Fishing The Coast, Oregon and Washington

March 2018
So fair, yet so cold like a morning of pale Spring still clinging to Winter's chill.
from The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)

March 4, 2018
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It's March! I mowed the lawn, even! It should be Spring! I should remove the snow pictures, above, but it's still in the 30's and it still seems like winter! At a time when I usually breathe a sigh of relief regarding my heating bill, this month I'm cringing. I bet there are lots of you out there, doing the same.
Look at the bright (and cold) side. At least we are getting some much needed snow pack!
Does it even count, this late, though? I hope so! I think so! Nothing broke my heart like the year all those dead salmon were on the banks of the Willamette. Eesh.
My Daphne is in full bloom, and yesterday when the sun was out, it was doing its job of scattering sweet and heady fragrance throughout the soft air of my neighborhood. I could smell it 3 houses down!
I gathered a couple blossoms and put them in a cup on my kitchen window. I like to smell it everywhere. It makes me giggle. I'm a scent freak. When my lemon tree was blooming, I couldn't leave it in Oregon City, because it was in full fragrant bloom! So, I packed it along with me to Tillamook so I could keep smelling it.
It didn't like the road trip, though, and once I put it in the sun in Tillamook, all the blooms fell off. Fickle nature! Sometimes you can't take it with you.
Thank God that Bill has been well enough so that I could come to Oregon City to get some much needed rest, and also much needed time to take care of this house, pay the bills, gather the mail, etc... I was supposed to be taking care of me, but unfortunately, houses come first if you want to keep them! (I'm beginning to wonder!)
I did get my hair done, and get to go to the esthetician. It was absolutely wonderful! I feel like a girl, again! :)
Tomorrow, I head back to the coast, all girly like and ready to fish. Does that make sense?
Springers are coming, after all! I'm so out of the routine of fishing, that sometimes I wonder if I still have it in me.
It used to be that I had tremendous guilt for fishing every single day. Now, I have guilt for not fishing a single day. Oh well!
You know what really made me sad? Every year, on my Birthday, I stop by a certain boat ramp, and cast out my 1143 with a First Bite Jig (pink!) attached, and it seems like within the first five casts, I get a steelhead!
This year? I forgot! I totally forgot! I was so full of ER visits and worry about Bill, that I didn't even have cake for breakfast on my Birthday. Fact is, I didn't even HAVE cake on my Birthday at all!
But, the lack of that Birthday cast at the very special spot was the saddest of all, because it broke fishing tradition.
I'll never forget that one Birthday -day, when I was waiting for a shuttle at the boat ramp, had my rod, and made one of those "what the heck" casts, into the water. I could NOT believe it, when a "what the heck" fish took my bobber straight down on the first cast! I mean, moments after it hit the water! What a present, indeed!
Funny that people try to get far away from the boat ramp before they start fishing! So, don't forget that water! If it's deep enough and slow enough to launch a boat, there are probably fish there, so fish it! :)
Since then, I've faithfully driven to that very spot, and I swear... within the first five casts, I have a bobber down. So I missed a year. Next year, I'll just take it back up.
My son has promised me that when I come back to Oregon City, next, we will have our Birthday celebration with all the cake and festivities that I love. :) I can't wait! It really doesn't matter which day it's on.
In fact, perhaps I should also take a cast at that traditional spot, and not worry about the actual date of my Birthday. I can call it my Birthday fish no matter what the date.
Right? RIGHT!
After all, now that I'm all pretty and girly, they'll probably like my offering all the more!
Here fishy fishy fishyyyyy!

March 9, 2018
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Time is flying. Where is March going? Hold on! The days are zooming by!
The grass is growing like weeds. It's time to mow!
As Spring sprouts, so many new lives are happening right before our eyes!
But... death is keeping pace.
Staring out my window I see what was once a wall of dead brown branches. Now, they have a tint of green to them as tiny new green growth pops out of the old wood.
Every day, the alders and cotton wood catch up to the deep green of coniferous trees that dot amongst them. Soon, the hillside will be a solid wall of green!
But our friend on ifish... Jack Mattice, (also fondly known as "Thumper") will be reading about how much I love it all from Heaven, instead of earth.
He'd always ask me to post a copy of my column on life in general, so that people could comment on it. I told him that I quite liked my privacy here, and didn't want to expose my thoughts to public opinion.
Sometimes the internet wants something or someone to hate. I don't want to be that person! Sure, Thumper loved me, but not everyone does!
Oh, Thumper! How I loved him. He forever supported me, my mission. He once drove all the way here from Washington, just to hear me play the piano!
I can't believe that he's.. "gone".
Gone is such a permanent word, and even though death is not final, (at least in my world), for those of us left here on earth, Thumper is... gone. :( I can't swallow that.
Tom, his son, told me he died peacefully in his sleep.
You know, living with marfan syndrome, I dealt with the concept of death a long, long time ago. I do remember the shock of a doctor telling me I'd only live to 35, (I'm 58, now, fool!) but, I can't even remember going thru the thought process of it all.
I've been struggling as of late, to understand how "normal/healthy" people deal with the thought of death.
It's much easier if you are a Christian or have another religion where you grow up understanding a certain process.
My sister said, "I can understand how death IS scary for those of us that don't believe in God."
I'm pretty at ease with death, I think. But, if it were creeping up on me eventually, like slowly, and had never been told that I'd die early, I wonder if that ease would lessen?
Bill is having to deal with his friends passing, it seems like almost weekly! That must be SO hard!
I'm still at the point that when people die, I'm shocked and saddened, but it's a pretty rare thing. As one gets older, though, it happens more and more frequently. If I hear of someone he knows that passed, I really hesitate to share it with him.
It gets to be all too much!
On one of the threads on ifish, where someone had passed, one of our members posted, "This has got to stop!"
I understand his sentiment, but death happens! It's not going to stop. It's the natural progression of things! We just do!
Thank God for Heaven!
There are some times, like, when I'm really tired or achy and don't feel well. that I actually long to go there-- to just be "beamed up". Death is not a fear, it's a relieved feeling to think of dying, and going to Heaven. To rest in His arms... to be at peace! Real peace!
I get really excited about the room God prepares for each of us! More excited even than going to a fancy spa hotel!
I'm sure that Thumper's room will have a stream outside the door of a cabin, surrounded by tall, beautiful redwoods! And with all the rods and reels that he could imagine, and a bunch of happy Jack Russells running around, making him smile.
That's how I get by! That is how I deal with death! (But, for now, I think I'll just check into the Hilton, instead of being beamed up...)
When someone I love dies, I think about the awesome room that God prepares for them! I want to be God's helper in that task! Wouldn't that be a cool, heavenly job to have?! A heavenly designer!
It really wouldn't be great if all this death stuff "just stopped", like that ifish member said, because I sincerely believe that earth isn't all that great, when you compare it to Heaven!
I mean, just think of all the things on earth that you love so dearly! *Your dogs! *Your dogs that have passed! *Fishing! *Your loved friends! *Your parents! *Your Grandparents!!! * FOOD!
All of those things that are so awesome on earth!!! - God will give all of those things to you (and more) on a constant basis!
And NONE of the pain, hardship, stress! None of it! :)
So, see why I want to be beamed up, sometimes!?!
Enjoy those fish in the sky, Thumper. Enjoy that room that God prepared for you!
Rest peacefully in His arms.
Thumper, you are truly loved!

March 13, 2018
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Over the weekend, I gave into the longing for the first time, well, in a long, long time. I've been invited so many times, and just never took people up on the offer, but this time... I did!
My life has been a bit messed up, lately. I'm late on things, and things are crazy busy. I leave piles of paper work that I should have done two weeks ago.
Bill has been struggling with health issues, and I am mostly here, instead of there... which is good, but I leave things undone in the city, much of the time. Like.. my mail! Ugh.
I don't like life messed up, but it just is, lately. So, when I got asked to fish the ocean, I threw caution to the wind, and just said yes! YES!
What possibly could it hurt that I'm doing one more thing that I shouldn't do right now? Those papers can wait one more day. right? RIGHT!
I haven't felt this giddy and guilty about something in ages. I do remember the last time! It was when Bill and I went Springer fishing almost every day for a couple weeks. I left ifish totally untouched, except for brief posts of fishing pics on the board. It was fun and guilty and intoxicating!
That's kind of what this felt like!
Good bye worries, I'm going fishing!!!
It was the most wonderful day to be on the ocean. What luck! The water was flat calm and the temperature was in the upper 60's. Heaven on earth! I wasn't even afraid to cross the bar... but I was in a pretty big boat! It would have been dumb to be afraid. (not that this excuses me!)
But.... one of the things I did that I was most proud of, and call me silly, but I went to the bathroom in a bucket! Bill has tried and tried to bucket train me, but on this trip, I just did it! I had to, to get back to fishing!
We caught all kinds of different fishes, and I learned so many different new words and ways of doing things.
For instance, we sporties have been crabbing all wrong! You need a block! And then just push a dang button and the pot gets pulled up from ... oh yeah, not "so many feet", but so many "fathoms". Right? Right!
We fished in about 15-25 FATHOMS. I finally have that one down. Just a quick multiple of 6, and there you are! An ocean fisher!
I was up at 2 and across the bar by 3, and we didn't come home till 12 hours later! What a day!
I slept for 2 fathoms. 12 hours! SOLID. Like a rock! I slept on the boat, some, too!
Anyhow... I had a blast, and I want to go again! And again... and again! I want to go a million fathoms. Am I using that word wrong? LOL
Fact is, though, I have to catch up on my paper work! That mail was supposed to be filled out and sent a month ago!

March 19, 2018
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The sun is shining brightly. It feels so happy, looking out at the green grass and thinking about all the little blossoms I'm seeing, these days. Pretty soon my lovely little purple flowers will start appearing. It always gives me hope.
Oh! Oh! Yesterday I was down at the river, and I saw that familiar "strings of moss", or what appears to be strings of moss. It's not! It's spawning steelhead! I love that! I got the biggest kick out of that, not only seeing it, but being ABLE to see it!
Since my choroidal hemorage, I have not seen a fish in the water, where I usually see them. I was beginning to wonder if that was a thing of the past, for me. But, no! I saw a fish just like I always do! So, I guess I just haven't been looking in the right place, at the right time. My eyes ARE capable!
Willie was doing his usual incessant barking and digging in the sand, and not 10 feet away, a spawning female was working her way upstream. Know how I knew it was a female? It had a cute little mouth! For me, that's the only way I can tell. Males have such big, mean looking mouths, and females, as usual in all species... are just so darn cute!
This particular female had fungus on her head. I was talking to Bill about whether or not females who look this bad might make it to sea, again. This brought on a deeper discussion of what the record of come backs are, or how many salts they can do. He thinks it's five. Or was it four? I forget.
Anyhow, it just seems amazing that a fish could survive that fungus, get healthy enough and head back out to sea. Wow. Fish are just amazing creatures! To me, that fish looked so near death!
There was no buck behind her, as I normally see, so today I'll go check on her, again. Of course, chances are she won't spawn in that exact spot.
I can't wait to start seeing the flashes of silver, as they begin digging their redds. Now, that is the most amazing part of it! Besides the fact that this entire ordeal also marks the beginning of springers into the Coastal systems.
You know, we have a trip booked with Chris Vertopoulos. It was supposed to be for steelhead, but Bill had been so ill that we cancelled not once, but twice! So, now.... I'm going to see if Bill will buy into the idea of instead going on a springer trip with Chris! Whoo hooo! That's what I want to do! Not only do I love eating springers, but they are so darn fun to fight!
The day that I caught my 37 pound springer, Chris was out fishing in the same place. That very day, he caught one that was 36, I think. NO.. I'm not bragging that mine was one pound bigger. (Well, not really... lol) But, I'm just pointing out that the day we fished at Memaloose, there was a flush of some pretty large springers out there! Fun!
So, maybe Chris and I fishing together could call another flush of big ones up stream! You think so? I do!
Whoooo hoooo! I can't wait for coastal springers!
I'm off to play in the sun. I've been really sick with the coastal crud, the last few days, and today is the first day I've felt like playing. So, out in the sunshine we go! Come on, Willie! Let's dig!

pansyMarch 25, 2018
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G'mornin. Oh, shoot, I want to go to church today, and it's already too late. Why can't I swing church, lately? I'm always late for everything, and that's just not me! I'm usually ... funny. I was going to say "I'm usually always..." That doesn't make sense. Anyhow, I usually show up for everything on time. I'm usually early, in fact! But, lately!! Geez! I can't get anywhere on time!
I think I should google why that is! Google knows all.
So, I have all this Springy type pictures up and there is snow on the coastal pass. It's so cold out, that I don't want to take Willie for his multi daily walks. It's just cold and wet out there! I am beginning to long for what the snow birds have. Arizona, Palm Springs, all these sunny locations... I get it, now! I do!
There is something, though, that pulls me and keeps me Oregon-coastal. I belong here with the "leaping greenly spirits of trees" (e.e. cummings) and the soft, cool, salt air. Oh, give me a home, where the salmonids roam, and the cutts and the steelhead play.... Where seldom is heard, a discouraging word, and the deer and the elk and I roam. :) Yep. Just wrote that. Such talent. Muhahahaha...
I'm in the city. I'm longing to go back to the coast. I've been here for just five days, but this trip has been strange, and I'm ready to go home. I came to work in the yard, but the weather has kept me from most of it.
I also come to visit with my son, and as long as I have been on him to get a job, now that he has one, I never see him! David is the type to give his all, once he commits, and boy, is he committed! He's working 50 plus hours a week!
We are like ships passing in the night... literally! He works nights, so he sleeps all day when I could otherwise visit with him! His mornings are my evenings and he's grouchy until he has his coffee. By that time, I'm tucked into bed. I get it, but at the same time, I sure miss chatting with him. He sure gives great hugs, though, and I need those, every so often.
Fact is, I'm honestly thinking of renting out my room, and just calling my visits here, quits. It's too expensive to keep my room open, if I'm not going to spend much time, here. I'm honestly thinking of having my piano shipped to the coast, again. My home is where my piano is. I have my electric piano at the coast, but that's just not the same, and I don't find myself playing it, much. The electric was purchased for gigs, where they have no piano.
Since Tammy and David both work nights, I can't play during the day, for fear of waking them, so, sadly... it just sits. As I walk by it, I can tell it wants to be played!
The springers will soon be in the rivers, if they aren't, already. I can't wait for that season. It's the one I think I'm enjoying most, these days. I'm hoping Bill and I will get to fish Springers with Chris Vertopoulos this year! Now, that will be fun!
Not much work to do this morning, on ifish so I thought I'd sit down and write a bit, but now that I have, I realize I haven't much to say!
Tomorrow, it's home to the coast. The coastal passes look like a snowy mess, but tomorrow it will be clear, I'm sure. I could sure use a little sunshine!
Time to bundle up and take Willie to the puppy park. It will be fun to see my old friends. Off we go! Have an awesome Sunday!

pansyMarch 29, 2018
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It's Spring time! The only pretty ring time
Birds sing, hey ding
A-ding, a-ding
Sweet lovers love the spring--

Now, what the heck does that mean? What is "the only pretty ring time?" Huh?
Well, it sticks in my mind as Willy Wonka, but it's actually Shakespeare! Yes! It is!
It's from "As You Like It" Act V, Scene 3
by William Shakespeare [1564-1616]

It was a lover and his lass,
With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
That o'er the green cornfield did pass,
In the springtime, the only pretty ring time,
When birds do sing, hey ding a ding, ding;
Sweet lovers love the spring.

[Here Shakespeare is quoting the popular Celtic ballad, "It was a lover and his lass"]

So... now you know! (Now we both know! I had to look that up!)
But, I still think of it as Willy Wonka as he's riding that bike, stirring up the candy! :)
Every time I feel Spring for the first time or two, that song comes to mind. Or, if I'm feeling sad, I think of that song, "Spring is here... Why doesn't my heart, go dancing?"
Dang, I love that song. If the words aren't the best, the melody is! Too bad it's so sad!
"Spring is Here" is a 1938 popular song composed by Richard Rodgers, with lyrics by Lorenz Hart for the musical I Married an Angel (1938), where it was introduced by Dennis King and Vivienne Segal. (Wikipedia)
We are going to cheer this song up a bit. OK?
Join me, if you like. Help me out, here!

Once there was a thing called spring
when the world was after Springers, where 'ere you look.

All the rods and reels would zing
As we set our lures a spinning
We fished the stream.

Now April May and June
we fish early in the morning,
till way past noon!

Springers are here!
Why doesn't’t my reel go dancing?
Springers are here!
All my bills need re financing!
No desire to work- no ambition leads me,
Why is it that springers so intrigue me?!

Springers are here!
Oh, how the salt air breeze delights me!
Springers appear,
Why doesn’t anyone invite me?!
Springers are here ... I hear....

Well, it could use some work, but that was fun! P
Have a great day, and I CAN'T wait for Memaloose!