Rickets and gas pains

I’ve always professed that as an angler I leave a lot to be desired. Yes, I catch a few. My casting isn’t really all that bad. But lately my integrity as an angler is becoming suspect and that has me worried. Last year by this time I’d fished several times since the beginning of the new year, for steelhead and trouts.  This year, I’ve written more about fishing for steelhead and trouts than I’ve actually gone fishing.  For example, last weeks Drivel suggested that I might be headed to Rocky Ford Creek to settle an old score. Any angler worth his salt would have taken one look at the weather forecast, clicked their heels and been on their way.  A one, maybe two day window of decent weather was predicted, and given the foul weather we’ve had in this part of the country as of late, that should have been enough to set me on a course headed east.

It was not to be.

Because I suck. Now there may be good reasons for this and while I am not seeking an excuse, I am looking to find an explanation. I’ve spent the past few days examining the possible reasons for not going fishing, and have come up with the following:

Rickets caused by extreme Vitamin D deficiency

1. Vitamin D deficiency. Not enough to cause rickets, but it’s a factor. Prior to April 8th, the Seattle area had 41 days without sunshine. That will beat a man down, drop him to his knees. There really is a condition known as Seasonal Affective Disorder, which is a sort of depression brought about by the long gloomy months of short, dark days during the winter.  Now I grew up in the Pacific Northwet and one would think that this would forge a certain resolve; toughen me like a callous; make me impervious to the crap weather. Well, apparently not.  La Niña did a good job of kicking me in the groin this year, and I must admit I’ve been a little pouty. What I need is a kick in the other side and a good day fishing.  But what I really need is a heaping dose of Vitamin D, dished out by the sun, not a jar.  It’ll get better. It has to.

Green slime caused by too much rain

2. Green slime. Thanks to the fact that the Seattle area had 41 days without sunshine and copious amounts of rain in recent weeks/months, the yard has been neglected.  This isn’t a problem until the grass starts to grow in March, and when it starts to grow it needs to be cut.  In order for it to be cut, there needs to be a day without rain, or better yet– a couple days without rain: one to dry things out, and the other to get things done. “Dude, how long can it take to mow the lawn?” you ask. A long time.  And it’s my fault that we have a huge yard comprised mostly of grass, because we had a large piece of bare dirt to cover when we built our house and grass was the easiest way to do so. I’d say we have 3/4 of an acre that is actual “manicured” yard grass- it needs mowing twice a week. I had one narrow window of opportunity where a dry day presented itself (the same day that going fishing was a possibility). Going fishing or mowing the grass?  Should be an easy choice, right?  Well, it was and the grass won out. It was a two-stage process that involved mowing the  6 inch tall grass first with the mower deck set high, and then going back over it a second time to cut it to the length it needs to be. Even after a day of no rain the grass was wet. The mower plugged countless times. I discovered piles of canine fecal matter hidden in the tall grass only after it was too late.  Very messy. And did I say it was wet? I discovered something this year that I’ve never seen before: some sort of green slime oozing up in sections of our lawn.  It looked just like lime jello your grandma used to serve. When I first noticed it I thought the worst (whatever the worst is), but upon investigation I learned that “green slime in the grass” is a harmless condition caused by over saturation. Too much rain. So much to do, so little time. And so much slime.

Gas pains caused by politics and economics

3. Gas pains. Yep, I’ve got ’em. Actually, we all do.  With the price of 87 octane nudging $3.90 a gallon locally, unless you’re wealthy or senseless, burning through a tank and a half of gas to go fish a place that’s probably just going to deliver a skunk becomes something of a ridiculous notion. Don’t get me wrong– I will continue to fish no matter what the price per barrel of oil becomes, but I will be more particular about how far I drive to voluntarily subject myself to not catching fish.  It’s one thing to get skunked.  It’s another thing to get skunked and spend $100 in gas doing so. Talk about frustrouting.

The obvious side effect of my personal misery is that I haven’t been fishing enough to provide ample fodder for blog-worthy posts. On the other hand, I never once made any guarantee to my legion of 12 Unaccomplished Angler followers that I would provide good subject material.  A hack writer can fill a blog with anything.  For example, this.


  1. Chuck

    Well I continue to struggle with your whole paradigm , but You have a talent and I feel it should be nurtured so here I am! Rainy days are the metaphoric norm in life. The question is what do ya do when the sun is hidden. I try to think about how beautiful it is above the clouds! Then I go to a bar and drink a tall Manhattan! Yep, we have our share of gray skies in Chi town!

    Don’t think about green slime bro!

    These are the times we should get to see how you tie flies or something like that! Can ya make a good cocktail? Whats your formula?

    • Kirk Werner

      Chuck, I appreciate your concern and nurturing ways. Perhaps a paradigm shift is in order, although that would require change. And then I may lose you as a follower. Your philosophical approach to seeing the glass as being half ful is inspiring, but to be honest I cannot, for the duration of 41 days, sit and ponder the beauty above the clouds. There’ll be plenty of time for that some day. Until then, I’m gonna continue to bitch and moan when circumstances call for it. I don’t have time for fly tying, because between working and pumping out the weekly drivel I have no time. But I do make a mean bloody mary.

  2. coyote luke

    The price of gas sucks, I hate anything that gets in the way of my recreation. Glad I have rivers close to home.

    • Kirk Werner

      I wish I had some rivers close to home, too. Actually, I live in a small town and a river runs through it. But it’s a lazy slough mostly filled with Squawfish and silt. In fact, this time of year there’s either not a river open to fishing or nothing worth casting a line for within a reasonable drive. Thus, my complaining.

  3. Patrick

    I’ve reached for some excuses in my time…but usually excuses trying to convince my wife why I need to spend more time fishing. As one of your 12 readers, I’m concerned that you’ve sunk to a new level of unaccomplishment and, if need be, will help coordinate an intervention. Unless I’m out fishing…then you’re on your own.

    As for the gas…pushing $4.15 hereabouts. And while I may not have a manly, decal-bedecked truck (and it takes careful driving to get an Accord down Forest Service roads), at least I can still afford a beer at the end of the day.

    • Kirk Werner

      I appreciate your concern, although I’m not sure that it’s really concern so much as amusement. $4.15? Good God, man- do you live in California or something? I salute you for your economically sound choice in vehicles. I actually have access to an older VW Jetta that I could commandeer for a long road trip if I wanted to enjoy 30mpg. However, what little pride I have left would be completely eroded by leaving my truck at home in favor of the VW. Irrational, I know. It’s my only flaw.

  4. Dave

    Rain… Ahh yes! The rain. I must say that it has gotten a bit on the overbearing side as of late. Being transplanted to the Pacific Northwest from the South, I’m used to much warmer weather by now and days of sun and a few days of rain sprinkled here and there for this time of the year. But rain or no rain, the river calls, skunk day or good day, who cares, at least I’m out there and not holed up in the house looking at the walls and watching my ever-widening arse grow.

    Gas… hmmm well, that’s a whole different can of worms there. If a picture is worth a thousand words, sir, you just wrote an epic novel. Well stated!

    Green slime.. seeing as how my house sits in a sea of asphalt, my biggest worry is the layer mold that is growing on everything here. Evidently we need a huge clorox douche, and then, maybe my irritated eyes and sinuses could catch a break.

    Work when you have to, do chores when you must, but always…. always fish!


    • Kirk Werner

      Believe me, Dave- had an enjoyable river been beckoning, I’d have answered the call. But it was Rocky Ford Creek, and not an enjoyable river. Sometime I recommend you purchase a WA fishing license and drive up to the center of our state and spend a day at Rocky Ford. It’s a place you’ll never forget, and never return to. But at least you’ll have pumped a little money into the Washington Dept of Fish and Game and seen some beautiful countryside.

  5. Harry

    Nicely written & I can feel your pain (kinda). We are going through the same thing here-rain and more rain. It’s not interfering with any trout or steelhead fishing, but it is playing havoc with fishing in general. My local river was just starting to look like water instead of the discharge from a chocolate factory when we got hit with 2″ the other night-back to brown water. We normally experience some nice smallmouth fishing and a pretty good run of white bass out of the Ohio, but so far we have been pretty much flooded out.

    And the price of gas is a factor also-$3.81 and holding (for the moment).

    • Kirk Werner

      Harry, I realize the entire world is suffering from less than stellar weather and much worse things, and therefore I feel guilty about my selfish whining. However that’s obviously not enough to keep me from complaining 😉 I hope you get a break from the incessant rains and that your rivers return to a normal state of clarity.

      • Harry

        Wishfull thinking-forecasting 1-2″ tonight/tomorrow with more T-Thur next week. But, if it works out like last year after we got past June water levels were almost perfect all summer and into fall. It will all work out in the end-we’re all just getting antsy after a long winter. Heck, if you read most of these posts we are all complaining!

  6. cofisher

    After re-reading my own post aptly titled “I’m a Loser” and then re-reading your post, I was prepared to challenge you to a Biggest Loser Grudge Match. Then I noticed Windknots & Tangled Lines isn’t in your blogroll. I concede, you are the biggest loser. Flail away UA!

    • Kirk Werner

      All I can say Howard, is that while you may be a loser, I am the biggest loser. One of my downfalls as a fellow blogger is the failure to adequately represent all those deserving of representation, and to visit on a regular basis. I think you’ll find that while there is no excuse for the delay, http://cofisher.blogspot.com is now properly acknowledged. And if you were to hold your mouse over your blog in my blogroll, you’ll notice a special acknowledgement. Thanks for the wake up call.

  7. cofisher

    Kirk, I’m humbled and bow to your ungreatness!

  8. Jon De Jong

    Another factor may be age. I know I have had a more difficult time getting my sorry hind parts out this year. On our Oly Pen trip I think we slept until 7:00 most days. Once the sun starts to shine w/ regularity, I’m hoping there will be an uptick in motivation. Maybe we need to get motivated together.

    • Kirk Werner

      In order for this to be the case one would have to admit that they’re succumbing to the advancing years, and I refuse to do that. Now if you’ll excuse me I’m going to sit down with a heating pad and a glass of prune juice and watch Lawrence Welk.

  9. Fontinalis Rising

    Thanks for the laugh between brush strokes. I’m trying to finish a job while sick working 11 hr days and hating the fact that I’m here while the steelhead run is gaining steam. Oh and I feel your gas pains.

    • Kirk Werner

      Sick, working 11 hour days. I no longer feel sorry for myself. And it’s no wonder CUA hasn’t gotten out fishing yet.

  10. Chuck

    I too have been sick, but I dragged my ass out to the river for the annual , early season Steelhead, heartache anyway! Every year I go too early – every year I am disgusted by the lack of good fish when the conditions are good! Up in Wisconsin the returns have been pathetic for years. Now with the state finances in a mess the priorities will certainly mean that no real solutions are on the horizon. I don’t know why Wisconsin can’t learn something from states like Ohio and Pennsylvania.

    AS I get older I have come to the conclusion that it is better to go to Ohio once or twice a year – instead of going to Wisconsin every week and get spanked! Getting older is all about accepting that everything gets worse ………and looking for the silver lining!

  11. Matt Smythe

    41 days without sun…that’s our annual average of days with sun (Rochester, NY). I feel your pale pain.
    Of course, you did just make a cameo in Andros, thanks to Rebecca no less…

    • Kirk Werner

      True, Matt- I have little to complain about as the grass is not always greener. All I know is that our grass is pretty damn green. And wet. And now oozing slime. I need to go back to Andros- I feel like I was never really even there.

  12. Fred Telleen

    The number one reason to suck it up and go fishing: Tomorrow might be worse.

    • Kirk Werner

      Damnit, Fred–nobody likes the voice of reason…

  13. David G

    Kirk, you are a damn good writer, and it doesn’t matter what you write about. It is still entertaining. I do remember a particular blog about a wading kilt… Classic! Who else can I turn to to read about green slime in their yard AND fishing? Hmmm?

    • Kirk Werner

      David, you are too kind. That, or you hit your head while crawling around rugged back country canyons/waters on a recent excursion. Either way, I do appreciate the kind words and your loyal followership. Say, I have a vat of grape Koolaid if you’re ever thirsty 😉

      • David G

        I’m more of an applesauce kind of guy.

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