Fishing The Coast, Oregon and Washington
MARCH 2002



In fond memory of Milton Fischer.

 

Jennie's Fishing Life

FISHING THE COAST

A journal of my adventures.


March 2nd 2002

Last month, I knew that I was kidding myself.
It's winter. Spring can't be here yet.
I looked out onto the magenta skyline. Budding new leaves of alder trees! I knew it was early, but I saw spring!
Now if this isn't an odd mix.
I do see spring out there. There is no doubt!
The daffodils are blooming. The world around me is becoming more green. Yet, they are forecasting a bit of snow, and outside, my current temperature is 29 degrees!
The field before me is a sheet of white frost.
The Kilchis is so low and clear that Andrew waded across it with Kilchis yesterday.
I had no idea.
Post (fairly intensive) oral surgery, he says he is going out to the river to play with Kilchis. I thought he was just throwing Frisbees on the shore in the warmth of the late afternoon.
BUT NO!
He is wading across the river! No more pain pills for that boy! I'm thinking he's feeling a little TOO good.
He came back, his pants zipped off at the knee, his Birkenstocks soaked, and a big smile on his half swollen face.
Yip, he's cut off the meds!
"Fisherman's Marine & Outdoor 10th Anniversary Sturgeon Derby" is today, and I had to back out.
Andrew just had surgery, and I need to take care of him, right?
Eric Lindy of Fisherman's Marine has given LFN the heads up that the annual "Columbia River Sturgeon Tournament" will once a again take place on the Columbia River today. According to Eric, "Tournament capacity has been increased to include 350 teams this year with a total of three starting times for each armada of boats".
Fisherman's Marine is the title sponsor of the "The Fisherman's Marine & Outdoor 10th Anniversary Sturgeon Derby" Other sponsors include: North River Jet Boats, Yamaha Outboards, Columbia Sports Ware, Berkley, Lowrance, Jack Daniells, and Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer.
Eric says that this years banquette will be held at the Portland Expo Center.
Bev and Dot invited me to go on their all girls team. I was going to go, and pleaded Chris Sessions to be our guide. Unfortunately, Chris's new boat didn't have seats installed yet, so Chris got Bill Heater to take over the captains seat.
I told Chris that it would be best, since we wanted an all girls team, if they would (please) dress up as women. I doubt they followed through.
Anyway, this is the team that I'll be watching, and counting on for the win!
I'll have pictures of the event, sent in by Dot tonight.
Go team!
With the huge amount of smelt in the river, it is going to be a tough day of fishing, but they'll come through! They know the secret of the sturgeon!
Willamette river spring chinook is taking off, but slowly.
Bill is out there today with Dudley for a couple hours. I am salivating for springer on the BBQ.
I heard a report that in the Lake Oswego area, three were hooked yesterday, and three the day before.
Steve Olson reports that he hooked a nice big 25 pound "finned" fish. As soon as he saw the fish, he went for the pliers. Just as he reached for them, a long line release occurred. The hook popped out of his mouth. Just as well.
It's a bit early, I try to convince myself.
It's OK that I am at home, Bill is fishing, Dot, Bev, Chris, Bill, Dudley... Everyone I know... is fishing.
That's O.K.
I can go wade across the river with Kilchis and Andrew, right?
Or does that require pain pills?
One last question.
Why, if David felt really sick in the middle of the night, would he lean over the side of the top bunk bed and throw up all over Andrew?
Is this a repressive sibling thing?

March 3rd 2002

I have no idea what went on at the Sturgeon Derby! They all must be exhausted, because I didn't hear a word!
Did they catch them all?
Did they catch none of them?
My curiosity is killing me!
The kids really thought I was nuts when I let out a excited but hushed scream yesterday, while sitting here at my desk.
They came running into see if I was all right.
I waved them to approach slowly, as I stared out the window.
They tried to act excited, but alas, it wasn't the UPS man with a new X Box. It wasn't one of their friends, coming for a surprise visit. It wasn't a cougar, a bobcat, or bear.
"MY FIRST HUMMY!" I whispered to them.
"Oh... cool Mom". They said and wandered off. They just don't get it!

March Hummingbird!

It was cool! It was awesome! It was... My first hummy of the year!
I filled the feeders last Sunday, and Bill put them both out back. No fair!
I sit here in front most days.
So, in my pajamas, yesterday, I transferred one of them to the front. The sweet syrup drained down my sleeve as I reached to hang it up high on the wire hanger.
I was half thinking... "This isn't worth it. There won't be hummies for a while..."
THERE ARE!
THERE ARE HUMMIES!

One lonely hummy! I saw him twice!
I was so excited that I have to tell everyone!
Someone... PLEASE SHARE MY ENTHUSIASM!!!
My first hummy you guys!!! :)
I didn't get to go fishing yesterday, but I DID get a hummy! Did you?
O.K., I'm all better.
Two notes of importance:
First: Ifish needs new server for The Discussion Board. It's just plain maxed out by traffic. If you use the discussion board, and would like to help, please look for information here.
Second: This is for those of you who have been touched by the story of Chris.
I am sending in my memorial gift soon, and invite you, as a community from ifish, to join me.
Steve says this: "In lieu of flowers, Chris wanted us to arrange for donations to be made to the National Marfan's Foundation."
The money will go to help research the Marfan Syndrome.
Andrew and I both have this Syndrome. I have received many letters of support concerning Chris's life and early death.
I would be very pleased to send your contribution, along with mine, as a gift from the ifish community.
If you would like to join me, I will be sending it off at the end of this month. Please make the check payable to National Marfan's Foundation, and send it to me at:



An Exerpt from the Marfan Writer's Anthology here.

March 5th 2002

Bill Hedlund and Dudley Nelson grew up on the shores of the Willamette river, where our prawns dangled in the depths.
The sun hit sharply on the water, as Steve Olson motors by. He grew up on the Willamette, here, also.
As we cruise by the million dollar homes built upon the shores, I hear stories of who originally grew up there, who bought the property, who rebuilt, who is still there.
"There is a full size swimming pool in the basement of that house." They both shake their heads.
Dudley had a row boat, when he was 12. He spent many hours on the river as a child. He once rowed to Oregon City. He rowed across the river to fish with Bill. He got a motor when he was 14.
Dudley's Father's home is now gone. On Dudley Senior's property, two extravagant new homes reside.
The "Fishback Road" sign, which used to hang on Dud senior's fish shack, is now on the neighbors boat dock. His boat dock/fishing shack is now gone.
Dud senior, an avid and successful Spring Chinook fisherman, was seldom indoors during this season.
He lived on the water, sun up, to sundown. His efforts paid off, as he nailed chinook tail after chinook tail to the wall where the Fishback Road sign was.
One year, Dudley Junior caught a 62 pound chinook out of T bay, and added it to the tails of the Willamette mix. If that wasn't a site!
The Lake Oswego Spring Chinook fishing area is not heavily populated, except for those that grew up there.
"Why?" I asked.
My first answer was that it was a tough fishery, it's snaggy.
Later, I think we resolved that it had more to do with home water. Where you grow up fishing, you stay fishing. After 40 years, you know every crack and crevice on the river bottom. You know the depths, the channels, the path to follow to find the bite.
Before long, Steve Olson, fishing above us, had a springer on.
He played the fish expertly, quietly.
"It has no fin!" He joyously shouted, as he readied his net.
"20-25 pounds!" He shouted, as he began the scoop.
The next occurrence was tragic. The spinner got caught on the net, and the fish was gone, as quickly as it had bitten.
"Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr." We heard echo across the water.
We giggled, but felt his loss.
Back to fishing. Back to stories.
Stories of fishing in Oak Grove lake. How Oak Grove Lake would freeze occasionally, or so, and they would play hockey.
"The guy from Danner boots lives there... I used to date the girl that lived there..."
We didn't catch a spring chinook. My new Lamiglas MBCT 80 is still as bright and shiny as when it arrived. No bend, no fight, no bite.
I traveled though, back into time.
A time when Dudley, tired of rowing, would hitch rides on log rafts, being towed to Oregon City.
I had to stop and think.
I was envious. I didn't have a river to grow up on.
Even now, it is considered a bit odd for me to fish, as a woman. Odd for me to stand alone on the banks of the Kilchis, hour after hour, in pursuit of a scaly, slimy, wet creature.
I wonder how I would have been welcomed, as a 12 year old girl, rowing my little row boat on the open Willamette, in 1955.
Had I grown up there, that's where I'd have been.
All of the sudden, I wanted grayer hair. I wanted to remember with them, the stories they told. I wanted to remember me, growing up, on the Willamette River, too. I wanted to know this piece of water, as they do.

"My name is Jennie Logsdon Martin. I grew up on the banks of the Willamette river... I got a row boat, when I was 12. I once rowed to Oregon City, I did."
Keep dreaming, Jennie.
My eyes felt the twinkles of memories that theirs showed, as I recalled the good old days. I started to despise the newer homes on the river as I gazed through them. I longed for a more accurate picture of the older homes on the river.
I felt like one of guys, as I made my way out of the boat, and up the steep banks of George Rogers Park.
I was a kid again, growing up on the banks of the Willamette river. A tom girl, fishing with the guys.
When we reached the top, I asked Bill.
"We could fish Sucker Creek for a while, until it gets dark. Then, shall we call your Mom or mine, to come pick us up?"

March 5th 2002

Bill Hedlund and Dudley Nelson grew up on the shores of the Willamette river, where our prawns dangled in the depths.
The sun hit sharply on the water, as Steve Olson motors by. He grew up on the Willamette, here, also.
As we cruise by the million dollar homes built upon the shores, I hear stories of who originally grew up there, who bought the property, who rebuilt, who is still there.
"There is a full size swimming pool in the basement of that house." They both shake their heads.
Dudley had a row boat, when he was 12. He spent many hours on the river as a child. He once rowed to Oregon City. He rowed across the river to fish with Bill. He got a motor when he was 14.
Dudley's Father's home is now gone. On Dudley Senior's property, two extravagant new homes reside.
The "Fishback Road" sign, which used to hang on Dud senior's fish shack, is now on the neighbors boat dock. His boat dock/fishing shack is now gone.
Dud senior, an avid and successful Spring Chinook fisherman, was seldom indoors during this season.
He lived on the water, sun up, to sundown. His efforts paid off, as he nailed chinook tail after chinook tail to the wall where the Fishback Road sign was.
One year, Dudley Junior caught a 62 pound chinook out of T bay, and added it to the tails of the Willamette mix. If that wasn't a site!
The Lake Oswego Spring Chinook fishing area is not heavily populated, except for those that grew up there.
"Why?" I asked.
My first answer was that it was a tough fishery, it's snaggy.
Later, I think we resolved that it had more to do with home water. Where you grow up fishing, you stay fishing. After 40 years, you know every crack and crevice on the river bottom. You know the depths, the channels, the path to follow to find the bite.
Before long, Steve Olson, fishing above us, had a springer on.
He played the fish expertly, quietly.
"It has no fin!" He joyously shouted, as he readied his net.
"20-25 pounds!" He shouted, as he began the scoop.
The next occurrence was tragic. The spinner got caught on the net, and the fish was gone, as quickly as it had bitten.
"Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr." We heard echo across the water.
We giggled, but felt his loss.
Back to fishing. Back to stories.
Stories of fishing in Oak Grove lake. How Oak Grove Lake would freeze occasionally, or so, and they would play hockey.
"The guy from Danner boots lives there... I used to date the girl that lived there..."
We didn't catch a spring chinook. My new Lamiglas MBCT 80 is still as bright and shiny as when it arrived. No bend, no fight, no bite.
I traveled though, back into time.
A time when Dudley, tired of rowing, would hitch rides on log rafts, being towed to Oregon City.
I had to stop and think.
I was envious. I didn't have a river to grow up on.
Even now, it is considered a bit odd for me to fish, as a woman. Odd for me to stand alone on the banks of the Kilchis, hour after hour, in pursuit of a scaly, slimy, wet creature.
I wonder how I would have been welcomed, as a 12 year old girl, rowing my little row boat on the open Willamette, in 1955.
Had I grown up there, that's where I'd have been.
All of the sudden, I wanted grayer hair. I wanted to remember with them, the stories they told. I wanted to remember me, growing up, on the Willamette River, too. I wanted to know this piece of water, as they do.

"My name is Jennie Logsdon Martin. I grew up on the banks of the Willamette river... I got a row boat, when I was 12. I once rowed to Oregon City, I did."
Keep dreaming, Jennie.
My eyes felt the twinkles of memories that theirs showed, as I recalled the good old days. I started to despise the newer homes on the river as I gazed through them. I longed for a more accurate picture of the older homes on the river.
I felt like one of the guys, as I made my way out of the boat, and up the steep banks of George Rogers Park.
I was a kid again, growing up on the banks of the Willamette river. A tom girl, fishing with the guys.
When we reached the top, I asked Bill.
"We could fish Sucker Creek for a while, until it gets dark. Then, shall we call your Mom or mine, to come pick us up?"

March 5th 2002 later...

I can't express the sadness I feel in losing a friend.
Milton Fischer died yesterday, March 4th, 2002.
I thought the world of him. He was the first to row me down the North Fork Nehalem.
The world lost a great man, and all I can ask is why? And what will become of his two best friends? His two beautiful labs? I will be there to stay with them in a minute, should anyone ask. I am here to help in any manner I can.
I am saddened beyond words.

March 6th 2002

Last month, it happened again.
I was in Fred Meyers. I turned around, and there he was. I quickly turned away, and my face turned scarlet red.
He didn't see me... yet. This has happened so many times. In Costco, in Freddies, in Safeway.
He stood there, over six feet tall, and all over gorgeous!
He is going to see me any minute. I want to see him, yet I want to run away.
Regain composure, regain... regain...
Nope! I couldn't!
I whirled around, as our eyes met. "Hi Milton!" I said, with all the confidence I could muster.
Milton and I were both at the bulk food bins, him searching for barley, me for brown rice.
It was always that first shock of seeing him that got to me. After the initial red face, he always made me comfortable.
I invited him over to the house, to visit with Bill and I.
We sat, over hot coffee and candles, at the kitchen table, watching what Milton referred to as Christmas Juncos.
We discussed everything from writing, to his theories on fly fishing with floats. A storm raged outside.
I showed him my web site. He wasn't crazy about computers, but was impressed with the amount of information available on ifish.net.
It all took me back to the first time I met Milton.
I was newly divorced. My husband had left our family, and I was feeling very vulnerable and alone. I hadn't been working, and was left with very little money for the kids and I. I didn't really know where the next meal was coming from, nor my rent payment.
Right after my divorce, my Mother became very ill with cancer. My Grandmother was in the hospital after a stroke. My cat died. Then my Mother, then my Grandmother. (Then, one by one, all of chickens got killed by raccoons... I am not kidding!) This happened, all within a space of months.
The death of my Mother helped me get over my divorce. It was large in comparison to my divorce. Kind of like, "If your finger is hurting, break your arm, it won't hurt any more!"
As I was leaving the funeral of my Grandmother, I was handed an envelope. It contained a check for one thousand dollars. A gift from my Grandmother!
I should have secured my next month's rent. I should have bought groceries. But I didn't.
On the way home from Canby, my car led me to G.I. JOE's in Lake Grove.
I excitedly tried on neoprenes until I found some that fit. I bought wading boots, and an STS magazine.
To heck with death! To heck with divorce! I'm going fishing!
I had always wanted to drift the North Fork of the Nehalem, and I thumbed through the pages of STS until I came to it.
A picture of Milton Fischer, and an advertisement. He drifts the North Fork!
I nervously dialed the phone. I set a date. I got directions. I was on my way!
I drove, alone, in the early morning light down hiway 53, until I came to the red mail box. The rain beat down on my windshield. I turned into the driveway of a home that did not look awake. The lights were off. The house stood quietly. Is this it?
I knocked on the door. I heard the OK to enter. I was more than nervous.
I opened the door and squinted my eyes until I saw the glow of a candle.
There sat Milton, at the kitchen table, tying flies by candle light.
I had never fished with a guide. What do they look like? Are they grundgy, like some fishermen along the bank, or are they decked out in Orvis clothes? :)
Milton looked... normal. Normal, but extremely rugged and handsome.
Oh myyyyy.
I was confident then. Confident, with my newly divorced thin figure. I was single, outgoing, yet a bit tentative.
We had a wonderful time. Conversation came easily. Fish, however, did not. We laughed all the way down the North Fork. Well, we laughed until we stopped for lunch on an island. We ate his home made venison stew and dried french bread.
The water beside me was flat. I decided to skip a rock. Milton yelled at me! That was the next fishable stretch! Oops!
After we took out, fishless, that day, we went up to the house. He poured us a glass of red wine, and headed back down to the river to fly fish.
At this point, I knew it. I was in deep... admiration!
I left, before it got dark.
Milton would not accept my money. He called later that week, and invited me again, since we hadn't hooked up. He wanted to get me into a steelie.
We went with a fellow in Seaside, who also has a house on the North Fork. I can't for the life of me remember his name. We all fished, had a wonderful time. We caught fish!
We all packed in to Milton's neighbor's car afterward, and went to see his neighbor's house, his photographs. We laughed, we drank wine, we talked.
I left.
But not before Milton reached down to kiss me.
HE KISSED ME! MILTON FISCHER KISSED ME!

I raced home to tell the kids. I told them everything!
Andrew and David were five and six at the time.
"You guys! Guess what? He kissed me!" I giggled.
"This guy, you guys... he has a home on the river!" I laughed. "He has a house in Portland!" I giggled. "I've decided I am going to marry this man!" I teased. "He fishes all the time!"
Well, children don't tease at five and six. Everything is literal.
I spoke with Milton off and on, and visited with him occasionally. I anticipated his every call. Every time, I was nervous. He invited me to dinner.
One sunny Saturday,, I bundled up the kids, and went to the Necanicum, where the largest Sitca Spruce Tree is.
We fished off the bridge, dangling wigglers into the current. All three of us.
Around the corner came Milton's car.
"ohmygosh..."
He is going to see me any minute. I want to see him, yet I want to run away.
Regain composure, regain...regain...
Nope! I couldn't!
Stutter.... "Hi Milton!" I smiled, red faced.
He parked his rig, and came to visit.
Before I could say anything, little David looked up to him, with big, innocent eyes.
"Are you the man that has a house on the river?" David asked.
"Yes", Milton answered.
"Are you the man with the house in Portland?" David asks again.
"Yes", Milton answered.
I was biting my tongue... nearly dying. My face was brilliant. My mind, however, was not.
"Are you Milton?" David asked.
"Yes", said Milton.
"Are you going to marry my Mother?"
@#$&@#(*$&@(*$&#@
Jennie feels major blood flow rising to the top. I was hot. My breath came in jerky, uncomfortable gasps. I began to cough. Jennie wants to jump in the river. Jennie sees no where to go. Jennie wants to throw David in the river, too.
Needless to say, I didn't see Milton for a while. Even though he called, I couldn't face him.
Finally, months of recovery afterward, I did go to see Milton.
KIDS.
Milton and I became friends. We traded fine wines for smoked salmon. We talked recipes, cooking, education, friends, fishing. We spent long hours on the phone. We sat by the fire and exchanged stories. We spoke of our current loves.
When I drifted the Nehalem with others, I always hiked up to see him, and got my Milton fix. He would build me a fire, if one wasn't already started. He warmed me with his conversation, his smile, his kindness.
I could never tell this story, while Milton was with us. I still am embarrassed, but I told it. I did. I told the story.
I glance up on my wall to see the picture of Milton and I, proudly holding a beautiful steelhead.
I want to go to the store and run into Milton. I want to feel his hug. I want to see his smile.
Here come the tears again.
Regain composure, regain...regain...
No... I can't.
The North Fork Nehalem will never be the same. I can't imagine drifting the North Fork, without drifting in to see Milt.
I can't imagine how his beautiful labs are going to feel without the leader of their pack.
I just can't thoroughly absorb this.
My prayers go to Daria, and to Milton's family, and to everyone, who was blessed by his friendship and love.

March 7th, 2002

It is Thursday, and I am up to my ears in ifish.net. I have 80 letters in my in box, about 60 letters to address, stamp, and get out. I have web sites to fix, and a server to buy, a.s.a.p. I have a software glitch in UBB. I am supposed to drive Andrew to Portland to the doctor, yet it is snowing here. (Yikes! My hummingbirds will wonder why they came so early!) I have money to count and Thank God for, to buy the server, and the Honors page to update. Please, be patient, as my workload is increasing! Ifish had record hits yesterday. Double our old records!
181000 hits! Oh my! Does anyone know of a secretary who works for free?
You know what I think? This is God's way of keeping me going, while going through the loss of two friends.

Please visit and participate in Milton's online memorial.
A Memorial Gathering for the life of Milton Fischer will be held on:
Saturday, March 9th at The Nehalem Fire Hall 35900 8th Street Nehalem, OR. (503)368-5627
Doors Open at 1 p.m. Memorial starts at 1:30 pm.
Please join us for this celebration of Milton's life.
At the Memorial, in lieu of
flowers, we will be encouraging people to give to a Memorial fund supporting Milton's interests. That will be announced on Saturday.

March 8th, 2002

We are the only ones in the world that gather snow out of the field, put it in a wheelbarrow, and empty it
ON OUR DRIVEWAY.

"It's like going through a four day funeral." I rose from my computer chair, and sighed to Andrew.
In the last couple of days, since the death of Milton Fischer, I have received several letters. They came from all across the country. Old girlfriends, relatives, childhood friends who grew up with Milton, hunting and fishing friends... on and on.
Some shared funny stories from the past. Some mirrored how much he was loved. Others shared deep feelings, trying to understand, to grasp the meaning of life, or death. Some forecast his future of fishing with the Great Fisherman in the sky. I forwarded them, one by one, to Milt's family.
I find death difficult to grasp. Even with my religious beliefs, I can't hold onto what it means to me.
It's final.
When the power goes out, I think to myself, "Ah! The coffee maker won't work, but I can microwave my coffee!"
And so, with death.
When drifting the North Fork, I will pass by his house, and think, "Oh! Milton is not there!-- But I will find his new house... somewhere!"
Where? Where will I find Milton?
I'll find him when I have read stories of Bill Monroe hunting ducks.
I'll find him at the kitchen table, as I light a candle, sip hot coffee, and watch the raging storms.
I'll find him as I try to tie flies.
I'll find him as I watch my 'Christmas' Juncos on the lawn.
And I found him yesterday, as I sat beside the cold, clear, and low waters of the Kilchis River.
I sat for a long while, thinking.
I looked up to the sky, and knew that Milton was there, somewhere.
I cried me a river.
I cried me a river so hard that I'm sure the water level came up enough for the fish to start moving.
Thinking of that, I began to laugh.
I heard Milt echo my laughter.
Crazy.
I'm glad no one was watching. All alone on the snow covered banks, I sat by the water, and laughed with Milt.
It's time to turn the power back on. Time to end the sadness, remember the good times... and smile.
I'm going to go heat up my coffee in the microwave.

March 10th, 2002

I was moved by Milton's ceremony. Moved by all of the people who he obviously touched very deeply.
I sat in an extremely diverse crowd of mourners... Hey! They weren't mourning... they were celebrating!
One by one, people rose to tell stories that made the crowd laugh through their tears.
Last, it was Daria's turn, Milton's girlfriend. We were told she would like us to join her in a hymn, if we were so moved to do so. A hush swept over the crowd.
"What hymn? Will I sing along? Will I know the tune? Will this be the awkward part?"
She stood, solemnly before the crowd. Out of her pocket came a duck call, and she expertly played the most incredibly happy duck call I had ever heard. (I was pretty impressed! That girl can CALL!)
....
I wrote more about the service, but I just erased it. The words just aren't ready to come out. I have odd feelings. I was in a crowd of people yesterday who knew Milt much better than I did. I felt a bit odd. Why was I so touched by a guy I knew for 10 years, yet rarely saw?
I need to go fishing. I haven't been fishing in a very long time.
I need to be outdoors, I need to get away.
I need to kill something. :)
I think Milton, the almighty predator, would approve.
(Note to editor: Please change the "kill something"-- to "harvest some sustenance" or "gather some wild food").

March 11th, 2002

Yeah, I'm going fishing... RIGHT! The wind is blowing around 40 miles and hour, the rain is falling from the sky like sheets, and.... I'm not going fishing!
Ifish was put on a new server, and everything has been ironed out, to my knowledge. I will wait to see what happens during peak hour usage.
The new server has RAID 5. (What is that?) I know... some kind of array of inexpensive disks.... Now I know! Right! (My brain is full, may I leave the room?)
Anyway, it's big, strong, powerful, and should handle the db traffic well. The move went too smoothly. What might happen? :)
Don't forget the Tillamook Angler's annual fin clipping, on April 13th. Unfortunately, this collides with Flotilla 4, but I'm sure there are still many people who will join me and others for this event. Write to me for details.
Please, welcome to ifish, the people at Rod and Reel Storage Ace.
I must say, this is one thing that I walked away from the Sportsman Show without, that I wished I had.
Since Bill and I got together, I never know where MY rods are. I want my very own rod holder, and one for Bill too. No wait, these rod holders hold 12 rods each... That means I would need one, and Bill would need 10 or 11. Yikes! :)
They really are awesome, and actually, very light weight! Check them out!
Have a great day!

March 12th, 2002

What a night! I went to bed early. I have been on major sleep deficit for the past few weeks. I'd wake in the night, my mind full of computer server information and ideas to help ifish run smoother.
I was obsessed. Cooking dinner, I would download the potatoes, and upload the roast. I'd RAID 5 the bread in the microwave, and put 1 gig of cabbage on the stove.
The new server is in place, and ifish is running smoothly... I think!
Night before last, I just had to stay up for the 911 special on TV. Not sure why I did that, it just depressed me, but... I did.
But last night -- WOW!
God was rearranging his furniture (thunder) and cleaning out his rice cupboard (hail)!
He was practicing doing lights like they did in New York! (Aren't those beautiful)?
Thunder! Hail! Lightning!
Bigger than I had ever seen!
I slept on the loft last night, because I wanted to sleep early, and Bill was watching TV in the bedroom. I am not used to TV's in the bedroom. Although, at times, it is nice, I have always reserved that space for reading, quiet, sleep, rest...
We have vaulted cedar ceilings and man, oh man, when that hail hit, I couldn't hear myself think! It was huge hail!
I got up at 3:00 to look outside, and just as I did, a huge flash of lightning hit! I saw the hail, bigger than I've ever seen around here! The entire canyon lit up lighter than day time!
Dee Dee was panicked. She hovered at my feet! Kilchis was hysterically happy, wiggling, "Let's go outside, Mommy! This is cool!"
Kids!
Back to bed.
BANG! Thunder! Lightning! More hail!
It reminded me of the days when I was alone with my real kids. Thunder was an all points alert to head to Mom's room.
Sleepy kids jolted awake, little padding bare feet, blankets dragging down the cold hall floor, to the emergency room.
That would be my room!
We all snuggled up in my big bed in Astoria. I had a wonderful window that stretched from one wall to another, looking out over Young's Bay.
Taking turns peeking out at the sky, and then hiding under the covers, giggling, we turned all storms into an event.
My teenagers didn't even wake during this storm, and I headed back to bed with the dogs.
I fell into a fitful sleep. Needless to say, I'm still on sleep deficit!
Finally, my 5:00 alarm went off, and not in the normal fashion. I had dozed off, and lightning hit somewhere in the trees around me.
That's it. I'm up!
I reached over to shut off my otherwise annoying alarm clock.
Off to a lightning start.
Now... as my coffee starts to take action, what can I do to help ifish run smoother?
OH! I forgot to mention! Dudley Nelson won the Ifish First Springer of The Year Award, and will take possession of his new Lamiglas rod as soon as I see him! Way to go, Dud!
Keep catching those springers! We still have a lovely TH rod for the BIGGEST Springer of the year!
Will it be caught on the coast? I think so! Check in point for the coast, is Tillamook Bait Company!

March 13th, 2002

Everyone who knows Capt. J, and/or Bill Hedlund, wish them a Happy Birthday!
I have to take Andrew into Portland to the doctor, so if you know Bill, call him! Same with Capt. J!
I have to go make Bill's annual spice cake before I leave. Think there will be any left when I get home?
Bill doesn't know I am writing this. Me thinks he might not like it! Oh well!
If I don't fish soon, I'm going to go stir crazy!
Outa here!

March 14th, 2002

Foiled again!
Woke up to Bill who said he hadn't slept ALL night. Came to the computer to find piles of work!
No fishing trip for this girl!
Lots new though! I was very productive!
First off, Welcome, again, to Rod and Reel Storage Ace! I just finished their page on ifish. Read all about it, and then click on their home page too!
Next up... Remember that carving that was sent to me by Cagey? I put up a page for him! Welcome, Cagey's Wood Art, to ifish.net! Beautiful Intarsia carvings! They are incredible!
Lastly, but certainly not least, please read Stan's awesome new column on the Umpqua River! I have also been asked the best place to take families fishing AND catch fish! Stan has got it down on this one! Let's GO!
Anyway, I feel like spider woman with all this web work!
Permission to fish now, sir?
ARGH!!! There is a guide boat plugging out back! Of all the nerve! :)

March 15th, 2002

Attention Volunteers:
One fish run at a time, we need you, to keep our broodstock programs alive.
Contact Jennie here.


Joe Schwab voicing an opinion. Joe is an active local fisherman, and guide.
Photo courtesy of Marie Wills, TillamookBait.com

I was greeted with pretzels, coffee, and ice cold water.
Several local fishing guides mixed in the crowd with the ODFW employees.
It wasn't just another meeting.
We mingled for a bit, perhaps 50 people, exchanging unpleasantries.
Lindsay Ball called the meeting to order.
"The boss has spoken".
The Cedar Creek on the Nestucca, The Salmon River hatchery, and the Trask hatcheries will be stripped down to zero operations and one maintenance man.
The broodstock program is halted immediately.
"The plans are final".
Jerry Dove of Tillamook Anglers was sweating bullets wanting to speak. He has put so much into this fishery. Several guides and sports fishermen echoed his passion with sighs and shaking heads.
Questioning began.
Why this hatchery? Why three in our area?
Lindsay Ball adamantly explained that the Governors position will hold. He explained the process, coolly and calmly. He said that the cuts must be made to general funded hatcheries, of which, there are about 9.
Somewhere, deep down, I could tell this was a difficult thing this man was doing. That he had tried to save the hatchery, and simply had his hands tied.
They had chosen the most expensive to maintain.
The Trask and The Cedar Creek Hatchery were not only expensive to run, due to their age, but, because extensive repairs would be necessary.
Salmon River, on the other hand, although substantially newer, requires the pumping of water, generating tremendous electric bills.
Talk turned to stopping the broodstock program immediately.
They are going to release the spawning fish. Lindsay said!
Jerry Dove nearly came unleashed!
He stood, finally, choking back the emotion.
"Whatever you do..." He stated, "Don't release those fish! We will take care of them! Please let us, the people care for these fish!"
Tillamook Anglers Whiskey Creek hatchery is dependent on egg take at The Trask Hatchery for their Spring Chinook program.
Lindsay explained the problem. He forecasted that when June 30th comes, the ODFW will have no place to care for these fry, so we should let the fish go now.
We discussed the financial impact. The near impossibility of raising licensing fees. The impact on the North Coast economy.
Mr. Ball explained his concerns on why volunteers couldn't carry the load.
Lindsay Ball continued to insist that this is the way it is. The boss has spoken...
I am left confused by so many things. Is the in veto line illegal? Even if the Gov. does get hell and found to be at fault, the budget cuts still will take place, the hatchery will still close?
I've never seen Marty Peterson look so defeated. Marty worked so hard, volunteered his time, and half of his trip money to the broodstock program. So many people gave so much. A wonderful example of how communities can make things work. Now it is stripped from us?
It's all political. It all can change, yet I was feeling rather stifled.
After the meeting, I was invited to take part in a smaller meeting, with the Tillamook guides and Tillamook Anglers. The people who might be interested in volunteer efforts to keep the broodstock program alive, including, but not limited to: Rod Brobeck, Jerry Dove, Tim Juarez, Marty Peterson, Joe Schwab, Phil Donovan, and the lobbyists.
The ODFW is willing to hand over the activities to us, the volunteers, providing that we sign on the dotted line that you we will cover expenses, and work with a STEP bio to complete all things necessary to raise these fish on a volunteer basis.
A ray of light?
Jerry argued that we would do it, but we are not prepared to sign on the line. We don't want to be used as a scape goat for what the State should be responsible for.
"OH! OK!!!" The people don't have to worry anymore. The fish are fine! The volunteers will handle it!
We WILL, but we shouldn't have to.
We have resources for funds that can possibly contribute to the success of a volunteer program, such as this. We DO need your help.
I will be there, all night and day, if I have to, to save these fish.
Will you?
I stand firm in not permitting an interruption in the broodstock cycles over politics!
Ifish is a powerful resource for mobilizing volunteers, and I plan on using it.
We need dedicated funding, yes, but right now what we need is your help. Financial, volunteer time, I don't care, but we need you. Too much work has gone into the program to see it fail now.
Wrapped in emotion, after hearing Jerry Dove speak, I walked over to commiserate with Mr. McCracken.
"Don't you feel we are facing a crisis?" I asked him.
" Jennie, I own logging companies... I have been faced with terrible decisions and have seen much of my work taken from me. Let's face this as a challenge, not as a crisis".
Those words linger in my mind.
Ladies and Gentlemen, my fellow sportsfishermen and women, I am asking that you join us in this challenge.
Our budget has failed, year after year, and what we have all feared has happened.
The immediate task, is to save our broodstock fish.
Contact me, follow along, as I set up an emergency volunteer page. I will post it at the top of ifish.net main page.
On this page, I will announce what we need, day by day, or as it happens. I will be in contact with Mr. Dove.
You will be asked to join us, whether it be for feeding, or telephoning, or general maintenance.
We will take care of these fish, and hope for a speedy resolution. If need be, we will then tackle the next run of fish that needs our help at the hatcheries.
We will handle this challenge, one fish run, at a time.

March 15th, 2002

It's been crazy lately, with all the hatchery closure activity.
Will it happen? No one can quite believe it. Yes, it will happen, unless, we, the people, write tons of letters, show support in force, and do something to change it. Even then, the hatchery may close for a while. I personally think that we can keep it from happening. Call me optimistic, but I do believe this.
Shana called me, from T and S Guides Service, last night, then sent me the e mail below.
I have a doctor's appointment to take Andrew too, and I woke up to snow. I'm worried about two things: The safety of those traveling over the hill to try and make it to this event, and whether or not I can make it home in time to be there myself! Read on!

WE NEED VOLUNTEERS:

Rick Klumph is doing everything possible to help us keep these brood stock fish. He is drawing up a proposal right now and he should have a draft together tomorrow. We need people to get out to Trask River Hatchery tomorrow at 1:00 PM to help generate volunteers to help out with feeding and maintenance of the brood stock fish. If any one wants to or knows of someone who can help us keep from losing the brood stock, please get out to the Trask River Fish Hatchery on Chance Rd. in Tillamook, OR at 1:00 PM. tomorrow.

Tim & Shana Juarez

March 17th, 2002
Happy St. Patrick's Day
--in the Snow!

Snow! Again!

I woke this morning to an eerie glare outside.
Snow?
Yip! Snow!!! 5 inches!!! -- and two little hummingbirds, feeding on the feeder outside my bedroom window!
Now, that is an odd sight!
My mind started to race. I really don't like to drive in 5 inches of snow for two hours. But... are we the only ones who had snow?
I was supposed to go play piano in Astoria this morning!
Seems lately, 2 miles down the road doesn't get touched. We live in snow valley, somehow!
I have lived on the coast for long enough to know that the coast doesn't get a whole lot of the white stuff.
I personally love snow!
When my Mother was alive, she would call me, all excited. "We have snow! Jennie, snow!" She lived in Canby, and I, in Cannon Beach.
I'd look out the window at gray skies, and wet, soggy grasses. Then I'd switch on the T.V. to see scenes of Portland, all dressed and covered in icy whites.
Depressing.
It has been my honor and privilege to see this reversed three times this winter! We have snow, and Portland doesn't!
I raced downstairs to view the various internet cams. One by one, I checked them off. No snow! No snow! None!
HA HA HA HA!
I wanted so badly to dial my Mother's phone number. I still remember it, and still catch myself trying to dial occasionally.
School is out! I don't have to drive to church! Get out the sleds! Snow fight!
I race into the kids room, who lately, aren't very youthful.
"Ugh... No Mother...." came a groan from under the messed up covers. Abandoned late-night X box controllers litter the room. Popcorn kernels, pop cans. It was almost enough frustration to melt the snow happys from my mind!
I dialed the church to tell them I couldn't get out of my driveway. It's steep, and besides, if I tried, I'd ruin our (my) sled run, right?
I walked outside with Kilchis, who seems to be the only one to share my enthusiasm. Of course, he would share it no matter the weather, but hey, Mom's excited! So was he!!!
I stopped for a minute, and looked up at the sky. A big area of blue came into view.
That's my Mom up there.
"Mom! We have snow!"

March 17th, 2002
Happy St. Patrick's Day
--in the Snow!

Snow! Again!

I woke this morning to an eerie glare outside.
Snow?
Yip! Snow!!! 5 inches!!! -- and two little hummingbirds, feeding on the feeder outside my bedroom window!
Now, that is an odd sight!
My mind started to race. I really don't like to drive in 5 inches of snow for two hours. But... are we the only ones who had snow?
I was supposed to go play piano in Astoria this morning!
Seems lately, 2 miles down the road doesn't get touched. We live in snow valley, somehow!
I have lived on the coast for long enough to know that the coast doesn't get a whole lot of the white stuff.
I personally love snow!
When my Mother was alive, she would call me, all excited. "We have snow! Jennie, snow!" She lived in Canby, and I, in Cannon Beach.
I'd look out the window at gray skies, and wet, soggy grasses. Then I'd switch on the T.V. to see scenes of Portland, all dressed and covered in icy whites.
Depressing.
It has been my honor and privilege to see this reversed three times this winter! We have snow, and Portland doesn't!
I raced downstairs to view the various internet cams. One by one, I checked them off. No snow! No snow! None!
HA HA HA HA!
I wanted so badly to dial my Mother's phone number. I still remember it, and still catch myself trying to dial occasionally.
School is out! I don't have to drive to church! Get out the sleds! Snow fight!
I race into the kids room, who lately, aren't very youthful.
"Ugh... No Mother...." came a groan from under the messed up covers. Abandoned late-night X box controllers litter the room. Popcorn kernels, pop cans. It was almost enough frustration to melt the snow happys from my mind!
I dialed the church to tell them I couldn't get out of my driveway. It's steep, and besides, if I tried, I'd ruin our (my) sled run, right?
I walked outside with Kilchis, who seems to be the only one to share my enthusiasm. Of course, he would share it no matter the weather, but hey, Mom's excited! So was he!!!
I stopped for a minute, and looked up at the sky. A big area of blue came into view.
That's my Mom up there.
"Mom! We have snow!"

March 19th, 2002

It was the last show of winter.
Yesterday afternoon, I gazed nervously at the temperature display. Hovering at 38, 37, 39... Is it going to warm, or stay snowy?
The forecast was for rain, but they have been wrong before!
The rain was thick and cold. It contained snow! It wanted to snow!
The snow began to slowly melt, dripping from my roof top and onto the backs of my hummingbirds like little bombs. They darted, trying to be missed.
I stared past them to the meadow. The blanket of wet snow was starting to sprout tiny green grasses.
NOOOOO!!!!!
All right, there is no hope now. Winter is leaving.
On with Spring.
Suddenly daffodils, warm sunshine, and everything green, and sunny and flowery and Spring made my lip quiver.
I love winter! I love the dark, cold days, when the sun doesn't hit the meadow. I like the mold that grows everywhere! I like the freezing wood floors as I pad across the kitchen to get my coffee. I like my wood stove, and hauling wood, and lighting the fire that warms us. I like baking bread, and having the kitchen all toasty warm, full of the rich smell of home cooked foods.
There are very few Spring Chinook in the Kilchis River. I can't fish for them, anyway. The river closes March 31st. There are very few summer steelhead.
Fishing opportunities require getting in the car and (heaven forbid) driving!
March 31st I turn the river over to the dogs and to the kids.
The beaches no longer display tackle bags or plunking buckets, but rather beach towels, campfires and wet dogs.
The snow is gone this morning. Totally gone!
It's time for me to start that long wait until Thanksgiving. It is a long wait.
I start toe tapping. Are we making any progress?
This is useless, I remind myself. Winter takes forever to get here again.
I struggle to see the positives, and surprise myself.
Kilchis will love summer. He will join the kids, day in, and day out, swimming in the river.
And--
Fishing in T bay! Memaloose Springers! Hey! We have the biggest Springers here on the coast!
Jetty fishing!
Crabbing!
Sturgeon!
The early summer Nehalem fish! The Columbia!
Summer steelies on the Wilson!
All I know is that I have to drive to get there. I glance out at my '89 Subaru Station wagon, with 152k showing through the scratched window plate on the dash.
Hello? Doherty Ford?
I need a new truck!

March 20th, 2002

See Jennie.
See Jennie have bad day.
Jennie learned just as suspected. I would do better off, with my disability status, if I were to quit work and go on total state funding. Hey! They would buy me a house, groceries, and give me money to boot! More than I make now! Is there something here inherently wrong with our system?
I have Andrew and my echo cardiograms coming up soon. This scares me, as it does every year. The thought of an aortic replacement doesn't please me, for either of us. However, I guess it is better than the other option. :)
My eye surgery is looming in the background. Ish!
My ears have been plugged up for three months, and I have to go get a hole punched in them so they might drain. The appointment is scheduled in two weeks. They have no sooner appointment. Until then, I have a fever and feel a little edgy on sudafed.
I took out my frustration by making a couple posts, and writing a few misdirected e mails. I wish I hadn't. (Ever find yourself in this position?) Now I have to eat crow and apologize.
If you will all excuse me, I don't think the fish mind if I have a fever and am a little grouchy. I'm going to go take it out on some poor, innocent rock fish.

March 21st, 2002

How to cure the blues:
The minute I stepped into the boat and began our slow journey through the harbor, I was better! Much better!
Through the slow zone, I readied for the ride. Up went my hood, stuffed my hair in, and Bill hit the throttle.
The bay was flat calm. Our Super Vee raised up and planed smoothly towards the other side of Crab Harbor on Tillamook Bay. It planed smoothly even at 50 MPH! Uh, Bill... how fast are we going? :)
We anchored nearly atop the rocks that are barely visible at low tide. These rocks have caused the tragic halt of many night traveling, sea going vessels.
We quietly readied our gear in anticipation to strategically target.... SEA TROUT!
It's easy, it's fun!
With Tillamook Bait (Beware of cheap imitations!!!) sand shrimp and weight, you too, can have a wonderful dinner of rock fish!
Light spinning gear is the weapon of choice. One ounce weights, or even a five inch length of solid lead will keep you on the bottom.
Anchor your boat on the South Side of the rocks on an incoming current. Stay as well out of the current as you are able, and fish in 15 to 20 feet of water. Straight down over the boat did as well as if I cast out a way.
After we hooked and landed 5 or 6 we had our dinner.
"Put it back?" I said, aghast.
"Yes!"
"PUT IT BACK? This is a beautiful fish, Bill!"
"We have enough. We don't want to decimate the population!"
I unhooked him. He had been a beautiful, fat, piece of fried dinner. Gone!
I later caught a baby cabazon! He was So cute!!!
When all else fails, when you have a really crummy day, when you feel all is lost... Go fishin.
It does wonders! :)
Off to the doc in Portland.

March 23rd, 2002

The broodstock page is updated to reflect the decision on the volunteer project.


The song of the day was,
"Pearly Oakies"
To the tune of "Tiny Bubbles"!

Had a great day yesterday on the Kilchis.
We originally sped off for the Trask, but upon seeing the high and murky water, turned around and paraded, (Jim Erickson the lead car) back to the Kilchis.
We put in at the logging bridge. Armed with wigglers and drift gear, we set out.
"Toot toot!" as Jim says...
Off we go!
The trip was extremely pleasant. We all agreed we were there, simply to get out of the house, so the pressure to catch was low.
The weather was cooperative, warm, windless, with a gray cloud cover.
The fish cooperated also!
We fished every hole patiently. Other drift boat trailers sat in the lot, but we didn't see any other boats on our float.
We laughed, we joked. I got plenty of good pictures of steelies in the water. I'll share them, later in the day.
Today... the jetty party!
I don't think I'm going to fish tonight, but hey, I love to eat, get together with friends and bbq outdoors! :)
I have to get ready to talk to Hobart Manns on the phone. I get SO nervous on his show! I tried to hand off the call to someone more educated on the issues, but that didn't fly!
OK, Hobart, I'm ready.... Call already!

March 24th, 2002

It turned out to be a beautiful day at the jetty fishery party, put on by BOE, of the discussion board.
The parking lot at Barview was over flowing with boats, trucks and cars, all sporting that "fishy" look!
While visiting, I had a half crab in one hand, an oyster in the other, and Kilchis pulling on my arm so that I could get neither to my mouth!
What a fun crowd of people!
Andrew and David headed straight for the beach and came back sandy and dripping wet!
There was cake, Asian noodles, pasta salads, hot dogs, more oysters than I have EVER seen in my life, and crab everywhere!
The crabbers had done really well! I was thankful to take some home to my cooler!
The weather was cooperative all day and into the evening. There was a slight wind blowing, but I was comfortable the whole time.
Kilchis had a blast, and I've been cleaning up sand ever since!
Just walked in from a little fishing on the river. I couldn't buy a bite. I'm totally losing confidence! I haven't done very well this year.
Last year and the year before I outfished Bill on steelies on the Kilchis. Mainly, I'm sure, because I fished more. I'm putting more effort in next year. I sure get more out of it, when I do. I've just been SO busy!
He is the better fisherman, by far, but I gain on him with my patience. He gives up and wants to move all the time. I give up on moving and stay put.
It's like fishing the other day for sea trout. We were doing fine! BUT NO! Bill wants to move! So, we pull anchor and move. No bites. We pull anchor and move again. No bites.
"Hey, Bill! Let's move back over there!"
(Wouldn't want to do that-- there are fish biting there!)
We finally moved back 'over there' and we instantly nailed the last of our dinner.
I'm rambling.
Nice, lazy Sunday...
Off to take the boys to meet their Dad in Manzanita. I'm thinking of stopping by Milton Fischer's old house to drop the nice comments I received, off to their family.
It will be tough for me to go in the house. I need to though.
:) Have a nice day, and thanks, Bait of Eggs, for the nice party you put on!
That guy is SO talented! He can make ANYTHING! You should have seen his "New and Improved" Barbecue! His anchor system! His rods! Why buy anything? Just have Roy make it!

March 24th, 2002

I've been very fortunate. She's been good to me, faithful, and strong. She has kept me safe from danger, and always made sure I got to my destination.
I love my little red Subaru!
The last couple of trips to Portland have made me edgy. She has 151 K miles on her. Although she still has no troubles, I worry. How can a car still feel good with that many miles? She surprises me!
For two years, I have been putting this off.
I finally did it! Click here to see!
I bought a car that I didn't ever expect that I could have!
"I really have no money down". I told Dave at Doherty Ford.
Dave totally shocked me with what I could do!
I talked on the phone with him for nearly a month.
My wish list:
I wanted to be able to tow a boat.
I wanted to be safe.
I needed room for my growing six foot tall, 14 year old teenager, with size 17 shoes. (You should have seen him scrunched up in the Subaru!) While trying to teach Andrew to drive in the field, he couldn't fit under the steering wheel!
I am on a bigtime budget!
I needed four wheel drive to get over the mountains to the doctor appointments Andrew and I so frequently have to go to.
David Johnson showed me the new F150 truck that he bought from Doherty. David had told me he couldn't pass the deal up. I REALLY wanted one of those, but that was out of my budget!
But... I drove home, yesterday, in a truck I never thought I would be able to own.
At the conclusion of our meeting, Bill shook David's hand. He peeled a fresh Ifish decal and placed it on my back window.
Bill is a retired insurance claims person. He is very picky about used cars, and very concerned about the transactions thereof.
He said to David, "I've never had such a pleasant experience, buying a used car." And he meant it.
On the way over the coastal mountains, I sat up high in my Ford Explorer, and felt like the road queen! I had power!
No need to worry about repairs, David threw in a 5 year warranty! WOWZA!!
The radio was great. But wait! I have a CD player, and no CD!
I stopped at Fred Meyers, and the 70's child in me picked out an old Van Halen CD.
Bad move! I couldn't go home then. I didn't have a new car! I had the best stereo I've ever heard on wheels! I cranked it up and sang along, "Girl... you really got me going..." :)
It is 7 miles from Fred Meyers to home. It took me 2 hours.
It is just getting light, and I feel like a kid at Christmas. Will my rods fit in it? I need to clean out my Subaru to sell it! What will classical CD's sound like in it? Will Kilchis' kennel fit? How does it do in the mud? The snow? How will it tow?
I'm going to busy today!

March 26th, 2002

On Sundays, as I travel North to play for church, I scan the forest around me for elk.
Sometimes I find them after I have crossed Neahkahnie Mountain. The breathtaking view of the ocean from the heights that attract tourists, drops fast into a lush, thick forest. There, they naturally blend into their environment, and they are difficult to spot.
I often see them in one particular location, cresting the hill, before the entrance to Cannon Beach, off of 101. They have lived there for years, despite massive commercial and residential development. As a teenager living in Cannon Beach, I had occasionally seen this herd actually walk through the down town district!
Yesterday, Bill and I drove to Seaside for a limit of clams.
As we rounded "elk" corner at Cannon Beach I searched westward, and was totally aghast.
They had clear cut the entire strip of forest, where (my) elk so often reside.
There, standing naked, where the trees used to shade them, were 12 elk, standing in stark sunshine, looking confused.
What used to be their hiding place, underneath tall spruce trees, was a vacant and ugly strip of tree trunks. Fresh sawdust dried out the lush fern foliage around them.
No longer was it a rain forest.
It was a strange forest.
A ghost forest, with ghost elk.
I felt like I was invading their little remaining privacy. I felt I had walked in on someone in a bathroom stall. They looked confused and lost. They stared at the cars passing by.
I turned my head, but their image will stay to haunt me.
I wonder how long they will linger there before they realize they need to find a new living room. Their small strip of forest was getting smaller, yet.
Oh, but the people need this space. Money is to be had here! We need more room! More highway! More access! Move, elk! Out of here! Shoo, elk, shoo!
I wanted to save them, to help them!
"Bill, I found a herd of elk who need a home, can I bring them home with me?"
I wanted to get out of the car and spook them deep into the forest.
These elk are NOT for public display!
OK, enough. But can you tell I'm not pleased?
***
Clams! Man, I've never seen it like this! Even I (the visually challenged girl) can get clams!
We pulled down onto the beach, and immediately were met by hundreds of cars.
"Oh no!" I thought... I'll never get any clams! They are all dug up!
For miles, little mole hole mounds of sand... as far as the eyes can see. I felt hopeless. 2 hours of driving, and we won't get anything?
We finally chose a spot, and randomly pulled in next to a rig.
"Jack's truck!" That's Jack!
Funny, that for miles of cars we would pull up next to Bill's best fishing friends from his childhood.
Bill snuck up and put an ifish decal on his bumper.
We put on our hip boots and made our way through the tide pools, to the edge of the sea.
We found Jack Bergoine and Dudley Nelson knee deep in the tides, having the time of their lives.
We were all like kids in a candy store! Look! They are showing all over! Up to ten shows in one area! Dig!
We had our limit in 25 minutes or less.
It's crazy-- and most difficult to stop!
I got my limit, and then I kept seeing more!
Hey! These are natives! Why can't we just catch and release? Giggle.
Back in the truck, and onto the slow drive back home.
The elk were gone when we rounded the corner at Cannon Beach. Visions of new asphalt trails danced in my head.
Maybe they got the idea. Maybe they packed up and went South.
Thirty clams sat in the back of my car.
Hundreds of people had just taken 15 clams from the ocean beaches.
The clams are abundant.
Last week we harvested sea trout from the bay, effortlessly.
The salmon season is predicted to be phenomenal.
Bass in the lakes.
Chanterelles in the fall.
The trees around us, thick and lush.
The earth feeds us.
How long will she continue to bear our weight?

March 28th, 2002

Yesterday, a dream came true.

Bill and I in Tim's Willie

I hooked 10 native steelies, and landed 8!
I've never in my wildest fish dreams imagined such a day!
Tim Juarez, of T and S Guide Service, was ready to fly out of his driveway at 5:30 in the morning.
Bill woke me at near 4:00 A.M.
I sat on the side of my bed, weaving back and fourth. My head ached, my nose was stuffed up, my ears rang.
I was sick. I fell back, deep into the pillows and down comforter.
"Bill, I can't go." I said, sadly. My body felt hot, then shivered with cold.
I dragged myself up, and then downstairs to grab some of the black stuff, still brewing, and strong. Along with it, some Afrin, some sudafed, some aspirin, and some Kleenex. I swallowed anything that looked like it would help!
Back to the bed. I sipped coffee. It tasted awful.
"I really can't go, Bill".
I headed for the shower.
My head pulsed as I later leaned over to pull on my breathables. I said it again... "You go without me."
By the time we met Tim, I was starting to break a smile. Either the drugs were taking effect, or the thought of catching a steelie or two was the medicine I needed.
My Afrin effected nasal passages let a little bit of the morning air in. The anticipation of a day on the river started to sound good.
We slipped the drift boat down into one of the North Coast's premiere steelhead rivers.
My pockets were loaded with Kleenex. I settled deep into the front padded seats of the Custom Willie Drift boat.
I really shouldn't be out here, I thought, as I glanced behind me.
Five G Loomis STR 1082-S's, were pre rigged with 20 pound Fireline, Owner hooks, and spinning reels.
Spinning reels?
When was the last time I drifted eggs with spinning reels? Yikes! I was in for a new experience!
Bill and I both picked our weapons up and handled them gingerly. I'm sure we both were thinking... Eh hem?
Soon, Bill and I were flippin, back casting and... hooking fish!
It was incredible!
Tim said, "Guys, when you feel snagged, gently lift your rod tip to free them. You are fishing with 10 lb. leader, and we don't want to break off."
I was the first to attempt the lift. I was convinced, I was hooked dead solid to a rock.
I attempted the lift, but the rock came to life! Whomp! Whomp! Whomp!!!
OHMYGOSH, Tim! The rock is alive!"
"Who's Yo DADDY!" Tim yelled out, matching my enthusiasm.
It was a native steelhead, so full of life, that any illness I had been feeling was scared clear back home to the Kilchis River.
We sang songs all day, laughed, told jokes, and hooked more fish than I had ever hooked in my entire life!
Some hit with the intensity of lightning, some with the softness of a lure stuck in sand. Whatever the take, I was falling in love with the sensitive action and feel that Fireline produces.
It got to be the norm, rather than a surprise, to be hooked up with a steelie.
The first couple of fish, I was focused on the fight so intensely that I had trouble speaking.
The last couple of fish, I was focused on telling a joke and laughing so intensely, that I had trouble maintaining constant pressure on the fish!
"Double Digits!" Tim yelled out, as if that were the norm, and goal for every day on the river.
Indeed, we had reached the double digits by fairly early in the day.
Every time I began to feel a little wimpy due to my cold, I was onto another fish.
Bill laughed along at all the action. I outfished Bill yesterday. Bill landed the biggest steelhead yesterday, but I landed, by far, the most! He landed two for four. I ... well, I told you!
It was my day! Finally, it was my day!!!
I have been on a losing streak for months. I have been on long fishing days, where everyone else caught fish, and I was skunked. Bill was feeling uncomfortable, most of the time, out fishing me constantly!
Yesterday it was Jennie the patient, Tim Juarez, the fish doctor, and Bill, the get well committee!
We loaded up the boat, and climbed into the warm truck for the drive home.
It was like a movie on the big screen.
The heater was on, the music was going. We were tired, satisfied, filled with homemade sandwiches and blessed memories of an unbelievable trip.
Along the winding road, beside us, was the river we had just navigated, sparkling, in the late day sun.
"Did you see that?!?" Tim and I turned toward each other in disbelief.
One solitary wild steelhead shot straight up, dancing out of a still pool. With a flip of his tail, and a sharp silvery flash, he bid us farewell, and was gone.
We stared again, as the truck passed, and Bill reinforced our sighting. There were the ripples, spreading wide rings across the passing pool.
Unbelievable...
The whole day.
Add a really sore arm to the rest of my physical complaints, today!
-- Bill has no sympathy.

March 30th, 2002

I'll let the pictures do the talking.

Dee Dee with eggs

Kilchis with eggs

Jennie and dogs

Even when the kids get too 'old' there are still other kids...

Now for the fruit bunny. We've always had a fruit bunny in addition to the egg bunny. Strawberries, bananas, apples, and oranges in the yard!
Look! There he is!!!

HOP HOP HOP!

March 31st, 2002

We experienced major malfunctions on ifish. We are not sure what has been lost yet.
I am very frustrated, but we are working on it, so please be patient. A combination of errors took place, and I fear the worst.
The board, right now, is not available.
Most likely, we will lose almost a month's posts.
I will do my best to make it right by everyone involved.
Know that the team is working as hard as we can to solve the problems.
If you badly need an ifish group fix, please use chat. I will be crying there, myself! :)
Thanks,
Jen



HOME | EMAIL