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Collared at Powell’s on Hawthorne, Portland, Oregon, Oct. 7, 2013.

Powell'sReading

Collared at Grass Roots Bookstore in Corvallis, Oregon, Oct. 8, 2013.

GrassRootsReading

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CollaredCollared: Politics and Personalities in Oregon’s Wolf Country will be on shelves Oct. 1, and OSU Press has set up several events, including readings and signings to celebrate publication.

To start I’ll be at Powell’s Books on Hawthorne on Oct. 7 at 7:30 pm discussing the book and signing copies for the store. On Oct. 8, I’ll be reading from Collared at Grass Roots Books in Corvallis, Oregon. Then on Oct. 9, I’ll be taking part in an informal discussion of the book and topic during a brown bag lunch at the Valley Library on the Oregon State University campus. I’ll also be participating in a signing during the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association conference next week.

It would be wonderful to see you out there.

We fished from before dawn to after dark both days this weekend then yesterday afternoon and dawn again today. We saw throngs of people, 70 boats, rain drops, wind, and few fish. I stuffed five layers under burly waders and wore two hats.

At home I washed my hands and the hot water burned like hydrogen peroxide on a fresh cut. The tips of the first two fingers on my right hand have white stripes from thousands of small strips of heavy line. Calluses where prints should be. Tomorrow we’ll go out again. My gut says conditions are ripe, and it’s about to turn on for a short window before the next storm brings another 5-8 inches of rain.

“The most miserable fishing weather. Ever. Worse than snow.” – C. Scott

The NOAA forecast for the next 36 hours is a little gnarly. Note the winds.

  • This Afternoon Rain, with thunderstorms also possible after 4pm. High near 58. Windy, with a south wind around 60 mph, with gusts as high as 90 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New rainfall amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.
  • Tonight Rain and possibly a thunderstorm. Some storms could be severe, with damaging winds. Low around 54. Windy, with a south wind 44 to 49 mph decreasing to 31 to 36 mph after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 75 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New rainfall amounts between 1 and 2 inches possible.
  • Tuesday Rain. Temperature falling to around 52 by 5pm. Breezy, with a south wind 24 to 28 mph, with gusts as high as 41 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New precipitation amounts between three quarters and one inch possible.
  • Tuesday Night Showers. Low around 51. Breezy, with a south wind 24 to 26 mph, with gusts as high as 39 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New precipitation amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.

Meanwhile the days have all started to blend together.

This little guy was so confused after trying to eat the heck out of a comet. He really wanted to be a Chinook.

First day out. One native. One hatchery. Both covered in sea lice. Both caught on the fly.

An unnamed rural highway, Union County, Oregon

Last night lying cocooned in down, I fell asleep to the sounds of rain drumming across the fiberglass truck topper and gunshots. The rain quit a few hours later, but the shots rang through the night. Some times they sounded deep like the huge drum carried by the skinny kid in high school marching band, or like the cannon fire from a war long lost. Other times they were more like a POP! A tire blowing out at 60 miles an hour on the highway, a firecracker pulled as the sky darkens on the Fourth of July. They came in intervals; ringing one or two every few hours. At 11pm, midnight, 1:30, 1:46, 3 am. Then just before dawn, before the water had boiled for coffee, I heard the howls. Bouncing and echoing along forested hills and across valley pasture, they were less a chorus than a distortion of individual notes. Once again came gun fire.

These are not redneck kids playing with dangerous toys, not devil dogs running feral. Far from the state capitol, far from the lawmakers, the activists and lobbyists, the long nights have everyone tired, and all sides are suffering losses. They are hardworking men and women trying to maintain their livelihood. They are wild animals acting from instinct and experience.