Sunday, December 29, 2013

On messing with a legend...

When something works, common knowledge tells us not to tinker with it.  Right?  Well, generally I would agree, except that I *might* have gotten into a bottle of Jameson last night.

After a couple of Saturday evening cocktails (for no real celebratory reasons at all...other than it was Saturday and I could), I made my way down to the lab.  With whiskey, there is a VERY fine line between too much and just enough.

How do I figure out where I landed on the scale of indulgence?  Usually my wife lets me know, or...the pictures start appearing on Facebook and I shift into damage control mode.  However, this morning when I headed down to the lab with coffee in hand to review the evening's efforts, (A) I realized that I don't have a headache and (B) I also realized that the flies that I'd experimented on last night actually look good.

....like they might accidentally work (?!).

The Pink Squirrel (designed and made famous by John Bethke) is one of those flies that just works. I don't know why, because it doesn't look like anything I have ever seen swimming in the stream.  But not unlike one of those gawdy bass lures that draws strikes from largmouth for unknown reasons; the Pink Squirrel can entice a nice trout out of its dark hiding place-even when it is feeling stubborn.

Here is the original:

Photo: http://illinoiswisconsinfishing.blogspot.com/
And the variant:


Granted, the changes are subtle and not enough to call it an original MacLoosh fly so we will just call it what it is: a variant.  The main differences are green flash dubbing on the thorax instead of squirrel fir dub and pink scud dub instead of chenille on the collar. Everything else is essentially the same as Mr. Bethke's original recipe.

Considering the mix of colors and materials that I typically come up with when drinking and tying flies, I have high hopes for this one and think it might actually catch a fish or two.  Of course the proof will be in the pudding when it comes time to try it out, but this is one of those rare instances where I won't be afraid embarrassed to have tied one on.

Pun intended.

Til later,

-M

Monday, December 23, 2013

Fresh air

Sure.  It is a bit cold out.  But sometimes, the need for fresh air just can't be overstated.

In a fit of early winter cabin fever, my boy and is buddy joined me for a hike at one of the nearby places where a fella can go to recharge his soul.

I think it is fair to say that we all needed some time in the woods, each of us for our own reasons.

Here is a look at the day through the lens of my camera:








Til later,

-M

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Turning towards the light


Don't know about you, but today is one of my favorite days of the year.

Never mind that today is a Saturday.  Or the first in a long series of days off for the holidays.  And never mind that there is an impending snowstorm. (I like all kinds of storms, but big snowstorms carry a special brand of excitement for me, especially around Christmas)

Today marks the first official day of winter and most importantly, the returning of the sun.  While today is the shortest day of the year in terms of sunlight, tomorrow will have a full 2 extra seconds of daylight.

Go ahead, call me a dreamer, optimist, or just a garden variety fruitcake.  Or maybe it's just the Prozac speaking, but I plan to take those 2 seconds per day and enjoy them to the fullest.

Happy solstice everyone!

Til later,

-M

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Hung up

Carp.

I'm trying.  I REALLY am.  But the truth is I just don't get it.

Not my picture, don't give me credit.
I know, I know, I've heard it from the shops, read about it online and in the Drake Magazine, etc. I have even watched countless videos like "Off The Grid" where the latest in technology mixes heavily with edgy film makers and creates an aura that makes carp fishing look incredibly glamorous.  Right here in the Midwest.

"Once you try it, you will love it"
"The tug is the drug"
"It's like bone fishing except you don't need to travel to Belize"
"Carp are incredibly difficult to catch, your presentation has to be spot on"
"Once a carp takes the fly, better hold on because its about to break loose"

...and the chorus goes on.

So here I sit.  Trying to shed the stigma that I apparently have stuck in my head and frankly, unable to do it. If it is THAT good, I want in on it.  Period.  Especially since it can be done just about everywhere around me.

But...I grew up on the Mississippi River where catching gar and the occasional carp amounted to a monumental failure to catch whatever game fish we were actually after.  When you did see carp cruising, it was typically in the stagnant back water that was also filled with leaches and algae that was so thick that the "Old English" 40oz bottle isn't as much floating as it is resting on silt so deep that you would get inextricably stuck if you stepped in on accident, much less chasing a fish that you didn't want to catch in the first place...

(Whoa...how's that for a run on sentence????)

Poor grammar aside, I am trying my friends.  But struggling.

Maybe this summer will be the time when I actually catch that carp on a fly rod?  Don't know, but as it is single digit temperatures with wind-chills well below zero here in the UnForest today, even carp offer an acceptable level of escape via daydreams.

Til later,

-M

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Fun with innuendo (a holiday "how to" guide for getting in trouble with your spouse)

Disclaimer:  Despite what the rest of this post may insinuate, I am truly thankful for so many things in my life and I want to wish each and every one of you a truly happy day of thanks.

Now, on to business.

A favorite pastime of mine is to turn normal sounding things into innuendo.  I do this every day, but Thanksgiving is ripe with opportunity.


Here is a short list of Thanksgiving related words that I can't say without either a smirk on my face, or without that added innuendo that I enjoy so much:

Breast
Pie
Cavity
Stuffing (or Stuffed)
Gravy
Baste
Giblets
Thigh
Sauce
Trimming (or simply: Trim)
Jam
Gobble
Buns
Eat
Tasty
Rolls
             
Remember, most of the fun is not just "what" you say, but how you say it.  For best results, go with a low, almost imperceptible growl in your (already) annoyed or embarrassed wife's ear: "Would you like me to baste the thighs now?"

For those having a hard time coming up with truly creative ways to get into trouble...here are a few primer sentences.  The delivery and timing are up to you.  Remember, bonus points are awarded for creativity:

Whew, that's one terrific spread!
I'm in the mood for a little dark meat.
Tying the legs together keeps the inside moist.
Talk about a huge breast!
It's Cool Whip time!
If I don't undo my pants, I'll burst!
Are you ready for seconds yet?
It's a little dry, do you still want to eat it?
Just wait your turn, you'll get some!
Don't play with your meat.
Just spread the legs open & stuff it in.
You still have a little bit on your chin. (my personal favorite)
Use a nice smooth stroke when you whip it.
How long will it take after you stick it in?
You'll know it's ready when it pops up.
Wow, I didn't think I could handle all of that!
That's the biggest one I've ever seen!
Just lay back & take it easy...I'll do the rest.
How long do I beat it before it's ready?


Til later, 

-M

Monday, November 25, 2013

Opening Weekend (or...another installment of the off season blues..)

Yeah.  I don't deer hunt.

Don't get me wrong, I take no issue with thinning the herd, love me some venison chili, stew and hot sticks when I can get them; but I grew up in a city and didn't really have anyone to teach me the art of deer hunting. I'm not complaining though.  I can't really afford (and Mrs. MacLoosh probably wouldn't tolerate) another expensive and time consuming hobby.

The above not withstanding, opening weekend of deer season still holds it's own tradition for me.  You see, without fail, every year I want to get out into the woods for a hike on opening morning so badly I can taste it. Call it a sickness...but it drives me absolutely batty to know I can't just get up and go out for a hike.  I guess you always want what you can't have..

And so I am left to other devices to keep me from getting into trouble.  Chores around the house keep me partially busy, but idle hands (and mind) can be tools of the devil.

Wrecking ball
A trip to the local home improvement store also yielded an impromptu stop at the neighboring Best Buy.  In an effort to avoid the GoPro camera display and my un-disciplined accessory purchasing habits...my boy and I ended up perusing CDs.  The end result was the unfortunate purchase of a Miley Cyrus CD.  It seems that both kids can agree on very little except the fact that "Wrecking Ball" as sung by Miss Miley is, in their (collective) opinion: the greatest song in the world.  And so...being the soft touch that I am, I bought it for them.  To be sure, this purchase runs directly contrary to my usual disdain of all performers with the last name of "Cyrus" but in a very rare opportunity, I made both kids happy in one fell swoop.  (And thankfully, the CD was half its normal price...)

Of course, Miley's bizarre behavior, wardrobe and even stranger choice of back drops for her video are enough to pique the interest of even the most serious of Cyrus haters.


At a minimum, a naked woman sitting on a wrecking ball will get my attention every time...what can I say?

Bird feeding
I rarely keep my bird feeders full in the summer. I figure if they can't find enough to eat when the growing season is here, then they were going to die anyway.  Winter time is another story.  I feel sorry for them.  I am also a closet bird watcher so I enjoy seeing some of the visitors that the feeders bring.  Probably my favorite is the Northern Flicker.  A cool little guy that I figure to be about as close to a brown trout as a bird can get.

Not my picture-don't give me credit
And of course the bird feeders bring other unwanted visitors.  Squirrels.  I can handle a couple of them, but lately we seem to be over-run and I think it is time to start thinning the pack.  I haven't decided on exactly how to do it, and of course I wouldn't THINK of breaking any local laws in the process...but the below video certainly gives my over-active imagination some fun ideas to tinker with.

Enjoy.



Til later,

-M

Saturday, November 16, 2013

HomeMakeOver: The Lab edition

Joining in on an organizational fit that has vexed Mrs. MacLoosh lately, I attacked and gave the Lab complete remodel.

Re-arranging the Lab really wasn't something that I thought NEEDED to be done.  I have actually been pretty happy with the set-up.

Rather, as I was giving part of the basement a thorough cleaning (Mrs. MacLoosh tackled the truly hard stuff last weekend, I was just capitalizing on her really good start...). Part of today's task meant that our old PC get dismantled and removed (since it nearly started on fire recently).  What was left was an extra desk in the basement.  Too big to store, too good to just get rid of.  So I have been looking at the basement since last weekend, trying to figure out exactly how to re-arrange.  The only logical option was to take out my home made fly tying bench, since it would be easy to take apart and store.   Once done, I went to work converting the old computer desk to my "new" personal work-space, aka: The Lab Part Deux.

Of course, I also managed to get the rest of the basement done and for a nice change of pace, I am currently in the good graces of Mrs. MacLoosh.  Hell...I think she might have even shaved her legs for me today (wink wink nudge nudge tickle tickle)

Uh...where was I??

Oh...yeah...the new Lab.  It has it's similarities to the old set up.  After all, I did mention that I wasn't particularly unsatisfied with what I had...

Out with the old...

In with the new.
And finally...an update on the dog.  His indiscretions with my streamers was just the start of a week that I am glad to have behind me.  And, while he HAS managed to stay out of my fly tying supplies...his run of poor behavior has continued in other ways. We're working on this....

I will readily admit, that as I was putting the new Lab together, I paused and was more than mildly distracted by the thought of rigging it up with some sort of electrical shock device (similar to an electric fence).  You know....just in case he forgets his manners again.

Til later,

-M

Monday, November 11, 2013

Life with a peckerhead dog

Mondays.  I freaking HATE Mondays.  There is just no real redeeming value to Mondays as far as I am concerned. Today ended with an episode that pretty much justifies my disdain for the first workday of the week.

Someday I will sit back with a beer in my hand and recount this story to friends.  Maybe it will be around a camp fire after a good day on the water.  Or...more likely...it will be from the friendly confines of a padded room (and no beer...).

The initial text was this:


At first, I thought it was funny.

My thought process was: "Stupid ass dog.  I hope he got stuck.  Wait....no I don't.  The barb wasn't pinched down and I don't need the extra vet bill"  I called my wife to verify that he wasn't hurt. He wasn't.  Whew...no extra vet bill today.

That was on the way home from a "classic" Monday at work.  As I drove, I flipped through the flash cards that make up my memory and realized that I had purposefully left those streamers with hooks secured in foam on my fly tying desk.  That means the dog had to exert some effort into getting one stuck in his paw.

Suddenly, some jackwagon pulled out in front of me, and I was off into a fresh set of dark thoughts.

After dinner and helping my daughter with homework, my wife casually mentioned Manny's taste for feathers and I scurried downstairs to check the Lab.  What I found is apparently what happens when a pain-in-the-ass Kickmeanklebiter is left unsupervised.

Now, I know that saying he is retarded is not politically correct these days, so save yourself the trouble of a lecture on use of that word.  But the truth is: I am currently having a hard time finding a more socially acceptable way to express the fact that this dog is on the very low end of the canine intelligence curve.

Dog shaming.  MacLoosh style.
The little fucker managed to mangle each and every one of the Fish Sculls streamers that I spent the last couple of nights working on.  In some, the zonker strip is gone all together.  In others the marabou is beyond repair.  And yet, in others, the hackle is absolutely destroyed.  He also got into a pack of olive colored marabou, and mangled an entire (brand new) package of natural colored zonker strips.

My current hope is that tomorrow when he goes out for his morning duece, that somewhere along the way a quill has managed to stay intact and finds its way through his lower intestinal system by way of poking the sidewalls and causing involuntary muscle spasms along the way.

No one would be happier than me to see his sorry ass twisting and twitching in wretched discomfort. When he eventually pinches it off and turns around to sniff the the fruits of his labor, I hope he gets one final poke in the nose.

A guy's gotta dream right?!

In the mean time, since Fish Sculls aren't cheap, and because I think I can still fish them...I will.  If I get skunked, then I guess I will just have to come home and beat the dog as one final act of retaliation.

Now, excuse me while I go lace his kibble with chili powder.

Til later,

-M

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Scull Candy

Continuing on my streak in The Lab...I've been working up some big streamers lately.  I am not sick of tying them yet, but I am about out of Fish Sculls already.  

And I REALLY like these guys.



I suppose I can continue on making them with cone shaped beads, but I just don't think those would be quite as fun.

I suppose I could also just buy some more, but the truth is, in the world of fly tying supplies, these guys aren't inexpensive (and I AM cheap when it comes to tying materials, despite what Mrs. MacLoosh would tell you...).

So I guess I will just wait patiently, maybe work up a few more variations with the cones, then fish them hard when I finally get the opportunity (...approximately 4 months from now when the 14' trout season opens).  If one mix of materials or colors works better than another, then I will invest in more Fish Sculls and build an army of them.

To be sure, this is a crappy way to figure out if a pattern is good or not, but for now it is all I've got.

Til later,

-M



Monday, November 4, 2013

Falling back

I changed the clocks this weekend.  Yep. That bi-annual ritual that goes along with changing the batteries in my smoke detectors.

I fell back.

The truth is, falling back actually starts somewhere around October 1st.  Not coincidentally, the Wisconsin Inland Trout season ends the day before.  Also not coincidental is the fact that I am already falling back into that off season haze that starts to ramp up this time of year.

Changing the clocks and detector batteries is just one of the signposts on the road to the winter crazies.  Before too long, I will have completely lost my mind, as I spend my time muttering incoherently and pouring myself another drinky drink drink.

Bring on the shorter days.  Bring on the fact that it is hunting season and walks along the creeks are limited to public trails where I don't need to worry about taking a 220 grain slug to the head.

And...bring on the fly tying.

Despite an incredibly busy and stressful October, I am, apparently off to a good start on filling the flybox's this year. My usual M.O. is to pick a pattern and stick with it until I have either run out of supplies, or (more likely) I get so goddamned sick of tying that pattern that I move on.


And such is the case with my hopper box.  It's full again (and then some).  I love fishing hoppers...but...holy hell! am I tired of tying foam...

So, what's next?  There are only about 50 patterns running through my mind (including the new school patterns and old standby's like the CDC Caddis).  With that, I could use some help: anyone have a new, killer pattern that is sooooo sexy even the big trout lose their usual inflated sense of self?

If you do, hit me up.  I'd love to have the pattern and a new obsession.

Til later,

-M

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Hanging on...

Here is the deal.  Part of my fascination with the digital world is simply a function of being the type of person who always needs to something to work on...

But I have an ulterior motive:  I want NEED to keep my technological skills sharp because my kids will, inevitably, catch up and surpass everything that I know about computers and online life.  They will take off, and leave me hanging on for dear life as I try desperately to stay relevant. I'm comfortable with this.  As a parent, I want them to use every tool that is available to them to make a better life for themselves than their "out of touch" parents.  But much to my surprise...it is already happening.

My son, who is genuinely disgruntled about the fact that his mom and I haven't bought him a laptop yet (He is 10.  Sorry.  Not going there for a while...), took the family cell phone (a second hand flip phone) and shot a stop action video. Then he sweetened me up and convinced me into helping him out with some edits.

Technology or not...time with my boy is time well spent, so at his direction, I helped him move this video over to my computer, then helped make his vision come to life.  I was proud to be a part of the whole production.

Please take a look, and if so inclined: please leave a comment too.  I think he would appreciate the feedback.

Without further delay, I proudly present my son's first published video: "Gabes Yo Legos"

video


Til later,

-M

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

October 8 is a BIG day

 


3 years old and this blog is still kicking.  Nobody is more surprised than me.

In dog years, the page just turned 21 years old.  Old enough to drink, so with a tip of a well deserved cocktail, I salute and say "Happy Birthday MacLoosh Chronicles!"  

But seriously...the writing is fun.  The pictures are fun.  However; what has really made this rewarding is the number of new friends I have met and the old friends who keep checking in.

To each and every one of you: Thank you so very VERY much for reading.  (Now, turn off your computer and go fishing!)

-M

Sunday, September 29, 2013

ManCamp 13'

Each year in September, my boy and I sneak off in the camper for our annual "ManCamp".  We do dangerous things, eat poorly and fart whenever the hell we feel like it.  Oh...and there is that tradition...  It is both obscure and bizarre, and it doesn't even make complete sense to us.

Here's how it went down....

Traditions must be kept...

King of all he surveys. (That's a BIG knife for a little guy....)
Last trout of 2013 for MacLoosh

Is it even legal to not take a picture like this in the fall?

Boy with big knife catch little snake (and crossed an item off his bucket list)

Tradition complete
Eater Island refugee??  Or just macabre sculpture watching over Big Spring Creek?
Morning fog clearing from Blackhawk Lake
And finally...does this hot-dog make you uncomfortable?
It does me...but Hey. a roadside oddity is a roadside oddity...
Til later,

-M

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Harvest Moon Photo Drop


In lieu of anything actually profound to say...here is a recap of September through the lens of my camera.  Enjoy.



Elroy-Sparta Bike Trail - Tunnel #2


Roadside attractions-Mauston, WI




Sure do love me some September Fishing!

Til later,

-M

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Out of the fog


Fog.  

While silent, it carries an infinite weight and settles in with absolute permanence.  Once seated, it stays as long as it wants and clears only when it is ready.  

Fog obscures.  It allows the eye to see only as far as the fog has determined that the eye should see.  It slows life to a crawl.  Because of fog, the things that normally move freely are bound to creep along for fear of not knowing exactly what lies beyond. 

Fog renders everything middle gray.  Nothing is allowed to be too bright, or too dark. No highs.  No lows.

Fog is oppressive.


So what happens when the fog begins to lift?  

Life returns to normal.  It is no longer in a state of muted suspension.  Motion is no longer stifled. Glimpses of horizon begin to come into view. Colors emerge in the distance and as the fog continues to dissipate, those colors become stunningly vibrant.  Light is allowed to shine in, and shadows are allowed to deepen. 

For better or worse; highs and lows are allowed to occur without obstruction.

Life begins to return to what it truly is, and not what the fog wanted it to be.



Til later, 

-M 
 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Afterglow

Forgive me for just a moment while I bask in the afterglow of the nearly perfect day.  At this moment in time, I am in a very good place.

I had a VERY good day fishing.

Today's outing wasn't even supposed to happen.  I was supposed to be up north all weekend with a group of friends drinking myself silly, boating, peacock hunting from a golf cart, bar hopping and generally forgetting that I am 42 years old as I acted like a college kid again.  (I have a history with these chaps that involves a meteor shower, Trunk pizza and a gentleman's club)  Unfortunately, a fairly severe car repair last week took every bit of disposable income we had (and then some)...so a bachelor's weekend was suddenly out of the picture.  Damn.

Had I gone up north...I am sure it would have looked something like this...
So yesterday, my son and I decided that since my wife and daughter were scheduled to be at a baby shower, we had better go fishing.  All we had to do was get there...not much cost involved. We called up a buddy of mine and the plan was hatched to head out to the driftless bright and early for some trout hunting.  In preparation, I spent Saturday evening in the lab working up a box full of fresh hoppers.  Now, you all know that my boy and I trout fish together regularly, but this time he was put on notice that he would be hanging with the big boys so he was expected to act accordingly. We were going there to fish, and fish hard.  Bad weather, bugs, or poor fishing be damned...this was serious.

Homie don't do early mornings so good....
As it turned out, there was no bad weather.  In fact it was nearly perfect: we were rolling by 0600 hours, the temps were in the mid 60's and overcast - no real bugs except the slight hatch of BWO's coming off the fast water. And aside from somehow shooting himself in the side of his neck with his slingshot (during a bit of "non fishing" play)...G conducted himself like a true sportsman.

By the way...I have NO idea how one accidentally shoots himself in the side of the neck with a slingshot, but yes...he has the bruise (and sore neck muscle) to prove it and doesn't seem to want to divulge any of the actual details of the incident.  In any case, he is fine and has now earned himself a new nickname.  "Slingshot".

The fish seemed to realize that the season is about to change and were more than eager to take my hoppers.  Several were caught, a few were kept and there was at least one who came out of the water like one of those sharks you see the Discovery Chanel. It took my hopper so violently that even Slingshot muttered "HOLY SHIT!".  His choice of words registered with me, but this fish was heavy and was taking line so I let this little Freudian slip go.  The fish promptly broke me off--and I launched into a string of swear words that would embarrass me under any other circumstances.



I had decided early on that I would keep a brace of fish.  It was time for a fresh trout dinner. This is an extremely rare occurrence for me as I am usually an avid catch and release guy.  But today, the weather was good, the fish were coming fairly easily and were of sufficient size to make a meal out of, so I met my bag limit.

Once home, and after some time watching football and helping Slingshot get comfortable with ice on his neck...I set to cooking up dinner.  The preparation for dinner (including filleting the trout) turned into a family affair, complete with Slingshot and my wife looking up the 80's  song "Fish Heads" on YouTube then singing it over and over and over and over and...




By no means am I a gourmet chef...but I sure had fun cooking...
Dinner turned out fantastic despite my daughter's objections to the notion that I had to kill the fish to eat them.  (Odd...doesn't seem to be an issue when I explain where chicken nuggets come from.......and the whole notion of "Mechanically Separated" doesn't seem to sink in either....)  She was a trooper and at least tasted the fish at our insistence then returned to her (requested) Mac & Cheese to "get the fishy taste out".  There is always a critic in the crowd...

So as I sit here and type in the afterglow of a fine meal of brown trout after a great day of fishing, and an excellent weekend despite the botched  party plans...I can say with some certainty that when it's good...it's REALLY good.

Til later,

-M

Sunday, August 25, 2013

I'm easily distracted. Sorry.

It's been one hell of a good summer.

Although admittedly, I haven't fished as much as I had planned to.  Not fishing much makes it hard to genuinely consider myself a "flyfishing blogger".  To say I haven't fished as much as I wanted is not to say I haven't fished at all.  I've been out...when possible..   But with the lack of regular time on the water or pecking away at my computer, I am respectfully stepping back from any expectations that may be out there for this page.  

Uh...yeah, about that lack of activity from me on the page this summer: Sorry, I am easily distracted. But distractions notwithstanding, a big factor in my lack of posts was the loss of my prized fishing camera.

So you may remember a while back, my camera slipped out of my sling pack and into the water.  I was genuinely devastated.  I absolutely loved that camera, and trusted it to bring back memories of my outings.  It went everywhere with me, and never once failed to be ready, easy to use, and brought back good quality images.  

I did commandeer my wife's unused digital camera, but me and that camera just haven't found our chi together and I haven't taken nearly as many photographs-which have always been a mainstay of this page.

And then there is the GoPro.




I love it.  I am having some serious fun with it, and burning up gigabytes at a rate that I never knew was possible. However; it has limitations and isn't always as easy to grab on the fly (pun intended) to snap off a couple of quick pix.  The geek in me is currently enthralled with the learning curve of  making and editing decent videos.  In true MacLoosh fashion: I have sort of immersed myself in learning this new hobby, and unfortunately it has also taken away from my writing.




Also lending itself to not writing much has been the fact that the MacLoosh clan has been spending a lot of time up north in areas where there is neither internet connection, nor reliable cell phone (much less data) connection.  It has been good to unplug.  In fact, if I had my druthers I would move to a place in the woods where a data connection was neither needed nor particularly wanted. But that is a whole other post for another day. 

We are rapidly closing in on fall, and the annual travel slowdown that comes with getting back into school, soccer, gymnastics and all that...so my online activity should adjust accordingly.

Anyway, please don't hold my absence against me.  Cooler temps and the end of the inland trout season will soon force me back indoors and towards my keyboard.  

Til later,

-M

Saturday, August 3, 2013

The Sh*t Show



Sometimes I wonder if I am the only special-ed fly fisherman who can hook a fish.  Lose the fish (or think I've lost the fish). and then by the grace of god realize that it is still hooked.

This video is proof that the worst fisherman in the world can still get lucky and catch the dumbest trout in the river.

Til later,

-M

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Bluegill days

Fresh off a week at a cabin that was smack dab in the middle of several great trout streams, I am sorry to tell you that mother nature played kind of a rotten trick on me.  The heat, humidity, mosquitoes, and plain old lack of any bites caused me to abandon trout fishing all together for the week.

Uncharacteristic of me, I know; I am usually not smart enough to figure such things out until looking at them through hindsight.

The cabin was on a gorgeous little lake.  Clear water, temps in the mid 90's and no air conditioner in the cabin meant that I spent a LOT of time in the water.  When not actually in the water cooling off, my other favorite activity was lounging on a lawn chair at water's edge and drinking myself silly.  Of course, one can only do this for soooo long before the need to do something else hits.

Usually the call to action was wandering up to the house for a fresh cocktail or change of flavor(s), but also occasionally meant swinging a fly-rod for bluegill.  Fun stuff, but they have a habit of swallowing everything they take. After a while of performing surgery on every fish I caught, I turned to something less...invasive.

Here is a look at a few of the more...gregarious...fish that were hanging out off the dock.


Til later,

-M

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Bumps

It's been a bumpy week so far.  I can't lie.

Everything started out great last week.  Long holiday weekend, good food, good drink, good fireworks and good friends.  The holiday was so good in fact, that the MacLoosh clan ended up at their cabin with them to finish out the weekend.


Unbeknownst to me, on Sunday morning things had started to quietly unravel.

First, there was this small issue of not having slept much.  After an excellent evening around a campfire, and more than my fair share of Potosi Cave Ales (good stuff...but my gawd does it pack a punch...) I managed to find the bed around 3:30a.  I think.  Things were a little fuzzy to be honest, and marking the correct time wasn't on my list of things to be concerned about.

Then somewhere around 5:15a or so, I woke up.

The cabin was quiet, even the dogs looked at me like I was an idiot for being awake, but I couldn't fall back asleep.  So...I did what I assume most would do in the same situation: I found my shorts, flip flops and car keys and hit the road.  If you can't sleep, then you may as well go fishing.  Right?

Luckily we weren't far from the Mecan River--One of my all time favorite trout streams.  A stop at the local Kwik Trip for coffee and a breakfast sandwich and I was headed north to the river.


Once I got to the Mecan, I sucked down a few more gulps of coffee and took a look at the water.  Perfect.  A nice seam with fish rising happily and what should have been an easy upstream cast.  I strung up my rod, tied on a caddis and managed to flub every cast I tried to make.  I mean to tell you that I am certain that I fouled that water so completely, that it probably hasn't settled down yet.

It was not lost on me that the drinks the night befo...well...couple of hours earlier may have had something to do with my clumsiness.

So as I wallowed from flubbing casts to catching every tree and blade of grass that was nearby, I decided that I never liked trout fishing or the Mecan anyway.  Fuck that. I headed back to the cabin where I knew my boy and his buddy would be up and already fishing for panfish at the lake.



True to form the boys were set up on a dock and were killing the panfish with flyrods.  I wandered over and joined the fun.  Well, in my (continued) clumsy state, I manged to drop my old faithful digital camera into the drink.  My son froze as we both watched it fall from my fishing pack into the crystal clear water (in slow motion)...only to be investigated by a bluegill once it settled on the bottom.  I think my boy expected a full fledged temper tantrum from me and slowly, carefully backed up.

I wasn't surprised.  In fact...I was mildly amused.  Amused in that crazed, half drunk state that can only be fully appreciated after less than 2 hours of sleep.

My son backed up further...but never took his eyes off of me as I calmly fished the camera out of the water--while also trying to skewer the asshole bluegill who was hanging around.  I decided it might be best if I head back to the cabin.  My son came with to grab some breakfast.  I think he was a little worried about me.

While there, and after it was obvious that I wasn't going to blow a nut, he admitted to me that he had gotten his cell phone wet the night before, while fishing. It seems they were getting pounded by mosquitoes and the only way to escape them was to go into the water.  He had forgotten his phone in his pocket.  An honest mistake.

My son is savvy.  He had carefully chosen this moment to tell me.  I was clearly not in my "normal" state of mind, and I had just dropped my own camera into the water while he was watching.  So forgiveness was given, and after a run back to town for bags of rice...both devices were hopefully drying out.  After almost 3 full days in rice, and a trip to Verizon to get a phone that was generously donated by a friend activated...neither his old phone or my camera worked.


Add to all of this a dose of workplace stress that is beyond the scope of anything I could have dreamed up...and I am good and god damned ready for a vacation.

So tonight, using the one camera that DOES still work, I made a cathartic video.  All I gotta say is "Damn.  That felt good".

video


Til later,

M