Fishing The Coast, Oregon and Washington
October 2007

Summer Steelhead Surprise!

October 1st

I woke up this morning, turned over and yawned and started to doze off, again. My mind wandered as I heard the rain falling on the roof. My eyes sprung open with the wonder of a child waking on Christmas Morning.
"FISH!" I yelled, half in my sleep, and bolted upright, faster than a bobber down. I had that feeling!
"Huh?" Bill yelled from downstairs.
"FISH!"I repeated louder. "Fish! There are fish in the rivers!"
Bill and I spent yesterday afternoon on a surprisingly clear but rising river, casting for FISH!
There is a really strange phenomena that occurs deep in my soul when there are fish in the river! I kid you not! I feel this feeling! I can't describe it, but I know when there are fish out there! I can be sitting, watching TV, and I just feel it. I slowly rise from my chair, and make my way out to the mud room.
Bill will only notice, when I'm fully dressed and go for the drawer that holds my pliers.
"Oh. You going fishing?"
Yesterday I actually waited for him! He's a bit more meticulous as a fisherman. I'm always in a rush. Grab and go. Anyhow, we stood on the bank together, with swallows (yes, swallows!) in full swoop, circling around us. We hadn't seen swallows since mid-summer! They were feeding on something that we couldn't see, but there were more swallows than we'd ever seen. They were mixing in the wind with the falling leaves, circling overhead. You'd think the river would be a leaf stew, but it was fishable!
In fact, Bill cast out on the first cast and hooked into a mighty fish. Could it be a salmon? I think it was. He thought it more likely to be a summer steelhead, but it was too fat! I saw it, before it jumped and spit his hook.
Odd, this year, but the summer steelhead are mixing it up in different rivers, this year. Bill has heard other people say this, too. It's not only the Kilchis. The Kilchis rarely has summer steelhead strays, but this year we have both caught those sneaky hatchery strays sneaking by our house. It's made a rather tasty bbq or two that we aren't accustomed to, in the summer months- not to mention a fun surprise on hook and line.
I have so much to write, today, and so little time! So many topics I wanted to cover. I will try to find the time to share these things with you, later, but right now, I'm just too darned excited.
I don't know that the river is still fishable, and I have my doubts. But, I have to get dressed, or at least pull my farmer John rain pants over my pajamas and go see. I have that feeling. There are fish in the rivers!
Stan Fagerstrom's column is up here, but I haven't added it to the archives, yet. Don't let me forget! Like I said earlier, I have had trouble trying to get everything done, that needs to be. I will write a list! I must! I have to order one of the tools that Stan speaks of, to see if it can handle a silver, a steelhead, and perhaps a heavy salmon, too!
I'll be back- I feel that feeling. There are fish, fish FISH in the rivers!

October 3rd

Every new month, I get to check off another month of life. For that, I am extremely grateful!
Rev learned about current, yesterday. Where once was a shallow riffle where she normally crosses the river, is now a real, churning body of water. She took off with the speed of a young labrador on her normal summer path, but was instantly swooped off her feet, and threatened off to sea! It made me giggle. Now, she stands two feet deep, staring at the wonder of it all, and proceeds with caution, or not at all. This side is good! She wags her tail and stays at my side, while I cast.
Tomorrow, Andrew has eye surgery. I would appreciate your prayers. The stitches on his IOL have come loose just like mine did. It is kind of scary as this is his only seeing eye.
He's doing so well in college. I can't believe he almost has his BA! He's on the dean's and honors list, and well? He's just awesome! He's driving a car, now, and he's feeling free. I just pray that everything remains so!
Regardless of the reason for our trip to Portland, we are both excited to spend time in Portland, together.
I had an ultrasound yesterday that proved that yes, there is another problem for me. It's girl stuff, and I don't need to go into detail, but it looks like, (pheh!) another darn major surgery is on the horizon. It seems like just as I rid my system of anesthesia, they fill me up, again! I was diagnosed as anemic and this particular problem is the reason for that. It must be fixed. I have been consuming iron by the boat load, and even though I feel slightly better, my iron reserves are still low. It makes me tired.
David is doing well in school. I hear he is in the top big band, and I can't wait to hear them play. I love big band music. It makes me cry. I don't know what it is, but it's so... intrusive. Clear down to my soul, it shakes me. It's beautiful! Marching bands do the same to me. I cry at parades.
Dave admits that he is the weakest player in the band, but he says he finds that exciting. Odd. I questioned him and he says, "Mom! That means I can learn so much!" He feels he hasn't been challenged much at high school, and the challenge feels good to him. Ah, youth!
We fished the Nehalem last week, and had a lovely day with a girlfriend of mine, Kim, who we took along. She's moving to California and I'll sure miss her. Our kids are roomates in the dorm, at PSU. We didn't catch fish, but we caught up on our lives. Just when the kids are gone, and we have the time to renew our friendship, she's leaving. No fair!
I've been having a hoot, lately, fishing out back. There are nice big, fat cutts to be fished! Last year I was into reverse spiders. This year? I've been mostly using neatly tied Spruce Flies I got from Dudley Nelson. There's a hatch right now that the swallows are after and even dry flies just as stimulators attract their attention.
I'll never forget this time of year, a couple years back. I was fishing for salmon with a sardine wrapped K15 Kwikfish and a planer from shore. The Kwikfish floated back in the current in perfect position. I locked it into position. The lure just started to do it's waving dance, and began to bury in the water. All of a sudden, a huge cutthroat came out of the water and hit it like a topwater plug! It was the biggest splash and the most exciting event of the year! Those cutts are so aggressive!
JustcallmeDave and I are working on the ifish directory of business. It's going well, and we should introduce this to ifish in the coming months. I can't wait! If you are interested in advertising on ifish, this is your answer. We have been inundated with folks asking about it in the past years, and have had to put so many people off. If you have asked in the past, I saved all of those e mails and will be alerting you, personally.
I'll never forget the time in my ifish life when I had to decide what ifish was to me. For many years, it was but a hobby site. I had to think long and hard when the time came to decide whether ifish was "hobby" or business. I began to log hours beyond what any hobby should take. As ifish grew and the demands on my and the mods time increased, I had to make that choice. Give it up, or become an employee.
After all, I needed a job. Should I quit, and try to teach piano again, or do this?
Well, I am an ifish employee!! It is a wonderful thing to love what you do for work! I have been extremely lucky that way, in my life. First, I was able to play the piano for a living which I utterly loved, and now, I get to play fishing for a living and play piano for myself!
I never cease to be amazed that some folks think I do this for free. Do they think I am crazy? Do they work for free? Do they even know what it takes? It's work, I'll tell you!
Ifish is incredibly lucky to have the moderators that we do. Without them, I could not maintain ifish and all of it's time consuming facets. We are all, literally 'on call' 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, and frankly? The pay stinks. :)
But, I love it! One would have to!
Neither piano nor fishing has made me enough of a living to be considered "successful" by top business people.
I struggle financially, but you know what? Due to my disability, I cannot work full time, so I am happy! It is what it is! What more can you wish for? It all comes down to your personal definition of success. No, I cannot vacation in Paris, drive a hummer, or write million dollar checks to charity, but I am happy, darnit!
I know so many people that work their tails off behind a desk, (See "A reminder!" in the right hand column!) and drive fancy cars that cannot claim happiness. Many live their lives, looking forward to retirement. I need to live and be happy, now! Who knows if we are to even live until the time we are able to retire? I feel that I need to live in happiness, now!
As a bonus, and a big one at that, I am able to share my love of fishing with people. I feel good about that mission. Ifish exists to carry on the excitement for fishing! I honestly feel that it is up to our generation to share the enthusiasm and wonder of the out of doors with others that have yet to discover it, (children) or have lost it, somehow. (Adults?)
Especially important to me, is to leave a legacy of fishing to our young ones.
If not us, then whom?
Who will love fishing enough to care for our rivers and streams? Who will lead the fight to save our salmon when we are gone?
I'll never forget a book I read, that left a great impression on me. It was titled, "A Gift Upon the Shore." by M. K. Wren. (Amazon has it) I kind of feel that ifish is doing what this book described. Two women survived a nuclear war and work together to save a library of books. The history of the world and all we had learned, for future generations. It's an awesome book, and the moral of the story has lived in me, ever since I read it.
Ifish is building a like history of passion and excitement for fishing that will live, long past when I expire. My biggest hope is that it inspires people to carry the flag of caring for our salmon and fighting the battle to save them. This will only happen, if they have passion for our fisheries and resource.
Don't take all of your successful fishing tips to the grave! Tell someone.. share your successes with someone! No... I don't think you should post your zipperlip secrets to ifish, but sharing your successes and a little of how and where is a good thing! It may just help to save our salmon, in the end! Who knows who will read what you post, and what excited note it will hit, deep down in that person, that will drive them to want to save our resources!
I have heard some say that what would be best for the fish, is to stop fishing at all. "Fishing hurts!" Right? It's a bad thing!
Bah! I beg to differ!
If no one fishes- if no one shares the passion of fishing with others and writes about it on resources such as ifish or the news, or STS magazines... if no one takes a child fishing, or shares with others their success and excitement in catching a salmon, then who will catch that excitement and carry it on? The fish will be forgotten, long lost on the globally warmed waters of what once was a cool stream full of salmonids!
The media has a responsibility.
In talking with the folks at ODFW, recently, I asked about catch and release fishing on the North Coast for cutthroat. There was a bill in the works to open it, here on the North Coast. I attended, passionately carrying a flag against it.
There is a successful catch and keep cutthroat fishery on the South Coast. I could not for the life of me, understand why and I was adamantly against killing these most beautiful and spiritual fish.
Part of the reason that was explained to me, though, was to get kids excited about fishing.
Oh! That stopped me short! I listened!
We need to recreate that love of fishing in our children that seems to be getting lost to video games, and other means of immediate gratification.
What better immediate gratification is there?
"And after all," they continued, what does more harm? A fly fisherman constantly and daily catching and releasing these trout, or a child, who comes to catch and keep two fish, occasionally?"
Mortality exists in fishing for cutthroat trout, whether it be by fly and artificial lure or actually fishing to keep.
I look back and remember the excitement of what 'hooked' me on fishing. I grew up fishing Diamond lake. The wonder of hooking and bonking and taking home a big trout was the cat's meow, for me! I continued that quest, by trying to do the same in local lakes, in the meandering Molalla river, and the beautiful Sandy River, with my Dad.
Had I been introduced to fishing with a fly, would I have had the patience, as a child, to become successful? Would my love for fishing have been etched on my heart at such an early age?
I think not.
And so, even though I am still reluctant to open a catch and keep fishery, I have listened to the reasoning, and I do understand that aspect of it.
You know, I do not have time to proof and to edit this writing this morning, but I have had so much on my mind, lately, and I wanted to spill it out.
I rarely write anything like this.
I am usually known to simply share the wonders of the Kilchis river, and the intense joys of life in our valley, here on the Oregon Coast. I am known to give thanks to our good Lord, who provides us this beauty, and hopefully will bless us with sustenance.
I just feel full to the brim lately, on so many things.
Life is good and full and always full of question and wonder!
My life, although full and rich and joyful, feels as delicately precarious as our runs of salmon and our resources.
Sometimes the struggle to maintain and to keep peaceful and smooth and financially balanced goes hand in hand with my fight for my own life survival, and the fight for our salmon's survival as we face new challenges, daily.
I worry. I see some posts on ifish that are so selfish! What will happen to the fish, when the older people, who some, seem to protect their 'secret' fish snatching methods and carry angry motives and agendas, pass on?
Where is their love of the outdoors? We need to mentor, to teach fishing and show off the wonder of the outdoors that we have to visitors, to children, to neighbors, to everyone!
Share the magic of a zipperlip-crystal clear morning on the North Fork Nehalem, fishing for winter steelhead! I want to read about that!
That is why...!
I want to help to pass on the love of fishing and of what is in your heart that keeps you fishing!

And now... it's off to Portland with Roo. Time to patch him up so that he can see, again.
I'll be home on Friday to catch up on ifish and to greet the waters of the Kilchis! Full to the brim with fishes!
Tell me all about the salmon that I missed, when I was in Portland! It keeps my heart pumping!

October 6th

Thank you so much for your prayers. I'm rather speechless and this is tough, but I'll try.
For those that don't know, my son Andrew was born with marfan syndrome, and was blind at birth. He had dislocated lenses and the lens bisected the pupil, so that he saw half near sighted, and half far sighted. The lens constantly jiggled around, so it was near, far, near far.... always moving. If that wouldn't make someone crazy!
He had one eye fixed, when he was 7 or so. He had a lens implant, due to the fact that he had dislocated lenses in his eyes at birth. (A symptom of marfan syndrome, that I have, also. But, I can see a little better than he can.)
Anyhow, as soon as his brain learned to use it, he could see in that one eye, and has done pretty well with it.
There is a longer version of the history of eye surgeries, here.
&Roo even learned to drive, and he just got a car to drive! He was doing so well! He was on the dean's list (top 5 percent at his college)!
The haptic, (part of the lens in his eye) broke, just like mine did, last year.
They were going to perform the same surgery as I had last year, on Andrew, on Thursday. It isn't too hard, usually, but with marfan syndrome, you never know. Our tissue is different, loose, and breaks.
So, this being his only seeing eye, it was very scary for us, but somehow I just believed it would work.
My surgery took about 2 hours, and it worked.
When two hours passed with Roo's surgery, I began to become nervous. At three hours, more so... and after that, I started to become a shaking, nervous wreck.
Finally, an assisting nurse came out to tell me that the doc was having alot of trouble trying to sew it back into the side of his eyeball. She said that they couldn't get it into position but that they were still trying.
So, I waited, anxiously. I paced. I fretted.
Finally, the doctor called the office phone for me, and said that they had manipulated it so much that the other arm of the lens broken.
At the same time, his cornea was beginning to swell, due to all of the manipulation, and he had been under general anesthesia too long. So, they had to give up.
Usually corneas are like little layers of paper, and his was all jiggly "like tofu". He said.
My phone keeps ringing and I need to tell this story over and over. I should just print this out and hand it to folks!
Andrew is blind. He can see only light and shadow. I need to be his 'eyesight' for him, and it's really hard and awfully time consuming. I don't mind a bit. It's the least I can do, believe me, but I didn't realize how hard it would be, to be two people's eyes! -especially with mine, not so good already!
I need to read things for him, and find his cell phone, and lay out his clothes. Everything. He loses things so that I need to look for them, without the aid of his memory, combined. You know? It's my priority right now, so I won't be ifishing for a while.
Please excuse me if mail goes unanswered.
It is very hard because he is depressed, of course, and I cannot make it better for him. He is a bit grouchy. I remember the frustration of it all when I was without sight.
Banging yourself, hitting things, running into walls, tripping. I try to comfort him and he isn't accepting of it. He's probably mad at life. I would be, too.
I tried to pet his hair, lovingly, and he said, "That hurts!" He is in pain on top of everything else. I want to make it better, and I am not able to. That's hard for any parent or friend, or anyone you love.
And so he is without a lens.
Medically speaking, what can be done?
Probably not much, surgically. They don't want to work on that tissue again.
They may try to work on the other eye, however, his brain has never learned to use that eye's vision, so they aren't sure of the success of that. Also, they are afraid that his other eye along with it might cause double vision, as your brain needs to learn to use two eyes together, which it has also never done.
They may try to fit his eye with a hard contact lens. However, they needed to place a donor sclera patch over his wound and they aren't sure if it will flatten out, enough to do that. Otherwise, since he is totally aphacic, (without a lens) he may have to wear those thick coke-bottle glasses to get around for a while. This will be a relief, though. I did it, and although they are really unattractive, it's a great thing to be able to see to read your e mail, books, etc.
I had to put bright color coded stickers on all his meds, so he knows what he is taking. We are learning how to make this work, even though it's a new road for him.
For those who have asked about us, Thank you, from the bottom of my heart. And please continue to pray for Andrew. I am hopeful and I believe in miracles.
I also believe in chocolate, and I believe that two Moonstruck chocolates a day are not only good for our health, but good for our spirits. I make Andrew indulge, daily.
Can you even believe how good those are? I am hooked! They have a store downtown in Pioneer place, by the Eddie Bauer store. They are to die for! Try them! We have so much fun picking them out! Try them all! :) But, let them melt in your mouth for a long time. That's how you have to eat them... believe me!
I wake up in the morning, though, and things are fine, and then I remember this awful tragedy that has happened to Andrew, and my heart just sinks. Do you know that feeling?
It took me forever to write this, and I never thought I could. I've been putting it off, because telling it brings the tears, all over again. I am getting better each day.
Things will work out.

October 8th

Today, on this crisp fall morning, there is a storm warning out. You can feel the anticipation, the stillness, in the air. It's the same stillness and anticipation I feel for Andrew's medical appointment, today.
Andrew has an appointment with Dr. Michelle, here in Tillamook. She was my "eye angel" when I lost my vision. Frankly, I have many "eye angels" Right now, Dr. Hwang and Dr. Michelle.
You know, it's not fair because Dr. Hwang doesn't get enough credit. If his surgery fails, it's not his fault. He felt so badly and he tried so hard. Some people I know, automatically want to blame the surgeon when I tell them the story. It's not his fault in the least. It's the fault of marfan syndrome.
A surgeon once said to me, "Marfan patients are a surgeon's payback for all of the other wonderful successes we have in our practice." Doctors are used to performing miracles. With marfan, that doesn't always happen. You try to sew tofu together and see what happens!
I keep hearing Dr. Michelle's good words over the phone on my answering machine. She said something like, "I am fairly certain that I will be able to devise a strategy so that Andrew will have functioning vision." That sentence makes me giddy. What strategy will it be? I can't wait to see what she has up her sleeve. When you are in a situation like this, everything is hopeful. Trying to understand it all, to absorb all the information that they tell us, is crazy. You can't tell us anything too many times! Yet, I need to tell others what is going on, so I hope I have relayed the info correctly! It is correct as I know it! So many pieces of information! It begins to be a puzzle.
I really would so much rather write about Fall. It is my favorite time of year, I think. Either that, or Spring, Summer or winter. I can't decide.
I have yet to see a salmon roll in the Kilchis, but I am hopeful. I have been fishing with a jig rod. The water is up, but not at a steady, winter level yet.
We had high winds yesterday afternoon, so the river is full of leaves, now. But, yesterday morning it was beautiful and the fish were aggressive!
I was fishing with Mark's First Bite Jigs and shrimp. It was so funny, because every time my bobber went down, I'd yell, "Now, this is a real fish!" and hope to all hopes that it was a salmon! or steelhead. I was hungry! The dogs would get all excited and come running!
But, no, it was another beautiful monster cutthroat trout. I'd bow down in praise for this beautiful gift in the river. What beautiful fish are they! Spiritual, gorgeous fish!
Please, when fishing in the early Fall and winter, be careful of these trout. They are not, no matter how large they are, to be killed. Please learn what they look like because you cannot keep them on the North Coast. Very carefully release them! I am to the point where, since I am aware of their prolific numbers in the river, now, I take the barb off the jig hook before fishing. Then, when I catch one, I simply take my pliers and grab hold of the shank, and back the hook out of their mouth. They are almost always hooked in the lip, so it's really easy. I don't even have to touch the fish.
Oh, are they gorgeous fish! I found this neat fish ID page. Check it out!
Anyhow, it's neat out. It's the season of wet, muddy leaves sticking to your boots. There is finally a fireplace in the wood stove. It's time to towel off the wet dogs in the mud room, gripe about the mud being tracked in and swoop down to pick up a stray, wet leaf that sticks to the wood floors.
But, most of all, there is anticipation in the air. Hope that Andrew's eyesight is somehow regained, so that he can see the beautiful colors of fall. Hope that there are long days in the drift boat, filled with sticky eggs and smelly sandshrimp, and not a care in the world... all of those things that are dear to this fisher girl. I know, girls aren't supposed to like that kind of thing. But, I do!
Cheers... Here's to miracles! I do believe in miracles. Yes, I do!
Please, continue your prayers for Andrew.

October 9th

The storm warning has been cancelled or downgraded. That's good! That means I can fish, today!
Andrew was refracted for his right eye, yesterday, which he has never used. He can see well enough to continue school! Yay! Also, he is legal to drive. He tried, and it's difficult for him, as he is so used to seeing with his left eye, thus turning his head that way, to see before changing lanes. Now, it's all backwards for him! He is to drive only during daylight hours. However, he doesn't feel comfortable yet. Thank goodness he is wise about that. We will see the surgeon tomorrow to learn more. I just thank God for the doctors. They are all so kind.
I am off to shower, and then to try to beat the storm out to the river. :)

October 9th later...

Guess what mystery fish are in the Kilchis right now? SOCKEYE!
I couldn't believe it. I thought it was funny when Bill caught one 5 years ago in September, but today? We caught three! Either that, or we caught the same darn one, three times! I'm not sure! Bill thinks it was all the same one, but I find it odd that everywhere we fished, it was! It wouldn't bite three times in an hour, would it???
It was fun, though. They are beautiful fish when they are all dressed up in their Halloween costumes! Actually, they are more like Christmas colors!

October 10th

The Show must go on! Ifish, and especially, Christmas!
I insisted. It had to be! I'll never forget it, either. I think I made it worse than if I'd just let go, and let God!
Nearly three years ago, (Praise God! I'm still alive!) I came home from the hospital after my aortic dissection. It was the day, or two?-before Christmas.
The show MUST go on. The kids were there. Everything was to be normal, dangit!
The tree was decorated, although quite to my expectation. The boys did it and it was, well, decorated!
Remember when we were little, and we had to have all the tinsel put on, one by one? The lead tinsel? Well, I carried on that tradition with my kids. Not so much the tinsel, but just the fact that you have to have everything right. Little ornaments to the top, big ones on the bottom, and so on! There are Christmas rules, you know!
Anyhow, Christmas dinner, even though I was in a wheelchair, was to be perfect and exactly the same as always. Turkey, ham, and all the trimmings.
I sat in my wheelchair, (feeling pretty lousy, too!) cutting board in my lap, chopping garlic and peeling potatoes and wheeling around from oven to fridge and back again.
Well, after a couple hours of this, I was in tears. I yelled at the boys out of frustration, and we ended up eating late into the night, exhausted. In fact, I don't think the boys even ate much, and neither did I. We sat on the couch, exhausted, picking at food that didn't taste right. 'Merry Christmas' just didn't happen that year!
I've been thinking about this, lately, as I have more and more piled on my plate.
I'll tell you one thing. I'm starting Christmas, NOW! I'll be ready by December 25th, no matter what goes down!
I'm off to Portland to take Andrew to the surgeon. I apologize if I have not responded to your e mails and private messages. I will get to them! I promise!
The show must go on!

October 11th

Prayers answered in GRAND form! Read on LIG, if you like. I'm too lazy to write the story, again!
But, man oh man,
Praise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow!!
Wahooo! Andrew Sees! Andrew sees!

Anyhow, I just wanted to tell you that all of these people praying really works! Not only that, but my house cleaning lady came over on Saturday. Her business is aptly named "Hannah's Hands".
Bill hired her to help out with some of the heavy stuff, as I am unable. Little did he know that she prays the house clean!
No kidding!
Not only that, but she heard about Andrew, and because Andrew isn't really into prayer all that much, (Please pray for that, too!) she laid hands on me and prayed the most awesome prayer! I felt just totally energized! I played praise songs on the piano, while she and her friend did the heavy cleaning. We had our own little church service here! It was so empowering!
My sister prayed hard, too. She is almost like Moses! She can pray like no other!!
Anyhow, there was no way that anyone could interfere with all of the protection we received in the last week. I just feel so blessed and so protected!
You know, you guys... those that may read this and think, "Oh! I didn't know Jennie was a Jesus freak!" I'm not, really!
I mean... I love my Savior with all of my heart and I do have a close personal relationship with my Father, but, I have led an extremely wild life, and I am totally understanding of those that don't see it my way. Believe me!
And I am not as strong a Christian as "Hannah's Hands" Peggy, or my sister. I am a normal, regular, sinning person that has all kinds of bad habits, and I'm not one to look up to as someone who leads a perfect life. I am a sinner! And God STILL loves me! He STILL blesses me!
Now, that is GRACE!
It's just so exciting to me... STUNNING, actually, that Jesus loves even me!
I SO fail in my "Christian" walk... Except for my smile, even through dark times, you'd never guess I was a Christian. I just hope that people look at me, in all my faults and see my smile, even through my challenges and say, "I want what she's having!"
I just keep singing, "And you know they are Christians by their love, by their love..."
You know? You know that vibe you get from certain people? That they have a secret or something?
I walk into the bank sometimes, or anywhere, the store, and you can just feel it in some people so strongly. I always want to say, "You are a Christian, aren't you?"
I want that! I want to be like that! I want to make other people feel good, like they do, me.
I have it right now, because I've been blessed. My prayers have been answered, but believe me, many times I lose it!
But, right now, Thanks to our Heavenly Father, I have that sunshine in my soul! I have Faith!
I just pray to my Father that he'll bless me with a good memory and know to trust Him in the dark times, and not get so depressed when things go bad. I need to know that God has a better plan than I do, ALWAYS!
Even Andrew said, "Maybe this was a blessing in disguise."
Please forgive my giddiness, but I'm so excited for Andrew that anything is possible, right now!
I think I'll go fishing! Wonder if it will carry through and those fish will say, "I want what she has!" and bite my hook!

October 12th

What a whirlwind life is!
I have a box of wonderful chocolates and Andrew, Bill and I have been having an absolute blast picking out which ones to eat! The only problem is that I have no idea where they came from! Mystery chocolates! Whoever is responsible, stand! Please? I want to thank you from the bottom of my stomach! They are wonderful! Moonstruck is the absolute best chocolate!
Yesterday, Bill and I were out fishing Tillamook Bay. Man, was it slow! We fished the top of high tide, which has been in the past weeks, the hot time to fish. We didn't see one fish hooked in four hours fishing time! Three hours before and one after, high tide! Can you believe that?
Of course the ocean was pretty flat, so most folks were out along the jetty. I don't know how they did out there.
We put in at Old Mill. It was so nice not to have lines! Three dollars bought us a launch ticket. It was quiet, clean, and well maintained. Just don't go at low tide!
Anyhow, I felt so much better after fishing. Fish, or no fish, it was a lovely day on the bay.
Bill and I talked, casually, waved to alot of ifish folks, and didn't even have the usual Tillamook Bay seaweed to deal with, until the last.
Bill casually asked me, and totally out of the blue, "Have you called Ben, lately?"
I had a fishing friend in Warrenton Oregon. Ben Tagliavento was his name. More often, he was simply known as "Tag". I loved Ben. He taught me about fishing from the ground up.
He bought me my first pair of hip boots! He taught me to steelhead on the Lewis, took me jack fishing on the Klatskanine, founder fishing on the Necanicum, silver fishing at Social Security Beach, trout fishing on My favorite lakes. He paid for my Washington fishing license, and took me sturgeon fishing across the bridge on the hiway, there. He took me sturgeon fishing on the Astoria Pier. We discovered new jack fishing locations all around Youngs Bay area. We went carp fishing in ponds toward Clatskanie. We fished for perch in the sloughs, crappie and bluegill in the lakes, too! Name a fish, and Ben and I were after it! Daily!
And always... always!- Ben brought lunch. Last night's dinner, usually, left over and wrapped in tin foil. My kids grew up eating Ben's famous sandwiches. He knew their favorites. He always said to me, "Jennie, we don't come to fish! We come to eat!" Of course, that wasn't true. We fished like crazy!
I told Bill no. I hadn't called Ben. My smile turned to a frown and explained to him that I was afraid to call. Afraid that something had happened to Ben.
This is so strange, you guys. So, so strange.
I got home from fishing, feeling fully refreshed, and I was going to get right to However, I felt pulled away from it. Usually I sit right down and catch up. But, I cleaned the house a bit. I put away plants for Fall. I just didn't want to go to the computer.
There was good reason.
When I finally sat down, the first e mail I opened was this:



Please don't let this happen to you! Remember to call your loved ones, today.
Ben, you'll always be surrounding me, while I fish. You'll always be in the wind on the bay. You'll be in the sunshine that attempts to warm me on a cold, steelhead filled river. You'll be in the ripples on the water, and you'll forever be in the excitment of my voice when a fish catches me by surprise, and I yell, "B b b b b Ben Ben Ben! Fish! Fish!"
Remember that, Ben? Remember?

October 13th

Ben "Tag" Tagliavento

Off to Ben's service....I'll never forget those days on Social Security beach with Sam... and all of our friends.
See you in that big lake in the sky.

October 16th

Yeah, yeah. I've been absent since Ben's ceremony, but only because I have the coastal crud. (A bad cold.) Besides that, I'm fine.
The sunshine was lovely this weekend, and nothing makes me scream "Whahooo!" like a brisk wind while driving through the trees on a country road. I just love this time of year as a shower of colorful leaves fly from the trees. After the leaves swirl and swoop and dance, mid air, the storm of bright yellows and reds hit my windshield and splatter left and right in a flurry of delight! I love that! It's death, yes! It's the end of their season! Yes! I want to go out like that!
It's the perfect illustration for my favorite quote:
The goal in Life's Journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting "holy moly what a ride!"
Ben did that!
Lately, the leaves have been doing that wonderful 'skittering across the road thing' in front of me. You know, how they hover when they are dry, and skitter across the pavement?
Yesterday it was a bit wet, and the road from town was plastered with wet, colorful leaves. The road was left with only one lane. A pathway cut out in the middle, to get home. The sun came out and lit the mosaic with light. The trees, half dressed, hung over the country road in shadows... a ghostly form. It was beautiful! Enchanting!
The leaves skittered across the road, and danced in the air in front of me, while driving to Ben's ceremony. I stopped quickly in the woods and gathered a couple chanterelles.
Yesterday while I was out fishing, it actually felt like winter, though. Two sweaters and a coat, and I was still chilled!
I'm making soup, tomorrow. Cream of Chanterelle soup... yum, with celery root and all!
Pheh... Now, it's October 17th!
I can't seem to finish writing, this week! I've got so much to say, and so little brain power. This cold really makes me feel like I can't think!
I'm going to go fishing, today. I don't know what it is, but I just don't have time for fishing, lately and it's really depressing. Either I'm sick, or I need surgery, or Andrew needs surgery, or something! Pheh! It's so frustrating. I don't know how I ever found the time, before, to fish so much!
I really want those days, back, please! I'm trying to figure out what I can drop, so that I can fish!
Yesterday I was giggling, as I hooked my fly in a tree, behind me. I just shook my head. It had taken me forever to tie that fly on! And I never used to snag the bushes!! Losing one's vision is a real hassle.
It occurred to me that not being able to see well has two drawbacks in fishing. Not only does the need for tying increase, (because I foul my line more often in trees I can't see, etc!), but I can't tie knots very well because I can't see! Maybe glasses will help, soon. We'll see! (So to say!)
I walked back home, trying to figure out how I would approach Bill with the bad news that I needed a new tippet. Not only on one fly rod, but two! Poor guy... He has two people's gear to tie!
Luckily, he's pretty darned patient with me.
There is a storm warning posted for the coast. I'm so glad that I was able to enjoy the leaves in the past weeks, as I'm afraid this blow will bring them all down.
I've tucked my remaining freesia blooms into a small greenhouse that I purchased at Freddies. I'm going to hold onto those summer blooms as long into winter as I can!
I've still got some semi healthy impatiens in boxes that refuse to recognize the seasonal change. My nasturtiums are still in bright bloom. We are all resisting the change.... fending off that first winter freeze.
It's a good thing that I love to cook. That's the main reason winter was created, I think! That, and steelhead fishing!
Ben and I used to fish in all seasons, all weather, and he'd say to me, "Jen, we don't come to fish! We come to eat!" I loved that! And we sure did!
One last story, that lingers in my mind:
Ben and I used to fish the Lewis and Clark behind a farmers home that he knew. We'd always take the farmer the first steelhead we caught.
Ben was so active. Over hill and dale, like a Billy goat! He smoked one cigarette after another as we worked our way up the river with eggs, and down, with spinners. He had more energy than any man I knew! And he caught more fish, too!
That day, I made lunch, and I finally said to him, "Ben, I'm pooped! You are tiring me out! I'm just going to plunk my eggs out here and sit to eat."
"You'll never catch anything like that!" He laughed... and headed on up the river.
I just couldn't keep up! So, I sat, plunked out my eggs, and went for the brown paper bag. Within seconds, my line went tight and my rod started heading for the river on it's own!
"BBBBBBEN! BEN! BEN! BEN! BEN!" I yelled at the top of my lungs and I lunged for my rod and set the hook.
He came running, leaping over downed trees, as steady as can be. I can't believe he didn't fall!
I played out the most beautiful big steelhead of the season! Come to think of it, I think it was my first one, ever!
Oh, memories... sitting on the beach on the Necanicum! Sitting on a plastic bucket, with flounder flopping beneath my behind! LOL! Oh, man! I loved fishing with Ben. He filled my life with smiles. He was a true friend. I can still hear his voice on the phone, the last time I spoke with him.
I'm going to get out Ben's recipe for vegetable soup. It's handwritten in his own handwriting. I will make that tomorrow. It's soup week, here on the Kilchis river, in the Fall.
Have a great day! I'm going fishing!

October 17th

Love storm watching? You and I, both!
I've been peeking at Sherry Lyster's cam all morning. I think it's pretty busy, as it's loading fairly slowly, but it's fun to watch, once you figure out the controls. You can watch it, here. If you lose that link, it's always on the Fish data/river level page, above.
It's sure awesome how you can see all around! I hope the storm doesn't make it go down!
Oh and Ripple Run cam is cool, too!
Funny thing... In our location, sometimes, (like now!) we don't get the wind storms in our valley. So, I always go to the Tillamook PUD website to see their winds. It's a great weather station, but I guess when they got theirs, the employees were all deciding which one they liked better. Theirs, or ours?
Well, I'm here to vote on theirs! I love it! I want one like it! But... I want their winds, too! Not really, actually! I'm not in the mood for drift boats going bow over back! When we get wind, we really get it! But, usually South winds don't hit so hard, here. I bet that's what we have, now, because our winds are pretty darn calm and they show a high wind, currently of 48mph. Enjoy that link, too!
Let's see... What's another storm watching link, if you can't be at an ocean side motel?
Winds are always fun, and you can find those listed on the data page, also. Here's Garibaldi. Here's Astoria!
OK, let's talk River Levels. I love having contests on ifish regarding guessing how high the rivers will get. Find River Levels, here. That's a pretty rustic link. These are more modern. After all, what do you get when you click on Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Services? (laugh) oh! Cool graphics!
They all do the same. I saw that they were building a monitor on the Kilchis, but I've heard nothing about it. Maybe they don't want it public? :)
Here's a link that's seldom known but pretty handy! The Coastal Repeater Group.
Well, that should keep you busy in your cubicle this morning. The only thing you are missing is the real thing! And you know what? I think we are starting to get the real thing! The wind is starting to rustle in the trees, way, way up there and I just felt my first breeze through the window! Let's get it started, now! Here come 'da storms!
Oh yeah! Here they come! Gust of 20 so far! It's hitting, now! I'd better take a shower before the power and the well shut down.

October 20th

Whewie! The weather is atrocious! I'd not seen Tillamook so dark in the daytime hours! At about 6:30 this morning, it started getting lighter as the day hummed along. Then, around 7:30 the sky grew increasingly dark. -Almost, no just as dark as it was when I rose at 6:00! Then, a large boom of lightning hit and broke it all up. Thank goodness!
Tis the season. There is nothing more joyful than to look outside and see Bill hook up the drift boat! Them's good times! :)
However, last night before bed, as we lamented the (I have to turn off for a sec... huge thunder again!) All's clear now.
Anyhow... as we lamented the seasonal decision of "Duck hunting or fishing?" the 11:00 O'clock news came on, forecasting a really stormy, unsettled weather pattern, so immediately I said, "Bill, go duck hunting, pullease!"
I'm glad he did. Not only is it indeed a day I'd rather not be in a boat, but the water is again rising, and the Kilchis is beginning to deteriorate. It's high and muddy.
I thought that I'd get out and have a fish in the driveway before he got home. Not a chance! The fact that no trailers were traveling up to the park this morning told the tale. When I slipped out this morning in between squalls, not a soul was on the river and the color was a bit off. Now, it's really off! The leaves, however, have mostly cleared. That's a good thing, but darnit anyhow, if this keeps up, they will be back in short order.
I have a loaf of sourdough bread in to proof and I can't wait. It smells delicious, already.
Off I go-- another squall is hitting, now. I think I'd best just turn this thing off!

October 22nd

Vote on our Christmas Party Dates!
The Ifish Christmas party is awesome, and if you don't know about it, it's about this!
Christmas for kids
2004 Christmas (This link isn't working! Help!)
2005 Christmas
2006 Christmas
I can't believe I have to think about Christmas so early, but in planning this, I want it to be the very, very best event of the year!
I have decided to at least skip a year of ifishstock, this year. I probably put in an hour for each attendee, this last year, and it sure took a lot out of me, physically. I need a break!
So, this year, the Christmas party is da bomb!
I think we made our drift boat very happy, yesterday. We hadn't been out in it for ages! As we sat, anchored in one of our very favorite spots, the music that the river played against the chines was incredible. Know that trickling sound? Ahhh.... it was beautiful! And Christmas-like!
I sat, hunkered down and shivering a bit. My fishing rod was doing that incredibly wonderful wobble that only a perfectly tuned Kwikfish can produce. The forest climbed high in the sky all around us. The trees were painted a dull winter grey-green. Like wrapped in a soft blanket, we were rocked in our fish crib. Even the stratus swept sky matched the muted tones. If I were to paint it, it would be simple! Just a broad stroke of a watercolor brush. Almost all, the same color! (Of course, part of that is my 'softer vision'... or lack of clear vision!)
The recent storms have swept the trees bare of burnt sienna, but here and there, little surprises of golden leaves popped through. Oh! I do want to paint this now, while it's still clear in my mind! Sometimes my poor vision offers a softer view of things.
I'll tell you my surprise. The Kilchis river, although a bit high and swift, promised fish. I mean, it looked fishier than I have seen it in years! Shockingly, however, none of the boats around us caught a darned thing!
I nailed a beautiful unclipped silver jack and released it. That was the most excitement we had.
Bill and I agreed, however, that it was a lovely and relaxing trip down the river. Bill was glad to be back on the oars. I love to watch him row! I have a thing about men who row. There is nothing like big shoulders. Nothing! Bill's a handsome guy, you know!
I was tempted to row, yesterday, but Bill just won't let me. I guess he's right. My rowing days are over, as it would just put too much stress on my aorta. That's OK! I'm happy to watch!
I was stunned into silence by some of the attitudes on the river, but I absolutely refused to let it ruin my day. My goodness, but salmon season sure puts the uglies on some people.
In one hole, I had to giggle. There was a bank fisherman who is there, every year. We stopped short of him, to fish a hole, without getting in his way. What did he do? He picked up and moved, and casted right over us. So, we sighed, smiled and pulled anchor. Oh my gosh! He quick grabbed his eggs and tried to beat us down to the next hole! LOL... So, we just put the anchor back down and stayed put. Ha! Gotcha! What a game...
Then, we stopped to use the ladies room at one hole, and two pontoons came down. We had been fishing that spot, but hey-- they beat us back to it. No problem... we'll wait. So, we did. Finally, one moved, so we moved in behind them to fish the slot. That's what you do, you know.. So, what the heck if this guy didn't attempt to back up in the hole!? Right at us! LOL... We just laughed and went to the next hole.
There is no reason... none at all... to be so possessive. There are plenty of holes to fish, and most importantly, plenty of reason to be on the river besides 'owning' the holes! My theory is to smile, be extra nice, and to kill them with kindness. Wish them luck and move on. Somehow-- I think we'll be repaid with good luck! If not good luck, then at least a good day!
That being said, I can tell you that I personally have lost my temper in the past, and I regret it with all my heart. I do think that I've lost a fish or two, due to the bad vibes from those experiences. Live and learn... and smile!
I've had two wonderful days of fishing. One with Chris Sessions on Saturday, and one with Bill on Sunday. It was so fun to fish with Chris, too! I'm well rested and thrilled to have fulfilled part of my fishing habit!
The sun is shining brightly, today. All around me, the contrast of the blue sky is so different from yesterday's soft gray sky. It is crisp weather! A winter's delight!
Get out there and catch a salmon for me! I've got work to do!

October 26th
That's hot!"

Well, whatdya know? I'm doing a "That's hot" column! It's been a while, and it's about time. The ground is frozen. I need a little "HOT" to warm me up!
First off, I've been trying to be a fishing fool, but have been unsuccessful, to date. I try to go and something always comes up.
My last venture out to the bay came to an abrupt end after 45 minutes, when Pete called, saying that ifish was down.
Talk about a bumpy ride back to the dock! We were way out there, and had just begun to really fish.
The day before, Bill and I drifted the Kilchis from the house down. No fish, and the water took us way too fast! On Sunday, I fished with Chris Sessions for a couple hours. Anyhow, I'm still trying! Let's move on to what's hot on the boards.
How do you feel when someone (or yourself) post a beautiful picture of a fish caught, and someone immediately comes on to complain about it?
This thread asks your opinion on what the moderators might do when this happens. Feel free to chime in. We are looking for answers!
Keep watching this link. It's missing, presently, but there is a great feature video with Bob Toman, fishing the Deschutes for steelies. It's awesome... if they can find it and post it again!
Vote on our Christmas Party Dates! It will help us greatly if you vote on the best date for the party.
Don't miss the Kwikfish coloring contest! Want the ifish lure to be named after you in 2008? Print this blank off, and keep copies on the kitchen table, or the coffee table. Have the family color some designs that will be a sure fish-getter. Submit it to ifish, and we'll vote on them. The winner will have it made with their moniker and 2008 on it. They will be for sale at the Pacific Northwest Sportsman Show in the ifish booth!
With over 23k replies, and over 46k views, this word association thread has to be the silliest. Still, we have a lot of fun with it! I can't help but wonder if this is what folks are doing at work. :)
Could it be? Are there still tuna for the catching? Follow Seelicious on the Salty Dogs! The dogs are becoming restless as the last of the season wraps up. Will they make it out? One more time!?
I bet they do!
Snowball the deer is a hot topic on the hunting board. Take a peek at the 2007 trophy page, also. There are some really great pictures!
Darn, I'd love to catch a steelhead on a fly. These guys know how! I'm so envious!
Marie of Tillamook Bait Shop wins the hottest photo of the week, in my opinion. Look at this 50 pound hog! Marie, what great pictures! Jim! What a great fish! Congrats to both of you!
So, the other day when I was out fishing, I was doing the right thing! I was using Marie's anise scent on her herring. Marie adds some secret stuff to her scents and they do work! I am never without them in the boat. Just ask Bill! :)
It just didn't work for me the other day. It will, though! The fish have to be there in order for them to bite and I fished a really slow day! We didn't see anything and heard later it was slow for all that day. All the buzz was, "Shoulda been here, yesterday!" Isn't that always the way for Bill and I, lately!
Have a great day and remember...
Have a great weekend and let's see if your thread makes the " That's hot!" list, next week!
See YOU on the bay!

October 28th

Having the kids grow up and move on is like slowly pulling teeth. If they just moved out and got it over with, it would be different. But, would it be better?
It's a game of hopscotch. One moves out, one stays. One comes back and the other leaves.
They are both doing so well! I thank God for both of them, daily. But... I guess what I'm trying to say, here, is that I sure miss my long, lost college boy!
David doesn't call. I made sure he had my old cell phone for a reason!
The other day I was feeling unusually sad about his absence and Bill reassured me, "Jennie, David isn't dead!"
Then where is he? Why doesn't he call? Why doesn't he come visit?
David left like a quick pull of a band aid."Ouch!" But, it still hurts!
I was so excited for him when he left. I carefully prepared all that he might need, worrying about this and that. But, no worries for David! He's fine!
I had in mind that he would come home a couple weekends by now, loaded down with laundry, or hungry for real "Mom" food. You know, some type of need for me, still. That's not the case! He hasn't been home or called without prompting since he left!
I guess I should be happy. He must be doing well. I just miss him.
David, if you are out there, call home, k?
I look out at the yard, and even though the trampoline is long gone, I still see you laughing and jumping. Your triple flips scared me to death as a young Mother!
I grocery shop and see your favorite foods and want to buy them... and then I remember.
It's nice to have Andrew home. He's still doing well in college, and managing to live life with crummy vision. He can't wait to be fitted for contacts/glasses and get back on with things. He's frustrated by misplacing things, etc. I know full well the problems! I am sympathetic and try to help where I can.
My Dad is finished with a long, tedious round of radiation for his cancer. He did alright with it at first, but I guess that as the weeks progressed, it really became grueling for him. He's now done, and getting ready to go to Palm Springs.
My family is having a sort of sending off party this afternoon, so I'm traveling to Lake Oswego to join them.
My life is full and wonderful. My calendar is so busy, and for that, I'm forever thankful. If I stop to think about it, I think I'd love to have a full week of nothing to do! But, life keeps ticking on, and my calendar fills up with this and that. It keeps me on the go, with no time to think about future surgeries and such, that I need. I will just fit them in, when the doctors say so!
On November 16th, I will go to my (dreaded) six month check on my aorta. It's already bothering me. The questions are popping up in my mind. The fear rises from deep within me and as it does, I try to stomp it out by running... running... running!
I have three surgeries I need done in the next year. I so wish that we could combine them, and perhaps even throw in a leg waxing and a face lift. Don't you think?
I'm trying to figure out when best to be down. What fishing season can I miss? I thought about when the Kilchis is closed in the spring, but if I do that, I'll also miss springer season. Yikes! There is no good time, I guess. I will have to miss one fishing season or another. I've finally settled on April, I think. That way, I'll skim the last of the native steelhead run, and try to get better by the time the springers enter the coastal bays.
Of course, if I must have my lower aorta repaired, it may mean a trip out of state and a long recovery. I'm sure if this happens, that I'll miss more than one season of fishing. I'm going to look at it like an upcoming vacation! Smile, and just do it!
You have no idea how grateful I am, that I am healthy enough to fill my calendar and do things, right now, knowing full well that things could be so much worse!
Dr. Song (here, locally) is willing to perform the surgery, but there may be better options for me, where they know what to do regarding the stents in my iliac. Those will be problematic for this type of surgery, I guess.
I know! I'll put it up on ebay! Top surgical bidder wins!
Wait a minute! Pull up, Jennie! Pull up!
I'm actually thinking about these things! I must stop! I must run somewhere! Quickly!
Yep- I've got to jump in the shower and hit the road. It says so, right here on my calendar of "forget about it and live!"
(And now I have in my mind, me physically jumping in the shower and then banging on the road... lol)
Ya know... in the morning when I wake, I just thank God for every day. I'm so grateful for the beauty of a full moon at night, and the rising sun in the morning! For living without much pain, and walking! I couldn't walk three years ago! Wow! I thank Him while out fishing. I thank Him when I open my greenhouse door and smell the summer scent of freesia, still! I thank Him for blueberries, still on the vine! Can you believe that? All in all, I can smile and laugh and fish and live right now! Life is good!
No.. life is grand, and I'm still here. Why worry about what is to come? I have many things to look forward to. My calendar says so!
And today, I thank God for going to be with my family.
Maybe if I have time, I'll grab David for lunch. I would love that, so much!
Off I go, and all of you out there in boats, bobbing around in the wind on the bay? Good luck to you! And remember to thank God for your day, for your life, too! If you happen to catch one of those beautiful, most awesome fall salmon... well, wow! Now, that's living!

October 29th

Doh! Drove all the way to Portland yesterday, only to stop at Taco Bell and turn around and go home! Turns out my family forgot to tell me the party was cancelled. Hmmm.
Darnit anyway that I didn't get to see my Dad. I tried to call both his phones, but no luck. He's on his way to Palm Springs, now.
Oh well... On the way there, I stopped at a secret zipperlip chanterelle location. I was not 40 feet from the hiway, and I heard rustling in the bushes. I don't know what it was, person or animal, but I jingled my keys and got out of there, with only 5 delectable shrooms. Perfect for the steak we grilled on the Traeger, last night!
Ick, though, they were all in a fresh pile of deer scat!
I've decided that it may not be a very good idea for me to be waltzing through the woods, during hunting season! LOL.
It's off to making pumpkin shaped sugar cookies for care packages, and finishing up some ifish work. I'm glad to be home, actually.
The trip to PDX and home again ends up to be a good thing. At least the home again, part! I was pushing myself when I was tired.
I'm ready to be not so 'on the run, today'. Now I have three days to catch up on home and ifish. That's a good thing! I may even have time for a little low water fishing, out back!
It's funny... we pray for rain, then we pray for low water, then rain... Come on... let's get this water fishable!


Happy Halloween!

Good morning and Boo!
I'm off to Portland to take Roo to the doctor, and to take David a care package. I have to go to the doc, too. (Same one, same time!-That's handy!)
I put up Stan's column. He knows Mr. Dance! Check it out!

I'm in an absolute rush, this morning. No time to talk about the arrival of Mr. Chum salmon, all dressed up in their costumes. I have yet to actually see the first one, up here. I can't wait! Maybe when I get home? Hope you all have a great day. I'm so excited for Andrew to be fitted with glasses/contacts!