Fishing The Coast, Oregon and Washington
MAY 2002

Time for Memaloose!


Jennie's Fishing Life


A journal of my adventures.

May 1st

Happy May Day! I always love the first of May.
I have been dreaming of stopping, alongside my roadway to town, to take pictures. Every few feet, another burst of color!
Last night, I drove home from Portland, tired, defeated, and still feverish. Not one doctor can figure out why I have had a fever for weeks, and my right jaw aches.
The endodontist sent me home.
"Those two teeth are sensitive, but fine. No root canal needed."
I can't complain about not going through a root canal, but, I'd sure like to get well.
The doc sends me to the dentist, the dentist to the doc, the doc to the endodontist, the endodontist to the doc, and now to an oral surgeon, and my cardiologist.
Bill says, "I can't believe it. You've been sick so long, that now you just go fishing or do what you have to do, sick or not."
It's true.
The only thing that kept me awake and enlightened on the way home, were the flowers.
I want to spatter them across the front page of ifish... here... there... over there!
So many spring scenes!
I drive 50 feet from home, and want to stop!
"Look at that!" I whisper to myself.
A bright blue patch of ground cover flowers against the new light green grasses. Vinca?
One point always slows me.
Crystal clear water comes down from the hillside and shoots straight out in a thick, icy looking ribbon, before cascading down to join the rest of the spring run off into the ditch.
What makes this delightful, besides the most beautiful clear water, is the cherry blossoms from a cherry tree above, hang heavy with bloom, almost touching the water. They wave gently in the air from the breeze, and the water's current.
Framing the scene are bright green mosses and grasses. It looks like something out of the Busch Gardens, yet no one planned it! It is a spontaneous spattering of God's paintbrush! He is so awesome!
Now I have to take a pic!
What a road side treat!
With all of these things that delight my eyes, I have got to get well!
And I will.
I got to fish for a couple hours on the Willamette yesterday. Bill released a big fat native, at 22 pounds, but that was it.
Please, be sure an enter the contest with Grant Scheele.
I have forgotten it was May, so I am extending it one day, as I decide what to put up next. MM fun! Like Christmas shopping! What shall I give away next? :)
Have a very happy May, and fill yourself (and others) with the wonders of Spring!

May 2nd

Congratulations to Doug Burton of Albany Oregon! He won a trip for two with Grant's Guide Service! Cool!
Gary at Great American Tackle Shop has been very good to ifish! He has donated his time to sell ifish hats for the Springer Contest, and to measure and check our fish entries.
He has donated a Shimano Sienna Rod to ifish for the next contest! The rod retailed for 199.00.
Please click here to enter the new ifish contest!

The Shimano Sienna is a 9 foot rod, which is a great steelhead jig rod.
I really appreciate Gary at Great American, and can't wait to get into his tackle "toy" shop and fill my tackle box with goodies!! :)
Off I go, doing errands today. Always keep an eye on the discussion board for the Ready, set, contests! You just never know when the mood will strike me!

May 3rd

My understanding of Chi:
Surround yourself with nature, with water, with tall trees, and heal your body with it. Become part of the flow of their energy...
It's five and my alarm quietly, but insistently lets me know. My jaw aches, my body just a touch feverish.
I lay in bed, half wanting to stay underneath the covers. Kilchis lays a paw over my neck and kisses me away from further slumber.
I can hear the coffee pot's last gurgle. All right. I'm up.
Both dog's excited tails and bodies try to trip me as I make my way down the stairs in the dark. They know. It's cookie time! Cookies! Outside to chase the herds of imaginary wild zebra and giraffes!
"It's dangerous out there, Mom! We'll save you!"
Dee Dee and Kilchis snatch the treat out of my hand, and run out the door. It's routine, and we all need it.
As I hold the door open, I pause. It's spring, and I feel it in the air.
Leaning against the door frame, my ears and body take it all in. I take a deep cleansing breath.
The forest is already alive with birds!
How can people sleep through this?
The river is silent, the air windless and moist.
I close the door, and still groggy, I reach down into the cabinet and sort through the myriad of vitamins and herbs I purchased yesterday.
I'm tired of doctors. They didn't help me. I'm still sick, but this time I'm going to get well. On my own, with the help of the health food isle at Freddies.
Walking to the sink, I hold my vitamins under water, and my glass up to my lips.
I need coffee. I swallow the soaking wet pills before they dissolve.
When I lived in Astoria, I went through a period of time where I was very ill. I was visiting a naturopath, after coming to the same conclusion I am at now.
Medical doctors don't know all.
I had visited doctor after doctor for chronic pain. They did strange things to me, like "deep needle therapy". Believe me, you don't want a doctor sticking 3 inch needles into your shoulders and wiggling them around. That was the last and most painful straw. I drove home in tears. That was supposed to make me well? Invasive, painful, nightmarish! Get out of here!
The Naturopath spoke to me of the healing powers of Chi. Although skeptical, I found it interesting. His voice was soothing and healing. I wanted his peace.
He asked where I lived. I told him that my house lay nestled on the South slope of Astoria, looking over the expanse of Youngs Bay. "Water is good", he said plainly.
So, as he recommended, I would stand still, in my living room, looking out. With each deep breath, I would try to absorb the healing power of water, taking it all in. Blocking out stressful thoughts, I would try to think of nothing but how the surrounding natural growth and energy of tall trees, of water, of all that is natural and good, would flow through me, and heal me.
I don't know whatever healed me, but now, thinking back, I wonder. I did get better. Tai Chi?
Well, if Tai Chi worked in Astoria, imagine what nature can do where I live now, deep in a wild forest, with a river running at my back door!
The last time I visited Dr. Nature, he put a pill in my belly button. Now, folks, I can only go so far before I just can't 'go there' anymore! A pill in my belly button? I still giggle!
It has been days now, that the thought of Chi has gone through my mind.
I take long, slow walks on the river. Although it is not Chi that first crosses my mind, I find myself standing on the river banks, where the water flows softly, and there is no sound around me. The tall trees hover over me, windless and still. It's natural to stop, to try and absorb that peace.
I breath in deeply, with my eyes, searching the tops of tall trees. I exhale, and become transfixed on the flow of water by my feet. The brush on the riverside is alive with the sounds of hummingbirds, goldfinch, evening grosbeak, and the occasional interuptive screech of a red tailed hawk overhead. The golden reflection of the late sun on the water makes my eyes squint.
Relax. Breath...
Water is good.
It can't hurt to believe that Chi can help me.
With the birds singing at dawn, and the quiet, lazy afternoons of Spring, I don't know a better place than the Kilchis River Canyon for Chi testing.
Just keep things out of my belly button, OK?

May 4th

Walked out to the river with Kilchis in my pajamas this morning. While down there, I realized I was hungry.
Hungry for homey food!!!
It is a family tradition to make French Breakfast Puffs and I can't imagine life on a lazy Saturday morning without them.
You need a little more butter and cinnamon sugar, if you ask me, but...
If you have never experienced a French Breakfast puff, it's high time!
Here is the basic recipe.

Makes 12 muffins:
(If you can get away, only eating one, I don't know what is wrong with you! Double the batch!)

1/3 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup margarine or butter, melted

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 12 medium muffin cups, 2 1/2X1 1/4". Mix shortening, 1/2 cup sugar and the egg thoroughly in medium bowl. Stir in flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg alternately with milk. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until light golden brown. Mix 1/2 cup sugar and the cinnamon. Immediately roll hot muffins in melted margarine, then in sugar-cinnamon mixture. Serve hot.

Mine are just coming out of the oven! Time to butter and sugar and..... ECSTASY!

May 5th

I was on my way home from church a couple weeks ago when Chris called. He wanted to show me something. "Can we meet for breakfast?"
Up pulls Chris, pulling this!

Chris Session's new boat

With these on the back!
Oh baby! POWER!

There is an ifish sticker on that boat! Cool!
Wayne Adams, builder of custom dream boats in Gold Beach, Oregon, built this beauty for Chris.
Chris has decked it all out, with a Garmin 238 WAAS GPS and sounder. Have you read about WAAS? Click here to read more.

All right, here. One more pic!

Isn't is sleek? I just love it! Way to go, Chris! You deserve this! Now do what you are best at! Catch fish!
You can contact Chris Sessions here. I hear he has put several fish in that boat already!
Chris, now all you need, is this!
I finally did it!
I built a bird blind for photographing birds, with Bill's help. Then he dressed me in camo clothes. I laughed. "You don't really wear this stuff, do you?"
Camo face masks?
I teased him about feeling like I was dressing up like a little boy to go play little boy games.
I asked him, "When you hunt with Bill Monroe, did you wear this?"
Yes! He said. So did he!
The thought made me giggle. Two grown men all dressed up to play. :)
But it really works!
If you want to see something funny, drive by Jennie's house. Oh! Wait! You won't be able to see me, I am so well camouflaged!
I'm sitting on my front porch, three feet from the feeder! Just try and find me!
I thought I would have to sit, still for hours, but NO! 10 minutes? Here is one result:

It was windy, so the pictures aren't as crisp as I'd like. Today will be better!

Click here, if you would like to see more American Goldfinch.

May 7th

Black-headed Grosbeak
The new Jennie column, called:

Ah! The Grosbeak! Black-headed, right? We also have the evening grosbeak, but this one decided to delight me today!

Went out giggle fishing yesterday. You know... trout? Put in at Lake Lytle, and looked forever for a weedless spot over 4 feet. It wasn't easy! Finally found one on the North side of the lake, anchored up and giggled three times. Fished with a bobber and worm. Ah... lazy days!
We took Kilchis, and he turned out to be a darned fine boat dog. I've always wanted a bow dog. Now I have one! He even loved it when we went full throttle! The swallows dipping around drove him nearly crazy though!

Isn't Kilchis handsome?

So tired... The coyotes woke the dogs at 3 in the morning, and I couldn't get back to sleep. Man, they were noisy!
Off to work.... :)


May 7th

Black-headed Grosbeak
The new Jennie column, called:

Ah! The Grosbeak! Black-headed, right? We also have the evening grosbeak, but this one decided to delight me today!

Went out giggle fishing yesterday. You know... trout? Put in at Lake Lytle, and looked forever for a weedless spot over 4 feet. It wasn't easy! Finally found one on the North side of the lake, anchored up and giggled three times. Fished with a bobber and worm. Ah... lazy days!
We took Kilchis, and he turned out to be a darned fine boat dog. I've always wanted a bow dog. Now I have one! He even loved it when we went full throttle! The swallows dipping around drove him nearly crazy though!

Isn't Kilchis handsome?

So tired... The coyotes woke the dogs at 3 in the morning, and I couldn't get back to sleep. Man, they were noisy!
Off to work.... :)

May 8th

"Man, the traffic is heavy", I mentioned to Bill last night, as we were nearing the fairgrounds for the meeting regarding the hatchery closure.
Then I noticed the turn signals! They were all filing into the parking lot of the fairgrounds.
I let out a whoop! AWESOME! The parking lot was over flowing! I stopped at the entrance, to let the oncoming traffic turn into the parking lot. I was reformed into a "good Samaritan" driver for people attending this meeting!
The goal was 500, but I do believe we hit around 300. Pretty darn good! I was so afraid we would have only 30!
On the the ifish discussion board, I threatened to close down ifish if people didn't attend. This is important. So important that I truly believe ifish would shut down eventually, if we didn't get off of our rear ends and DO SOMETHING.
I was criticized for my negativity. I'm sorry, but I feel very passionately that we need to be heard.
I am no longer feeling negative!
Jerry Dove, of The Tillamook Anglers, opened the meeting. He expressed our concern, and was pleased with the showing.
Jerry did an excellent job of keeping the meeting rolling, and on topic. He's my new hero of the year.
Lindsay Ball spoke, and had his staff explain the financial woes the ODFW is facing.
Director Ball, once again, reiterated that the Governor, in his attempt to mend the budget, has closed the three hatcheries, (read the Governor's budget proposal) and repeated the saying that has haunted my sleep, "The boss has spoken, and we do what the boss says."
Director Ball had his staff explain the papers that were handed out, laying out the financial problems in pie charts and percentages.
The "2003-2005 Projected Base Budget for all Fund Types" were introduced and explained. Did you know that the N.F. Hatchery is back on the chopping block for 2003?
Elaine Hopson spoke, and impressed upon us how we need to hear from all over the state, rather than just locally. Good point, and please, if you are reading this from anywhere in Oregon, please click here, and help us out!
My favorite comment came from Joan Dukes, concerning getting the legislature organized. "There isn't anything organized about the state of our Legislature".
Senator Dukes stated her frustration of fighting this battle over and over. How the hatcheries will always have a big bulls eye on them, when it comes to cutting the budget.
"We have been here before, and we will be here again."
Many good points were brought up in the questioning session after the speeches.

Questions and answers for all states of awareness were asked, answered, or responded to.
I left the meeting with a general sense of satisfaction, yet with the knowledge that we still have an extremely steep uphill battle.
300 people left the meeting with more knowledge than they entered the building with.
We have an uphill battle, not only for this biennium, and the problems we are facing currently, but of biennium budgets in the future.
Please, take an evening or a morning. Set it aside to make phone calls and write letters. Scribble a note on a piece of notebook paper stating your feelings, and zip it out in the mail. If electronic communication is easier for you, then great!
I know how it is, to think you are only one voice. I have not written my letters yet.
Please excuse me, as I take some time off of ifish, to make this one, small voice heard.
Join me?
On another issue, please read the latest about Diamond Lake.

May 12th

Wow! I think this is the longest I have gone without writing!
I've been busy trying to get the new discussion board up and running, and putting up a couple new clients. Yesterday, I was at the computer from 7 until 7, with a few breaks for KFC, and flowers.
Yes, flowers! I'll explain later.
I fished the Willamette just once this week. I put in a good long day. Bill landed one wild hen. Man, she was beautiful! Perhaps 28 pounds!
I think I am jinxed on the Willamette. I don't have the knack for city slicker fishing. You just sit there and bob prawns off the 15 to 20 foot ledges of the neighborhood's river. Towering beautiful homes surround us as we troll up and down their back yards.
You hold at 15 feet as you travel over 130 foot depths. Bill hooked his fish at as we traveled over 35 feet. How random! How tough could it be?
Tough! I can't get one! :)
At least I saw proof that they are catching fish! Do you know Fishback road?

Fishback Road

Dudley Nelson has 35 fish to the boat this year. That has got to be a record! This sign, and these fish tails, are in remembrance of Dudley Senior.
He'd be proud of his son!

I'm not giving up yet. Just the fact that I haven't gotten one eggs me on. When I get one, I quit!
At least I was entertained by Bill feeding geese out of his mouth!

Bill duck

Memaloose is reporting fish, as of yesterday.
That is where I'll be in the near future. I just love that fishery. Spinner fishing! Why do I love it? Because you finally get to hold your rod, and jerk! None of that...."Er.... can I set the hook yet?" At the slightest tease of a fish, grabbit! :) I love it when they take the spinner and come at you.
"Is he there?"
(I can't wait!)
I finally got my Marty Peterson Spinner! We were out on a test run sometime last week. Marty was out testing his jet for the year, and threw it in the boat. Thank you Marty! I'll add it to my guides collection!
Happy Mother's Day!
My Mother was gifted at many things. Besides being a beautiful pianist, she arranged beautiful bouquets of flowers from her garden that stunned even the most ardent horticulturists.
The other day, while Kilchis and I were walking in the woods for a break, I became impressed with the myriad of colors around me.
Instead of grabbing my camera, I grabbed some clippers. I usually feel that flowers should stay on the vine, but I needed some of them close to me.
I knew that most of my days in the future would be spent at the computer, as I had a lot of work to catch up on.
I brought the outdoors in.
With clippers in hand, I hunted down color spots. It didn't matter what color. It didn't matter if it were flower or vine or stick. Anything that caught my eye was fair game. Snap, you are mine!!
Moss was peeled from trees, with little fiddle neck ferns popping out. Rhodies, fuchsias, lilac...
I had an idea! I reached up to the attic and pulled down an old Easter basket.
I ran outside to get a piece of floral foam to fit into it.
I lined the basket with a plastic tray, soaked the foam, and began building a bouquet of the forest!

Now it lives on the dining room table!

Isn't it gorgeous? I was so pleased!
My Mother has been missing from my life for 6 years now. This is my tribute to her, and every time I walk past the dining room table, I think,
Happy Mother's Day, Mom!
And thank you, Mom, for all that you gave me appreciation for.
Off to church, and home to a surprise dinner made for me by my kids.
Yikes! What will it be?
At the very least, I know they have outgrown Kraft Macaroni and cheese, and graduated to the myriad boxes of Parmesan Angel Hair Pasta.
I can deal with that!
Have a beautiful sunny day, and think Spring Chinook! Don't think the boys would go catch me one and have it on the bbq by tonight, would you?
Hey, take a look at the bird pictures!
I got some great pictures of bandtails and some purple finches.

May 13th

Things are back to normal. The day is done.
I woke up to a note from Andrew which said,
"Rubber bands or die!"

I guess he is out of rubber bands for his braces. I have called the orthodontist, and they said they were mailing them!
But yesterday.... I came home from church to a wonderful treat of sautéed potatoes, tomatoes, eggs and grated cheese. A gift from them, a beautiful fuchsia plant, hung from the window.
After breakfast, we all went out to the river, threw toys for the dogs, and lazed on the sandy beaches.
Later, as I soaked up some TV, I was called for dinner.
I tried to remain calm.
David didn't know that you were supposed to put the lid on the rice when cooking, but it didn't harm it in any way! It tasted wonderful!
Meatballs with roasted garlic marinade, rice, fresh bread, green beans, and Caesar salad.
I didn't know they could do this!!! The plates were all filled with food, and set on the table. We watched birds and ate, and all was wonderful!
After dinner, they did the dishes, served Bill and I coffee, and prepared a secret for Mom.
Bill isn't the romantic sort... at all.
I get Lamis and Gamis for my birthday, and new spools of Ultra Green for Valentine's day. It isn't romantic, it's fishing practical! I don't complain... much. I love fishing gifts!!!
But the woman in me still longs for notes under my pillow when he leaves for Portland, and silly girlie things like massage oils, and perfume.
It doesn't happen. Even when I tell him, beg him... plead! I have long since given up. It just isn't Bill.
Obviously, however, some of our conversations have been overheard.
Last night, after dinner, I walked into my office.
The surprises continued...
On the office chair was a heart pillow, with a single sunflower plant that David had grown at school on top. Underneath the pillow was a note.
A simple note, scrawled on a piece of notepad paper.
"You are the best Mom!
Three hearts were hand drawn, along with their signatures:
Krazzy Joe and David.

(Andrew insists Krazzy Joe is his new name, and has half the school teachers, along with his whole family, playing along.)
Along with that was a Reeces Peanut Butter Cup freshly lifted from our candy stash in the boat.

Rubber bands or die?
This morning I walked into their rooms to wake them for school. The floor was littered with golf clubs, footballs, cups, forks, empty candy wrappers, strawberry hulls, and computer cables.
Mother's Day is over.
Was it all a dream?

Jennie and Kilch

May 15th

My name is Jennie and I am an addict.
I realized it, last night.
I've always known I had an addictive personality. I mean, take fishing-- I don't just do it a little bit, and when I can't go fishing, I need to replace it with some other addiction.
I haven't been able to fish much lately. It's not my season. My dear river is closed. I have 10 more days to wait until The Kilchis River will see my fly again.
Until then, I'm in danger.
I can drive to the Willamette. I can drive to the Columbia, but I find myself staying home, instead, and I'm growing a bit depressed.
Working, gazing at the river, wondering how I'll make it 10 more days.
I found myself sneaking out last night after dinner to find a fix.
"I'm going to the store to get my prescription". I said, with a touch of guilt. I knew I wasn't going only for my prescription.
I'm afraid my voice reflected that.
I'm not a good liar.
This wasn't like me, to go to the store in the evening. But I had to. I had to get out. I had to feel that rush. My drug...
The anticipation was high. My hands began to sweat. I drove faster than I should have. My breath came in short gasps.
I should never have touched it again. I thought I had overcome this addiction. It fell into my hands once again, over a month ago, somehow, coinciding with the purchase of my new truck.
Now, I'm trapped again.
Inside the store, my eyes searched the floor until I found them.
All wrapped up in cellophane, neatly packaged, and lined up in little bins, I ran my hands over them. So many to choose from! So many names, and styles, and flavors! So many colored packages! They were frustratingly tight and neatly wrapped.
I was so close to them, but so far away.
I remembered what used to float my boat, and my new preferences. I couldn't decide which one I wanted to purchase. I decided on a little of each.
I walked to the counter, dizzy with anticipation. Out came my visa. The clerk put my choices in a bag. I looked around. Had anyone seen me? I have always been a closet addict.
Off to the prescription counter at Freddy's. One stop shopping, indeed! Some milk, some medicine, and a little of my addiction!
The pharmacist took forever! Inside my bag, lay exactly what I needed, and my hands began to shake. I looked behind me. No one was waiting, so I grasped inside the bag, and started to pull at the little cellophane tab to open them.
The lady saw my hands shaking.
"Do you need help? I have a little knife, if you need it." She joked.
I blushed. "No, thank you, I have one." I reached into my purse and pulled out my Swiss army knife. I had forgotten how difficult they can be to open.
Finally! They were open and waiting for easy access. Off to the car I ran.
I closed the car door, looked around me. I was alone, so I opened the window, ever so slightly. I opened the packages and laid them out on my lap.
Which one first? Which one is going to raise my blood pressure, and race my heart, and feed the addiction best?
I chose "AJA" by Steely Dan.
I inserted it into the CD player and waited.
Track one: "YES!!!! This is it!" Track Two: "WHOOOO HOOO!"
I accelerated, and took a left, instead of a right. I was going further from home, instead of nearer. I needed more, more, more! I was feeling like a lost child, found again!
How bout this one? I pulled over and grabbed my new "Tower of Power".
Track one: "What Is Hip?" I began to giggle, my heart raced, returning to my teenage days. I let out a little whoop in the car, and took another left, away from home. I cranked up the volume.
Darkness began to fall, and I was beginning to feel the guilt again. I need to go home. I am a Mother of two children. This is embarrassing.
I began to turn the right directions towards home. I drove, ever so slowly.
I reached over and put in my new Isaac Stern.
I drove home, glancing over the side of the road at the cause of my need for this renewed addiction. Mr. Stern filled all my senses, and the world around me, and with the tickling of his violin.
The Kilchis river, flowed low, flat, and clear, and very closed.
The orchestra joined the single violin and as it swelled, choked me with emotion.
At the logging bridge, a trout rose to the surface, in time with the music. I pulled over and stopped my car. Turning up the stereo to deaden the pain, I fought the urge.
I wanted to rise to the ring! I wanted to go home, grab my fly rod, and get after it! I wanted to be a criminal, wait till dark, and be a fish pirate! To break the law!
Ten more days till the Kilchis river opens. My hands started to shake again.
My closets are filling with the skeletons of CD's opened and played. I feel like I'm going to get caught soon. Bill, or the kids, are going to walk in on me, as I try to burn the paper bags and receipts in the wood stove before they see me. I have visions of me sitting in a room with plastic containers all around me, plastic cellophane strips in my hair and mouth. A stereo blazing by my side.
Isn't my fault my new truck is the best stereo on wheels that I've ever heard.
You think fishing is expensive? I am now reduced to the cheap music bins at Fred Meyers!
I'm going to quit. I have to.
After all, in 10 days the Kilchis River will be open again, and I can get on with life as I know it.
I need to buy a new fly reel. and I'm broke.
Ten more days.
I really do like Joni Mitchell.
Don't you?
I have to go to Freddies for some bread. I'll be right back.

Tillamook Rainbow,
sent in by Marie at Tillamook Bait.

May 19th

Bill and I have both been sick most of the week. Lots of laying around and working on the computer. I have gotten so much done though!
The discussion board is upgraded and should work to meet our needs for a while. I'm crossing my fingers! There is the new ability to add something called avatars. They are little graphics that go by the posters name. For more information, click here.
Fishing though... What is it, and how come I don't fish? I haven't fished in so long!
The other night, I put an old fly reel on my new TH fly rod. I tied some yarn on the end, and went out to the yard to practice. Nope, haven't forgotten how! It was so funny to watch Kilchis try and catch the fly. Frustrating, too! How do you cast with a dog on the end of your line?
Kilchis has more energy than any creature I have ever witnessed. It makes me tired just watching him!
Daily, I take him down to the river, and he is in constant motion.
Dee Dee, who is 13, (and about my speed lately), laid down with me in the tall spring grasses while we giggled at Kilchis.
Butterflies, birds, and bugs look out! Kilchis is after you!
I can't help but laugh out loud, as Kilchis runs into the river, after a butterfly. Straight into the swift current! It's hilarious when he hits the deep water and plunges in at a dead run. He then hits the other bank, still swim/running, barking with frustration and excitement. The first time he did this, he was in mid current, and I thought he was wounded. He sounds so frustrated!
Who needs TV? That is what keeps occurring to me, lately.
I sit at my kitchen table, or in my office chair, and am surrounded by birds. Birds of all colors, shapes and sizes. I find myself with my camera, running from room to room, trying to capture amazing sites.
For instance, how many bandtails can you fit in a basket?

I found that so funny! At one time, I think there were eight, but now I think there are only five. How many? Count the tails!
Tragic, and extremely sad news about a boat down, out of Garibaldi, here. I feel so badly for pro guide, Ted Howell, and his client's families. Ted survived. Please send your prayers to the family of the victims, and to the Howell family.
It makes me feel guilty that I don't always wear my life jacket. Things like this happen so quickly. There's just not time to reach under the seats to get a life jacket. Better just to wear the darn thing, no matter how cumbersome.
I was invited to fish with Dennis Stewart today, of Salmon Master Guide Service. We were going to go after sturgeon.
Well, so much for those plans. Last night David came in, wrapped in a blanket and looking piqued.
Uh Oh. I took his temp. 102! I gave him some Tylenol, and went back to work.
When I got up, he and Kilchis were on the couch, sound asleep.

David must have the virus that Bill and I had. The flu. The gift that keeps giving.
Kilchis, exhausted from his river follies, settled down to join him.
Someday, I too will fish.
There is always tomorrow!
This is the first day I have felt good in SO long! This flu bug really bit Bill and I. The good thing about being sick is that when it is over, you feel so darn good! And I DO!

May 21st

The bumpers of the boat bounced against the dock at the 5th street boat ramp on the Trask. Rain began to fall as I climbed out to begin the hike to go get the truck and trailer.
We have the system down pat. I back the trailer in, he motors on, and we are gone within minutes.
I turned to Bill abruptly and sighed, "Is it steelhead yet?"
He smiled, and shook his head. He has heard this question before.
Its the, "are we there yet?" of fishing seasons.
I wanted a wiggle. I wanted discomfort! I wanted eggs stuck under my fingernails, or the sharp pinch of a sand shrimp above my frozen fingerless gloves. I wanted rain dripping from my Filson! I dreamed I was tripping over wet rocks as a wild screaming steelhead pulled me down the river banks!

The thirst for steelhead season usually starts to hit as soon as the last native is seen in the river. It grows stronger as I walk up and down the river bank, growing tired of casting flies for trout in late summer. When I want something bigger to tease, and it's a too long of a drive to the Columbia for silvers.
I long for the short, dark days of winter.
Steelhead season pulls me from my bed each morning, before daylight breaks.
The sound of the rushing river, and dreams of silver bullets keep me from sleep, from work, from domestic duties. Rain, sleet, or snow pound down outside. The weather tries to deter me. Nothing can stop me from grabbing my rods and heading down to the river.
The dogs wiggle with excitement as I take down my rain gear, and pull on my boots.
Hands down, steelhead season is my favorite time of year.
Thus, it is with surprise that I realize I can't walk by a window or door this spring without being pulled outside.
Whether it be to stand silently, dressed in camo, to take bird photographs, work in my garden, or simply to stroll along the currentless, already mossy banks of the Kilchis river with my dogs.
Five in the morning comes early.
I usually grab a cup of coffee, give the dogs a bone, and slam the doors after them, while I go sit with a newspaper, or read through last night's posts on the board.
Lately, I open the door to set those wagging tails free, and the immediate blast of heady, moist spring air causes me to hesitate. I have to breathe it in. I lean against the door jam and take in the sounds of various song birds that have joined us for summer.
This isn't like me! I want to scream through spring chinook, fast-fly forward through summer, and cast into a fall chinook!
I am enjoying this spring.
I hear Bill's slippers drag across the kitchen floor toward the coffee pot.
I jump up to go wish him good morning.
"What's it going to be today, Bill?"
I want a schedule.
"There are four days until trout season opens. There's sturgeon and crab in the bay, Bill, and springers in Memaloose and in the Trask, and trout in the lakes. What do you want to do, Bill?"
Bill hasn't had coffee yet, and I hear him moan trying to think, frustrated by my alert enthusiasm.
Kilchis whines hysterically to go out.
There are mallards on the river and coyotes in the hills! Kilchis hit the deck at a solid run to go after them.
The fresh air of spring, the birds in the trees, and the faint trickle of what once was a raging river pulls at me.
All is calm this spring morning, and urges me to take part. Nothing can stop me from following Kilchis, and heading down to the river.
I think Bill answered, but I have no idea what he said. I was on a mission.
I headed to the river, with a tiny aquarium net in pocket.
There are small steelhead fry in the evaporating pools that lay isolated from the main current of the Kilchis river.
I bend over in my pajamas and slippers. I make a quick stab at a couple. "Gotcha!" Two wiggling steelhead fry get dumped in the main current. I convince myself they couldn't live without me. I am making an incredibly small impact, but it feels huge.
These precious fry are the miracle and magic of spring. They are the hope of new life which will create my future steelhead dreams.
"Is it steelhead yet?"
Yes. It is steelhead, all year around.
For every year salt, and every year fresh, I breathe through their seasons.

May 23rd

I know... I know! I have tons of e mail and I haven't answered it! I've been fishing and I just can't keep up!

Thanks, Chris!
I had an awesome time!
My canine friends and I had a restful time sleeping in the bow after we limited out!

What ya doin, Chris?

That's the way, boyz... Hold up Jennie's springers for her!

I'm feeling just a bit sassy....

May 26th

I can't tell you the hours in my life that I have spent trying to play the piano exactly like Vladimir Horowitz.
Rush to the stereo, turn it up, rush to the piano before the recording starts, breathe with the sound of his breath, attack the first tone with the same attack, crescendo with the recording, imitate the same intonation...
Sometimes I would get many measures before I became dissatisfied. Other times, it was back and fourth to the stereo, hit rewind, and begin again. Often, I screamed with frustration.
It wasn't only Horowitz. Anytime I heard a recording that moved me, I would do this. With Sting, with Sergio Mendez, and back in my teen years with Jeff Lorber Fusion!
Now, however, I do this with fly fishing videos! It pays off!
I spent hours watching a fly fishing video that was sent to me by Stan Fagerstrom . There was one move I thought I would never get! Believe me, I can't explain it here, but the move does not come naturally to me! I cannot tell you the number of times that I have watched this video, and tried to duplicate it exactly.
It's a dance, like a Jane Fonda routine! I found myself getting up from the dinner table, perhaps performing it to the dinner music. I was getting better!
Yesterday was the opening of trout season on the Kilchis for fly and artificial only.
"Want to go fishing?" I asked the dogs? They looked at me like, "Really?" Yes! Really! Fishing again!
I grabbed my fly rod off of the office rack, and headed out.
(Mental note: It was really cute when fishing was closed to watch Kilchis swim around in the river. It is not really cute now.)
I was fishing, and was fairly satisfied with my casting abilities. Then the thought occurred to me: What was that video move? Have I ever tried it with the rod? NO!
I tried it. I stumbled at first. Nope, that wasn't it.
Then it happened! It all came together at once, and I was dancing on the river's edge! My fly lost that awkward push, and began to float effortlessly in a steady, graceful line, clear to the opposite side of the river! It played out in a perfect line! My shoulder stopped aching! I could lay my fly in the quiet water before the line hit the water! It is immensely satisfying when it all comes together the way it was recorded. :)
I caught and released several small cutts on a Borden's Special.
On the way back to the house, Kilchis, exhausted from a day of chasing birds, and disrupting my water, looked up at me. I said to him, "Kilch, it only gets better from here on in".
I can't even remember the name of that video right now, and I haven't the time to go find it.
I'm off to church this morning to play. I think I'll play the Chopin Nocturne, the way I learned to imitate Horowitz playing that exact same piece.
Then home to my river. .. and watch out river! I'm going to play a little Chopin on you too!