Fishing The Coast, Oregon and Washington
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June 2004


Jennie's
Fishing Life


June 1st! 2004

Can you even believe that it is June, already?! Wow!
The kids are in their last week of school, and are excited and happy.
Andrew will be a senior next year! For all of you who have followed their growing up years here on this column... can you believe it? Andrew now stands a tall and proud 6 foot 3!
It was to my shock and amazement to find out ifish is nearly six years old! I thought, perhaps five, but I did a whois lookup, and I bought and opened it on July 21st, 1998! Wow! How time flies!
Andrew needs to get his other eye fixed, soon, before his health insurance runs out, and he's on his own. This scares me more than anything. He does not realize the impact that marfan has on trying to get health insurance! They lump us all together with people that have deadly ailments. It's such a joy! NOT. I tried to explain it to him, but teenagers... ah! This is the point in time when majorlife problems just go in one ear, and out the other! I think we should all try to be more like teenagers!
Myself, I am gearing up to send my eye medical history on record to doctors in different states. I feel a journey coming on. I paid OHSU $98.00 for all five inches of printed record. Ouch! I will get my eye fixed, someday! I just don't know where the


My first springer, 2004, Tillamook Bay

Caught on a Vertopoulos spinner, and Marie's Banana Juice!

doctor lives, that wants to take on such a challenge. I will find him! So far, we have two options. Las Vegas, or Johns Hopkins.
Step one is completed. I have all medical history.
I spent much of the day, yesterday, taking pictures of hummingbirds. I captured some awesome shots, as close as 3 inches from them! They are getting rather used to the consecutive clicks of my Nikon, and are becoming very good little models. I hide behind the fuscia, while I take pics, and their fluttering wings buzz all around me. They even land on me! When twenty hummies surround me, it gets a little spooky! It makes me want to start slapping at them, like bees!
One little girl was having a grand time with me. She posed as a penguin! Find the pictures, here! This is a very large page, and takes a while to down load. Especially on my dial up! I feel for you!
I'm now in the mood to fish. Bill is back from Portland. First off, however, we need to plow up a new garden for my raspberries. I have wanted raspberries ever since we moved here. We finally got them, and now it's planting time! By next year, I will have them!
In between planting, I may run out to the Trask and bobber fish a bit. I've heard the fish are thick in the Trask. We'll see!

June 3rd 2004

Fly fishing last night, I saw her. She was right at my feet. I couldn't believe my eyes, as I pulled in the last strips of line.
It was Sally. I'd seen her before. Two years ago, as the winter waters receded, and we had a late spring rain.
I named her Sally, and she's the only springer that I had seen in the Kilchis river!
She was roaming around aimlessly, as if to say, "Where IS everyone?"
I decided to try and entice her into a fly for supper, but she was not in the least interested. I stripped in my line, and dangled the fly 2 feet from her nose. She shot off, towards the riffles, as if her intelligence were insulted.
Just knowing she is there puts an added excitement, now, to each cast of a bug.
Last night, I finally hooked into a fine cutthroat trout. I'd imagine this cutt to be about 14 inches, and surprisingly fat for this time of year. I was thrilled, and Kilchis, my dog, caught onto my excitement. He helped me release her, and wagged his tail, with enthusiasm. I think he still thinks himself all the wiser, for going after dippers. Nevertheless, he applauds my efforts and feeble successes.
Yesterday, Grant McOmie came by with his camera man, Brian. They came to film a story on myself, the Kilchis river, and the "Chicken Soup" book.
However, as they sat down to "just out of the oven" cinnamon rolls, they were distracted by the birds, outside the kitchen window. They spent quite a bit of time, taking pictures of the hummingbirds. See? It is addictive! It was fun to have someone else appreciate the magic of these little birds!
"I've got to bring my wife over here!" said Grant, as he waited for his digital camera to write to disk, once again.
We continued on our interview, fished in the river a bit, and talked about ifish, and the book.
It was a beautiful, sunny day, and I think the interview went well. Look for it on KATU, Channel Two, in the coming weeks.
You know what? I hear Sally calling my name, again.
Have a great day!

June 4th 2004

I've always had a thing about soil. I know, it's just dirt. But, it's somehow cleansing to me. It's pure, and that of which things grow. There is nothing like running your hands through soft, tilled soil.
I can remember a terrible stressful time in my life, driving across the coast range. I was alone, and the tears would not stop. I had returned from my Mother's funeral. I stopped alongside the road, and sat on the side of a hill, running my hands through the soft dirt of a rotting log, and sobbed. The feel of the earth between my fingers helped to calm me. It still does. Social problems, or whatever... give me some dirt to run my fingers through, and it gives me as fresh a start as a new seedling, poking it's head out, for the first time.
Turning part of a field into a plantable garden is a huge undertaking.
As I drive by the commercial gardens, a mile down the road, I watch the process. One day it's field, the next day the grass is dead, and the next week, tilled, and looking somewhat groomed! Easy! Within a couple days, as if by magic, (or machine!) it is beautiful, rich, soft soil, all mounded up in rows, and ready to plant! I wanted some of that! It looked like a breeze!
So, I bought a roto tiller, and put Bill to work. I thought it would be a nice gift. However, Bill, after an hour of being rocked and jerked to his very soul, came in sweating and tired. Oh! That was a nice present for Bill, Jennie! Oops!
The final product was not anything like what I see down the road. We had hunks and chunks of sod, a foot in diameter.
I could think of no other way, then to get on my knees, and start to clear out the debris. One by one, I plucked out grassy chunks. There was nice soil underneath, and before long I was lost in a trance, enjoying my task, with nothing in my head but the next movement of my arm, and nothing on my body but the warm rays of springtime sun.
It was relaxing, and mindless and clean!
Memories of simple days in the berry field that I had disliked so very much, all of the sudden became good! Bill joined me across the strip of garden, and we quietly talked of everything and nothing, all at once. ...mindless berry field chatter that passed our time, as we worked down the rows.
The sun wore hot on our shoulders as the day progressed. I could get used to this! After spending endless days trying to figure out codes on the computer, and crunching numbers, and thinking difficult thoughts, this was pure luxury!
Then, came the raking, and the removal of all of the piles of sod.
As we finished up the project, a kind of satisfaction washed over me that I hadn't felt in a long time! We walked into the kitchen, for a glass of lemon aide.
I thought back to my Grandfather, who used to hand work acres of soil, every spring. He had such pride in his garden. Not because of it's beauty, but because of it's functionality, and how it had nurtured their family. It was the garden that he had raised for his family, for so many years. They were so proud of the fact, that all the food that they ate, came from the farm. Whether by raised beef, or the wheat and turnips that fed the beef. The milk that came from the cows, or the garden, that supplied their fruit cellar, all year long. They'd can everything, and everything lasted until the next season.
It was in May of 1983 that I received a phone call. It was my Mother. I heard her voice, a bit frail, on the other end of the line. "Jennie, this is one of those calls that you don't want to get. Grandpa died, this morning." My Mother's Father...
My Grandfather was very special to me. He had medical problems, and I suppose we could relate to one another. He always referred to me as "little Jennie" no matter how tall I grew.
At the age of 87, he had been out, his wobbly cane in hand, finishing up the garden. He had suffered polio, and had been told he would never walk again. His spirit and enthusiasm proved those doctors wrong.
He walked into the house, and said, "Well, Grandmah, I did it! I finished putting in the last rows of corn."
With a sigh of satisfaction, he slowly walked into the living room to rest in the chair that Grandpa always sat in. It was with the next sigh, that he slumped down into his chair, and his heart stopped beating.
Grandma said there seemed to be no pain. Just one last expired sigh of contented relief that the corn was planted.
Oh, the simple life. It's really what we all need, and I don't think we even know it.
Today, it's time to relax. Fishing, a day on the bay. Oh, how my Grandfather would have loved to join us! I think he'll be with me, today.

June 5th 2004

I am so excited! I had the most wonderful day yesterday! Not only did I catch a very fine spring chinook, (click here!) but afterwards, the kids came home from school, early. It was their last day! So, they were all excited!
They have both been taking driver's education this spring. They despised it! However, I have been pushing a bit for them to drive. I'm not sure why, as my insurance will be so high that I doubt I will be able to afford it!
But... nonetheless, I have been pushing.
Well, I'll tell you. They were none too excited. After all, Mom can drive, right? All day long, if needed... Right? "Mom, I need a ride to town." "Mom, I need to go to Brian's." Mom. The chauffeur, right?
Well, yesterday was the day.
Let me tell you. David breezes through school. He's (over) confident, but really for good reason. He's an A student, without effort. He laughs at his studies, and stares tests in the face.
Andrew is very intelligent. But, somehow, whether it be because of "test phobia," under stimulation, or whimsy, he struggles.
"Have you studied for your permit test, David?"
"Well, I read part of the book, last night. I'll be alright"
"WHAT?" I couldn't believe it! I studied for weeks! But, there is no pushing David.
Andrew, on the other hand, has been studying for nearly a year. He had taken the test before, we'll say, more than a couple times!
Andrew knows the material. He has for a year. I test him, and he doesn't miss one! However, when it comes down to it, he gets so nervous, that he just muffs it!
So, in we go to the DMV.
Test time... Andrew makes it! I was so excited that I shouted "Whooo hoooo!" in the DMV office! I'm still thrilled!
No, I don't mean to be mean, nor do I mean to be in his face, but when David did not pass, I was almost satisfied. There comes a time when studying pays off, and a little failure is good for the over confident.
David must try again on Monday, and David... is humbled.
After allowing Andrew to drive me home, I am reminded of another good reason to be happy that only one is driving! I don't think I could handle the stress of two!
We went directly to the air museum's big parking lot, and let Andrew drive! We had a blast! I have never laughed so hard in my life! Of course, in this parking lot, there were no objects that could harm us.
It wasn't until we reached the Kilchis River Road, that I handed him the keys, for real.
Yowza! Talk about stress! Those cliffs on the side of the road become real enemies with a 16 year old new driver at the wheel! Especially with a motor home coming at you! Whooo hoooo! Whatarush!
We made it, though! I am impressed! Mostly with myself, for withstanding the stress, and overcoming my fear! We made it! We are home!
Andrew drove 3.4 miles!
Today, Andrew and I are off to the orthodontist in Warrenton.
I'll never forget being there, one day, and hearing a loud crash. I mean, really loud! We all stepped out of the two story office, with a glass wall, suspended from floor to ceiling.
It turns out that a new, young driver was being allowed to drive to his appointment, with his Father. He had accidentally put the car in forward, instead of reverse, when backing out of the parking space. The whole glass wall collapsed in the collision! Talk about instant air conditioning!
I will keep this in mind, (permanently) while driving to the orthodontist, today!

June 7th 2004

Nice things...
I have a friend that sends people books as an act of kindness and interest. What a wonderful gesture! I really like that. People you notice that are interested in something, you match a book with them that they may appreciate.. and send it to them, just out of the blue! That's the kind of thing that makes the world a better place.
I had a nice thing happen to me, the other day, and it really brightened my day.
:I was in Fred Meyers doing my weekly shopping, and I wanted to go down an isle. A handicapped man was in one of those electric driving carts, and taking up most of the isle. He looked a little grouchy, but I smiled and said, "Is there room for two in this isle? He was a little unsure of me, and grumbled something and moved over a bit. I smiled and said thank you, and passed him by.
Later, I was in the milk section and there was a traffic jam. He was there, and some other lady was not paying attention to his needs. I put my cart way out of his way, and waited. He must have noticed.
I let her get her milk or cream, and waited, then, for him to get what he needed.
He kind of mumbled, with hesitation at me, "Would you mind getting me a carton of milk up there?"
I realized the challenges that I face, are so small when compared to others. Something as simple as reaching for milk was difficult for him, and even probably more difficult, to ask for assistance.
"What kind?" I asked.
He answered, "1 percent.
"Little or big?"
"Little."
I reached up and got it for him, and set it in his cart. I told him to watch his sunglasses, as the milk could fall over and crush them.
He looked up at me, and our eyes met. I swear I saw them twinkle at me, and with just a hint of a smile, he said, "Thank you."
It made me wonder if he hadn't smiled in a long time.
I felt REALLY good after that. It's funny how such a small event can mean so much.
And with that, I will sign off with something I read that meant a lot to me.

So what will matter? How will the value of your days be measured?
What will matter is not what you bought, but what you built; not what you got, but what you gave.
What will matter is not your success, but your significance.
What will matter is not what you learned, but what you taught.
What will matter is every act of integrity, compassion, courage and sacrifice that enriched, empowered or encouraged others to emulate your example.
What will matter is not your competence, but your character.
What will matter is not how many people you knew, but how many will feel a lasting loss when you're gone.
What will matter is not your memories, but the memories of those who loved you.
What will matter is how long you will be remembered, by whom and for what.
Living a life that matters doesn't happen by accident.
It's not a matter of circumstance but of choice.

Choose to live a life that matters.
~ by Michael Josephson ~

...and if you have a minute, pick out a book for someone, and send it to them... Just out of the blue.

June 8th 2004

Please vote on a date for Ifishstock, here!

I will be reserving the spot, later this afternoon!
Ifishstock, this year, will be at the Warrenton KOA, right in the heart of B-10 season! This will rock!
The river is a steelhead green, and pretty high! That's really odd, for June! More fry have gathered in that little place, where I work to net them out. Why don't they learn to stay out of there? :)
I think that after this rain, I'll fill in the hole!
Off to fish... Then to take David in to try for his permit, again. Always something to do!

June 9th 2004

Ifishstock has been set for August 28th, at the Warrenton KOA campground. Please reserve your camping spots, RV spots, or tent spaces, now by calling 1-800-562-8506, or by visiting Warrenton KOA, online!
Please remember to tell them that you are from ifish.net. They will get you the best possible prices, and in RV spots, they will give you a special, "Electric and water only" special. If you have a group of ifish friends that you would like to reserve with, rent a "tent village." These are really neat! They are only two dollars more, keep your group together, and offer a bit of private shelter.
I'm really looking forward to this. Hurry to reserve now, as spaces are filling up!
If you can't reserve there, please contact Fort Stevens, across the street. If you'd rather stay in a motel, contact the Shilo Inn, online, or with the telephone number listed on the main site.
This is a family event, and we discourage heavy drinking. I will reserve the Heritage kitchen for indoor eating. We will be roasting a full pig at the event, which is loads of fun!
There will be prizes given away, but mostly, a wonderful chance to get to know lots of your fellow ifishers! Plan on attending Ifishstock 2004!

June10th 2004

I'm thinking that we have been transported back to winter. We went through a period there, somewhere, where it was shorts and tee shirts, jeans and strapless sun shirts. Coffee in the morning, in the filtered sunshine on the back deck. What happened?
I don't think I've seen the sunshine for weeks!
My strawberries look soggy! The good part? No dragging the hose out, to water my garden!
Don't get me wrong. I adore the rain! However, a little sunshine about now, would really cheer me up!
The river is running at steelhead levels. Likewise, I have been using my steelhead fly rod. I just can't seem to fish with a small trout rod while the river looks like it is protecting silver slabs of steel! It's all backwards!
This is the first high water June I can recall, in years!
We had one flood, maybe two years ago in June, but the water quickly dropped.
I'm getting prepared for a trip to Spokane for a week. I'm going to attend the Outdoor Writers Association Conference. I'm really looking forward to many of the classes. The conference is so busy! Since I cannot do full days, I have to sort through carefully, and choose classes that allow me to rest, in between. How I wish I could just hammer out one after another! It's difficult to pass up some of these classes!
Last time I attended, I ended up totally exhausted and sick for some time, afterward. This time, I'm going to be good! I'm going to pace myself! I'm going to know my limits! Gosh, I always say that, and then I over do it! Is it any use to plan? Can I really "just say no?"
Then, in July, the kids and I are going to attend the ICAST 2004. The kids don't go to the show, but they have a great time in Las Vegas! I always meet a grand bunch of people there, in the industry. Stan Fagerstrom is also usually there, so I have a buddy!
Zzzzzzzz It's off to the dentist today, and afterward I'm going to try to figure out where to fish.
We fished the bay the other day. Eight trips with fish. Now, that's pretty good, for springers in T bay! The last fish we caught, however, was wild. The wild fish are really starting to show in increased numbers. More than we've seen return in a long time. This is good news! Just be "oh so careful" with them, please! We really love our fish de hooker. It makes releasing the big ones really easy. I used to have a thing about not liking to do it. With this de hooker, it's a breeze! You can click here, to see one! Our life, and the lives of the fish, are much more pleasant, now!
Well, off into the rain, I go! Think sun, k?

June 12th 2004

Urg. I can't move. Well, barely, if that. I don't know what came over me, yesterday, but I had the compulsion to clean the house. Lacking the energy, really, I scanned the newspaper to see if I could find someone to help me scrub walls. Then, scanning my checkbook, I sighed, and decided that was not an option.
I mixed the TSP and began the chore. Another rainy day, and the dinge of the walls only added to the gloom. Perhaps if I cleaned them, things would be brighter?
I love that feeling of letting my mind totally go. Mindless physical work is refreshing. However, I'm challenged by this, due to my physical condition. Sometimes, though, I just have to do it anyway! I know the consequences.
It's amazing, turning something that had gotten dingy, to sparkling clean and bright! My favorite, is ovens. Such a dramatic change! But, here we have a self cleaning oven. Although the results are the same, somehow it's different, if the work is not mine.
After finishing the bathroom, I cleaned the pictures and put them back on the walls. I turned on the light. Oh! Springtime! Summer! Suddenly the sun came out, and washed over the freshly cleaned walls. It worked! The gloom lifted! I created my own sunshine!
Kilchis looked up at me, from the bed, and I knew that he was losing his patience. All morning long, and no walks on the river! I collapsed next to him, briefly, and then said, "Kilchis! River!"
Up we rose and headed out into the world.
I didn't take a fishing rod. I was only outside to satisfy his energetic needs. I had satisfied mine!
As I walked alongside the receding river banks, I noticed the pool, in which I had saved several fry. It wasn't draining into the nursery backwaters, where the fry gather in the shallow still water. Days ago, I had brought a shovel down, for just this purpose. The water was too high, at that point, however.
Wouldn't you know it? Today, it needed doing. It was at just the right level, that if I would take that shovel and make a couple changes, the pool would drain.
Several small fish were darting around, looking helpless, locked in the dams.
With a sigh, I lifted the shovel, and went to work. My heart beat at an alarming pace. My shoulders screamed. But, at the same time, I was making a difference! I could not stop.
At one point, I leaned against the shovel, as one dam had been broken. I saw the water, swooshing down into the main pool. I thought to myself, "Self?" My heart pounded in reply, and I thought of the doctor's warnings of aortic dissection.
"Is this a worthy cause to die?"
All of the sudden, the headlines on ifish flashed before me. "Girl dies, saving chinook and steelhead fry from dammed pool."
"Damned right!" I chanted! My mind, filled with the thought of magnificent slabs of silver, returning in years to come!
With a "heave ho!" of magnificent proportions, I stood erect, once again, and began clearing out pool number two.

Those fry are free, now... and I can't move.

June 14th 2004

Sunshine! Finally! I love it!
Hey, adding to the ever growing list of "sniglets" is my latest.
The word is "slamnesia." This is ta brief moment in time when the fish slams your hook, and no matter how hard you try and recall exactly how the fish bit, you draw a blank.
Ask someone, sometime! How did that fish bite?
You will see a look of total slamnesia on their face.
And now, onto... Stan's new column!
And an event that Stan will be in, below!

Big K Guest Ranch To Host 2nd Annual Northwest Challenge

Interest is building in the 2nd Annual Northwest Challenge.
The unique competition event brings together outdoorsmen from all over the area. They have an opportunity to participate in a variety of events ranging from bass fishing to mountain bike racing.
The beautiful Big K Guest Ranch on the Umpqua River near Elkton is once again hosting the event. The dates for this year’s competition are June 26 and 27.
“We’ve got something for just about everybody,” says Michael Allen, of Meadowview Productions. “There’s something here for the entire family and that includes boys and girls and men and women of all age groups.” Allen’s organization also produces several other similar events in the western United States.
One of the primary competitions at the Northwest Challenge again this year is a two-day smallmouth bass fishing contest. The bass contest will be limited to 24 three-man teams. The entry fee is $300 per team. Competing teams will fish out of the Big K Guest Ranch.
As area anglers well know, the Umpqua provides some of the finest smallmouth fishing in the western United States. The contest is arranged so there is a 70-per cent payoff. The winning weight in last year’s contest topped 20-pounds.
Reservations for the 24 two-man teams are being accepted on a first come-first served basis. Area anglers interested in taking part are urged to make the necessary arrangements as soon as possible. They can do so by calling the Big K Guest Ranch. The toll free number is 1 800 390-2445.
Additional events scheduled for the two-day show also include mountain bike racing, archery competition, sporting clays, a corporate team challenge.
“Another of the competitions that is rapidly building in interest,” Allen says, “is one we call DockDogs. These events have already been shown on ABC’s Wide World of Sports as well as on ESPN and ESPN2. All anyone needs to sign up is a dog that likes water and a ball. People who have opportunity to watch the DockDogs contest wind up liking it just as much as the dogs do.”
Also scheduled to appear at this year’s Northwest Challenge is Stan Fagerstrom, one of the nation’s best-known trick and accuracy casters. “Stan has given demonstrations all over the United States as well as a number of foreign countries,” says Kathie Williamson, promotions director of the Big K. “Besides his casting exhibitions, Stan will be at the Big K to instruct and aid show visitors who seek help with their own casting techniques.”
Additional details regarding the 2nd Annual Northwest Challenge are available from Michael Allen at Meadowview Productions. The phone number is (541) 688-5848.

June 16th 2004

'Tis the 16th of June
and all through the house
not a creature is stirring...
not even the largest doggone pack rat you've ever seen!
YUCK!
It's partially dissected and bleeding on the carpet, at my feet!
Kilchis, my dog, woke me with a wag of the tail, and a deep, "Boa wowa" at five, this morning. How could I not smile?
I rose, padded across the cold, wooden floors, grabbed a cup of hot coffee, and sat down to work.
The early morning sunshine warmed my back.
Thanks to my feline friends, I have to check under my desk before I stick my feet under there. Why do they do this to me?, Why here? Are these dead and dying creatures meant as gifts for me?
I can do without, thanks.
Molly Mae, the youngest cat, sits on her haunches this morning as the sun streams through the glass door. She is juggling a half alive shrew. She tosses it in the air and catches it, as if trying to add a bit of life to her half maimed toy.
I honestly do appreciate their help in critter control. However, their disposal tactics leave a lot to be desired.
So far this year, I've removed wild rabbits, pack rats, shrews, and meeces of assorted pieces. Yuck.
For some reason, dead mice and other four legged hoppities go under my desk. Anything feathered, however, goes into the boys bathtub. Slightly damp feathers do not suck up well, with a vacuum cleaner.
I've put bell after bell on the cats, and it's only made them better hunters.
At first, I was opposed to Bill's idea of bells on the cats. I thought it was cruel, and threatened to hang one on Bill's neck, as he left in the early morning, to hunt ducks. He just laughed, as he fitted bell number three on Jack's collar. The cats conveniently lose them, repeatedly.
I do however, wonder if hanging a bell on Bill's neck would also increase our "duck for dinner" stock on the freezer shelf. I'd be willing to try anything at this point. Last year's duck season was so poor, that we have one lone duck in the freezer. Ladies and Gentlemen, this appetizer cost Bill hundreds of dollars. That's only counting the duck club fee, not his stamp fee, or hunting license. That's some expensive meat!
The cats just laugh. Their meat is free, it's prevalent, and the success, grand, even handicapped!
It's enough to put a grown man, to shame.
However, there is one really, really good thing. Bill may be proud of his catches, but he doesn't drop them at my feet.
I'm really happy 'bout that.

June 18th 2004

It's been a busy couple of days, getting ready for my week in Spokane at the Outdoors Writers Conference. Read about it, here.
I'm really excited to go, yet, as I walk the banks of the Kilchis river before the sun goes down, I feel a reluctance to leave. I'm always that way. Don't want to leave, but once I get back, so glad I went! I'll miss Kilchis, my dog... so much!
I'll miss the river, the fishing, the sounds and songs of a million birds singing in the woods, when I wake up, and as I fall off to sleep, at night. You should hear the birds! I sleep right through the roosters call, but the birds are amazingly loud! I do love it, though!
We are currently going through aproximately 80 pounds of bird food a month!
I'm a little distressed that the river level will drop to the most perfect fly fishing stage in aproximately two days, given the weather forecast. I will be long gone!
Oh! By the way! I finally figured out why all the stylish girls are wearing capri style pants! They are awesome for wading! All of those girls in stylish cut off jeans were keeping a secret from me! Just add wading sandals, and you are set! Now that I know, I'll not be wearing anything but capris!
Last night, as I tossed a spruce fly into the current, I could tell. Even with my capri pants on, I couldn't quite reach the rock that I like to stand on. The water was just too high, and my fly wouldn't stay dangling in the hole that holds the largest cutts.
I had worked my way out into the current, with my feet slipping back and forth on the mossy rocks. It was frustrating, because I had gone so far. I was almost there! But my wobbly legs and the current kept me from the last two or three feet, where my cast would produce a fish.
What was further frustrating, was that while there, the song of the river hit me hard. That happens to me. While listening to the river, my mind fills with music. Some people hear voices. Some people get lost in thought. Some people need to get to pen and pencil, to write something down. I hear music, and it's maddening! I have to write it down, too! I have to play it!
So, mid cast, I had to reel in, and make a mad dash for the piano. It was the song of summer on the Kilchis river.
Hitting the back door, and through the kitchen, David tried to talk to me. "Hush! I have to get to the piano before I forget this!" He just laughed. He's used to this. He often teases me about my musical mania, and I think he can relate. Sometimes he'll talk to me. A simple sentence, and I sing it back to him.
"Does everything have to be a song, Mother?"
Well, yes. Yes, it does.
Anyway, the song of the Kilchis in the summer is most beautiful, and I'll add it to tmy collection of my river songs. It's not so neatly on manuscript, now, and ready to build on.
By the way, and on my way back from the river, I stopped a minute to smell the flowers. Way back when I was married, my husband gave me my first bouquet of freesia. It instantly became my favorite. He bought them at the Galleria, downtown. I could not believe the fragrance! I carried them around for days, so that I could breathe in that wonderful scent!
Since then, I've always searched them out. When I need a treat, or when I'm feeling down, I go to my local florist and ask... "Do you have any white freesia?" (The white ones are the most fragrant.) They rarely do, and because of this, I have learned to consider them rare and very special treat.
Well, guess what? I have freesia all over my yard, and they are blooming!!! I can't believe it! I bought them at Fred Meyers, and almost giggled as I planted them. It was a pie in the sky hope kind of thing, that I really didn't think would materialize. It was like planting a money tree or something! Well, they are here!
I spend my afternoons on my knees, with my hands cupped over the blossoms, inhaling deeply. My yard is heavenly! I have white ones and pink ones and white and pink ones! One broke off, and I have it in a vase, next to my desk. I often break, and hold it close to my nose. Aromatherapy, at it's finest. As I breathe in, I hear it. Oh, my gosh! It's playing music, too!
I'm going to go play it... Perhaps next, is a new set of music. "The miracle of Freesia" and all of the miracles of blossoms that burst forth, in the early summer, on the Kilchis river.

June 16th 2004

'Tis the 16th of June
and all through the house
not a creature is stirring...
not even the largest doggone pack rat you've ever seen!
YUCK!
It's partially dissected and bleeding on the carpet, at my feet!
Kilchis, my dog, woke me with a wag of the tail, and a deep, "Boa wowa" at five, this morning. How could I not smile?
I rose, padded across the cold, wooden floors, grabbed a cup of hot coffee, and sat down to work.
The early morning sunshine warmed my back.
Thanks to my feline friends, I have to check under my desk before I stick my feet under there. Why do they do this to me?, Why here? Are these dead and dying creatures meant as gifts for me?
I can do without, thanks.
Molly Mae, the youngest cat, sits on her haunches this morning as the sun streams through the glass door. She is juggling a half alive shrew. She tosses it in the air and catches it, as if trying to add a bit of life to her half maimed toy.
I honestly do appreciate their help in critter control. However, their disposal tactics leave a lot to be desired.
So far this year, I've removed wild rabbits, pack rats, shrews, and meeces of assorted pieces. Yuck.
For some reason, dead mice and other four legged hoppities go under my desk. Anything feathered, however, goes into the boys bathtub. Slightly damp feathers do not suck up well, with a vacuum cleaner.
I've put bell after bell on the cats, and it's only made them better hunters.
At first, I was opposed to Bill's idea of bells on the cats. I thought it was cruel, and threatened to hang one on Bill's neck, as he left in the early morning, to hunt ducks. He just laughed, as he fitted bell number three on Jack's collar. The cats conveniently lose them, repeatedly.
I do however, wonder if hanging a bell on Bill's neck would also increase our "duck for dinner" stock on the freezer shelf. I'd be willing to try anything at this point. Last year's duck season was so poor, that we have one lone duck in the freezer. Ladies and Gentlemen, this appetizer cost Bill hundreds of dollars. That's only counting the duck club fee, not his stamp fee, or hunting license. That's some expensive meat!
The cats just laugh. Their meat is free, it's prevalent, and the success, grand, even handicapped!
It's enough to put a grown man, to shame.
However, there is one really, really good thing. Bill may be proud of his catches, but he doesn't drop them at my feet.
I'm really happy 'bout that.

June 18th 2004

It's been a busy couple of days, getting ready for my week in Spokane at the Outdoors Writers Conference. Read about it, here.
I'm really excited to go, yet, as I walk the banks of the Kilchis river before the sun goes down, I feel a reluctance to leave. I'm always that way. Don't want to leave, but once I get back, so glad I went! I'll miss Kilchis, my dog... so much!
I'll miss the river, the fishing, the sounds and songs of a million birds singing in the woods, when I wake up, and as I fall off to sleep, at night. You should hear the birds! I sleep right through the roosters call, but the birds are amazingly loud! I do love it, though!
We are currently going through approximately 80 pounds of bird food a month!
I'm a little distressed that the river level will drop to the most perfect fly fishing stage in approximately two days, given the weather forecast. I will be long gone!
Oh! By the way! I finally figured out why all the stylish girls are wearing capri style pants! They are awesome for wading! All of those girls in stylish cut off jeans were keeping a secret from me! Just add wading sandals, and you are set! Now that I know, I'll not be wearing anything but capri's!
Last night, as I tossed a spruce fly into the current, I could tell. Even with my capri pants on, I couldn't quite reach the rock that I like to stand on. The water was just too high, and my fly wouldn't stay dangling in the hole that holds the largest cutts.
I had worked my way out into the current, with my feet slipping back and forth on the mossy rocks. It was frustrating, because I had gone so far. I was almost there! But my wobbly legs and the current kept me from the last two or three feet, where my cast would produce a fish.
What was further frustrating, was that while there, the song of the river hit me hard. That happens to me. While listening to the river, my mind fills with music. Some people hear voices. Some people get lost in thought. Some people need to get to pen and pencil, to write something down. I hear music, and it's maddening! I have to write it down, too! I have to play it!
So, mid cast, I had to reel in, and make a mad dash for the piano. It was the song of summer on the Kilchis river.
Hitting the back door, and through the kitchen, David tried to talk to me. "Hush! I have to get to the piano before I forget this!" He just laughed. He's used to this. He often teases me about my musical mania, and I think he can relate. Sometimes he'll talk to me. A simple sentence, and I sing it back to him.
"Does everything have to be a song, Mother?"
Well, yes. Yes, it does.
Anyway, the song of the Kilchis in the summer is most beautiful, and I'll add it to my collection of my river songs. It's not so neatly on manuscript, now, and ready to build on.
By the way, and on my way back from the river, I stopped a minute to smell the flowers. Way back when I was married, my husband gave me my first bouquet of freesia. It instantly became my favorite. He bought them at the Galleria, downtown. I could not believe the fragrance! I carried them around for days, so that I could breathe in that wonderful scent!
Since then, I've always searched them out. When I need a treat, or when I'm feeling down, I go to my local florist and ask, "Do you have any white freesia?" (The white ones are the most fragrant.) They rarely do, and because of this, I have learned to consider them rare and very special treat.
Well, guess what? I have freesia all over my yard, and they are blooming!!! I can't believe it! I bought them at Fred Meyers, and almost giggled as I planted them. It was a pie in the sky hope kind of thing, that I really didn't think would materialize. It was like planting a money tree or something! Well, they are here!
I spend my afternoons on my knees, with my hands cupped over the blossoms, inhaling deeply. My yard is heavenly! I have white ones and pink ones and white and pink ones! One broke off, and I have it in a vase, next to my desk. I often break, and hold it close to my nose. Aroma therapy, at it's finest. As I breathe in, I hear it. Oh, my gosh! It's playing music, too!
I'm going to go play it... Perhaps next, is a new set of music. "The miracle of Freesia" and all of the miracles of blossoms that burst forth, in the early summer, on the Kilchis river.
Oh! One more thing that tickles my fancy to the extreme! Jim Martin (past ODFW Chief of Fisheries) is going to speak at Ifishstock! If you have never heard Jim speak, you are missing out! Don't miss this chance! He's the most inspiring speaker I think I've ever heard! I am so honored!

June 22nd 2004

I hesitate to type, today, as I recall my class yesterday. This particular workshop at the Outdoor Writer's Conference was listed as
"Be Your Own Worst Critic"
Speaker: Joel Vance ("the editor from hell")
After a few jokes about how the title in the schedule had plenty of punctuation errors in it, we proceeded into a whole new world in writing and re writing.
I always wonder after these classes if I'm better off before the class, in ignorance, or better after, with better writing. I think we all know the answer. However, it weighs heavily on me this morning, as I carefully put words together in the window of time I have available, before breakfast! As usual, I am late!
Breakfast at 7:30, and a whole schedule of classes to follow!
I'm having a grand time, and I can tell you right now, my brain is nearing full! I am chock full of thoughts from wonderful classes I've attended, and heavy conversations on conservation and other fishing issues with other writers.
The thought of flinging a fly on the Kilchis River is very inviting. Thursday, I will be home, to do just that!
I had some major physical problems early in the week. I spent the first day mostly in my room, trying to get over some extreme muscle cramping. I think I'm better, now, though!
Off to breakfast, I go. Then, to attend several classes. The first is, "Pacific Northwest Salmon Recovery At the Climate Crossroads?" One of the speakers on this panel is Jim Martin. I won't miss that one!
Then, onto learning more about GPS as a writer's tool, and another on digital photography.
A busy day, and I'm spending my morning, cleaning house in my brain to prepare room for yet more info!

June 25th 2004

Home! The trip over the coastal mountains seemed longer than I can ever remember. I resisted the urge to reach over and press Bill's leg further into the gas pedal. He had driven to pick me up, and it seems he slows down the car as he approaches the fourth and fifth hour.
"Go, Bill! Go!" There are dogs to greet! Rivers to fish! Familiar beds to sleep in!
All of those things get done eventually, but none too soon!
Now, I am faced with the challenge of catching up. Catching up on my sleep and energy is difficult to do, when evenly matched with catching up on work, e mail, postal mail, book keeping, house keeping, and medical appointments. I set my nose to the grindstone, when I got home, and accomplished part.
I have doctor's appointments today, Monday and Tuesday. This cancels out any fishing trips that have to do with boats or full days hunting for fish, for sure.
Unless... I go to my 9:00 AM this morning, and come home to a cutthroat trip in the coastal tidewater. And Tuesday, my appointment is in Seaside. I could fish the Necanicum after that! Hey! I may be able to do this, and more!
As for catching up on sleep and energy, I think I'll put that off until I'm 90. Of course, by then, I'll be eligible, most probably, to fish some of the fine handicap areas, that are on the finest sections of some of our most fish producing areas! I'd hate to miss that!
I guess if there is a will, there is a... bay!
Hey! I've got one of those just west of here that is chock full of salmon, and not far out in the ocean, silvers! Let's go!
Piscatorial dreams aside, I'm very happy to be home.
I had an absolutely wonderful time, and my brain is full to overflowing with story ideas, new editing knowledge, new insights on global warming, and a renewed commitment to the health of our rivers and streams, and the fish that reside there.
I also set a new goal. Despite my eyesight, I will go bird hunting this winter. God help us all! I'm saving my pennies for a guided trip. Not with Bill, not with anyone but the guide, and myself. I think I have located a guide that will be patient with my physical restrictions. I wanted to hunt chukkar, but we decided they were to quick for my dimming eyesight, and we had to cover too much country, walking. Pheasant or turkey would be better. Not sure, which.
This all came about while viewing a film on hunting one day, after lunch. It displayed the camaraderie and joy shared between two people on a hunt. I was extremely touched by it, and I had no idea I had emotion, there! My eyes began to rim with tears watching it. It totally surprised me, as I dabbed my eyes!
What? What is this, Jennie?
I decided, right there and then.
I want to hunt!
I need to hunt!
Lord, life is so short! There are so many, many things I want to do!
I woke to a start this morning, and thanked God for things as wonderful and simple as the comfort of my own flannel sheets in my own bed.
Ready? Set? I've got a whole lot of life to live, and a whole list of things I want to do!
Go!

June 27th 2004

Well, what a beautiful morning!
The sun is shining, I have baby purple finches at my feeder, and they are so cute! They fluff up their feathers and shake them wildly, while trying to learn to use the feeders. I wonder if they realize it doesn't always get as good as this? Fun to watch, as they learn to feed. They drop half or more! I've never been good at eating sunflower seeds, either!
We had a sort of cat/bird drama last night. Molly the cat was sitting directly under the swallows nest. The swallows were madly trying to get in, and at the same time, swooping Molly, trying to head her off.
No matter how many times I moved and scolded Molly, she was having too much fun, and went straight back to her birding spot.
Finally, I placed a miniature rose in a pot to where she sat, on the stair rail. The swallows were able then to get to their nest, without hassle from their feline foe. All is well, now, in the swallow world.
Our hummingbirds are on the way out. I think we only have three pair left. I miss them, but at the same time, I'm relieved to not have to make 8 cups of sugar water, a day. They'll be back next year!
We took the duck boat out, yesterday, and fished the tidewater for cutthroat. We had a grand time.
I think I hooked and landed 8 or 9, while Bill took 2 or 3. (This does not happen, often!) They were all cookie cutter 14 inchers. Nice fat fish! Most were residents. I think we landed two that were sea run. Sea run cutthroat are beautiful, shining slabs of silver, as they shoot skyward out of their still, aquatic playground and act out their disapproval. Even more fun to let them go, again.
We always use really big barbless hooks to fish for cutts, and we often lose them, due to this fact. I'd rather, however, lose them, then have them mortally swallow a hook. We talked about whether we would keep a cutt, if the new law allowing retention of cutthroats were to pass. We both decided that we would keep them, only if we were to mortally hook one. That doesn't happen, often.
Despite our feelings against this new law, I imagine that it will pass, and soon, retention will be allowed. I can't watch!
The river out back is quickly receding. I can't believe the amount of thick, green moss that is waving in the shallows and the dried moss that forms an ugly crust on the sun exposed rocks. It seems to be getting thicker, every year. The thought of global warming frightens me as I see more and more evidence that it is happening.
Time to water the garden. Looks like the prediction for rain on the coast has expired without so much as a drop.
As I walked up from the river last night, my knees buckled and all of my energy totally left me. I paused, and leaned heavily against my walking stick. With a deep sigh, I said to myself, "Self? You are getting old."
At that point, my sigh of depression turned into a giggle. Wait a minute! Since I was met with the knowledge that I have marfan syndrome and the threat of a shortened life span, what is it that I have always prayed for?
To get old!
Laughing out loud at the irony, I lifted one foot in front of the other, my fly rod in one hand, walking stick in the other, and shook my head, giggling, all the way back to the house.
Getting old isn't always fun, but I'll tell you, it's far better than the alternative!

June 28th 2004

Home from the dentist, on to work... :)

June 29th 2004

Oh, come on now. Don't tell me yet another month has nearly passed me by! June is nearly gone? I just got home from Spokane, and now I'm getting ready for Las Vegas! Frankly, I don't even want to go! Like I said, I just got home!!!
First off, I want to thank Bill Monroe for his article two years ago, on mason bees. This is our second year housing mason bees. We have four "mystery" fruit trees in our back yard. We had no idea if they were ornamental, or actual fruit bearing trees. Well, the mystery has been solved! Yesterday, we noticed that three out of the four fruit trees are heavy with child! Pears, everywheres! I'm so excited! Thank you, Bill! Thank you, mason bees!
Had a lovely afternoon and evening last night. Shane Stewart stopped by to deliver a trout fly reel, to replace my broken one.
We barbecued a pork roast and sat outside in the late afternoon sunshine. We nibbled on smoked springer as the roast sizzled. After dinner we went out back and worked the river over, from top to bottom.
Lately, I've had the weirdest things, happen. I'll think about a friend that I haven't heard from in ages, and bingo! They write to me! That very same day, or the next!
The same thing has happened, regarding wildlife.
The Kilchis Canyon has been oddly vacant of any signs of wildlife. We are ordinarily frequented by deer, elk, bobcat and other assorted creatures. In the fall, of course, we have chum salmon by the masses to sit and stare at, in wonder.
Amazing discoveries, just like on the Discovery channel!
There are elk trails, carved out of the mountain side, as we head into town. These are now becoming overgrown. In the past, we'd see signs that they'd been used, nearly daily.
Gone are the deer tracks on the beaches of the river. As I walk the lengths of damp sand in the morning, all I see is my footprints from the night before, and several dog prints.
Bill was mentioning their absence to the wood guy that brings our wood. He told us that the other side of one of our mountains is currently being logged, and that most deer and elk have moved North of the logging area, to the hills near Miami Foley road.
In addition, there is a meadow towards town that the elk and deer used to graze on a regular basis. I was known to slow my car, and be treated to a show of elk, racing towards the river.
The elk would come down off of the steep slope, cross the road, (look out!) and head down the opposite steep gradient, to the meadow. You could see the fresh dirt kicked up all over the road, as a warning.
My car was often forced to a stop, here, due to an elk parade. I was so familiar with these monsters, that I was able to recognize individual elk.
The elk are not welcome there, now.
Local farmers bought this meadow, constructed a six foot barbed fence, and planted the fields with crops.
The way it is done, you can't help but imagine these huge elk stumbling down the hill, only to be abruptly un welcomed by this "in their face" fence. I'm surprised that it still stands! The slope down to the meadow is steep and treacherous. The fence is constructed just at the bottom of the incline. BUMP! OUCH!
All of these things combined have made our area less inviting to wildlife.
I'm beginning to feel a bit like David James Duncan, in thinking I need to move to Montana to escape these crazy developments. I can relate to his feelings, now. I miss the wildlife, desperately.
After Shane left, I headed upstairs and crawled into bed. I tucked myself into my bed, freshly adorned with clean cotton sheets. I lay there for a while with my windows open, listening to the forest. All of the sudden, I heard it!
"Whoo, whoo, whoo-woooooooo! Whoo, whoo, whoo-woooooooo!"
An owl! I hadn't heard one in ages! I quickly called down to the boys. "Open your windows! Listen to the owl!" I heard their windows slide open.
I then raced to the window and flashed a light out into the meadow. The glowing eyes of one lone buck deer, stared back at me. I quickly turned off the light, so as not to disturb him. I hadn't seen a deer in our meadow for months! Just knowing he was there, was awesome!
It was eleven at night, and we were all being wooed to sleep by the presence of the creatures of the forest.
I dozed off with the comforting feeling of being contacted by friends that I had surely missed, and had been thinking about.
Maybe Montana can wait.

June 30th 2004

Congratulations to the Spring Chinook Contest winners, 2004! Click here to see who will be awarded the custom rods!
There is so much going on! Stan Fagerstrom's new column will be up, later today.
Yesterday, on the way to the doc, Bill and I stopped by KOA and checked on the playground for Ifishstock, 2004. It's going to be perfect!
We are trying to find a bluegrass band for the after dinner hours. There will be a miniature golf tournament, sometime during the festivities. What a blast!
Prizes are still rolling in, and I hope that most people will go home with something, be it a hat, cup holder, or whatever! :)
I have a new contest I'm going to put up that is designed for bank fishers, only. The winner will receive a pair of Korker's boots. This will be awesome! I'll let you know when it is up and running.
I will be writing a check, today, for a local fishing charity. From the sounds of it, most people have voted for NSIA. We'll find out the results of the poll, later today. You may vote, here!
Today, I am calling people for donations for ifishstock. If you have a prize to donate, please e mail me or list it on the board, here.
Man, I'm busy!
I just finished a wonderful book and I'm starting another by the same author. His name is Francis E. Caldwell. I met him at the Outdoor Writer's Conference. He is an amazing guy, and really captivating to listen to. Now that I've read his books, I feel so honored to have spent time with him. His books have kept me absolutely glued. I read the first one, "Pacific Troller" on the airplane on the way home from Spokane. When Bill came to pick me up, I couldn't talk to him because I had three pages left, and was totally absorbed!
I'm now starting on "Land of the Ocean Mists." It's a bit more historical than the other but compliments Pacific Troller, very nicely.
"Pacific Troller" was out of print, until recently. It's in it's fourth reprint. It's a must have! It is a fascinating account of Francis' life as an offshore salmon and tuna troller. It's filled with amazing stories of Lituya bay, where a nearly 2000 foot wave denuded the towering mountainsides of any type of vegetation during an earthquake, and subsequent landslide!
As I read along I felt like I was right out there, with him! It's been written that his books will make you slightly sea sick. So true!
I adore stories of the ocean. However, I do not much care to venture out. This book took me there in the safety of, well, an airplane!
If you'd like to order a copy, it's only available by phone or e mail, through Anchor Publishing. Please contact Francis and Donna Caldwell at:
(360) 457-3000, or e mail them, here!
OK, off to put up Stan's new column!

FISHING THE COAST
A journal of my adventures.

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