know that keeps a surgery schedule, who is not a doctor! (LOL)
OK, enough medical stuff. Geemany, I get tired of writing about that.... but it is a big part of my life, right now.
But, what's even bigger and better is fishing the Wilson and that's where I'm off to, this morning!
Don't tell, but I promised David Johnson that I'd attend his church, today. (And last week, and likewise failed!) All week this week, I repeated this mantra... "I will go to David's church this week.. I will go to David's church...." and where am I going? Fishing! Somehow I have a feeling that God is behind this. I don't feel the slightest bit guilty!
It's a darn good thing that my Father in heaven is going along. He loves to fish! Otherwise, I'd be in big trouble!
I feel so close to my Heavenly Father when I fish! I do! I do! I've been known to break out in praise songs, while rushing through rapids, and singing quiet love songs, while rocking in the still water. I also shout things like "Oh, my God!" when I get a big one on! It sounds crass, but it's not! I really, really mean "Oh My God!" He is my one and only God and who better to exclaim my joy to?
Still, I would love to attend David's church, and I am excited to find out that they do not have someone to play the piano! I want to be that person and I'd better attend, in order to be that person! There is nothing I like more, than to lose myself while the pastor is praying, and accompany their prayer. I like to play quietly, like a river flowing. I think of nature's sounds, and try to imitate them. It's deeply spiritual to me, and I can gain a whole week's peace by playing for just one church service.
Today, however, it has been literally months since I have been in a drift boat, and it is vital to my soul, to do so.
I don't even care if there are fish, there. I just want to go through the motions! All of them! From putting in the boat at Mills, to shuttling, to freezing in the boat! It sounds delightful! I love the feel of frozen fingers in the winter on the river! The ice on the bank, and the crystal clear powdery-blue of the sky! This is my Father's World! What better song, for a day on the Wilson river! Really read it, OK?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This is my Father’s world, and to my listening ears
All nature sings, and round me rings the music of the spheres.
This is my Father’s world: I rest me in the thought
Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas;
His hand the wonders wrought.

This is my Father’s world, the birds their carols raise,
The morning light, the lily white, declare their Maker’s praise.
This is my Father’s world: He shines in all that’s fair;
In the rustling grass I hear Him pass;
He speaks to me everywhere.

This is my Father’s world. O let me ne’er forget
That though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet.
This is my Father’s world: the battle is not done:
Jesus Who died shall be satisfied,
And earth and Heav’n be one.

This is my Father’s world, dreaming, I see His face.
I ope my eyes, and in glad surprise cry, “The Lord is in this place.”
This is my Father’s world, from the shining courts above,
The Beloved One, His Only Son,
Came—a pledge of deathless love.

This is my Father’s world, should my heart be ever sad?
The lord is King—let the heavens ring. God reigns—let the earth be glad.
This is my Father’s world. Now closer to Heaven bound,
For dear to God is the earth Christ trod.
No place but is holy ground.

This is my Father’s world. I walk a desert lone.
In a bush ablaze to my wondering gaze God makes His glory known.
This is my Father’s world, a wanderer I may roam
Whate’er my lot, it matters not,
My heart is still at home.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

How true! All of it! Please, don't any of you pass up the opportunity to fish! Even on a Sunday! I promise that it will make your faith stronger whatever your religious preference!
Being close to nature is spending time with my Heavenly Father and all of His creation! -and I love how this song matches how I feel when fishing!
And later tonight-- "Praise the Lord and pass the steelhead!"
If, by chance I pass you on the river, today, and you have a huge fish on, if I hear you say, "Jesus Christ!" or anything similar-- well, just know that for the love of God, I will be glad to begin praising Him right along with you, brother!!

January 21st

The above picture is all I have to say! Well, besides, WHOOO HOOOO! On the thread where I posted it, (live, with the help of Pete!) someone that was on the river wrote, "Should have heard her hootin and hollerin. I would have guessed she just won the lottery. Probably hear it all the way up the canyon. Nice fish."
Now, there was a day when I'd be more likely to catch fish like this all day long, but recently, it hasn't been that way!

My fingers were frozen,
the sky was as blue as Spring!
These are a few of my favorite things!

I even backed up the truck and trailer into that muddy mess of a ramp at Sollie Smith like a pro! In front of all the guys, too! And I wasn't shaking and scared! I just did it! Like a man! Muhahaha! That ramp always scares me, because if you don't catch the boat right, it floats on down the river and over the falls, so to speak! :)
The whole day was to die for. I had a blast! I miss fishing like this, so so so much! I even made ham sandwiches, bought doughnuts, and brought all kinds of rods!
Bill rowed the boat like the pro that he is. I just love big shouldered rowing men!
We mostly fished with First Bite Jigs, but also did a little drift fishing and plugging. I love standing in the front of the boat while traveling and throwing out jigs where it looks good. That's how I caught him, too! Tonight, steelhead for dinner!
What a perfect couple of days!
Friday, a good(ish) report on my eyes from the doc, and dinner with my son, David. Saturday, Nordstrom's! I tried on clothes and got my face made up by my now favorite Estee Lauder lady, Lindsay, downtown! Sunday, fishing for steelies, and today? I'm going to top it off with a hair appointment! Oh, life is good! So, so good!
Whooooo hooooo! Just remember...

When the fish bite,
then the steelhead fight,
If I'm feelin' sad....
I always remember my favorite things,
And then I don't feeeeeel so bad!

January 22nd

It's so cold out that at about 4 in the morning, I felt Kilchis jump on my bed. He started digging at the top of the covers. Huh? So, I opened them up and in he crawled! Funny! He snuggled up close to my side and let out a sigh. Pretty soon, he began to snore! I couldn't help but giggle. It was actually nice having that warm, furry teddy bear in my bed with me! LOL! What a great warmie!

January 24th

The Kilchis is low and clear this morning. It is the first thing I check in the morning, especially this time of year.
I love these days. I'm going to sneak up and catch one of those wily wild devils! Just creep up on the rocks really quiet, and toss out a micro jig and float it through their little hidey places! I have to make sure I don't take the dogs, or they ruin my entire plan of attack!
There is nothing-- nothing so awesome as to play a bright slab of chrome in water that has 10 foot visibility! Wha hooo! You get to watch the whole thing, and what a hoot to see that chrome dashing through the water!
Just imagine... Hiding behind a log, crouched down on my knees, I can cast way over (my bobber flies through the air and lands) there! Perfect! So that it goes with the current, (the jig sinks under the bobber, and into position...) and under that branch where the rocks overhang. That's where they hide! (and DOWN goes my bobber!)
Heart be still!
Alright, so this is how it happens in my mind's eye. I dream about these things, you know. If I ever get that lost and far away look in my eyes when you are talking to me, this is probably where I've gone. If you shout, "fish on!" to track me back onto conversation, I'd probably search for the rod to set the hook, instead!
I've seen steelhead finning quietly in the spot I mention above, as I approach the river on heavier water days. As the water drops they are still there, but spook sooner each day that passes as the river level drops.
What will they take? Jig or spinner? Tipped or no? How cold is too cold for the fish to bite? What colors are most apt to produce a strike?
I find that on these 25 degree sunny and crisp days, sometimes they bite a little better as the temperature climbs, but before the sun hits the water. No more is it just the first person to hit the hole. There are a ton of variables, actually, to make that bobber go down in the way of my dreams!
I prefer to toss whatever I decide on, into the fast riffly water. That way I have my offering float down to where they are, so as not to disturb the flat water where they rest.
I've decided for today, I'm going to try a pink jig, without any shrimp, but maybe a touch of scent. Just a drop on the top!
After I make a couple casts, I can go back and get the dogs. At this level, the river is only good for a couple casts. If I can't pick off an easy fish, then I might as well give up and play with the dogs!
Then, I can go down into the shallows and sit for a spell, watching the earlier hatchery fish dig their redds. It's an amazing world of Discovery out on the Kilchis river and with each season that passes, there are new delights that await us!
The river is an amazing thing, always the womb for something, even in the dead of summer, where it seems that everything is dead and calm and still. Look close! There is life there, always!
I simply can't imagine living away from a river's calendar. As sure as it's important to note a dental appointment or a Holiday, it's equally important to know what to plant in my garden, and what life exists in the river.
We have rituals around here. Glance out the window to check the river level, get a cup of coffee, check the current weather conditions, and not necessarily in that order.
It's just so normal to me that I can't imagine life without it. It would be like not knowing if it's cloudy or sunny out, or heaven forbid, not having coffee!
So, now, back to my plan of attack. Off to pull on my warmies and cast out that pink jig...
Wish me luck!

January 26th

Chris Vertopoulos
Read the story, here!

A Northwest Angling Experience, for sure!
That's hot!

Every year after the show I hear, "Man, I stopped by to say hi, and you weren't there!"
I'm doing a schedule, and each morning of the show I'll update it so that you know when we will be there. This schedule lists the mods, the admins, and any sponsors that are sharing the ifish booth. Please check the link above in the middle column, or click here and bookmark it!

The Wilson was red hot last week, but since has cooled off. It sure makes me believe in the fact that incoming storms turn the bite off.
Bill caught three steelhead two days ago. I was excited to go out yesterday and try my luck, so we both rigged up and headed out. Neither one of us caught a thing! Another case of "Shoulda been there, yesterday!"
A few tips to help our community at ifish!
If you are thinking of listing something on our classified ads, remember to read the mandatory reading post at the top of each class ad board. In short, you have to have 20 contributing posts to the board to list a classified ad. These rules were made by the members, in an effort to make ifish more community than something like Ebay, where no one knows each other. I think it's a good idea! So, read here before joining just to sell something.
We try very hard at ifish to moderate the board so that it is peaceful. Alot of people miss the fact that you can alert threads to the moderator's attention. If you look to the left and bottom of each post, you will see an "alert the mod" button. It looks like this:
If you click on that on the board, it will send a copy of the post as you see it to the moderators. Included is a text box, so that you explain your version of why it should need our attention. No one will see this but the moderators/admins.
We try hard to keep feuds off of the board. Please do not try to handle problems yourself, and let the moderators take care of the problems. We'd just as soon delete bad things, rather than to show dirty laundry in public! We are here to talk fishing and to try to celebrate the pleasant side of fishing. Unfortunately, some folks enjoy stirring it up, and although everyone is free to voice their opinion, we insist it be done with respect to other members.
We cannot read all the posts on the board, so we really appreciate your help in maintaining our family (and) friendly community! Please use the alert button! It helps a ton!
Please remember to keep your images smaller than 700 pixels on the board. Otherwise, folks who have their resolution set to 800 and smaller will have screens that scroll, horizontally and it messes up the structure of the board. We love fish pics and want everyone to enjoy them!

I'm off to try my luck on the river, again. It's icing out, and I can't figure out what boots to wear to try not to fall down! If I could figure it out, tho, I'd probably make tires out of it and make a mint!

January 29th

Last night, I lay in bed as the sleet pounded against the glass door beside me. Fresh out of a hot bubble bath, I was reading an article about making 'life wish lists'.
Some folks write lists of the perfect partner to meet, or what they wanted in a job, or even their dream car, or house.
It's not as easy as it seems! After you figure out what would clearly make you happy, sure enough, I see that it would clear the way for it to happen! But, really, is it as easy as just writing it down? I struggled at the thought. I'd have to identify exactly what would make me happy, first! I couldn't think of a thing, to start a list off with. It puzzled me. Why was this so hard?
I put down the magazine, and slept soundly.
This morning, something about the weather made me go to the freezer and get out my last batch of Sweet Petals. It's a sugary pastry treat that I make each Christmas. I made an extra one, and I never know when it will come in handy.
Today is that day.
The snow is melting and it's dark and cold and smooshy, out.
Yesterday was a fantasy come true, with beautiful big snowflakes drifting down and 3 inches already settled onto the trees and on the ground.
I had to go sledding! I had a bit of difficulty as both dogs joined in the fun, and made a game of trying to rip my gloves off as I raced down the hill.
Tired, from laughing from the bottom of my gut, and screaming at the same time, I lay on my sled and looked up into the sky. I stuck out my tongue and caught a snowflake. It felt good on my parched throat.
In between puffs of my breath was an absolute wonderland, all around me. When the sun hit, it was so brilliant I had to squint. The trees were perfectly and freshly frosted and tipped, all the way up to the top of brightly lit, (as if freshly charged!) halogen mountains. I couldn't move. I was awe struck. My breath stopped, taking in the beauty. That is, until Kilchis took another stab at my gloves! The giggles returned and began a round of rolling in the snow with two happy, waggly tailed dogs.
While I was having fun in the snow, others were having fun in the rivers that surround Tillamook.


Click to zoom!
David Johnson and "Pops"

The above picture was sent in by Catch and Eat from our discussion board. His pictures always make me smile, and so do David's pics! For more, click here! What a great life, spending time making people happy! Way to go, David! You made me happy with just a glimpse of what your days are like!
The smell of cinnamon and sugar is drifting into the office from the oven. I should make islands of fresh scrambled eggs to go with it. Nothing like salty and sweet, together!
Our chickens, Anna Nicole, Boots, Liz and Snickers have been actively laying again after taking the winter, mostly off. We are spoiled. We were tired of buying eggs at the store. They just don't match up to fresh eggs. I asked Bill to put in a light on their roost at nighttime, so they'd be fooled into thinking the days are longer. It's working! We have more eggs than we know what to do with! Silly chickens! It's not Spring!
The show is fast approaching, and so is the panic that I've not prepared everything in advance. So, today it is indeed a sort of list-making day. Writing down details as if I were packing for a long trip. Now, that I can do! I'll be gone all week! But, the details for this involve buying velcro to hang posters, and making sure we are all seated comfortably. Making certain we all have tickets, and that I have enough decals to cover need. It will be a fun week and I know just what will make me happy for the whole week. Organization!
I'm off to eat sweet petals, now. It's important to do this, I've decided to tell myself. After all, it's cold out, and we all need an extra layer of warmth on our bodies.
After that, I think I'll try my luck at a steelhead, and then back into the house for hot coffee, and to make my list for the perfect show.
You know, I think I have figured out how come the happiness list would be so hard for me to make. Mine just might be a past tense, thing, and they didn't go over that in the article.
My list would be, "What made me happy." Now, that's easier!

My list has already been made! I bet that yours has been, too!
Now, if I could just find the one regarding the show, I'd be good to go! It's got to be here, someplace...

January 30th

That's it! Tomorrow I am leaving the camera in the house! I know it's that darn camera! I know it!
Bill goes out, catches fish and comes in to tell me all about it. I pack up the camera to go catch him in action. I also pack my rod to catch some action, myself!
No luck!
That's it! I'm sorry, but it appears to be a private thing. Tomorrow, no camera! I bet it happens! I bet it does!

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