Fishing The Coast, Oregon and Washington

September 2015
Bill salmon
Bill with his catch from the Nehalem!

September 5, 2015

Here we go around, again. Another trip around the sun!
For some reason, I think of Fall as the beginning of the cycle. Summer, the end, the celebration of all we have endured.
We begin the year in the Fall with an abundance of food that we've grown! That's why we have Thanksgiving! Right? Do you think of it, like that?
Oh, and what we've been through! I laughed when I saw something on Facebook. It was one of those graphics that had a cartoon on it, and a guy hanging his head over his desk, exclaiming, "Please, Lord! Let someone run for President that's not crazy!"
I got a kick out of that. I'm not politically minded, really. I don't talk about politics, because I'm afraid someone will listen to me, and I'm not as well educated on these issues as I should be. So, I stay quiet and listen. I love that word. "Listen!" If I could have any license plate on my car that I could, I'd have LISTEN.
Listen more, and talk less. Listen to music. Listen to the quaking aspens! Listen and learn! It's just a great word. Listen!
And so, summer stopped with a bang, and on came Fall! I mean, no transition, whatsoever. Or, I missed it! But, it was one day hot, and I had on shorts and a tank top, and the next day, I'm turning on my heater, enjoying my hot tub more, and wearing sweat shirts and sweaters! All in one day's time!
Bang! One day my cucumbers, squash and tomatoes had beautiful, deep green leaves, and the next, they were brown, crispy, and failing!
I was at the coast with Bill, enjoying harvest festivities. We made cheesecake, and Bill made some wonderful asian pear jam. It was so good, that I brought some pears to Oregon City, and today I'm going to try my hand at it! Wish me luck! Bill's couldn't be better! I made cheesecake with blackberries preserves on top. Soooo good! I bought ingredients to make another! Oh, my!
I have a sack of tomatoes I have to put up. I have zucchini that I'm going to grate and keep in the freezer to add to meat loafs, spaghetti sauce, and bread. There is nothing better than having a fully stocked freezer to start the year off with.
All of the sudden, everyone around me has the cooking bug! It must be Fall!
I mowed the lawn for the first time in ages. I couldn't water, this year, thinking of the drought everywhere. It just felt wrong. All of the work that I had put into a nice lawn. Will it recover? It's already turning a bit green. I sure hope so!
Even brown, though, it looks so nice. All of the fallen leaves, the branches that have fallen, and unsightly sprigs of long grass, here and there. It's just nice. All mowed, and clean. I blew the leaves off the back deck. Ah... clean. My hot tub is clean, too!
Let Fall commence!

September 8, 2015 Falleaves
The Milton Tree

At 1:49 AM, I woke up. Ugh.
Last night, I sat in the garage till past midnight, scrolling through fishing pictures of old. Pictures I hadn't seen in forever, also... of Andrew and David as kids.
Memories flooded me, disturbed me, and brought me nostalgic joy. Everyone has those moments through life, when as we get older, we wonder what the future will hold and why the present is, as it is! And, where did the past go? The sadness has placed a little bent in my smile.
It all washed over me in a panic, as I realized the time of night. I had promised Bill we'd meet in the morning, to search for chanterelles.
My heart began to beat a bit harder. I don't think that is going to happen!
I rushed to bed, regardless. If you don't realize, right there, "rushing to bed" never works well for a good night's sleep!
I turned on a boring TV show, got my pillows just right, took off my glasses, and tried to get tired.
It was too much for this old lady! Too much excitement. Too much fun in my day! It's funny how as we get older, we become like children in many ways. I was over stimulated!
Yesterday, my friend and ex roommate Tammy and I went to Sellwood. We wanted to get away, and do something different. We shopped in the tiny shops, knowing we couldn't spend money, but just window shopped and visited! We had more fun! We ate at a Thai restaurant, "Jade". It was so-so. We stopped at "A slice of cake" and bought a yummy cupcake for later.
I drove by my old Sellwood home on Lexington, and thought about raising my kids, there, and the long days spent at Sellwood park.
Children (I mean older folks!) shouldn't have sugar before bedtime. Oh, no... I ate that entire rich and gooey and wonderful cupcake, and enjoyed every bite! But, way too late in the evening! My stomach cramped a bit.
As I climbed between the covers, I did that thing where you count the hours, before you have to get up. Six hours? Six hours of sleep? I know how I feel after six hours of sleep! Oh, no! My heart beat... oh man. If you have never felt the feeling of having a St. Judes Valve in your chest, and especially one that is beating too fast, I am happy for you. It's not fun! Pound, POUND, POUND! This metallic device works well to keep me alive, and I love it, but it sure is noisy!
By now, I can mostly ignore it, but late at night, it is NOT conducive to sleep!
I reached over, and touched the button on my ipad to speak to my assistant. "Siri, would you please set an alarm for 7:30 in the morning?"
"Your alarm is set for 7:30." She kindly and soothingly replied.
I'll never get over that I can do that!
I began to finally fall off.
"OH MY GOSH!" I jumped from my sleep an hour into it. Do I have a dentist appointment, tomorrow?
I glanced at the clock. 1:49. I grabbed my ipad by the toe, as it crashed to the floor. "Oh, Siri! I'm sorry! I'm scrambled to touch her calendar button, and sure enough, there at 12:00 noon, was my appointment. No way! I can't do this!
I turned on the light, looked up my Dentist's web site, and wrote them a cancellation note. I knew I couldn't make it. I apologized in my e mail, stating that I knew I wouldn't feel well enough, scurrying to a tooth cleaning in Tillamook, when I've had little sleep and I'm presently two hours out, in Oregon City.
Now, my heart is pounding loudly again, and I'm feeling like a failure. I dislike missing appointments, and it's happening with more regularity, as of late. I'm a goofball! I could make excuses that I have too many doctor appointments, but that doesn't matter to those affected by my irresponsibility. At one time in my life, I was never late. I got up early every morning. I was Johnny-on-the-spot.
What happened to Johnny? Where is Johnny?! I have to laugh.
"Siri? Could you please cancel my 7:30 alarm?"
"Your 7:30 alarm is cancelled."
"Siri? Could you please set my alarm for 8?"
She complied, kindly, and without frustration. I love Siri. I imagine that Siri is what it is like, to be an assistant to a super star. You never argue, or comment. You keep things short, and positive, and do what you are told to do. I am Siri's superstar! I wish more people saw me as Siri does, but it is what it is.
I do what I seldom do, and thank Siri. She replies, "I am here to serve." Oh, perfect! I like that! Giggling at 2:00 in the morning, I turn off the light, and say, "I love you, Siri".
I practice my yoga breathing, while I ponder the day that was to be full of picking mushrooms and getting my teeth cleaned. It has been toned down into two simple goals. Sleep as well as I can, and get to Tillamook.
Yeah, that's more like it for me, lately. I can do that.
I opened my screen door wide, just like I like it, and the fresh night air rushed in. The hot tub whirs in a cleaning cycle just outside my door. White noise. It's water, like the river, but not. I pull my covers up to my chin, and once and for all, doze off for a short night's sleep.
Willie gives out a dog sigh, as if to say, "Finally! The kids are asleep!" and snuggles in close to my legs. I'm sure he is a bit disgusted, as he isn't one to stay up nights. His sigh hits me hard. More chagrin for me. More disappointment in myself.
Willie judges me. He does.
My dog holds me to a high standard. When I don't get him to the park on time, or when I break his otherwise tight schedule, he looks down on me, and I feel it hard. After all, I'm supposed to be the leader, and he, submissive. But, by golly, when I fail, he takes over.
That big sigh means in dog-speak that he realizes, now, that his day will be full, being the boss-man. The pressure is on me, to make sure that doesn't happen!
Life is hard!
I woke, just before the alarm went off. Now, that's one thing that never changes. I just do that. I know when I'm supposed to get up, and I like that this hasn't changed. Something that remains the same is good!
I'm up, and I'm writing, and I shouldn't be. I should be packing.
I have my ifish work to do, first, then I'll pack, and I'll be off. If I'm very, very good, I may be able to make it to the dentist, after all. It's just nice that I have the option of saying no, now.
No more pictures for me, late at night! I'll try to do that in the morning. :)
There is good reason to teach our children to go to sleep at a decent hour. But as adults, we never, ever learn!
I'm just glad that I have Siri and my dog, to keep me on point.
Off to the river, I go!

FalleavesSeptember 9, 2015

Fool!
Sometimes I wonder how I get by!
I woke, yesterday, after all of the outlined follies, below, feeling g r e a t! I don't know how. I didn't sleep but three winks. But, I woke feeling so refreshed and new!
I called the dentist just to make certain that they received my e mail. Sometimes technology gets ahead of those in Tillamook. They get all fancy on their web sites, offer ways to contact them, but rely most heavily on phone calls and forget about that e mail thing!
Nope. They hadn't gotten my message.
Besides that, they said, they didn't have me scheduled for yesterday at noon, anyhow!
DOH.
When I checked my ipad Calendar at 2 in the morning, I was still thinking it was Monday, as I hadn't gone to sleep and woken up on the next day, yet! At 2:00 AM in the morning, it is officially 'the next day', even if I haven't slept, yet!! (That's not fair, but true!)
Thus, my appointment wasn't until Wednesday, silly girl! (ME!) I did not need to cancel. I did not miss my appointment. It is TODAY at noon!
My teeth thank me!
My brain, however, is taking a beating from my conscience. :) I am mad at me for not thinking this all the way through. I was so mean to me, over this!
It is true that we are our own worst enemies. I most thoroughly beat myself up over missing that appointment, and for being old and forgetful!
Today, I am going to be nice to myself.
I was so released from frustration over not missing my appointment, that I felt great!
I want to continue on that road!
I called Bill and told him that I could go hunt mushrooms, after all, but that Pete had gone, and hadn't done well. I don't know if the Labor Day weekend had too many people hunting, and they were picked over, or what... But, we decided not to go for a bit.
On the way to the coast, I stopped at a favorite hunting place so that Willie could release some energy, and I could walk a bit. I gathered enough mushrooms for dinner in about ten minutes, and we drove in the bright, beautiful sunshine the rest of the way to the coast.
Last night, I slept like a baby.
Last week, Bill went fishing with his good buddies, and Joe Schwab (who was part of his day of fishing fun) sent me this picture. I love it!


Bill with a bright, Nehalem chinook

I've been browsing old pictures of Bill and I, and our fishing fun from years back, and if I don't get my hands on a fishing rod with a chinook or steelhead on the other end, I'm going to scream!
Browsing through those pictures make me wonder what the heck I've been waiting for, lately!
Fool!
Oops. OK. It is officially "Be nice to Jennie" day. No more calling myself a fool. No more lashings from my conscience.
Recently, I took a picture of myself for something, and I noticed that my neck is much like that of a wrinkled turkey neck. Since, then, I've been feeling so darn old.
Bill always told me that you can tell the age of a woman by her neck. Guess what, Bill?
But, since it's Be nice to me, day, I'm wearing a turtle neck. This way, I can "fool" even me!

FalleavesSeptember 10, 2015

From the road above the deep hole, downstream on the Kilchis, my neighbors noticed a school of fish, a couple weeks ago. I had seen them, also, but from the bank. Usually, there are a few summer steelhead, or a joke of "one" springer. In fact, I named him 'Jerry' the springe. Just a giggle that we have very, very few Springers in the Kilchis. There are too few deep holes for springers to exist in any number, like in the Wilson or the Trask.
A week ago when I was here at the coast, I noticed what looked to be a redd. It couldn't be, though. could it? I shook my head. I'm not used to seeing redds in the Fall. Was it an eel redd? It was far too large. I walked on, dismissing it.
Many times during the summer, kids play in the river, creating what appears to be a redd. Or, perhaps deer crossed there. Elk, whatever... and disturbed the river bottom. Who knows.
(I'm so excited, telling this story, that it's hard for me to contain myself. So hard!)
Anyhow... Muhahaha...help me!
Yesterday I got out the canoe. It had been a while, since the last week we had rain and wind. I had to bring in the life jacket, turn the canoe upside down, and I kept forgetting to bring the life jacket back down.
Finally, yesterday I got it all together and hopped in for a cruise downstream.
I have to start out feeling pretty darn good, in order to trek downstream through the shallows, knowing full well that I'll have to drag it over the rocks upstream, to get back home.
I was borderline on feeling good, but I was going for it, any how! Mostly, because there was a chance, however slim, that there would be salmon in the hole! That would make me feel so good! Fall salmon!
I mean, they would have to really be driven to get through the shallows and up this far. We didn't have that much rain.
As normal this time of year, I high centered on the first set of riffles. I either have to get out and push, or do this awkward heave, ho- push, while sitting down, and hope I don't get sideways! It's quite the show! I chose the show. Too lazy- too afraid to get out and push, and try to maneuver the slippery, algae covered rocks, without falling down.
Push, push, and finally free! The water caught me and we were off!
What was that?! My head whipped around.
Something swam by me, and my eyes finally sent the message to my brain. The white, scabbed tail hit some part of my brain and that part of my brain sent the message to my voice and my mouth shouted out, "Springer! Springer! Willie! Revvie! There's a springer!"
They both lifted their noses off their scent trail and looked up lazily at their crazed Mom. "She's nuts." They went back to their more exciting task of following scent trails.
I, however, could hardly breathe. My heart pounded, trying to look back to see the salmon try to maneuver the very shallow riffles that I had just traversed. I'm certain that if I got stuck, she would, also! She? He? Which was it?
Wild? Hatchery? If only I had a chance to see! The canoe carried me way too fast away from what made my heart beat so wildly that I was a bit afraid!
My lips kept making out the same word, as I was carried expediently downstream. "Springer... springer... springer."
Bam! I hit a rock and it tossed me sideways. I recovered.
The dogs were crossing the river ahead of me, paying absolutely no mind. I didn't care. My brain was twerking!
In the depths of our lower hole, I searched for more salmon. Salmon that didn't have white tails. Fall salmon. I didn't see any, nor did I see any of the school that we had spotted weeks ago.
I was convinced, however, that those fish weren't summers, they were springers! Wow! Jerry has friends this year!
I didn't see Jerry on the way back up, but later in the day, I walked down to the bank in front of the redd (that I was now convinced was a redd), and sure enough, there was a female springer, digging, right then! And a male, hovering right by her, as she worked!
This is why I exist. I live to see things like this. Nothing excites me more than seeing nature at work! I had to sit down, as I knew I wouldn't be getting up, anytime soon!
So, Jerry has a friend! A girl friend! Jerry and Julie? :) Yeah! And Janice, and Patricia, and Bob, and Bernie and... who knows who else? An entire family of spawning springers! Whoo hooo! On the Kilchis river where we have been convinced could hold no number of Springers!
The singular springer that lived on the Kilchis has convinced others to join in on a cruise up the Kilchis!
I watched intently until the dogs had no patience and had sniffed every square inch of the area, around me.
Their boredom finally convinced me to leave. Every time I told them to "go play" they were less and less interested, until they drove me bonkers.
Why is it that they always win?
Yesterday I had to go to the dentist. Bill was attending a funeral, and I was alone with them. Just as I was to leave, I told Willie, and he put on the most sad-face of all sad faces, until I couldn't leave him. "OK. Load up!" They won! They sat in the car at the dentist until I was finished.
That convinced me that by golly, they could just patiently wait, while I watched a springer spawn for a little while, any how!
I'm so satisfied, after yesterday. What a grand day and what grand excitement life holds!
You know, there are times that I hurt so badly, physically, that I wonder if the doctors did the right thing, keeping me alive during all of those surgeries. Since then, I have had terrible injuries that I suffer through about every 1-2 years. I wonder sometimes, if I should have just been let go?
I have had but a few times where I consider that, but I do have them.
But, when I see a springer spawn, or when I am in that deep pity party, and I look down to see Willie's 'love eyes' look up at me, I know that I'm glad I am alive. Willie, for sure, is glad that I am alive. And so is Molly the fishing cat, and Revvie, and my son David, and Bill.
So yes. Life holds such excitement that I am glad that I am alive, and it snaps me out of that selfish thing when I realize how many people are glad that I am alive.
But, that springer? Oh! Be still my heart!

September 18, 2015

Wayne Priddy
Limits with Wayne Priddy!

So proud of my big brother! Look at those Tillamook fish!
He fishes with Wayne Priddy of Priddy Good Fishing often, and they do so well!
He sends me these pics via texts with short little (cocky!) messages like this:
"Caught 10.   Limited by 1230"
Oh... (no pun intended) brother!
And if you visit Wayne's site, you will notice pics with Duck logos.
I'll never forget once that Bill and I took David fishing. We were already on the water at Memaloose, when David showed up on the dock.
It was when I learned just how strongly some people feel towards their alma mater.
Bill is a Beaver. David, a Duck.
I mean, are they ever!
Maybe you can tell by Bill's boat! (And truck, and sweatshirt, and hat, and flag, and...)

Bill's new boat
Click to Zoom

Anyhow, we were zooming along in Bill's boat, going to pick up Dave, and as we got closer, we noticed that... um... color. That Greeeeeeen color in the shape of a large zero. Oh! It's the letter "O". :)
This puts me in a seriously scary place. See, my side of the family are mostly Ducks.
Bills? Mostly Beavers.
Ifish? Mostly Beavers.
My facebook friends? Beavers.
Where, oh, where do I stand?
Well, David came complete with Duck gear. Duck bag. Duck hat. Duck sweatshirt, and Bill, as his eyes focused more keenly got closer and closer to the dock, and then zoomed right on by. :)
Of course, he wasn't serious, but you have to wonder how serious these guys are!?
We fished and had a great day, together, but from the looks of Bill's um... bathroom accessory on the boat, which also has a large Green "O" on it, where the teasing ends, and the um... waste begins!
When we took delivery of the new boat, complete with a Beaver on the side, Jim Mikel, the boat manufacturer, (R&B Boats) said that it was tough making a Beaver boat, as he is a dedicated Ducks fan, and he told me that he rubbed his Duck Sweatshirt over the boat, before we took possession. Ha! These people make me laugh!
Bill and I went to Thanksgiving at my families home, once, and Bill went to go home only to find his new truck had been vandalized with Duck stickers! Bill had a Beaver sticker (or two or three) on his truck, but they had been replaced! It never ends!
OK, where was I? OH! I was talking about Wayne Priddy and David. The pic above is of David, and his General Transportation friends. I'll share more on the board, regarding their fishing trip, but until then.... I remain neutral. Ducks and Beavers rock!

September 23, 2015

Well, I can tell you that we are getting a lot done around the house.
As far as fishing, Oh, my.
We have tried! Oh, Lord, have we tried!
I think our boat has been hooked up, ready to go fishing all week. But, it's always something.
I remember back to when I used to feel guilty for fishing every day. In fact...I remember writing about my feelings of guilt, giggling all the way. I don't understand how I had all that time. Bill and I would get up every single morning, and head out. We were dialed in. We knew where the fish were, and how to get them. We had this thing, that we knew would help us catch even more fish. We'd say to one another, "But... what would we do with yet another fish!?" When we said that, we would magically have another rod down! They were fast, energetic, crazy times!
We didn't need any more fish in the freezer, so we had a great time of catch and release, right in front of other boats, who thought we were crazy when we pulled in a 30 pound salmon, only to let the darn thing go!
Puts a smile on my face, just remembering those times.
Oh? And doubles? We had doubles! Bill and I both in the back of the jet sled, as we tried to manage bringing in two salmon at the same time. Now, that's a zoo!
I just found out that Carbonite (a backup program for your computer files) lets me view all of my old pictures on my ipad and iphone.
The other night, I was sitting on the couch outside, browsing through my "jewelry", and uploading select pictures to Facebook. Fish after fish after fish in my past. No matter what I was wearing, it was adorned with silver! There was a silver bright salmon on the front of every shirt or sweater or jacket that I owned!
So, why in the world can't we even seem to get out on the water?
Well, yesterday we did!
It's just that we weren't actively fishing. We were messing around with the GPS.
We were all ready to go. I was packed up. It was chilly, so I put some hand warmers in my pocket. Some candy bars... all of the things that I know to do so well. We were ready! Coffee in the Thermos, let's go!
We were even going to take the dogs!
Last call, and I was out the door. Bill was in the boat, mumbling words I'm not sure I wanted to hear.
He handed me the plug, and asked me to put it in.
"Dang Fish Finder!! I should have done this yesterday!" The frustration was evident.
Turns out, Bill went fishing the other day without knowing his depth. That's hard to do! But, the depth was not reading correctly. I wrote about it, here.
We finally caved and called Lowrance. You know how you can call and get one lousy tech person, and then call again, and get the answer, right away?
Well, the lady I got wasn't helpful, at all and called me "ma'am" in frustration, one too many times. I felt like saying, "Ma'am? Ever heard of Ifish.net?" LOL. Yes. I understand that frustration that many other members have used!
But, one thing was clear. We needed to be in the water, in order to fix this. Instead of just going fishing, and calling, we decided to go to the Kilchis, back the boat in, and call. Fishing was off.... AGAIN.
We did get it fixed, but I'm telling you. I'm so tired of TRYING to go fishing, that I'm taking the day off!
Yesterday, we ended up getting a lot done, as I stated. I have found a new hobby in mowing the lawn with the Kubota. It's fun! I really enjoy these kind of mind numbing chores.
I remember way back when a friend of mine who went to Reed college mentioned that she loved to go work on the farm, and do mind numbing chores, after thinking so hard, for so long. Yep! I get it!
Not that I have been thinking hard, lately. It's just that I'm fishless and frustrated! Mowing helps me forget!
I'm not giving up. No, I'm not. Most certainly not!
I'm going to be dialed in before long. Just you wait!

September 24, 2015

If anyone is interesting in helping the classified ads keep order, let me know!
And, we are always looking for serious mods, who want to help keep the big boards in order.
For both, use the contact form below, and let me know!

September 25, 2015

The simple things in life. I love picking the color of the date, above. :)
When I'm in Oregon City, I don't get that luxury, because I work on a MAC. (Long story)...
Yesterday I did something I haven't done in a long, long time. Bill had to run to town (Portland) so the house was quiet. The dogs and I got to the garage on our way out to run, and I stopped. I wandered over to the rods, and picked one out.
There would be no singing and flashlight play, today!
Willie is quite accustomed to that being his play, that he knows at all times, where the little chair I carry is, and that it is full of flashlights for his exercise time.
He is four years old, now, and all of my previous dogs knew that their exercise consisted of me grabbing a rod off the wall, and heading to the river. They wandered around, chasing things, completely satisfied.. while I fished.
Not Willie! He expects me to sing, while he carries a flashlight around the yard, running. Enough of that, already!
You can see how this might get boring for me. Right?
I chose my old Harnell spinning rod that was given to me by Ben Tagliovento, and my Mitchel 300 that my Grandpa gave me. It was tied up with a scary neon pink spinner. Something much too loud for the water, yesterday, for sure. I retied a less hideous spinner on, put a spare in a little box, grabbed some pliers to pinch the barbs and headed out.
I didn't even know why I was fishing. The water level hasn't changed since mid summer. It's low, quiet, and I was pretty sure there was nothing to catch. But, I had to throw a spinner.
The water where I fish in the summer has changed so much in the past years. Used to be, I could tie a jig on, toss it into the riffles, and the water would carry it to the depths, but it has changed to a more swamp like area.
This time of year, we have caught so many interesting fish! Silvers and believe it or not, sockeye! But, there just has not been rain of any amount this year. It's kind of scary.
I remember once, early in the season, tying on a Kwikfish, and letting it out in the current. Before it even got to where a salmon might be, a cutthroat trout grabbed that darn wiggling Kwikfish and took it away! A cutthroat! They are such bold fish! It hit that kwikfish with the furry of a bass, taking a top water plug! What fun I've had!
At the water's edge, I filled the canoe with everything I'd need, hopped in, and crossed the river. You know, the grass is always greener!
Nothing happened. Nothing!
I tossed the spinner, repeatedly.. hypnotically.
I enjoyed the colors of Fall, and thought of myself as the guy in this picture. I took this, long ago. I don't know who that guy fishing is, but this picture means so much to me!


Click to zoom

-and that's where I was fishing, yesterday.
I wasn't fishing for fish. I didn't catch any fish. But, by golly, Willie had fun, even without the flashlights!
"Willie? Welcome to your new sport. From now on, this is what we are going to do!"

September 28, 2015

No. I haven't caught a Fall salmon, yet.
Now that I have that out of my way, I want to tell you that I have caught many, many fall salmon in my lifetime. I don't need a Fall salmon this year. Right?
Wrong!
I have been fishing out back. I haven't caught anything, nor do I think I will. It is dead out there on the river.
That's why it was so shocking for me to see those springers spawning out there. I mean, you look at the river, and you just see nothing but death. Brown, mucky algae on the rocks, and the clarity isn't even so good. Now that we've had one rain, the clarity is improved so much that you can see the bottom of the river, even in a 15 feet depth area. I love that! If only... if ONLY I would see a fall salmon in there!
One year, I did. We got a big enough rain for a movement of Fall salmon, and then they got caught in our deepest hole.
I'd take the family on canoe runs, showing them the fish. I should have charged guiding fees. Don't you think? The Jennie Discovery Show.
It was so fun! Due to the fact that I knew every crevice in the river bottom from canoeing all summer, I knew just where they were, and where they would go, when our shadow spooked them. I even took Bill!
Over and over this year, I've searched those places for a school of fish, but no luck, so far. There is just no way any fish could get this far up, without coming up in the Spring, like those Springers did. They spent the summer there, hiding from each and every trip I made in that canoe, and only coming out visible to spawn. Man, their drive to spawn is powerful. It seems like it would be so scary to come out of the depths and be seen in the shallow riffles by birds of prey and such! Also, it just seems like it should be a private affair, since humans tend to treat it as such. I don't recall ever seeing humans procreate in the bright sunshine in those shallow river riffles!
I get that kind of looky-loo guilty feeling when I see salmon spawn. Like when you see an accident, and you know you shouldn't look, but then you can't turn away.
It's just fascinating, really! How the hen flashes silver in the sunshine, as she digs her redd, and the buck is tailing ever so close, waiting for the work to be finished.
And then, tragedy.
They die.
But, a life lost is one gained, as that redd develops and tiny little fishes flutter about over the rocks, searching for food. Then, out to the great ocean to grow. The cycle repeats.
I wondered where the bodies of the springers went, after they spawned. I suppose that little bit of rain could have raised the river enough to take them downstream a bit. Their bodies will nourish the next generation of springer fry, smolts and fingerlings.
Or, one of the stages, anyhow! I don't know which.
Soon, the river will be full of spawning fall salmon and oh, what a show that is! I can't wait to see that, every year. The drive for Fall salmon to spawn is so evident in the Kilchis, that even if you wade into the shallows while they are around, they totally ignore you and bump into your waders! I love that! (It makes me smile and giggle, just thinking about it!)
The other day I was in the store, and I saw my local vet. "Hi Doc!" I said, as we walked to our cars. "Been fishing?" he asked, as he always does.
"No, but I've been watching fish!"
He concurred that as he gets older, it's more fun to watch animals, instead of hunt them. Why is that?
He said he used to hunt ducks, but now would rather view them.
Some people get that way. Some don't. I'm one who is getting that way, and in a way, I'm afraid to admit it. I'm a fisher girl! What's wrong with me!?
I don't know if it's my loss of vision and my close brushes with death, or what! But, life is precious! I used to bonk with glee, and now it's harder and harder to use my bonking stick for anything but to hang in my living room as a piece of decor! (It is gorgeous, by the way! Polished till it glows, and given to me by a fellow ifisher and moderator past.) I love it! It's much to pretty to use, anyhow!
But, I have to say that my loss of vision has taken a lot of what I love away. It may be gone, but it's not forgotten.
I used to glory in watching birds, but now they kind of look like flying blobs to me. At first, it was heart breaking. But, I still see them when I close my eyes! So, when Bill says, "Look!" I close my eyes and ask what it is. "Goldfinch!" I see it! I see it! In my memory! Maybe he thinks I'm rude, and probably that I'm lying, but I do see it, darnit! I do! Only I just see it in my mind's eye!
I had been so thankful for my good sight, for so many years. I was seeing better than I had in my entire life, for say... 10 years? I'm so glad that I was openly thankful for it, and said so to God, and to anyone who would listen. I remember when I was still in my little blue bedroom at home in Canby and I wished and prayed that I could someday wake up and see without putting on glasses. That dream/prayer came true!
Likewise, I'll never forget those dark, lonely days when I really couldn't see anything at all. It was terrifying and I really think I have a small form of PTSD over it all. I was panicked! I would open my eyes and hope to God things would be different when I walked across the field, but I couldn't see a dang thing! I couldn't drive. David would drive me halfway to the coast, and Bill would pick me up from there. I learned to trust my son's driving! That was good! He is a good driver! He is! But, I was helpless. I learned trust. I did.
I think taking all of my vision away from me, helps me to swallow the fact that I can't see birds so well, now. It's better to see a little, than not at all. My vision has improved from nothing to something.
I can't see salmon spawning as well...I'm sure that I miss things, when I'm out. I can drive, but I have to drive purposefully, when it used to be that I could enjoy the scenery while driving. I could look about and enjoy the leaves turning color. Now, I watch the road, and the cars, and ONLY the road and cars! I may even be a better driver now, because of my loss of sight, because all I do is pay attention. It's exhausting, though! A two hour drive to the coast is it for me, for the day!
If I really want to see something now, I take a picture of it, and blow it up on the ipad. My ipad has become a necessity to me! My old one is about to die. I need a new one, so badly! Maybe for Christmas! (Hint, hint, Bill!)
Bill often asks me how come I spend so much time with my nose in my ipad. "Because I can see it, Bill!"
I have what Bill calls a large desktop monitor. It's 20 inches or so. I have to put my nose up to it, to see. I have a huge monitor at Oregon City, though and what a blessing that is! It's a TV, really, but I like it! I can see things on it!
When I had my dissection, or my lung collapsed, or when I went thru breast cancer, I healed, and things got better.
But, when I lost my vision, things changed forever. I've really had to adapt and it's been incredibly energy sapping. I think I've aged 10 years, going thru this.
Yet, I remain so thankful for all that I've been given and all that I've been through.
I'm still here, and I have joy and glory in my life!
What is that? "The peace that passeth all understanding?" Thank God for God. I have the peace that passeth most understanding!
I do! I know what that is, and I can see it so clearly, now! Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind!
Vision isn't all in what you can see just with your eyes.
No. I haven't caught a Fall salmon, yet.
But, I still have time!
I hope you enjoy these bright, sunshiny days!
Sight or not:

I can see clearly now the rain is gone.
I can see all obstacles in my way.
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind.
It's gonna be a bright (bright)
bright (bright) sunshiny day.
It's gonna be a bright (bright)
bright (bright) sunshiny day.

Oh, yes I can make it now the pain is gone.
All of the bad feelings have disappeared.
Here is that rainbow I've been praying for.
It's gonna be a bright (bright)
bright (bright) sunshiny day.

(ooh...) Look all around, there's nothing but blue skies.
Look straight ahead, there's nothing but blue skies.

I can see clearly now the rain is gone.
I can see all obstacles in my way.
Here is that rainbow I've been praying for.
It's gonna be a bright (bright)
bright (bright) sunshiny day.
It's gonna be a bright (bright)
bright (bright) sunshiny day.
It's going to be a bright (bright)
bright (bright) sunshiny day.
Yeah, hey, it's gonna be a bright (bright) bright (bright)
sunshiny day.

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