For my TombstoneJune 27th, 2014 at 10:23:09 am
Just carve on there, "the slippery stick finally got him"
Because I think that's what will get me one day.
Yesterday, I was exploring a route to a new fishing hole on my "private" stretch of river. I was quite please to find a section with somewhat of a gradual grade to it rather than the cliff that the half mile or so generally presents. Well, there is one section that is a little steeper, I had a rope with me to make it quite safe to scoot down [and get back up] but didn't deploy it because it was the first time I had explored the spot and didn't know if I would need it further down. On the way back up, I was missing having it set up, tied to a tree, pretty bad, the terrain was wet and slippery. But just as I was about to declare myself safe, I stepped on my old nemesis. It was a worst-case scenario, the wet and slippery stick was pointed down the hill. My foot slid down the stick about 4 feet, and next I was scrambling desperately to avoid tumbling down the grade. Somehow I recovered successfully, but my right arm that I landed on was hurting like hell. Thought I might have broken it even, I was nauseous and everything. Figuring later that I would be in more pain than I was actually in if it was broken, I decided to just see what develops. I took an excess of aspirin and did sleep OK, a good sign; today I am better too, except I am still unable to lift my arm over my head without a lot of pain. I'm not sure what condition that would describe, but I am quite sure nobody can do anything for me, and I can sleep.
This puts an end to fly fishing for a while for sure, or probably any rope-assisted descents to fishing holes [in case you were wondering, this is one important ingredient for a 'private' fishing hole in a public river]. Generally, my experience with these sorts of injuries is that they take forever to get over. Well, if still alive don't complain I guess.
I'd say I've slipped on such sticks nearly a dozen times as an outdoorsman. In steep places I keep telling myself to watch where I put each step; easier said than done. I have successfully avoided mossy stones etc pretty well, something that has gotten other guys I know for sure. Sometimes the sticks are under leaves, this one probably was. It's bad enough if they just roll on you!
Anyway, you can get my tombstone ready.
First Foray Fly FishingJune 20th, 2014 at 5:22:36 pm
First Foray Fly Fishing
Like that alliteration?
Finally took the plunge today for really fly fishing; up till now it was just practice casting in the yard. First time with my own fly rod; I had previously fooled around with my brother's rod, enough to know I sucked at it.
Some things to learn, things that the experienced person doesn't even think to mention to the newbie. The whole business of having the fly and line flying around overhead, and in front of you and in back of you ... the degree that you have to be sure you are totally free of vegetation, front and back and overhead, cannot be over-emphasized. There is something about the little fly and hook and the whole get-up that is extremely eager to get fouled up into anything it can. The tininess of it all seems to make it worse; any weed whatsoever is perfect for the tiny hook to just dig in and hang on for all it's worth.
Not to mention the difficulty of just dealing with the tininess period. The leader line is something like 4# test and we are practically getting microscopic here. Threading the line into the eye of the hook is much harder than threading a needle. In fact I thought a needle might come in handy to clear out the eye, but the normal sized one I grabbed was too big. The eye is that small; if any needle could fit, it'd be the smallest they make. I thought about cheating and using 8# test line, but that line is also too big to go in the eye! Tying on a fly took me about 15 minutes and after doing it twice now I'd say I'd expect it to take 5-10 minutes next time. I guess I better enjoy it while I can; once the vision gets worse with age, forget it.
The casting was outright embarrassing in more ways than one, but the fishing went well. They stock trout upstream and I keep thinking this is the way to catch one and surely they come down this way. No success with that, though. It does seem to be the way to catch fish in rapids, where a lot hang out. I caught about 12 over a few hours, none particularly big as usual here. Sunfish [yep some are pumpkinseeds I think], smallies, rock bass, all thrown back.
Pretty good way to fish and travel light I think.
It just occurred to me I don't know where I put the flies, gotta go look [g]
Uncracked Fish MysteryJune 14th, 2014 at 4:57:15 am
Was back at my favorite "private" fishing hole yesterday; good for the soul. I was in a mood for hook, line, sinker, cork and worm fishing and got my fill!
First cast caught a smallie; almost every cast got some action. But I was pondering one thing: the typical pattern for me [if the fishing is good] seems to be this:
*catch the first 2 or so right away like it was nothing
*after that, the action might be good but the fish keep "outsmarting" you. Expert bait thieves that get your bait but don't get hooked. Next, clever acrobats that get off the hook somehow. Then some kind of devil that hooks hard, seems big, and somehow dives into a rock ledge and gets the hook stuck in the rocks! I marvel at this last sometimes. Finally, you catch a few more fish, which reassures me I didn't forget how to do it or something.
All this adds to the fun, really, but what is the explanation? Face?
Luck Continues with TurkeysMay 10th, 2014 at 9:53:36 am
Spring Turkey season continues to be good to me the last few seasons. I've just been plain lucky. This time I was hunting by myself, which is more challenging. I tried to take a better picture than this, but there was no one to fan the tail out while the other guy takes the pic. Cell phone on top of that.
Hopefully you can get an idea just how pretty the bird is, although with turkeys that is hard to appreciate unless you know them a bit. It's the iridescence and brown/black combinations. The head is hard to love for the uninitiated too I guess. Gorgeous to me! That thing coming out of it's chest is its beard, a hairlike structure that's like a ponytail in the front. Beard measured 10 inches and I figure Tom weighed over 20 pounds.
Just Psyched Out Fly Fishing?April 24th, 2014 at 1:38:05 pm
Well, I took the plunge and bought a fly fishing rig that was ready to go.
Practiced a little bit with it and got puzzled. Why did I think this was so hard? The last time I tried it I used an older brother's fly rod and something about it discouraged me. I will even say *he* possibly discouraged me, which would be ironic, as he has been super as far as encouraging me generally to keep up with hunting and fishing, above the call of duty really. But you know how it is with older brothers. Some look of disapproval? Some sign of disappointment that I didn't measure up to his skill level immediately? Just me being too hard on myself?
I can't remember what was so lacking in my casting [it was eons ago when I tried it]. With this out of the box thing, I think I'll do OK. No doubt I'll get better, cast further and more accurately as I go along. Maybe the el cheapo rig is perfect for me somehow.
On the other hand, as far as any other aspect of fly fishing goes, I have no idea of what the F I'm doing. We'll have to see how it goes. Stay tuned.