Fishing The Coast, Oregon and Washington
43 inch beautiful, big, spring salmon out of T Bay!
FISHING THE COAST
A journal of my adventures.
May 1st, 2003
HAPPY MAY DAY!
Remember making flower baskets and leaving them on doorsteps?
The kids and I used to do that!
When I walk the river, lately, it seems too quiet. I can't fish because the river is closed, so I'm forced to think, to observe, to listen.
I have a new game. I walk along, and without thought, stop and look down. I force myself to stare until I find it. An agate. There is one, somewhere in each square foot, and I make myself find it, and don't allow myself to move, until I do. I have yet to fail!
As I walk, the sunshine is warm on my back, and I nostalgically think I hear laughter, and screaming, and splashing, but I turn around to see no one, or nothing, as far as the water runs.
The tall, motionless trees stare back at me from every direction, and taunt me. "What are you looking for? Children?"
The water flows still, and without much current. It is so still, that a deer crosses the river, far below, without noticing our presence.
So, this is what it is like, for all parents of growing teens. No longer do they run for the water, at the first sign of spring. They are busy, on the phone, on the internet, or studying some kind of math or algebra that is far above my head.
"Can you help me study for my test?" Asks Andrew. I glance at his book and see numbers in odd array that cause me confusion.
"No, I can't, Andrew..."
Andrew stands a full six feet, and maybe three inches over. David is fast catching up. It's their attitudes and hobbies that have changed, though, with their physical growth. It's the absence of giggles and screams and glee. It's onto dances, and rock band practices, and serious things that don't require my presence.
Kilchis runs on the bank, and occasionally starts in the water, to chase after a merganzer, or dipper, or fictitious animals of the wild.
It seems he is my only youthful child. I have to admit, I'm not really a very social creature, and I think part of me had children for the company, for the joy that their youth brought to me.
I remember back to when I was first divorced, and alone, with Andrew and David.
Our Astoria home had windows from floor to ceiling, the full length of the house that overlooked Youngs Bay. When a thunderstorm hit, we had the screen of our dreams to observe it. It was surround sound, and nearly came into our house! We'd all run to my bedroom, open the curtains, jump in my bed and pull the covers up and giggle when the flashes and noises began! We'd sneak out, between flashes, and the minute it hit again, it would drive us under the covers, with wild screams and more giggles! I miss that, so much!
I've been craving a thunderstorm, lately, and I was more than envious when I heard Portland had a big one! Thunderstorms break the monotony of the weather for me, and somehow, simultaneously clear the blues from my head.
After the storm cleared, David once stared at the amazing sunset, with brilliant colors stretching from the bay to the ocean. I interrupted his thoughts, and he turned to me.
"God sure has some beautiful color crayons in his box." He said this with sincerity, and most seriously, for a 5 year old.
I miss those days, and as I walk along the river, alone, the voices of their youth haunt me.
Will they come down to the river to swim this summer?
I remember the times they invited me down, and I was much too busy.
"Mom! We are going swimming! Want to come?"
"Not this time, guys... I have to work." Oh! How I wished I would have never passed up that opportunity! Their faces, as I turned them down, reflected huge disappointments! I felt a twinge of guilt then. But now, the guilt and the sadness and the loss is monumental!
Yesterday I took Andrew to Portland, and we had some extra time. I took him to Nordstrom's Rack to try and fit him for shoes. It's not easy finding a mens size 17. They had water sandals, and I said, "Andrew! Look! For the river! You'll need these!"
"What?" I questioned.
He noted, I think, the disappointment in my voice, and tried to mend it.
"I'll just wear old tennis shoes to the river this year, Mom."
I wonder if he will.
He picked out some tall, stylish black boots, and a pair of New Balance tennis shoes.
Those will never do, for the Kilchis river. I shook my head and followed him to the cash register.
They WILL go swimming this year, and I'm going to make them! It is a required duty! It is physical education! It is exercise! -- and they will giggle, and I will attend!
It is mandatory for my health and happiness.
Maybe we'll have a thunderstorm, yet. I sure hope so! I need a change of mind to clear the blues, and restore my now teenage kids, back to their youth.
For now, though, I have to go get ready to fish! I'm going with Bill Monroe and my Bill to the Willamette.
There is nothing better for making me feel young, than to fight a huge, shiny springer!
May 3rd, 2003
I just don't understand it! Although it seems to be a very slow
spring bird year, right now, I am looking at 15 or more goldfinch.
A couple of weeks ago, I happened upon a beautiful bird feeder on the clearance table at Fred Meyers. They are so rarely on sale, that I couldn't believe my eyes! I snapped it up like a hungry goldfinch!
I know why it was on clearance now! A bird won't go anywhere near it!
When I first got it, I filled it to the top with Niger Thistle. I held it in my hands and admired it's brawny strength and boldness. It is a wider style tube feeder, with pretty black metal designs on the glass, and a roof overhead! The deluxe model of all tube feeders! It holds twice as much liquid niger gold!
I took down old faithful, and put it out back. Bill and I kind of have "his" and "hers" bird viewing areas. Mine, out of my office, and his, out of the kitchen. I took the old feeder and placed it to Bill's viewing area.
I stared out at my new, most glorious feeder daily. Nothing would come near.
I'd hear Bill excitedly shout, "Look! Jennie! Goldfinch!" and
"Our first Purple Finch, Jennie! Come see!"...and I ran to the kitchen, and sure enough, there on old faithful was the first goldfinch of the year... the first purple finch...the first golden crowned sparrow... the first white crowned...
My bird viewing area remained ghost like and still.
I thought... "Give it time... They will come to here, too!"
So, when Bill left for Portland, I went out and nabbed old faithful, put the new feeder on the back, (now looking a bit garish, even to me), and hung it on Bill's bird area.
Old faithful was hung, in all it's glory, on my old front hook. It wasn't 5 minutes before a flock of beautiful yellow goldfinch came to visit! Sheesh!
Still not giving up on the big black ugly feeder, I gave it two days and went out and grabbed the monstrosity back.
I have two hooks in this area, so I hung them both, side by side. Both the most simple old faithful, and the ugly, newest, clearance rack, most gaudy and frightening big black 'mother of all mother' thistle feeders.
Guess what? I have the goldfinch. I have the purple finches. I have the golden and white crowned sparrows.
Bill doesn't, but they are all totally ignoring the big feeder, avoiding it like a hunting cat! They are smashed together like buttered popcorn on the most beautiful, elegant yet "inexpensive" old one!
So, today, in my stocking feet, I went outside, unhooked that piece of tubular glass and scrap metal, emptied out the seeds into a milk carton and washed it up so the feeder looks like new.
I give up.
Garage sale item? Fill it with rocks and use it for an anchor? What if I paint it a different color? Is it worth the time and trial? A gift for someone I don't really care for? I don't know what to do with it. I'm thinking it's just a piece of bad luck.
Maybe I'll just throw it in the trash, and pray that the garbage man comes early.
It is a slow bird year, and now I know why. As soon as totally I rid my area of this feeder, they will come, in double force.
May 4th, 2003
On careful inspection, I have figured it out. The Goldfinch
must feed upside down in order to make use of the new feeder. They are simply
lazy and don't perform tricks on demand.
I am mad now, so I am taking all feeders down except for the big black monstrosity. "Goldfinch! Upside down, or flee!"
Nah... Won't do that, but it's tempting.
Well, today the rain is pouring down by the buckets. I was planning on trying Memaloose for the first time this season, and I still may, but man, does it look foreboding out there!
Something about spring mornings, though, that is inviting, no matter what the weather. There is a warmth to the dimly lit sunrises. A soggy, heavy swaying of lush green trees that, no matter the wind, nor the rain, draws me outdoors.
Of course, the river does that for me in the winter. The prospect of steelhead, or salmon, and the ice clean days of a frozen November.
I guess, all in all, I am drawn out of doors.
For the first time, yesterday, we had a very heavy bird day. Our first evening grosbeaks showed up. Pigeons, pine siskins, American goldfinch and purples and house finches all lined up together on the cross bar that holds our feeders, out back.
Buddy, our constant companion squirrel, brought a girlfriend to dinner.
It was the first day in months, that I felt the leisure of time to sit at the kitchen table, sip coffee, and just enjoy the show.
Too funny! I just read Bill Monroe's column, and the first words out of his column are "Jennie Logsdon"... The following words are "skunked".
Now, it's playing over and over in my head like a mantra.
"Jennie is skunked, Jennie is skunked, Jennie is skunked..."
This provides an opportunity for me to show all of you what a good sportswoman I am. Of course, I have choices! I can:
There are other options, I am sure... But yes, the skunk has hit me hard this
year, and has forced me to go through several mindsets! From pouting, to realizing
that I really have a great time, no matter if I catch or not.... and I do!
I remember being married, and how my husband so often put up with my fishing mania.
I'd have the kids all day, while he worked, and the minute he arrived in the doorway, I'd be off, with rod in hand. I barely had time to breathe a good bye. He put up with that!
Once he came home for lunch. I had an hour and a half. Off to the jetty I drove, as fast as my car would take me. Literally, I ran down the rocks of the jetty and tossed out my herring! I quickly hooked a salmon, dodged the surf, crashing on the rocks to net it, and ran back over those rocks and pulled in the driveway one hour and twenty seven minutes later!
I threw the salmon on the lawn, just as his car started to go back to work. Whew!
Of course, that wasn't always the case, and I remember him saying at times, during a marital squabble, "Gee honey, I'm sorry you got skunked!" As if all arguments or disagreements were caused by a lack of fishing success.
He may have been on to something.
I'm older and wiser now. Just ask Bill. (On second thought, please don't.)
So, with that, I'm going out to Memaloose today, to demonstrate how not every river will kick my behind this year! Yikes! That's scary! What if Tillamook County turns it's back on my Springer fever, too?
It's pouring out, still, but I have the gear to be comfortable, regardless... and besides!!! Just think of all of those migrating salmonids that await me!
On with my raingear, and out with my spinners!
I'll never give up!
May 5th, 2003
Today is the day!
Yesterday was a mish mash of broken plans. We got ready to fish, hooked up the boat, and everything just fell apart.
We kept staring out at the weather. Strong puffy wind, and heavy showers, A total of 1.80 inches of rain! We kept saying, "Let's just wait until the weather improves before we leave..."
Then, the sun would come out, and we got ready to go again, and David said, "Uh, Mom? What about my ride to my friend's house?"
"I don't know. Can we go early?" He tried to call, but no one answered.
In the meanwhile, we noticed that the washing machine was broken. We had my old one out in the garage, so while waiting for David's friend to come home, we went to rent a hand truck to move the washers around.
Mid that project, David had to go to his friends. I came home to Bill sweating over broken washer hoses... and... anyway, the day was shot.
Still had a very relaxing day, made a wonderful chicken dinner, and got things done around the house.
So, today, armed with the best of Amerman's Eggs, and the shiniest, freshly polished spinners, we are going to hit the upper bay.
I have along Marie's new sticky shrimp scent, and we are hooked up and ready to fly!
I'm going to take David to school, and meet Bill at the ramp.
I'm feeling very fishy today, and fully expect a fish with every cast. Man, that would be a lot of springers!
May 6th, 2003
Nope, TODAY is the day!
Today is the day that I hook into that spring chinook! I am expecting a fish with every cast, again, today!
Yesterday was fun, and we did see a fish caught, so we do know that it is possible!
We are going to arm ourselves with different ammo today, change our plan of attack, and just generally have a good time.
What is it they say? The quest is best? Well, I'm getting the best of the best quest, then!
It may sound like I'm really getting the skunk, but the truth of the matter is that I've only fished 7 days for springers, and it seems like every day I choose to go is not the right one. It's not me, really it isn't!
Even if it is me, it's only adding to my fishing mania, drive, and enthusiasm! I'm not frustrated yet! I'm still smiling and eager to go!
I have to spend Thursday in the hospital again, so that they can put me to sleep and check on whatever they check on, so it's either today or tomorrow. Tomorrow the weather looks worse, so I choose today... and if today doesn't work, I do have rain gear!
The last time they put me to sleep, I came home, rested for an hour, and walked out to the Kilchis and nailed three steelies. Perhaps I'll do that on Thursday with the springers? Yes! That's what the plan is! How come I didn't realize this before?
I remember, as a child in one of my multiple surgeries, I spent two days in the hospital. The day I came home, I had been sedated heavily. My Mom and Dad felt sorry for me, I guess, having so many surgeries, and when I got home, I had a beautiful, brand new 10 speed bike waiting for me! I was so excited!
Mom put me to bed, and drove off to the grocery store. When she came home, I was no where to be found.
In those days, I was seriously horse crazy. There was a farm, five miles out past Canby where I was taking care of a horse for some people at our church.
Semi sedated, still, I remember thinking, "I can ride there myself, now!"
...And off I went, on my new bike.
I'll never forget the sound of that Volvo behind me, honking the horn, and my Mother's incredulous, frustrated and irritated tone in her voice.
"Jennie, what are you thinking???"
She helped me to put the bike in the back, and took me home to bed.
I'm an adult now. I can fish semi sedated if I want!
...and I will!!! -- That is, if TODAY isn't the day!
May 7th, 2003
Is it time yet, to go to Safeway and buy a springer? NO!
Nope, I can't find one, but I'll tell you, it was almost a joke yesterday, fishing the lower Trask, and marking the fish. Huge fish at 7 feet, every minute or so! Were they real? We weren't convinced. We pulled the anchor rope to make sure we weren't marking the anchor. Nope, fish still there. "Yeah, right!"
If they would have been in that thick, wouldn't we have at least gotten a line bump?
Staring, in a wind protected slough, in the sunshine, our bobbers not bobbing along, but sitting complacently on the surface.
Ever seen the Trask with wind waves? It was incredible! Like the little Columbia!
We started off at Memaloose, thinking we'd spinner it a while, and then nose up the Trask. Guess what? We couldn't nose up the Trask! It is sanded in this year.
Every which way we nosed, we'd slide up on a bar. I was sitting in the bow, directing Bill and repeatedly saying, "Stop! Not this way, that way! Stop! Not this way..."
Finally convinced of non navigability, we took out, and put in at 5th to go down. The Trask? Navigable? Not this year!
Had a lovely time in the sun, though. We chose a place protected from the wind, and talked about what our favorite foods were, while we munched on leftover chicken sandwiches.
We also talked about theories on biting fish. Came up with this calculation:
Say there are 100 silvers in a river. 50 of them are genetically more destined to bite, 50 are non biters. Of those, in any one season, say 10 are caught and taken.
We are left with 40 biters, and 50 non.
As the years pass, say we take another 10 a year, until we have depleted, or put a major impact on those, genetically destined to bite.
Not good! Is it possible?
Thus, another good reason to continue and support our broodstock programs. We are, in essence, breeding the fish that are destined to bite! Go, broodstock programs!
That's my thoughts for the day.
The sun is shining,
The grass is green,
The cherry and alders sway....
There's never been such a day....
To catch a springer in Tillamook Bay!
Expect a fish with every cast!
May 8th, 2003
One more hospital visit behind me, and guess what? No more ulcer!
The anesthesia they gave me was supposed to make me forget everything. I wonder if I caught a springer while I was asleep. I guess I'll never know!
Now, I'm trying to shake my head and wake up enough to go get a chinook. I'm freezing, too! Time for my exotherm after surgery, pre fishing warm ups.
I'm not supposed to operate heavy machinery at all today. A computer would qualify as heavy machinery, right?
However, it is OK to operate a trolling motor.
Look out! Here I come!.. and you are in my way! and you! and you!
Not supposed to make any important decisions, either. I can think of nothing less important to decide about, than whether to fish, or not. It just comes quite naturally. Of course, I'll go!
May 10th, 2003
Today is the day of the First
Cast Jigs Demo! Will you be there? If you've yet to catch on to jig fishing,
you had better get in the car and get going, because it's at 10:00 this morning,
at The Guide Shop!
I was going to go Springer Fishing this morning, and I got up, bright and early, but Bill is still sleeping, so maybe our plans have changed? I don't know.
If so, I will go to the demo, also!
I had forgotten, as the water recedes on the Kilchis for the season, how brightly bleached the rocks become.
It's almost blinding, as you walk along the river's edge in the sunlight.
Kilchis and Dee Dee are back to their antics of fetching toys in the river, and then fighting about them. Kilchis usually retrieves and then Dee Dee jumps in, at the last minute, and grabs it out of his mouth. It's hilarious to watch, and brings me to giggles.
Well, I'm off to shower, and then to see what kind of fish, or fishing the day will bring me. Will I be tossing a jig rod, or trolling a spinner?
I'll tell you, the longing to toss a fly out in the Kilchis is becoming almost overwhelming. The river will be open in two weeks. I have began the seasonal countdown to fly fishing season.
I'm not bored with throwing toys for the dogs, but a fly is beginning to sound most interesting.
I never really care if I catch anything, but the graceful, rhythmic motion of the fly line in the air, somehow changes the atmosphere on the river, and everything seems calm, and peaceful, and serene. To imitate a fly landing on the water, somehow warps me into being one in my surroundings.
I want to be that fly fluttering with the hatch, and landing on the water. I want to be part of the wind, that directs my cast. Standing tall, like a tree, planted firm amongst the forest and water, I am far, far, away from the every day activities of life, and computers, and society.
I need that, you know. I need that, to enable me to come back and smile for my family, to write these things, and to be able to jump in the truck, and fall in line with the miles of vehicles along a highway
It's my battery charger. It's my food, my sleep, and my drink.
Of course, a springer might do that for me, too. We'll just have to see.
May 12th, 2003
Mother's Day was just as Mother's Day should be. I drove to church
in Warrenton, played pretty music, drove home in a hurry to be greeted with
a nice breakfast made by all three boys.
We ate at the table and watched the birds in the area.
Later, I decided that I'd take Kilchis for a run on the river.
On the way out, a flash of pink caught my eye. My dry suit! Shall I go for a walk, in the river?
So, Kilchis helped me to suit up, by dancing on the legs while I tried to put it on. Bill zipped me up, and away we went. You know, it's really quite comfortable! I had on my USIA exotherms, anyhow, so I was ready to go "swimming" without any fear of cold, even though the river is running around 47 degrees.
I walked far upstream, and entered the river and.... sat down! Wow! My feet floated in front of me, and I leaned back into the most wonderful lounge chair the river has to offer! I kid you not! It is so comfortable laying in the river! I'm almost considering it as a nightly ritual, rather than lounging in front of the TV! Besides that, it's great fun to watch cutthroat trout, crawdads, and baby steelhead swarming on the bottom of the river!
I have discovered that I really don't need a boat anymore! I am my own boat!
I wrote more about it here, but my most amazing revelation, is that I am beginning to feel more secure near the water... Almost so much, that I am considering braving the big blue for fishing. If you don't know me well enough, you should know that I have a fear of the ocean, and all of it's bouncing around, that I just don't go out there! I miss tons of fishing opportunities, because of it!
It's mostly the fact that the bouncing around, really jars my body and I end up really sore within hours. But, I'm also afraid of how unpredictable it can be. However, if I can float like this, who cares if the boat goes down?
I can't wait until next time I'm going down the North Fork with Erickson. I'll say, "Jim! Let's fish that hole!" If he refuses, darnit, I'm just jumping overboard to float over there and do it myself.
I can do that now, you know?
I bought myself a VCR yesterday, so that I could watch some fishing videos that have been sent to me. My old one broke years ago, and I just never replaced it. They are 49.00 at Freddies now, so I couldn't go wrong. The rest of the evening was spent watching really fun videos of my Bill on fishing news spots on Channel Two. It was a blast to see all of his old gear, and to watch him get other people into fish.
"Now, Bill... how bout a springer for Jen?"
It was "Fishing with Bill for cutthroat." Odd to see him bonk those beauties. It was back in the day when you could take home a limit.
Then, it was "Fishing with Bill for Fall Chinook". Then, summer steelies, and fall jack salmon, and sturgeon. The sturgeon thing made me roll in laughter. They first caught a flounder. Then another flounder, then another, then a double flounder. Finally, they got an undersize sturgeon, but Bill says they held up the keeper sturgeon that Bill had caught earlier, before their film crew showed up. Trick "fishtography!"
If we ever have another ifish event here at the house, I'm going to have these films showing in the background. They are a hoot!
Off I go. David is sick today, with a sore throat. We may bug out and go fishing. Either rock fish, trout, or Springers. What a great time of year!
May 13th, 2003
I can't tell you how much pleasure I have gotten out of my
TH Custom rods. Not only are they beautiful,
but expertly tied, and crafted. While using my 1143 C, I have been stopped,
on the river, and asked to see the rod I was using for jig fishing. It pretty
much stands out as the most beautiful weapon on the river!
If you have never fished with a custom rod, believe me, there is a huge difference. If you need to buy a very special gift for someone, whether that be your fishing partner, or even yourself, write to Travis, and talk to him about a custom rod.
Mark Charlton, of Charlton Charters called yesterday, and was all hyped up about halibut. He has openings and wants to take some of you folks out to see how it is done. Last year they landed 70 and 80 pound halibut! Wow! If you are interested in talking about what a halibut trip is like, call Mark at (503) 861-2429.
The kids, and Bill and I went out with him a couple times, and had the time of our lives. You know, there is a real bathroom on that boat! That, to me, is worthy of praise, and almost tempts me to go out halibut fishing in the big blue! Shall I? Yikes!
So buttery and beautiful!
We had a huge flurry of buttery yellow goldfinch yesterday. The largest group we have seen yet. Perhaps 2 dozen American Goldfinch on two thistle feeders, fighting for available spots. I had a great time snapping photos, and watching them feed upside down, finally, on the big black monstrous feeder that I thought no one winged creature would touch.
To see my favorite picture
of the day, click here!
Later, I put dinner on, slipped on my dry suit, found an old snorkel
and mask, and went to the top of our river property, and climbed in. I put the
snorkel to my mouth, floated on my stomach, and went for a ride. It's almost
like some kind of amusement ride they have at a park! The wonder of how big
creatures on the river bottom look, being enlarged by the water magnification!
Foot long crawdads! WOW!
I forgot we had rapids at our house, until it was too late. I looked up, after seeing way too many bubbles in the water, and yowsa! The falls that I had giggled when Kilchis went over, trying to fetch a stick. Here I go! Whoooo hooooo! It's tough to try and go from floating on your stomach, to getting ready to go over the falls! Feet first, finally, I bounced through the rapids. It wasn't that bad, and enabled me to be exactly in the place I wanted to be. The deep pool that I always wondered what lay on the bottom. Well, back on my tummy, I couldn't see a darn thing. Too much sediment in the deeper holes. Nature has a way of hiding what we most want to see.
Off on another day of adventure... What will life bring me today?
May 14th, 2003
Has anyone noticed any albino goldfinch at their place? See the
one in the middle? It's nearly white! It's fun to see the differences in some
of the goldfinch. One of the males has a black mask on one side, and not the
other, but this Albino one is really odd! It's a male, and cream colored!
Fished a bit at Memaloose yesterday, but left late, and fished when it was really windy. Not a lot of fun. Maybe I'll go out early, for a bit today.
Have a great one!
May 15th, 2003
There are things that happen secretly in nature, and I would love
to see them. Here is one.
Remember that large rock that I found on the river, that I showed you a picture of? It was solid white, sparkling crystal on the inside. I saw just a hint of crystal on the outside of an otherwise very ordinary river boulder. I broke it open, by throwing it against another rock.
Shards of crystal flew everywhere, and I ended up with three or four rather large pieces of rock, that were entirely crystallized on the inside. It was gorgeous, and I'll never forget my awe!
As I'm floating down the river, with snorkel and mask, I imagine things, such as this:
Imagine a very clear, high flowing river, with a very strong current. Boulders, you realize, do roll along the bottom, and very large ones, at that! I forget about that, and often think the bottom of the river, to be motionless and still, except for the movement of living things.
Imagine now, that a boulder is rolling along the bottom, ticking every now and then, like a giant slinky or weight. As it comes close to a drop off, it floats, weightless for a minute, and then tumbles over the side, and free falls until it hits the edge of a huge rock, stationary, in the riverbed.
The deep pool in which it falls, is gathering sunlight, and the rock, as it hits, explodes like fireworks into a thousand fragments of crystal! The sun, filtered down through the water, picks up the tiny sparkles of light, twinkling brightly along with the already dazzling display of sunlit water!
As high noon approached the other day, I yawned, as my spinner worked in the current. I stretched out in the boat, took my coat off, and got comfortable.
All of the sudden, I saw something I'd seen a million times, but had never in my life seen before.
There was a wind chop on the surface, and the sun was beating down hard. Ever single slip of water that reached up towards the sky held that same crystal like dazzle and light, and the whole river lit up like a diamond! I let my vision haze over, as if I were studying one of those "Magic Eye" books to see a hidden image. (And no, I never can see those hidden images, and I have decided that only dumb people can see those, but that's another story!)
As I relaxed my focus, the whole river became one sparkling jewel that created one of the most beautiful and dazzling displays that my (new) eyes had ever seen!
Now you tell me. How many times have you been on the river, and you let this phenomena go unnoticed?
How many things do we not see and appreciate?
Go to the Wilson some day this spring or summer, and look into a deep salmon holding hole, and you decide.
Is the sunlight dancing on the water caused by the sunlight on the water alone, or did a crystal just explode underneath?
We'll never know, but I'll tell you what I'm finding out. Even if those darn springers don't cooperate for me, there is so much more to fishing, than fish!-- and I am learning, however reluctantly, to notice!
May 17th, 2003
Things are changing lately, and I'm liking it. I'm less busy,
less hassled, and more relaxed.
I have decided that I can't handle any more advertisers, and certainly can't handle any more work, so I'm just saying "no" and it's really not as hard as I thought it would be.
It was on one of these days, last week, when I was most appreciating and realizing my freedom. The kids were at school, and Bill was in Portland. David had been home sick, for an entire week, and had just joined his classmates, back in school. The house was quiet.
I was finishing up the last of some e mails, and last minute tasks, when I started to feel a scratch in my throat. I downed some herbs of my choice that have worked in the past, and spoke to Bill on the phone. "Bill? I think I'll take a nap! You know, a nap! I haven't taken a nap and slept for a long time!" I was tired, and thought the rest would probably combine with the magic herbs and I would be healed!
Bill thought that was a good idea, and hung up so that I could venture upstairs to do, just that.
Something happened, after that, and I can't remember what, but one after another, things began to happen that delayed me.
Kilchis was upstairs barking. I didn't give it much thought, as Kilchis has a wild imagination. He often comes to sit beside me, after barking, to tell me, all waggly tailed, of the herds of wild giraffe, and mighty tigers and lions that roam the wilds around here. He tells me how lucky I am that he is mighty and powerful enough to scare them off.
Feeling protected by his fearsome bark, I set back to my tasks at hand.
The post office! I forgot to go to the post office! So, I called off the dogs, loaded them in the pickup, and off we went.
Finally home, I was determined. It is nap time, and darnit, anyway, I'm going to take one.
I wasn't even going near my computer again. It was upstairs and horizontal, for this girl.
I noticed that Kilchis had proceeded me up the stairs, and had resumed his protective bark.
I remember thinking this was odd, as he was barking in the same location as before.
Then, I heard glass breaking.
My curiosity peaked, and I hurried my pace, upstairs.
Now, imagine this. Imagine a Lucille Ball show, where she is trying to stuff her own blanket. Imagine if Kilchis decided to attack a down pillow in the bedroom.
Alright, quit imagining.
I opened the door to a solid layer of down feathers, the entire spread of the upstairs.
I let out a big sigh, and feathers rose from their resting places, all around me.
There wasn't a square inch of carpet showing. I just stood there in awe, while the feathers settled again, until I saw it.
One poor, tailess, and nearly featherless pigeon, beating itself up, against a window.
"Oh! You poor thing!"
Blood streaked down the window, where either Kilchis had gotten a hold of it, or it was bloodied by beating itself up, trying to escape.
I gently picked up the pigeon, and walked it to the window, plumes of feathers following me, as I walked. It immediately took full flight, and very naturally flew to the rest of the flock, waiting in the trees.
I had left the upstairs door open.
Big mistake, I guess. I had also spread corn out on the upper deck for them to feast on.
What a mess! Do you know that vacuum cleaners aren't much good for cleaning up feathers? What are you supposed to use? A rake? A broom? How bout the snow blower?
No matter what I tried, the feathers just flew, and evaded me!
For two hours, on my knees, I plucked feathers from under the bed, on top of the bed, under chairs, out of the bathtub... believe me, I never want to see a "down" anything again, for the rest of my life. I do believe I could have made a blanket, though, with the feathers from that one pigeon.
Finally, I was done. The room was fairly clean again.
I rose as I stuffed the last of the feathers into a plastic bag.
Kilchis lay on the bed, sound asleep, and satisfied.
He is a mighty hunter, that beautiful mutt.
He did, after all, keep and save me from the big bad lions and tigers of the wilds...
But "What's one little pigeon, Mom? Can't I keep it and play with it?"
I never did get a nap that day, and I'm still fighting a cold, or allergies, or something.
Maybe I'm just allergic to pigeon down.
--Oh, and by the way, if you see a featherless pigeon around, I'm sure Kilchis would like to see him again. That's his friend.
May 19th, 2003
I get it now. You know how you go fishing, and you are so focused
on the tip of your rod, and the minute you turn around to do something, your
rod goes down? It's when you least expect it, right?
So... I am really "least" expecting a fish now. I have gone so long, with so little fish, that I really, really "least" expect one!
"Expect a fish with every cast!?!"
That may be my problem, also! I'm not casting! I simply drop my spinner into the water, and let the boat work it.
So, today, I'm going to cast my spinner out, way behind the boat!
I'm going to constantly turn around! I'm going to try to divert my attention!
Heck, I went trout fishing yesterday and couldn't hook into a fish! Now, that's disgusting!
We went to Lake Lytle, and the whole lake is weeded in. No matter how long we trolled, we couldn't find a hole deeper than 5 feet that was clear of weeds.
Still had a great time, though. What is it about fishing, that even if you don't catch, you still have the time of your life?
Today is going to be sunny and beautiful. What a day to fish!
What a day to hook into a springer! Of course, every day is the day, but... today... today, just might be my day!
May 19th, 2003...post fishing...
YIP! It was MY DAY! (See above photo, or take a peak by clicking
You betcha I'm bragging! I was DUE!
The fish, caught on a chartreuse and white spinner, made by Marty Peterson, made my year!
You may find this ridiculous, but I put a small amount of power bait on the hook! I was just joking around, and WHAMMO!
This beautiful trophy weighs in at 37 pounds, and was 43 inches long. WOW! Whatarush!
The fish hit, while trolling with the current, so it didn't slack bite, it just hit, and hard! I was pulled out of my seat!
After that, the springer just cruised on me, all over the bay! It was amazing! I would have to reel in really fast, cuz he'd come at me, then scream across again, and again! He was ticked!
My heart was just pounding, and I kept saying to Bill, "Bill, I shouldn't be doing this. Bill, take my rod!" Then, my wits would come back, and I'd say, "Bill, if I die, what better way?"
I'm still shaking. Can you tell?
May 21st, 2003
Geemany. One large fish and I can't move! I felt so good the day
of my fish! Like I could do anything! The next day? I can't even budge! That'll
As I prepare my gear, figure out what to wear, and get ready to crawl upstairs and into the shower, well... maybe I haven't learned, and never will.
My shoulders ache, my legs are numb, my very frame was shocked and abused by a salmonid.
Fishing very well may kill me, or at the very least, make my life more uncomfortable, but... I can't stop! I'm an addict! It's my weakness and my strength. If I can only catch another, you have to know it will make me feel better!
Power bait. Geesh... I really did mold rainbow yellow colored trout Power Bait on my hook. Did it help? I'll never know. Bill laughs at it, and refuses to try it. If it works twice for me, I'm a believer. I'll let you know! My thinking, actually, is that it could have been the scent. It could have helped that I had that scent on my hands when I handled my gear. It could have simply masked any human scent that might repel them.
Anyway, I got up early so that I could get some work done, and go.
David is sick again. This time with a stomach virus of some sort. He has been sick too much lately!
In fact, the whole family hasn't been too well. Andrew is having troubles with pain.
What to do? Well, what any good Mother would do! Go fishing! Wish they'd join me. The only cure, you know, for pain and sickness, is a 37 pound springer! I'm leading by example, and I can only hope that someday they will learn. Feel awful? Go fishing!
It's really pretty simple, but the youth of our day resist. If only they knew. If only I could impress upon them the realities of life. Fishing heals, boys! What don't you understand about that?
What does the Good Book command?
Spare the rod, spoil the child!
I don't want to spoil them, so they both have several rods!
I have been forcing those rods into their hands since they were born! I'm trying, God, and I won't give up! I know I'm doing the right thing.
Take a kid fishing! (Did I get that one wrong?)
Our Good Lord promises, that if you train your children in the way of the Lord, they will always come home!
We are all fishers of men!
Fishing may well be a fleeting remedy, but the relief you feel is worth any addiction or dependency that comes on from the misuse of it. I've used it long enough to realize their is a rebound effect.
But...What a rush! I can't quit, and I don't want to! It just makes me feel better!
May 23rd, 2003
Where to start?
Caught another nice Springer yesterday. Fishing is SO fun, but
it sure hurts when you come home, and realize how many chores you have avoided,
and all of the sudden you have to catch up. By bedtime last night, both Bill
and I were exhausted and cranky. Putting up Springers, smoking springers, scrubbing
blood out of the boat, and cleaning gear. Success, at a price! Not only that,
but then there is the normal chores. Dinner? Are we supposed to cook and eat
dinner? Ifish? E mail? Vacuuming and housecleaning? Where is the maid?
Now, onto important things.. I woke up this morning, and my e mail program, Eudora, decided that my inbox was damaged, so I agreed when it asked if I would like to rebuild it. Poof! Fixed! Except... I had no e mail in my inbox anymore! How do you fix things? Throw them away! Anyway, if you sent me an important e mail, it must be resent. Please send it again!
More important is that I received some wonderful photographs, taken by Tony Guajardo, of a fishing trip on the Ruby Sea, with Charter Boat Captain, Mark Charlton. Ifish reader David King went out for a day of halibut fishing.
Where did they go to get all of those halibut?
I loved this quote, from David:
"Nine halibut to 70 pounds!
Precise location of the shelf - yea, right...!
Here's a clue: 600 ft. to the bottom, and, interestingly enough, 600 ft back to the top. Halibut fishing is hard work, I discovered."
Mark wants you to know that he has openings on Memorial Day, May 26th, and that you can give him a shout at (503) 861-2429 or, on his boat phone at phone, here: 503-338-0569. If you'd like to visit his web page, for more information, it is located here.
Remember, Mark's boat is handicap accessible and Mark can make the trip extremely comfortable for those that might find it otherwise a challenge to enjoy a full or half day of fishing. Give him a try!
On another note, I'd like to again welcome Trask River Tackle to ifish. Roy Markee offers ifishers Rainshadow rods at a discount. What is extremely valuable, also, is his patience and sincerity in teaching the people of ifish how to build custom rods. If you are interested in learning how to build a custom rod, send him an e mail here and ask how you can get signed up for his next class. I'm thinking it would be good if I signed up, just to take pictures and bring you the story.
Roy has been a helpful and valuable ifish member for almost as long as ifish has been in existence. He has built a reputation in our community as a dedicated and sincere friend, that will go out of his way to help you. One of those "shirt off your back" kind of guys that you won't soon forget.
I think he's neat-o. Can you tell?
I'm off to get the chores done that I have been putting off.. and geez... if I get them all done, who knows where I'll go next? You do! Out to the big blue to catch yet another springer, and add to my freezer collection.
Yesterday we froze whole filets for both Bill and my nephew's graduation parties.
May 24th, 2003
Pst... I haven't mentioned this year, my daily frustrations over
the river being closed to fishing. But guess what today is? Tee hee hee...
Today is the day that I can fly fish again! Today is the day that the river is open again! Whoo hooo! I spent time getting my fly gear together yesterday. Now, after dinner time, Kilchis will recognize the season, also. It's back to the ritual of after dinner river visits, just like we did last spring!
He loves this time of year, too!
It's especially charming when I'm fishing a deep hole, and all the sudden I notice a big brown furry thing coming down the riffles after my line. It's Kilchis! It's Kilchis, swimming towards me, swirling in the deep currents, green fly line wrapped around his legs... We aren't much of a threat to the fish, but man, we have fun!
I have my own aquarium outside right now, and It's the only entertainment I have had, recently, down on the river. There are small pools of water where this year's steelhead fry live. It's fun to watch them shoot through the slow trickling currents, in 4 inch water.
Off I go. Bill is up early too. This is a miracle to behold. However, you must tread softly around a man who doesn't like the five O' clock alarm. We had late night plans to go explore the tidal waters of the coastal rivers via the duck boat. His late night schemes never match up to his early morning (lack of) ambition. He talks a big talk, but sleeps a really deep sleep. I can't sleep all night, after he fills me with dreams and plans of fish. I'm up every hour! "Is it time?" I don't know how he can forget so quickly!
I will shower quietly, tiptoe down the stairs, and climb in the truck... lay my fly rod in the back of the truck, start the engine softly, and slide the boat in the water, smoothly.
I'll then wake him up, again, "Pst. Bill? We are here! Get in the boat!"
I'll gaze over the side of the tide water, into the clear deep pools where the fish lie.
I'll softly lay my fly in the edge waters, with nothing but the early morning birds as background noise.
...and then... and then, I'll let out a huge whoop as my fly rod bends, and my reel zings!
"GOOD MORNING, BILL!" I'll shout as I lean over to release my first fly caught fish of the year!
There. That'll wake him up!
Make sure you read the continuing saga, "As the Impeller
Turns" by Hogmaster, a regular ifisher. His stories are hilarious, and
I bet that you, too, can relate to some of these tales!
Last night, Kilchis and I were able to visit the river, fly rod in hand. I quickly worked each pool until a wet brown dog swam through each one. I can just imagine the fish thinking, "Look out! Here comes a huge otter to get us!"
Nonetheless, the warm air, the graceful movement of my fly line, and the quiet, all around me was soothing and enjoyable. I felt welcomed by Spring, and by the familiarity of the tradition of our after dinner outings.
I'll be back every night, I'm sure.
Last night, as I worked one favorite hole, I hooked something rather large. (Large, being in excess of 10 inches, anyway...) I heard the door slam in the house. "Oh good! Just in time for Bill to see! He'll be so proud... he's going to get to see me land this fish, he's going to.... Fish off!"
Oh well, wait till he sees the improvement of my casting... He'll be so proud!
As he approached, I told him about the fish I'd just lost.
Being the fly fishing exhibitionist I am, (so proud that I can finally do it!!!) I moved to a spot where I could cast clear across the river, without the trees being in the way. Bill has always warned me about casting too far, and pulling loose my fly on the rocks behind me. But, I'm way better than that, now, right?
So, as he oohed and awed at the length of my cast, I basked in his praise. Then, at the cast's end, he said, "Let me check your fly."
I reeled in, and there... it wasn't!
My line, floating free in the slight breeze, lay, ragged at the end, and limp. I had indeed, hit the rocks behind me, and my fly was... gone!
His response? "You lost the fly... already?"
How is it that men can instantly make you feel like this? So inept, so pitiful, so novice?
Bill is the fishing expert in the house, and there will be no competition over that fact. No matter how hard I try, no matter the long hours of practice, I pale in comparison.
This very well may be part of what drives me. Perhaps if I ever consistently outfished him, or out cast him, I would get bored, and give up. Fumbling in front of Bill humbles me, and drives me to try harder, and harder.
I'll not ever forget, however, arriving at the Sportsmen show early, to meet with the fly fishing instructor and demonstrator. I wanted a casting lesson, and I got it.
I have forgotten his name, but I have his card here, somewhere.
He had me cast this way, and that. The man was very severe and intimidating to me. I was all ears as I waited for his criticism. I wanted to learn. I wanted so badly to learn!
His criticism didn't come! He told me I was good! I cast the full length of the demo pool! He then told me to cast left. I did! He said, "You don't need a lesson! You need to come fly fishing with me in Florida!" Tee hee... But was Bill there? Nope.
Good thing, I suppose, because if he would have heard that, I'd probably not fight to impress him anymore. I'd bask in that praise, and probably not fish so much, not practice so relentlessly, and not strive for his approval.
Actually, I do think Bill is impressed, in his own way.
He'd just never let me know that.
I think he knows what drives me, too, and he doesn't want to lose his fishing buddy.
...and a groaner, posted by PDXKevin on the Life in General Board:
It just keeps getting worse.
It is reported that a terrorist cell, whose main targets are high schools full of innocent, unsuspecting students was uncovered recently.
Today, a teacher in Baghdad, Iraq was arrested for possession of compasses, a protractor, slide rule and straight edge. It is claimed he is a member of the Al Gebra movement bearing weapons of math instruction.
...and with that, please follow along as Bill and I go out spring chinook fishing today. I won't forget my power bait!
May 27th, 2003
BRAG: David won the Tillamook
School Level State Spelling Bee, and today he goes on to the county level. When
I told him how proud I was, he said, "Mommmmmm, this is Tillamook! There
is not much competition here!"
Oh well. I think people in Tillamook are just as smart as people elsewhere. He's being ridiculous! He's amazing, he's intelligent, he's.... my boy!
So, I have that to attend, today, and a doctor's appointment.
I have taken a long enough vacation from my eyesight problems. It's time, once again to tackle the question of whether I want to try and have my iris repaired, so that I don't see double anymore. Will it work? Who knows? Do I want to risk blindness in order to take a chance on seeing better? It's a tough question, and one that I have tried to avoid. I know! I'll do a poll on the board! Tee hee...
I fly fished last night, with not one bite. I figured out why, soon enough. There, in the water, was a fungus covered, nearly dead steelhead, and guess what was after it? A family of otters! Kilchis discovered them first.
As the sun went down, I sat on the gravel bar, fly rod resting against my lap, watching my own personal "Discovery" show on the Kilchis river!
Kilchis, my dog, swam with the otters! It was amazing! Neither otter nor dog seemed threatened or afraid!
I know that otters feed on fish, and for that reason, Bill grumbles at their presence. I can't help but enjoy watching their follies! They are the most playful, curious creatures! We have an otter slide directly across the river, and it's great fun watching them raise their family, and to teach their young to use the slide.
This particularly playful otter poked his head up out of the water, and Kilchis noticed. Kilchis swam out until they were three feet apart, swimming together for a short distance.
Then, with a large splash, the otter disappeared under water, leaving Kilchis totally dismayed and lost! It was hilarious! Kilchis swam in circles, whining and frustrated. "Where did it go, Mom?"
Soon, the otter popped his head up again at the other end of the pool, and Kilchis hurried to catch up.
All I was missing was the popcorn.
I never cease to marvel at how close I can get to witnessing miracles around here.
I wake in the morning, and want to pinch myself. There is no more perfect place to live, than on the Kilchis river.
I am blessed, and sometimes I wonder. Is seeing double all that bad, when what I see is so beautiful and amazing?
two 37 pound springers, better than one?
May 28th, 2003
zzzzz... It's way too early in the morning at not even four o
clock. Is this what you have to do, to play a sturgeon? I guess so!
I better get moving... The Salmon Master is waiting....
May 30th, 2003
I'll be at the Swap Meet tomorrow,
at the Washington County Fairgrounds. The event is held indoors, from 9 AM until
3 PM. Bring your kids! It will be a lot of fun, and I bet you'll find some killer
tackle deals! It should be a very large event, as it has had very good reception
so far, and lots of good press! This may become a big annual event!
I'll have ifish hats, a few sweatshirts, ifish flags, and, well... I'm not sure if I'm going to swap any tackle, but I'll spend the day looking around!
I had a wonderful time with Dennis Stewart, fishing for sturgeon on Tuesday!
I have always melted over Dennis' big shoulders!
He doesn't row much, how does he get those?
Why, by handling his big 200 Merc tiller! That's how!
Funny, I told Dennis I wanted a hug, walked right past him and gave that motor a big squeeze! It's beautiful!
I am fascinated by those big Merc tillers!
If you want to take your family out for sturgeon, book a trip
with Dennis. He's a great guy and knows what he is doing out there! Ten minutes
after we anchored, "FISH ON!" What a hoot!
If you want to read the full story, click here!
How nice it is to be able to go to Sturgeon Paul's exhausted, after a full day of fishing! Sturgeon Paul's is the new fishing hangout with a purpose!
Every time I've been there, it's been busy with guides and fishermen, having their catch cleaned and bagged, or vac packed. You can also trade your fish in for canned fish.
Not only is it the place to gather and talk about the day's fishing, but you leave with your fish already cleaned and handled, so that when you get home, you can put the fish in the freezer, put your feet up, and reminisce the day over a tall one!
You can find this handy business at Sturgeon Paul's Smokehouse, 38 SE 1st Street, in Warrenton, Oregon. You can access pictures of his building, and of the fish processing, by clicking here.
Dennis Stewart for Sturgeon Master... I know, I know... His boat says "Salmon Master", but I'm putting my vote in for a name change.
Dennis Stewart... Sturgeon and Salmon Master!
Want to go, too?
Give Dennis a call at (503) 717-9901