Fishing The Coast, Oregon and Washington

January 2018
Sergeant Pepper
January 3rd, 2018

So, it's 2018. I didn't wake on New Year's Day feeling like it was a fresh start. It feels like "uh oh" a bit, to me. That is, if I watch much news, these days. I try not to do that, and instead, go out to the river, and play with the dogs or hide without any serious media. Everything- Twitter, facebook, and even ifish seems to be full of it! And I mean that in several ways! LOL.
I like to remain a bit ignorant and innocent. Ignorantly innocent? Is there such a thing, and are they much different?
I've never been much for negative thinking, so let's move on.
Pete and Bill were out crabbing on Sunday and came home like two kids who just opened presents on Christmas day.
They both tried to finish the other's sentences as they scrambled to reveal the prized possessions.
The "Crack'n Crab Cleaner & Gauge" was set out on the table in front of me, as they tried to explain how it worked.
"Everyone was using these at the cleaning station and the Gene and Tony were selling them! It cleans them really fast!" as Pete demonstrated with an imaginary crab in his hand.
Crabbing was so-so on Sunday with the high tide and lots of fresh water in the bay, but the crab they got were incredibly full and tasty.
Crabbing has been really good on the Oregon Coast this year. Get out and get you some! It's much more fun than watching the news!
The Kilchis has dropped a whole lot from the last storm system and is bordering on almost too low, even to fish with jigs.
That isn't going to stop me, though. I've stealth fished for steelhead with light gear and a smaller jig in the past, and I've done pretty well.
It's the only time, though, where I find fishing with dogs, not a great idea. Willie, especially likes to jump in the water, in front of me. It pretty much spooks anything for at least the stretch I'm hunting!
The only problem is that shrimp is so darn expensive. I don't use it all and then it goes to waste.
Last week, Bill went out with one of those newish steelie beads (soft beads and a hook! That's all!) and caught a nice wild steelhead, on his 3rd cast. I haven't even tried this method, yet. I think maybe that's what I'll try, today.
Here is an awesome diagram I found, in case you want to try it, too! It's effective! Ask Bill! Maybe later, you can ask me!
Stay away from the news and have a Happy New Year!

January 9, 2018

I need it. It's not just a desire or a passing whimsy. I crave it.
In fact, if I don't get it soon, I'll go crazy.
I'm in Oregon City, and I'm about ready to just head out to the Clackamas, but then I recall that I have no fishing equipment here! None! Well, a couple trout rods, and trout gear. This must change.
If I have to spend time here, I have to be prepared for these moments, but I'm already packing so much stuff back and forth, and I can't imagine trying to ride in a car with both my springer spaniel and my 1143! I mean, Willie springs! That is what springers do!
Speaking of such, I can't stop laughing at Willie. Our yard is small in Oregon City and Willie tries to stretch out and run in it. He can't, so at the end of each stretch he springs up in the air, turns around, and does it again. Cracks me up!
I remember in long stretches of time when Bill and I couldn't fish much due to weather, or slow runs, or whatever, we'd take a rod out and be working on something, and he'd sneak up and wiggle the tip of it, like I had a fish on. I kid you not. It sends shivers down my spine! It almost takes care of part of the wish of a fish! But, then it's gone! Fish off! Long line release! DANG!
I think there should be a rod rental place, somewhere around here. Maybe Fisherman's, just for this very special need.
When a girl's gotta fish, a girls gotta fish! Someone help me make it happen!
I suppose I could hire a guide... hey, Scott and Portland! I need to fish!

January 14, 2018

Remember when I used to say, "Expect a fish with every cast?" There was a reason for it. I often hooked fish, back then. I fished a bunch. Down the rod went and I got used to yelling, "fish on!" It was so easy to have a positive attitude!
Stan Fagerstrom taught me to expect a fish with every cast.
Well, fast forward to yesterday.
Bill wanted to go fishing. I thought that was fine until he said he wanted to plnnk. I looked around to see if anyone had heard. You want to... wha? Plunk!? (shhhh!)
I'm kidding, of course. We have a new plunking hole and it's kind of fun, actually. I'm a plunker from way back in the parking lot D area of Fort Stevens on the Columbia.
I was tired, and it sounded kind of good to sit in a chair with a sand spike in front of me, while we played with the animals and drank coffee from a thermos cup.
It was a lovely, blue-sky day, and plunking would be fine, except... our new plunking hole used to be a channel and the last high water took the channel away! What was a channel is now a pretty deep spot in the river, that upstream, runs into a sand bar. So, what kind of fish would go there? Does the steelhead stop in that hole, not knowing there is no where but across the river to go, if he wants to continue upstream? Is it just a hangout? A coffee stop? Come on, Bill! You know better!
But, he insisted.
I began singing to him, "Dreamer! Your nothing but a Dreamer!" (Remember that Supertramp song?)
But, I went along as Bill explained to me that in order to love fishing, you have to be a bit of a dreamer.
(Blah de blah, Bill... Yeah, uh huh...)
Ten minutes after we had rods out and were settled into our chairs, a pontoon came down river. It was Dick Crosley and Dane Crosley! How fun! They paddled across and came to say hi. Such gracious, awesome people, both. We started to visit, and Willie would NOT stop barking. I couldn't understand why and I was about to hush him, when I noticed he was barking up at Bill's rod, which was bouncing up and down!
I was shocked!
I grabbed the rod, set the hook and screamed, "Bill! Fish on!" The fish screamed louder than me, as the line burned a blister into my thumb. He hadn't set the drag and it was fast headed downstream.
Bill was in shock, too, so he was slow to retrieve his rod from me. The fish was a long ways away, by now!
So, Dane and Dick, being the gentlemen they are, helped Bill into the pontoon boat, and the chase was on!
Turns out he lost the fish in the end, but wow! Just wow!
Guess who is going plunking, today?!
-and I'm not going to be singing Dreamer!

January 20, 2018

Sure is nice seeing a difference in daylight. It seemed like just as solstice happened, I started seeing things pop from the ground in my garden in Oregon City, and my daphne plant is starting to bloom!
I'm at the beach, now, and I hope my daphne doesn't bloom fully, while I'm gone.
I actually brought my lime plant with me here to the coast, because it was in full bloom. It smelled so good, that I had to have it with me!
I took off yesterday about 1:30 to get glasses at Costco in Hillsboro. I thought I'd have enough time to get back by dark. The day before, it had stayed light until nearly 6pm.
Bill and I both agreed I'd be fine.
But, due to the downpours of rain and cloud cover darkness here on the coast and in the mountains, it got dark a lot earlier!
OOps. That wasn't fun! It's not that I'm not allowed to drive at night. I just don't like it. And I was right. I didn't like it! Pouring down rain and pitch black is not my favorite thing.
The waves on the coast were just amazing! I hope some of you got to see! I went out to the barview jetty. There are some videos on my facebook page, if you want to see them. Amazing!
I finally decided to put off the kwikfish contest until next year. What a tough decision that was. If you have any great new ideas for next year, please write them, here.
Lots of great ideas out there, and the greatest is that we will be naming the plug after Carmen.

January 24, 2018

There are two cow elk out in the field this morning! They are so fun to watch! I knew they were around, as I caught one picture on my trail cam, and on the trail down there, there were elk prints, everywhere! Oh! And you know what else?
I get SO thrilled when I see a green bud poking out of winter brown, bare willow limbs in the forest! They takes my breath away!
"Wow! Look, Willie!"
He looks up, and then to me as if I'm half crazy and continues digging in the dirt.
Yeah, I know. Not everyone talks to their dog, but hey, when you live for a long time where no one else lives- when the river is your music, and the elk in the yard, your television, you talk to your dog!
The blackberry plants still have some leaves from last summer. That's really odd. I don't think I've ever seen that, and wonder if they'll stay attached clear till Spring?
Has it been that mild, this winter?
I'm keeping track of both how much longer the days are getting, and how many days till Spring.
It helps me. It's my Prozac. :) I mean, from today it's 55 days until Spring and by that news, I know I can make it!
We have had a couple days that absolutely felt like Spring, you know. I basked in them. I rolled in the grass in them!. I was outside almost all day, those days.
Incredible. Heartwarming. Hopeful.
I let the chickens out to join me, and they felt the same exact way! Ask them!
As soon as I give up hope in any measurable snowfall for the year, I look to Spring for my next surge of excitement.
The crocus are here. There are a mix of tender light green tangles of tendrils growing in the earth where the daffodils will pop out. ("Tangles of tendrils"! I like that!)
I check my feeble-fabled asparagus plant, (It's almost a joke, how many asparagus it puts out!) but I have little hope, there. I still look, anyhow. It's included in my "hope for Spring" rounds that I make every day with Willie.
In Oregon City, I watch my Daphne closely as it progresses towards blooming. It's almost there! Daphne is actually a winter blooming plant, or so it says, but how can you call any flower a winter flower? I can't even! Flowers represent hope for Spring, or at least, hope for the end of a dark, gloomy winter! They smell incredible! On a warm winter day, you could almost suffocate from the intoxicating smell of a daphne odura! The scent carries through an entire neighborhood! Anyone with a daphne plant in their yard is my very special friend, and I think I have located them all, on our daily neighborhood daphne walks.
I'm still planning on giving out neighborhood awards. The kids and I used to do that where we lived on the South Slope in Astoria when they were little. "Best garden" "Best Christmas decorations!" Little ribbons hung from their front fences, and the families who lived there never-ever knew who put them there. So much fun!
Pst. This is a secret, but I think Bill killed my daphne plant in Tillamook by that darned "Roundup" stuff.
I have a real problem with using roundup and an even bigger problem with the company, Monsanto. Why? Well, because I like Monarch butterflies, amongst other reasons. Do your research on glyphosates, because you don't want me to get started. :)
Remember the milkweed plants that were everywhere, as a kid? You just don't see many, anymore, do you? Hmmmm.
If anything is killed within a mile of roundup's use, I go on the Monsanto rant. It's kind of fun to watch, I've heard. Grr.
Bill swears he didn't use it near my daphne. He swears that Roundup is safe. We disagree, but I hope he's right, because if not for that, I'd be a roundup queen. I love how it works! But-- I just can't use it until I know for sure that it's not harming the land where we live and the beautiful monarch butterfly.
Bill and I try not to discuss it.
My 8 year old daphne at Tillamook is gone-all-gone and I cried when I saw it turn black.
But, now I get to get a new one and Bill is buying.
They say not to plant daphne anywhere near the old one's location, so I'm stalking out places where my new daphne baby will live. I think I want it near my office window, so that on warm, spring like winter days, that smell can meander into where I work and make me happy happy happy!
When it blooms, I sparingly pick a few flowers and put them in my pocket. It's so nice to have them handy for a quick sniff. :)
Also, that location is near the front door, so it's a nice welcome that I can't offer, myself. It's a daphne welcome that is -out of this world- wonderful!
I have no Daphne right now, but welcome to today, Ifish!!
There will never be another today, after today, and tomorrow, we'll be that much closer to Spring! Enjoy! Go fishing! That's what I'm going to do!

January 29, 2018
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Yesterday was the "balm". As in, balmy... :) What a day! My girlfriends and I met at Molalla State Park and brought the dogs. They have an awesome dog park area. The temps were in the 60's. I haven't heard the high, but the sunshine felt so good! The dogs just had a great time running through the water where the rain collected in the bends of the hills and we sat, talked and laughed on the picnic benches. What a lovely day it was!
It was just what I needed, before today.
Today is the day when I go for my every 6 month CT check up on my aorta. If my aorta has grown any, it will be time to decide if I want this surgery that has quite a high fatality rate, but yet if successful, could add many years to my life. It's a huge decision for anyone to make.
Part of me thinks I wouldn't do it, because dying of an aortic aneurysm sounds like it would hurt for about a minute, before I die. That sounds like a pretty nifty way to go, if you ask me. I'm already many years past what I was told I would live.
But, do I want to tempt fate in order to try to get more? It's like gambling, kind of.
Anyhow... it really helped to lighten the mood, yesterday, to be with my friends in the sunshine!
Of course, I always know this test is scheduled, but I tend not to think about it much until I have to, and that began yesterday morning. I woke with this grey feeling, but the sunshine lifted it, and I was able to forget about it for much of the day.
It's no fun, of course, having the IV put in, and I try to forget the times my veins blew up and how much that hurt! The test itself is painless. But, after the CT, I wait in the thoracic surgeon's office for what seems like days, to hear the results.
For some reason, I like to go alone. My brother offered to go with me, and I declined. I think I don't want to show those kinds of worried emotions in front of people. I think back to when I dissected, and one memory is clear. I had just come out of surgery. Just waking up with all those tubes connected, and my brother David was by my bedside, trying to make me wake up and laugh or sing, or something! Everything was a blur, but one thing was clear. He had tears. I guess it's a shock to see someone with all of those tubes, and it was a shock to me, to see David that way.
I'm glad I didn't see me! Thinking about all this, last week, I googled youtube to see what someone looks like, after aortic surgery. Just, wow. I can understand his concern, now.
I have to laugh, though, thinking back to some of these memories.
I was higher than a kite on morphine after that surgery. I woke one day after a nights 'drug' dream, and I had what I thought were very clear memories of the night before. In my delusions, the head male nurse was having a wild party, entertaining the female nurses on the veranda, with cocaine (that he kept in the medical drawers, champagne, and cigarettes.
I could not wait for someone to come in, so I could report the wild party that went on in my head! It was SO real to me! I did tell the head nurse, and she didn't believe me!
Of course not, because it was just a drugged delusion. She even showed me the drawers that I swore had illegal drugs in it, to prove it to me! Ha ha ha. And... there was no veranda... Oh, my.
And so, I sit here, praying to God that my aorta is still within the measurement that requires no surgery. It is an aneurism, and it is in my abdomen this time. My thoracic aneurism was mostly repaired last time I dissected. They ran out of time on the heart and lung machine, and couldn't really finish it, but so far it has lasted over 10 years! I'm so thankful!
My thoracic surgeon is Dr. Thomas Song and I refer to him as "The Song in my Heart".
He saved my life, and for that, I am forever grateful.
I am going to go take a shower, now, and prepare for the drive.
God willing, I'm going to come home, singing "I got the joy, joy, joy, joy, down in my heart!" on the way home! I just want this over with and I want to get on with my life!
Don't we all?

January 30, 2018
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I felt this overwhelming peace, yesterday, despite the three hour wait and mixup at the clinic, yesterday.
I went home, somehow knowing I was fine, regardless of not knowing the outcome of my CT. (Big mixup at the clinic, where I was declared "late" even though I had proof that my appointment was at a certain time).
Anyhow... today.... I got the joy, joy, joy, joy, down in my heart!
Dr "Song in my heart" says my aortic measurement is..... UNCHANGED!
No growth! No surgery!