HAIKU MONDAY: Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory

Welcome back to Haiku Monday, with this one also known as America’s Collective Hangover Day.


Super Bowl parties

It’s pure Americana.

Super Monday? Ick.


For the handful of Haiku Monday virgins that make it to this-here corner of the cyber world, this is when and where Fish Hack waxes on and off non-Brazilian style about the outdoors and whatever the hell else comes to mind with some bad versions of old Japanese poetry sprinkled in. It’s the shtick that keeps on shticking.

Super Bowl :I seemed like it came down to an Alternative Ending.


Falcons snatch defeat

From the jaws of victory.

Pat win. No cheating.


Fish Hack had the over, so that final play was the final payoff of the season as well.

Now it’s back to life as Canadians know it — without a real football game to be seen anywhere.

Did manage to sneak out for some pre-snap winter steelhead fishing on the upper Rogue, Fish Hack’s home waters.

High and dirty water, but Fish Hack managed to scare up a spawned-out summer steelhead. Like the Falcon D in the second half, it showed up but didn’t put up much of a fight.


Still catchig summers

In winter. Go figure that.

Alternative fish.

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HAIKU MONDAY: Alternative facts and Bigfoot in the Era of 140 Characters

Welcome back to Haiku Monday, where Fish Hack is here to provide some alternative facts about some basic outdoor concepts that Hack has tweeted or printed in the Fish Wrap.

On Mondays, alternative facts also come in an alternate form of communication…in this case, 17 syllable lies.


Steelhead are like bass.

Water flows uphill, at times.

Salmon just looooooooooooooove dams.


For you Haiku Monday virgins, this is when and where Fish Hack waxes on and off non-Brazilian style about the outdoors and whatever else comes to mind, yet in the form of badly worded Japanese poetry as the schtik that keeps on schtiking.

Alternative facts have become quite the rage of late, largely because they don’t require any real basis and can easily be honed to provide proof that Neil Armstrong walked on a sound stage at Area 51 and that passing on Kevin Durant to take Greg Oden in the 2007 draft was not only a better short-term plan for the Trail Blazers, it’s penciled out long-term even better.

They’re so much easier to work with than actual facts, which can be messy and contradicting and, well, elusive. Even in the Era of 140 ┬áCharacters.


Hear it here from Hack:

Bigfoot has gotta be real

“Cuz I tweeted it.


Call Fish Hack old school, entrenched in a time when facts didn’t have alternatives yet still offered room for opinions on their relevance.

Also known as…2016.


Steelhead have arrived.

Upper Rogue flows in good shape.

And that’s the fact, Jack.

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HAIKU MONDAY: On Working Holidays and Early Rogue Winters

Hot Rogue winter steelhead

Welcome back to Haiku Monday, where Fish Hack is pulling down the hours at the keyboard today because Fish Wraps don’t consider MLK Day a holiday.

Or Veterans’ Day. Or President’s Day. or all those other days you get at the glorified babysitting service known locally as the Medford School District.


MLK Day? Work

Still, it’s not like honest work.

Dopin’ the crossword


For you Haiku Monday virgins, this is when and where Fish Hack waxes on and off non-Brazilian style about the outdoors or whatever the hell else comes to mind, with some bad forms of old Japanese poetry sprinkled in as the schtick.

Don’t know the format? Here you go, syllable by syllable.


Schtick schtick schtick schtick schtick.

Schtick schtick schtick schtick schtick schtick schtick.

Schtick schtick schtick schtick schtick.


While Fish Hack doesn’t expect to have MLK Day off, he also doesn’t expect to be catching winter steelhead in the upper Rogue before MLK Day.

But that’s what happened.

Hit a nice eight-pound chrome hen Saturday on the Rogue near Shady Cove fishing with retired AP reporter Jeff Barnard, Fish Hack’s fishing partner lo the past 30 years.

Hit the same Mag Lip 3.0 plug that has put 20 other salmon and steelhead in Fish Hack’s boat. And that plug is beat to hell to show for it, but it still works.

Early winters in the upper Rogue are here ‘cuz of a mix of no dams and high water. Check in at Friday’s Oregon Outdoors to learn more.


Early winters here.

Anomaly for the Rogue.

Don’t ask why. Just fish



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HAIKU MONDAY: Reconstituting an Institution

Welcome back to the official restoration of Haiku Monday, where yours truly, the Fish Hack at the Fish Wrap, waxes on and off non-Brazilian style about the outdoors with some bad versions of old Japanese poetry pitched in as the schtick that keeps on shticking.


Haiku Monday’s back:

Hide your sensibility

You might learn something.


So, Fish Hack is back in this-here cyber corner of the Fish Wrap after focusing more on writing and reporting about the outdoors for the Fish Wrap’s actual paying customers behind the firewall. But it’s come to Hack’s attention that the free-loaders who read blogs that don’t require subscriptions or even registration need their dose of outdoor musings in the form of 17-syllable poems just like everyone else.

Hence, this-here reconstitution of an institution that could probably lead to institutionalization.


Want Haiku Monday?

Like the Rogue: Just add water.

Poems, steelhead, will come.


This past weekend’s rain-on-snow event, along with a hummer of a storm headed this way tomorrow, have blown out the Rogue enough that you steelhead bums may as well clean out the garage of empties. Yep, you’ll have that much time.

Depending upon how the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers deals with water it will be capturing this week in Lost Creek Lake, the upper Rogue doesn’t look fishable until next week.

But when it does pull into shape, look out.

This event will mean winter steelhead will be the next Rogue denizen to make its way to the upper Rogue early and often.

Just like how the mid-October flush pulled lots of surprisingly chrome hatchery coho to the upper Rogue when it receded, winter steelhead likely will do so as well.

Most years, Fish Hack doesn’t even bother hunting winter steelhead below Grants Pass until Sub-Par Bowl weekend. But these high-water events should drag those fish 50 miles further upstream than we’re used to for mid-January.

When they do, rest assured Fish Hack and his intrepid photographer Jamie Lusch will force ourselves out of the office and onto the water to chronicle the start of this year’s winter steelhead season.


Steelhead are Hack’s friends.

They bite well, wiggle and grin

For Lusch’s cam-ra.

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BOOK IT! Friday Returns

After a long hiatus while awaiting bail, Fish Hack is back at this-here cyber version of the Fish Wrap reading to bust out haikus on Monday and lay those BOOK IT! bets on Friday.

FIsh Hack ended the 2015 season up $575 and that’s good momentum heading into the new year.

So let’s get to it…

San Diego at Kansas City jumps off the pick-it line at Fish Hack. K.C. has owned S.D. the past two years and always comes out of the gate fast. The game opened at 6 1/2 and that’s when Fish Hack bet it by laying the points before the line inched up to 7. KC should cleanly cover.

Then we have Giants at Dallas. Giants came in earlier this week as a 3 1/2-point fave but it’s been bet down to 1 amid the Dak Scott love-fest. You never know what you’re going to get from Eli, but seriously. If Dak is Da Fact, then how come he went in the fourth round? That vanilla D he’s been seeing is about to get some caramel and sprinkles added to it. Lay the 1 point.

Monday night closes with perhaps the worst game of the season in the new-look Rams at San Francisco. Niners are a emotional dumpster fire these days, but at least their starting quarterback isn’t Case Keenum. San Francisco is getting 2 1/2 points, which is almost half a Blaine Gabbert pick-six but take the points here and don’t tune in.


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BOOK IT! Thursday Edition

Here’s the BOOK IT! Friday, Thursday edition, just cuz Fish Hack wanted seconds from that Thanksgiving bet on the Lions to Bip Chip.

And oh they did.

But Hack didn’t see that Packer egg-laying act coming on six hours later.

Now Detroit and Green Bay get at it this evening, and Fish Hack knows you steelhead bums need some action on this.

First, Detroit’s getting three points at home. I know the Lions haven’t swept GP since just before Clinton was sworn into office. But they’re on a roll under The Coot calling plays.

Take the points in another game that could come down to an on-side kick.

The under-47 points also looks do-able. It was 18-16 at GB. Figure to see it a little higher than last time, since Stafford can be a wizard at turning touchdowns into field goals.


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BOOK IT! Thanksgiving: Three Turkeys Pickings with the Fixings

Welcome to a special BOOK IT! Thanksgiving edition where Fish Hack will give you three winners for Thursday’s turkey games.

After another 2-1 weekend, Fish Hack’s sitting at 23-19 for the season and ready for three more wins.

First, there the Eagles at the Lions. A lot has been made about the Eagles’ 6-0 Thanksgiving record in this pick-’em game, but none of those included the read-option.

These are teams trending in different directions, and the Lions’ defense has been pretty tight this past month. Trojan fans cheer for the Lions to help ease the Chipster out of Philly and over to LA-LA Land.

Dallas is hosting what punsters believe is the worst 10-0 team the NFL has ever seen. They were also the worst 3-0, then 4-0 and even 8-0 team.

They’re not going to run the table, and if there’s a miss its in Dallas and in front of the world. Take the ‘Boys in this pick-’em game as well.

The night concludes with Green Bay hosting Chicago on Brett Favre night. They’ll be a lot of kissing and making up among the Cheeseheads and their once Favrite misspelling and they’ll be a lot of love in Lambeau.

But the Packers are laying 9 points in a game against a Bears team that’s finding ways to score. Cutler is a notorious back-door cover girl, but it’s hard to put money on a team that started its fire sale in Week 3.

With the over/under at 45.5, a 30-23 Pack win is a cash for the over.



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BOOK IT! Friday: Bet One Backup, Dump The Next

Welcome back to BOOK IT! Friday, where Fish Hack is back in the saddle after being out of cell range while fishing Oregon’s Elk River last week.

Good week to skip, seeing how dogs went 11-3 straight up and 12-2 against the number.

Had Jax last night and that puts Fish Hack to 21-18 for the season, ready to add three more.

First, Denver’s getting 1.5 points at Chicago, which has surprised Vegas this year after undergoing an early-season fire sale. But Jake Cutler is ready to go Peyton Manning and throw a gross worth of pics against the best defense he’ll face all year. Take Denver.

Atlanta’s laying 6 at home to a Luckless Indy. Matt Hassleback’s wife could pass for more yards than he will Sunday. Lay those points, plus take the under 47.5 cuz this-here snoozer could be 30-3.



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BOOK IT! Friday: Playing with House Money, Not House Payment

Welcome back to BOOK IT! Friday, where Fish Hack is coming off a perfect 3-0 Sunday to get back in the black for the first time since Week 1.

It’s always nice to play with house money instead of house-payment money.

Let’s get at it…

First, Peyton’s headed to the Oil Can That Manning Built and though the old Tin Man can use a little oil for that stuck neck, don’t expect fond memories to flood that massive forehead. Indy couldn’t block a bad defense. Denver made Rodgers look pedestrian and they’ll more than do so to Luck. Denver’s laying just 4 points and they should more than cover on that one.

A hot Raiders team heads to Pittsburgh, which is having all sorts of offensive injuries. Oakland’s getting 5 points and they’ve historically covered against the Steelers. Look for that 5 points to really matter here.

And finally, New England is at home against the Redskins, who have a history of failing to show up in Foxboro. Brady’s on a mission and Curt Cousins is ready to remember that he’s Curt Cousins and not Curt Warner. Lay the 14 points. The Pats will be up that by the second quarter.


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HAIKU MONDAY: On Perfect NFL Bets. Steelhead? Not So Much

Welcome back to Haiku Monday, where Fish Hack did better in the BOOK IT! picks than on upper Rogue steelhead during what used to be called the Nov. 1 Massacre.

Now, it’s little more than a skirmish.

First day back with bait./Used to hammer Rogue steelhead./Lighter catch these days.

For you Haiku Monday virgins this is when and where Fish Hack waxes on and off non-Brazilian style about the outdoors and whatever the hell else comes to mind, with some bad forms of old Japanese poetry sprinkled in as the shtick.

Went 3-0 on the NFL picks Sunday, and that puts Fish Hack in the black. Gotta love nailing a three-team parlay to keep from having to take the empties back to stay in beer money.

Lo so many years ago, No. 1 was a cherished day on the upper Rogue, when steelheaders started bait-fishing again after two months of flies-only. 20-fish days. were not unheard of. But the rules changed close to 20 years ago and modified, so now only the upper Rogue upstream of Shady Cove is open to bait until Jan. 1.

Hack and newly retired AP writer Jeff Barnard don’t care for crowds and prefer to side-drift yarns balls over guts anyway. Was alone in our float downstream of Shady Cove, going a somewhat pedestrian 6 for 13.

Five of those lost fish were after getting visuals. Four of them disappeared after aerial cartwheels, including one that had to be more than 10 pounds.

Normally, don’t like losing that many fish. But an epic day anyway. Especially getting a stretch of the Rogue to yourself on a Sunday.

No Sunday fishing?Felt like breaking commandments./Fish the Rogue alone.

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  • Blog Author

    Mark Freeman

    I've underachieved as the Mail Tribune's Fish Hack since 1989. I can't help but find a few things to yuk about with pathetic regularity in the outdoors. My most treasured award? An OSHA citation for a messy desk -- Fire hazard. YEAH! Read Full
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