Fishing Tonight

For the past couple months I’ve been dreaming about last weekend.

The Missus and boyz would be down in Sacto visiting family and I’d be free to do anything.

Steelies, salmon, rainbows, watch out!, right?

Ahem.

Someone else noted the absence of those little tool-stealers, my father-in-law.

Jürgen figured it would be a fantastic time to come up from Newport and work on some projects we’ve got going around the house.

There’s the wrap-around wooden bench, the drain pipe installation, the concrete resurfacing, the rock-wall repair operation, and the hawthorne hacking.

So he arrived last Wednesday and that, of course, kiboshed my fishing plans.

Well, that, the deadline for the August issue and a bit too much beer and soccer consumption.

But anyway, as much as I feel that my carpentry skills — err, “complete lack of carpentry skills” is a more apt descriptor — actually would slow his pace, I felt a wee bit guilty about abandoning him for the waters.

Amy had also impressed it upon me to stick around and help.

It’s our house, after all, and stuff’s gotta get done before the fall rains come. Jürg’s also almost 70 and some of the work better matched my skill set — breaking rocks, digging dirt, mixing concrete, cutting branches.

Plus it would be cool to just get to know the guy better.

Our relationship got off to an odd start back in the mid-2000s. When I was wooing his daughter, we all met up at this hep Portland restaurant for lunch and, without saying a word to me, he spent the entire meal drawing (he’s an artist — go here, buy some stuff, help out our inheritance).

Since then Jürgen’s become more talkative, and this past weekend, he regaled me with stories from his younger days about surviving for a month in Morocco on octopus and shellfish he caught with his own hands, decoding Warsaw Pact signals for the West German army, sleeping in ditches and fields in Italy and Greece, and the winching skills of his friend, Roberto, who lives on the Alsea River and whose help we could have used with that $%@$@%#$@^@@#$%@$% hawthorne.

We ate well — salted meat products — and drank well — nothing but Deutsche Bier, danke — and enjoyed a night out at The Ould Triangle on Greenwood with its Irish owner, Michael, whom Jürgen had met on a previous trip up here (thanks, Michael, for the free glass of Radeberger!).

After the day’s work it was cool to sit out on the half- then nearly finished wooden bench at dusk and yap with Jürgen while watching the sky for bats for Amy’s future bathouse — a project that literally didn’t get off the ground.

We did get a lot done — I even got to operate some power tools! — then he left yesterday. So now, with Amy, River and Kiran due back tomorrow, I’ve got an evening’s worth of fishing ahead of me.

My original plan was to jet out to Reiter for summer-runs, but that’s an hour’s drive in the absolute best of conditions, longer with other cars on the road, even longer with the evening commute.

Much closer is the Edmonds Pier where I could bomb for summer kings moving through, though the tides are kinda messed up for that tonight (or, more likely, my understanding of the tides and Chinook fishing is what’s messed up — I’m sure it will be epic there).

If it were mid- to late August instead of mid-July, I’d hit Spokane Street, Golden Gardens or any of the parks along the Central Sound for pinks (they have yet to move into Pugetropolis in any real numbers — just checked for myself and reader John S. at the Big B).

I’m thinking something else, though.

This morning, as I drove to work down Aurora, I glanced over at Green Lake and saw a bathtub with an electric motor trolling down the west shoreline.

So that’s what I’m gonna do later this afternoon: Go home, put the Chinook steak in the fridge on the counter to defrost for dinner later, load up my boat, gather my gear — thought I’d lost it, but by a miracle of foresight, I had put the tackle where it should actually go — and head out for trout.

Might not be the world’s sexiest destination, but it’ll satisfy that fishing jones.

See you on the water.

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