Thursday, February 20, 2014

Shadows of Twain - A Disturbance in the Flow

Very Large Mark Twain in downtown Muscatine,IA

Mississippi River this January

My parents in the ice fishing hut
Gary with gear
Bald Eagle eaten head of Quillback
Drilling holes w auger
Ice hole and the minimal gear required
Crazy Punk Bluegill - Iowa farm pond
Hybrid Bluegill ?
Lookey here Jeb looks what aye caught!
If you look really hard you can find some 70's swingers in here....
Oaks Bottom frozen over.

Wilson River can take a flying....
felt like i had to say goodbye to Johnson Creek mouth

A handmade boat called Recurring Dream (facebook)

So I have to get right to the heart of the matter right away.

I am regretfully letting everyone know that Naomi and I have separated. 

Heavy Relationship Stuff Ahead. Rivers of tears. Huge waterfalls of crushing pain.

  I now get to miss the goats and cats hardcore. I have moved out and am renting a room on East Burnside St. My new place happens to be next door to a really good friend of mine - Dave Barmon and his family - a hyperactive landscape company owner who really had my back on this one and not sure how to ever repay.  He likes "wild foods" so I have some idea. Supposedly I will also be making my famous pad thai for his  family.

My family in Iowa - my mom and dad - also caught me perfectly in my fall. My parents have had their differences as well but they were both there for me the past few weeks.

I will also mention Matt and Jill who provided the most comfortable safe harbour imaginable during the worst week of my life. They introduced me to a TV show called Deadwood for which I will ever be greatful. My best friend Luis Campos who is mastering his 3rd career is also going through a divorce so we had some good talks this past month. And to all the other friends I have met for lunch the past few weeks. Unsolicited advice would be to ask along the way for what you want from your partner. Give them the things you know they need.

The break up --- It is disturbingly sad and a lot of people are very sad about it. But some people are still making very funny jokes in light of all the drama and the heart crushing panic and anxiety that I have been feeling. I wont hold them liable if I end up lost on the end of the earth or splayed in a ditch somewhere by a crocodile. The level of sorrow is almost transcendent.  Nice that there was no cheating or drugs or alcohol or racketeering involved. Naomi and I still had some really good good times over our 10 years together and I wont forget those and shall still carry them with me. I have wonderful memories and they shant be taken away.  Naomi and I are trying to work out our differences slowly. So we have not lost all faith. I will always wish her the best. BUT there is a terrible shaking of the foundation right now - things swinging in both directions - good and bad. Looking back and looking ahead.  Corny and awesome all at once.

I liked peanut butter quite a bit and she actually seemed to realize she was allergic to it. We are trying like hell to reconcile, but the whole situation might have us lost for a bit.  Water creatures are so close to my soul. Furry creatures so close to hers. I became a fuzzy land octopus and she became a mer-goat and we still had disagreements.

 I hope continued talking will help. I am trying to get the other camp into discussions about the business we have together.These talks are plodding along and not sure which way they are headed.

 I have a lot of life to live and people to see all over the country and the planet perhaps before I come back to Portland. I have a lot of forks in the road coming up and the people in my life have been providing a huge rudder as well as net. I will be embarking on my own new journey soon and we shall see where it takes me. For now I am still in Portland. 

A bit on the fishing in January - 

Just before this big hell of life shift I got back to Iowa for a week. It gave me time to see my family and it gave Naomi time to peacefully get me out of the house permanently and start dividing our stuff.

Iowa in Winter : Under the Shadow of Twain along the frozen Mississippi.

l got to go back to Muscatine for a visit in early January. It was a blast. I got to go ice fishing. This is the most surreal type of fishing one can do. You walk out on to a frozen lake and drill holes in the ice. Then you take a 2' rod and some blue 4 lb. test (so you can see you line against the all white background) and plop it down the hole with a super tiny pink or green micro jig on it with a wax worm. It was a small farm pond but fairly deep as we were fishing just off the bottom at about 15'.  My dad fished really hard for a semi old guy. The big Bluegills were in attack mode. We caught a bunch including one Largemouth Bass as well. I even had one exciting incident with a big mystery fish that had no interest in being landed or even really coming up in the water column. Go Bass or Catfish ?! 
I was there just after the "polar vortex" so there was a full foot of ice on the lakes and ponds. The Mississippi was even 90% ice covered. Dozens of Bald Eagles patrolled what little open water there was. Bald Eagles stood everywhere on the edges of the open water. I was very curious as to what kind of fish they were catching and how they were catching them. I saw the severed heads of a Gizzard Shad and a Quillback.

Iowa appears to be having a super cold winter by the way. 

I got back to Portland and there had been only a little bit of rain while I was gone. It raised the water levels for a few days and things got fishier according to the online forums. But we really need to get some more rain. Portland is way behind. And yes of course I have selfish reasons for wanting more rain. But the farmers will need more rain for irrigation, and even the ski resorts AND anyone not interested in seeing all of the American West slip into chronic drought. So pray for rain everybody.

The Wilson River  - oh turquoise archnemesis -

On a suicide mission again - Matt Reed and I headed back out to the Wilson for some steelheading on MLK Day.  Still low and clear and 8 to 900 cfs - there were lots of different fishing styles on the river that day and I saw no one hook up. I was out there with the new fly rod and fishing an orange/black egg leach. It took me hours to figure out not to focus on any of the sunny areas and really work the shaded areas. I had one take on a little roll cast in one of the darkest eddies I could find. Fish ran for a brief moment ... and was gone.

By early February I was moving out of our house - not by choice. Then the snowstorm hit in Portland. It was pretty snow and it drew people together. I took a lot of long walks and pushed a lot of stuck cars of Oregon nubs out trying to drive. As I write the 3 day snowstorm melts. Rain falls  on top of it. Rivulets run to the river.

Flash forward to me writing on Feb 20 - Now we just got even more rain and February's precip of 5.33 inches to date might be approaching normal. Lots to do and the rivers are to high to fish this anyway. Wait for the water to seep down through the soil and provide that neat ground filtered aqua water that the steelhead like.

Got a great free casting lesson from a wonderful semi retired semi pro named Rowan. He showed me some lessons that I will be practicing in the park.

As far as big life advice.... there is none I am qualified to give.
But I will say -
Hold your loved one and tell them you love them.
Do it now genius. 

Good night.


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