Friday, December 30, 2016

Winter Mermaid and Gretzky Steelhead

Maybe behind that rock.
Winter Chrome
Winter Mermaid 
Spontaneous Rock Art
Suz and I went after winter steelhead.  Unlike summer fish which strike like lightning, winter fish sometimes merely stop the jig or bait.  If in doubt, set the hook.  Hockey great Wayne Gretzky said "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take."  When your line pauses, reef back and you may be rewarded with delicious winter chrome.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Winter Steel

I went to renew my Washington fishing license, and asked the girl at the sporting goods store, Kate, if she could also renew my marriage license since I had been fishing so much.  Kate looked under the counter.  "We don't have that form" she said.

"How long is my marriage license good?" I asked.

"How am I supposed to know?" she asked.  "I'm not from around here."

Well, she had me there.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Climate Change is Not a Republican, Democratic, Green, or Libertarian Issue; It's a Human Issue

Hats off to the wise 66.5 percent of Oregon people for passing Measure 99,  an “Outdoor School Education Fund” supported by Oregon Lottery.  As a 6th grader, I went to Camp Cayonview. Outdoor School is where seeds are planted in young minds to honor "Spaceship Earth" and the community of species of plants and animals traveling with us, which brings me to my title of this post.  In the fewest words, 195 countries at COP21 voted global warming was/is a huge problem with "no objection in the room." Republicans, Democrats, Greens, and Libertarians must work together on this or there won't be Republicans, Democrats, Greens, or Libertarians.

Some 106 countries endorsed a 1.5 C limit increase above pre-industrial levels, but "The INDCs [Intended Nationally Determined Contributions] in the Paris Agreement, assuming no further progress with the pledges, would put the world on track for a global temperature increase of 3.5°C (6.3°F) above pre-industrial levels."  Clive Hamilton of The Guardian reported "We’re heading for a world warmed by 3-4C of warming or more, giving us an Earth hotter than it has been for several million years and way beyond human experience [ . . . . ,] calamitous by any definition of the word. [ . . . . ]  The tipping points include the melting of Arctic summer sea ice (which is really gone already), melting of Tibetan glaciers and the Greenland ice-sheet (eventually bringing about six metres of sea-level rise), and destruction of the vast and vitally important Amazon rainforest through dieback and fires. [par] All of this would be accompanied by a catalogue of catastrophes – extreme weather events, sea-level rise and so on – the harms of which would be magnified many-fold by geopolitical conflict and mass migrations. [par] It is a fact rarely understood, especially by our political leaders, that we are speaking of irreversible change because CO2 persists in the atmosphere for many centuries, and because the entire Earth System is transformed by climate change."

John D. Banusiewicz, writing for DoD News at The U. S. Department of Defense, cited former Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's position on global warming: "food and water shortages, pandemic disease, disputes over refugees and resources, and destruction by natural disasters in regions across the globe."

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Before the Flood, DiCaprio's Climate Change Documentary, Will Be Free for a Week Starting Oct. 30

DiCaprio used Bosch's The Garden of Earthly Delights as a metaphor for human-caused climate change.
National Geographic Channel reported "Watch Leonardo DiCaprio’s three-year journey exploring the subject of climate change, Before the Flood, free on all platforms the same day it premieres on the National Geographic Channel [Sunday, Oct. 30]." Huffington Post noted it will be free "for a week following its release." Huffington Post added "He travels to some of the regions where climate change has hit hardest: Greenland’s melting ice, the rising seas consuming Kiribati and the world’s dying coral reefs."  Oct. 28 Update -- I watched the film tonight at UCSD's Price Center Theater, and after, the 130 people there gave it a thunderous applause.  DiCaprio did a great job of showing a global perspective as well as current and projected costs of inaction regarding cutting carbon. After the film, Dr. Ralph Keeling from Scripps emphasized the warming ocean is a result of too much carbon, and suggested a carbon tax to help transition to solar and other renewables. Asked if anything was missing from the film, Masada Disenhouse, Co-founder of San Diego 350, said she would have liked to have seen fossil fuel divestment and the children's climate movement. It was noted one of the easiest ways to fight catastrophic climate change is to shift to a mostly plant-based diet, something I did 26 years ago. 

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Allegedly Edible Fungi, Chasing Ice, and Hurricane Sandy

Fall in Oregon is mushroom season.  Above is a table of lobsters, chanterelles, porcini, and assorted.  A remnant of Typhoon Songda (2016) was forecast for Oregon on October 15 when these were harvested.

On Friday October 21 I showed James Balog's film Chasing Ice at my college.  Eighteen people arrived to see it, the Democracy Now! video about "Dakota Access Pipeline Resistance [ . . .]," and engage in a lively discussion about climate change solutions.  One professor said "Until something awful happens here [in San Diego], I don't think many people will pay attention."  It reminded me of a New York professor at AWP LA who taught climate change issues over 10 years to mostly bored English students until suddenly Hurricane Sandy put their houses underwater, and they listened (The linked video notes "economic damages could be in the range of 10 to 20 billion [dollars . . . . ], more than eight million homes are without power," "the death toll has risen to at least 72").

After showing Chasing Ice, I asked all present to see themselves as global citizens, to go on a media fast for a few days like John Robbins once recommended, to imagine themselves 10 minutes before death, and what action they could feel good about regarding the climate change issue.  The great thing about Chasing Ice is how, through video evidence of retreating glaciers, it has the power to convert climate change deniers to realists, and hopefully activists. I suggest getting public performance rights at your college or library, then invite your community to see it, followed by a discussion regarding solutions, and the cost of inaction for the audience, other human and animal communities, and future human generations.  Those interested in the moral argument can watch the three and a half minute video of Archbishop Desmond Tutu on Climate Change. Those interested in the science, watch this video on carbon sources, and carbon sinks. Those interested in spiritual aspects, watch these short videos on Pope Francis, and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Here is an excellent climate change video for children. If you want eerie parallels with the Titanic, Parts 12 and 13 (first class passengers as developed nations, and second and third class as everyone else), watch these videos. This video narrated by Morgan Freeman offers hope. Of course, the Freeman video only works if oil companies agree to place the value of current and future humans above about 10 trillion dollars in oil reserves, or are made to do so by collective action, law, or catastrophic events.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Yellowtail in Mexico, and Climate Questions / Answers

Yesterday I enjoyed catching seven yellowtail (kept four) on the Tribute which had excellent deckhands and fine captains.  The captains were helpful, experienced, spoke to anglers as individuals, and found huge schools of fish.  On the overnight trip back to San Diego, I had discussions about climate change which will be presented as questions and answers below.

Q - Isn't the climate science uncertain?

A- No.  According to Olympic Climate Action, "Nov. 2012 through December 2013 [out of] 2258 peer-reviewed climate articles by 9136 authors [,] 1 author rejected man-made global warming."

Q - Hasn't the number of polar bears increased in recent years?

A - John Ingham of London's The Sunday Express (March 3, 2015) cited the WWF's claim that "of the 19 separate populations of polar bears across the Arctic, three are in decline and just one is known to be increasing while for nine there is insufficient data to make any assessment."

Q -- Isn't it true the oceans, and not humans, cause most CO2 emissions?

A- According to Cheryl Katz in a March 30, 2015, article for, "For decades, the earth’s oceans have soaked up more than nine-tenths of the atmosphere’s excess heat trapped by greenhouse gas emissions. [ . . .] But as those gases build in the air, an energy overload is rising below the waves. A raft of recent research finds that the ocean has been heating faster and deeper than scientists had previously thought. And there are new signs that the oceans might be starting to release some of that pent-up thermal energy, which could contribute to significant global temperature increases in the coming years."  [In other words, human activity is putting the CO2 burden in the oceans.]

Q - Isn't it true what's happening in China makes U. S. action irrelevant?

A - According to Damian Carrington's July 25, 2016, article in The Guardian, "The latest official government statistics from China support the idea that its coal use peaked in 2014. Coal production fell 9.7% in the first half of 2016 compared to 2015, which itself saw a 5.8% decline on 2014, and coal burning fell 3.7% in 2015. China’s total emissions have been near flat in recent years. [ . . . ] [T]he nation’s falling coal use is now a permanent trend. One is the falling rate of economic growth from 9-10% to about 6% and the transformation of the Chinese economy away from heavy industry and towards more hi-tech and service sectors, which are much less dependent on energy. [ . . . . ] As coal declines, clean electricity in China is increasing rapidly with solar power up 28% in the first half of 2016, nuclear up 25% and wind and hydropower both up 13%. "

In addition, China supported a limit of a 1.5 C warming target at COP21.

Q - Why are you concerned about methane?

A- Read this October 4, 2016, Siberian Times article which quotes Professor Igor Semiletov, of Tomsk Polytechnic University: "We have reason to believe that such emissions may change the climate. This is due to the fact that the reserves of methane under the submarine permafrost exceed the methane content in the atmosphere [ . . . ] many thousands of times. If 3-4% from underwater will go into the atmosphere within 10 years, the methane concentration therein (in the atmosphere) will increase by tens to hundreds of times, and this can lead to rapid climate warming. This is due to the fact that the greenhouse effect of one molecule of methane is 20-30 times greater than one molecule of CO2."

The good news is that even though methane has a much stronger effect than CO2, the life of methane in the atmosphere is shorter.  Duncan Clark's January 16, 2012 article in The Guardian noted "Between 65% and 80% of CO2 released into the air dissolves into the ocean over a period of 20–200 years" while "Methane, by contrast, is mostly removed from the atmosphere by chemical reaction, persisting for about 12 years."

Q - What can anyone do about climate change?

A- Join others working on it.  If you're on the Olympic Peninsula, join Olympic Climate Action. In Portland, Oregon, or Vancouver, Washington, join 350PDX. In Corvallis, Oregon, join 350Corvallis. In Eugene join 350Eugene. In San Diego join SanDiego350. This isn't just about donations of money. Your time as a volunteer will help.  As Bill McKibben noted in his August 15, 2016, New Republic article, "We're under attack from climate change—and our only hope is to mobilize like we did in WWII." Mckibben's Twitter site provides updates.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

The Art of the Raft

Two summer steelhead I caught on a raft trip
Thanks to Northwest Fishing Reports for publishing my article "The Art of the Raft."

Tomorrow morning I will be back in Washington and Oregon chasing fall chinook, coho, and summer steelhead!

On Sept. 28, 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., you may want to attend a free event "Our Marine Resources Facing Climate Change" at Red Lion Hotel Conference Room, 221 N. Lincoln Street, Port Angeles. The event is sponsored by the Clallam Marine Resources Committee, and Olympic Climate Action. To understand why this matters, watch this four and a half minute video on ocean acidification.

I'm looking forward to the Blue River Writers Gathering September 30th at the HJ Andrews Forest near Blue River, Oregon.

I am grateful to the UCSD Faculty Climate Change Workgroup for the following educational resources:

1)  This is an existing online library of climate change curriculum geared for an undergraduate audience; 2)  This is part of the Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carlton College which is well respected for undergraduate course content; and 3) This UC document, Bending the Curve – 10 scalable solutions to climate change, was released as part of the UC carbon neutrality initiative. 

I am grateful to Thomas Berry for his quote:

“Our relationship with the earth involves something more than pragmatic use, academic understanding, or aesthetic appreciation. A truly human intimacy with the earth and with the entire natural world is needed. Our children should be properly introduced to the world in which they live.” (“Human Presence,” in The Dream of the Earth, 13).

I imagine those most responsible for destabilizing climate would pause and reflect if they shared this "intimacy."

Friday, September 2, 2016

Last Day Fish

Right before I left Washington and Oregon to teach creative writing in San Diego, a summer steelie ignited my spinner.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Lost Salmon (Published), Hawk on Wire: Ecopoems (Fomite Will Publish in 2017), A Creek I Never Fished (Started)

My new book of fishing/eco-poems from MoonPath arrived.  Click here to order. I'm grateful to
Jennifer Williams for great cover art, and to Thomas Rain Crowe, Frank Amato, Jon Broderick,
Henry Hughes, David Joy, Marty Sherman, Jack Driscoll, and Larry Gavin for helpful blurbs.
Honey Goat With Baby Goat
Reaching for clouds or fly line?
Southern Oregon Traffic Jam
Wood Pile left by "Nom Rat"
At PLAYA in December I finished my 79-page Lost Salmon and had it published July 11 by MoonPath near Seattle.  Earlier this month, in my second PLAYA residency, I finished my 62-page Hawk on Wire: Ecopoems (previously titled Chewaucan Wars), and started A Creek I Never Fished. I met wonderful residents and locals, and caught some fish.  In nearby Paisley, I saw this cardboard sign:


Name your price"

On a distant river, I had an interesting conversation with a local:

Wrong Turn

The local says nom rats cut and stacked wood piles.

"They must be big," I offer.

"They is," he says, "the size of John Deere tractors."
I laugh and ask for a fishing spot.

"Well, you'll need a detailed map," he smiles.

"How detailed?" I ask.


Thanks to Northwest Fishing Reports for publishing my new article "Hook More Fish."

Thanks to The Columbian newspaper in Vancouver, WA, for publishing my letter to the editor in which I wrote "By now it’s obvious, saving climate from catastrophe means saving salmon from catastrophe."

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Desert Time Machine

I found desert creeks with healthy redsides.  I had to drive forever but didn't see another angler. It is possible to go back hundreds or thousands of years to pristine waters if you're serious about it -- dirt roads, unmarked side roads, some wrong turns.  Regarding going back in time, the Ghost of Galileo visited me yesterday:

Ghost of Galileo Speaks of Climate Change

“I knew the truth
but had more faith
in the power of reason
than was warranted”

“so when Cesare Cremonini
looked through my scope
and pretended not to see
Jupiter’s moons

“I learned about the clash
between reality
and ideology, later
recanted, saved my life,

“before the Roman Inquisition.
The problem now is,
not counting animals and plants,
the lives of 7 billion.

(and a few days before, an unghosted owl):

Great Horned Owl

I tried to have a conversation
with her about climate change

and she listened politely
then flew away

making me think
I should have listened more,

and watched, spoke less.
All around us, salmon,

cedar, Douglas fir,
mountain glaciers are speaking.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

PLAYA Climate Change Discussion July 7, 2016

Another Wild Rainbow
Wood Worm
Jason Box, Greenland ice climatologist and professor at The Geologic Survey of Denmark, said at PLAYA two nights ago out of the ten possible scenarios on climate change, nine result in loss of society as we know it.

Reflecting on this, I drove to a trout stream and had climate change conversations with ghosts of Socrates, Ed Abbey, Mother Teresa, and Charles Bukowski which I will put in my book-in-progress Hawk on Wire: Ecopoems. I recalled my Outward Bound rock climbing course in the Okanagan Mountains when I was 16, and my instructor Dick Stokes, who later fished with me, saying if the world falls apart he will get his "last sweet breath in wilderness."  In addition to my teaching, and activism, I spend as much time in wilderness as I can.

Of the above-mentioned ghosts, Bukowski was least willing.  "Remember, you asked me so I'll speak when I'm damn well ready and not before," he said.  I forgot about him while catching rainbow trout on a size 10 peacock / mallard nymph, then I rounded a canyon corner past a huge boulder and there he was:

Ghost of Bukowski Speaks on Climate Change

Yes, it's bleak,
bleaker than sheep snot
on barbed wire

but, hope or no hope,
we must find
some way

to make joy
no matter what.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Climate Change Residency at PLAYA

My cabin for the month of July.
Here's a clue.
Wild Rainbow
I'm enjoying my July residency at PLAYA working on my third book of eco-poems Chewaucan Wars.  According to Flyfisher's Guide to Oregon, Chewaucan "is a Native American name meaning 'place of the potato.'"  This book is about Oregon and the coming resource wars due to habitat loss.  I'm grateful for the scenic beauty of the area, fine company, and exchange of ideas.   The drive here took me past the Deschutes River and many smaller rivers that were too tempting to pass up. 

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Nary a Fish Gets Past Honey Goat

Honey Goat
Two we caught yesterday.
Suz and I caught late-season springers in Oregon.  Thanks to John Wilkens this morning for publishing a poetry interview with me in The San Diego Union-Tribune.  I pasted the poem I mentioned in the interview below.

My new book Lost Salmon was just finished at MoonPath Press, and cover art by Jennifer Williams was approved (two salmon on lower left image of her site).  Lost Salmon should be available soon.

The Fisherman's Wife

I tell her I lost the salmon.

"Did you check your leader
for wind knots?"

I say "Yes, but I was too lazy
to change it."

"Well then, it's your fault
isn't it?"

I'm used to this kind of sympathy.

She is as exacting as the river
and as beautiful.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Submarine Prompt and "Arctic Methane: Why The Sea Ice Matters" (YouTube)

For about 27 years, my developmental writing students have enjoyed the following prompt: "Imagine you are in a sub in the North Atlantic, in WWII, which has been hit by a torpedo. You are told you have 10 minutes to live.  You have waterproof tubes so you can save anything you want to write for 10 minutes such as a letter to a loved one, to future generations, or even your attempt to escape. It's called a 'nonstop' because you must keep writing until you are 'dead.'" The results are always interesting, but not as interesting as the real life situation we may be in. According to Dr. Peter Wadhams in the 2012 video below, "The whole [Siberian Sea] zone of millions of square miles of territory is now releasing all of its methane cover, and that's a large boost to global warming because methane [ . . . . is] about 23 times as powerful as carbon dioxide per molecule." Dr. Natalia Shakhova of the International Arctic Research Centre adds "only 1 percent of [this Arctic shelf's amount] is required to double the atmospheric burden of methane [ . . . ] To destabilize 1 percent I think is not much effort needed considering [ . .. ] the [melting] state of permafrost and the amount of methane currently involved."  Responding to this situation, David Wasdell, also in the video, noted "The danger of moving into a runaway climate change scenario is [ . . .] probably the greatest threat that we face as a planet. [ . . . . ] We've lost about 40% of the phytoplankton in the ocean, which is the basis of the food chain, simply because of acidification and temperature change in the climate." This is the real news.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Anti-Nuclear / Climate Change Reading in Mobius Art Gallery at Cascadia College

Columbia River Near Hanford, Late Afternoon, Dianne Dickeman, Photo: Richard Nicol
April 26 I read with Kathleen Flenniken, former Washington State Poet Laureate, Nancy Dickeman, Ellie Belew, and Chelsea Bolan at the Particles on the Wall Exhibit which featured our work in the gallery.  One listener recorded my reading so I included six poems below. If your college or university is interested in climate change, I will gladly read poems and answer questions if you provide transportation and a place to stay.  My email is  Regarding this issue, I like the words of UC Berkeley poet John Shoptaw: "If you're not a green poet, whatever other kind of poet you are, you're not paying attention." The James Hansen-led warning (peer reviewed and published in the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics) is explained below my poem "Antarctic Dream After Watching Chasing Ice.

"At the Nevada Nuclear Test Site"
"Plutonium Fish"
"Antarctic Dream After Watching Chasing Ice"
Dr. James E. Hansen on Ice Melt (YouTube)

"Coyote's Prediction"
"Glacial River Poem"

Friday, April 1, 2016

Spring Chinook, Book, and Climate Updates

Northwest Fishing Reports published my article "Catching Spring Chinook."

I'm grateful to the San Diego Reader for publishing three of my new climate change poems, the first one from my forthcoming book Lost Salmon due out this summer from MoonPath Press near Seattle.

I explained my Industrial Oz book of climate change poems in a previous blog post.

Last night I read from it at the Word of Mouth offsite reading AWP 2016 at Casey's Irish Pub. December 12, 2015, I read poems from it to over 500 activists at the Rally for Climate Justice Event in Balboa Park, San Diego. On April 26, I will read from it at the Particles on the Wall Poetry Reading at Cascadia College in Bothell, Washington, which starts at 1:30 p.m.
This morning I received a July 2016 residency at Playa Artists' Retreat in Oregon to work on my next book of climate change poems Chewaucan Wars.  The residency is called "Art, Science and Community Collaboration (Art and Ecology) Thematic Residency (with a focus on Climate Change)." Regarding the issue, here are interesting updates for 2015 and 2016.

A few days ago Ecowatch reported "20 Attorneys General Launch Climate Fraud Investigation of Exxon."

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Fishing With Henry Hughes

I recently enjoyed fishing with the strong writer and angler Henry Hughes, author of forthcoming Bunch of Animals and angling memoir Back Seat with Fish.  A winner of the Oregon Book Award for Men Holding Eggs, Hughes wrote a post on fishing books at 3 Good Books that led me to read John Engels' excellent fishing poetry book Big Water.  Hughes and I caught steelhead, and had interesting conversation.  Scott:  "This clay bank is eroding like in Sometimes a Great Notion but you are a certified diver so you should be okay."  Henry: "I don't think that would help."  Inside I laughed so hard I almost fell in the water.  In another scene, on a more serious note, I pointed out dangerous logs in tidewater that can roll and trap a man like when Hank tried to save Joe Ben. 

Friday, January 8, 2016

Sea Lice on Fresh Steelhead

I caught another two chromers this morning with sea lice.  I found this interesting article "Sea Lice - Good Bad and Ugly" from Deneki Outdoors which operates fly fishing lodges in Alaska, British Columbia, and the Bahamas.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Steelblue Hens

Here are two steelblue hens I caught this morning fresh from the salt.  Mike Carey at Northwest Fishing Reports recently published my "Dictionary of Pacific Northwest Fishing."   My previous article was "Pay Attention to Details." At the end of February, my next one will be about my infamous "Fish Car."

I caught these hens on old school egg clusters.  I will probably write an article on "Fishing Old School" as a tribute to old timers I knew and know.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Suz failed all of her classes at Wife School

Suz caught this fisherman in Canada.
Does it look like they are underwater?
That's what I'm talking about.
as expected.

At least winter steelhead are back, which means getting my lure in the strike zone takes priority over sleep, food, laundry, paying bills, shaving, star gazing, etc., etc., etc.

This is my second favorite time of the year.  Spring chinook season, my favorite, will follow.