Fishing The Coast, Oregon and Washington
July 2008

June, finally! Can we have some sunshine? Please?

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July 1st

Happy First! It's officially summer when it hits July first. It's also the start of good weather, officially, on July 4th. Plus-- as soon as this all hits, the birds of spring start to thin out, (sniff) the grasses start to turn a little brown, and all of the sudden, out of no where... pht!
The thought, the joy, the wonder of Fall salmon fills the air!
Can you feel it? Just a little bit? It's like the build up before Christmas, and each year for me, I start it just a little bit earlier! This year, I'm starting now! There is just a hint of the build up towards Fall! I can! I can feel it!
I'll never forget when I first moved here. I asked the neighbors who previously owned the house when the salmon came. "After the first good rain."
The driveway is dry right now. It will remain mostly dry for the rest of the summer.
When the school buses start up and remind me (sniff) of the days I had kids, it will get nearly unbearable for me. I'll walk down to the river and gaze at the low water levels. I'll try to imagine that soon the water will be in full force. It's so hard to visualize when the water is so low that you can walk across it with no problem. It's like trying to imagine a Christmas Tree on your outdoor summer patio! But, I can do it!
Yesterday was a special day. My Dad and his friend Mel came to go fishing with Bill. I didn't go. Our boat comfortably fits three, and they were going out to the jaws. I didn't want to bounce around, sitting in the bow. I wanted my Dad to have a great chance at catching a salmon. He is 83 and I just wanted to make that contribution. He started me in fishing!
That didn't happen, but they had the best time!
Plus, my Dad has been hungry for this casserole that my Mom used to make. Even though it's not very normal for me to fit into the mold of the 'Mom who stays home to cook', I did. I did it for my Dad.
I made the best casserole that I had made in a long time! The casserole is a very rich one, with lots of fattening ingredients. It's a meatball casserole with little flaky cheese biscuits and gravy on top. My biscuits were wonderful! The whole thing was! We broke open a bottle of 95 cabernet. Yum!
And earlier, on the way home from the store, the Strawberry ladies were selling the last of the Hood Strawberries, so I picked up a flat and made shortcakes, too! Yum! The whole dinner was wonderful!
Being raised in a family with two older sisters, I was not known for my culinary capabilities. I was the baby who got fed. I had wonderful teachers, though and yesterday I think I broke the mold! My dinner was fabulous!
My Dad called my brothers and sisters on the way home to tell them all of the wonderful time he had! I was (and still am) glowing with pride! I did good! Bill and I did good!
I'm going to get dressed and go out and tease the cutts, now. Just imagine, though... this little cutthroat stream will be full and flowing like a river, soon. Fall. It's in the air!
When my Dad went to leave, we promised him a trip in the Fall where we will catch salmon. I'm not giving up on that promise to him. I can't wait!

July 1st (later)

Check out Stan's column. It's finally up! I know, I know, I'm late! All you fly tiers out there, rejoice! Part three awaits you!

July 2nd

Someone wrote me the most beautiful note a while back. I kept it to read when I was feeling down. (I do that, you know!)
I wasn't feeling down, but came across it, today. I can't figure out who this one is from! If it's you, please let me know! I'm not going to write the whole thing out, but it was on stationary with steelhead on the front, made by Linn Haak, and it says "twenty seven stars steelhead" on the back.
If it was you, could you let me know? I want you to know that you made my day! I also would love to buy these thank you notes, as I am one, also, who likes to write out thank you notes. Especially yummy ones like this one!
I'm mad at Kilchis, my dog. I don't know what it is, but if there is a NW wind blowing, I can't get the canoe back to my landing point, on the beach. Equally, Kilchis likes to bark me out onto the river, if there is a NW wind blowing. I swear! It's true! I often just sit in the beached canoe, while he digs holes. But, if there is a wind blowing like this, he barks until I launch. He swims along side me, and then leaves! I can't for the life of me get back to the beach! Why is it that I don't learn?
Kilchis goes back to the beach and laughs at me, while I fight the wind, the canoe spinning sideways, and me sweating bullets, trying to get back. I can't just land anywhere or in any position. I have it figured so that I go real fast bow-forward onto the sand. If done correctly, the canoe slides up the beach until it's stable, and I don't get my feet wet. If done incorrectly, well... I fall in!
I think that is Kilchis' goal. He loves it when I fall in. "Oh! Mom's splashing! Let's play!"
Canoes aren't built for wind at all. Slight winds can turn an easy 10 foot row back to shore into a exhausting endeavor.
Seems the NorthWest wind has been blowing all summer. I think I'll take up some other form of exercise for a while. Like, maybe, reading nice notes people have sent me. Was it you?
OK. Truth have it? I'm all wet. Kilchis is laughing, still

.July 3rd

Just a short update and misprint. The URL for donations has changed to this address.
We are trying to get this all straightened out! We bought a new doo hickey that makes it so that people registered and likewise, not registered on the board, can donate in the same place.
All links at the top of ifish work, now, where it says "donate", and the honors page, where folks are listed, also contains a donation link that works. (I hope!- LOL)
Keeping ifish all linked up is not easy!
If you want to buy ifish or salty dog decals, that link is here.
If you want to buy a tee shirt or hat or something else, please visit Scappoose Outfitters. They are the official ifish store!

July 4th

What better fireworks than this!

My Freesia are blooming!
My blueberries are ripe!
I have all of the colors of the
Stars and the stripes!

John Wayne gives me shivers!
Why do I love America?

(from Sagebrushpatriot.com)

It's a rainy day. That's cool! (Pun intended.)
It's not supposed to be nice in the summer until July 5th! This is right on theme!
There are multiple reasons to celebrate! Capt. Mark Charlton just wrote me to say:
Great news!
Sturgeon will reopen July 10th, 11th and 12th, and the following week on July 17th, 18th and 19th. If the quota is not met we'll get July 26th and 27th!
The Sturgeon are thick! We haven't been able to fish this late for years! Should be limits every day its open, so get reservations in before I book up! Also, the salmon fishing has been good. We can fish for those Sunday through Thursday only, this year, and you can keep two Chinook or Two Coho. There has been some 30 lb Chinook already!
Thanks!
Capt Mark 503-338-0569

It's cold, drizzly and damp out! I went to the store to buy something to bbq. There is a neat thread on LIG about BBQ by Pearl. He is so awesome!
Also, you Traeger owners- (that means me, too!) Get your camera out and take some pics of that food! You can win, bigtime! Hogmaster's pictures make me hungry! Sheesh!
If you haven't got a Traeger, yet, now is the time. Meet Iwish! He knows so much about them!
OK, get out there-- put your rain hats on and celebrate!
Happy Birthday, America! Do your kids know the pledge of Allegiance? Do you?

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands. One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

If you are proud of your country, show your colors!

July 5th

Well, I had a challenging day, yesterday. It was one thing after another!
See those beautiful freesia, below? Gone! Poof! Three months of hard labor and great expectations of wonderful fragrance to be... and poof!
I went upstairs to the deck. You know, I check my plants multi times daily. I just like to watch the progress. Each and every bulb in each and every planter was dug up! Upstairs! On the deck! Dirt clods everywhere, and broken clumps of bulbs laying about.
Blue Jaws?
Squirrels?
Rats?
Chipmunks?
Grosbeak?
Who did it!?
Whatever critter you may be, you are off my love list!
As long as I'm on a rant, I'm soaking wet. I thought that July 5th was the start of good weather?!
After watching way too many "Deadliest Catch" shows, I had had enough, and got up, despite the soaking rain, and went out to the river with the dogs. I got out there, without fishing equipment and took a look-see at the river. Oh... I couldn't stand it! I went back to get my fly rod.
I slipped my way to the riverside and made cast after cast, but most of all? I got wet! Soaking wet!
It was nice, tho. I do love Oregon and how green it is, and I do love casting for cutts, even if I only got one small fish.
Things as simple as black wet and shiny rocks delight me. Especially when they are the back drop for deep spring-green plants and bright yellow buttercup flowers.
Oh! You should see the drive out here! The big bad old mowing truck hasn't been around, so driving out here is lined with beautiful full blooms of foxglove and lovely dots of buttercup! Add in a few trailing sweet peas, some lovely dark blue something or another, and man! It's like what you would expect a road to wonderland to look like or the drive to the Emerald City in "The Wizard of Oz"! It's just glorious, and you have to drive it to believe it! I hope that bad mowing truck breaks down! I like my overgrown fire hazard full of flowers! You almost have to peek up and around corners to see the road, for all of the blooms!
I am so wet! Time to go take a shower before I begin on some French onion soup.
Perfect for today! Have a great week, y'all.
I'm still smiling.
I am!
So there!

July 8th

The sun is shining, the grass is green,
Tall trees in the canyon sway.
There has never been such a day,
In the Kilchis canyon, as today!

But it's July the 8th, and off I go!
Into the city, to the docs, oh no!

I'm dreaming of a good eye exam,
Where my retina and cornea are attached!
Where my stitches stay sewed,
and no doctor bills are owed-- lol

Alright... this isn't going to work. I have not yet enough coffee in me! I need a grande, two pump, cinnamon dolce latte, extra hot. Yes, I do!
Off to the showers and into my sundress, and off on the road, I go! Ho ho!
The sun is shining and it's beautiful out! The drive should be good, this early. I love driving over the mountain.
Chanterelles! I keep thinking of Fall and all that it offers! I can't wait!
Next week it's off to Las Vegas for ICAST. Half of the good in going is being excited to come home to my little hideout in the canyon!
Can't wait to share all the fun new products with you, from the New Product Showcase!
Can't wait to see Stan Fagerstrom and give him a warm hug!
Funny that I spend half of my time "can't waiting" and the rest remembering back to the good times! I need to spend more time being appreciative of right this minute! I'm doing that, today! Right this minute! Everything is good, right now, so why not? :)

July 9th

I drove to Portland yesterday to go to the eye doctor. I'm tickled. My vision is 20/35. Dangit, anyhow, I still can't be a commercial air pilot like I always dreamed, (lol) but at least I can see better! I can't wait until Fall salmon season. I love to watch the salmon in the river. From a boat, from shore! The chum, the chinook! Schools of chum in the riffles from a boat! I love to look down and see the huge chinook travel in the shallows and even rub against my waders! I'll never forget the first time Chris Sessions pointed out a school of big chinook from our drift boat on the Kilchis. Wow! I was blown away! I can't wait! I'll be able to see them so much better. And -It's in the air, too! Fall! Whoo hooo!
(Chris, where are you? In Kodiak? I miss you!)
Hey... Do martians laugh? I laughed last night at the thought. If martians exist, they must look down on me and yes, they must laugh.
That's OK. I laugh right back. I must keep them puzzled and intrigued by my river activity.

There she is! Each evening! -Long, thin stick in hand with small, thin rope attached. She flings it behind her in a big loop, then shoots it across the water and it lands, softly. She brings it back in little bumpy jerks, collecting it in a pile, by her feet. Sometimes she trips in it and falls to the ground. What is she seeks? Rocks?
Again and again and again, she stands, throwing and retrieving. Here, there, over in the riffles, there in the frog water. Morning, evening, no schedule.
Rope on a stick. Fling. Retrieve. Why? She drags it fast, she twitches it slow, she lets it sink, or not! Why throw rope?
The girl brings a stick to the water that seems to match the size of the water. Bigger water? Bigger stick and rope. Small water? Small stick. Hm.

There is a small bug attached to the end. Cruel woman.

I think it must be a bit like us watching an ant farm with curiosity and amazement. But, I think we understand what an ant is doing.
But to the martians? Me? Go figure!

Sometimes girl sets stick with rope down. She walks the river bank, back and forth, head down, in search of... what is it that she seeks?
Rocks?
There is a million of them all around her, and yet she still seeks rocks.
Some she picks up and puts in her pocket, only to dump over there on the path that she enters on. A path on the river bank that is already full of rocks.
Others she slams down on bigger rocks, watching them explode in a million pieces, and then running excitedly to pick up the pieces. She examines them.
Odd behavior, that.
Sometimes, though, an odd glint, a streak of light comes from the rocks in her hands and reflects prisms into the sky.
Pockets full or rocks, she sometimes pushes off from the river bank in a long and narrow floating craft. Two four legged big furry creatures jump in the water next to her, and swim alongside. She paddles with a stick across the faster water and off to the side, where the current is smooth, and the water is deep. Furry animals get out on the bank and sniff the ground. Do they seek rocks, also?
Girl stays in boat. She sets down the stick and gazes over the side. She floats to the end of the drift and does it again, gazing mindlessly. And again. And again.
What is it she seeks? Rocks?
At random, she brings her stick-with-rope and lets it drift behind her as she gazes down into the water. The rope hangs limp off the stern of the long, narrow and wobbly craft, floating loose in graceful curves and loops, but sometimes getting caught in a rock, behind her. She paddles back up and loosens it and goes on her way. Strange behavior, that.
Once she paddled back to shore and picked up a four legged small, furry black and white creature that was howling on the river bank, lonely-like.


Creature caught on film in more sturdy craft.
Water was bigger.
Creature likes crafts.

Creature sits in the bow, happy, and licks its paws, and floats back and forth, back and forth, gazing into the water.
When girl came near to shore, the four legged creature jumped out and landed in the water and ran fast to shore. Animal walks on water!
Note: Girl cannot walk on water like animal. Girl sinks. What is it that she seeks down there?
Rocks?

Can you imagine what the little green men would think when I put on my (hot pink!) dry suit and face mask and walked way up the river bank, got in the water, and floated down the river, face down? I had more fun watching the fish! But what would one think that had no clue? What is it that she seeks? Rocks?


Yikes! It's a bird, it's a plane...

If only... If only I caught more fish with that expensive Lamiglas 'rope on a stick', they'd get it. Maybe they'd understand.
And, the huge and gorgeous maple tree shades the entrance, the path, the boat ramp to the river. If it were to ever fall, they'd see the sun shine on my path of diamonds. The sun would strike the crystal agates that my friends and I have collected over the years that I've lived here on the Kilchis river. It is a rule, here, that all that fisher men and women must bring a crystal agate back and add it to my collection. I don't ask much!
Ah well, let them laugh. I've often wondered, though, what someone must think if they had no clue why we fish.
I mean, what does it appear to be, when we are trolling back and forth, back and forth in a boat on Tillamook Bay. Actually, I first wondered about this on the Kenai, when we'd race upstream in the boat and fish down, repeat. Race up and fish down, repeat... what would someone think? LOL. Especially when you aren't catching fish! Really, really strange behavior, that!
Or, sitting on a bank, watching a bobber float in the tide. Bobber starts there and ever so slowly floats downstream. Do it again. Do it again.
WHAT in the world?
I have to laugh, too! What are we thinking? What is this obsession?
Coming home from a long and difficult college term at Reed, an old friend of mine told me that she was headed to her Father's farm to work in the dirt. -That she was ready for some totally mindless physical labor. I could really relate to that, and I've never forgotten it. I am called to my own garden each day for the same reason, if not quite so dramatically. The reason, not so intense.
Fishing is near the same. Most of the people that I know that are real fishing addicts are pretty serious types in their day to day lives. They are people who use their brains in an otherwise very taxing way. Lawyers, biologists, scientists... Some folks pay for massages to relax, some go shopping, some lay out in the sun. I do all of those things, but fishing is the best medicine.
Fishing is a mindless, repetitive, relaxing activity and I think that is, most simply put, why we are drawn to it. Perhaps also, and likewise, when my fishing life decreases, that means that my other life isn't so stressful and demanding?
Our lives are so incredibly complicated at times that doing something that requires almost no thought and equally mindless repetition is a darn good thing!
And laughing about it? Oh, yeah!
Just you wait, you little green men, all! When that rope on a stick comes up with the biggest cutthroat trout you ever saw, you won't be laughing!
I will!


"Follow Your Instincts"
July 16-18 -- ICAST 2008
-at the Las Vegas Convention Center
in Las Vegas.
ICAST is the world's largest sportfishing trade show.

July 10th

Stan Fagerstrom invited me to ICAST when he first began to write for our fishing portal, www.ifish.net, many years ago!
Since then, I've been lucky enough to be a media rep, attending ICAST in Las Vegas each year.
We will be bringing back lots of information about new products for you.
"The International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades", better known as ICAST, is the world’s largest sportfishing trade show. The show, being held at the Las Vegas Convention Center July 16–18, is the cornerstone of the sportfishing industry, helping to drive sportfishing companies’ product sales year round." (ASA)
This is not like the shows we are accustomed to attending, here in the Pacific Northwest. For one, it isn't open to the public. You must be a buyer, a seller or a media representative.
The first night that STGRule and I arrive, we are excited to attend the New Product Showcase. Sometimes I think that if we attended nothing else- if we just flew in, attended the NPS and left, I'd be good to go!
Personally, I feel it's the most informative, exciting and inspirational event at ICAST. All of the cool new "fishing toys" for girls and boys are there, all lined up and waiting to be voted on!
Ruth and I carry around lists, and try to fill out as much as we are able to get around to. It gets kind of confusing, because we are given categories and a map to get around, so that we can go check everything out, and vote on it. It gets difficult, as we tend to visit with folks that we have come to know and admire.
Our very own "Dee's Diamond Flashers" won "Best of Show" in the terminal tackle category in 2007! Here he is, accepting his award for last year!
This show is so big, so important, so competitive, that if you win, you are covered by major network sports channels. Here Don is on ESPN- (along with all of the other famous and deserving winners!)
We usually fly in on the day that this portion of the show is scheduled, so by the time we attend the NPS, eat a few of the snacks they provide, and vote, we are ready to retire.
Many people choose to go out and enjoy the fabulous night life, but me? Well? I like to go back to the hotel and play with all the fancy bottles of shampoos, conditioners, oils, maybe take a hot tub, and enjoy the good life that the hotels offer!
On with the week. There are two important seminars offered at ICAST this year.
"Your Federal Manufacturers’ Excise Tax Dollars – Where Do They Go?"
and
"Knocking Out Knock-Offs: Patent and Other IP Protection for Fishing Tackle and Marine Products" I hope to attend at least one of these.
My schedule for ICAST keeps growing as both e mail and snail mail flood into my office, pre show. I pick and sort and it's so difficult! I receive e mails from ifish sponsors and non sponsors for meetings at the show, who I would ordinarily never have the delightful occasion to meet them face to face. Most of my correspondence with folks is e mail, due to the physical distance that separates us. Face to face encounters are wonderful! I get to shake their hands, look into their eyes, and learn more about the company. We talk about how we at ifish can better understand what is offered to the angler, (you) and try to bring that news here in my column, or to the discussion forum.
Let's go through some interesting factoids, regarding the show:

The Industry Resource Center
This is where you go to hang out, discuss ongoing policy issues about access to our resources; conservation and habitat restoration; the state of the industry; efforts to engage more people in fishing and boating; and how all this affects the industry’s bottom line!

This is the 7th Straight years for a sold-out show floor
The show floors will be open for 25 hours.
There will be 113 companies offering show specials.
The number of exhibitors is 431 for ICAST 2008
1,350 Booths will fill the show floor.
Over 2,000 buyers and media representatives will attend ICAST 2008.
Approximately 7000 people will attend ICAST 2008.
Approximately 10,000 attendees for ICAST and MAATS combined
ICAST takes up 350,000 square feet of exhibit space!
Ruth and I will be very, very tired at the end of this! Order up two wheelchairs, please!

July 12th

In the morning when the air is still, I open the door to the outside, and listen.
The only sound is of the birds, who rose earlier than I did. Seems that 5 AM is early enough! Unlike alot of people, I struggle to stay IN bed in the mornings. I habitually find each day exciting and I can't wait to start! I've always had that excitement, and it continues, even as I grow older. Perhaps even more so!
Likewise, unlike some others who find their best creative times in the evening, or even late at night, I'm long gone by then. I know at the first sign of negative thinking that it's time for me to hit the sack, and believe me! It's not hard for me to tell when that is, if only I'd remember the rule to GO TO BED, Jennie!!
Funny, if I ever forget, the moderators on ifish are sure to tell me! I think it was Crabbait, who used to always say to me, (at that time...) "Hey, Jen! How bout that hot bath?"
On the last few mornings, the break of dawn has been absolutely still. Although the sunrise and sunset are later here in the canyon, the blue true dream of sky promises a day of sunshine, if you look straight up.
Excited to be more a part of it, I slip my boots on, even if I'm yet in my robe, and make my way out to the river beach with the dogs.
Tracks in the sand tell me about the visitors in the night. A swervy trail in triplicate winds it's way down to the river where a beaver drug its 'kill'. The logging operation had been working all night, I see. There are sticks and stems littering the trail all the way down, and if I look back, I see the alder victim standing straight up in the brush. There it is! A tree trunk, chiseled with a sharply pointed tip, like an arrow pointing to the sky.
'Hope I don't fall on that!
Deer prints polka dot the sand. Some small, some larger.
I drag the canoe off the beach. It slides easily over the rocks.
As I get in, it wobbles and threatens to throw me. Whoa, Nellie! I finally have the hang of this... I think! Canoes are like horses- unpredictable!
Small wakes ripple as I adjust. It barely disturbs the glassy water and then clears.
The air is cool. Cold, almost. I heard on the weather forecast that it was a record cold the other night. I believe it!
My robe soaks up any water in the bottom of the canoe and my bare legs shiver as it touches.
But as I make my way out to the middle of the river, it's all different. Everything changes!
The bright sunlight breaks over the tree line and hits me hard. It warms me to my core, almost instantly. Ever feel that feeling? It reminds me of being under the cool trees in our lake-side cabin at Diamond Lake, and finally making my way to the sunshine along the shores of the lake. Exactly the same, and those childhood memories warm my heart, the same way. I can even smell the maple syrup and the bacon that Grandma fried up, in the cabin.
We are going to Diamond Lake later in the summer. I really can't wait! Velveeta cheese and Pautzkes! Here we come!
I slip my cold feet out of my boots and wiggle my toes at the sunshine, too. My wet robe ends seem to steam in the sunshine.
You have to realize that my home on the Kilchis river is down in the bottom of a forested tube. All around me stand old growth trees that shade everything. In the winter time, the sun does not reach any part of our property. In the summer, it does, but mostly at high noon and about. Not only are the trees giant monsters that stand tall, but they line up on a steep mountainside on all sides, surrounding me!
In the winter, during a storm, you can tell when a gust of wind is to hit. I stand with my fishing rod in hand, and try to cast before or after I see the trees begin to move on the highest stand of mountain. I know, then, that a blast of wind is coming straight down the river. That predicts for me when my cast will either fly to the other side, unstopped, or hit the wind head on and land four feet from where I'm standing on the shore!
The wind is like the energy that knocks down a line of dominoes, except the trees bend and hopefully don't fall. Sometimes, though, you can watch the trees fall, just like a stand of dominoes. One after another, in a trail of unseen energy.
But, today, I sit in my canoe and there is not a breath of wind stirring. It is so still in my canoe that my coffee sits in the bottom of the boat, unspilled. Fresh, hot coffee in a canoe on the middle of a river with the sun warming my body and my soul!
What in this wonderful world could be better?
This is why I sing! This is why I can't wait for a new day! This is what makes me so happy! This is why I sing songs to my dog and to the world around me, (hoping no one can hear)! Why I laugh, open and full at nothing, and everything at all!! This is my true happiness, my hearts content, and it can't get any better than this!
I stare over the side and can see 10 feet down to a cutthroat, trying madly to escape my shadow.
I have to wonder, each year, why I get excited to go to Las Vegas. I look around me and think, "How crazy am I to leave this place-- ever?" And for a place with dry air and unbearably hot temperatures! For a place that seems dirty and wild and noisy! Am I nuts?
But, new adventure awaits me and I can't help but be excited to go. I'm all for adventure! I think back to when I traveled a bunch with the opera singer lady. Each time we'd get in the car to go to the airport she'd say, "Jennie! We are off on another adventure!" That stuck with me! I think, every time I get in the car alone, now.. about adventure! I do love it!
The world is big and I want to see it! I want to do it all and the sand in the hourglass is going faster and faster!
Besides, it will be all the better to come home to! I can honestly say that Ruth and I both, -by weeks end, are ready to come home, each year.
I always bring along a picture of my dog and my cat to place on my night stand, whenever, wherever I go. Oh yes, and my teddy bear that Jen and Andy got me. I'm a teddy bear kind of girl, I guess. Still, at the ripe old age of 48. Oh well!
We also bring along six thousand outfits each, that Ruth and I will change into 27 times before we go out in public.
Yesterday, after my canoe-in-the-sunshine ritual, I got dressed, got in the car and headed for town to do some errands.
My windows were open, due to the heat and stillness at home in the canyon. Ahead of me, I noticed this slight white haze in the sky. It was droplets of moisture in the air, ahead of me. They hadn't yet formed a bank of fog. Still mixed in the air, unorganized.
As I approached the first 90 degree turn to the left in the road, parallel to the ocean, it hit me. That cold wet beach air formed it's own little fog bank, forced its way through the open windows of my car and blasted me. Brrr! Amazing how the weather at the beach is so changeable! Just miles apart, at that! How many of you have your own little personal fog bank in your car!? Ah, you, with air conditioning! I go natural! Wish I could take it with me to Vegas!
I find that I can wear shorts and a swim suit top here at home, but if I dare go to town, I need a sweatshirt and pants! The wind close to the ocean was wild, too! I wanted to go back home!
This morning I feel homesick, before my plane has even hit the runway. But, that will change. I see on the forecast for the Oregon beaches that we are headed for a week of clouds and rain. Oh! That will be so nice to come home to, after a week in 108 temperatures! But I think I'd rather be in the sunshine, for now. So, off we go!
Toot! Toot! (As Erickson would have said!)
Off to the land of never ending "ding ding dings" of gambling machines and the hustle bustle of the city.
If only they had canoes and cutthroats and Kilchis the dog and soft flowing rivers in Las Vegas... I'll miss Kilchis's soft fur, the swaying of our jet sled in the bay, the quiet canoe, floating in the river!
At least I don't need to worry about winning a slot machine lottery or anything.
I already won by the looks of where I live, here!
I mean, if winning is supposed to make one happy, well? I already am.
Just ask the kids. They woke up to me singing at the top of my lungs from the middle of the river!

"OhhhhhHHHHHHHHH!!!"
The Lord is good to me,
and so I thank the Lord,
for giving me, the things I need,
the river and the fish and the blue-berries!
The Lord is good to meeeeEEEEE!"

LOL... I didn't claim to have a good voice.
Just a happy and very thankful one!

Have a great weekend! Toot toot!

July 15th

I have nothing to wear! I was going to write this morning from my hotel room, but my clothes are not cooperating!
I have had on 150 outfits, and none of them work. I'm having one of those days!
I'm off to the airport, and with no time to spare!
Have a great sunny day and see you at ICAST!

July 17th

At least we aren't partying! (I think that's a good thing?)
Ruth and I fall into bed exhausted by 10:00 PM, each night and are up by 5.
The weather is not bad, here. Low 100's, if that.
Oh, for the love of coffee! They have none in the rooms. You are to go downstairs and get your own. I'm not good at that. I can't move without coffee. I thought about room service, but I don't want to answer the door in my pajamas. LOL
Anyhow, I'm writing minus any caffeine in my system. I feel naked.
Yesterday I got to have lunch with Stan Fagerstrom! That is always one of the highlights of the show for me. We met at the Berkley Press conference, and headed over to the Zebco press conference, after that.
More on that, later. Without coffee, and without my notes which I can't find, without my coffee, I'm not much good.
The New Product Showcase was awesome, as usual. It's so fun to see people, expert and novice alike, with their new inventions. It's kind of like Santa's workshop, in a way. from cardholders for snelled hooks, to drop down rocket launchers;, from fishing items in the gift category to the kids fishing category, you have something for every fisher!
Last night Ruth and I took a break from the fishing world to ride the monorail down the strip to a tourist attraction at Mandalay Bay. Low and Behold, what did we choose to see? More about (guess!) FISH! The Mandalay Shark Reef! That's right, ladies and gentlemen, fish, fish, fish! We can't get enough!
Yesterday afternoon, I had the scare of my life when Bill called to say that he had fished all day with Dudley Nelson at Burdick's pond by the Trask. It's a pond that we have rights to from the Oregon Fishing Club. (You could fish there, too! It's fun!)
Anyhow, after, Bill noticed that Dudley had left some gear and gave him a call. His wife answered and she was on the way to OHSU because Dudley had rolled his car. The more we heard about it, the scarier it became. Carrie did not know his condition, other than the truck had rolled three times, Dudley wasn't able to speak, so they got his ID out of his wallet.
I went into an absolute panic. This was how Jeff, my ex husband, was told about his brother's awful tragedy on the Burnside bridge. Jeff had to go to the hospital, after the same type call, to find he had to "identify" his brother. :( It was a nightmare I will never forget.
Luckily, (oh, thank you, Father!) Dudley was alright! He had fallen asleep, (he thinks) at the wheel, West of Banks, started to go off the road, overcorrected, went across the center line and off into the field, only to roll, three times. Dudley remembers only the first roll. Then, he said a State cop was beside him, telling him that life flight was coming. "That's when I got scared." Says Dudley.
The first thing, I guess, that went through his mind was, "Oh! My rod! My fishing tackle!" :( Poor kid! Oh, Dudley... you have an angel watching over you! I swear!
After that, I felt like celebrating. I had been so scared! So, the rest of the night was celebrating for Ruth and I, so we went shark watching!
We ate at New York, New York, then monorailed back home and got into bed.
This morning we have a press breakfast. Off we go!
Hey-- maybe they will have fish!

July 19th

"Follow Your Instincts"
July 16-18 -- ICAST 2008
-at the Las Vegas Convention Center
in Las Vegas.
ICAST is the world's largest sportfishing trade show.

Good morning! I posted the winners of the 2008 ICAST New Product Showcase Award Winners here.
Ruth and I did very well on some of them! That's always fun. I love seeing all the new toys in Santa's fishing workshop!
Last night, Ruth and I rounded up the last of our energy to attend a press conference, where, as promised, we heard a very interesting announcement.


The Center for Coastal Conservation
(Click to Zoom)

Several fishing industry leaders; conservation groups, businesses, and associations came together to announce their joined efforts. "The Center for Coastal Conservation", a 501 (c) 4 not-for-profit group, will be aimed at backing marine conservation through education and political action.


Ellen Peel, President of the Billfish Foundation

I was really impressed with Ellen Peel, President of the Billfish Foundation. She gave an impressive speech that had me nearly standing and clapping at the close. Her message was that fishing is not only but a leisure activity, but to be taken seriously. it's also not a greeny-group hug thing, but a serious investment in our financial future.
I came away from the meeting and announcement with hope.
It seems they have learned that you need to pat each other on the back. Especially anglers... Anglers seem to have a large ego, for sure. :).
It doesn't seem to work to barge in with a new group and say, "You can't do it. You messed up. We are here to save the day! We will fix it for you!"
No. Instead, we need to come up to long standing groups and support their efforts. To stand behind and say, You are right on. You are on the right path and thanks for doing what you do. We are here to back you with whatever ideas that you have. Financially, or with whatever tools we have, we are here to assist, however we can.
That way, (and mind you, this wasn't specifically addressed in the meeting, this is just some thoughts that Ruth and I discussed, after-) everyone gets the needed Kudos. They are important! The result of the fight is of major importance, but not many, frankly, will do the work unsung.
It is my thinking that we should take the lesson learned by these National groups and apply it to our local situation.
I was honored to spend a few minutes visiting with David Cummins, the President of the CCA. I shared some of my concerns with him. It seems that I hear from some folks on the board that they worry we don't know what direction the CCA is headed. It seems that concern is echoed by David, also. He admitted to me, "Frankly, sometimes we don't know which direction we are headed." However, he explained to me that as we have discussed, earlier, the problems that we face today took many years to damage our environment. It will take much time to solve to heal the wounds that our marine and fisheries issues suffer.
Most simplistically, the announcement last night is, in my opinion, an example of what we all need to do. Come together. I really get tired of all of the political in fighting and all of the personal insults and ugliness that happens, when in fact, we all want the same darn thing. It's just so incredibly frustrating to me!
Let's all come together to heal one another and all the while, heal the planet. It's going to take every one of us and more. If we can't get past personal issues, we've lost the game. Appreciate that we each have something to bring to the table, and like a jigsaw puzzle, we can't do it with missing pieces. Identify your personal abilities and make them shine.
Now, it's off to breakfast and one last shot at the show. Oh, goody... More toys!

July 21st

Hi, honey, I'm home! I can't believe it took me till now to get all settled in and snuggly enough to write! I have laundry to do, today and oh! The house is a mess! Let's just call it "Three men and a lady" around here. The men are so messy!
Ifish.net and my e mail are going to take a while to catch up with!
Speaking of my mail, I was pickled tink to get this from my niece, Jamie! I opened up my mail when I got home, and a smile swept over my face when I saw this!
Whoo hooo!
This girl is amazing!


Jamie Mertz with fish!!
Click pic to zoom


Jamie Mertz
Awesome Linfield lacrosse player!

Jamie loves Lacrosse like nothing else. Kind of like I love fishing! Lacrosse is not for the timid nor the weak of spirit!
Sadly, Jamie suffered her third concussion, while playing on Linfield's team last year. Luckily, she pulled through just fine, but the rules state that if you suffer three real concussions, you must step down. It makes sense and all, and I am concerned for her health but still! She had to quit! That is just plain sad! For everyone! For Linfield, for Jamie, for her family, for the world!
I just felt terrible for her. Jamie is a wonderful Lacrosse player! It seemed to me she lived for the game. She was (and still is, I'm sure!) a killer lacrosse player!
What a thrill it was for me to see her smiling face with a picture of fishes!
I am so proud to have Joes, Okuma and Lamiglas on ifish! They helped to get Jamie fixed up for fishing and presented her with this rod and reel!
High Five, Okuma!
Perfect cast, Lamiglas!
Way to go, Joes!
This is why I am so proud to be associated with these companies! They rock! They really, really rock!


Click pic to zoom
Thank you, Okuma!
Thank you, Lamiglas!

Thank you, Joes!

Jamie is just awesome in so many ways. To make money for college, she got up every morning in the spring and went out to pick berries. Then, home to make jam to sell to family and friends. It's the most awesome jam, too!
She makes her own jam and she makes her own jobs, too!
Anyhow, I'm a proud aunt. Can you tell?
And like I said, I'm so proud of Okuma and Lamiglas, too. All of my sponsors, actually! They rock! That's why I chose them and that's why they've all been there, for so long. We all work together for the same things that are important to us. People, fishing, and feel-good things! As long as this is the way it is, I forever love ifish!
Off to tend my garden, to fly fish a bit, and oh yes... clean house!
Here are some more pics of the Jamers and the note she sent me. Hear the enthusiasm in her writing? I do!
I can only hope that fishing replaces some of the joy she may have lost in losing her favorite sport. Maybe we can turn her into a fishing player, yet! Tee heeee.....

My dad and I went fishing with my new rod last Sunday! We went to this lake in Estacada!
I told my dad he had to take pictures, so you could see me enjoying my wonderful WONDERFUL rod and reel!

I LOVE IT AND I LOVE YOU!

James

July 22nd

I just spoke with the nicest gal! Jill from the Sulla Baia Boat storage in Newport. I was really impressed because they didn't just drop me an e mail. They actually wrote me a letter about the need for boat storage in the Newport area. I responded by calling and just had the nicest talk with her!
So, if you need a place to keep your boat, call Jill in Newport! Their web site is here! Jill can be reached by phone at 541-270-2094.
I have so few birds, left! Just one or two hummingbirds, flitting around and a couple grosbeak, goldfinch, etc. It's getting lonely around here!
When I drove home from the airport, it was as if Fall had washed over the green of Spring that held so long, this summer. The rainy season has ended, and now the brush along the roadside has turned burned looking, and dry. I guess it's a sign of Fall and Fall salmon. Although that part speeds my heartbeat, it's not nearly as pretty!
Click to zoom
What lake is this?

July 23rd

Ifish is kind of like a marriage.
It's interesting. If you think about it, when you first join, it's so exciting! So many interesting topics! You fall in love! You can't wait to get back to see "her". You spend all night up, reading.
At first, you are a bit shy, but once you jump in, watch out! You are addicted to the rush of communication! It's a whole new thing!
Pretty soon your old lover glances at you from the kitchen, wondering if you have an affair going on. You do! You do! So you hide, guilty!
Hour after hour you spend, typing fishing stuff. Pretty soon it's well into the wee hours of the morning! Yikes! I have to go to work!
And then there is the, "What are you doing, dear?" coming from the other room. At first, you just tell your real life partner it's just a fishing website. Nothing big, but as your addiction grows, you might fib, now and then. "Oh, doing bills... I'll be there in a a second, dear." But, soon, you are lying habitually.
It reminds me of that cartoon that says, "Come to bed, dear..." and the husband says, "I can't! There is someone that is wrong on the internet!" LOL...
Some of us, like when we meet the perfect partner, want to tell everyone why you have a goofy smile on your face! So they buy an ifish hat or a decal and stick it on your truck. You want the world to know that you love ifish!
After a while, though, some of us start seeing things in the personality of ifish that you don't like. It upsets you. So, you try to take it in your own hands to fix. You don't want to know about these things, really, and sometimes you overlook them and click on another subject.
Like the early excitement of romance, it's normal for some of us on ifish to begin to feel the dull, yet demanding routine of family life and it begins to take a toll on them. You learn that like marriage, ifish takes work and discipline. You need to ignore some comments and frankly, there are times you just need to leave the room to cool off.
Maybe you need some time off, to think about things. Do you want to continue this relationship?
Like marriage, ifish is rarely perfect, but the most of us stick it out. But sticking it out isn't easy!
Some of us make it, others give up.
The ones that give up are often like a woman, scorned. They ask that their name be deleted off the site.
That always makes me wonder. Why would they want their membership closed? Why not just go there? Ifish isn't required reading.
Is it because hell hath no wrath like an ifisher scorned?
Ripped up ifish decals lay scattered at their feet, yet they can't stop watching, reading, lurking! A few create false monikers and login and make comments as if they aren't there and don't care. But, the caring is deep and dark and dangerous!
They swear they will never click on ifish again, but day after day finds them glued to the screen!
Some make whole websites to display their scorn!
Others are able to walk away, probably with a bit of sadness, but are able to find another true love on the internet.
There are some people who have multiple relationships and are a part of many communities! I can never figure that one out. I can hardly do one relationship, let alone several! Yikes!
But... if you stick it out, (like me!) you will find yourself in a family situation that has so many wonderful benefits!
It's not easy! Like I said! I've had to swallow my pride and admit my faults in front of thousands of ifishers! Youch!
You would not believe the many times that I have thought of giving it all up! I'm so glad that I haven't, (yet!) though! I am still wonderfully blessed with a wonderful family that is ifish!
I have real relationships with real people! I meet people from ifish in real life that I wasn't so sure of, from their posting, alone. I find, most often, that these ifish people are the greatest people in the world!
The love is real!
Rarely have I met someone from ifish that I didn't like. But fishing does that. I've always loved fishermen and women! People who fish, just plain rock! They are the kind of folks that I find genuinely nice to be around.
Learning to respect and communicate through the differences we all have is a challenge to me. But I feel it is so worth that price and much more!
It's just great to accept a persons differing opinion and still enjoy their company- to be able to 'agree to disagree' and to still know that we have something deeply in common.
Fishing!
That's just awesome.
And so, on this eleventh year, on this journey that is ifish, my friends and co members keep me balanced, while I enjoy their company. I am responsible for what I post and I watch what I say. I try hard not to hurt someone else when I post because I want this relationship to last forever.
You know, I always wanted a long term marriage. When I attended my Grandparents 50th anniversary, I knew that's what I wanted.
It's too late for me, for that, now, but that's OK.
But... with ifish? I still have the chance to succeed!
That's a pretty good second choice, if you ask me!

July 23rd

Ifish is kind of like a marriage.
It's interesting. If you think about it, when you first join, it's so exciting! So many interesting topics! You fall in love! You can't wait to get back to see "her". You spend all night up, reading.
At first, you are a bit shy, but once you jump in, watch out! You are addicted to the rush of communication! It's a whole new thing!
Pretty soon your old lover glances at you from the kitchen, wondering if you have an affair going on. You do! You do! So you hide, guilty!
Hour after hour you spend, typing fishing stuff. Pretty soon it's well into the wee hours of the morning! Yikes! I have to go to work!
And then there is the, "What are you doing, dear?" coming from the other room. At first, you just tell your real life partner it's just a fishing website. Nothing big, but as your addiction grows, you might fib, now and then. "Oh, doing bills... I'll be there in a a second, dear." But, soon, you are lying habitually.
It reminds me of that cartoon that says, "Come to bed, dear..." and the husband says, "I can't! There is someone that is wrong on the internet!" LOL...
Some of us, like when we meet the perfect partner, want to tell everyone why you have a goofy smile on your face! So they buy an ifish hat or a decal and stick it on your truck. You want the world to know that you love ifish!
After a while, though, some of us start seeing things in the personality of ifish that you don't like. It upsets you. So, you try to take it in your own hands to fix. You don't want to know about these things, really, and sometimes you overlook them and click on another subject.
Like the early excitement of romance, it's normal for some of us on ifish to begin to feel the dull, yet demanding routine of family life and it begins to take a toll on them. You learn that like marriage, ifish takes work and discipline. You need to ignore some comments and frankly, there are times you just need to leave the room to cool off.
Maybe you need some time off, to think about things. Do you want to continue this relationship?
Like marriage, ifish is rarely perfect, but the most of us stick it out. But sticking it out isn't easy!
Some of us make it, others give up.
The ones that give up are often like a woman, scorned. They ask that their name be deleted off the site.
That always makes me wonder. Why would they want their membership closed? Why not just go there? Ifish isn't required reading.
Is it because hell hath no wrath like an ifisher scorned?
Ripped up ifish decals lay scattered at their feet, yet they can't stop watching, reading, lurking! A few create false monikers and login and make comments as if they aren't there and don't care. But, the caring is deep and dark and dangerous!
They swear they will never click on ifish again, but day after day finds them glued to the screen!
Some make whole websites to display their scorn!
Others are able to walk away, probably with a bit of sadness, but are able to find another true love on the internet.
There are some people who have multiple relationships and are a part of many communities! I can never figure that one out. I can hardly do one relationship, let alone several! Yikes!
But... if you stick it out, (like me!) you will find yourself in a family situation that has so many wonderful benefits!
It's not easy! Like I said! I've had to swallow my pride and admit my faults in front of thousands of ifishers! Youch!
You would not believe the many times that I have thought of giving it all up! I'm so glad that I haven't, (yet!) though! I am still wonderfully blessed with a wonderful family that is ifish!
I have real relationships with real people! I meet people from ifish in real life that I wasn't so sure of, from their posting, alone. I find, most often, that these ifish people are the greatest people in the world!
The love is real!
Rarely have I met someone from ifish that I didn't like. But fishing does that. I've always loved fishermen and women! People who fish, just plain rock! They are the kind of folks that I find genuinely nice to be around.
Learning to respect and communicate through the differences we all have is a challenge to me. But I feel it is so worth that price and much more!
It's just great to accept a persons differing opinion and still enjoy their company- to be able to 'agree to disagree' and to still know that we have something deeply in common.
Fishing!
That's just awesome.
And so, on this eleventh year, on this journey that is ifish, my friends and co members keep me balanced, while I enjoy their company. I am responsible for what I post and I watch what I say. I try hard not to hurt someone else when I post because I want this relationship to last forever.
You know, I always wanted a long term marriage. When I attended my Grandparents 50th anniversary, I knew that's what I wanted.
It's too late for me, for that, now, but that's OK.
But... with ifish? I still have the chance to succeed!
That's a pretty good second choice, if you ask me!

July 24th
National Ifish Appreciation Day!

Who says? I says!
It seems that people are on a roll, lately, including myself. A bad roll, indeed. Fishing is bad. Salmon are disappearing. Our environment is in trouble. Our lives are chaotic. The economy is tough. Our car needs repair. Our children are difficult. Our relationships are trying. We didn't get enough sleep. Our relatives have medical issues that worry us, or worse yet, some of our own ifishers are in a medical crisis!
Just read ifish! It's spreading like wildfire and it's scary! I just wish we could change our tune.
I read a letter from Bill Monroe yesterday about his trip to Kenya. He wrote at the end about how we take for granted the many life pleasures that we have. The people there have so few. Let me see if I can find it. He said he may post it on Life in General. I found it! Now there is a story to humble us into thanksgiving and appreciation!
I need "National Ifish Appreciation Day!" and I'm going to start, first!
As I was looking through old files, I came across one called "Family". It contains bits and pieces that are important in my personal family history.
In it, I found several long cut strips of typing paper with my family names on it. "Dee Dee", "Roo", "Jennie" and "Bill".
On each piece of paper were lists in scribbled handwriting of things that each of us found to be grateful for. It was during a Thanksgiving week some ten years ago or so. Thankful lists!
On my strip of paper I had written things such as "My dishwasher", "Hot water", Laughter, "Clean Sheets" and more.
Bill wrote things like"Good friends", "Animals are healthy", "Beautiful house and land" and three strips of paper, more!
David's list contained sweet things like "Andrew, sleeping in my room" and "Getting good grades".
Andrew had "VW vans" and "Sleep", and "Fresh eggs".
It kind of makes me giggle to read them all, but more than that I see that most of these things are simple, inexpensive pleasures that we sometimes forget.
In the folder are many thank you letters to me, that make me smile.
So, first off, I'm going to kick off appreciation day by writing thank you letters to folks. It's tough on me to hand write since all I do is type, lately, but I'm going to sit down with my thank you cards, and get started. I wish you would do the same! It really feels good!
In addition, I'm going to start a "National Ifish Appreciation Day" thread for all of us to make our own lists of what we are thankful for, and what we appreciate in our own lives.
Here it is! If you aren't a member, perhaps make your own little strips of paper and sit down with your family, tonight and fill them out. Keep them! They are a treasure to read, later!
Oh, wow! Look at this! I started one in 2001!
Wow! I did a search on ifish for "Thankful" and my name. I found the one where I started the little strips of paper thing, here!
Happy Ifish Appreciation Day to you! Look, search out and FIND those things that you appreciate! You'll be amazed at how many there are!

July 25th

Today is the day that Andrew gets his aorta measured and we talk to the doctor about where we are headed from here.
Please keep Andrew and I in your thoughts and prayers.

July 26th

Good morning-Saturday!
Andrew was thrilled to find out that his aortic root size had... shrunk? No way! Aortas don't shrink in size. Do they?
It's probably just a margin of error thing, but it could also be the new and amazing, miraculous drug, Losartin, that Andrew takes.
Losartin has done exciting things with mice, but we have no real proof that it does the same on humans with marfan syndrome.
Here's some info on that!

Anyhow, Andrew is thrilled! So am I!
I'm off to Hagg Lake, today to a wedding. Oddly enough, it's at Sain Creek Picnic area. The same place I'll be next week for our ifish picnic!
That's odd. I haven't been there since I went to my Grandpa's Birthday party in 1979!

July 27th

One thing I have learned from the river, (amongst many, now that I stop to think) is that there is no smooth nor easy ride.
When I get in the canoe, even if I just want to sip my coffee and float lazily down the river, the winds strengthen and blow me upriver.
Pheh!
Every time I try to turn the canoe around in the river, if there is the slightest of winds, it is nearly impossible. It can be done, mind you, but it's really tough.
The same seems true in life and what path you are on. The wind is strong when you go to change course, and it's rarely without challenge. If you really want to get somewhere, you have to hold on, paddle strong, and really fight that which seems to blow in your face to stop or slow your progress.
Thing is, I even notice when I go to launch that there is a riffle of wind on the water, and yet I still go. I know the danger, or the consequence, and I still do it.
Sound familiar? How many times have we been warned that it might not be the way to go, and yet we delve ahead, foolishly, anyhow?
How many times I can't count, that I've almost had the canoe turned, and yet and even stronger wind came, just at the last moment, and completely put me off course. I have to laugh. I asked for it! I knew that there was wind ahead!
Sometimes I give in, muttering things I wouldn't care to print here and let the wind take me where it will.
Other times I stand firm and try my hardest to beat the odds, fully knowing that I'm not going to win against such forces. I'm stubborn. Sometimes you have to be, to get your 'way'.
I'll never forget once that Chris Sessions took me on a drift down the Kilchis, during steelhead season.
Did I know how to row? He asked.
"Not so much."
But, I wanted to try.
He sat in the client seat and put me at the oars. He began to eat his lunch.
I did fine at the very start. I was brave and curious and delighted at the chance. I had rowed the entire run from the Guide Shop down on the Wilson. Surely I could do my home river!
But, the current picked up and pretty soon we were going much to fast to fish, and much to fast for me at all! Faster and faster, we were picking up speed! Help!
I panicked.
This was a good experiment on "What would you do in an emergency?"
What did I do, you ask?
I abandoned ship! I got up and shouted, "This is too hard! Help!" I let fly the oars got up and crossed to sit with Chris!
I laugh now at Chris and I, ever so briefly staring at the empty oarsman seat, before Chris bolted up and took over the near tragic situation. I think he needed less than five seconds to realize we were in real danger!
By the way, Chris still talks to me. (giggle!) He is a good natured sort, and forgave my failure!
But, my point is that even floating downstream, there is no easy ride!
This is not only so, for the novice like me! There is hidden danger, everywhere and for everyone. Jagged rocks lie quietly under the smooth surface. Sunken logs such as the one that stole the life of my dear friend, Jim Erickson are everywhere.
Five years ago or so I decided to float the river with my two kids. They had inner tubes and I took a small, inexpensive rubber raft.
It was a hot summer day. Perfect for a run on the river!
Bill hauled us up to the park and set us free.
We floated through the usual places, and I was repeatedly telling the kids to be careful.
Famous last words!
There was one very narrow, fast running shoot that wants to throw you up against a rock. I had no idea of it's power, until that day.
As we came around the corner towards it, quick as can be - I was on my back in the raft, legs straight up in the air, against this tall boulder! The water was rolling under my back, trying to take the raft and me, with it! It was trying to suck me under!
Lesson: Wear your life jacket!
I have learned this lesson many times, since then. I mean, who would think? I was just floating down a shallow summer river! It was only four feet deep in the deepest places! But, yes! I should have had on a life jacket! And now, still, when I'm on a still and flat bay, or in a lake, I wear my life jacket! You don't ever know when you'll need it and I don't want to find out, too late!
I remember calling to Andrew, who was standing four feet away from me, "Help me, Andrew!"
He looked at me, sizing up the scene. He looked at the rushing and strong current surrounding me and my situation and realizing he didn't want to be in the same position, (literally!) he said, "Huh uh!"
Makes me laugh, now, but there is no smooth nor safe nor easy ride on the river!
And such is life.
In 48 years of rowing the river of life, now, I realize that no matter what, even if the going seems easy for some, it's not.
You look at some people and you think they have it all. They don't! We all have equal battles to fight and equal equipment to deal with it. The river of life is riddled with danger, even when it appears flat, lazy and calm!
We all have the same river, the same battle, the same undercurrents and the same sunken logs to encounter.
Sometimes life will blow you upstream. Sometimes the river is not wide enough to turn around, or the wind is strong and keeps you from your chosen course.
The only thing that has personally kept me from going under in many situations is my Heavenly Father who has led me quickly to calm and safer waters. He is my life jacket and keeps me afloat in the raging river of life.
When the kids were very small, we'd pray angels onto every corner of our car before we took a long trip. I still do that, and I also do it on our boat.
There is no smooth nor easy nor safe ride on the river of life.
I'm so thankful for my physical life jacket, and when I put it on, I feel more comfort than that of only the material that tightly hugs onto my soul.

"Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." (Matthew 7:14)

July 28th

Today I wrote here.
I was asked how ifish started, and I just began to write, so enjoy!
Oh, if you want to read the rest of the thread, it's about the 25 Most Influential Sports People in Oregon.
I don't know how, but I'm again on that list. I'm very appreciative and honored, but I really think there are other people more deserving in the fishing industry. I just can't quite conceive of why I'm on the list! This is the third year I've made it. I even got bumped up a number, this year!
LOL... I think I'm going to be really sad when I fall off the list. They've got to figure out that I'm not worthy, one of these years!
Oh yeah, to read the whole thread, click here. I'm pickled tink! But hey-- everyone else on that list is rich. How come I can't afford groceries, this week?

July 29th

There is nothing more beautiful than a solitary hummingbird, wings fluttering like a fan in the sun, tipping-down-sipping out of my feeder.
I adore that! It's a picture postcard.
There is nothing more stunning than standing high on a hill, looking down at a river when it is low and clear, and seeing a solitary salmon swimming through the channel.
These are a few of my favorite things! No, these ARE my favorite things! Especially the salmon sighting.
Last night I squeezed my eyes shut tight and prayed. I prayed that when I opened my eyes, the low and clear water would surprise me with a salmon.
I knew better. It's only July, but it's coming on August.
The weeds and wildflowers that line the country road winding through the woods to my home are all turning brown. A single leaf tumbles lightly through the still and windless air until it lights on my windshield and gets pushed away.
It looks like Fall! It smells like Fall!
But, it's too early for magic in the river!
But, I can dream, can't I?
Sometimes when I canoe upstream, I see a flash of scales and a hint of orange fly by me. Sure enough, it's George! I've named him, now. He's a cutthroat trout, about 10 inches long, and I swear he's the only one that lives in the river, there. I have decided he's a resident cutt, and has lived there for three years or so. I have no way of knowing. No one does. Cutthroat are mysterious. But, I've decided it's so.
I refuse to fish in this stretch because George and I are friends. We hang, together.
When I turn my canoe around and face him, I know he's in the shallows, waiting for my return trip. It's a standoff.
Sure enough, there he is. Finning in place, by the big boulders that are carved in swirling cutouts from past storms and raging water. There are plenty of hiding places for small cutthroat in this stretch.
When the water is deeper, I imagine salmon lay there, too, resting in the carved out spaces, where the current isn't so strong.
George reminds me of a chess player, studying to see which way to move, according to my game. how will he get by me? He treads water, holding in place, waiting for my next move.
Will she go left? Will she go right? I wonder if he has me named, too.
Once the wind and I make up my canoe's direction, George takes the opposite route. I think he's laughing.
"Check mate." He flies by me.
He's home free, back in the deepest hole where he's safe, hidden in swirling mosses, deep water and darkness.
The water is so clear! I think I would die and go to heaven if I were to see a Spring Chinook in that clear water! No, I know I would!
With nothing, no jet pump to get me to secret places, no oars on a drift boat and an anchor to break the current... just a quiet canoe and quiet water and... a single solitary salmon! Oh, my! Sends shivers up my spine, just dreaming.
It's worth my time and work to take a chance at seeing a chinook, even though I have to make my way down to the next hole. I know full well it's going to be a major challenge to get back. I have to fight against the wind, the current, and most probably get out in the shallows to drag my canoe over the rocks to get back home.
But--if I saw a chinook for my troubles?? Oh, how worth it it would be!!! I do take that chance, often!
So far, no luck. But, it's still summer. What do I expect? Dreams to come true? (Uh huh!)
I always hope and pray for a rain storm in the early Fall that might bring some salmon in. The perfect condition, the perfect storm would have to exist, though. After a hard rain, the water would have to recede due to several days or even weeks of no rain after a storm. Then, I could paddle out and I would see schools of them! Whoo hooo!
These visions are what dreams are made of!
So, last night, standing on the river bank alone, I opened my eyes after praying, and still there remained an open channel. Still, I could see every rock, still every string of moss, but not one stinkin' salmon.
Not even George, who sometimes travels down this way.
I'm so deliriously excited about my new and improved eyesight. I'm so afraid that something will happen to it, before Fall comes and the salmon arrive.
Everything seems more crystal clear than I've ever seen it before and I'm enjoying every moment of every sight! There is so much magic to see!
Today, it is raining. It feels all the more like Fall to me, and yet I'm still enjoying the sight of a hummingbird coming to visit my feeders.
I think as we get older, life is more and more precious and we come to realize that everything is a gift and nothing will last forever.
I guess it's like so many things.
"You just don't know what you got till it's gone."

July 30th

Oh, my gosh, you guys!!! George has a friend!!! He is huge! I'd say he is well over 16 inches. Bill thought it may be a steelie, but no! It's the most incredible thing. Fish look gelatinous when you look down on them, where I canoe, but I could see the slight orange under his jaw! I could see that! It's a cutt and George was with him/her! I have no idea if this is a hen or a buck.
I'll have to watch 'it' to see what it reminds me of. George is for sure a male. He just acts like one!
No, he doesn't burp and pass gas (that I know of), but I just think he's male!
I was speechless when I saw him. At first I thought it was just George, but as he/she got closer, I nearly died. What a huge fish! It thrilled me almost as much as a salmon would!
I saw it three times, back and forth. It's not nearly as good at the game of eluding me. It has no experience, though. I'll teach it!

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