Fishing The Coast, Oregon and Washington

July 2005

Fishing Life

July 1, 2005

...and a happy first of July to all! I adore the first of each month! It's like a new beginning. I feel that way most every day, but the start of a month is even better!
Ohhhhhhh, my coffee is good this morning! It's fresh and crisp out, and it looks to be a lovely day. My flowers are in full bloom. I think I'll take a cup of coffee and go sit on the deck!
I just put up Stan's column for you. Please click here to visit!
Enjoy your day! I've often thought of days such as these with fond wishes for those that work in offices. For some reason, I've always thought having an office job would be fun.-- If only for the lunch breaks, where all of the girls get together and have lunch outside on a bench, in the sunshine.
I miss that type of friendship!
Off I go-- If any girls want to come over and sit outside with me, you are welcome!
I am happy to announce that ifish has two new sponsors, today!
The first is D & S Custom Rods. They are joining our custom rod team with TH Custom Rods. I look forward to getting to know their work better!
A big welcome also goes to River City Fly Shop! I have heard great things about the owner, Don Nelson. Welcome, both of you, and thank you so much for supporting our habits!


Black Butte, 2005

July 2, 2005

Still... when I walk to the river, I try to learn how to travel without gathering bits of cut lawn and moisture on my toes. Picking my feet up high doesn't seem to work. Landing heel first doesn't seem to work. It's just plain wet at the coast, year around. Forget about keeping any shoes clean!
It reminds me so much of those dewy, crisp mornings in Canby as a youth. Brothers and sisters, we'd sleep, cozied up in sleeping bags under the Clematis covered patio, out back. In the morning, I'd wake to walk barefoot across the soft wet lawn. The gravel driveway was cruel, and the pain woke me before I got to the slippery, cold surface of the laundry room, and into a pancake and syrup smelling kitchen.
I'll never forget waking up one special morning! My Mother asked me to get into the car, that something special had happened. I had no clue what to expect, but something told me it wasn't to be worried about. The tone of her voice was light, and lilting. We drove to my best friend's house, Joni Harms. Her horse, Sugar, had given birth to a brand new foal!
I suppose this is one of the most basic memories of summer that make me relate birth so strongly with late spring.
Right now, I watch as a Mother purple finch feeds her new baby at the feeder. It's charming to watch!
Yesterday was warm and windy. I spent a while down at the river in my chair, reading, as Kilchis played in the river. After becoming overly warm, I decided to wade in the shallows with him. Salmon fry darted between my toes. The salmon that I had watched building redds were successful! More new life! It's everywhere, this time of year.
Someone sent me a link, last year, of a baby hummingbird's life. It's been updated, this year. Have a peek! Make sure you turn the pages at the bottom to continue the life story. It's amazing! I know that we have hummingbird babies somewhere around here. The previous owner found a nest that had blown out of the tree during a freak spring wind storm. I have yet to find one, yet I know the trees where they fly to. I've studied the branches meticulously. They are expert at camouflage!
On the Fourth of July weekend, I am known to hibernate. I try so hard to get all of my groceries and mail, so that I don't have to venture out in the tourist traffic. My Fourth of July fireworks consist of several varieties of new life bursting forth around me. I'm more pleased with my flowers and their explosions of color than with loud noises and explosions of pyrotechnics. I think about quiet things especially this morning, as I try to figure out why I'm having migraine auras ever since my surgery. I have them almost daily, and they are uncomfortable. I crave peace, dim lights, and quiet.
What better way to celebrate freedom than with quiet glimpses of new life? Give me the real thing, any day! Of course, I do have a box of sparklers that I keep at the ready.
There are times when I sit on the deck as the sun falls from the sky, and a lit sparkler brings a needed magic. Even with it's quiet celebration, a sparkler is in such sharp contrast with the quiet of the night. All that surrounds me is not absent, but simply at rest! Sleeping baby birds, silently finning salmon fry, and a Mother deer keeping watch over her new born fawn. It would seem a sin to disturb their peace with a loud explosion.
So instead, I sit quietly, calmly, before I rest through a magical night in the forest. I light a single sparkler in celebration of our great country, and revel in all that is truly magical, and truly free.
The sound of rain descends, muffled onto the canopies of a thousand colors of green trees, dripping with drizzle.
God Bless America!
It is at it's finest, out in this canyon, at the end of Kilchis River Road.

July 2, 2005... later!
Talk about fireworks! I just caught a 17 inch cutt on a three weight rod! What a riot!
I was fishing our upper boiler hole with a three and a reverse pink spider. (My new go to fly!)
It's a bit heavy and harder to lob out there. I kept getting little strikes, but nothing to get excited about. I always think when it doesn't stick that they are probably little guys, anyhow. Smolt?
Don't want those... so, I kept fishing.
I got tired after about 10 minutes and sat down on a rock, a bit upstream.
I use the current a lot to fish cutts. When I go upstream, my shorter three weight gets more in the line of current. I sat down, and let the line play out in the water. It was doing all kinds of neat swirly undertow ballets, and looked good to me. I just left it there.
I'd get a strike every now and then. Still nothing big.
Then, I began to bring it in... just over the edge of the waterfall in the main current, I stopped bringing line in and just set it there. It was no more than five feet from my rock, but I was hidden from the water view.
All of the sudden, with the swiftness of a rattle snake strike, my line was jerked from my holding hand! WHOO HOOO! Battle on! I got up way to fast, and fighting the dizzies, tried to follow the fish. I had tons of line at my feet, unprepared for this special guest. Reel in the excess, or hand fight the fish?
I reeled in the line, and as I did, the fish flew out of the water and did the fourth of July yahoo! No need to reel any more line in, he'd taken it nearly to the backing!
OK, so now I'm hand playing the fish, and I think he's gotten off. I'm a fool with a fly line, but I cracked myself up. I couldn't stand, I was laughing so hard.
Finally, got the fish to my feet, held it upside down. (They calm down that way for me) unhooked him and lined him up with the butt of my rod real quick for a measure.
OH! I WISH I HAD MY CAMERA! It was so beautiful! Little 17 inch buck searun! On a 3!!!!! That was a GAS!
I let him go and held my hand to the marking spot all the way to the house.
Happy Fourth, indeed! That was about enough excitement for this girl!

No-- I'm going back!

Independence Day 2005

Hey! I had fun coloring this page! Fourth of July is supposed to be bright and shiny, right?
It is Independence Day! Time to celebrate! Get out the sparklers, Ma!
But what price have we personally paid for this wonderful privilege of freedom? Freedom is a gift that we have graciously received. I think it's up to each one of us to fully take advantage of it.
I have not been to service for my country. I have not fought in a war. I have no children that plan on joining the forces. I don't know the meaning or the feeling of being at war, nor the feeling of losing a loved one. I can't imagine it! I live in a seemingly peaceful country, fully taking advantage of things that others have suffered for. They have given their sons to provide my family freedom. My home is not under attack. I have plenty of food, and all of my needs are met. Thank God!
This is truly reason to celebrate. I live in a great country! No matter how frustrated I become over current events, the fact remains that my freedom is currently secured.
I came across this verse (Galatians 5:1).
"It was for freedom that Christ has made us free; stand firm, lest you fall again under a yoke of slavery".
I spent my day thinking about this verse yesterday. I am undeserving of both my personal freedom, and my country's freedom. They are both at risk, should we drop our guard of protection.
Daily, I struggle to remain "free" from so many things. Fear, stress, anger, sadness, remorse, and worry!
I have to remind myself, daily, to trust in God to take care of everything. I giggled when I received this e mail from a friend.
This is God. Today I will be handling All of your problems for you. I do NOT need your help. So, have a nice day.
I love you.

How true that is! Another example of freedom that is graciously given to us!
However, I have to work constantly to have the faith that brings that freedom to my life. Trusting in God to help me with my problems is a difficult task for me! But, when I fully trust in Him, I am blessed with the most amazing freedom and joy!
Their is a parallel between these two freedoms that I cannot deny. When I sing this song, I think about those personal storms gathering at sea, coming straight at me, and I know that I have the ability to remain free from them!

While the storm clouds gather far across the sea,
Let us swear allegiance to a land that's free,
Let us all be grateful for a land so fair,
As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer:

God Bless America,
Land that I love
Stand beside her,
And guide her,
Through the night
With the light from above,
From the mountains,
To the prairies,
To the ocean,
White with foam,
God bless America,
My home sweet home.
God bless America,
My home sweet home!

It takes a peaceful life, to fully take advantage of all of the freedom that is available to us.

"and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
John 8:32
I firmly believe that the evil that is happening both in our world, and in our personal lives, is caused by not putting our trust in God. If we take it upon ourselves to start by freeing ourselves and "let go and let God" begin to repair the damage, then we begin to break this trend toward world wide evil. When we do, we can start truly sharing the joy that God has in store for us!

God Bless America, and Happy Independence Day to all! And Hey... Hug a service man or woman today, if you have the chance! Send a card off to a soldier! Thank God for our freedom!


July 7th 2005

There is a new mania going around. It's the "Ifish sticker spotting" mania! It's fun, and it's all over the discussion forum, and all over Oregon and Washington freeways! (Sometimes further!) Since this trend, I've been flying through the decals. People want to be noticed wearing their "Ifish colors!"
I've experienced this fun, myself. Driving in Portland, I saw a car ahead of me with an ifish decal. You can't imagine the pride I felt! I tried to catch up with them, but couldn't, in time.
Anyhow, if you'd like to join in, you can buy your decal, here. Or through the discussion board, here. It's a bit more automated through the DB, plus, you can get a yellow ribbon by your name, by donating even 5 dollars to the cause. That happens by scrolling up to donations, or clicking here. You have to be a registered member to click on those links. Click here to register, and become a member of ifish! I never would have thought that ifish would become so well known. I've been having a lot of fun with it!
A couple days ago, Bill talked me into exploring tidewater for cutthroat. We have to take the duck boat, and let me tell you! I'm not as limber as I used to be! That little boat is tippy and hard to get into!
Did we ever have fun, though! The cutthroat are here in good numbers this year. We landed 13 nice, fat cutthroat. Two or three were sea runs, and the rest, healthy residents. They measured up to 17 inches! I had a great time with a reverse spider, behind the boat. It was really neat how it worked for trolling. I'd let the line out, and kind of twitch it, as I let more line out. It looked so yummy! No wonder those cutts went after it with abandon. Of course, what don't those voracious fish go after?
It's been years since I've tasted a cutthroat trout. Maybe I'll go South and fish to keep one, one of these days. It'd almost feel like a sin, though! They are so gorgeous! Cutthroat trout fishing is catch and release only, here on the North Coast. No bait on the upper river of the Kilchis, so watch out!
The population wasn't doing so well, last year, but this year, as far as I can tell, they are back, in good numbers.
I've been having wonderful visions of Fall, lately. Especially as I gazed into the deep, clear tidal waters and noted the structure on the bottom where I'd imagine huge Fall Chinook hiding. Bill and I kept thinking, "I'd love to put a big K-15 there... and here... and!!!!" Visions of those huge snub nose monsters, nosing into fallen logs on the bottom of the river. I love that pretense of Fall and all of the memories I have of wonderful days on the rivers! Every now and then I smell Fall coming, in the air. Soon... blackberries! Dusty days on the upper river, where Fall waits, and the salmon are held back until the first storm of the season! As I cast a fly, I imagine the chum salmon that boil in the shallows! Whoo hooo!
It's an absolutely beautiful day, today. Rain is predicted to return, later this weekend. I think this calls for a cup of coffee out by my garden. That's a wonderful way to start the day, and a good time to thank God for all the trout I've been blessed with.

July 9th 2005

I can't begin to tell you the depth of emotion I feel over Andrew moving. The big day is tomorrow.
It started nearly a month ago. Every morning he'd wake up and come to me. "Twenty nine more days, Mum! Are you sad?"
What an odd question! With excitement in his voice, he wants to know how badly it hurts me? Men are so weird! This is what I had to listen to for a full month.
Well, yes, I'm sad. It's a huge thing for me!
The other night the boys and I were preparing dinner. We were laughing, having fun, light hearted joking filled the air. Out of the blue, I stopped all conversation with, "I wish you guys would have fought more." Silence fell over the room as they looked at me, puzzled.
"Well? Then I'd have something to be excited about missing!"
The boys never fought. If they did, it was one angry word, a slammed door, and then fifteen minutes later, laughing and talking, as normal. If they'd fought, I could look forward to peace.
All I have to look forward to is an awkward silence. I can't honestly look forward to anything that I can think of right now. It totally escapes me. What good will this be?
Doomsday thoughts keep coming up. It will never be the same. No matter if he moves back, someday. It will never be the same.
I've done a good job. I know I have. He's a good kid, and I'm very proud of him. It's time to let him go. I know that. Everything is natural, normal, and extremely sad!
Once I had a letter from a well meaning person on ifish, telling me to set him free, already! Don't help him! Let him go on his own! She asked why I was making such a fuss.
Maybe some Moms can do that. This one can't. I spent too many days and nights holding his hand in a hospital, I think. Too many doctors appointments, and scary times wondering what his fortune and future might be. I thank God that he can now see with at least one eye. I still worry about that call I might get one day, saying his aorta is troubling him or heaven forbid, worse. I worry that he won't go get annual check ups, or that he'll ignore the lifting restrictions the doctors recommend. It's up to him, now, and I am freely, although with misty eyes, letting him fly.
I have prayed for him, and even prayed for his future mate, since he was a baby. At that time, I had a stereo underneath his crib, and played all kinds of classical music for him as he slept. He does appreciate good music now. I think it stuck.
It's time, probably, to pull out some baby pictures, and do what "Mums" do. Cry over the good old days. The vacations at Disneyland... The summer pools we splashed in, the winter snows we sledded in. The long drives to doctors together in Portland. The lunches out. We really are best friends.
This morning I went to Fred Meyers and shopped down the cleaning isle. I thought about everything a guy would need, but not think of, to move into an apartment. I bought a can of Comet, some windex, a dish washing brush, a sponge, some laundry detergent... all kinds of things he'll need. I gathered them together and put them in a brand new waste basket. They all fit! Even the broom and dust pan, and toilet brush handle fit down neatly in it.
When he saw it, he said, "Oh... Mum! That'll be great! Thank you!" I was glad to help. Glad to fit in... somewhere, still.
There will be different pleasures, now. Care packages... long visits on the phone, adventures he'll share, and problems, of course. I'll be his council. I'll be his ear.
I'm not renting out his room, yet. I don't expect him to give up, but if he should, he's always welcome.
And so, as I gathered my rod and tackle in hand, I walked out to the river. I passed his room, as always. He usually shouts out, "Hey Ma..." But this time, the window was open as usual, but with the furniture gone, it seemed so empty. I meekly whispered, "Andrew?"
He popped his head out. "Yeah?"
The tears fell from my eyes with utter abandon. I promised myself I wouldn't do this in front of him!
I stammered, "It will never be the same, Roo!" (I can call him that, you know... He will always be my baby!)
He was a bit taken back, but managed to say. "Do you want to come with me, Mum?"
We both know that he's kidding, of course.
I couldn't answer, and instead, turned... and tried to hide the rising tide of tears. I was speechless. Why is part of me mad at him? Why do I feel kind of abandoned? Like a good friend is turning their back on me? How silly!
I continued on my way to the river, as he said, "Mum? Do you?"
As I cast out into the river, I noticed that the river had come up about a foot from the previous day. The rains had collected, and changed the summer levels into a rush of heavy current. My tears only raised the level more!
The tears poured steady until I hooked a fat bodied cutt on my fly. I released him, and he flipped in the air in celebration of his freedom. Now, that made me smile.
"Roo?" I said to myself... "Oh, how I'd like to go with you! I would! You have no idea how much!!"
As I sat still, at the base of the fast flowing river, so many thoughts filled my mind. So many memories!
A feeling of contentment came over me, as I walked back to the house.
I'd have to say that there is a definite rush and satisfaction in releasing a fish to continue on their journey. I often fight the urge to hold and to admire them for just a bit longer before they swim off. I have to fight that persistent urge to keep it for my very own.
I am letting Andrew go, turning him over to the world. This has got to be the biggest and most special darn fish that I've ever released in my entire life!
Good Luck and Godspeed to you, &Roo!

July 12th 2005

Well, I'm glad to be home. Turns out, I had to stay overnight in Portland to sign Andrew's rental agreement for him. He's yet to be 18. He'll turn 18 in August.
That was a very tiring weekend. I'm still not up to traveling like I used to be.
First thing I did when I got home is walk to the river. Man, it was silent. The rain poured sideways, as the wind blew with all of it's might. "This is July?" I repeated over and over, into the weather. The water has yet to be low, this summer. It still appears there could be steelhead in this water! There isn't, of course, but it resembles winter steelhead water!
The sky shows hope, this morning. Hope that the sun may shine! They are reporting that it will be nice this weekend. That would be wonderful!
Well, it's off to catch up on decal orders, and maybe a short walk on the river!


July 14th 2005

My orchid, in full bloom!
(Click for a bigger picture!)

My sister says she is going to bow down at my feet. I not only kept my orchid alive, but it's blooming!
The funny thing is that I didn't realize the gift giver had a cottage cheese container over the bottom of the pot. All of this time, the roots have been soaking. Everything I read on orchids said not to over water. Now that I've removed that container... it will most probably die! I hope not, though!
Oh, my aching shoulders! It's a sure sign that I'm not fly fishing correctly. Isn't it? I get so frustrated with my three weight rod. It's so flimsy that it's hard to get a long cast out of it. So, instead of letting the rod do the work, I try to force the darned thing. Wrong!
I've been having a great time with it, though! There are some big cutts out there!
My garden is finally coming alive! It's been long and slow in coming, this year. I had fresh potatoes and beet greens for dinner last night. Yum!
I'm going to try to make pickled beets this week. I've never done that, and I don't know how to can them. However, I'm going to learn! I absolutely adore pickled beets! I could eat them by the can... all by myself!
The canyon is totally fogged in this morning. I'm hoping that means sunshine later in the day. I really need some warmth on these old, cold bones of mine! A day, laying in the sun, reading the rest of a book that I'm midway in. "Highlanders" by William McCloskey has turned into a page turner! At first, I just skimmed through it, but now that I'm midway, it's a page turner! I love stories of Alaskan life and this is a keeper.
Off I go-- I've never in my life kept my winter clothes out all year, until this year. When, oh when will I get to wear shorts?
Oh... and Andrew? Hope you are having a nice day. We miss you, dearly.

July 16th 2005

Today is the Salty Dogs event!
"The First Annual Coast Guard Appreciation Day" will be held at Station Yaquina Bay in Newport Oregon on 16 July 2005 from 2-6 pm. Click here for "The Coast Guard Appreciation" link.
Several people will be there. I think this is just great that we are realizing how much the Coast Guard means to our safety. I am really proud that they have actively taken part in our discussion forums to help keep us safe.
Sometimes on the board, a member will ask a question, and they are right there with the correct and up to date information. That's awesome.. isn't it?
I am going to be there, along with all of the other Salty Dogs... even if I don't fish the salt, much. I want to take pictures, see my old friends, and meet lots of new people!
Oh yeah... How about a little combat Ifishing? Aren't those cool? An ifisher, Vincent-- sent these to me! Greetings from Iraq!

July 18th 2005

Let the dreams begin! Twice now, perhaps more, I've had "flashes of Fall". Awesome observations of Autumn fill my mind with a welcome invitation to Indian Summer!
It happens most often as I'm on the water, gazing down at the mystical, watery magic on the Kilchis river bottom. It brings such amazing visions! As if out of nowhere, I expect to see huge lunker salmon, nosing up to dead heads, lying on the bottom of the deepest holes in the clear and cool depths.
They aren't there, of course. It's only in my imagination, but still, I stare. I feel a surge of energy.
Still, I feel that old 'Fall forward' feeling, as one accidental leaf floats from it's Mother tree and lights upon the yet green grasses.
Yesterday I hopped in the canoe that sits lonely on it's river beach. The kids used to have so much fun in this old canoe. It took a heck of a beating as they slid high from the rocky river bank in an attempt to land in the water, still afloat. More often then not, they'd end up splashing to a giggling halt, but that was all the more fun!
Yesterday was windy in the afternoon. When the ripples on the water would clear, I'd study the structure of the river. Right where I'd hook a salmon, I'd stop and try to maintain my position. Oh! I'll put my Kwikfish right there! Or there! What a grand place for a salmon to hold! And the steelhead-- over here!-- and-- oh darn, another wave of wind took over the river's clear slate, and my dreams would vanish.
Paddling gently to the other side, I got out, and walked in the late afternoon sunshine on the white, moss dried rocks. It's like walking on the moon, I thought. "Where no man has gone before..."
Of course, in the Fall, this river bank is often busy and populated. But, the crisply dried moss under my feet gave no evidence of past fishing seasons.
The river sang a lonely song, as I made my way to the deepest hole, by foot. The wind howled in the trees, and the sun shone hot on my back. Everything was ghostly quiet, other than the squawk of a crow, and the tiniest voice of a dipper, trying to escape my dogs frantic chase. The ghost of my children's summer frolic sang loud and taunting in my memory. Screams of laughter, shrills of cold water folly, and yelling for their friends to catch a frisbee.
The silence was almost cruel.
I didn't have a fishing rod. I was simply there for an outing. I sighed, and walked back to the canoe. I stepped into it daintily, and paddled back home. On the way across, I saw a couple dandy cutthroat, gathering for their late night bite. As always, I scolded myself for being too lazy to bring a fly rod. I would have liked to hook one. I was in the mood for a little contact, a little fight, a little giggle, if only from myself.
On the way to the house, I noted the trampoline which now owns it's own advertisement in the local newspaper classifieds. With Andrew gone, we are minus one hand to move it to mow underneath it. Long, finger like shadows were cast over it from the surrounding and encroaching blackberries. It gave me a chill, even in the warm summer wind.
You know, I'm really looking forward to bathing all of my attention on my youngest, David, now that Andrew is gone. It really does all work out. The attention that Andrew received alone, in his first few years, now goes to David, in his last years, at home.
I look forward to special times, long talks, and long laughs in the kitchen together, late at night. Especially now that I know that children really do leave home! I think when we have children, we think they'll be living with us, forever. Up till the very end, I think I was in denial that Andrew was really leaving home. Eighteen years seems such a long, long time. But, it does end! I know that now. Oh, boy, do I know that!
And with that knowledge, I'm going to make certain that these last two years that David has, are the best that we've ever had, together.
Now, if I can only get him to fish with me!
I am enjoying summer, but I'm sure looking forward to Fall. And with that, I'm dreaming of more than just fishes. I'm dreaming of getting David into the biggest, fattest salmon that he could ever hope for.
For some reason, I could take Andrew fishing, and he would always catch fish. The only ingredient that was missing, was his excitement over it. I could never get David into a fish, and that is my goal. Maybe if I could, he'd change his mind, and be my fishing buddy for life? I doubt that... but it's worth a try!
With that thought, I closed the door on another summer's eve, and looked forward to being one step closer to Fall.

I wanted to tell you how honored I was to receive a medal from the Yaquina Bay Coast Guard, on Sunday. I don't really feel that I deserve it, but I was sure honored! The Salty Dogs have worked so hard to create and maintain a camaraderie of fishers so unique in their loyalty to one another.
The party was fantastic, and I had a great time! The links to some of the pictures are here!
Thank you!
Oh yeah! Please enter the Okuma "Kids Fishing" picture contest! Win a new reel!

July 21st 2005

Lots going on! Ifishstock is this weekend. Will you be there? It's the first time that I haven't put it on, myself, so I am really looking forward to it! I just get to visit and play!
I'm also going to a wedding this weekend, and am playing piano for a very short time. (That is, IF I can play!) Marfan syndrome is so weird. It's a connective tissue disorder, and right now, one of my fingernails is separating from the bed, and it hurts! I'm not practicing much, because I don't want it to get worse.
Looks like thunderstorms, later today. How exciting! That is, if it's not too dry out. Hope that it doesn't cause troublesome fires.
Be safe- if you are in a boat! Follow all the rules of boating safety with lightning. Nothing like sitting out in a metal boat, holding a lightning rod!
Well, I'm off for the day. Hope you stay cool! Here at the beach, it's not so toasty, yet still warm and nice.
We have so many baby grosbeaks around. They are just a hoot to watch!

July 23rd 2005

Yikes! Life just goes too fast! Every time I sit down to write, I see the days and months just fly by! I start a new month's page on ifish and before I know it, I'm starting a new one again!
I can recall when I didn't even know the words, "web site!"
Sometimes I look at my archives, and I'm blown away. Have I really been doing this, this long? I'm on my 8th year! I started before December of '98, but I didn't archive until then.
Sometimes I wonder how long I will do this. Shall I make it an even 10 years? Or will I just go on forever? Will I stop when my last child leaves home? Will things be so different then, that I won't know what to write about? Or, will I finally decide to sell ifish and walk off on the foggy river bank until you can't see me anymore?
If I do ever would sell, will I still stay involved? How on earth can a person sell their baby? And yes, Ifish feels like one of my babies! I don't know if I could even watch, as a new owner would change and manipulate things that I created, and love. I can just see it now! "Oh! You can't do THAT!" (giggle!)
I've had folks approach me about selling. Some of them immediately turn me off with the "Baby I could make you a star." kind of sales pitch. "You could be rich! I'll send you all over the world to catch fish and report back!" Oh! The luxury that would be! Unfortunately, I'm physically unable at this point in my life! If only I were younger! If only I believed that could happen!!!
There are others that are interested in ifish, because they are in competition with who I have chosen to be sponsors of ifish. It's little to no temptation to me to sell ifish to them, because I simply couldn't sleep nights!
There are times... oh so many times, when I get so tired and so fed up by some of the 'goings on' behind the scenes. The drama, the talk, the "he said-she said".
My solution to that is to only mind my own four walls. This works out really well for me. If I don't look elsewhere, I find that I have just my own problems, and I can tackle those. It wastes my energy to go looking for problems. God gives us no more than we can handle. I've hear that loud and clearly!
Don't get me wrong. Sometimes I am so overcome by emails and whispers of train wrecks so dramatic that I can't help but look. But, when I do, I almost never find that it was worth my while to do so. This growing experience keeps me less tempted from doing it in the future. When the temptation becomes strong, I remember that my limited energy can be so much better spent on ifish! And that thought drives me away from the drama. Then, I do something to improve ifish, and in the end, I feel so much better!
Believe me, trying to learn all of the people on ifish is chore enough for me! Think about it! I try to keep up with and to learn the names, monikers, nick names, boat names, e mail addresses of just a few members. Just think about trying to learn that of 100... or one thousand! Heaven forbid! I give up! My mind is full!
There are so many aspects of trying to keep ifish running, that I can't believe I've held on this long. I kind of skate over the surface of it all. So far, it's all held together. I can't imagine what would happen if I stopped praying about it. Prayer has been the glue to all of ifish!
And now, as I look forward to meeting yet more ifishers tomorrow at our fifth annual ifishstock, it occurs to me that I can't even think about selling ifish, right now.
It would be just one more thing on my plate... and one more thing, I have no time for!
So, ladies and gents, you are stuck with me!
Can't wait to see you all tomorrow!
Join us at Sellwood park in Portland. This one is put on by Ryan Pultz, who I thank from the bottom of my heart! Due to my illness, I was going to skip this year, but he took it on, with full force. Come on by and tell him thank you!
It will be held from 1 to 4 on the lawn of the Waterfront Sellwood park. (Not the old park on the hill!)
Bring a smile, something to bbq, and maybe a salad or dessert and be ready to make friends for life! I sure have!
As I look back at all of the friends I have made, it occurs to me that nothing could be more valuable!
By the way... you know what helps me through life? (One of the things?) Go out of your way to do something nice for someone, today. Anything... just a little thing, even. Write a note and send it in the mail, telling them they are appreciated. Or, bring someone some flowers or a small gift, out of the blue. It takes so little effort, and you will feel good, all day! It's much better medicine than what is available on the shelf... believe me! :)

July 25th 2005

Last night, Bill said. "Really a nice group of people, aren't they?" Yes! I have never met a greater group of people!
Next time, if you have the chance, attend one of the ifish gatherings. Here is a thread to the current thread about ifishstock.
Here is one, with pictures!
I thought the Salty Dogs gathering was great, and I still do, but this one was great, too!
There were so many dogs! I think you can tell a group of nice people, by how many dogs are in attendance! What a crazy mix of twisted leashes we were!
Kilchis, normally semi-well behaved, was so struck by the social experience that he forgot what my voice commands were! Forget the hand commands, too! Remember, he lives out on the Kilchis, where no other dogs roam! He was so busy sniffing and darting around, that I had no control!
I was so struck by meeting new folks and their dogs, that pretty soon my legs were just acting as sticks to hold me up. I kept thinking, "I have to sit down!" But, then I'd meet someone new, and stand there to talk. I paid for that, last sleepless night, but it was all worth it!
Their were barbecues going everywhere, and tables full of food and oh! The chocolate cake was divine!
I have great feelings about ifish, and all of this only cements my reasons to stay put, doing what I love. Thank you to all the good folks in the world, that like to fish... and when we can't, come right here, to ifish!

July 26th 2005
Fort Steven's Salmon Charters

Brushing the sand off my hands, pants and shoes, I'd enter the seaside bait store, and breathlessly yell, "Rosalie! Are you here?" The bite was on, and I had ran out of bait... again!
It was a complicated journey from the end of the Hammond jetty, to Rosalie's bait shop. Over the rocks I'd slip, onto the sandy beach, and up the ever changing rock and sandy beach to my car. I can't begin to count the scrapes, bruises and falls. I was so much younger, then! I know that, because I wouldn't dare tackle that task, now. At least, not with the breathless excitement and speed that I displayed back then!
The older men sitting on the beach in the lounge chairs, rod holder by their side, would laugh at me as they watched my panicked race.
"Out of bait again, Jennie? Need to borrow some?" They'd laugh.
No! Even though they loved to tease, and they lovingly nicknamed me "Mrs. Borrowitz", I worked hard to overcome that name. Yes, when I first started fishing there, I gained a reputation for borrowing both knowledge, and equipment. In the beginning, I'd bring the wrong size sinker, or run out of leader. But, as the seasons passed, I fast became an expert (if only in my own mind), and I was determined to buy my own bait! Should there be any left over, I'd give mine away at the end of the day, too! After I learned the ropes, I wanted every fish I caught, to be totally owned by me!
By the way a seagull flies, Rosalie's bait shop wasn't far. Just a couple of blocks. But I wasn't blessed with the wings of a seagull. I had to go by car.
Rosalie would greet me from somewhere in the back of the store, where her husband and she would keep busy readying for the days fishermen (and women!).
Sometimes, I'd be out of luck, as I hadn't pre-ordered bait, and I was handed yesterday's bait. It didn't matter! They were still blessed, and I'd still catch fish!
I think that my biggest help was Rosalie's confidence in me to catch fish! She always filled me with the knowledge and a "go at it!" attitude! The reports she'd give me were accurate, as to whether I should fish the big beach, or the jetty. It was a supreme pleasure for me to give her a wonderful report, as I'd stop after a long day to show her my catch!

The time is fast approaching once again. That wonderful season that is filled with warm summer nights and visions of silver salmon jumping on the end of my line. Evenings where I'd sit on the beach with my friend Ben, (who I met on the beaches of the Columbia) and sip coffee and eat sandy sandwiches as we'd wait for our bell to go off.
Occasionally, on early mornings, I'd be the first to the beach! I'd climb out to my spot on the rocks, and sit for hours, waiting for my turn.
Wasn't it a surprise for me to get an e mail from Rosalie's son after all these years! He sent me pictures of Rosalie, and the memories flooded back with a salty rush.
Oh! What long, wonderful days those were! Oh! What freedom I felt, as my then husband would give me the day off from Mothering, to sit amongst my fishing peers on my rocky perch overlooking the bay. Ships would pass, and their waves would have me scurrying up the rocks to reach a safe dry place, where no wake could get me!
It is with incredible honor that I dedicate this page on ifish to Rosalie! My friend, my mentor, and my "blessed herring" dealer.
It's so good to know that you, too, can get your herring from Rosalie, and may all of your fishing days be blessed! (Rosalie style!)
Also, if you need bait and can't get to Rosalie's, check out the ifish B-10 Bait list! If you know of any other places, let me know! The phone number listing is free!
Oh! And look what I've done with Andrew's old room! Isn't the color pretty?


July 29th 2005

The other morning I woke up, sniffed the air, observed the fog that had settled thick and low, and walked downstairs. "Let's get out the bobbers and go fish tidewater for chinook!" Everything screamed Fall to me!
Of course it's way too early for Fall Chinook, but that's not what the day was shouting! I absolutely adore that feeling! Talk about an instant mood brightener! Just give me a whiff of Fall! Someone should market that smell and sell it in a tube! Just mix a little in your coffee, and you'd have an instant wonderful wake up! Hey! I found a new drug!
I have the absolute cutest little baby violet green swallows outside my window, right now. They are still in their house, or mostly, anyway! There are two of them, and they pop their little heads out of the hole we built in the house, and open their mouths wide, waiting for their food. They get all twisted up together and it's a wonder they haven't fallen out. They are so eager to grow, live, and what a racket those little mouths make! I'll never forget the first sign of them. I was watering the flowers underneath their bird house, and I heard the tiniest of "cheeps". I turned off the hose to listen. Yes! Babies! Soon, I noticed their parents swooping around me, trying to ward me off. I moved, and watched. Sure enough, there were Mom and Dad, entering the house to care for their babies. This is the second batch this year. I wonder how long they'll live in the house, before it's quiet and abandoned for the winter months?
I have a renewed strength for life, lately. It's a wonderful feeling to look forward to Fall.
Finally, I'm feeling nearly human. As long as I don't overdo it, I'm good. Two days ago, I decided to try out my wings and go for a walk. I'm trying to walk further each day. The problem is that our driveway is steep. By the time I get to the top, I'm ready to quit! In fact, most days I can't get to the darn top before my heart races. That scares me enough to head back down. But once... I continued. It set me back a couple days. I guess I'm not ready for that. Now, I drive my car to the top, park, and go for a little walk. Why is it that I always live where there is no flat ground for walking or biking? I can't complain. It's beautiful, here... and although the rocks are difficult to negotiate for me, the river is still my best walking area.
Next week I have my three month CT scan. I so hope I pass that with flying colors. I do not want to feel this renewed strength and energy only to find out I have to have more heart surgery. My prayers about it are intense. Please! I feel better! Let me go on! The thought of the exam and the resulting stress until the tests come back are daunting to me. I don't want to play doctor! Of course, I have to, and I do want to know, I suppose... if something is wrong. If God grants me the next three months of good health, I'll be so grateful!
It's odd, living on three month passes, but it also keeps your attitude in check. I feel more blessed about life, and it's a constant reminder to appreciate life and every little thing, living around me.
Last night, I wrote this on the mod board. Some people wonder what we talk about, on that board. Oh! It's really secret, and very interesting... not!
Here is a sample:

The 'bapely birtlies' (violet green swallows) are sound asleep in their wooden home.
The chickens are heading for their roost.
The does and their fawn(s) are tucking into the bushes, away from the predators. They hide in the deep grasses.
The barn swallows are finishing up their snacks that swarm over the river. They dive a few last times, before heading to our shed to nest down.
One lone blue heron makes it's last run up the river, making a shrill and raucous call to all that live near. He does this each night. I've never figured out why, but I've figured out when.
It's bed time.
I can hear the most faint call of a pack of coyotes, coming from up by the park. It starts with one, and pretty soon a full chorus ensues. I wonder what the campers think of that!

It's bedtime on the river.
It's bedtime for me, too.

Night night--

--and now, it's time to get up. I heard the heron squawk his morning call. I've seen five deer, heading for the woods, and I've heard the tiny voices of the violet greens.
It's time to shower. Bill is taking me cutthroat fishing this morning for a little while. I can't wait to stare into the depths of the water, and imagine huge salmon swimming underneath me. They aren't there, but they will be!
I anticipate great things.
Yup. I like that. Pretty much says it all.
I anticipate great things!

July 31st 2005

Fledgling violet green swallows!
I think they've left their nest!
Summer is truly winding down.

I fished Nehalem yesterday with 'Pete' and 'Blind Chicken Fishing'. (As I write that, I realize how funny it must sound!) Yes, Pete and Blind Chicken Fishing are members of the Ifish board. I love the names people come up with!
Without Ifish, I'd know neither of them.
I was supposed to meet them at 7, but I accidentally slept in. I finally pulled up at the doc, a little after 8. What a beautiful day on the river! By nine, I was pulling layers off until I sat with my sun shirt on a windless morning on a glassy bay. Sunshine warm enough for sun bathing, and fishing, too? Now that is a rare and special combo on the coast! I've seen it so seldom!
Blind Chicken had me in hysterics. He is one animated and funny guy. I have to tell you, I was so sleepy as I first entered the boat, that his non stop energetic comedy line was a little intimidating, but before long, I was staggering with laughter.
In fact, when I finally decided to call it quits, it was a challenge to walk the dock and not fall in! I was doubled over with laughter!
Fish? What fish? There were no fish in that bay! We all decided that with such beautiful weather and such great company, we needed no fish! They would just interrupt our good times.
We discussed extremely heavy subjects like ebay addiction. I now buy everything there. Even my milk, bread, and eggs.
I stayed for only an hour and a half, but I had a great time. I can't move my neck, now. I have to finally admit that fishing with even a 4 oz. weight, pulling spinners, I get sore. I have to learn to rotate pulling herring, where I can put my rod in the holder, and pulling spinners.
I adore holding my fishing rod, though, and feeling the "thump, thump, thump" of a perfectly working spinner. I love the anticipation of a slack bite. It's just so much more fun to feel the bite. Who wants to just see it in the rod holder? It's what I live for!
So, I'm trying to see if there is any chance I could find a sports fitness expert to teach me exercises that would help me be stronger. Short periods of holding a rod shouldn't do this to me! Doesn't that seem cruel and unfair? That the thing I enjoy most in life hurts? I don't know, but the irony almost makes me laugh.
I just sent off dinner to my son, &roo. Now, I have to e mail instructions on how to prepare it.
Stan Fagerstrom sent me a wonderful book, "The Purpose Driven Life." I am enjoying it thoroughly! The only problem is that you are only to read one chapter a day, and I'm having trouble with that!!!
What a beautiful day it is! Now, get out there and enjoy it!
Oh! By the way-- I did some testing with the Wolfgang Puck self heating coffees. I bought the "Rich Espresso Latte". The link is here. I found this link interesting, also!
I can see that having these in the drift boat for emergencies would be worth having. They are heavy! Mine tastes a bit like hot instant breakfast or something, but hot is the key word, here. It is hot!
The minerals inside cause an exothermic reaction.
They are a bit on the expensive side. I only wonder if I would keep putting off opening it, if only because of the cost! No more than a latte at a drive through, but still... 2.50 a can seems like enough to put me off opening one!

A journal of my adventures.