Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Sometimes it's not the fish...

More often than not, what you take away from the stream is much, much more than just the experience of catching fish.

Til later,


Sunday, August 31, 2014

Guilty Pleasures

Listen up.

I'm going to publicly admit this once.  Just once.  Then, I will disavow any knowledge of this post. Period.

I like disco.

I usually mask this weakness with other testosterone filled musical interests like Disturbed, Pop Evil, Volbeat and Bobaflex.  But the fact remains, when I hear certain disco music, I sing along. Ah hell, sometimes I even dance (if I've had enough dancing juice).  Here's the thing: I know you sing and dance along to disco too.  Deny all you want, be a hater if you think it will make you look cool, but I know there isn't a single one of us who doesn't occasionally (secretly) indulge.

So when my wife and I ended up in the custody of free VIP seating to see ABBAFAB (*THE* ABBA tribute band) open up for the Village People , we jumped at the chance.  As an added bonus, my parents watched the MacLooshkins for the night.  Hells to the Yeah!

To our surprise, my wife and I found ourselves so close to the stage for both acts that we could nearly touch them as they performed.  We also found ourselves having the time of our lives.  More fun in fact, than I have had at a live show in a LONG, LONG time. So after an evening as fun filled as Mrs. MacLoosh and I had, the need to share is overwhelming.

First out of the chute:  Me with the ABBAFAB girls-who by the way, put on an an amazing show! And yes, I'll freely admit, I was temporarily smitten with them (the dumbass grin on my face kind of gives me away...).

My wife was completely comfortable with this because she had her own little crush going on with a couple of the boys from the Village People.  Here she is rockin' a candid with Mr. Felipe Rose.

As final song, and after an excellent performance they, of course, played YMCA.  In a fit of pure genius, and I suspect after (literally) decades of watching drunk people do it completely wrong, they offered an "official" tutorial on how to do the hand moves.

Thankfully, I was smart enough to realize before the Village People started their set (but unfortunately after ABBAFAB's set) that my GoPro was in my truck.

I'm betting that the adrenaline junkies who invented GoPro cameras never imaged that a middle aged man would take their product and use it for something as "uncool" as a live tutorial on the proper hand moves for a disco song that is older than they are...but hey...the genie is out of the bottle.


Til Later,


Sunday, August 3, 2014

Mid Summer Update

I am proud to tell you that I have been living up to my own standards lately.  I have unplugged to an extent that I can live with (which is to say I am not 100% internet free...but my activity is greatly reduced).

In doing so, I have also been tackling my son's growing addiction to all things electronic and "connected".  It isn't coming easy.  He is still tied to his video games and tablet in ways that really bother me, but the simple truth is this:  He is still young enough for me to exert my influence whether he likes it or not so there have been some fairly severe battles.  My wife is completely on board with this, so we have been spending an absurd amount of time outside as a family...Call it an intervention.

It has been nothing short of wonderful.

As a direct result of all of the above...I have not been writing at all.  I'm OK with that.  I am still working through some ideas for the future of this page, and besides-winter will come soon enough and there will be plenty of time to write then.

For the time being, here are some of our summer highlights so far.

A week at a cabin like this will d wonders for a man's soul.

That's right.  A giant transformer.  Right in the middle of Wisconsin.
The Mecan River.  These waters haunt me.
A little bit of driftless magic from one of those times where I fled civilization before someone got hurt.
(This fish was NOT caught on the Mecan)
Trout the size of dolphins.  State fish hatchery, Wild Rose Wisconsin.
I even rode some singletrack for the first time with my boy
(after YEARS of neglecting my Mountain Bike)
Proud dad posing with 2 of 3 of his favorite hiking partners (Mrs. MacLoosh took the picture)
An important milestone for the boy.  First solo night in a tent.
The baying coyotes, raccoon(s) the size of black bears and complete lack of WiFi didn't even deter him.
Til later,


Sunday, May 11, 2014

Bad JuJu

Forgive me.  Cause I'm bout to have a "moment".

I try to be fairly understanding.  I do.  I really do.  However, every once in a while I bump into a person (or in today's case: People) who test my resolve.  What's worse, I ran into these pricks on a trout stream.

For the record, trout streams are my sanctuary.

It went like this: my son had a soccer game in Spring Green.  In a fit of pure genius, I decided that since the game was so close to one of my favorite streams, that we should go fishing afterwards. G was on board and stoked to wet a line. So after a 3-2 victory for the Cosmos, we bolted for the stream.

On arrival, we hit the first hole, found rising fish and brought a couple to hand.  Things were going well until we noticed a car slow down along the road with 3 guys gawking out the window. They drove past slow enough to cause both G and I to say to each other "what a bunch of weirdos", but we didn't let it interrupt our fishing.

The car went past again, slowly, this time in the opposite direction and I thought to myself "Good.  Go back where you came from..." because I was starting to get suspicious.  Then, it came past a 3rd time.  This time it pulled over about 200 yards in front of where my truck was parked.  I watched carefully as I fished.

Two guys got out and noisily rigged up some spinning rods.  I relaxed a little.  At least they were fishermen.  Once done, they made their way to the water.  The problem was that they hit the stream less than 50 yards in front of me.  Never acknowledged G or I, and plowed into the water with all the stealth of a rock slide. They fouled the whole fucking stream. The rising fish were put down and silt clouded the downstream water.

Asshole #1 and #2
Frustrated, G and I decided to head back downstream a few holes to find some water that could still be fished.While there, we caught a couple more fish before we noticed a fisherman coming upstream toward us.  He occasionally threw a lure, but seemed to be in a bit of a rush as he made his way upstream.

Before we knew it, he was standing inside of my personal bubble (which is admittedly larger than most people's bubble, and even bigger on a trout stream) and jabbering about his buddies upstream and how he just really likes wading the streams. It was clear that attempts to have conversation with him was just an interruption in his dialogue as he told us that fly fishing was "doing it the hard way".  Irritated as I was, I did my best to be cordial for no other reason than to keep my son from seeing the darker side of my personality. Internally, I felt violent towards the interloper.

Then, to my absolute astonishment, he stepped into the water 20ft in front of me and proceeded to wade his stupid ass right though a bend pool with an obvious lunker structure along the right side (where I had been watching a good fish rise and had been working my way towards it).  He got to the head of the pool, and then started to cast upstream to a shallow riffle (where there the water was too shallow to allow for any fish to feed).

Asshole #3
I started to unravel.

My son noticed the change in my demeanor and in an act of pure diplomacy, quickly suggested that we go back to the truck and drive upstream to a bridge pool we have fished before.  "Come on dad, the fishing is better up there anyway".

My mood was degrading at a rate that has gotten me into trouble in the past, and I was sliding towards the dark side.  Somehow I managed to keep just enough composure to follow my boy's suggestion and we walked back to the truck and left.

Among the things I noticed on the way upstream...was that there was only one other fisherman out there. It made me even more mad since these dickheads could have gone and fished anywhere in the 1.5 mile stretch of water between where my son and I were and the bridge, but they chose (key word there...they made a conscious decision to fish right on top of us) to crowd the water in that area.

I did manage one more fish by the bridge, but my groove was gone.  In fact, all I really wanted to do was to go back down stream and shove my 5wt up each and every one of their asses.

Instead, we packed it in for the 1.5 hour drive home.

As I drove, I calmed.  I realized that in all of my years fishing I have only run into things like this a small handful of times, and I am incredibly grateful for all of you out there who have both manners and a genuine love of the stream and the sport of trout fishing.

As for the 3 amigos...Thanks to the magic of the internet and license plate look-up, everyone can know who you are.

Fellow driftless fishermen, when you see this car on the side of the road--expect to meet others on the stream who will push your limits with poor etiquette and worse manners.

Til later,