Thursday, June 28, 2012

Poppers

It's too goddamned hot to type, and I am too goddamned crabby to be funny.

Prior to my rapid decline in mood...I did manage to finish up a couple of poppers that have been sitting down at the lab for a while.

They aren't the most creative paint jobs, but I am just feeding them to the fish anyway...so WTF do I care how fancy they are painted?

To answer a question, the orange and yellow are made out of good old fashioned cork.  It is lighter, floats higher, cheaper to make, and creates that magical "popping" noise that seems to draw in the large-mouth better than the prefab heads.  (Even though the prefab heads look a touch more professional)

Here they are.  Enjoy.





Next up:  Time to rock some foam.  Figure I can create, fairly quickly, some truly stupid looking bugs that only a large-mouth would eat.

By the way, despite my current obsession with warm water fishing...I AM still partial to trout, so BACK OFF MAN!

Lata...

-M

Sunday, June 24, 2012

I didn't catch any fish this weekend...

...because I didn't go fishing.

Sometimes, ya gotta take some time off. Even from fishing. A weekend at a campsite that may as well have been a million miles from home sure is good for the soul.

Add in a VERY serious 'Smore' making session and you've got yourself a damn fine state of mind.


Til later, 

-M

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Bring it

Lately I've been wondering if there is a bubble over the UnForest.  It seems every
time there is any kind of weather out there, it goes north, or south...but doesn't seem to land here.

I'm no expert, but this looks promising.



Don't get me wrong, I am not looking for severe weather.  No one needs that kind of trouble...but a good storm and a soaking rain would be good.  The streams can use the boost, and I am sure the fish would welcome a dose of fresh water.

Til later,

-M

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Blessed

I would be remiss in my duties as a father if I didn't take just a minute to shout to the world how fortunate I am.

While not typically given to religious meanderings, I do believe that it is the grace of god that permits a man to be so blessed with a good family.  To save myself from typing after a great day and gushing about Mrs. MacLoosh and the MacLooshkins...I will keep it brief and say this:

It is my family that motivates me every day to try to be better than the day before.  It is my wife and kids who give me the strength to take on challenges that I wouldn't be strong enough to take on without them by my side.

It is my family that makes my heart smile.

Here are a couple of outtakes from the day:

Photo bombing-Beanie Style
Photo bombing-MacLoosh style
Merrimac Ferry
The boy half was afraid to get out of the car...but not too afraid to cheeze it up for the camera

The Colsac III  with Mrs. MacLoosh chanting to herself in the background "it's not the destination, it is the journey"

And....this is me, having a hella good time.  
Last but not least, to my own dad: Thank you for being the greatest dad ever.   I love you.  Happy Father's Day Pops.

Til later,

-M

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Oh...so good....

Managed to sneak in some quality time with the boy tonight at a local farm pond.

Yeah, you know the one...it isn't much bigger than a good sized front yard.  Has weeds grown up all around it, and you typically drive by it on the way to somewhere more important.  Occasionally you see someone with a fishing pole, but you think "Ah...must be kids putzing around.  That pond is too small to have anything good in it"

Then one day, the curiosity has gotten the better of you.  So you grab your 9 year old son, and make like bandits to this pond that is hidden in plain sight.  Hell, even if there aren't any fish, there will at least be frogs to catch.

So you tie on the newest popper from your vise, flop a couple of limp casts, then land one just beyond the weeds.  Perfect. Give it a couple of pulls, admire the way it "pops" the water, and silently congratulate yourself on a job well done. Then you promptly piss your pants as a largemouth blisters your popper.   This happens so quickly and so violently that you really don't feel comfortable about the way you've just been spooked.  You reel back like you have hooked into Jaws (trying not to notice the growing wet spot in your pants.  Warm. Yes, very warm indeed.), you feel the weight and see a giant swirl, then watch helplessly as the line suddenly shoots past your head at mach 3.  Without your new popper attached.

Damn.

Poppers take time to make...what with the painting and all...  But, you almost immediately rationalize that if you have to lose a popper, it may as well be to a really nice fish.  It happens just like that another 3 times.

Of course, there are those you land...but they seem to pale in comparison to the brute that just ate your latest offering.


Then it hits you.  By the beard of Zeus!  This goofy little pond is a treasure!  You need to tell no one.  EVER. This will be your secret.  Quick...talk to the boy.  If he blabs this all over summer school...every kid in the UnForest is going to be out here hunting these monsters. It'll be a wasteland by August.

So you pull him aside, throw your arm around him, and tell him in a soft undertoned voice that if he ever tells anyone about our new secret fishing spot, then you will hold him down and put leaches on his.....eyes.  What's more, You'll do it in the garage, with the stereo VERY loud so the neighbors can't hear him screaming.

He gives you the look.  Part fear, and part "Whatevs dad!" I know you are old and weird.  But the look in his eyes lets you know you have hit a nerve.  You nod at him almost imperceptibly so that he is sure you weren't kidding.  No more is said about this, and you go back to fishing.

Once home, his mom asks "Hey dude! Did you catch anything? Where were you fishing?", and you see him freeze in terror.  He wants to tell the truth, but he knows I am listening.  He knows the fishing was something special, and he knows that this secret is one that needs to be kept.  He says, in the most casual voice he can muster "yeah...we had fun.  Caught a couple, but nothing big, and dad let me play angry birds on his phone, so I didn't see where we went".

Again, you nod and give an almost imperceptible grin that only he sees.  He passed the test.  He is going to be a fine young man, and a trustworthy fishing partner for life.

Popper love for the bluegills too! (I am equal opportunity...)
Til later,

-M

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Weekend update (no...Seth Meyers isn't hosting this one)

Sunday evening.

Time to sit back, drink a beer, take some ibuprofen and enjoy some good old fashioned silence once the kids go to bed.  Not every Sunday brings out enough to fill a post, but I stumbled upon more of Mother Nature's freak show this weekend and had to share.  I also had the privilege of catching a few of the crowned jewel of the water.

The brook trout.

There are some fishermen who don't like them because they aren't really trout (they are actually Arctic Char), or they believe that Brookies will eat anything and therefore aren't a challenge to catch.

Haters gonna hate, what can I say?

As for me, I love em'.  Catching Brookies is the icing on my cake. They are generally found in clean water, and they are much more beautiful than they actually need to be.

Little fish, big color
That cool clean water?  Usually found in places most fishermen drive over on the way to the "lake" without even noticing.

Me? I'll take the solitude of a stream that isn't even on the radar
Prior to hitting the above small water, I was fishing downstream.  It was hot out and the water was warm (68 degrees) so the fishing was slow. Warm water means trout that won't move. This means that all of us out there who are goofy enough, stop fishing and pick up rocks in the middle the stream...

(Here is a dead giveaway that I'm not catching anything: I can be found standing in the middle of the stream, pulling up rocks to see what is underneath...)

Mmmmmm......trout food

Then...wait...what was that? Could it be?  A rise?  Oh Hell yeah....  I see the bugs coming off, and I have just the ticket.  Bellybutton lint.  A near perfect match.  I tie one on, make my cast, and "BANG!" I'm into a fish.

Hornyhead Chub.  Ugly as sin, but at least I caught something
And finally, while helping a neighbor cut down a tree in his back yard today, I stumbled up this:

Icheumonoid Wasp. On the scale of "what the hell is THAT?" this one ranks a solid 8

That's all for now...

Til later, 

-M

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Pupdate

The question that begs to be asked by every new dog owner is: Will this dog be the right one for my family?

Aside from occasionally stealing shoes and using me as his personal chew toy, this dog is starting to grow on me.  So far, I think he is fitting in nicely.

Exactly what are the qualities that make a good dog you ask?  

Here's how Manny answers those questions:

Appreciation of down time on the deck, with good beer is essential

Can't be afraid to make a firetruck look good.
Must posses strong affection for bluegill
(by the way...no fish were actually harmed during the taste testing)

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Forgive me for being direct...but.....

Ironically, while watching Sunday morning cartoons with my kiddos a commercial came on that actually prompted me to visit their website.  The cartoons are...well...dumb.  They are certainly not bugs bunny or Yosemite Sam....   But the message of this commercial was worth repeating.

This brings up two points for me.  (1) EVERY commercial prompts the viewer to go to some sort of website.  I rarely take my reading cues from television.  (2) It is certainly an ironic statement (if not somewhat sad) that my television prompted me to open up my computer to find a website that helps people get outdoors more.

Sad irony aside, I consistently have people admire my kids for being comfortable outside.  They know  how to get dirty.  They know how to explore.  They know how to catch fish, frogs, turtles and bugs.  They know how to have fun without a video game in front of their face.  I couldn't be more proud.

To answer the question that has been asked of me many times-- "How do you find such cool things to do with your kids?", I offer this:  Go outside.  (Yes...this means to go with them...and to go with an open mind...) Take a camera, but leave your phone at home or in your car.  Don't give in to their begging to do something "fun" or their whining that they are "bored".  Make them suffer in the fresh air.

Then sit back and let your kids mind EXPLODE with curiosity.  Answer the questions that you can, and then help them find the answers that you don't already know.

Warning: this isn't a lazy man's way of life.  Believe me when I say that there are plenty of times where I want nothing more than a soft pillow, quiet house, and a nap...  But the way I figure it is I have only a finite number of days before my kids grow up so much that they move on to new things...So do it now.

For more help, I would direct you to two places on the internet.  Read them, then shut your computer down and go outside.




      http://www.discovertheforest.org/








For more info on fishing specific...here's the link to an earlier post of mine about getting kids out fishing:   Kids and Flyfishing

And last but certainly not least...

GO OUTSIDE WITH THEM!  


YOU AREN'T SO BUSY THAT YOU CAN'T SPEND A FEW MINUTES TEACHING YOUR KIDS HOW TO HAVE FUN WITHOUT ELECTRONIC MEDIA.


REMEMBER--THEY WILL MODEL WHAT YOU DO, SO IF YOU WANT "OUTDOOR KIDS" THEN THE FIRST MOVE IS YOURS.  


MAKE THE CHANGE.


OK.  Stepping off of soap box now, thanks.

Til later,

-M