Fishing The Coast, Oregon and Washington
September 2003


Jennie's
Fishing Life


September 1st

The recent talk about town has been Outlaw Baits. Read Stan's column if you'd like to get ahold of some of these new baits.

September 3rd

If you have a product that you'd like to introduce to the masses, start thinking about the Truth or Dare ads on ifish. We are in the process of creating the rules, but it sounds like a lot of fun! Are you really confident in your product? Then this ad is for you!
I'm about ready to do my annual trip up North to fish the upper


Play it like a banjo...

Columbia tribs for jacks.
I know a place...
The place I used to sit for hours, while waiting for my kids to come home from school. A place where it's quiet all around you, and little plastic bobbers work just fine! It's fishing the way Grandpa showed me, years ago! Worms, salad shrimp, eggs, or jigs all work for these snappy biters!
It's the sort of fishing where you like to bring lunch along, or a book. Or you can just sit quietly beside the water, stare at the bobber and let your mind wander.
I'll never forget a couple of successful jack days. Sitting, cross legged, a foot from the water. I kept having to sit back, moving my bounty of fish with me, as both the jacks and the tide came in!
Soon, the spot I'd found formed a gathering of lookie loos. The spot is close to a road, so you can't fake a fish on for long, with cars speeding past. Rod, be still!
Soon, one car would stop, then another. I didn't keep it a secret, and I formed lifetime friendships by sharing my hot spot.
I hear about zipperlips, and laugh. What would you rather have? A secret hotspot to keep to yourself, or a memory that lasts forever, of close friendships?
I know which one I chose.
Off to get the kids to school. No longer do I have to drive the kids to school. David's jazz band is built into his regular schedule. I'm tickled pink, but I gotta tell you. I'll miss those drives to school, and the one on one opportunity to talk to David.

September 6th

It's going to rain! Promises, promises! Are they sure? Never!
However, in honor of the promises, ifish has decided to give away a pair of Korkers Boots to the person who can most accurately guess the measurable rain. If you'd like to take a stab at winning these boots, please click here!
What is it with Bill? He wants to go fishing all the time! Every day! All day! Salmon! Trout! Steelhead! Bass!
I think it's a problem. Don't you? I think he needs some kind of addiction recovery program. I mean, first off, it seems I have a million doctor's appointments to go to, between Andrew and I. Frankly, I think the doctors would like to see us booked with appointments daily. That's not going to happen. Some things that they want to figure out about us just go undiagnosed. Tough!
On top of that, the house has to be marginally maintained by someone. The kids want an occasional dinner served. The web site needs random tweaks and occasional updates.
I think he should have thought of this, long ago. Bill is retired. I, however, have two kids and a part time job!
It's funny, actually. You'd think it would be the other way around. You'd think I would be the one who wanted to fish all the time. You know what? I do! I do want to fish, every single darn day!!!
But, I have to pace myself. I can't run 24/7. Frankly, if I do too much in one day, I can't do anything for a week, and whether I like it or not, that's the unfortunate truth. So, I continually work on pacing myself.
UH OH. Bill is hooking up the boat. I'd better go find my life jacket, and finish up here.
The kids can wait. The web site can remain on auto. The house, well... don't do any white glove tests around here!
Label me an enabler to Bill's addiction. Or, perhaps, it is the other way around!
September 7th

OH NO!
The boat is being hooked up again!
Gotta go!

September 6th

It's going to rain! Promises, promises! Are they sure? Never!
However, in honor of the promises, ifish has decided to give away a pair of Korkers Boots to the person who can most accurately guess the measurable rain. If you'd like to take a stab at winning these boots, please click here!
What is it with Bill? He wants to go fishing all the time! Every day! All day! Salmon! Trout! Steelhead! Bass!
I think it's a problem. Don't you? I think he needs some kind of addiction recovery program. I mean, first off, it seems I have a million doctor's appointments to go to, between Andrew and I. Frankly, I think the doctors would like to see us booked with appointments daily. That's not going to happen. Some things that they want to figure out about us just go undiagnosed. Tough!
On top of that, the house has to be marginally maintained by someone. The kids want an occasional dinner served. The web site needs random tweaks and occasional updates.
I think he should have thought of this, long ago. Bill is retired. I, however, have two kids and a part time job!
It's funny, actually. You'd think it would be the other way around. You'd think I would be the one who wanted to fish all the time. You know what? I do! I do want to fish, every single darn day!!!
But, I have to pace myself. I can't run 24/7. Frankly, if I do too much in one day, I can't do anything for a week, and whether I like it or not, that's the unfortunate truth. So, I continually work on pacing myself.
UH OH. Bill is hooking up the boat. I'd better go find my life jacket, and finish up here.
The kids can wait. The web site can remain on auto. The house, well... don't do any white glove tests around here!
Label me an enabler to Bill's addiction. Or, perhaps, it is the other way around!

September 7th

OH NO!
The boat is being hooked up again!
Gotta go!

September 9th

I've been messing around with Vaseline based scents. I'm trying to make a scent that will stick like glue to my lure, and still have the odorous properties that I believe in, for improving my odds of hook ups.
I guess Marie has improved the "stickiness" in her new sticky shrimp scent. Maybe I should just throw my mess away, and buy a bottle of that! Let Marie do all the work!
However, here is what I have been mixing up:
Vaseline, Amerman powdered salmon cure, Marie's shrimp scent, and a little bit of Trout Power Bait. It's really pretty stuff, and does stick well! Try it! Yes, I'm a power bait addict, and I get teased for it, plenty!
I have been lost in a book, by the name of "Snakehead: A Fish out of Water"
It's the best book on non native species since
"The Coming of the Pond Fishes."
Snakehead is written by Jay Dolin, Ph.D., who has published six books, including "The Smithsonian Book of National Wildlife Refuges" and "The Duck Stamp Story."
The book, for me, has been an absolute page turner! It's about the non native species fish, the snake head, which gets released into a pond in Crofton, Maryland.
The story is about the "Frankenfish," the "pit bull with fins," the "fish from hell" -- an invasive species that went from obscurity to fame, becoming front page news and the topic of one of David Letterman's Top Ten lists in the summer of 2002.
I've not finished it yet, but the rain pounding down on my roof, and the fire in my wood stove is inviting me to finish this book, today!
There is nothing better than a new book, on days like this. The cover, the smell, the comfort! I have enjoyed every minute of holding it, smelling it, and turning the crisp new pages.
Dee Dee is off to surgery this morning. She has to have a tuck in her eyelid. It's been irritating her, and we want to get it fixed before duck season. This will be Kilchis' first year hunting. I think he'll do very well. He's extremely "birdy". I just hope he can quit with the vocals! He gets so excited when he's on one that he sings, the entire time! Not good!
However, he is very good at listening to me, and not retrieving before his time. His eyes hold steady on me. He is even polite enough to stay back, if Dee Dee is off to retrieve, first. Nothing worse than an impolite dog that tries to overcome another retriever.
Kilchis, unlike Dee Dee, has most of the hand signals down, but what good will that do, if he sings?
It was tough not giving out treats this morning. I think it's the dogs favorite time of day. When I get up, they both try to trip me down the stairs on the way to the treat cupboard. "Dogs, the cupboard is bare this morning!" I've never seen such sad, confused faces. Kilchis keeps coming up to me, "Mom! You forgot! Remember? Its' treat time!!!" He wags his tail. He cocks his head. He is staring up at me, now, patiently. He has faith I'll remember soon.
I'll remember, after Dee Dee leaves.
The rain continues to pour. It's a home day. A day for hot chocolate, fires in the stove, and a good book.
Perhaps later, I'll go out and toss some flies around. The river is rising, and I'd bet there will be some cutts finally migrating upriver.
I don't think I'll wear rain gear. I need rain in my hair, soaking my shirt. I need cold hands, and wet shoes. The rain has come, and I want to splash in the puddles and dance in it!
This is the introduction to the parade of winter salmonids. Steelhead, salmon, chums...
It's time, and I can finally hear the steady march of their approach.
Oh yeah, regarding the power bait thing... Stan Fagerstrom sent me a cute little "pome" he wrote.


She finally said that me she'd date

Man oh man I could hardly wait

But then I discovered much too late

Instead of perfume she wore Power Bait!

..and no! I'm not dating Stan! It's just a cute joke! He is kinda cute, though!
By the way, girls, not only does it make great perfume, it is also a nifty way to avoid nail polish. It sticks like crazy, and it comes in all the great new colors.. Yellow, blue, green... You'll be groovin!

September 9th

I've been messing around with Vaseline based scents. I'm trying to make a scent that will stick like glue to my lure, and still have the odorous properties that I believe in, for improving my odds of hook ups.
I guess Marie has improved the "stickiness" in her new sticky shrimp scent. Maybe I should just throw my mess away, and buy a bottle of that! Let Marie do all the work!
However, here is what I have been mixing up:
Vaseline, Amerman powdered salmon cure, Marie's shrimp scent, and a little bit of Trout Power Bait. It's really pretty stuff, and does stick well! Try it! Yes, I'm a power bait addict, and I get teased for it, plenty!
I have been lost in a book, by the name of "Snakehead: A Fish out of Water"
It's the best book on non native species since
"The Coming of the Pond Fishes."
Snakehead is written by Jay Dolin, Ph.D., who has published six books, including "The Smithsonian Book of National Wildlife Refuges" and "The Duck Stamp Story."
The book, for me, has been an absolute page turner! It's about the non native species fish, the snake head, which gets released into a pond in Crofton, Maryland.
The story is about the "Frankenfish," the "pit bull with fins," the "fish from hell" -- an invasive species that went from obscurity to fame, becoming front page news and the topic of one of David Letterman's Top Ten lists in the summer of 2002.
I've not finished it yet, but the rain pounding down on my roof, and the fire in my wood stove is inviting me to finish this book, today!
There is nothing better than a new book, on days like this. The cover, the smell, the comfort! I have enjoyed every minute of holding it, smelling it, and turning the crisp new pages.
Dee Dee is off to surgery this morning. She has to have a tuck in her eyelid. It's been irritating her, and we want to get it fixed before duck season. This will be Kilchis' first year hunting. I think he'll do very well. He's extremely "birdy". I just hope he can quit with the vocals! He gets so excited when he's on one that he sings, the entire time! Not good!
However, he is very good at listening to me, and not retrieving before his time. His eyes hold steady on me. He is even polite enough to stay back, if Dee Dee is off to retrieve, first. Nothing worse than an impolite dog that tries to overcome another retriever.
Kilchis, unlike Dee Dee, has most of the hand signals down, but what good will that do, if he sings?
It was tough not giving out treats this morning. I think it's the dogs favorite time of day. When I get up, they both try to trip me down the stairs on the way to the treat cupboard. "Dogs, the cupboard is bare this morning!" I've never seen such sad, confused faces. Kilchis keeps coming up to me, "Mom! You forgot! Remember? Its' treat time!!!" He wags his tail. He cocks his head. He is staring up at me, now, patiently. He has faith I'll remember soon.
I'll remember, after Dee Dee leaves.
The rain continues to pour. It's a home day. A day for hot chocolate, fires in the stove, and a good book.
Perhaps later, I'll go out and toss some flies around. The river is rising, and I'd bet there will be some cutts finally migrating upriver.
I don't think I'll wear rain gear. I need rain in my hair, soaking my shirt. I need cold hands, and wet shoes. The rain has come, and I want to splash in the puddles and dance in it!
This is the introduction to the parade of winter salmonids. Steelhead, salmon, chums...
It's time, and I can finally hear the steady march of their approach.
Oh yeah, regarding the power bait thing... Stan Fagerstrom sent me a cute little "pome" he wrote.


She finally said that me she'd date

Man oh man I could hardly wait

But then I discovered much too late

Instead of perfume she wore Power Bait!

..and no! I'm not dating Stan! It's just a cute joke! He is kinda cute, though!
By the way, girls, not only does it make great perfume, it is also a nifty way to avoid nail polish. It sticks like crazy, and it comes in all the great new colors.. Yellow, blue, green... You'll be groovin!

September 11th

September 11th... We'll not forget.

On September 11th, 2001, I was getting ready to fish with Joe and Evelyn Schwab on the Columbia.
David happened to turn on the television before school. I heard the crashes and explosions on the television, and glanced at it, hurriedly. I thought it was some sci-fi flick, and didn't give it another thought.
It wasn't until David, said, "Uh, Mom, is this real?" that I took a moment to sit down, and watch.
I couldn't believe it was real then, and I can't believe it is real, still.
I wanted to stay home, and I wanted the boys to stay home with me. I had other thoughts, though, about whether or not that would just exemplify the tragedy. Whether they should be in school, with their friends, where they could talk about it, and have the teachers, who had to carry on a normal day, deal with it, better than I could.
Bill left for fishing with Captain J. I just couldn't go. If something this terrible could happen, I don't know... I just couldn't fish!
Ends up I probably should have, to get my mind off of it. Later in the day, I did. I took my fly rod out to the river, and in the still, eerie early fall sunshine, I cast my fly to a still, and motionless river.
The quiet and calm was eerie, and each cast sounded in sharp contrast to what was happening elsewhere in the world.
Well, today, on the anniversary of September 11th, 2001, I'm going fishing!
As I sit on the waters of the mighty Columbia, I will remember and honor the many Firemen, Mothers, Fathers, and American citizens that died an awful death, and don't have the opportunity to do as they please, ever again.
...and I will thank God for the freedom that I have in my life, and pray from the bottom of my heart, for not only peace in the world, but peace in my heart, and good will, towards all men and women.

September 13th

Oh.......... Clarki Clarki!
I had the night of a million dreams last night, and I still feel like I have to pinch myself to see if it really happened. It did! It did! I caught a 21 inch sea run cutthroat on a Spruce Fly! Just click on the above link if you'd like to read the story. I'm still shaking! It was the experience of a lifetime, and I doubt it will ever happen again. But... maybe it will!
The Kilchis river has come alive! The last week's rain has flushed the sea runs in, and I'm a happy dancer!
Bait is open on the Kilchis, but don't ya dare! Why would you want to use bait on such aggressive biters? It's almost like netting them in a pond. Not fun! Not fun at all! Plus, these cutts take bait down deep, and if you kill one, the spirits of the Clarki Clarki world will haunt you forever more. It's not worth it. Life, after killing a cutthroat trout is not a good thing. Know that, even as you approach the river with a fly. You are playing with fire if you kill one.
All joking aside, I really feel that way. Each time, before I approach the river bank, I say a prayer that I won't kill a cutthroat.
I have no trouble bonking a salmon. I have no trouble bonking a hatchery steelhead, but should I not be able to revive a native salmonid of any type, I will never be the same person. I promise you that.
In fact... I have developed a way to lessen your chances of killing native salmon. I have worked on this method in my laboratory for years. I will share it with you now.


Introducing the "Nate-Saver"

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, you have seen them before. You might even store your lures with these plastic goodies in your tackle box. Sometimes, if you are lucky, a lure, straight from the store will come complete with a Nate Saver, and you didn't even know it!
Simply slide the Nate Saver over your hooks while you fish, and I can promise you, not one Native salmon will be killed.
Many people refer to the Nate Saver as a "hook guard", or some such nonsense. When I fish waters that are infested with native salmon, I simply keep this so called "hook guard" on my hooks!
It's guaranteed to save the native salmon! Not ONCE have I killed one using this method!
Last I checked the lab, the research scientists had yet to design one for a number four spruce fly. Thus, last night, I hooked a native cutt, and had to leave my hook in the fish, as I revived him/her.
If I would have used a Nate Saver, I'd never have had the trouble that I did, trying to revive this beautiful Oncorhynchus Clarki Clarki!
I've had a wonderful time in the last week. I fished the Columbia for salmon, and our boat went 5 for 7. All beautiful, big, up river brights. We barbecued one for dinner last night. Yum!
I'm still sore after taking a tumble in Pete's jet sled.
Bill and Pete were up front, maneuvering the boat to the sand beach, so that I could hop out and use the forested ladies room.
Aluminum and sand stop you fast. I was on my knees in the swivel chair in the back, and all of the sudden, I was four feet forward on the floor, in between and all over the front seats. I think I flipped up there, but who knows? It happened so fast! My shoulder is black and blue, and I can't lift anything with it.
Luckily, it is my left shoulder, so I can still play fish. Play fish I did, right after the accident. I had to prove I was alright!
Anyway, it's been a fish filled week, and was topped off by last night's "cutt of a lifetime" adventure.
Click here for pictures of our flotilla on the Columbia, designed by 5 Cents. We all had a great day!
I'm going to get dressed now, and walk out to the river, just to make sure that the fish I caught last night isn't dead on the bottom of the river. If that is the case... I kid you not: My career of fishing for cutts is over until they design the Nate Saver for 4 inch single barbless hooks.

September 16th

Too many fish, too little time!
I don't know how to top our Columbia adventure where our little hog line went 12 for 19, but there are fish in just about every system around the coastal areas, and beyond! I mean, EVERY system! Up the rivers, in the bays, and out in the ocean!
The nets are in on the big C, so now things are going to cool a bit. That just forces people to go exploring, and become better anglers. I mean, those Columbia fish were downright easy fishing. In our boat, alone, we hooked 7 and landed 5. Pretty basic fishing after a truly lazy 9:00 A.M. start. Tie on wobbler, go sit down, rod go down!
Pete and I both tried a Simon for the first time, and what a good time to prove their worth. Rod down!
Bill was using an ancient Alvin out of his collection. It was the most ridiculous looking thing I'd ever seen! But laugh not!
After we watched his rod go down time after time, people began asking him what color it was. He told them, 'Just about every color!" It was taped with a mish mash of colored prism tape, going this way and that! It was amazing, the minute he got his lure down and working, it went off like an alarm!
Not only that, but one time he was simply working it back, and a fish took it! He was definitely the man of the day. Jigging with an Alvin? Alright!
I think I kind of shocked him, because one time he hooked a fish, turned around and offered to hand it off to me. I don't recall him ever doing this before. In our past, on days where I had hooked many and he was not doing as well, I have tried to hand fish off to him. I was met with an adamant, almost insulted, "No way!"
I think it's a guy thing.
I learned not to ever do that, again! Imagine his shock, when I gleefully said yes, and grabbed that rod out of his hands! I'll take handoffs, anyday! A fish is a fish! Give me that!
I wonder to this day, if he was amazed that I would take it. I think women are much different than men, in the fish way. I don't pass up opportunities to play with those huge salmon! Why should I?
Anyway, back to the salmon and coho that are surrounding us. They are coming to a river near you, by the droves.
The Nehalem is starting to show silvers. A big rush of them came up with the recent rain, and did a drive by on most anglers out that day. A fast drive by, at that! But now, they are trickling in on a steady basis. They are jumping wildly around frustrated anglers. How to hook them? Slowly troll a K 13 kwikfish. Pink was the hot color for us last year. This rain, today, should increase the bite. Last year, the Nehalem run proved mostly native. Watch carefully if you target these fish. Bill and I just purchased a good strong Hookout from Cabelas. There is a 90.00 model, and I think we should have gotten that one, because they don't rust. We'll see if it's the right one, upon arrival. The way those coho twist and turn, they can be difficult to release. Please use care. Hopefully, we'll get more hatchery fish in this system, this season.
The Klatskanine river is showing Rogues as far up as the bridge, and although I have no reports, I would hope that the jacks are making a run for their money right now. (What is a Rogue? To my knowledge, years ago, the local hatchery obtained Rogue eggs to try and improve their run, and to start a run that would run later.) Jack fishing is one of my favorite fisheries, and I will make it up North to tease them this year. We used to just slaughter them, slowly trolling a yellow Sonic Rooster tail, with a bit of worm on the hook. Oops! Just gave out my old secret! It was tough finding the Sonics. I don't even know if they are still made. but I do know it made a huge difference. They can also be taken by bobber and salad shrimp, bobber and eggs, bobber and just about anything bait. It's a great kids fishery, but hey... I'm a kid at heart, and always will be!
Tillamook Bay? Fish? UH HUH!
I think if we get any decent amount of rain out of this system, we will start showing a good number of salmon in the tide water here in Tillamook. We show .20 so far, on the Weather Station.
Watch the station carefully, keep your boat hooked up and ready to go!
This truly is my favorite season, but like I said, there are just too many fish, and too little time!
Get out there!
PS... I found this picture of my Mother, and had to share. She was beautiful, wasn't she?


Janice Davidson (Logsdon)

September 18th

Our new cat Molly is one heck of a character, and extremely entertaining. I'll get a picture of this, sooner or later. I thought it was just by chance, but after telling Bill, he said it's happened to him, more than once!
I was fly fishing last night, near dark. Just as I cast forward, I felt a terrific snag on my waders. At first, I thought I had hooked myself, but the snag traveled fast up my body! Not long after, I had a kitty on my fishing hat! There she stayed, for quite some time! It was novel and fun, at first, to fish with a cat on your hat! I was feeling a little like Dr. Seuss!

I fly fished at dark with a cat on my hat
A cat on my hat?
Can you imagine that!
To climb up my back and to sit on my hat?
Was that dear Molly Mae chasing after a rat?
I lifted my hat and I checked just to see.
But all I could find was just one measly flea.
Fishing alone, I enjoy it just fine.
But now I've a partner,
A hat perched feline!

OK, my dear friends, Dr. Seuss I am not.
But still, had to share about the cat that I caught!
Oh quit! I can't stand it when I start rhyming like that! I'll just have to stop writing about Molly the cat!
QUIT IT!

Somehow I'm into writing rhymes lately. Check out the one I did for Captain Kujo of the Black Rocket by clicking here. Then, tell me to stop!
It's funny. I wrote so much poetry when I was young, that I could race through the alphabet in light speed, checking for rhyming words. I can still do that!
Bat: bat cat dat at fat gat hat at jat kat lat mat nat at pat quat rat sat tat vat wat at yat zat. Oh what a handy skill. NOT! Skill: bill cill dill. STOP IT!

I feel just sick about John Ritter's death. Not only did I thoroughly enjoy his work, but he died of an aortic dissection.
A couple nights ago, Andrew came in the kitchen. "Did you hear? He died of an aortic dissection!?" I had heard that earlier, and I guess I didn't mention it to him. I think I know why.
The marfan e mail list is abuzz with talk. Media releases are going out to writers about getting info on Marfan's out to the public. Hype, hype, hype!
John Ritter probably didn't have marfan syndrome, but still, to hear the news stories that it's "the most painful way to die" etc., was not really the information I wanted Andrew to hear on TV.
On the "Inside Edition" show, hosted by Deborah Norville, they featured a story about the death of actor John Ritter. Included was a bit about his role on the TV show "Chicago Hope."
In a very eerie coincidence, Ritter had played the part of a man with Marfans who was suddenly stricken by an aortic dissection. Now that is weird!
Anyway, I was going along just fine and not thinking about such dooms day things... I'm fighting to let this one go, and resume thoughts that don't center so close to my heart, literally.
Andrew and I used to have yearly echocardiograms, but at last echo, Andrew's aortic root had grown too much, and now we have to go every six months. On October 17th, we will be checking that growth again.
I'm using the excitement of the salmon season to try to avoid thinking so much about the "ticking" of time, until that date.
I'm feeling the urge to get away on my own. That, boys and girls, is just what I'm going to do today. I'm going to pack up my salmon gear, load up the canoe, and head down into tide water, using the last of the outgoing to get down, and the start of the incoming, to return me at an easy paddle, to dry land.
I think it's a bit early, but I'm mainly in it for the solitude.
I mean, after all, I love Molly and all that,
But I don't want to fish with a cat on my hat.
A cat on my hat on the shoreline is fine.
But a cat in a canoe is where I draw the line!

September 20th

Welcome to ifish, Fisherman's Marine and Outdoor!
The kids just got back in school, and it's time for a three day week end... already?
Oh well! I do enjoy their company!
We had a birthday party for David, day before yesterday, and all went well. He ordered up pizza and chocolate cake. What more would a teenager dream of? Oh! I know. Cookies and Cream ice cream!
Off this morning to go invade the forest for chanterelle mushrooms.
I know, there are tons of salmon to be caught, but I have to have something to eat with the salmon! Besides, I absolutely adore getting out there to search! Tis the season!
Oh! More good news! I was given all the satellite equipment to set up my own satellite connection! I have given up on DSL or cable out here, for the time being. All I have to do is pay for an install and then the monthly fees... Oh, and network all of these computers that help ifish to run! Yippee!

 

September 22nd

Most often, I feel my life is simple. Enchanted, even.
I'm lucky. I live on a beautiful river, I have wonderful pets. I have a very full and active family. I have children that are intelligent, creative, and healthy. Well, David is totally healthy. Andrew, (who insists upon being address as "krazzy joe") is healthy in appearance. Tall, slender, and handsome. From the outside, his life is simple. Enchanted, even.
Once I heard someone say that sailing the seas is not for the faint of heart. That 14 foot waves that gobble up the sunset makes one feel very small, and incapable.
There are those times in my life, when I wonder if waves haven't gobbled up my sunsets for days on end, and I had never stopped to realize.
Living with marfan syndrome is all that Andrew (K.J. for short) and I know. It's the same ocean we were born on. We've never had it any other way, so our ship pretty much sails in the way that we are accustomed. Same plot. Same course. Steady on.
Long drives to Portland medical facilities become special opportunities to sip on a latte, and/or stop for lunch. Life waiting in doctor's offices is a chance to chat, catch up, make jokes, wad up papers and try to get them in the waste basket across the hall. There are times that it takes us several minutes to cease our laughter as the doctor walks in the room, while we race to pick up, and try to hide the purple plastic gloves that we've blown up and let fly wild around the room.
Time passes slowly as we wait, from appointment to appointment, to find out if our aorta's have grown, or if the lens in our eyes have detached, or if a new surgery looms in our future.
We search in our lives for things to distract us. Dramatic things, wild things, things that bring us happiness and excitement. We plan them, we act on them, and we always make it through.
Right now, the days are ticking until October 17th, when Andrew has his aortic root measurement checked. I can't seem to find anything to distract me. My mind is going wild with unreasonable thoughts. "Let's go to Disneyworld! Uh... Let's skip a week of school and take a cruise to Alaska! Hey! Let's move to Alaska! What the heck?!"
Oh wait. These things take money.
I've spent the morning trying new buttons on my Quicken Business program. It said, "Online banking. Download your account!" So I did! Seemed easy enough, right? It was! So fast becoming an expert, I then decided to download my personal account! It downloaded it on top of, and delightfully multiplied the amount in my business account! Man, am I ever rich! Lookie!!! Lookie at all that money! WHO HOOO!! That was good for a short rush. It's over now.
I deleted both accounts and tried again with the same results. I think I'll stick to paper and pen, and cancel any thought of Disneyland for the time being, despite what my "Online" account displayed.
Yeah, Mom's worried. Mom's worried more than I ever would be worried if it were my own aortic root measurement that was growing. Mine is, but slowly. I know there is a chance out there that mine could suddenly go pop. That breaking wave has stood in front of me for as long as I can remember, and it hasn't broke and capsized me yet. I take it for granted that when or if it does, I'll be ready. I'll throttle up that wall when that wave starts to break shore and put her in reverse, so as to not hit too hard on the way down. I have a feeling it's a ways off.
There are so many odd compensations in life. Both Andrew and I cannot see visually, with depth perception. Yet, we both seem to have an eerie over perception on other things. A friend, while talking with me one day, started a sentence with, "with someone like you, who seem to be so aware of their surroundings.."
That hit me hard. Yes, I am aware, and so is Andrew, in much the same way. Keenly aware. Not by sight, obviously, but by awareness of other's feelings, awareness of the natural beauty around us, despite our vision. Smells, weather changes, and moods, almost to a fault. Yes, to a fault, for sure. I so wish I didn't care so much about people sometimes, and the way they feel.
We are keenly aware of that large looming wave, that stands 30 feet tall and taller at times, and threatens to overtake our craft. Aware, but not always with the same perception. It's not scary, so much. Not anymore. It's just nerve wracking, when you stop to think of it, or when an appointment looms far ahead, and the days drag by.
These are days that are sunny and dry, with no weather changes to break up the monotony.
I want rain. I want the rivers to rise. I want fish in my back yard. Change, variance, something to change my heartbeat. Something to change the rhythm of the surf.
Fast forward to October 18th, Jen. The seas will be calm. The wave will still and always be there, but the fog will hide it, and muffle the sound of it's approach.
Women get like this, you know. We get all dramatic, and emotional and deep.
But, I suppose, we are just like the Oregon weather. Just wait five minutes and we will change!
I've been feeling a bit like those waves were crashing in on me. I have felt small, and incapable, but that feeling never stays around long.
All in all, even though at times I reveal the darkest and deepest secrets that I probably shouldn't share, I am lucky in life. And so is Andrew, and thank God for David, who seems to sail along with us, and steady our craft.
Yip, we are lucky.
Enchanted, even.

September 24th

What should I do?
I have work to do here at ifish.
I need to go to Costco in Astoria to get dog food and groceries. As long as I'm making that trip, though, I'd like to try my old spots for jacks. However, the tide is coming in, and that's not ideal.
I could go, and wander up in the woods for chanterelles, too, but Bill asked if he could bring his gun and go snipe hunting at the same time. Says it's about the same thing. He may have a point.
We could go fish the jetty at the mouth of Tillamook Bay. Yesterday the bite was totally off. It may have been due to a falling barometer. It's steady now and rising. However, the ocean is calling for a small craft advisory: 4 foot swells plus 4 foot wind chop predicted ... that wouldn't be pleasant. The Ghost hole is at low tide now. Not enough water and tons of seaweed. That's out.
Memaloose? I dunno... It's busy lately, and very slow fishing. A hassle to park.
I'd like to fly fish for cutts, but I don't want to get stuck down where we fish for that long. Can't come back until the tide comes back. That's a long time to be stuck with an incoming tide.
Jim called and wants to fish the upper Nehalem. I have a feeling those fish will be dark, up that far. Not sure, but it seems like it's likely. That's no fun. Fight fight fight until it's flesh comes off? No thanks.
Bill would like to fish the Nehalem for silvers. That's probably our best idea. I can't really find any opposition to that, no matter how hard I search. Perhaps that is the ticket? I just got some really handsome Sledgehammer lures that look very attractive to me for targeting silvers.
But then, I'm back to this...
I have work to do around here, and we need dog food.
Fish frustration. Do you ever have it? So many, many opportunities and no one around to make decisions for you? Sometimes I wish someone would just order me around. "Get in the boat. We are going to go here." OK! :)
Often, when I have undecided mornings such as these, I find myself doing just about nothing productive. I refuse to let that happen, today.
Work, or feed the dogs, or fish?
...and the sun shines on.
If it would only rain, I'd not be having any indecision.

 

September 26th

I've been busying myself with studying the bite out on Tillamook Bay, and matching it with the rising and falling of the barometer. I will let you know the results as soon as I figure it out. Sure seems there is a bite the minute it starts to rise. Too bad you can't predict that.
I found this, in going through my old computer files. I wrote it years ago. -Thought it would be my thought for the day. You can have it be yours, too!

We have a friend,
and focus on how she hurt us.
We have the love of children,
yet see only the mess they make.
Our family still is living,
yet we don't take the time to call.
We have a beautiful home,
yet long to have more property.
We caught a fish,
and discount it as too small.
We see a bird fly,
yet long for a different species,
The season is here,
but not the right one,
Hurry, hurry, for the right one,
for the right time,
for the right love...
On we strive for more, better, different,
other than what we have, better than what we know.

We have a friend,
we call her and smile as we listen to her voice.
We have the love of children,
we sit patiently with them and appreciate their innocent loyalty.
Our family is still living,
and we take time out, to visit with them.
We have a beautiful home,
we are safe and warm.
We catch a fish,
we cook it with wild abandon, and have a feast.
We see a bird fly,
and marvel at its wonder.
The season is here,
we bask in the sunshine, play in the snow, dance in the falling leaves.
This is the right time,
the right love,
Isn't it amazing? Aren't we lucky?

This is my prayer of Thankfulness today. My prayer that I will slow down, appreciating the simplest of things.
I will look at running water as a miracle, the feel of soft grass running through my fingers, the soil that grows my garden....
I will enjoy and savor the companionship of those around me, knowing their faults, yet choosing to see the joy they have brought into my life.

 

September 27th

I just can't get used to having my Molly cat. She takes walks right along with the dogs and I. It raises the giggle factor, every evening stroll on the river. Molly just races along, like any other dog-cat! She hides in the bushes, comes leaping out when the dogs race by, and has a great time! She even dips her paws in the water and splashes around, trying to catch little fry and water bugs in the shallows.
She is being coached by Kilchis on how to dig a grand hole on the beaches. Yesterday, however, she nearly got buried in his sand wake. Can't say she minded. When she realized her neck deep predicament, she began to get perturbed, leapt out of the sand, and landed square on his back, claws extended. I'll bet Kilchis looks behind him, before he tries that again!
Fishing: There are just not as many salmon around yet as there should be. The year is predicted to be good, but it's unusually slow as of late. Well, not slow, but just not packed in, like they have been. We have had good days on the bay, but not consistently.
The rivers are still very low and back down to summer levels after the rain we had 2 weeks ago. Drifting most rivers on the coast is not an option. The Kilchis, behind our home, is but a slimy trickle! I haven't even fly fished lately. Just not enough water for that. However, yesterday evening, on my walk, I was surprised by a big splash. There is at least one cutthroat out there, of decent size!
It was two years ago, about this time of year, that Bill hooked and landed a Sockeye out back. Now, that was an event to be remembered!
Our back yard birds have thinned, and it seems to be the pinch period, not only the rivers, but the feathered friends of our abandoned feeders. Time to take them down, get out the bleach and clean them. Time to ready our supply of grains for the wintering birds that will arrive in late Fall/early winter. We do have a couple of junco that have stayed with us all summer. One, a lovely female with a wounded leg. I also have one goldfinch, who seems to have lingered longer than usual. Perhaps he'll winter with us? That would be a treat!

Anyhow, I'm in wait mode. Wait for the salmon to really explode. Wait for the wintering birds, and most of all, wait for an early fall storm. Every year, this wait seems more and more familiar. I crave a real storm, where the leaves tumble in colorful waves from the trees, and the rivers rise, and the salmon begin their upstream migration!
The Chanterelle mushrooms are an added treat when the rains come. --Secretive little delicacies that hide from you like little fairies on the forest floor. Once you finally spot one, however, they all seem to come out to greet you. I have a vision in my mind that I once dreamed, and I'm trying to make it come true. In this dream, I came upon an open area in the otherwise dark, wet and mossy, Spruce shaded ground. The sunlight streamed brightly over it, and golden chanterelles carpeted the entire forest floor! There is that place, you know! I just have to find it!
...and find it I will. Along with a river so full of salmon that you could pluck them out with yarn and a paper clip as hook and line!
Maybe I should just stick to dreaming of rain. Gazing at the deepest, blue-true dream of sky right now, I'd say it's about as likely as winning the lottery.
But hey, you can't win if you don't play!
I'm off to a day of housecleaning, and perhaps a trip into town. A stop off at the Ghost hole to check on the Sports Fisherman's progress.
I'll let you know what I witness.

September 30th

Yes, I'm normal. Everything is not always peaches and cream.
My new cat Molly doesn't always pickle me tink, and my dogs sometimes bark until I think I'm going to go mad. My brand new down comforter? Kilchis dug a hole in it, settling down for a nap. I like to enter my room in a flurry of feathers. It's fun! Like snow!
I bought Andrew 9 dozen meal worms for his little Sugar Glider creature. Every morning I give her a worm treat, when I wake the boys up. This morning, I asked where they were. He mumbled, half asleep, "On top of my tower of amplifiers." (6 feet tall!) I reached for them, and couldn't find them in the dark. Why? Because they had fallen behind. All morning I have been worm hunting. Dead worms, live worms, crawling through the crevices in the carpets. I should have put in my contacts. I have one worm glued to my stocking foot. Somehow, I'll account for them all. OR HE WILL. That's OK. Andrew is getting straight A's this year in school. I must focus on the good.
Time to wake up David. I tripped over his sax, and tumbled over his stack of school books, and landed squarely, or circle-y, on yesterday's cereal bowl. I reached out to pick myself up, and my hand slid across a piece of pizza. That's OK. David is Vice President of his class. I'm proud.
I can handle many disputes on ifish all at one time. I have learned to juggle them with expertise. I can answer 15 e mails at once. Just watch! All while paying bills, writing HTML, marketing banner ads, and scheduling doctor's appointments.
But really, it's going great. Ifish had a record day yesterday, and hits are up, significantly! I must concentrate on success!
Last night Bill had a wonderful night's sleep. How do I know this? Because even as I slept on the loft outside of his bedroom, the dishes in the kitchen rattled due to his snoring. He will be cheery and pleasant today. This too, is good, good, good!
Everything is so darn good that I just can't complain now, should I?
After all, I am normal, and everything isn't all peaches and cream. Without worms crawling in my house, and leftover pizza on the floor, could you really call it home? Of course not.
The kids need to empty the dishwasher before they leave for school. Oops! The bus is here. I guess I'll do it, or live the day with the sink full of dishes. I guess I'll be cleaning up the pizza and cereal bowls too, or live with the intoxicating aroma as I work through my day, as I turn up the heater. At least I have memories... memories of the day that resulted in all this kid slacking, internet catching up, and house cleaning..


23 pound bright buck from the Nehalem

Kilchis loves me. My family loves me... and when I'm out fishing, everything really is peaches and cream. Just know, that when the pressure at home turns up, I'm going to hook up the boat and leave. I'll leave the pizza and the worms, the stack of e mails that won't quit, and the flurry of feathers for the better life. The fishing life. The life that saves me!

FISHING THE COAST

A journal of my adventures.

 


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