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Friday, February 28, 2014


My dear wife Wendi just underwent her second heart surgery last week to have her mitral valve replaced.  She previously had heart surgery in July 2012 at the University of Utah hospital and Dr. Craig Selzman was able to repair her mitral valve at that time.  Unfortunately, the success of the repair was short lived as Wendi began feeling symptoms of fatigue and shortness of breath just a few short months after she fully recovered from surgery and having had a brief period of feeling energetic and well.

As I write this blog entry Wendi is coming along with her recovery as we are again at the University of Utah Hospital with Wendi's trust remaining with Dr. Selzman.  We lay our ultimate trust in God as she regains her strength.

As was the case during Wendi's previous heart surgery, I am reminded of what is important in life - my wife, children, and grandchildren, and my relationship with Jesus Christ.  I'm also reminded of what God has called me to be as the protector of my family, husband, father, grandfather, believer, and that the purpose of my life is to reflect the love of Christ to others.

While I'm obviously passionate about chasing steelhead with a fly, I'm also reminded that it's important to maintain balance in life.  If I'm not careful, I easily go overboard with obsessing about when I get to go fishing next, what the river levels are, which piece of equipment I need (or don't need) next, how many more flies I need to tie, what to post on my blog, etc.

During my downtime as I stand by while my bride recovers, I have time to reflect on the wonderful network of friends and acquaintances my passion for steelhead has brought about as my good fishing pals lift Wendi and me up in their thoughts and prayers.  It's so great when God orchestrates one's passion to bring more meaning to life beyond simply chasing after chrome fish.

With Wendi coming along well in her recovery, I'll be looking forward to a few late season outings to chase after some late running winter steelhead.  If conditions allow, I'll be going after these spring run fish with surface flies to see if I can repeat my success from last year of getting a winter steelhead on a skater.

Of course, being at the hospital with Wendi has provided some downtime and the steelhead track in my brain never stops, so I've made constructive use of my downtime to remotely get some of my work done, email friends, post more frequently on forums, and I've even tied some flies in Wendi's hospital room.  I've also brought my own coffeemaker to Wendi's hospital room so I don't have to waste money at the hospital Starbucks.  This has garnered funny looks from hospital staff and comments like "I've never seen anyone do that before".

So far, I've tied up some Samurais and sparse Intruders for dry line fishing.  These flies aren't exactly "traditional" and I've been making liberal use of lead and brass eyes on these flies, but I'll make no excuses, I actually like tying and fishing these flies at times, but I'll cleanse myself by tying a few more Winter's Hopes before I head back to Oregon.

Wishing God's Grace and Peace to you all,


Some hospital ties:

Dry line Intruders:


  1. Great thoughts and perspectives Todd. You and your wife are in my prayers. Looking for a full recovery. Stay strong, you are doing the right things!


  2. Thanks Mark!
    Your thoughts and prayers are dearly appreciated. In God's Grace, Wendi is doing great, looks like she's being discharged from the hospital today and we'll then be heading back to Oregon soon. I'm glad to be there for Wendi and am blessed that I have a job that allows me to do so.

    Wishing you and your family the best a well.

    Hope to fish with you again sometime soon enough.

    His Grace is Enough!