Fishing The Coast, Oregon and Washington
November 2003

Fishing Life

November 1st

Will is snow?

We are going directly from pumpkins to snow men! I really want it to snow! I bought a sled two years ago, for the kids. Not that we didn't have other sleds... but we have a perfect, steep driveway for sledding, and we are always after the very fastest of sleds! I'm big time into snow! I love to fish in it, sled in it, lay in it and make snow angels, and Kilchis absolutely adores it, too!There is just something about getting all the snow gear out, seeing how long you can last, and then coming in for hot chocolate that simply puts a permagrin on my face.

Tillamook Bay Ghost Hole
29 pounds

Deep, deep, in the Kilchis canyon, with a blanket of snow. That, and the fact that I can not go anywhere, even if I had to, is wonderful! Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!
Wow! I resisted the urge to fish yesterday! I was in the middle of going through my checklist, when Jim Erickson called, with a hot fishing report. He wanted us to go. You have NO idea how close I was to dropping everything and jumping in the car to join him. I had things to do with the kids for Halloween. How could I get out of them? Salmon! He said, "Bright, big salmon!"
I began quickly arranging how I would solve the kids schedule, frantically finishing my projects, so that I could escape, and all of the sudden it hit me.
"Come, on! Jennie! You can't fish every day! You just can't!" I had to get things done, both for my sanity, and for my kids sanity!
It was tough, but I had Bill call Jim and give him a firm "NO!"
I took the kids to the store. They bought Halloween treats and face paints, I bought them pizza and rented some movies, and sent them to their friends house for a sleep over.
You have no idea how accomplished I feel. I didn't fish, and it was darn hard on me!
So hard, that back at home, at about four, I found myself with an hour of daylight left. Perfect time to grab my fly rod and check for chum salmon out back! Kilchis, Molly, Dee Dee and I headed to the river.
Well, I almost made it a full day.

November 2nd

Get ready, it's almost here!

Woke up this morning, and ran to the window.
BLECH! Rainy, gray, cold skies, and not a trace of the magical stuff! Bah! Where is my snow? They promised!
I'm enjoying my home time, today. Lit a vanilla candle, and a fire in the wood stove. I've been toting a vacuum cleaner around, getting things out of the edges of the carpet. Dusting, here and there, wiping out cobwebs, and... munching on some bread that a friend gave me. Barm Brack!! It's really quite good. Barm Brack is a traditional Halloween bread, and inside the round loaf, is hidden a ring! I found the ring, and that is supposed to bring me good luck for a whole year! Whoopie! :) I feel kind of bad that the kids didn't find it, but hey, I was hungry, after cleaning all morning!
I may go out and try a pontoon boat that Shane Stewart left here, for me to try. If only I could drag the thing by myself down to the river! It's heavy!
First, to the grocery store, and to drop David off at a friend's house. They are home for 5 days. I don't know why, and I don't question these things. School is out, it seems, quite a bit, until Christmas. Then, real school starts!
So, it's a homey, rainy day. Good for baking, or making bean soup, or sipping tea. All of these things, and... well, fishing, too!

November 3rd

Good morning! This morning, Nov 3rd, at 6:30 AM, we are still finishing a bit of maintenance on the discussion forums. We will be up within the hour.
Pretty good time to go fishing, don't you think? Hey! It's automated, pretty much! I might as well go, too!

November 4th

No amount of talking convinced me. So many people told me to wear gloves while handling cured eggs. What a pain! I didn't want to carry those little pesky plastic gloves, wear them while rigging up, or deal with the trash, afterwards. I resisted, until this year.
Anyone who handles eggs as much as I have, this Fall, will end up buying a box of plastic disposable gloves, or deal with the most uncomfortable case of dry hands they've ever had!
My hands are dry, cracked, swollen, and bleeding. I have bobber fished for salmon more this Fall then I have in ages. I've tried every type of treatment to "fix" them that I can think of. I've gone to bed with an inch thick of lotion on them, covered by cotton gloves. I've used that mineral sea salt and oils scrub, that contains ingredients of the secret deep blue sea. I was stubborn. I didn't want to wear gloves.
Now I own three boxes. One in the big boat, one on the shelf, and one in the little boat. I will not be without gloves, again. Frankly, I'm getting used to it. When applying bait, I find that the hook point always gets caught in my gloves. It's worth it, though. My hands are finally healing. The ingredients in some egg cures are deadly on hands! Add cold, dry, weather to that, and it equals: well, you should see my hands!
Not only that, but I am believing, more and more, that the human scent and other scents on your hands really does play a role in distracting salmon. Since wearing gloves, I feel like I'm getting more bites.
Bottom line? Wear those gloves!
There is an article, today, in the Wall Street Journal about the importance of the medical profession, to realize the urgency and importance of diagnosing and treating aortic dissection in patients with Marfan Syndrome. I'm waiting for copyright permission to reprint it. If you aren't a subscribing member of the WSJ, you won't be able to read it. I'm thankful, today that this article is out. So many lives have been lost due to the medical profession's ignorance in this matter.
It's always frightened me that if Andrew were to have chest pain and pass out, that no one would be around to tell doctors what to do. I've told all that are close around me, but what if he were alone? I have the same concerns about myself.
Hopefully, with articles such as these, the word will spread, and our concerns lightened.
I just can't get Andrew to wear his medic ID necklace. I've purchased three of them for him, and he always loses them. I give up! Can't blame him, though. I don't wear one, either. I much prefer wearing pearls.
I think I'm caught up with ifish work, with housework, paying bills, and kid projects. Wonder what I should do?
"Bill? Load up the boat! Don't forget the gloves! Let's go!"


November 5th

Merry Fishmas!

Someone thinks just like me! I have often wanted to decorate trees along the river, during Christmas. I kind of wonder about the decorations becoming litter, so I was thinking more along the lines of strings of popcorn, edible things for birds, but still! Fun!
I wrote an entire column, earlier, and my programs all froze. So, I lost it. It included the secret to how to catch lots of bright, fresh, salmon. The rivers, the specific bait, GPS locations, and lures, and the techniques. I lost it now, and I can't remember what I wrote. Sorry!
Last night, after fishing in the cold all day, it was difficult for Kilchis to convince me to go to the river. But, go I did. I headed to the river, lazily, without a trace of hope. I grabbed an old rod that my Dad wrapped in the 60's. It is a medium action trout rod. I tied on a gold #4 Lightning Strike Lure. I haven't fished with spinners in ages. The water is really low, and I just thought I would toss a spinner into the big pool, to see what lived there.
First Cast! A beautiful fat coho! It is SO good to see coho in the Kilchis river this year! Upon release, it began the dreaded coho spin. Why do Cohos spin? Still, I was able to release it, untouched, and the little girl swam away in a hurry.
Off to find where the fish live! Prefishing for the Rendezvous is always a good time, even when it is FREEZING out!
As for what I wrote earlier... Gosh, I'm so sorry, and if I think of what I wrote, I'll not only put it to good use, today, I'll even share!


November 6th

But, it's HEAVY!

Thank GOD! I get to stay home today! I get to just lounge, and do house work, and web work, and catch up! I've already had a tornado in the boys room, where I throw everything out of place into a pile for them to sort. I've already put a load of towels in the laundry. I've started on the web work. I've promised the animals a leisurely walk on the river! I think I'll spend time in the kitchen, baking up something homey and sweet!
Finally! A day without fishing!
I have spent day after endless day, week after salmon season week on the water, in search of, (and usually finding!) silvery bright salmon! It's been an awesome herring fishing year! From out in the ocean, to the jaws, to the upper bays!
Last night, I went to the Rendezvous pre fishing dinner. I knew that Bill would be guiding two lucky anglers today and tomorrow. So you know what that means? I stay home! The thought made me giggle with glee! A whole day home alone!
Bill and I were sitting at a table, eating, and talking to Jim Martin, Buzz Ramsey, and our very own Capt. J.
I was feeling very satisfied about not fishing the next day. A whole day! The house, all to myself! This knowledge, alone, gave me an elf like grin.
Then, from out of the blue, Jim Martin started explaining what he was doing tomorrow. He was at the Rendezvous, "just to help out."
"After helping to clean up breakfast", he said, "I have nothing to do." He looked me straight in the eye, and in one sentence, totally threw my intentions to the wind.
"Want to fish, tomorrow?"
I looked him straight back, and said, "No. I really want to stay home, and do nothing." My words came out strong. Too strong, perhaps, but I was trying to convince myself I didn't want to fish!
I started to sweat. My mind was churning. I was filled with anxiety. Oh, Jennie... Go! Jim is FUN to fish with! It's only one day, and you hardly ever get to fish with Jim Martin! I could just fish part of a day. I could just escape, jump in the boat for only a few hours... What if I caught the biggest salmon of the tourney? What if...
As I began to mingle with the crowd, later, I kept running into the face of my indecision. Everywhere I turned was Jim. "Come on, Jennie! You don't want to stay home!" I turned away to talk to someone else. Turn back, and there is Jim again, taunting.. "Tomorrow! Fish! What time?"
I had almost decided to ditch my day at home, when at the end of the night, he came from the Guiding schedule wall and matter of factly stated, "I just got talked into substitute guiding! I have to guide!"
WHAT? Why did my heart sink? Isn't this what I wanted? A day home? A day, all to myself?
Maybe if I just sneak on down to the ramp, someone will pick me up. Maybe if I call Bill, I can ride in the bow and just drown a herring for a while. Maybe if I call Jim or Buzz, they'll just have an extra seat, just for me. Liz was there last night. Maybe she can shenagle me a ride?
Someone? Take me fishing? I mean, geez. Here I sit, all alone, while the whole world is fishing for salmon! That's really sad!
I am staring out at the icy field, and somehow, it looks so lonely and cold. The house is still and quiet. The river runs with barely a trickle outside my door.
Heck, I could be in a boat right now, sitting next to a Mr. Heater, and drowning a herring.
Ah....If only I were fishing...
I think I am going to get out some cardboard and make a sign. I'll go stand out on the veiwing platform in front of the Ghost Hole. The sign will read:



Someone flipped a switch on me. Last night, at the auction dinner for the Rendezvous, all of the sudden I had one of those terrible pain things that happens to me sometimes. I had to go home. Bill drove me, and returned to the festivities.
I think I should have gone fishing yesterday. Maybe then, I wouldn't be in this space. Hind sight...
I woke up this morning, still sore, but mostly just sad, and I can't figure out why, nor which direction to go, to turn it off.
I began sorting through old computer files, attempting to clean out four years of clutter from my hard drive. I came upon several files that only seemed to fuel more tenderness in my soul. Old letters from friends, old writings of salmon trips, past successful ventures, and plenty of painful internet misadventures, too.
I kept thinking..."One more cup of coffee, and I'll be fine." The pot is gone, and still, it remains.
I feel, most definitely, that I am made of tissue paper today. Don't touch me, I'll break.
Ever had that kind of day?
You have to appreciate these days, however. I have learned that. Otherwise, you'd never appreciate pure content.
Turned on the television. No, that didn't help. Six more American Soldiers dead, in a helicopter crash.
I reached for the hardest rock and roll I could find. Slipped it into my CD player, and turned it up full blast. It's no wonder teenagers love this stuff, turned up, as high as it can go. It helps to black out the turmoil of emotions that I vaguely remember, as a youth.
I want to be on the river. As Bill drove me home last night, a full moon shone on the black face of it's soul. Beautiful, but haunting, dark, and lonesome.
It needs company, and I'm headed out to help.
Yesterday, I again took a spinner to the deepest pool in the Kilchis river. I fished out a coho, bright, and full of energy. Once returned to it's cell, I tried again. This time, a bright and shiny jack salmon. It went back, too. I think I'll leave them alone until the water level rises. They are stuck there, and I doubt they find it amusing for me to relieve my boredom by pulling them up and out, with a sharp pointed hook.
I want to drift the river, but not to fish. I'm feeling much to tender to kill anything. I want to be a quiet observer. I want to watch the chums swim in schools, searching for their nesting spots. I want to spot and eagle in the sky, a deer, feeding on the river bank. I want to slip down the river quietly, unnoticed. I want to be a part. To belong.
I guess there are just days in my life, that only a river can fix, and this happens to be one of them. A river can switch the switch, fix the fix, turn me around.
Turn off the music. Turn on the river.

November 8th

I wasted enough time doing the pity party thing! Onward and upward, and darn time to fish!
The kids are home for the weekend. They are sleeping soundly, after being up way to late!
Well, sounds like the 2nd day of the Rendezvous was a little slower than the first. First day, they caught 40 to50 fish, second day 30-40. That's pretty darn good, and I would say, probably better than they have done for a while! Great Tourney, guys and gals!
Bay fishing is awesome. I can't wait to get out there again!
Bill forgot his cell phone yesterday, so I'm sorry I didn't give reports, but... with no communication, it's hard to know! I did drive out there for a bit, but from the viewing area I didn't see anything caught. I guess Paul Willy won the tournament for most fish. The biggest fish was 39 1/2 pounds, and Bill can't remember who got that. I didn't go to the Awards Banquet. Two nights out, is about my max!
Yesterday, Mark, of First Cast Jigs snuck up on me, as I was knee deep in the riffles of the Kilchis, throwing a spinner. "A spinner? Where are the jigs, Jen?" I was kind of embarrassed! I walked up river with him, watching him perform his jig magic. The water was so clear, and a fish came out of it's dark hiding place to check out his newest jig pattern. It didn't take, but it checked it out!
I had forgotten that Mark had said he was going to stop by and deliver my season's worth of jigs. Inside the box, was a beautiful glass ornament with a red jig inside! It's BEAUTIFUL! I want to decorate my whole tree with jig ornaments, now! I bet that was Cindy's work, his wife. I'll have to ask!

My Thanksgiving candles

Yesterday, to beat the blues, I took out my box of 32 Thanksgiving candles. My great aunt had collected these, years ago. They are tiny little pioneer men and women, and little turkeys. Remember these? I had them all wrapped up in tissue. They are everywhere, now! I also went out and collected some colorful leaves, and put out some colored indian corn. Now, my house is festive!
Feeling better, now. All is good.
Now, let's go bonk some Thanksgiving fish!


November 10th

"Thank God for Shana and Jack!"... That was the thought I had, as all the happy anglers from the North Coast Rendezvous headed home from the awards banquet, Saturday night.
Shana Juarez and Jack Smith really put themselves out on this event, and man, did they ever pull it off! Shana really outdid herself, and I still shake my head over the fact that she did so much!
I know, from personal experience, what it's like to put on an event for so many people. You want to delegate things out, but at the same time, it's kind of like parenting. It's almost easier to do everything yourself, rather than take the time to explain how, or what needs to be done.
"Next year, I'll know more what can be delegated, and what I want to do." Shana laughed, last night on the phone. She created a list, and next year, perhaps she won't exhaust herself so much. But then again, knowing Shana, she'll still outdo herself, attempting perfection!
This year, the Rendezvous was expertly pulled off by the Tillamook Guides Association. It was the first time they have pulled off such an event, and all went very, very well!
I would like to offer a huge "Thank You!" to all of the gals of the Rendezvous who helped out.
Here are the gals:

Bev Breshenhan, Tina Smith, Lee Peterson, Margret Amick, Linda Kay Marshall, Katie Moncrief, Lucy Ashcraft and Shana Juarez.

You'll probably recognize these gals' last names as the wives of guides who you hire, or see on the river.
Bill always went on and on about how Linda and Gary Krum were such a successful team, and how he admired Linda for her devoted support of his career. I'll tell you, I'm convinced. Behind most good and successful fishing guide, there is the fishing guide's wife. Often, with little or no recognition. The gal who answers the phone, books the trips, and does the book keeping. The gal who rises at O' dark thirty with their husband to see them off, perhaps filling their thermos or making their lunch. The long days alone raising the family, and the smiles and hugs, and hot dinners that await them, every night. (That sometimes get warmed over, and on hold, as they help them tie up tackle for the next day!) I really don't know what all it takes, but it can't be easy!
My hat is off, today, to these lovely ladies. Personally, I really don't think I could do it! I don't know how they can smile every morning, knowing that they don't get to go fishing with them. Tell me how they do it!!!

Here are the winners of the tournament:

1st Place Team - Robert Campbell & Kelly Reichner, (Fishermans Marine Supply) and Chet Percival & Paul Tragis. (Halsey & Company)

2nd Place Team - Gary Connally & Betty Jo Carpenter, (Stimpson Lumber) Terry Haulk & Gordon Smith.

3rd Place Team - Angela Hult, (Eagle Claw Tackle Rep) Dave Robinson (Columbia Sportswear) Buzz Ramsey (Luhr Jensen) Rod Brobeck.(OWHF)

Biggest Fish - Dave Robinson 39.5#

Biggest Fish Guide - Tim Juarez

1st Place Guide - Doug Willhite

2nd Place Guide - Tim Juarez

3rd Place Guide - Paul Welle

Congratulations, and many thanks go to all the lucky anglers. I'll be back to you about the amazing amount of money made this year, to support our hatcheries. I don't have an exact amount, nor does anyone, at this point. But, I'll tell you, it is going to really help out hatcheries out!
This year was an amazing success. Both, with money raised, and fish caught.
Shana, I'd say you deserved breakfast in bed yesterday! How 'bout a massage and a day spa this week? You deserve it! --again, THANK YOU!

November 10th...night time

Cat nap time!

November 12th

Payback time is awful. Guilt is awful. Trying to catch up, is awful!
Last night, on the drive home after fishing, I said to Bill. "Uh oh! Here comes the guilt!" He answered, "What for? Internet? The boys? The house?"
Mostly the internet, I'd say. You know, it used to be that I was alone in this. The board wasn't nearly as active, but I remember coming home from day long fishing trips to find things that needed handling, both on e mail, and on the board. It was all up to me. Now, I have help, and I feel so lucky! I have an awesome team of moderators, and a few people that are on the board that help on opinions, marketing, and business solutions. I want to express how thankful I am to these people!
Ifish is awesome, because by far, the majority of users are so helpful, and really self moderate themselves. They want ifish to be awesome, so they direct conversation away from disputes, and onto the positive. Still, there will always be disagreements, and that is where the moderators come in.
I have declared today, Official Moderator Appreciation Day! (Mad, for short, as that is what you have to be, in order to volunteer for this type of duty!)
When I reached home, I thought of all I needed to do. First off, the wild, rambunctious Kilchis pup had not been exercised, all day. This is a problem. My Kilchis needs to run. If he doesn't, he's a constant pain! Dinner needed to be prepared, the kids, attended to in many ways... rides home, homework checked, rooms cleaned, wood bins filled, dishwashers emptied. --and then, there is that little box that sits on my desk that is the window to the ifish community. 114 e mails? Messages on the phone from sponsors. Run! Run for the river! Here, Kilchis!
I got down to the river with Kilchis Molly Mae, and Dee Dee, and my gosh, I had never seen such a thing. Fish jumping, everywhere!
I ran back to the garage, (against my better judgment) and grabbed a rod. No, better take two!
I'll tell you. I was frantic. I knew I had all sorts of things to do. With every cast, I kept shaking. I heard Bill up cleaning fish, and doing other work.
Guilt, guilt guilt!
But hey! There are so few opportunities when things are prime! They were prime, and the river was dropping fast, and that opportunity will probably be gone, tomorrow! (Come on, Jen, you can justify this!)
I had e mails to write, friends to get back to, dinner, kids, work!
With each salmon that rolled in front of me, my nerves grew more jagged. Just one more cast... and another, and another! It began to feel more like some crazed addiction, then fun. Molly knocked over my eggs, and I sharply reprimanded her. Kilchis swam straight through my drift. "No, Kilchis!"
It was all too much when Bill came down and watched me. His hands were all bloody from cleaning fish. He had been working, and glaring at me, like, "Uh, don't we have things to do, darling??" He said, "So, what are we going to do with the fish?" The thought of vac packing all that fish just about sent me packing.
One last cast, it was. I trudged back to the house like a kid called in from play.
I vac packed. I cooked dinner. I found my temper short with the kids, who left dishes in the sink. I answered a couple phone calls. I folded a load of laundry, and then, I sat down at the computer.
OVERLOAD! There was an active disagreement going on in a thread that I had no trouble completely removing. In between a thousand and two e mails, I moved the thread to the mod board, and started to edit and delete inappropriate responses.
This is where my gratitude comes in. Thank you to the ifish moderators, from the bottom of my heart!
I did not deserve help. I had been absent all day. They had laboriously read zillions of topics, and kept things civil, while I was out on the river. I would love it, if you would go to the board, pick your favorite moderator, and send them a thank you note. They are what keeps people coming back to ifish!
...and now, feeling half caught up, but knowing full well that by night time, the guilt will return, I am going out to cast a bit more.
I don't have all day. I have work to do, you know. So, it'll just be one or two casts.
It's 6:30 AM right now.
See you at dark. Just one cast. Just one...

November 13th

Bill, Dudley and I had a wonderful fishing trip the other day. Here is a pic of the fish that we kept. It was really good to fish with Dudley Nelson, again.

Bill Hedlund and Dudley Nelson

We caught so many fish that I lost count! What a great day!
Yesterday, Bill and I went fishing just for a couple hours in the afternoon. Guilt hit us both, so we did errands in the morning, and waited for the afternoon outgoing tide. By then, the water was low, clear, and not nearly so fishy. Those fish that were moving, two days ago, had moved! There were still a few stragglers, and we caught and released a nice salmon.
I rarely use this column to sell things, but today, I am going to. I have no guilt in this, whatsoever!
I believe that school bands are so much more important than the current budget supports. My son, David, is trying to raise money to support his school band. He is dedicated to his music, and is a very talented alto sax musician. I can really see him going somewhere with his studies.
He came to me, the other night, and showed me a sales brochure. He said, "Guess how many products, one girl sold? 710! But-- Guess how many people she sold them to? 2! She sold 700 boxes of candy to one business, who gave boxes of chocolate to their employees for Christmas. Mom? Could you ask ifish if there are any businesses that need boxes of chocolates for employee gifts?"
...and that is what I am doing now. Please, check out Great American Opportunities, Inc, (I linked the page that displays what is in his brochure.) See if you'd like to order anything from David Martin. Their school goal is to raise 2000.00!
If you know of any businesses that need gifts for their employees, please pass on this information to them. David can be reached at this e mail address, or you can e mail me, here, and I'll pass it on to him. I am going to buy some things, sure, but wouldn't it be great if David could make a huge impact, and help out his school band? I think so!
David will need your name, phone number, and a check made out to "Tillamook Band Program" for the amount of your order. The sale ends MONDAY! Oh my gosh! If you'd prefer to send the information in, by snail mail, send it to:

Well, I suppose all I can do is ask! I know it's late, but they only had 10 days. If you want to do this, I guess you'd have to put the check in the mail today, because we'd have to turn it in, next Monday. And with that, I'll just leave it in God's hands. Miracles do happen, you know!


November 15th

Molly the Fishing Cat!

I have never been able to sleep late. I just don't want to. I get so excited about a new day that I can't just lay there. It's sort of like Christmas, every day! Hey! I'm still alive! What fish will I catch, today?
However, this morning, 4:30 was too early! Molly decided she wanted to play in my hair. After being swatted a couple times, it was on to pulling the buttons off of the comforter, then, the tags off the pillows. Molly doesn't know that it says not to remove them, under penalty of law. Molly wanted Mom to get up and go fishing!
So what if it is raining? She has figured out that if she sits on my boots, just right, that my knee length rain coat acts as a perfect cat umbrella. This cat loves to fish!
Had a great morning fishing with Mark, of First Cast Jigs. Both Bill and I like to fish with him, in hopes that his jig magic will rub off on us. Well, guess what? It did! Not while he was fishing with me, but after I got home.
I cast, just to the other side of the current, in the deepest of holes. My bobber landed with a light splash. As the jig found the last of its rope, the bobber dipped down, just slightly, and rested steady in the still water, before the current began to move it.
First Cast, yesterday, produced a fish!
You know, if I hold my line high, I can make the bobber stay in that back eddy, for just a bit longer. I make sure it is at the right depth, before being carried downstream to where I know the fish lie. Finally, it can resist the current no more, and is caught in the momentum of the journey to sea. At one point, if I give the bobber just an extension of line, I can get it to travel to another back eddy, close to a rock, where big chinook salmon are known to lay in rest. If the water is at the right level, the current at the right speed, I can do this pretty regularly. This week has been perfect for this kind of fishing!
There are many times in my day when I escape to this spot. When dinner is almost prepared, and I have an hour to wait while the bread rises, when I get frustrated downloading something on a dial up, or even just when Kilchis wags his tail a certain way, and I want to treat him to some time, this is where we head.
Whether it be eggs, a bare jig, or a jig with shrimp, I can fairly routinely take a fish from this spot. I've even found them with a spinner. In the summer, the cutts lay there, and if I am really lucky, I can hook one on just the right fly, with a swing cast. I've taken my share of steelies out of this spot, also.
Is it where I always fish? No. It's become almost too easy. However, when I need to be recharged, as most serious anglers will understand, this is where I go. I'm beginning to worry that the fish are going to realize the danger of my addiction, and remove this source of energy.
I've taken David, my son there, in order to get him hooked on fishing. No luck. He reeled a scrappy one in, said "Cool, Mom!" He was mostly unimpressed, and headed back to his video games. The fish would be lucky, if I were David.
I love how the bobber swings into the eddy, and bounces along merrily, with the current. It swirls and dips naturally, and then, all of the sudden, you sense a connection of living, breathing life! It twitches, back and forth, really fast. Then it stands straight up at attention, perfectly still and motionless, against the swirling eddy. All of the sudden, everything around me crawls into slow motion, and the bobber disappears into the depths.
I pull back on my rod with just the right force, and a jolt of life shoots up my line, onto my rod, down through the cork, and a surge of electricity zaps me so hard it's a wonder I can stand!
WHOA! Fish on! --and the battle ensues.
No matter how life-like they make those video controllers. No matter how they might buzz, or vibrate, or make noises, nothing can compare to this zapping electrical current! Raw, sparking wires extend from the source of electricity, to my fragile human body, barely able to stand, on shore.
I run out of power, in life, if I'm not recharged. Fishing is the only way I know, to get me back to the kitchen to finish my bread, to complete my work on the computer, or to go back to dusting and cleaning the house.
Just give me a fish fix! Just plug me in! Zap me!
I guess it's really fortunate for David. His source of energy can be taken with him, wherever he goes. They've made fancy outlets in the wall that recharge him, either here, or at his friend's house. In town, in city, and at home.
As for me, I've found my charge in the Kilchis river current, and I have to stay close beside it. All I need is a rod, reel and a line adaptor. Lucky for me, they come in many models, and are available just about anywhere.
As long as the river current flows, and my rod racks are full, I'll just keep going, and going, and going...


November 16th

High wind warning today!
I tried to outrun the wind this morning. Waited for first light, grabbed my rod, reel, rain clothes, and out to the river! I lost the battle. First cast, and I looked upstream. You could see the wind coming at me, full force, by the ripples on the river. Wave after wave, and then Wham! It hit me, and nearly tumbled me into the water. Little Molly wasn't ready for it either. I gathered her up, and ran for cover.
Quickly, I gathered the bird feeders from their hangers. I moved the boat, so it wouldn't get hit by the constantly falling basketball hoop. I sprinkled seed on the ground for the birds.
Finally inside, I closed all cat doors, dried off, and made a fire.
I guess I'm indoors for the day.
As long as that's true, I wanted to take a minute to tell you about something I've added to my warm women's wear! Now, let me tell you. I'm really on a scouting trip for what makes me comfortable out of doors. I am outside, so much in the winter, that my searches have really paid off. When I find something new, you are going to hear about it. There is nothing more important to my fishing success, then to be able to remain outside, when it's cold. If I freeze out, and have to go in, I'm not catching fish. Plain, and simple.
I am fit, from head to toe, with USIA gear. I've got my Exotherms, Thermolux, and a head sock for my head. OK, that, and my simple rain gear over the top, and I'm comfy and toasty warm. The only problem I had then, was my hands.
I have tried Neoprene gloves. Not only was the fit a bit sloppy, but there were really cold! Once they get wet, they are plain wet. I have also tried fingerless woolen gloves. They just get too soppy wet, too, and took forever to dry. Plus, pulling the anchor was always a wet, sloppy job, no matter how careful I was, to keep them out of the water.
Introduce my new discovery: Glacier Gloves!
Click here!
I added them to my favorite products page! Oh, man! Do I ever love these babies! I chose the Kenai model. They are neoprene on the palm side, and really soft fleece on the flip side. The gloves are totally lined in fleece. (Even on the neoprene palm side!) What really got me, when I first slipped them on, is their incredible fit! It is really difficult to tie hooks, or deal with small tackle, with gloves on. Not with these! They fit snug, yet not uncomfortable. When you try them on, make sure to go with a pair that fits you. Do try every size! You can find them at your local Fisherman's Marine, GI Joes, or online, at Another new fishing find, that I won't leave home without, now!
Oh! The best part about these gloves, is that I can pull the small anchor up, with the rope, and not get wet! It's really unbelievable, but it's true! My hands stay dry! Try them next time you are on the oars. You'll be a happy drifter!
...More warm news, for those of you that shiver in the cold, like me. You don't know how awesome it is for me to say, "Those days are gone!" I can stay out longer than most people, now, and you know what that means? I'll be catching more fish!

November 19th

Three nights of harrowing winds, and barely a wink of sleep! Finally, last night I somehow slept through the racket!
Sleeping in my upstairs bedroom has been like living under a bowling alley!
The game begins as players from the "South wind" rush toward the bowling valley. Down the canyon walls it builds momentum, with speeds up to 53 miles and hour! It's enough force to bowl a boat over! If
Struggling to keep my eyes closed, I hear the wind hit the wood shed door with a slam! It sounds just like a bowling ball, hitting the lane. Then, the wind rolls up the side of the house, with huge vibrations, attempting to shake loose every nail in every board. Speeding over the roof, taking cedar shakes with it, it gains momentum. The wind speeds off the other end of the roof, with a straight shot into the alders. Strike! ...and down goes a tree. Luckily, this bowler is not a pro, and mostly "spares" our stand of trees, with only a few branches down. However, the wind knows it's direction, and rarely plays a gutter ball. But watch out! When the wind ball goes off track and bounces into the gutter, I can guarantee you that I won't be asleep! The sound is so incredibly noisy as it bounces off course, that I am jarred awake, fearing for my life that the ball is coming towards me! These freak plays are known to pick up entire trampolines and carry them to the river! This has happened, twice! I hear tell that the owners before us had a boat flipped off the trailer, and thrown, end over end three times, landing in the river, and on it's way to sea! Now, what would that wind do to little 'ol me?
The game ended a little after our last gust, at 1:03 AM. I slept soundly, until 5:30. Finally! Rest!
But now, as the rain increases, and the river rises, I have heard threats that the Kilchis canyon may soon flood into an aquatic park, complete with slides, and wave pools!
You know that I love Disneyland. But, you really should watch what you pray for. My prayers have been answered. God has seen fit to turn the Kilchis river canyon into a theme park, complete with bowling alleys and aquatic parks!
The grass is always greener, I guess, but, God? I changed my mind. I want to go home. Can I have my still, calm, canyon back? With a quiet river, flowing gently, and filled with fish?

November 20th

It was just a normal, quite ordinary day, when all of the sudden, I saw this on Amazon!
Wow! You can pre-order the book! I learned about this book a year or more ago, on their web site.
Today, you can label me proud.
It is my first actual published thing, other than ifish, and a few other little magazine things.
It's odd to me. I really have no training as a writer. I spent hours studying the piano with masters, and several hours a day, practicing. I studied art in college a bit. I dabbled in a few web related HTML courses.
It's just plain weird. I'm quite sure that I couldn't write about sewing, or rock climbing, or most anything else.
I have, however, since my early high school days kept endless journals. I've always liked to write, but I just wrote to keep track of things, to cement my thoughts, to read through, later. To note my progress and failures. To keep track of fishing stats...
I can't relate to people who think that fishing is all about how many you catch, or how "good" you are at it. I don't understand people that say that it's all about being an almighty outdoors person. I don't think of it as an accomplishment, or as anything to strive for. I just love to fish!
Frankly, that's how I hire a guide, and that's how I chose the guides on ifish. They all love fishing, and you can just tell that, by talking with them. (Only difference between them and I, is that they actually catch fish!)
I really love doing ifish, and I guess that's the big lesson in the whole thing. Do what you love. Do it with passion. Put all you have into it, with every cast you make!
Now... when will these rivers go down?

November 21st

Where I sleep is where my animals want to sleep. All of them. I woke up at two or so, with my legs on the floor, because Kilchis was pushing me that way. I tried to move my body to accommodate him, but Dee Dee was on the other side. Finally, with a strong shove, I pushed Kilchis a bit, rolled over and landed on Molly. "REOWWW!"
Alright. I'll sleep on the couch. I got up, shaking my head, and heard 12 paws padding after me. "Is it time to get up, Mom? Huh, is it?"
Instead, in the pitch darkness, I made my way over to the window, and flashed the flashlight out onto the meadow. It was cold and still. A herd of elk startled at the light. As I watched them head off into the woods, I yawned. The river sang a quiet winter lullaby, as my eyes began to droop. I'll just stand here and doze a bit.
Molly reached up my legs with her soft paws, and began to play with my bathrobe tie. No sleep here, either. Kilchis' tail began to wag, and swatted me in the knee.
"Alright, gang, back to bed..." I turned to make my way to the couch, and nearly tripped to my death on Dee Dee.
Finally, grabbing a down comforter, I crawled inside. Kilchis pawed at the covers until I opened them. Molly followed, nestling inside Kilchis's legs with a loud purr. Dee Dee next, to my left, and outside of the covers. My legs went back on the floor.
Three more hours until the alarm goes off. The river awaits our drift boat.
Visions of steelhead danced in my mind, as I drifted off to sleep, surrounded by three animals who love me. I just can't complain.
As I type this morning, I count five drift boat trailers and trucks head up to the park. "Bill! We have to go! Hurry!"
...and the river's song picks up its beat.

November 22nd

Now, how many people actually have visitors come, by boat? It wasn't long after anchoring, and along comes good friend Marty Peterson, to anchor up next to us. How fun!

Marty Peterson
Guide Marty Peterson

The fish seemed finicky in our location, so after several light biters, and "poof" goners, they picked up anchor and left for luckier waters.
It wasn't long until Shane Stewart and Mark Anderson, of First Cast Jigs showed up.
Bill and I took out, and went to finish up chores, and warm up. It was cold out there!
Pretty soon, up comes Shane with this beauty!

Shane Stewart
Shane Stewart

Well, it's snowing this morning, and Bill and I are rushing to get out to the river. We'll have to brush the snow off the seats and hit it quickly, if we want to get our spot! Toot! Toot! We are off!


November 24th

Despite what my body is telling me, I had a great time yesterday! I can barely move, except for my smile muscles, and they are still working just grand!
Part of me was terribly nervous as Bill pulled out of the driveway to go duck hunting at just before 5 O'clock. He knew Pete was coming to fish with me, and he knew that I was going to try and row him in the drift boat. I, however, wasn't terribly sure of my abilities. I was excited, but a bit jittery.
The current in back of our house had been fairly strong. I'm actually not supposed to row a drift boat against the current, and sometimes it takes a lot of strength to get where you want to be. I've seen Bill take deep, strong pulls to get us in position.
At first light, I had Pete get in the boat. I went through all of the procedures I usually go through, when Bill is at the oars. I've so many times, seen what he does, that it was easy to step into his shoes, and do his job, also. Put the oars in, untie the rope, make sure all the rods are in place, and "toot toot!"- we were off!
Up, against our side of the bank, where the current is weakest, I crept... "push, push, push..." Finally in place, I took the plunge across the middle current. It wasn't quite as strong as it had been the day before, and it all went well. I landed on a soft pocket, opposite our bank, and was able to row even further up the river, drop anchor, and land precisely in front of the slot where the fish held! PERFECT!
Upon examination, I found my rod still had a small gob of eggs on it, from yesterday. Why waste them? I changed to a smaller weight size, to match the weaker current, and on the first back bounce down, "Fish on!" Pete could hardly believe his eyes! The fish hit so close to the boat, that I was shocked, also! The fish dove under the boat and under the oars. I had to point my rod straight down, to avoid breaking the tip. Pete grabbed the line, and worked it over the oars. The fish shot upstream and over the anchor line. At that point, the fish broke me off anchor, and we began to float into the slot. "Quick, Pete! Take the rod!" I pulled the anchor, and headed for shore, as Pete fought the fish. Finally to shore, we released the fish, and I headed back out to the slot. My eggs were now gone. What now?
Stan Fagerstrom had sent me some new salt saturated plastics from Outlaw Baits. I chose a #502 2.4" Tube Squid in bright pink, and fixed it under a pink and white First Cast Jig. I dabbed on a little of Marie's Shrimp Scent, and sent it afloat under a bobber, and down the slot at a depth of 6 feet.
Just before I retrieved it, down it went! This was on my 1143, and what a kick! A nice chinook jack! Pete leaned over and released it, and on we fished.
You have no idea how accomplished I feel!
I rowed the boat, and was able to fish exactly where I felt the fish were! And I was right!
Pete was able to teach me some things about scope. I had trouble holding in the current, but after letting out nearly all the rope, I held a lot better. Thanks, Pete!
Later, we walked upstream, on the bank, and fished eggs under a bobber. Fish on! I landed a bronze buck.
One thing I learned for certain, I am getting ready for steelhead. I think that the main run of chinook have gone up to spawn. Sure, there will be some chromers still to come, but I'm tired of sorting through darker chinook to find them. I've had an awfully good season for chinook, and I'm ready for a challenge. Steelhead provide that, for me.
I would like to still catch a chinook on a fly. Maybe I'll try that, too.
Pete and I went in for coffee, and Bill finally returned from his hunt. I was so proud, as Pete gave Bill a good report on my abilities!
I know I am not supposed to do this kind of thing. Believe me, the doctors tell me, over and over. "You shouldn't lift more than 20 pounds. No more than a grocery bag. If you feel at all tired, stop."
Now, how do I stop doing something that makes me grin, from ear to ear? Why should I stop doing something that makes me feel good about myself? What is more important? A long protected life without self esteem, or the risk of a shorter one, letting someone else row?
No doubt, I choose the oars!
Early afternoon came around, and I felt absolutely wiped out. I crawled up the stairs, bent over in pain. I flopped down in the bed, and flipped on the TV. Bill was outside doing chores, cleaning the chicken cage, and setting mole traps.
My eyes so badly wanted to close, but every time they did, the vision of a drift boat, sitting on anchor on the river beach shouted me awake.
"Jennie! There is a drift boat just waiting to be rowed!"
The thought was better than coffee, more powerful than any pain killer I had ever taken!
I brushed back the covers, and pulled on my boots!
With Bill in the field, I put the oars back in, whistled Kilchis in the front of the boat, and headed out to my slot.
As I settled into place, and put my line out, I glanced to shore. There was Bill, standing, his hands resting on his hips. On his face was the biggest, proudest, smile I have ever seen.
It's contagious! "I wish I had a camera!" He grinned over to me.
"I don't need one." I thought to myself. I'll never forget how good it is to feel so independent on the river, and the image in my mind, is clear and un erasable!
I still can't wipe the smile from my face, even with my back creaking, and my shoulders nearly seized up in pain! It's mind over battered muscles.
I have a long way to go, and a lot more to learn on the oars. Frankly, I may never go much further than rowing in the back yard. But then again, I might! Next time I do this, I may just pull anchor, and as I drift downstream, shout over at Bill, "Pick me up at the logging bridge in a couple hours!"
Just bring two rigs. One to tow the boat, and an ambulance, to take this blithering, grinning idiot to the hospital.
Now, if I can only stand up to go get some more coffee, I'll be set. "Bill? Bring me my cane!"

November 25th

The Christmas Party for Children at Emmanuel Hospital is December 8th, at 5:30 PM, at Pietro's Pizza in Milwaukie Oregon. Please! Help me with a head count, and sign up here, if you will be attending!
Last year was wonderful, and this year will be even better! This, my friends, is a big reason I still do what I do, at! Through thick and thin, through good times and bad, these kinds of events carry me through the toughest of times! You wouldn't believe the stack of toys we had last year! I want to double it, this year... OK?

November 27th

Quick! The rivers are in shape! Leave now, and you might beat the wind storm that is coming! Please be aware that we have a major high wind warning! Click here to read.
It's an odd thing, in the middle of a storm, to see two fishermen come up through the back yard, from the river, but that's what happens, sometimes!
Once, a couple fellows had given up, trying to row against the wind, and came for help. Help, we did. One guy stayed back to hold the boat, while Bill shuttled the fellow to his trailer. When they got back, the poor guy holding the boat couldn't take an especially strong gust. His drift boat flipped over, and was thrown up the beach! Yikes!
The last stretch, from here on down, is a shallow and wide journey, with few fishing holes, and a whole lot of South wind blasting in your face. If your tradition is to fish on Thanksgiving, know what you are in for, on the coast!
I am all excited about a new series of DVD's that are out. It's a funny story, actually.
I get many phone calls, and at the same time, I get several e mails. I'm often rushed, and when I answer the phone, sometimes that "rushed" feeling, is heard in my voice.
It was just such a call, from a fellow I had spoken to previously, that I gave that rushed treatment. I couldn't help it. I had computer problems, a kid to take to the doctor, and something on the stove.
"Who was that?" Bill asked.
"I don't know. A guy by the name of Charlie West."
"Charlie West?" Bill asked incredulously.
"THE Charlie West?"
"I don't know, Bill. Who is Charlie West?"
Bill replied, "Well, the Charlie West I have heard of does several fly fishing television shows, and has a video production business."
"Oops!" I had been putting Mr. West off, as I scurried around doing mundane Jennie stuff!
He had sent me a sample DVD on fly fishing, two months prior, and I was embarrassed to say, I hadn't viewed it, yet.
Bill and I sat down to the computer to watch it. Wow! It was SO cool! Part of the reason I hadn't watched it, was because I didn't have a DVD on my computer until recently.
Bill and I viewed, "Fly Fishing the Norwest, Volume 2.

What was awesome about it, was that these are local waters:
Mt. Shasta, Trinity River, Mt. St. Helens, and the Olympic Peninsula.
Also, anglers that we are familiar with:
Mike Fong, Bill Herzog, Steve Rajeff, and ... the man himself, (who I recognized, once seeing him,) Charlie West!
I have a couple of these fine videos to give away, and they may soon become a regular "Ready Set" contest supplier for the board.
Currently, they are featured on our Ifish Flyfishers Board, and here, on the main page, over in the right hand column.
I'm sold, and if you need a gift for Christmas for your special fisherman or woman, you can't miss with a Step Outdoors DVD.
I learned a new fly fishing cast, due to this video, and that cast put me on a 21 inch cutthroat, that I'm just sure I wouldn't have hooked, without it!
I'll be talking more about this series in the near future. But, for now, it's Thanksgiving, and I have plenty of thanking to do. I can't help but think of this poem, that forever echoes in my mind:

i thank you God for most this amazing day:
for the leaping greenly spirit of trees
and a blue true dream of sky;
and for everything which is natural
which is infinite
which is yes

"(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun's birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

"how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any - lifted from the no
of all nothing - human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

"(now the ears of my ears awake and

now the eyes of my eyes are opened)"

-- e.e. cummings (1894-1963)

Happy Turkey Day!

...and now, yes... It's time for me to go catch my traditional Thanksgiving "leaping silvery spirit" of steelhead..and for that, also, I remain forever thankful!

November 28th

Well, I waited all day, and then all night for the wind storm.
Andrew, David and I stayed home yesterday. We had made the festive Turkey dinner the day before. Throughout the day, the refrigerator door got a workout. We took turns seeking out what our taste buds craved next. Pie for breakfast, turkey and stuffing for lunch, pie, again, for dinner (with cranberry on the side!)
In between snacks, I'd look outside, and see that it hadn't started, so I'd grab my gear and head out to the river. You know, I wanted to get out there and back, before the predicted "winds" hit. At dusk, I pulled in the bird feeders. There will be a wind storm, you know, and I didn't want them to blow away. I filled the wood box, in preparation. I tried to fall asleep early, so that I could get some rest in, before "the big storm" hit. I slept soundly until 5:00. All is calm, all is still.
This morning at my computer, I found several emergency e mail alerts. The earliest stated that the storm was extended until midnight last night. Then another. "Extended until 10:00 AM." Then, another. "Extended until 4:00 PM"
Well, it's 6:30 now, and as I said, all is calm. First light, I'm going fishing! Before the storm hits!
The river is chock full of chum, and it's difficult to think I might catch a steelhead in the midst of their activities. They pretty much own the stretch of river where I fish, right now, and the population is high.
In hopes of steelhead, I set up a pink worm rig, and drifted it yesterday. I felt the good old "bump, bump, bump" as it hit bottom, but it was intermittently interrupted. I closed my eyes, to concentrate on what I felt. "Bump, line rub, bump, bump, line rub..." There are fish out there, but not the right kind!
On the river during this time of year, I'm more likely to set my rod down and stare in wonder. A chum hen was followed by two bucks as they danced at my feet. Now, how can you fish while there is a Discovery Channel show going on so close to you?
Kilchis glanced down at the salmon, as he wagged his tail. "Mom! Put down the rod and grab one! Those are what you are after, right?"
I set aside both rods on a log. I walked upstream to where they spawn. I sat down on a clump of grass. It's nice to be wearing breathable waders. You can sit anywhere you darn please, and not get wet! I sat there for over an hour, watching the show, waiting for the first wind. I studied their behavior as hens brushed their tails in the gravel, and dug redds. The water where they are most active is 3 feet deep and rather swift and swirly. I'm not sure if that's due to their activity, or the current in the river, but I suspect, both! It's chum infested waters, and it's a very good show!
Kilchis chased after seagulls and heron, until he tired, and came to settle by my side. After brief rest, he began to dig yet another treacherously dangerous pit in the trail. I don't know what he is digging after, but it must be good. Kilchis, the mighty hunter.
On the way back into the house, I picked up several beautiful agates. I plucked a few choice corkies from back eddies, and collected a couple pop cans. They were left, most probably, by people camping at the park, in the summer. With my pockets full, and my mind imprinted with visions of chum salmon, I made my way to the house.
Well, it's getting a bit light, and I'd better get out to the river. I wonder how the chum are progressing, and whether or not I might be able to hook into some steel, today.
I feel a bit rushed, you know. It's perfectly calm outside-- but there is a wind storm coming. You know, they said so. Any time, now....
I find myself half shaking my head, tired of waiting, and starting to disbelieve.
I'm half tempted to believe it's all a farce, and get out the drift boat. That would bring on the storm. Maybe I'll just do that, and get the whole thing started, and over with.

A journal of my adventures.