humptulips river

How I Refill My Cup

 

 

I spent an entire year preparing for the last 2 weeks of my life. A time of my life that I look forward to starting from the time it ends. Jeff and I started hunting 3 years ago and how I lived my entire life without it, I have no idea – much like fishing. We spend 2 weeks every September camped up in the mountains with his best friend in search of ourselves and elk. This year has been rough for me with studying for my CPA. I can’t explain how much more horrible studying is than going to school, but trust me, I’m a different person because of this (and not for the better) and it will probably take me years to become the original person that I was after the pressure and stress of my CPA are long gone. I needed this elk trip more than I even knew.

I was hesitant about going because it’s 2 weeks with no service and I literally hunt from before the sun comes up to when the sun goes down…….how can I take 2 weeks off from studying? Well, I did and it was AMAZING. In addition to hunting, I watched my best friend get married on opening day and finished my vacation with a trip to the river. My cup is overflowing with gratitude and peace. My relationship with God is stronger than ever and I don’t really care today that studying hasn’t been the number one thing on my mind and for a brief moment, it wasn’t the most important thing in my life.

I struggled this hunting season with many things and while I came home reborn, it took a few days of depression and regret to get there. I learn every year that without the bad, there is no good; without the rain, the sun doesn’t feel so good; without the devil, you don’t see how great God is. I headed up the mountain on day 2 of the season and Jeff got one down that morning. There was excitement both for his accomplishment and because we will eat this year! But there was jealousy and pressure to keep up with my teammate. Hunting brings out some of my greatest fears: heights, my lack of strength, the dark, scary animals, being lost, car accidents, and myself. I stayed on the ground although our greatest opportunity was tree stands 30ft up. After 5 days and an insane amount of pressure, I finally caved and admitted that to get close enough to an elk this archery season, I was going to need to climb a tree…….And I DID IT! I got myself up there in the dark and hunted several stands over a few days. I wasn’t given the opportunity, but the feeling of accomplishing my fears is what put the last drop in my cup. I felt like a million dollars! It wasn’t easy and I was exhausted, mentally, physically, and emotionally. My body ached from the adrenaline all day long, my mind was tired from talking myself through sitting there all day long despite the wind or creeks, and I was emotionally drained from going from such a negative space to such a positive one.

         

I ended the season back on the ground and without an animal, but what I accomplished and came home with was worth far more than a few hundred pounds of meat (of course because we’ll come home with that anyways).

Now, for what you guys really care about! I spent a day cleaning and unpacking and then went fishing!!!!! FINALLY, back on the water! It was a SLOW morning and I hadn’t seen a single fish hooked or a bobber down and it was 2 pm. Finally, my float goes down! I set the hook and my line wraps around the tip of my rod as I feel the pulse of a fish on the other end. CRAP! As I’m trying to twist and turn my rod before the tip breaks, I’m certain the fish will lose itself. And I start to reel, I feel the weight again. WHAT?! This little king whooped my behind taking several long runs to the snags and 3 leaps out of the water. We finally got it in the net and just when I thought I couldn’t be more full, I began overflowing with happiness. My life is complete in this very moment.

I was just telling my mom the day before that this year, fishing has almost been more stress than relief. Because I didn’t get to go as much, I had less opportunity which meant less fish caught. I grew jealous of those that got to fish all the time like I used to and even more jealous when they would have good fish days. Getting up early wasn’t worth it if I wasn’t going to catch fish and I started only going when conditions were in my favor. Without the reward of the catch, I wasn’t getting what I needed anymore and the pressures of knowing that I could be studying weighed so heavy on my mind that it wasn’t worth it.

But today, it would have been worth it either way and now it was REALLY worth it. I got one! The only one so far! We still had many miles of water left and the tide was changing to our advantage. We ended up filling the boat within another hour and were out! So happy. So full. So peaceful. So grateful – for life.

Today, I opted out of deer hunting to sleep in, clean my house, and blog and while I regret it a little bit, I’ll also study so it’s a nice way to ease back into my regular schedule and pressure to study. I’m back but I’m rejuvenated and feeling ready to take on my next exam!

Back to fishing again!

Elk hunting is over and I couldn’t be happier to get back to fishing 100%! I did love hunting, but the passion still lies on the water :)

I got back last week so on Saturday I got to hit the water! Jeff had to work so I headed to the Humptulips for a little king fishing before the water got too low for a boat. We started out slow, but we ended the day hooking about 14 kings and well, we had to pick through the boots to find some chrome, fresh, kings. After we put 4 kings in the boat, we put on some spinners and floated down to the launch looking for some moving silvers. It’s a bit early and the water it REALLY low, but we found one! It was a nice wild, 10lb buck that was peacefully released and I have to say, of all the kings that day, the silver was the one that got me excited! I’ve missed those flips and death rolls!

So Sunday, we fished locally and searched for some more silvers but were unfortunately left empty handed. Not even a single fish. So we called it a short day and headed home.

Beyond excited for another weekend of fishing but Saturday can’t come soon enough! Hopefully we’ll be on Gray’s Harbor, but even if we do get a decent amount of rain, I’ll be excited to be on any body of water!

Fishing is good for the soul

Fishing may have been the cause of my poor exam scores two weeks ago, but it will also be the cure.

My life is kind of crazy and while I love everything about it, sometimes it’s a bit much to handle all at once. Thankfully, I have the best support team I could imagine. I work 40 hours a week in a regular 9-5 desk job as an accountant; I go to school full time, which equates to 7 hours every Monday and 7 hours every Wednesday; I fish every weekend; I visit my family every Friday afternoon; I always make sure I make it to family and friend celebrations. Between the work and school alone, it can be overwhelming to say the least, but fishing is my outlet. Some say I could study on a Saturday or I could clean on a Sunday. I could attend one extra BBQ in the summer or I could stay out later drinking on a Friday night.

But you see, I can’t do any of that when there’s fishing to be had. Fishing is the reason I can do so much. Fishing is the ONLY way that I can handle my chaotic life. Plus, I never have time for Jeff during the week. If I didn’t fish, when would I spend time with my very best friend?

I spent all weekend with my best friend and Herb (WHO I HATE………just kidding, Herb!). We had a blast, caught some fish, had too much Kraken, and spent a lot of time with some other friends too. Now, we didn’t catch 40 lb kings or 12 coho in 4 hours, but I’ll take a good time fishing over studying any day!

Ask any boat who saw us this weekend. We may have been a little loud, loved catching chum on plugs, or wore silly hats, but we had a damn good time!

So, I scored poorly in all 3 classes a couple weeks ago and said I was going to take a weekend off from fishing so that I could study and get those grades up. But I didn’t and I don’t regret a single second of it. I don’t care that I have 4 loads of laundry, need an oil change, or haven’t cracked open my accounting book since Friday at noon. I had a fabulous weekend. I’m ready for Monday morning and ready to start counting down the days until Friday.

Failing isn’t an option and I’ll bring my grades up to my standards but I will not give up fishing for school or anything else. It’s me and it’s who I am. If school has a problem with it, I’ll just have to sleep less during the week :)