Fishing The Coast, Oregon and Washington
JULY 2002




My bow dog, "Kilchis".

 

Jennie's Fishing Life

FISHING THE COAST

A journal of my adventures.


July 1st

I woke to billows of fog pushed deep into the crevices of the canyon walls. The chirping of the area birds were louder than normal, echoing against the blanket of fog above us. The river sang a new song, the banks more full, the composition rich and heavy.
I had one level roof of heavy, cotton like fog over my head. Somewhat heavy and stifling outside, I couldn't see the tree tops. I couldn't shake the sleepies.
Making my way to the coffee pot, I slid my bare feet across the wood floor until they abruptly stopped at a spot of sticky dried Koolaid on the floor.
Good Morning. :(
Now the sun is shining down on the meadow in hazy streamers, and breaking up the ceiling above me. The coffee seems to be helping.
It is a classic summer morning.
The back yard birds are feeding in force. I'm almost out of thistle. Bill is in Portland. Time to put in an order at the bird store. Guess that means the kids and I will go hungry! (joke)
Dang, that stuff is expensive! Last year my Goldfinch abandoned me, early summer. This year they are hanging in there, lowering my family food budget daily. You gotta wonder, what is important here? :) Feed those poor birds!
My strawberries are doing 'abs' terrific, although somewhat late. Most of my friends have stopped picking their berries. Mine just began-- but are they ever big and juicy this year!
The beans and snap peas are coming on, and the squash garden is taking off like mad.
The garlic is almost ready to harvest. I have been picking through the most pitiful of bulbs, dried from last year. The fresh garlic will be a real treat when it's ready. We go through so much garlic in this household!
When Bill first planted half the garden in it, I was a bit disappointed. "Bill? We will never use that much garlic!" Now I see the light! More garlic, MORE!
The river is falling, and almost fly fishable! I think, after I do all my errands and work, I'll be flopping a fly out there! It's been too high to fly fish until today.
As I drain my second cup of coffee, the sky totally clears of fog and now boasts an infinite shade of deep blue. If coffee can clear the fog out of the sky, shouldn't it also be able to clear the cobwebs in my head?
Maybe just one more cuppa.
Errands? Work?
Seems a fine idea to pour another cup of coffee and join the birds on the back deck. Maybe have a bowl of fresh strawberries and cream. Sprawl out on the picnic table with the newspaper. I think I'll stay in my robe, and just be patient. This coffee has got to take effect sometime.

July 2nd

BOLD CHANGES AT IFISH.
I stopped centering the date! The date will always be on the left hand side now. Think you can handle that? I don't know why, but I have the absolute crazies these days! Things have got to change!
EVERYTHING!
From the way I part my hair, to the way the date is set, to the mundane, every day rituals of life in the Kilchis Canyon.
I need diversion!
Thus, I am excited to death to tell you that the kids and I are going to Las Vegas!
I think it is all Stan Fagerstrom's fault. He called the other day, insisting that I call Steve Fleming, to trade him a trip on the John Day, and fishing in his private bass lake, for a day of steelhead fishing in the fall. Sounds good to me! I've yet to call him, but...
He also spoke of taking Bill and I to a remote and wonderful lodge on the Umpqua, The Big K Guest Ranch.
It was his last and final comment that stirred me most.
"You really should consider going, some year, to the American Sportfishing Association's ICAST 2002 in Las Vegas".
That's all it took. This is where they release all their new products for the year. It's the biggest show in town!
So, Jennie thought, and she thought and she thought and she thought...
"Hm, Jennie, you have got a 200 dollar Alaska Air voucher that needs using. Hm, Jennie, you don't have any money, but you do have a Visa. Hm, Jennie, you need a vacation...
LET'S GO GUYS!"
So, we have been scanning the net for hotels. We got a killer deal on a flight, and we are off! I can't believe it! I drove all the way into Portland yesterday to the Alaska Airlines Ticketing office just to reserve the 14 day air fair. $197.00 flights, each, for the kids, with one air fair free for me! Whoopee!
Andrew and I have been giggling at the computer, as we watch virtual movies on all of the Las Vegas Hotel and Casino sites on the net. We oooh and ahh at all of the shows, the lights, the pools, oh my!
We are going to Las Vegas! REALLY! :)
And you know the Kreme of the Krop? Our hotel, the Excalibur, houses a Krispey Kreme! So does the New York, New York, across the street!
I spoke with the guy at ASA yesterday, by the name of Forbes, to get my media badge. He invited me to the pre ceremony Tuesday night! This is a closed door function where all of the manufacturers introduce the newest products! It's a fishing tackle heaven! I'm going to come home and share with you all the coolest, latest, fish catchin' magic!
It's a dream come true, actually, to be able to just go! The kids and I are all excited. I ordered an Entertainment book for Las Vegas on the net, cuz they are only 10.00 right now. I wonder if it contains gold. :) Go to Entertainment.com and get your Oregon book. They are only 10.00 right now, and we use ours a lot. Just one hotel stay will pay for the book!
I think I am going to go up the Wilson today to fish for summers. I'm going to fish my way up to the Blueberry fields in banks. I'll pick the blueberries, come home and freeze them for the winter supply, and throw my steelie on the bbq.
Somehow, Vegas bound, my energy is renewed! Whoooo hoooooo!

July 4th!!!

We stand strong as a country, having withstood direct attacks that challenged our national values.
We stand strong as a nation, under the cloud of continuing threats, but more resolute in our commitment to the things that make our country great.
We are thankful to those that have given so much to protect what we have.
We stand confident in our ability to respond as we celebrate our freedom, this July 4th, 2002.

For we are a great nation that celebrates the strength of the individual, with rights unmatched anywhere.
In that, we draw our strength, and collectively have risen to a greatness unmatched in the history of the world.

Contributed by Pete Morris

July 5th!!!

Why not be just excited about the 5th as the fourth? :)
Finally decided the kids and I are staying at The Tropicana. We were given excellent rates. The kids are on the ground floor right by the pools. They will LOVE that!
Tried to fish the Wilson from the bank yesterday. Man, there were people at every hole!
Just convinced me that on holidays, I should just hide at home, and not venture out.
We finally ended up at Donaldson's, and fished for summers with bobber and jig. I caught a beautiful cutthroat and was happy enough with my day to pack it up and go home.
What really turned me home was realizing I was having a tough time wading. Looked down to realize the felt was coming off my wading shoes, and I was totally entangled in someone's mono. It was like winning the lottery! Pulled it up and got a beautiful lure set up! Thank you, whoever snagged up and left it for me!
Last night, the boys had a couple friends over and put on a deluxe riverside fireworks display for me.
Now, it's time to go out there, collect all the garbage, wash my truck, fill the bird feeders, make more hummy juice, and count the days until Las Vegas!
But am I excited to go to Las Vegas?

YES!!!!!

July 8th

Eight days till.... OK! Enough about Vegas and ICAST 2002! Dang, every morning I wake up and think... "Something exciting is going to happen, what is it? OH! VEGAS!"
It's fun to wake up lately!
It's amazing how something as simple as looking forward to a trip makes life more fun.
I did a little Wilson bank trip yesterday. Flung some flies around, pointlessly. Nope, can't catch a fish. Do I care? Nope! Will I ever care? Nope! Do I still try? YIP!
It's the hunt!
I fish for the relaxation, for being outdoors, for reading the water at summer levels so that I know where they will be in the winter. That's some valuable info!
Yesterday, I was at a hole on the Wilson where I fished with Mark Anderson of First Cast Jigs last winter. I noted exactly where he hooked a steelie. There lie three rocks, visible in the low water. A perfect hiding spot for winter steelies when the water is higher, and the rocks remain hidden. I put that info in my pocket for later use. :) Thanks, Mark!
The kids swim in the Kilchis quite a bit. Our river is SO cold in the summer that it takes a lot to get me in there. When I do, I wade around and stare into the water. Either that, or I cheat, grab a tube and go on an exploratory float.
I study the bottom, note all the changes in my mind for future winters to be. I have a topo map stored in my brain.
The kids always complain, "Mom! Get over here! Swim! Go down these rapids"!
Nose down, eyes glued to the bottom, Mom is no fun. I note the changes in depth, the sand deposits that change water levels, the new rocks exposed that may be excellent cover for the next migration of mighty steelies. :) I see swarms of little steelie fry around my feet.
I think it's fun! The kids think I'm boring and strange.
Stay tuned for the continuing saga of Kilchis and the dippers.
Will he ever catch one?

I've never seen any dog quite so intent on such a ridiculous venture. It's especially funny when he thinks he can swim upstream the current below a riffle.
A dipper will tease him away from the nest by going upstream. Kilchis jumps in, and heads up the rapids. As if?
He fights with all his might in the current below the rapid. No matter how hard he swims, he remains stationary. He begins to get frustrated and starts to yowl and howl madly. With yips and long sentences of frustrated dog language, he stays at it. He finally works his way to the side, where the current isn't quite so strong, gets to the top of the rapid, attempts to cross, and down over the rocks he goes!
"Kilchis! Are you OK???"
I panic as I see him go under, pop up, and go under again.
He begins to bark again, tail wagging hysterically, and leaps from the river at a gallop to continue his hunt.
Silly dog.
I may not catch many fish lately, but at least I'm not that stupid.
I do share his desire and enthusiasm.
I wonder if he feels the same about me and my fly rod adventures?
I guess... To each his own.
I'd hate to hear his version of the story.

July 9th

Off to fish the Columbia near Bonneville with Jim Martin in his new Willie Boat. We are going for summers or???
Oh! Kilchis saw me catch something last night! See, Kilchis? I'm not that stupid!
Kilchis wagged his tail for me. "Good deal, Mom! Keep at it!"
He left again, for a dipper or a deer. Perhaps a herd of wild zebra, the fearsome giraffe? Who knows. Maybe he catches fish all the time? I don't know, but he wasn't all that excited.
It was frustrating for me. I was fishing a Muddler's Minnow that I had trimmed a bit, so it would sink better.
Kilchis was doing his run up the rapids thing, barking and chasing dippers. I have never seen a dog so skilled in racing over the rocks at high speeds. I wish I had that coordination!
Anyway... I was experiencing this:
Nibble nibble.... Gone!
Nibble nibble.... Gone!
I was on my last nerve. I couldn't hook this teaser. I knew it had some size to it.
Finally, it was nearing dark, and I was really getting edgy about this wily prankster. Even the sound of the flowing water next to me, which usually soothes me, sounded out monotonous and irritating. I cast at a different angle, and began twitch retrieving it as I walked down river.
Fooled him! nibble nibble, whack!
Interesting. How many times have you wondered, after having a fish hit, "Will it be back? Is it sore mouthed, or will it's little pea sized brain forget that this fly is not good to eat?"
Sometimes I get hit and that's it. If I miss it once, it's gone. One chance, goodbye.
Other times, you can recatch a fish multiple times!
Bill was telling me about hooking a big buck steelie four times in an hour.
If you do that, did you catch one fish, or four? :)
The cutt I landed was about 12 inches. Nothing big, but because of his bratty behavior, I felt like an accomplished angler. I released him to the open water, after making sure he got a look at me. That'll teach him a lesson!
Off to make egg salad sandwiches and hit the long road.
Have a great day! I will! :)

July 11th

Fishing below Bonneville was great fun, and what an experience! I've always heard it was tough anchoring in that heavy water, and now I understand, thoroughly!
I couldn't watch! Bill and Jim did a great job, but man! The wind was blowing sideways! Our top was up, so that further challenged things. I just stared at the deck as they yelled instructions back and fourth.
We caught a beautiful little wild steelhead, a shad, and an undersize cute little sturgeon. He was one of those sturgeon that you add water, and he grows. :) I hooked up with some mean, wild monster on a K13, but he was long gone before I got to feel him. Teaser!
We dropped anchor and went to pick up Bill Monroe at Beacon Rock. We sat beneath the top in Jim's beautiful Willie Asalter, (I think that Willie is taking over the boat world!) and talked, joked, contemplated serious fishing issues, and downed way too many cans of pop.
Jim Martin is extremely knowledgeable on fishing issues. Knowledgeable, thoughtful, and thought provoking.
What a great day!
Yesterday was not nearly as much fun.
First off, Bill took off with Gary Krum for the ocean. I felt totally left out, and did the whine thang. I had a hair appointment, and a guitar lesson for Andrew. No fishing for this girl.
Putting away groceries, later, I opened the fridge, put something away, bent down to open the freezer, put something in there, came back up, hit my head on a refrigerator shelf, and down came the lemon juice. Splash! A whole bottle of lemon juice all over the floor, smashed and dripping sticky wet everywhere! ARGH!
Get out the mop. Of course, it hadn't been swept. Lemon juice and dog hair is gross. I swirled it around with the mop head for a bit.
OK, clean enough... Back to the business of unloading groceries.
Head throbbing, I open the fridge again to resume my efforts, not realizing I had broken the dang shelf, down comes the Chili sauce AND the BBQ sauce, glass bottles smashing to the floor!
Tomato everywhere! Up the cupboards, all over the semi cleaned floor. I took one step, and instantly located a broken piece of glass with my toe. Add a little blood to the mix.
What to do?
I got frustrated with the kids!
It's their fault, right?
"ANDREW!!! DAVID! Get out the vacuum! Clean your bedrooms! This bathroom is a mess!"
Somehow, when I make a mess, the whole house seems messier!
Frazzled, sweltering from the heat, by golly if I was going to clean up, so were they!
What is this anyway? Summer vacation?
The end result was a cleaner house! The kids rooms were MUCH better!
I was rewarded last evening as I wet waded across the stream with a Muddler's minnow.
It was nearing dark. In shorts and tennies, I contemplated... Do I dare cross the stream, knowing full well that I probably won't make it back before dark?
"YES!"
My tennis shoes were unsteady on the slippery summer rocks, but... who cares? There's fish over there! There always is... on the other side of the river! Right?
It wasn't long before my rod doubled over with the largest cutthroat trout I had ever hooked on a fly.
Without measuring tape, I quickly unhooked him, held him next to the butt of my rod, and measured him by the lettering on the rod.
Cutts are spiritual, mystical, and magical!
I gently released him back to the deep pool, feeling a bit guilty for causing him the trouble that I had, thanking him for the opportunity to touch such a beautiful creature.
I couldn't fish anymore! I had to find out how big this trout was.
Back across the water, hobbling through the yard, I grimaced in pain at the rocks in my shoes.
Shivering, I yelled for Andrew. "Get the measuring tape!"
16 3/4 inches, Andrew!!!
He walked away, shaking his head.
"Mom, you are nuts."
The day flashed through my head. Lemon juice, chili sauce, being left at home to play wife instead of fishing partner....
I glanced around at the falling light. Birds songs faintly echoed through the trees.
All heck can break lose, yet the canyon never loses it's hush.
It wasn't that bad of a day, after all.
And this morning? I woke up to The Daily Oregonian, Homes and Gardens section, page 28, to find... low and behold?
My finches! :) That was fun!
Good day to you! I think today is going to be better than yesterday. Does that mean an even BIGGER cutt? Whooooo hooooooo!

July 14th

So.... I buy this killer red color of nail polish, and an undercoat and an overcoat.
On the way home from church, I was going to stop and get a fancy Vegas type manicure and pedicure, but of course, they are closed.
So... I can do this!!! Yes!
After the undercoat, two coats of color, and the overcoat, I looked awful! It was quite like I had blood dripping everywhere and puffed up bloody red nails, I paid David 5 dollars to take it off.
TAKE IT ALL OFF!
To the manicure lady tomorrow, or else I go nail-naked. :)
Yesterday we fished the Nehalem, and you know? It's pretty good already! There are fish there!
I did a long line release on a nice fish, (dangit anyway) and missed one earlier too! At least I can say I got to feel one!
It was funny, actually. The first one, well? I have been spinner fishing mostly, and the fish took off, me holding the rod, and what did I do? I jerked back, of course. Instantly I thought "OOPS". But not, of course before Bill could say, "Why did you jerk on it?"
ARGH! I really felt like bonking Bill at that point. I didn't. I took a deep breath, tied up another herring rig and went back at it.
All righty, so now I've got it all going on, right? Rod in holder, trolling, talking, enjoying the nice day, and yip, you guessed it, my rod doubles over. The fish boils back behind the boat.
I take three deep breaths, trying to remain calm, and not grab that rod. It's time! I go for the rod, and instantly-- I mean instantly it vanishes!
FISH OFF!
ARGH!
Checked my hook points, they were fine, the herring came back in pieces, and I sat there, looking forlorn.
To jerk or not to jerk?
I guess neither?
I wasn't meant to go home with a nice fish yesterday.
Today, I know why. I have no space in my freezer!
So, I got out the cooler, filled it with sides of steelies, and slabs of chinook, a few chunks of smoked frozen salmon, and headed for church.
The smiles and appreciation were a better rush than any fish could have given me!
Well... almost!
Now I have every right to catch a fish and I'm headed for Vegas on Tuesday. They don't have fish there, do they?
Both times my rod went down, I had doused the slow roll herring in sardine oil. Seemed to be the ticket.
Bill and I got to talking about future runs on our coastal rivers. Think about this! Last year was the last year that our 96 flood will have affected our 4 and 5 year old fish. YAY! This year should be killer! However, you have to take into consideration that those four and five year olds went out into less than ideal ocean conditions, and predation was probably a cutting factor. Nonetheless, I'm glad to have the flood affected years behind us, and I'm starting to look for signs of fall.
First, of course, we get to "wahoo!" through the Columbia Silvers! I can't wait!
Which, of course, brings me to the fact that I haven't had my eye surgery yet. The joke, around here, is that I've lost and forgotten my surgeons number. I was supposed to have that surgery in June. Now, when I close my good eye, and look through my bad eye, it is all very clear. I see nothing! Perhaps that is why I have been bumping into things, falling, and otherwise smashing my head into refrigerator shelves.
Oh well! Can't have surgery anytime soon now! There is Columbia silvers and chinook, then fall hogs, then steelhead.... then, perhaps surgery!
I may be a bloody mess by then, from walking into things, but I won't look nearly so bad as that polish on my fingernails made me look!
Off to flip a fly in the Kilchis. Ta ta!

 

July 16th

July 16th? Oh my gosh! I have a flight in 7 hours to Vegas! I must hurry! You know, I couldn't sleep past three! Those roller coasters and ICAST are calling my name!
I'll be home Saturday with lots of news of new and exciting products to help us catch more fish! :)
Oh-- By the way, the nice manicure lady fixed all of my fingers and toes! :)
Have fun!

July 21st

Home! Home to empty hummingbird feeders! Home to wilting snap dragons and tough, dry begonia leaves! Home to wagging tailed dogs, and curious chickens! I have tons of catching up to do, both at home, and on ifish!
Dee Dee the big black lab keeps tilting her head, and eyeing me, as if to say, "It's good to be home, huh, Ma?"
The house has been vacant, while I was gone. The neighbors held watch as Bill went to Lake Oswego to care for his Mom. The nurses all quit, and Bill is frantically searching to hire care for her. Girls, you all want to have sons like Bill. He is so good to his Mother!
The dogs went with Bill. No dippers to chase, no rivers to play in...
I had a blast in Vegas! The best being a water slide that I finally got brave enough to go on, and the lights in Vegas!
The trip made me finally decide, with all of the beautiful sights to see, that I want to see too! I'm calling my surgeon tomorrow. It's time. Too many things happened where the boys would say, "Mom! Look!" and I'd say, "What, where?" I hate that!
And you know what? Once I get my surgery done, I have to go back to Vegas!!
No one would go with me on any of the roller coasters, so I didn't go. I was half relieved, and half disappointed. Every time I walked outside, NY NY's Manhattan Express loomed over me.
"PLEASE!" I'd plead. "It's not that bad! Look!!!"

The boys just rolled their eyes and told me to be thankful that I had given birth to two boys who were not crazy, who had good sense, who could SEE that it was that bad! What fun is that? To be sensible? To see? None!
Live a little! Close your eyes and go! Andrew feigned heart problems. "Mom, I'm not in the mood for an aortic dissection right now. Maybe later."
ARGH.
So be it.
I suppose the closest we came to a coaster ride, was on one of the many people movers (moving sidewalks at the airport) at PDX. We all sat down on the black, hot mat that moved along the way, raised our hands as if on a coaster... Funny, but it somehow lacked the thrill. People passing us thought we were nuts. Finally, security reprimanded us for our follies, and our giggles stopped. I hate getting in trouble. :)
I was shocked when we spent the day barefoot, racing from one attraction to another at the Wet and Wild water park. David won't go on a coaster, but chose a slide that went straight down. It was called the Banzai-Banzai.
"Come on, Mom! Let's go!"
Ummmm. OK! We grabbed a sled, that weighed perhaps 40 pounds and headed up the circular ramp. Not only heavy, the sleds were awkward! I made it halfway up, looked down, and thought, "I'm on vacation. This is work. This is high! I'm out!" David continued up the climb. He's nuts. He came down. Straight down!
After the ride, he sat down with a sigh. "Mom, I love you. That was so fun, but I'm so glad to be on solid ground!"
Later, I got up enough energy to join him on the slide. I think I screamed so loud that the entire park thought I was in danger. It was SO fun! Straight down-- then skimming across the water with the momentum you build! FUN!
The show was absolutely fabulous, and I met a bunch of great contacts in the industry.
I was most pleased to spend quite a bit of time with Gary Loomis discussing Fish First.
You know, I had never met Gary. I am SO glad I did! What a guy! I wasn't so sure about him before. I had preconceptions. Big, powerful owner of huge company? Maybe, but not at all what I expected! The guy is amazing! Down to earth! Passionate about our fisheries! He shares the same passion that I so many of us do, about saving our rivers and fish! We talked so fast and furious and shared so many of the same thoughts that I think we could have talked forever! We spent an hour or so talking about habitat, and how to fix it. The obstacles they had to fight to do the most simple of tasks. He filled me with optimism and urged me to call him when I get home. That, I will do!
We are going to get together and work on a Power Point presentation that will help people realize that we can all do what they did on the Lewis.
I am filled with inspiration after speaking with this gentlemen.
We can do this too! I'm starting with the Kilchis river. I want the kind of returns Fish First has developed!
I spoke a long time to the owner of Tilla Food Savers. I learned about replacing different parts, and how to get the best seal.
I found tons of cool new products, and I have a stack of literature and media kits sky high! I will have SO much to write about, and so many contacts to keep in touch with!
I can't wait to begin! But... one at a time! I want to cover these items thoroughly!
I'm tickled pink with a pair of pliers that don't sink. I'm excited about a new method to remove odors from your hands. Oh! So much to talk about! I can't even begin to cover them in one thought!
Fish paraphernalia! Who could ask for more?
Off to organize my brain. Off to sort through the myriad of information that I hauled home.
Feeders to fill, plants to water... and best of all, fish to catch! I'm home, and the fishing around here couldn't be better! :)


Andrew, taking a break from all the touring!

July 23rd

I go along for quite some time thinking, "What will I write about?" It usually always comes to me, but sometimes I'll go almost a week without writing. Now I'm so full of things to write that I wonder if I should just start now and finish in a week?

To write about:

O.K. got my coffee... I'm going to touch on all of the above... Then, later, go into details.
Yesterday and the day before was spent answering e mails and fixing small problems on ifish.
There are several aspects to keeping ifish ticking, from answering e mails of "How do I post a picture", "I lost my password", to "I'm interested in being a guide on ifish".
These require at least an e mail reply and sometimes a phone call or two.
Then, there are coding problems that occur, from improper displays of tables, spelling errors, fixing people's double posts, to turning on the ability to post a poll on one of the forums.
I can spend two hours posting pictures for people, if I have the time! I like to read random posts to make sure rules are being followed. It's worth my time to keep a tight ship. If I slack, I find that the problems build up to an intolerable level, and then it takes me hours and many hurt feelings to get back on track. This is my least favorite part of the job, but in the end, makes me a happier ifisher.
Vegas. All in all, a great trip! We stayed at The Tropicana, which turned out to be just fine. We stayed in the cheapest rooms, the Garden Rooms. They offered an upgrade, but once we saw our room, we decided to stay put. It was on ground level, where I could feed the tropical birds, and the kids were just footsteps from a very uncrowded pool. The main pools and gardens were on the other side. We liked our private pool! :)
Every morning meant a trip through the casino for lattes and our new favorite orange juice, "Naked Juice". That stuff is great! We ended up with some in house food credits. What did we do? Bought 5 bottles of Naked Juice and brought it home with us! I think I'll go get some now! :)
It made my liver quiver every morning at 5, to go through the casino, sleepy and in need of caffeine, to see people sitting at slots, gambling and drinking cocktails. ISH! I remember the days when I could handle that! Not anymore, thanks! I prefer a coffee maker in room, and would take one along, should I return.
We must have walked 10 thousand miles. We did most of our touring at night, due to the heat. Even at night, it hovered around 90 degrees, and water stops were frequent.
We kept a travel itinerary, written by an ifish member, and referred to that often. It was fun figuring out where the trams and monorails were, and how best to get from point A to point B.
My favorite site was probably Bellagio, where Puccini played, and the fountains and lights danced a long. It gave me shivers! It was gorgeous!
I was amazed at how much I spent on Taxis, mostly getting from my hotel to ICAST. We tried to figure out the bus system, but it was so much easier just to pay the man in the yellow car. Easier, until now, I get home and study my cash flow. This isn't looking good!
We spent one day at a water park, Wet and Wild, and left just in time. An amazing thunder storm hit, just as we returned to our hotel. It was wild and wonderful. Rain fell from the sky in buckets, the whole world turned dark and the sky turned a thousand shades of blue and black.
We sat in our hotel room with the sliding door open for the rest of that day. It was fun to go out in the warm rain and race back into the room, giggling, when the lightning seemed to come too close.
One night we enjoyed dinner at MGM, at the Rain Forest Cafe. Mostly, we ate at NY, NY. Had a wonderful Philly Steak sandwich. I spoke with the chef on how to make them. I've already been to the store to buy ingredients to try to imitate this culinary delight.
The temperature each day hovered around 110. I really wanted to get deeply tanned in Vegas, but found laying in the sun almost intolerable. I spent 10 minutes sunning, and then had to take a dip in the pool. I guess it is Las Vegas' way to protect people from skin cancer. I'll never learn. I love to lay in the sun, and I love a good tan! I'll probably pay, someday! I felt a little uncomfortable at first, running around the hotel grounds in a bikini, but you get really used to it, really fast. That's just the way it is, in Vegas, and now, sitting at the computer here, with my Mustad fleece and pajamas, I feel overdressed. :)
Flights both ways were easy and relaxing. It was fun to find fellow fishermen and friends both ways. Jack and Shelley Glass were on the flight over, and Buzz Ramsey from Luhr Jensen and John Posey from Lamiglas on the way back.
Onto fishing:
We fished Nehalem yesterday, and came up with no fish. The fish we marked were few, and small.
The last four days have been very sparse for catching. Where do the fish go? We have learned, especially in the last few years, that the fish don't just come in and shoot straight upriver. They mull around, may even go back in the ocean for a bit.
The salmon were in full force in the bay last week.
One gentlemen at the takeout was crouched over, studying his tide table. "As soon as we get rid of these minus tides and heavy currents, the fishing will pick up." Is he correct? We'll see.
Tomorrow I'm going to Portland to attend a meeting where Gary Loomis is speaking about Fish First. My time spent with Gary at ICAST was very inspirational. I hope you all decide to attend. For more information, click here.
Thursday, I'm off to fish the Columbia for summer steelhead at Peuget Island. I hope you all left me a couple!
I'm off to start on my Tuesday list of things to do. I have to go to the Post Office and mail out some "Ready Set" contest winnings, tally up my receipts for business deductions from Vegas, handle some health insurance woes for Andrew, call Gary Loomis and some other contacts from ICAST...
Yip, got lots to do!

July 24th

What an interesting night...
My panic about becoming blind is heightened. My awareness of where I live, and with whom, is clear.
I live in the forest, and it's not, nor ever will be, totally mine.
Ever search for a raccoon in the house with your eyes closed at 2 in the morning? That's what it felt like without the aid of my contacts.
I've never had a raccoon IN the house. (Or have I? And how many times???)
At 2 A.M., I woke to a huge crash.
What was it?
The dogs begin to furiously bark.
I have no contacts in, I'm sleepy. It didn't even occur to me that it was an invader. I wasn't afraid. I was sleepy! I wander downstairs, feeling the walls for direction.
I hear the dog food container can open and crash to floor.
Flip on the light.
I look in the laundry room.
Pop cans on the floor, everywhere from out of the recycle bin. Newspapers from the other bin, ripped and shredded everywhere! Gardening potions on the floor, extra bird food and feed here, there, everywhere!
Hmmm?
Dazed and confused, I wander in.
I'm virtually blind, with no contacts.
I remember coming home from Las Vegas. I walked into the laundry room and it was a MESS!
I asked Bill, he was confused. We decided the raccoons had moved in, while we were gone.
It occurred to me, just then.
TOO LATE!!!
Kilchis already has the raccoon backed into a corner. It isn't good to back a raccoon into a corner!
I can't see the raccoon, but I can hear him hissing at Kilchis. Visions of large wounds cut across Kilchis' face came to mind.
"KILCHIS NO! COME!"
Thank God Kilchis came!
What to do? My brain functions were just barely working at this hour.
There are three doors into the laundry room. One, from the kitchen, where I stood, one leading out back, and one leading into the garage.
I think the outside door is locked. I always do the rounds before bedtime and lock the doors. I locked it last night... I think, right?
I needed to give the raccoon an escape route.
Garage door?
Can't get there without going IN the laundry room. I don't want to go IN there!
I closed the raccoon in the laundry room and thought.
Hmmmm. Kitty eats in there. Is he in there?
Who knows?
Doubt it.
So, I go outside, and around... blind, feeling my way.
I check the door.
It's not locked! Darn Andrew and thank him all at once! He must have opened it after I locked it.
I open the door.
I look in.
"Hello? Mr. Raccoon?"
I hear hissing, yip, still there!
I go upstairs, leaving the outside door open, and the kitchen door closed, while I got my contacts in. I'm feeling sure he will evacuate the premises.
Can't find my contacts. Somehow they fell off the nightstand, and I can't find them without my contacts in! I'm starting to panic more. Where is Kilchis? Will he attack the rac again?
Frustrated, I feel my way back downstairs thinking SURELY he has left.
I peek in.
No sound.
Yip, he's gone... right?
I'm 3 feet from him, but I don't know it.
Step further in, 2 feet from the raccoon...
One foot...
Bend over to put lid on can.
HISSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!
RACCOON IN FACE! Snarling teeth in face! Nerves through the roof!
I think I jumped 2000 feet!
They are MEAN!
I saw his teeth, his eyes, his face!
So, nearly in shocked tears, I go sit on the picnic table and wait.
Sup sup sup! Bill! Come home! Where is the gun!? I can't shoot a raccoon in the house! Who needs the gun? Thoughts raced through my head.
I leave the door wide open.
I call Bill, to see if he has any ideas.
"Good Morning, Bill! It's 2 in the morning! Could you come home and get this creature out of the house?"
All the sudden, raccoon leaves.
Dang! Where was the gun? :)
So, I shut the door, begin to clean up the mess. Oh, forget this! Not tonight!
I closed the cat door, realized Kitty was outside and crying to get in.
I locked him in for the night. He's not used to not getting out at night, so he is restless all night, bugging me.
I didn't sleep much at all past that.
Interesting. Two days ago, while my chickens were out free, I noticed a bobcat in the field, calmly cleaning himself, and eyeing his prey. I ran outside and put the chickens in. I searched for the right gun, with no luck. I really didn't want to shoot the bobcat, but I would have, had he been more aggressive.
Scary.
It made me realize where I live. Who was invaded when this house was built, deep in the canyon of the wilds.
The creatures of the night are just beyond the lawn, ready to move back in, at a moment's notice.

July 25th

Craft little devils! Bill put out the raccoon trap last night. The little creep lifted the catch, ate the food and was on his way. He put it on the deck. Much more of this, and we'll just be training him to come to the porch to eat. Maybe after that, we can do an all nighter with the gun on the porch. Just wait, Mr. Raccoon!
I went to the Steelheaders Tom McCall Chapter meeting at the Spaghetti Factory in Portland yesterday to listen to Gary Loomis speak about Fish First.
I really believe that Fish First is a great way... No, wait. I believe that Fish First is the ONLY way we are going to save our fish.
"Another group?" I hear people saying. Yes, another group... But this groups is a tool to get all groups into action.
I have visions of Tillamook Anglers, N.W. Steelheaders, people from ifish, guides, business owners who would profit from it, and passionate souls getting together to make a difference.
I don't know how to try and start it, but I'm going to start my meeting with Gary Loomis, and then making phone calls around the area to check out interest. I know it's there. I know it's there!
I'm having fun at home these days, planting more and more flowers until my back porch is almost hideously colored! I love it back there! Fred Meyers has color spots on sale, and I can't stay away! Just ONE more! Also, I have fun saving the dying sale plants in the back.
Taking care of flowers to me, I suppose, is like raising children. My children are past the need for constant care, and I'm feeling a bit like an adoptive Mother to these plants. They need me! If they are sick, it's my duty to try and fix them.
As I think about it, I remember that my Mother really never got into gardening until we were almost out of the nest. Then, she went at it in full force. Her garden was beautiful!
I can relate, Mom! I get it now!
These little flower children never talk back! They love me! They show appreciation by blooming, and should one get sick and die, I actually morn over it!
So, when I returned from Vegas, I rushed to my plants to see how they fared. They missed me! Their leaves had wilted, and although Bill had thrown them water, occasionally, it showed that they hadn't been really loved.
I carefully watered and fertilized them, and within hours they reacted. "Mom's home!"
Andrew is all excited. He landed his first job at Tillamook Cheese, and he is nervous, as he is supposed to show up at 10:00 for his first day today. He's on his way to being self reliant! My little Andrew has a job? My 'little' Andrew is now six foot three!
How much Miracle Grow did that take?
David is 13 and becoming a full fledged teen that questions my every sentiment. I never thought that would happen. He's always been so sweet and agreeable!
The boys are 13 months apart, and if it weren't for David's compliant attitude, I never would have made it through the early years. Andrew was fussy as a baby, always needing something. David, sitting through Andrew's screams would just sit there, bouncing in his bouncy chair, giggling and smiling. I'd be frustrated with Andrew, and look over to David. He'd always bring a smile.
I have my hands full, with two teens that still love me, I'm sure, but they do offer challenges. So, after confronting them both about why their rooms aren't clean, and why for God's sake they would have the audacity to shout at me, "What's your problem. Mom?" (Did I ever say something like that to my Mom???-- Maybe!) Why, after telling them in Vegas not to separate, did they anyway? Why, for heavens sake, didn't they give me the messages that people called? I shake my head, frustrated, and leave their room, with a candy wrapper stuck to my foot.
I walk out to the back garden and sit amongst my "lovely" children. They all smile back at me, as the pansies dance in the breeze, and the begonias break into bloom.
I grab the watering can and begin to feed them. They don't talk back.
Ah... agreeable, happy children!
I can have it all!
Off to get Andrew ready for work!

July 26th


My poorly behaved mutt.
I love him! :)

I'm finding it a long road to the river.
Yesterday, Bill and I planned to fish. Bill only has one day to fish, right? Has to go back to Portland to take care of his Mom.
Andrew has to work, 10 till 2.
Fish, before 10? No. I'll take Andrew to work and then we can fish till 2.
Well, it didn't work out, with little errands and people to see, so we decided to fish after 2. We joined Pete Morris for breakfast.
We'll fish after Andrew has been delivered home.
I go home, finish my work, get ready... It's 1:30! Drive to get Andrew.
2:00 P.M., I'm waiting in the parking lot at Tillamook Cheese factory for Andrew. 2:10... 2:15...
Cell phone rings.
"Hi! Mom? This is Andrew. They are really busy and want me to stay until 3:30."
Argh.
"Well, Andrew, this is your first day, and if that is what they need, you'd better do it."
I drive home, tell Bill. :(
"Can't fish, Bill".
So... I thought, I'll just fish at home tonight.
Make dinner, pick up Andrew, get ready... After dinner, I'll fish! I'm getting excited, can't wait to hit the river, to feel the sharp takes of cutts on flies, given to me by Shane Stewart. (Thank you, Shane!)
David walks into the office.
"Mom? Did you forget I have jazz band practice tonight?"
Get in car, drive the 5th time to town.
Come back, eat dinner, get ready to pick David up again.
We can fish in the morning, Bill! We can take the boat, really early and be back by the time Andrew needs to go to work at 10:00.
I sit down at my desk, and notice a flagged warning I have taped to my desk.
Jury Duty: July 26th, 8:00...
It had my name on it.
"Bill? Darling?"
I'll just fish... sometime.... soon.
Off to jury duty!

July 28th

I went on a "date" Friday night!
First, a lovely dinner at a local restaurant, The Fern, then onto a great jazz concert.
The guy loves to dance!
Not just ordinary dancing, but the jitterbug, the cha cha, the East Coast swing! I can't do that! Talk about being put in an awkward position!
He spent the evening sitting next to me, pointing to his feet. "It's easy, Jennie!" Watch my steps, and then we'll hit the floor!
I sat in my chair and tried to keep up with his feet. One goes here, one goes there.... argh!
"Slow down!" I giggled.
The food, divine! The music? Out of this world, and the company, exquisite!
While waiting for the concert, we walked to the grocery store for ice cream bars.
He told jokes that will be great for long days on the boat, and had me rolling in laughter.
What an active sort! I was envious! Where do you get your energy?
After proving that I couldn't dance that way very well, he began searching the lounge for a better partner.
How Could I NOT keep up with a 76 year old gentlemen? I couldn't!
My "date" was with my Dad. He came over from Canby to support my son's jazz band.
We have raised 20,000 dollars to keep our jazz band director in a job. We needed 15,000 more. The state cut him to half time. Now, we have to pay the other half to keep our jazz band alive.
Sound familiar? Vaguely like trying to keep our hatcheries open? The volunteers will do it! We shouldn't have to... but we can!
I have spent days on the phone, calling businesses. "Could you help?"
Friday night, during the concert, we raised $1000.00!!! The people had fun, especially my Dad!
We passed the hat three times, and finally came up with our goal! YAY! Now we just need 14,000 more! Yikes! Back to the phones...
Anyway, I had a great time, and it was fun to see my Dad. I never, in my life, thought I couldn't keep up with my Father! Big band music energizes!
After the concert, he was still going! He said to me, "Jennie! Come here! Get in my car!"
He was proud of his new sound system! He slid a CD in of some awesome big band music and turned to me with a grin, "Isn't that awesome?"
My Dad is hip! He was dressed snazzy, looking very dapper in his Honda Accord.
That's my Dad?
The guy that loaded me in his boat to go sit in the hog lines on the Willamette? The guy with crusty old waders and a yellow rod? :) The same guy who put me on his shoulders to cross the raging Sandy river, where my toes drug in the water, and I clung on, for dear life?
He doesn't fish much, anymore, and changed his hobby to golf. His waders have been exchanged for fancy club Pro Shop golf fashions, and his home town, Canby, is evacuated in the winter as he flees for Palm Springs.
I followed his footsteps by becoming addicted to fishing, like he was.
I still don't understand giving up the sport. How could he? He got me here, stuck in this fishing world, and then he totally abandons the idea! What nerve!
It gives me hope though. This fishing mania, this addiction, there is hope! I may not always be like this, right? :)
Perhaps I am not destined for an entire life of egg encrusted waders.
Later, I drove home, and fell fast asleep, tired from the night out, attempting to dance.
11:00 P.M. The phone rings. My Dad sang through the phone, with energy and enthusiasm, "I'm home!"
76, huh?
I still want to grow up to be like my Dad. But please, dear God, no golf and no jitterbug!
(And by the way, he couldn't do the "twist" or the "swim" very well!)

July 29th

Hey! I got to go cutthroat fishing! YAY! It was a landmark day! I had a fishing rod in my hand! It's been sooooooo long! I think I need to change my column name to "Jennie wishes she was fishing life!"
Interesting, though, it was not very good! I hooked and landed one cutt, and that was it! It was a nice, 13 inch cutt, but we usually do much better. It was our worst day on record!
Bill hooked a beautiful, shiny new 15 inch searun cutt, but lost it close to the boat. Just as well, I thought, that it was easy to release, but Bill is so finicky about catch rules for his catch stat book. Legally, he can't record that one.
Oh well! I just had fun, staring into incoming tidal water, feeling the motion of the boat, quietly gazing at the various birds that live there.
I'm definitely a tidal river gal. I like roaming around tidal flats, having to get out and pull the boat when the tide is too low. It's the whole adventure thing to me. Not one soul in sight. If we go too far down, can we get back up that riffle?
I think it stems from when I was a teenager, and early 20ish woman. I would often walk from the ocean beach up the river, rod in hand, until I was deep in the forest. For lack of a trail on shore, I would often wade my way up until I was nearly lost. Downed trees across the river made navigation interesting and tiring. Trying to not break or injure my rod was a challenge. The thought that "there has to be a great hole, right around the next corner!" would keep me searching for hours. Then, it was the long trek back. The surprise of another fishermen on the river was usually a friendly encounter, in which I made many friends. No doubt, that any other soul this lost deep in the forest, on the river, was a good person.
As the tide flows in and out, the scenery changes immensely, thus making every trip new. From the noisy, fast flowing riffles of an outgoing tide, to the full, deep, and swampy high tides that create great holding areas for salmon and steelhead.
In order, the waters I love best:

I have to stop! (Note that I never did list ocean fishing... It's not my favorite, but by golly, if that is where the fish are, you'll find me there occasionally too!)
There are too many to list, and I'm not sure they are in the correct order! Fact is, hands down, I love tidal zones, and all the secrets they hold.
I added a couple great sturgeon pictures to the winners page, sent into me by David Bright. Click here!

July 30th

I'm having the board updated and it is taking longer than usual. I apologize for the inconvenience.
In the mean time, however, I just posted Stan's latest article on Guide Steve Fleming, Mah-Hah Outfitters, fishing the John Day for Smallmouth. Click here to enjoy it. He also mentions Steve's private pond. What I wouldn't do for one of those! Your own bass pond! Whoooo hoooooo!
It's a good read, and a perfect time to sit back and dream about it.
Have fun!

July 31st

Yip, I'm doing a little maintenance. I should be done about 11:30. :)

Anyway....
The other day, I thought I'd put my wading boots out in the sun to dry. I'm not sure why, they'll just get wet again, but the thought of dry wading boots appealed to me.
Two days in the sun. Still wet!
Thinking of how freezing I was, last time I waded in shorts and my wading shoes, I pulled on my breathable waders. Ahhhh. Nice and warm! I drug my wet wading shoes to the garage steps, sat down, and awkwardly fit my foot into the boot.
It felt odd.
Next foot. Man! I'm getting old! It's not as easy to get into these things. I struggled to tie the laces. I felt a huge lump in my other foot. My right foot, still not right.
"OK"! I give! Untie the boot. Is it my neoprene booties? No... They are fine.
Reach into the boot. "OH YUCK!"
Slugs! 8 of them! Nestled where the arch of my foot went! How disgusting!!! My waders had squashed slime all over them! GROSS!
Off with the other foot, and out with the slug cousins. All in all, 14 slugs in Jennie's wading boots.
Lesson learned: Don't leave your wading boots outside, near the garden to dry. They make excellent slug villages.
Unless... HEY!
Perhaps tonight, I'll put them next to my dahlias. They have been eaten nearly to the root by those slugs. Maybe I'll slosh a little beer inside. Or salt! Yes! Salt!
Multipurpose wading boot and garden protectant! Thanks Hodgeman!

July 31st

Yip, I'm doing a little maintenance. I should be done about 11:30. :)

Anyway....
The other day, I thought I'd put my wading boots out in the sun to dry. I'm not sure why, they'll just get wet again, but the thought of dry wading boots appealed to me.
Two days in the sun. Still wet!
Thinking of how freezing I was, last time I waded in shorts and my wading shoes, I pulled on my breathable waders. Ahhhh. Nice and warm! I drug my wet wading shoes to the garage steps, sat down, and awkwardly fit my foot into the boot.
It felt odd.
Next foot. Man! I'm getting old! It's not as easy to get into these things. I

 


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