Kokanee School


Pulled a classic ‘on my way to the market change of plans switcharoo’ yesterday with one of my favorite peoples on earth (who says ‘peoples’? what?). It was just me and the little dude, hanging out after we dropped the big kids off at school. I like to try to do my own form of ‘school’, which usually doesn’t involve any schooling. I’ll try to stop doing ‘this’. (Sorry I havent blogged in a while, I forgot how to).

Planning our daily curriculum consisted of stalking some local friend’s facebook page and then searching mapquest.

“Where are we going mom?”

I decide to be honest, “To look at fish”….

“Yeah, that sounds fun,” he says.

“Did I tell you you are my favorite? Don’t tell your siblings.”I smile at the back seat with pride in my son’s answer. 

(I tell all of my kids they are my favorite so when I die they will fight about who really was mom’s favorite. I also write things in my journal that one day family will read and think, wow how did mom know to write me this message. Its like she is right here. Ill try to creep them out a bit from heaven so they know I’m fine.) While I’m off track, look at this bull moose that was in our driveway the other day:


I get to the road and my mapquest goes off, which usually happens when you lose cell service. We meander through the woods and drive upon a campsite that is obliterated with trash and beer cans, with target practice signs all over the place all shot up. I get that feeling of: maybe I shouldn’t be doing a field trip here today by myself in the woods that I have never been to. But I can see the creek off to my left down in a ravine, and notice the road will decline ahead. It’s like the Kokanee were calling out to me- so I just drove right to where they were after guessing on what roads to switch over to. (I did work for the forest service, Eric Barnhart)

School today: What color is that fish, son?


Son: Um….red.

Ok, good job. Should we try to catch them?

Son: Um suuu (sure), can I pee in da wata?

Yes you can pee on the tree by the wata. I think we will let these fish swim around instead of catch them. They are making babies so we can fish more in the spring. “How are they making babies?” No, he didn’t ask that one, few. 

I saw a brook trout and almost got my fly rod out. It was a harsh mental battle- catching a red would be fun, just like old Alaska times. But fishing spawning fish is just asking for bad juju..and someone else came to check the spawn scene and saved me from my sinful thoughts. 


The Kokanee spawn truly is a sight. Those bright red colors and mangled kypes. When I looked down the creek canyon, I took a moment to just be in awe of how far those fish had to come up stream to get to that spot. With low water levels, it truly was a heroic feat. And then they will just die, their bodies to tumble down the creek, providing nourishment for their offspring in the future. It’s a beautiful balance of life and of giving of oneself for the benefit of the future. It’s what they were made to do. I smile at my offspring that just peed all down the front of himself. I’d climb the crooked creek for that kid anyday, and for the lot of them, I’d lay down my life so they could make it. Life is sure crazy, but these beautiful moments of seeing God’s beauty and creation just blow my mind.

Well, son, you passed today’s class. Now we can’t go to the store because you peed all over. Ah- I didn’t want to go anyways. Tell your dad what color the fish were. Good job, you’re my favorite. 😉



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