Fishing The Coast, Oregon and Washington
March 2000

Jennie on the Columbia.... an upriver bright!

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A journal of my adventures.

 March 1st 2000,

I am pickled tink to see that Stan has written about Steelhead in his column!
I don't think it is easy to pull that man away from his bass attitude, (bassitude?) but this man does know his stuff where steelhead are concerned. No matter how hard I try, I can't get him to come up and steelhead fish. He is a dedicated bass master! Good material.... thanks Stan!
The water.... hmmmm let's talk about the water. The Kilchis is high and greening up a bit, but fairly strong. Bill is out at it right now. I think about 5 boats went down today, and I know of one nice native caught.
The Trask is high, and greening, in a lot better shape than the Wilson, which to me, looks not very fishable.
Bill and I may go fish the Dam hole on the Trask, only because I have never done that, and I love watching the water there. Well, I did it once, when I was 18 or so, and I fished there because I saw a lot of Chinook down there. I did not, however, see the "closed for angling" sign. The white truck with the officer however, politely told me not to fish there. So it will be nice to fish there legally!
I am a bit tired lately... think I am fighting something. My enthusiasm is kind of waning.. I think that is normal for this in between time, but still, I wonder... Did that big fish take it all out of me? Did I max out?
I want to start setting up the chat thing. Getting neat-o knowledgeable guests on there....Guess there has been lots of people on in the evening... I have missed it! I feel so left out! OK, so tonight, about 7:30 I will log on to see what happens.
Bill just walked in, and said the water IS too high right now.. Rain expected.. Well, what do you think? Is it time to chat? I think so!

March 2nd

I'm having a problem.
Bill plants corn every year in the duck lake to attract ducks. He then hunts them.
We seed the yard daily to attract birds. The cats hunt them.
This argument can go round and round with natural instincts to hunt and what to do about them. Who is the fair hunter? Who gets to play out their instinct?
Bill put a bell on my cat. Can I put a bell on Bill? Or perhaps Dee Dee the hunting dog?
I don't like to see my cat hunt or kill birds, but it also upsets me to see him running around madly with a bell on his neck, wondering what the heck? What about the neighbor cats? Do we hand out bells? I have heard of some bird loving people actually shoot neighbor cats with a bb gun to protect their birds. Wait a minute! You attract the birds, and naturally the cats come! Nature doesn't allow us to pick and choose.
My cat is wearing a bell, and I understand that has to be. I do love my birds, and I don't know what else to do about it. It just seems like a screwy sense of trying to balance nature. We are always at it. Trying to play God.
It just brings home how badly we have screwed up all the balances. We have too many seals? Shoot em. Why do we have to many seals? Because we protected them. I fear it is too late now to try and go back. When will we learn to let nature be..... as cruel as it seems at times? No bandaids are going to help. We simply can't go back. Let's try though.....
Let's start here.... We'll ship all the house cats back to Europe, open the coastal waters to the hunting of seals, whales and sea lions to Indians with spears, (only from dug out canoes powered with hand made paddles). Remove the Corps of Engineers 'manmade islands' in the Columbia which are presently breeding grounds for record numbers of Caspian Terns.
Perhaps breaching of our less necessary dams. Logging and farm practices?????
I just don't know..... but for now.... My cat is wearing a bell. Bill is not.

March 4th

I fished the Kilchis for a bit yesterday and caught a comeback, and had another one on. Not bad for 40 minutes of fishing...
The Kilchis is in beautiful shape right now. I fished this morning, no luck. 3 boats down the river by 11:00... One boat had 2 for 4.
The Contest winner has been picked! It is MARTY PETERSON of Tillamook Oregon.. Hey hey Marty!
Now you MUST take Bill and I down the Nestucca! Didn't I mention the terms?
Dennis Stewart, the Salmon Master has been absolutely wonderful to Ifish!!! Not only does he do a terrific job of getting the word out at Sportsmans Shows about Ifish, but he has generously contributed a fishing trip for two (WOW) for our next Contest! Thanks Dennis!
I may take the kids up to Mt Hood and leave the water for Bill so he can tease all of those natives by himself.
What did you think of the front page article on the Daily Oregonian today? I thought it was interesting, and it has to do with Bill Wattenburg's show on KGO. Interestingly enough, just when he was getting hot on the topic he suddenly went totally silent on the subject. Wonder what happened? Peter Sheerins web site also mentions the conflict over the killing of hatchery salmon. I don't know, personally I need to stay out of all of these strong opinions, but it is an interesting issue.
Ahhh the time between late steelhead and salmon.... like I said... Mt Hood here I come!

March 7th

Well, home from Mt. Hood. We had a nice time.... The kids got to ski and I tried, but didn't do very well... Wah... At least I tried! Here are some pics from a recent trip skiing anyway. You get the idea.
David Johnson sent me some nice pics of some recent catches, and I am trying to figure out where to put them. (O.K., I put them up on the Guidescatch page!) He also sent a report that I should have put out earlier, but I was gone! Here it is:
" I fished the Kilchis on Thursday and we only had one good take down. I saw one and heard of three other spawners caught. The water looked great but not much was happening. Yesterday I fished the Wilson and we got one down runner and one nice hatchery buck. I think it was a brood stock that didn't get both of it's fins clipped. We got both of them drift fishing eggs. My next trip is Thursday and Friday."
So it doesn't sound ALL bad! Thanks David.....
Guess what? I am lining up people to host chats. With all of the news coverage and hoopla over killing salmon by the ODFW, I got Jim Erickson to come on down and host a chat next week. Got him on the phone now, and he says.."The North Fork... Three boats went down, all had between 15 and 20 fish. 25% neutered and 25% good ones, but they are catching a tremendous amount of fish. There is a small fresh run of hatchery fish going up the river. The river is dropping, it is low and clear, and 6 lb test line is the rule, not the exception."
Thanks Jim! Anyway, all of you guides, and RT, mail me when would be a good time to have you on the chat board. I'm working out the schedule so I need for you to book a slot. I think that around 7 on week nights would be great! Looking forward to badgering you all with questions! I'd love to have Yechout, Jim Martin, of ODFW, ummmm lets see, John Casteel... ????? Please, all readers, if there is someone you would like to have on the chat board, e mail them to me, and I'll see what I can do!
Let's make Bill do it too! He knows a lot about fishing in general, and about springers!
I just got a hilarious e mail pointing to a page that I just have to share.. Might come in handy for Springer Season, Father's Day, etc... Go here! Everyone can use more luck, right?
And now for some wisdom a friend e mailed me:
The history of the Presidency of the United States has been a popular topic of many academics and amateurs alike. We, as a country, have been indeed very fortunate to have the various Presidential libraries as a repository for the invaluable records of in depth research. Future historians will be able to study at the Gerald Ford Library; the Jimmy Carter Library; the Ronald Reagan Library, the George Bush Library, and the Bill Clinton Adult Bookstore.
I'm off to fish the Kilchis cool and clears.....

March 9th

Howdy. Last night I went again to one of the neatest discussion boards and sites. Go visit Piscatorial Pursuits!!! It's a blast and a really nicely done fishing site. Thanks Bob!
Jim Erickson of the N.F. Nehalem fame is going to host a chat on Wednesday, March 15th at 7:00. Be there!
I haven't done any fishing for too long. Bill's got the bug to take the big sled out, and we may start on sturgeon real soon. I need my fix of crab anyway.
It is so beautiful out this morning. We have been visited by so many, many birds. A beautiful big red tailed hawk visited us for some time yesterday. I couldn't keep my eyes off of him! The back yard is becoming wildlife friendly by adding some plants and trees for protection. Very interesting to learn about and the extension office is becoming our local haunt.
Rain in the forecast.... Steelhead is not over yet! But it is that time of year when I have to recognize that it is tailing out. I get so blue around this time, knowing that I have a whole year to wait until I get to do my favorite thing again. Like a kid in the backseat on a long trip I go through the months.... Is it Steelhead time yet?

March 11th

Steelhead make me gasp when I hook them. Salmon make me scream. Sturgeon make me brace for a fight and Bass get me all excited.... but Trout.... Trout make me giggle hysterically! Especially when they grab a lure on the end of my little 4 foot micro rod and reel! It's like a direct hit to my most sensitive tickle spots! Hit..... hit..... take!!! Giggles pour out of me and I can't stop! Yesterday, I was in a non stop giggle mode for 3+ hours on Lake Lytle in Rockaway Oregon. Bill and I put the jet sled in for a shake down, and cruised slowly, trolling and watching the fish finder until we found the recently planted trout. It seemed a bit unfair, a tad bit overkill, but success was soon ours! Found the fish on the far side of the lake, and nailed one after the other on a yellow sonic roostertail for me, and a bobber and shrimp for Bill. Every other cast produced a bite, and I'll tell you what, it is a PERFECT time and place to take your kids.. Guaranteed fish on! We must have released 40 trout, and taken home our limit for a nice trout fry for dinner. My ribs are still sore from laughing!
Today, Saturday, I am going to participate in a local tradition and I don't know what I am getting in to. The Garibaldi Crab races! My kids who are somewhat citi-fied, but learning another way of being, are kind of shaking their heads and going along with me. Let's see.... we could go to the mall, the movies.... or race a crab. hmmmmm...First I think I'll drop my line in the Kilchis and see if the rain brought any new fish in.
It's a perfect life.

March 13th

I promised I wouldn't say I outfished the guys. I promised, so I won't. Went fishing with Bill and R.T. on T bay for Sturgeon today. Just because I caught the only fish does not mean that I outfished them, right? They did just fine! After all, mine was only a shaker anyway! We had a great time. It was a beautiful day on the water. It rained and got miserable, but you have to take these things as they come here in Oregon, right? Just as Bill was commenting on how the sturgeon seem to move along the shallows with the tides... and I mean JUST after he said that, a very large sturgeon, as if agreeing and proving his point, just about jumped in the boat next to me. And we were sitting in about 3 feet of water! It was shocking and awesome to say the least!
The one crab pot we put out proved the consensus that the crabbing has been less than red hot. It was filled with small crabs and the one bigger one, of course, was..... you guessed it. Female!
The rain that we are receiving, unless it gets much heavier, shouldn't bring the rivers up enough to get excited about.
At the time of this writing we are approaching the half inch mark on rainfall.... It is 5 PM.
Time to cook Bill's B day dinner.... already made the spice cake.. Funny, we grew up liking the same kind of cake for Birthdays!!! Spice cake and fishing.... this is what successful relationships are built upon. See ya.....

March 14th

Uh Oh! The river DID go up! I don't want you to be misled! It did go up! Go fishing!!!!!!!!

March 15th

Remember..... Tonight, Jim Erickson on chat at 7:00 PM. I wonder how this free chat thing will work! I am a little nervous that Jim will come over, and no one will come! You know, the paranoid party thing! I would feel so bad! If all of this chat stuff works out, I am going to invest in a better program. I am already in the works of buying a better bulletin board.
The fishing was not as expected yesterday. I thought things would be easy.... But I forget.... Comebacks are easy to catch. Natives sometimes not so! Oh well, I'll throw in another line today and see how it goes!

March 16th

The chat last night was fun!!! Fairly intense, trying to listen to Jim, tell him how the whole thing works, and type for him all at the same time. Jim likes nothing better than to stir it up. He is currently, and always fighting for what he believes and is quite successful in changing laws, etc. I think he was wanting to run into opposition rather than just talk fishing. He gave out a cure for eggs that no one could believe at first, and I will get it out of him again and print it here.. We can all try it! Something about an ingredient called "Solubore". A refined Borax.
It is pouring down rain at the moment. Since 7 last night we have had .96 inches of rain. Is that right? Wow! I better get fishing!
We were talking about funny fishing stories last night. My favorite is when I first took Andrew fishing out on the Columbia River Beach for silvers.
He was five. I told him, Andrew if you want to fish, you must do everything yourself. I will help, but legally, you need to cast, etc. Let's try it!
So out we go to the beach. People had been there since 5 in the morning, and we arrived at a leisurely 2 P.M. for a family cookout and some casual plunking while we were there. After a quick check of how people were doing, and hearing of no fish, we settled in, got Andrew baited up, and told him to cast. Now this spindly little five year old, mustered up his strength and grabbed that ten foot rod with an 8 ounce weight and gave it all he had. It landed three feet from shore bur fortunately over a drop off. I giggled. I said, O.K., Andrew.... That is where you will fish. I picked him up so he could place the bell on the pole, somewhat like placing the angel on the Christmas tree. Now mind you, alot of these fishermen do the strangest run and dance to cast their baits halfway to Washington. It seems they consider the further, the better. I have witnessed the craziest hop, two step, run and throws that you have ever seen. Some succeed in Olympic qualifying distances and I wonder if they are required to have a Washington license.
I rigged up, and threw out a modest cast where I usually hook up and proceeded to light the fire for the bbq.
It wasn't but five minutes and Andrew's rod started shaking and pulling wildly.
"Andrew! Stop playing in the sand and grab your rod!"
"Ohhh.... I have one.. " and he strolled over to his rod. He was unable to get it out of the rod holder so I assisted in that and unable to reel it in, so I told him to back up the beach. I was screaming at him in excitement and he was confused by my behavior, as if... what's the big deal Mom?
He proceeded up the river beach dragging a flopping, whopping 14 lb silver. But the line.... oh the line... it was wrapped around my rusty old subaru fishing wagon, fondly marked with black lettering...."FISHAMARIG". It strung from there, over a patio chair, then dangerously close to the fire.
Then the dog.....the dog was dancing around on the line trying to get at that enticing fish at the shoreline.
What a chaotic scene.
Let me tell you..... it took more strength on my part not to yell and scream, grab that rod and straighten the whole mess out. But I didn't. I wanted Andrew to do the whole thing. And he did. He brought that fish up the beach... strolled very casually down to the waters edge to glance at it, asked me if he was done, and walked back to his sand castle project. (?!?!)
Andrew was born legally blind. I didn't realize he was born with no enthusiasm for fishing. Which is worse? He says he likes it, but I can't relate to liking fishing in that non enthusiastic way.
He was given a blind anglers license at the age of 5 and able to fish at the N.F. handicap ramp. I took him there. He landed more Fall Chinook than I had in a lifetime. When I asked him what he thought of it, he looked at me and said..."Well, they are kind of heavy."
Andrew now is 12. He had surgery on his one eye to sew an artificial lens in his eye. At the age of 8 the world was all new to him. They say he sees well enough in that eye to drive. (God help us all.) However, the surgery did not increase his enthusiasm for fishing.
Bill and I took him to the Nehalem for Fall Chinook this past fall and we ran into a red hot bite. Over and over he sat calmly in his chair, holding his rod and repeating the same thing...."I think I have another one." He reels the fish in.
"I think I have another one..." He reels the fish in.
His luck +My enthusiasm.
What a perfect but frustrating pair.

March 18th

Two days ago, while building the rest of the chicken cage I heard it. "They are here, Bill!" The sound, so unmistakable, of a flitting hummingbird! Occasionally, that day I would catch them checking out our already filled and waiting feeder.
Yesterday was a festive day when the whole fam-damily......Aunts, Uncles, cousins and in-laws arrived in droves! I have never in my life seen such a hummingbird party, and I was a part of it! They were thick in the air! I ran to Fred Meyers and bought the last of two hummingbird feeders on sale and added them to my collection of five that were already in place.
You could just imagine their joy in finding such a bounty of food! I had hummies in back of the house, in front... just thick! I couldn't even get to my car without being dive bombed by literally hundreds of tiny souls who had traveled so far and were having their Thanksgiving at my house! I felt so privileged! The air was full of the sound of these tiny creatures. Someone decorated my trees with tiny Rufous hummingbird ornaments!!!
My kids and I spent most of the day sitting at my kitchen table giggling and staring in amazement at them.
I sat in awe, in this canyon. The misty rain moving in sheets, driven by the wind across the back drop of deep green forested hills. I filled my cup of tea, turned on some lazy jazz, and watched the show. A show that could never be produced on any movie screen!
Just for giggles, I bared the wet and wind to stand 12 inches behind the feeders, my back pressed up against the plate glass window and waited, but not for long! I had hummingbirds less than a foot from my nose! Just try and stand still! Just try not to gasp and scare them away!
I was a part of a very unique experience that I will never forget... and let me tell you, five O 'clock in the morning found me up and waiting.... waiting for the show to start up again. Waiting to show Bill, who had been out of town and had missed the whole thing. Would he believe me? Would they still be here? Would it be another story like the steelhead I caught with the 23 inch girth that no one saw but me?
So far, so good. The hummingbirds are busy and feeding. I wonder how many of these little hummingbirds we will be able to convince to stay here. I've got my work cut out for me!
I only wish that I could share it... I want a hummingbird cam!

March 20th

The unanswered questions have been swirling around in my head all weekend. I start with good reasoning, and then I argue with myself.
Thus, it is ironic this morning to wake to a discussion on the board about the reasons why we fish. I read with interest all the reasons listed, and arguments against, and found myself nodding my head.
I believe that this question is even more difficult for a woman to answer. I am definitely addicted to fishing.
I recall a family function where fishing was brought up, and my sister Linda mentioned..."Jennieeeee, I wonder how you got into this. (As if, Jennie.... what planet are you from?) She went on..."We all (except YOU) used to think it was cruel.. That poor fish with a hook in it's mouth? Grandma and ALL of us girls (except YOU) would complain about the cruelty of it when the guys would come in with dead fish...." I wanted to crawl under the table and join their feminine point of view.. There was a part of me who wanted to be a part of this girl thing.
Hey... I played with dolls as a child, I liked frilly dresses! (still do!) and boys.... I liked boys!
Maybe it was memories of me as a four year old with my Dad on theSandy.. Clinging on top of his shoulders as we crossed the rapids..Sitting with him in hog lines on the Willamette. Early mornings having hot chocolate before fishing, and warm truck rides home afterwards. I remember my brothers taking the drift boat out to go down the Molalla..They didn't invite me. I was supposed to be a girl... I don't even think it crossed their minds! I was a closet fishing addict. They simply didn't know.....
The years past and we all went off to College. I accidentally met up with my Brother on the Trask one day..."Man, you are a great caster!!" he said incredulously.... I was more proud that day than he will ever know. A rite of passage.
Maybe it was listening to my beloved Grandfather talk about fishing, and how he enjoyed our fishing connection. I think he got a big kick out of my interest. I know that he always felt connected with me because of our medical ailments. I was fragile as a child, in and out of the hospital, but always smiling...He had polio, Diabetes, and beat them all with the same attitude.
It continued into adult hood. My attraction for men always was heightened by one who had the fishing bug. The more they loved fishing, the more I loved them! You can now understand my attraction for a man with more reels and rods and boats than any 'Fishing Disneyland' I could dream of, and the absolute love/addiction that drives us to fish in the sideways winds and rain... to put away any disagreement until after the bite is off...
My life as a girl who fishes has been the brunt of jokes at classical concerts I have played. One opera singer I accompanied used joke lines constantly to the crowd that we had to hurry so that Jennie could get back to the river. (this to black tie crowds everywhere.)
I have gone to church in heels and a dress, only to drive home past the Necanicum, thick with fall Chinook, and yes, I fished.... right there, with those clothes on. and Yes, I have caught a Chinook in a dress.
What am I? Some kind of weird fishing anomaly? I don't know. I don't know why I fish. I love the outdoors, I love the scenery, I even love the feel of wet cold hands on a freezing winter steelhead day. Call me nuts. I fish.
Oh, by the way..... My hummingbirds have thinned to a normal group of 5 or 10. Must have been some kind of odd migration. I will never forget it! They were all Rufous, maybe the Anna's are next!

March 21st

Fresh Crab! I have been wanting crab so badly that I almost went out and bought some! Finally Bill and I got out to the Bay! So, for dinner we shall have crab, salad, and fresh bread.... What could be better? :)
Yesterday we drove up the Trask. The weather was just gorgeous and I really enjoyed learning a bit about the area.. Talked to a guy who catarafts three times a week down from the falls on the North Fork. Wow! He does it for the exercise, but he fishes as he goes... pulls plugs, etc. He says that it has been slow this year on the Trask, but enjoys it due to the lower pressure. It is so beautiful! Driving along the logging roads is such a nice way to watch Spring arrive.. We just kind of drove along and watched the hills turn green! If the alder trees would hurry up and get their leaves, then the whole hillside here would shout Spring! I guess I will be patient. With the coming of Spring goes the last of the Native Steelhead. I guess I can wait!

March 22nd

R.T. on Chat tonight at 7:00 P.M.
The next couple of days I will be making a great effort to keep a stiff upper lip.
I am going to the house where I grew up. I am going to go thru closets full of speech trophies, prom dresses, old love letters....Christmas ornaments.
My Mom died 5 years ago, and my Father has finally decided to sell the big home we have owned since I was 4 years old.
My kids want to go spend one last night there, dreaming about a Grandmother that gave them the kind of love only a Grandmother could give. They remember what she called, "kids day", where she would invite all of the Grandkids over for a Saturday to swim, eat popsicles and have her full and complete attention. 10 or more Grandkids would fill the yard, all running to the front yard giggling in anticipation everytime the train would roll through town.
My ears will be haunted with the sound of piano lessons underway.. She taught every afternoon after school while I crept thru the kitchen trying to secretly build a snack she would not approve of!
I will sit down at the piano and try to recall our favorite duets. Playing for Mother/Daughter teas...and the not so nice memories of her making me practice piano, hour after hour as I listened to the other kids playing outdoors. But, Mom.... I am thankful now!
Anyway.... I'll be gone for a few days. R.T. keep things under wraps for me?
I'll be back... These are the experiences that make you older and wiser, right?

March 24th

Home. Home to baby chickens that need to leave their nest on the laundry table to go out to their real pen. Did we build their pen to be predator proof?
Home to a Mother bunny that is pulling her fur out to give birth. When will it happen? I woke up at 5 to go check, but no bunnies.
Home to my hummingbirds that buzz around!
Yes, I am glad to be home!
The time at my parents house was heart wrenching, comfortable, eerie, nostalgic... all of these things. I found myself saying.... This is the last time.... the last time I will take a shower here, the last time I will sit in this lawn swing. The last time I will open this fridge.. I found myself taking the kids out to go carts, the Zoo, lazer tag, pizza... just to get out of the house, and I didn't get everything done I should have. (But the kids had a blast!!!) It was just hard to go through all of that stuff!
So what am I going to do when the Kilchis closes until May? Skip rocks in the river? Set up a casting practice in the lawn? At least I can't say it will be the last time I will pull a steelhead out of here!
I want so badly to catch a Spring Chinook!
I took the kids across the Canby ferry and asked the man who ran it if I could troll as we went across! Of course I was kidding, but I am that desperate!
In fact, I have been dreaming about catching Springers!!! Nightly!!!
A time of waiting...My lips just turned to a frown. Until next season to Steelhead fishing. Until next season to chat with drift boat people as they go by, all smiley and having fun. I know... Steelhead season will come again! But I feel so much like a kid in a car traveling a long distance. Are we there yet? And we are months away!
I have to keep optimistic! Trout!! Sturgeon! Spring Salmon!! Salmon on the Columbia, and Nehalem!
Life is what is happening right now. I better learn to fish happily, with all that I've got!

March 27th
Check out the new pic of the week!

O.K., O.K.! I have given up hope prematurely! David Johnson has kindly reminded me that all is not lost in the Steelhead category. He has sent me proof positive with pics on the Guides catch page.
He also says:
It's a shame you are considering the steelhead season over and leading your readers to believe the same. There have been plenty of fish around on the Trask, Nestucca and Wilson. I fished both those rivers last Thursday and we hooked 8-landing 4. Previous to that trip I fished two days and we landed seven fish. Every boat out there had several fish. I know of at least five guides that are working the rivers and doing quite well. The Friday before last I heard of a boat that hooked 22 and landed 15 in one day on the Trask! Don't get me wrong, I don't mind light pressure but there are lots of fish to be had and I'm sure there is a week or two left of good fishing.
No matter what I write I get into trouble. :) Guess I'll go throw a line out on the Kilchis!
So, just to get the word out. There are fish besides springers, girls and boys, but my enthusiasm for it is waning a bit. Looking for bigger and brighter fish on the horizon. I want a SPRINGER! I don't ask for much. Bill says I have to put in 100 hours before I catch one. Wanna make a bet??? We'll just SEE on Wednesday! I'll be out there... ready and rarin' to catch one! YEE HAW!!! I can't wait! (or maybe I will... wait and wait and wait and wait....) Who knows? Fish like girls!!! Girls like fish! So, if you see the Ifish boat.. Stop and watch me wrestle in two or three of um.... Yeah... I'm dreaming! (besides, Bill just told me the limit is one. oops!)
Busy week though. Several trips to Portland and Astoria, Doctors, Dentists, sports, and an interview with Bill Monroe on Friday. (OHHHH I'm sceeeeeeered!) Life is boring one week and overkill the next.
The last and final note. I WILL catch a Springer.... but even on the off chance that I don't, I will LOVE the effort!

March 29th

5 in the morning.... Perfect for leaving to fish the Willamette! YAY! I have been having extreme Internet/phone problems, so if I haven't answered your e mails, be patient! I'll be back as soon as Sprint helps me out!
I'll be on the river in no time.... Just takes me two hours to get there! Gotta go make sandwiches and coffee. I will give you the best report I can when I get home.... and I think I have a connection for good ramp counts from ODFW. Wheeee!

March 30th

Guess what? It is not easy to catch a Spring Chinook. It should have been. First off, sympathy to those of you traveling all the way from Portland to fish the coast. I now know the feeling of getting up at 4 to be there first thing in the morning.
We fished all the holes Bill usually fishes around the Oak Grove ramp. We fished with prawns just the way Bill usually does. We watched several fish being caught, including a summer steelhead. What was it? Bill says at the takeout at 2:30 there were 37 fish for 46 boats? An 80% average? And I didn't get one? I have been humbled by the illusive Spring Chinook. I think the fish Gods are logging my hours. But then I got to thinking. I HAVE put in hours..... Back when I was four years old sitting in the hog lines with my Dad. Does that not count for anything? Those were LONG hours as a kid! Oh well...... I shall return! It was SO fun though, to gaze down into the Willamette, (which by the way had very good visibility estimate 3.5 feet) and just know that they are down there..... somewhere! Sure made me excited! I'd get bored, and then I would imagine my line going down.....then you just can't leave! And then you get discouraged.. and then you watch someone catch one, and you can't leave again!
Interesting very patient bunch of fishermen, these annual Spring Chinook anglers... I guess when you do catch one, you understand the endurance. I want to understand the endurance!
What an absolutely gorgeous day! I have a list 10 miles long to do today, but the sunshine will help. So far all I have gotten done is to make the list longer! Have a great day and enjoy the sunshine!