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I am just a guy who uses fishing and playing guitar to keep myself sane...or at least try to.

Friday, February 16, 2007

A few days off...thank god

This is the worst picture I have ever taken and the only reason I am posting it here is because of the way this little Steelie represented himself.
I mentioned in a previous post about how the warm water temps at the discharges here along the river have the fish fighting like its October even in the most bitter cold.
This fish was out of the water straight up in the air about six times. Pretty neat to see on a sunny morning like today. The sunlight reflecting off of him on every breach was like watching fireworks.Neat.

It was cold to say the least, so cold that even the snow looked funny,
and because the water temps contrast so strongly with the air I tried to release the fish as quickly as possible ...and the photo suffered because of this.
Off he went and I took a few moments to get the feeling back into my hands.
Thank the lord for hot pockets!!
The river is locked up pretty good right now. You could probably walk across it in spots if you were crazy enough. Thankfully if the wind cooperates there is always some open water at the outflows.
2 minutes later I hook I am sure the same friggin fish!
Hungry little fart.
He didn't fight very hard this time and I didn't even remove any part of him from the water.
That was enough for me.
I stopped at the other outflows but the wind had picked up and shifted making it impossible to get a decent drift and it also clogged the area up with ice pretty good.
Oh well...at least I got a taste.
Nice way to shake off the 'shack nasties'.
Looks like we'll see some warmer temps in the coming weeks and with any luck the fishing will improve.
This Feb has been tough on me and I will be happy to see it on it's way. The flu season beat the crap out of the Norland's but everybody seems to be on the mend now.
Work has been wearing me out lately.
I spent the morning in court yesterday. It was the first time I have ever testified.
T'was a little nerve wracking and nothing like I'd expected. I won't comment on it any further than it left me feeling sad to see how badly someone could 'F' up thier one and only life with one bad decision. Truth be told,I have been known to make a few dumb decisions myself. There but for the grace of god go I.
Oh well. :o/ ...my part is played and let the chips fall where they may.
The Jedi should be home from school shortly so I'd better find me blade...arrrr.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Aw sh*t... :o(

Back to back posts....
I just found out that Michael Brecker passed away this month. I have been so out of the loop that I didn't even know he was sick. This man was a great artist and a gentleman...both very rare commodities anymore. I met him once at one of his many concerts that I attended and he had nothing but encouragement for me at a time when a kind word and a gentle push were badly needed in my life. He didn't know me at all and was tired from the performance but still took the time to speak to me about my life and music. It's difficult to guess at the kind of lasting effect this bit of generousity had on me and my life....but I'll never forget it.
I hope he didn't suffer on the way out.....I know we'll suffer in his absence.
Rest in peace.

I have updated my Music Treat.
This is a pretty wild performance of a composition by guitarist Mike Stern called 'Upside Downside'. Both Michael Brecker and Mike Stern play on it. Brecker plays an instrument called and EWI which he pioneered. This music is not for everyone but it has strength and it is a great example of Breckers courage as an improviser.

Thursday, February 01, 2007


I have always loved mounts....I think even before I started fishing. Whenever I walk into a fishing store the first thing I do is scan the wall for a 'trophy'. The annual trips to the fishing/outdoor mega stores see me wandering around the outer perimeter of the place staring up at the the lacquered up hogs in awe like a child.
Usually these are replicas...and that is a good thing for sure.
The replica is the answer for me. Instead of being the 'end' of a fish it becomes a glorification of him...a man-made guilt-free monumental gesture to honour his greatness, and the greatness of the moment you touched him....and still he swims.
I've got one.
I always wanted one and was willing to pay for it even back before I recognized the benefit of releasing fish. It is a good thing that the skills required to land the occasional big fish have been accompanied by the good sense to let it swim when done. In my most superstitious moments I wonder if this isn't by some sort of devine intervention.
What to mount?
I have a fetish for certain species.
I would like to have fresh-run winter Steelhead ( and I do!), a silver winter Brown,a burnt butter buck river Brown with some red spots, a double striped winter male Steelhead, a tomato red male Coho, a Labrador Brookie, a Pumpkinseed and a Bluegill.
The replica Steelhead on my wall is from a New York fishing trip to a river that most people know about. The fish was a beautiful 32" tank that really put the boots to me.
The battle was epic and I'll never forget it or the trip itself. On the drive home I decided it was time. This was the one for which I was to get off my wallet.
A few years back while visiting the Toronto fishing show I stumbled upon the Advanced Taxidermy exhibit. I was amazed by the realism of their mounts and I was astounded to learn that all of the mounts that were displayed were replicas. I made up my mind then and there that I would have at least one of the fish that I catch over my lifetime replicated by these people.
10 years later.
That day in New York my usual fishing photographer had abandoned me in search of better water and as a result not only missed the whole show but had me begging a flyfishing stranger to snap a quick photo.
Although I was extremely grateful I can only hope that this feather flinger is better at fishing than photography. I managed a quick length measurement and then back it went.

When I contacted Advanced Taxidermy I was forced to admit that I didn't have much to work with but I was quick to add that what I was looking for was more of a symbol of a great season more than a great fish and that a 32" fresh-in Steelhead with NY/Lake Ontario body type would do nicely.
No problem.
The day I picked it up I was fortunate to time my arrival with the completion of a bulk order for one of the Mega stores.I was surrounded by cool mounts that were all worldclass! The show room in their store is worth the drive alone. The guy who greeted me was kind enough to take me on a tour through the workshop. It was very cool. I had a chance to see the reproduction of the 40lb monster record breaking Steelie that was caught out of Georgian bay recently. What a freaky beast!!
My Wife doesn't share my enthusiasm. I would love the mount to be placed in the family room above the fireplace. This seems like an obvious choice to me but I suppose I should be glad it didn't end up in the weight room or garage!! lol
I have it in the basement next to my flytying rodbuilding area...and it seems awful lonely.
The pictures don't really do it justice. Somehow they managed to create it so that when you tilt it in the light the red band appears and disappears just like a real fish. Unreal. When the river unlocks I may go and try and release it. :o)
I am very aware that to most people ,fisherman included,this type of thing is a pointless waste of money but I have never been more happy with a purchase.
It is hard for me to walk by the thing without looking at it and smiling. I am instantly transported to the riverbank and I can feel my bloodpressure dropping once I'm there.
Christ when did I get so weird.
BTW-I went to the outflows today. The wind had pushed the ice in and it was impossible.
Ah well?