Wednesday, November 26, 2008

For a good cause...

Jen and I drove into work today with plans to cut out about a half an hour early so that we could drive over to Bob Mitchells Fly Shop before it closed today. This was our only shot to meet the donation deadline with our busy schedules being what they are and the shop's store hours being what they are. The purpose of this was to drop off a couple of float tubes for the Kiap-TU-Wish Holiday Conservation Banquet. With a few minor slow spots in the drive over, it was pretty smooth sailing and we made it over before the shop closed. The event takes place next week on Dec 4th (details can be found on the Kiap-TU-Wish website), and I always look forward to this event every year. It's fun hanging out with friends, meeting new people, and raising money for a good cause. Last year we won a bid for one of Bob Whites prints that had contained three of his images he created along with three flies he tied on nicely matted picture frame.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Fall to Winer transition

This is that time of year that I feel stalled out. Trout season is done, the bass boat has been put away, there is no ice on the lakes for ice fishing, and the unpredictable weather conditions for grouse hunting. Not really cold enough for a stocking cap, but not warm enough for just a baseball hat either. Totally a frustrating time of year for me. Grrrrr.

So this weekend was spent moving things from the house and yard to the shed, replacing the dryer vent tube, placing ice scrapers and sleeping bags in the vehicles, covering the A/C unit up, shopping for a BBQ grill cover (still searching for one), looking for my winter clothes, and miscellaneous other to do's around the house since it has been abandoned so many weekends over the past two months.

Also I spent time at the fly shop getting a few supplies for some flies I want to tie and spent some hours looking up 'stuff' on catching big Blue gills and Pumpkinseeds, and potential places to cross country ski. My wife and I thought about trying it out last year, but there was little snow and very cold. We are hoping to try it out this year, the outlook is promising according the Farmers Almanac predictions.

So for now I wait, and wait, and wait some more. I will soon be ready to sit for hours in my fly tying room thinking about the next season of fishing, refilling my depleted fly boxes with some proven patterns and also with some late-night-inspired experimental patterns. I am sure there will be an evening or two 'organizing' the room, and maybe a night or two of catching up on the poor neglected unread fly fishing magazines that I have fallen behind on. All these things to do to pass the time of winter until I can rig up a fly rod again and slip back into my waders. I can all ready hear the spring sounds of my favorite trout river that I haven't been on since September.

I think this might be a winter I try to go ice fishing for Lake Trout, as I have only fished for them once before on a beautiful day after a foot and a half of show fell the day before in the U.P. with some friends from the area. It would be a nice change to go for something that I haven't caught a thousand times before just to mix it up and amplify the excitement of the great Midwest northern winter tradition.

I do have some fish pron to watch either tonight or tomorrow that I borrowed. I am excited about that. The first one is called "The Best of the Bear, Steelhead with Jeff 'Bear' Andrews" I had the opportunity last year at the Greatwaters Fly Fishing Expo to talk with him and watch him when he tied at the Fly Tying Theater that our club was in charge of. A very nice guy and knowledgeable about steelhead flies and steelhead fishing. The other two DVD's I borrowed are "Trout Bum Diaries" and "Drift." They should hold me over or cause me to book a trip and leave town next week. I'll let you know either way.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Last weekend...

Friday night Jen and I headed up to Deer camp in Emily, MN to see the boys. As expected, everybody was there in various forms of tired happiness. Pinky, Craig and I stayed up late chatting away and catching up on the highlights of the past year. Everybody else pretty much was in bed by 11pm, while we called it quits just short of 1am.

Saturday the usual bustle started around 5am, people quietly getting themselves together for the day out in the woods. Jen and I hit the local cafe for a warm breakfast. It was pretty ok. I picked up a small game license and we drove down a couple of dirt roads looking for grouse before heading back to the cabin. When we got there it was empty and we indulged in some long and much needed naps. Feeling refueled, I grabbed the Over and Under 20 gauge, and took a stroll around Lee and Pa's woods. Later that night after returning back to camp without seeing anything to shoot at, Craig reported seeing four grouse, one of which clipped the stand he was in while flying by. Carmi reported seeing a grouse as well, giving her a good startle too. Dean-o shot a seven pointer bringing the camp deer count up to four (out of eight hunters).

After a very nice steak dinner, a little competitive game of TX No-Limit ensued. I made two big comebacks after nearly being pushed to the streets of loser-ville in both games only to come back and win with authority.

Sunday morning Jen and I packed up and headed back to do some work and harass our cat. The roads were icy and it added about 45 minutes to the trip which normally takes a little over 2 hours. Overall, it was a nice break from standing in 44 degree rivers the previous five out of eight weekends.

Two weekends ago...

Two weekends ago was the opener of the MN Deer hunting season, which meant that there was more room for me on the tribs of the north woods of WI for steelhead fishing. It was my last weekend of steelheading and it was pretty nice.

I arrived Friday night to the cabin I was staying at. After checking in, I settled into one of my favorite bars, the Kro-bar, for an evening of entertainment by the locals.

Saturday, I fished in the heavy snow flakes and quiet woods. Very few people around, so I was able to hit all my favorite spots with ease. While I didn't catch a thing, it was great to be out while it was snowing so heavily. That evening, I hooked up with my wife and some friends for dinner at the O.P. Bar. The friends that were there were mostly the ones I went with on my Bonefishing vacation in Mexico this past spring. Mike from the Fly Angler, Peter, and David. Two others also dined with us that new people from the group. It was a great evening of conversation of both the past several weeks victories and blunders, as well as some stories from the Bonefishing trip as well. And of course, the required brainstorming of the next potential trip.

Sunday the wind picked up significantly, so Jen and I went off to play tourist in Ashland. After being disappointed there, we headed up to Washburn. We snapped a few photos, got a coffee from the coffee place, and met up with some friends back in Duluth, MN for the remainder of the afternoon/evening, where they took us out to "The Shack" for some decent ribs.

Monday we packed up and meandered home enjoying the day off from work.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

my former blog that I can't get back for whatever technical reason can still be found at:
Welcome, I seem to have lost my old blog so I will begin a new one. Thanks for stopping by.