Fishing The Coast, Oregon and Washington

Fishing with Milton Fisher
on the North Fork Nehalem

Jennie Logo

"I fish! Fishing is my life! I fish for something every month of the year."

A journal of my adventures.
Jennie's Fishing Life past entries
January 1999
December 1998

March 1st, 1999

Well, the Necanicum river was sure pretty today. I fished the upper river with Bill Hedlund, and if there is a good way to cool down the feelings that you are a pretty good fisher woman, go fishing with a real pro. He had me crossing rivers like I haven't done in years, casting in highly snaggable quarters, and failing miserably!. I actually panicked a couple of times crossing the water! What a wimp! My legs got so tired from the current that they wanted to just go swoosh down the river!
But I had a great time, regardless of the fact that I wore a bright red jacket fishing on a small stream. Bright move, Jennie. (No pun intended). I probably spooked all of the fish for miles! We didn't have any luck. Gosh, if you want to go fishing and not see any fish, wear neon red and white ski jackets. I had one pull, though, that could have been a cutthroat, but who knows. We walked way up the river, and saw some real pretty water.
The elk were sure out today, every few miles of water, we would see a herd.
By the way, we drifted corkies and sand shrimp. The water was high, but nice and clear. I saw one boat on the river, and I think I knew who it was, or Bill did anyway.
We were a little nervous about going down the river first after a flood without a chain saw. Just as well I walked and got some exercise. I was so sick this weekend, and it felt so good to get out, and my legs are comfortably tired, and I feel renewed. I needed to fish. I needed to get out there and see nothing but trees and bright green moss, and feel the coastal cool air on my face. To hear the gurgle of the water, and to concentrate on nothing but the way my sinker trickled against the rocks and got swept away in the deep pools.
I didn't get the excitement of catching a fish, but I did get the rewards from spending some quality time with a friend in my most favorite environment. The river.

March 2nd, 1999

Flood Flood Flood. Guess the people in the boat did OK on the Necanicum yesterday. I think it is still fishable today. One of the few rivers around here that clears quickly.
On days like this, I write music. If you want to hear some of the music I write, which, by the way, I usually write while I am out fishing! I am not kidding, I hear these melodies, and they stay with me till I get home to write them down. Sometimes it drives me crazy!! Anyway, a very wonderful friend of mine put them in a collection called The Gallery of Dreams, and I thought it was very nice of him. He wrote the Lyrics, or most of them. So, if you have time to do nothing, go visit if you would like. Music over a computer is difficult to do, I mean, you have to squeeze it through a phone line, but it still is fun!

March 5th, 1999

The North Fork Nehalem should fish today, but I am not too excited about it. Still high, and should be very cold and miserable to float down. I am anxious to hear about the Necanicum, because they have been doing OK down in Seaside there.I am going to an ODFW meeting at the Maritime museum in Astoria tomorrow, where they will discuss river rights and farmers rights concerning right of way for boats, and anglers. Should be interesting. I wanted to keep this column politic free, but there are some things that really matter to me, and this is one of them. I am just going to keep quiet and take notes. There will be lobbyists there that will speak, and Jim Erickson and I are going out to breakfast beforehand, so he can speak my mind for me!
I need coffee before I figure out which rod I need for the day. I do have some spare time this afternoon to fish.
Have a great weekend fishing!
March 6th, 1999

What a GORGEOUS DAY! I didn't get to fish. Actually, I didn't want to! I wanted to gaze at the huge yellow thing in the sky, and do nothing! I went out to the beach at Fort Stevens with the kids and went for a walk, flew a kite with them, and then just sat on the hood of my car, and let the waves relax me. It was so nice! One of those teasing days of early spring/late winter, where the sun comes out and says "remember me?" and you just get used to it, and the next day the clouds come in, the ice and hail are back, and the windstorms beat at your door.
Why does it do that?
Oh well, it is nice for now! I also got my annual dose of pussy willows to place on my desk.
Stopped at Coffenbury Lake, and there were a lot of people fishing there, but no luck. It was one of those nice days, where families take their kids, and there are no really serious folks out, so I didn't get an accurate measure if you could really do well out there today.
The rivers should be beautiful, and I can't wait to hear how the Wilson and Trask are doing.
Oh yeah, and I went to the ODFW meeting this morning with Jim Erickson, and by the time they got around to talking about things that interested me, I had to go teach some piano lessons.
I did hear about the net pen program and that was interesting. Going since 1977
Some talk of the Cormorants and Seagulls that eat the newly released fish, and now they are trying to release them at night at high tide. Good idea. Seems to be working well.
Well enough of this for now. I sure hope that tomorrow is half as nice as today.

March 7th, 1999

Just a note on last weeks Necanicum fishery from local guide Bob Rees:
It sure was nice having the river to myself those 2 days. Totals were as follows: Tuesday = 10 hooked, 8 landed, Thursday 6 hooked, 4 landed. Water was about 5.2 feet according to the bridge marker. There are some sketchy areas to watch out for and I might warn newcomers to the river. Keep in touch and good fishing!

March 9th, 1999

I am having a pity party. I had a wonderful opportunity to fish with two very knowledgeable guides today, to participate in the Broodstock program on the Wilson. I was up all night with that excited fishing insomnia, you know, waking up every few hours wondering if it is time yet?
I spent the evening preparing a fun lunch for the river.
Finally it is 5:30 and it's time! But NOOOOO.....Andrew woke up with an ear infection, and of course his Dad is not reachable by phone. What a disappointment. I mean my kids of course, come first. Always. And I don't mind.... except... Why today? Pity party for sure. It is a beautiful day, I have all my cold weather gear so I don't embarrass myself by freezing out by 9 in the morning. Everything was set. Gear packed, neoprenes dry and clean... Wahhh...Bob, PLEASE, understand! Bob was so understanding on the phone, but still... I feel like a flake, and all I want to do is FISH! OK, now I am going to proceed to run away from home! Either that, or do laundry all day.. Yeah... that sounds fun.

March 9th, 1999

OK, all done with my pity party. I am so excited even to hear about what happened on the North Fork Nehalem today. Just talked to Jim Erickson, and he had the best trip of the year today. He said he has never seen so many fish in the river. He and his group hooked 10 and lost two. Caught 6 hatchery, and 2 wild releasers. The two he lost (of course) were upwards of 20 lbs. One being the biggest he has seen in the river. Get out there and fish! I have a dentist apt that I have been putting off for months, and waited a whole month to get into, so I doubt that I will go, but I sure am tempted to cancel. Man, am I tempted.
I am still waiting to hear about the Kilchis, the Wilson and the Trask. Will post it on their reports page asap.

March 10th, 1999
I have been hearing wonderful fishing reports! What happened to all of my friends that used to write to me? I miss my fish e mails! I had to go to the dentist, so tomorrow is my day! I hope the rivers aren't too low!
Please, people! Tell me your fish stories! Or are you too busy fishing still!?! I miss you!

March 11th, 1999
The North Fork Nehalem is still producing hatchery fish, especially in the lower river. I have heard of boats coming in with anywhere from 4 to 8 fish. Things look good out there! I want to get out there and fish, but today I had a killer headache, and opted to just visit with friends and have coffee and talk fish!
A friend of mine gave me a neat little hook box, and so I am going to fill that up today, and get up early tomorrow and see if it brings me luck! The sun was shining here at the coast again. I think I feel adventurous. I think I am going to drive and see the river at the Trask and the Wilson. I have been hearing about the beautiful water color, and I want to see it! Anyway, I will let you know what I find out!
Happy Fishing!

March 13th, 1999

It's the weekend! Jim Erickson was going to take my son, Andrew and I down the lower North Fork, but it is really nasty outside, and the river is on he up again. He took 5 out of the river yesterday on a trip, one wild buck that took a half hour to get in, about 20lbs. Of course, they got it all the way to the boat before they saw it was wild, and cut the line. How fun though!
I always have trouble going through the end of fishing seasons, and I know there are brighter days ahead.... But it is so hard to know that my favorite season is on the way out. I know that I will be giggling frantically over fighting a springer, or even having fun playing with crappies or blue gills at the lake with my kids, but the transition is difficult for me. I have the Oregon Mossy Blues, as a friend put it! I want to catch a sturgeon now. I mean RIGHT NOW! I may get the chance next week, I guess the gorge is hot right now, if the weather would just calm down! It is times like these, when I am feeling sorry for my poor fishless self that I know I need to do something for someone else to get me out of the blues. Like volunteer for the kids free fishing day, or even go play the piano for the old folks at the nursing home. Something. For today, it is rainy and stormy, and the kids carnival is going on at the school, so, off to be a MOM!

March 14th, 1999

Opening day for springers, the first fishable day on the Willamette. The weather was kind of soggy, but the river had finally cleared enough to put a boat in. With restrictions of 4,600 to be caught this year, hardly a dent was made Saturday. I have heard, and read in Bill Monroe's report that only about 6 were actually caught, or reported. That's OK, there is still time!
I think Wednesday and Saturday are the designated days to fish.
Well, I sure would like to have one of those springers, but I would also like to have one or two roaming the rivers when my kids grow up. I want the kids to see pictures of me with a springer proudly displayed and not have them explain to their kids that this fish is now extinct like the dinosaurs! It's a difficult, sad balance. I remember once catching a fall Chinook in the Necanicum and I was so proud of it, and as I paraded it across 12th ave in Seaside to my car a lady stopped and asked me,
"HOW COULD I kill such a beautiful creature?" I was crushed. I never stopped to think to ask her if her shoes were made of leather, and how COULD SHE kill such a beautiful creature, (a cow) because I actually do feed my family with fish, but instead lowered my head in total shame! It kind of ruined the days catch for me, but it did instill in me the kind of importance we need to feel that these fish are not limitless. I'll never forget that woman, and I was angry at the time. I guess it has instilled a balance in me that I needed, though.

March 16th, 1999
A view of opening day on the Willamette river from
Peter morris
Lots of great links on his page!

Well, I don't know if Bill Monroe did anyone a favor with his article on Saturday's fishing. If you look back at it, you'll see that he based his count on ODFW reports as of noon. The river looked too high and muddy to me, so I decided to do recognizance instead of fishing. I started at Gilbert River on Sauvie Island where three trailers were at the ramp and I saw only one bass fisherman on the water. Visibility was only about 12 inches. The heaviest pressure was at junction of Multnomah Channel and the Willamette where it looked like about 40 boats were working the river. Reports indicated large pods of fish holding at 25 feet with visibility at about 18 inches and as of 3 PM, no reported hookups. There were about 25 trailers at the Cathedral Park ramp and no signs of fish. By that time most fishers were anchored. Not much pressure between there and Meldrum Bar. At the mouth of the Clackamas the ODFW checker had tagged 5 fish by 3:30 from boats and said he thought quite a few more had been caught, but weren't yet to the ramp. Notably, the water was fairly clear, green and visability at about 3 feet. The hog line was pretty small with only 9 boats in the first tier and 3 in the second. Another 20 or so boats were in the area. Below the Oregon City falls the pressure was pretty heavy - maybe 35 more boats.
Overall it seemed like not many folks were out fishing, considering that it was an open day and the weather wasn't to bad. I expect that the river should be pretty nice by Wednesday with the cleaner water moving through.

March 17th, 1999

I keep thinking about gazing down into the cool, green, glacier looking water while I am steelhead fishing in a raft. I think of seeing all of the different little birds that people point out to me, and I sometimes would lie and say,
"Oh, yeah, I see it!"
The thing is, I have never had GOOD eyesight. I was born legally blind, but correctable with contacts. I remember as a child, my Dad telling me he could see Japan from the beach in Oregon. That was stretching it, but as a young child, I wondered, and I strained to see it too!
Last year I lost my vision in my right eye, and I had many surgeries done to correct it. Well, I have very good near vision in that eye now, and a cool looking patch from someone else's eye that covers a hole in my eye that wouldn't heal. In fact, I see things in that eye that I had never seen before. Detail. Detail in the texture of my carpet, in the petals of a flower, in the lush of fresh new spring grasses. It is a whole new world for me in that eye, and my kids teased me as I stared at a Barbie doll in Costco for hours, that had diamonds on her clothes. "Crazy lady on isle 9!" they teased... But it was so beautiful! I couldn't stop looking! It was trance inducing!
I can't see far out of this eye, but I don't care!
Now I am faced with problems in my good driving eye. Went to the doc in Portland yesterday, and came home with this rather distressing news. Macular degeneration? Cataracts? I'm not even 40! All I can think of is what it would be like not to be independent now. Not to be able to drive to fish, to drive to soccer games. My vision has been growing dimmer in this eye, and I have something called Marfan Syndrome, which affects many parts of me, but my eyes at this point.
Iv decided not to really worry about it at this point. You never know what will really happen. But I do want all of you, including myself, to really appreciate what you see when you fish, and when you live.
I look at everything differently now, and since my last operation. Things I used to take for granted. The green of the trees, the color of the sky and the clouds, the shimmering, silvery 3d side of a chrome steelhead and the glittery eyes of a rainbow trout. the peeled bark of a Marabou tree, or the flutter of a Northern Flicker.
I used to joke that my softer vision made everything in this rather harsh world a little softer and easier to take. But now faced with the chance that I won't always see, I just want to grab everything that pleases my eye and study it in hopes that I will always see it. Even if it is only in my mind.
Maybe next time I have a fish on, I will close my eyes, and experience only the feel. Because I will always have that.

March 18th 1999

The North Fork Nehalem is good for bobber and shrimp fishing right now, and I think I get to fish either the Nehalem or the Wilson tomorrow! YIPPEE! I love bobber fishing!

March 19th 1999

Giggles... going fishing! Hee hee! HA HA! Lower North Fork in the sunshine.... What could be better?!?

March 19th 1999

Bliss. What could be more perfect? The river was absolutely crystal clear and so beautiful, and the weather was devine! By noon I had a sleeveless shirt on, and was warm in that! Not a soul on the river!
FISH you ask? Well, you can't have everything! We (maybe) saw a group of them, and caught a jack steelie, and some cutthroat trout.
The river level was rather low.We fished with bobbers and shrimp, drifted some, and put a plug on for a couple faster deeper drifts.
Nonetheless, I spent a day with someone extremely special to me, who makes me smile clear down to my soul, and I am extremely happy and sated from the sunshine and relaxation.
It was a total no stress fun fishing day, and my life just feels perfect!

March 20th 1999

For most of you with children in Oregon, this week is Spring Break, and if you don't have plans to travel out of state, it is a GREAT time to introduce fishing to kids. The weather won't be bad, in fact today is absolutely beautiful!
Most of the area lakes should be stocked quite well, so that children have a fair chance at catching something, which is very important for a fishing first adventure.
Coffenbury lake at Fort Stevens in Warrenton Oregon is a best bet, and I would also try out Sunset Lake in between Gearhart and Warrenton, past the Astoria Country Club. Cullaby Lake is no longer being stocked, but can be great fun for blue gills and perch.
One of my favorite memories of fishing with my kids is going down to Brownsmead Slough and fishing for Carp, or "giant Goldfish" as my kids put it!
I have literally searched the web clean to see if I could find which lakes were definitely stocked, and can't seem to find a thing, so if anyone has any news on that please e mail me.
Anyway, I think it is a perfect week to be on one of Oregons Lake shores. The kids can go off if they get bored and play in the sand, or hike around on the trails, and get the bug for fishing.
How can we teach children patience in a world where they have learned immediate gratification? FISHING!
And the rewards are great! Just wait till you hear the giggles! And what they learn is a love for an outdoor adventure that can last a lifetime. Make it fun, don't get frustrated if they get bored, they will! But I have learned that if you keep at it, and not throw a fit when they all three are tangled up, they will want to go again!

March 22nd 1999

They stocked Lost Lake off of 53 and the Sunset hiway. Anyone been out there yet? I think the kids and I will hike in one of these days this week. Good for the hike, good for the fishing!
It's raining. Kind of grey and ishy out there, and not good for fishing with kids, so my chances of getting out are limited, unless I want to share with them a cold wet fishing adventure, and at this very impressionable age, I'm not sure that I dare, if I want them to want to fish!
The Willamette Spring Chinook fishery seems to be getting off to a slow start.
Haven't heard anything from the guide shop on the Wilson and the Trask this week, but I think river levels are very low. This should improve later in the week.
Heard from Peter Morris (by the way, he has some great fishing links) that if you scroll to the bottom of this zone report, or any zone report at this
URL, THE ODFW, you can find which lakes have been stocked.
Keep a tight line!

March 23rd 1999

There are some sandshrimp in my fridge that were pumped on Thursday. Last Thursday. Nice tiny ones good for trout and planted steelies. Do I dare open them? Are they still alive? Or have they turned into a stink bomb?
Ever left worms in your car on a warm day? Or perhaps 6 warm days and nights? Eueee!
Ever have worms get loose in your fridge and invade your salad drawer?
Ever have a friend reach in your fridge for the salsa jar and find cured salmon eggs instead?
I have!
Cured salmon eggs on chips is not very palatable! You never know what is in my Refrigerator or my freezer, so DINE NOT!
Frozen leftover smelt in my freezer. Frozen leftover squid also.
At least nobody roams through there but me!

March 24th 1999

Yip, the sandshrimp went bad. Darn. What a waste!
Coffenbury Lake is still really high, and not very comfortable to fish, as the water level goes over the fishing area.
Nasty day today also, all rainy and wet. Wonder how the people will do on the Springer fishery on the Willamette. I don't think I envy them the weather that will hit today. But I always wonder... will it be the day? Am I going to miss out? Oh! I love Spring Chinook!
I added a Barnes and Noble search engine and a Books on Oregon Fishing page to my site, and I hope it works. Technology can be so confusing! Try it out? I wonder if I did it wrong! Hope not!
Anyway, that's about it for the day.

March 25th 1999

Hi there!
Hey, it looks like the Willamette is picking up! I have heard of several fish on, and some caught also! Maybe this is it! Maybe, just maybe, it will be a good year? Maybe, just maybe, everything will be good this summer too! Perhaps we will all catch limits of hatchery Coho, and jacks and trout and cut throat, and the worlds fishing will turn around, and destitute species will recover, and the sun will shine, and I will come home with limits all year!
OK, so I am getting out of hand here.
But maybe....!
Hey, the South Fork of the Nehalem is open into April and May, and I have heard there ARE some fish in there. Wild ones, yeah, you have to release them, but it is fun! It's the South Fork below the 26 bridge, by Salmonberry.
Apologies to people finding missing pages on ifish yesterday. The server was reset to not accept htm extensions, and for those of you who don't understand that, it was just plain broken! And it wasn't my fault! Infact I spent 4 hours trying to rename all of the files to keep up, and then it was fixed and now I have four more hours of work putting it back to the way it was. Sooo, anyone thinking that webbing would be a fun occupation, it is, except for when these things occur! Just another lesson in patience!
Fish on!

March 26th 1999

Found a great new phone number to call. This may be old news to you, but the Willamette falls has a number to call for fish catches, and lake stocks. It is (503) 657-2059.
From calling that number I learned that 204 fish were caught last Saturday. They didn't mention last Wednesday, and they hadn't updated it March 25th like they said they would. Perhaps later today I will call again.
I have heard that Peter Morris saw about 30 fish landed on Wednesday, but when he visited with the ODFW fish checker at 3 PM, she said she had only seen 3 fish. (Yeah, right guys).
I'm not sure how I feel about people not reporting their catch. The quota seems conservative, but I do worry about our salmon future at the same time. I will report mine, if I am lucky enough to hook one. It would take the joy out of catching one if I had a guilty conscience.
Peter Morris said he thinks the catch was about one per four rods.
But I also learned from the above number that yes, they have stocked several lakes, and I couldn't keep up with how fast she reeled them off, but I did note that Coffenbury, Sunset, Lost Lake, and I think they said Smith Lake had been stocked! Now that is a new one! I used to live on Smith Lake, and if it is the one in Warrenton, I don't know that they have EVER stocked that lake. I have caught a 6 lb. bass out of there though!
I don't think I would ever eat anything from that lake. I know they have cleaned it up a bit, but so much fertilizer and pesticides have been washed into that body of water that it is all slimy and icky.
Anyway, I hope all you guys out there have a great time with those Spring Chinook on Saturday! I get my chance Wednesday if I play my cards right, and I have no sick kids! My youngest has had the coastal crud all week. Some spring break!

March 27th 1999

I drove to Portland yesterday, and on the way home was confronted by a Winter white out! Wacky weather this year!
I shouldn't have published the Wilamette Fish number because now I can't get through! I tried calling all of this morning, but since it is busy, I guess everyone knows what it says!
I remember sitting out on the beach at Fort Stevens in weather like this, waiting for a Springer to take my herring, which we used to let sit overnight in blue dye and rock salt. The current would get so strong and we would have to use 12 to 14 ounce weights to get it to stick, and even then, we would get huge clumps of grass on the line, and it would get swept away. I wonder if anyone still fishes out there? Or if it is even open? It used to be a pretty large fishery, and we would all line up in our pickups and four wheelers and sip coffee and visit during the sun breaks. I sure met a lot of good friends out there. Where have those faces that became so familiar gone? Of course, I earned a nick name while out there. I was known as "Miss Borrow-its". Hopefully, it was all in good fun! I didn't know how to fish out there, and I was always needing something! A 12 ounce weight, a hook, a herring? But I got better and more prepared all the time!
I finally got a fish. And it was the funniest looking springer. It had a smashed face, like it had run into something! Leave it to me to catch a handicapped Spring Chinook. Everyone laughed at it. But it faught and tasted the same as a REAL one!
And so the saying goes, those were the good ol days. But luckily for me, I am creating the good ol days every time I find a new group of fun fisherman to saddle up next to, and wait for the big one!

March 28th 1999

I can't help but comment on Bill Monroe's column in the Sunday Oregonian today. It was about Diamond Lake, a place near and dear to my heart. The topic is raising the boats speed limit to 45 to allow for water skiing.
Our family, and extended family has been going there for 56 years, for family get togethers, every summer. And I mean EVERY summer! We rent a line of cabins on the lake, and as far back as I can remember, we rose early, before the sun was up, to get my Grandfather out on the lake to fish. My Grandfather taught me my love for fishing. It was serious business. I'll never forget the quiet cool mornings, when the lake was like glass, and the chipmunks would be scattering about looking for leftover breakfast, and you could smell my Grandmothers breakfast, bacon, hot cakes, and trout, and fresh berries she brought from her farm in Forest Grove. The thing I want to get across here, is QUIET.
The fishing in Diamond Lake, as we all know by now, is not like it was. No longer do I see people come from their boats with stringers of large trout. In the past years we would sit in the boat for hours with no luck. The charter boat used to follow our boat around because we knew where the fish were, and we were proud of that! Two Potskees (sp? I forget!) and a cheese egg. That'll get um every time! 2 lb. test, and the smallest little hook you could find.
Long gone is my dear Grandfather, and the early morning fishing trips, but our family insists on keeping the tradition alive for the grandkids. It is our heritage to keep this going. I was proud of our family vacations, and the memories I have of padding to the little store for penny candies, and I want my kids to grow up knowing and playing with their cousins, and I hope when they grow up, they do the same with their children.
But I cannot, CANNOT in my wildest imagination think of rising out of my bed and feeling my feet hit the cold floor and hear jet boats on this body of water!
Don't get me wrong! When we go to Diamond Lake now, there is very little fishing. And although we do bring the fishing boat, and the kids all have poles to play with, we do bring ski boats also. It is our new tradition to all pack into a couple of cars and drive with the ski boats to Lemolo and find an island to water-ski, wake board, and picnic at. This has become the new thing to look forward to. It saddens me that that is our new recreation, but I do enjoy it. I enjoy it at Lemolo though. NOT at Diamond Lake.
I don't know how I feel about poisoning Diamond again. I am not educated on it enough to have an opinion. I do want the fish back, of that I am sure. I do not want jet boats on Diamond Lake, of this I am sure also!
I can just see my Grandfather in a rage over this!
Diamond Lake is peaceful, with it's breathtaking views of Mt. Thielson and Mt. Bailey. I can't imagine walking the trails with my kids to the old fish hatchery and hearing the roar of jet engines on the lake. ugh! PLEASE!
I understand that Diamond Lake is having financial troubles. I know this because I pay 120 some dollars for a very unimproved cabin on the lake! I actually can't even afford it most years, so I call up the office and play the piano in the dining room in exchange for my children's and my stay. It works out rather well, and I meet some very interesting traveling folks. And as I look out of the Thielson dining room and see the quiet peaceful lake it sets the mood for beautiful music. What would I play if I saw jet boats? Led Zeppelin?
I must be getting old fashioned. I must be getting just plain old. But as for me, I vote no on the water-skiing idea.
Too many memories. In this case, I guess I am a tree hugger.

March 30th 1999

It was Monday. Not a doubt about that. Everything needed doing at once. I dropped things, my computer crashed. There were meetings to go to, and meetings to be late to. Decisions to make.I had to fish. Had to. Another one of those days that if you don't just drop everything, (and I was dropping everything including dishes, etc.) that I would go nuts. The bad part is that it was freezing, the rivers were not great, and it was howling wind and hailing. That didn't matter though, when you are in the depths of fishing despair.
So I thought I would try the lakes. I wanted to be someplace no one else was. I needed time alone. I didn't even want to go to the store yesterday, so I first dug around in my garden for worms which were abundant the other day while I was gardening. But as Monday goes, they were illusive yesterday, so off to the store I went.
I found the cutest little quill bobber while drifting down the river in the fall and rescued it from a tree branch, so I wanted to try it out.
To the docks at Cullaby Lake I went.
OK, now the problem here is that every 15 minutes or so, I was bombarded with hail pellets and high winds.
The analogy came to me that this was quite like a school alarm to change classes. So every time the bell rang, (the hail) I would run to my car, and change classes. (change fishing rigs for different fish).
So at the end of the school day, here are my grades:
1st period: crappie.. little white jig bounced up and down beside the dock at Cullaby............................F
2nd period: bluegill, bobber and worm in my favorite spots by the dock and by the creek inlet at Cullaby.......................................F
3rd period: Trout at Cullaby with power bait..................................F
4th period: Bass with a hole worm tossed into the brush at the lakeside......................................F
5th Period:
Driving lessons through a lightening storm to Sunset Lake...C
6th period: Trout with rainbow power bait.............................................F
7th period: Still trout, but with a worm and bobber, while trying to keep my dog from chasing the ducks.........................................F
The good thing is that I have never had so much fun flunking fishing school. I had a great time, didn't see or talk to a soul, and I needed that. The clouds were beautiful and the storms were powerful. My hair was windblown, my boots were muddy, and I did get an A for effort. The cares of the day melted away as I sincerely did try everything I could to catch a fish! Well, not everything. I think I would have had a better chance had I gone to Coffenbury, but there are always people at Coffenbury, and although I LOVE to meet fishing people, I just needed solace.
Speaking of meeting fishing people, I sincerely believe we are a different breed. You cannot BECOME a fishing person, you either are or you aren't. It's a genetic design, somewhere on some marker. Something inborn. I instantly connect with fishing people. People who fish and were born to fish tilt their head a certain way while staring at their rod tips. They look at the water in a sort of dazed way and see things non fishermen can't. I can't describe it, but I know when I meet them. They collect gobs of fishing equipment they will never use. They want to wear their new shiny reel around their necks to church as jewelry. They spend countless hours during stormy weather nights tying up for when the fishing alarm goes off. When they are introduced to golfing they stare at the water hazards and wonder what fish are in their. I did. I am. I Fish.

And now you know the REST of the story...