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

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Nittany Steelhead...

Brian and I hit the road fishing for the first time this year.
Hard to believe that it had been 3 months since our last fishy outing....we were both long overdue.
This trip, which had developed very quickly, had us visting a new river in a new State south of the border. Great....another NR license! Ugh. $$
Ah well.....as Wallacio put it,...it is comparable to a round of golf ...and we sure got our moneys worth on this trip.
Although I would take a 2 or 3 fish day on my favourite trib any day over the disneyland fishery we experienced this week , I have to admit that this trip was loads of fun and will probably go down as one of the best fishing trips in my memory.It should be a goal of ours to at least make this an annual thing.

Too many hours at work lately had me craving some R & R. OT calls, training, and the desire to shake off the image of "raising the boys" will have a simple fishing adventure take on the vibe of fleeing the scene at times...but whatever,...with every passing kilometre Thursday morning I could feel my blood pressure dropping.
Picked up our licenses and within a half hour of doing so we were into our first fish....not bad considering the conditions.

Beautiful spot really and the people were off the chart friendly!
I was pleasantly surprised at the fact that most people were genuinely glad to meet you. I am not sure what I had expected.
Lingering horror stories of tires being slashed by angry locals played through my head as we rolled into town but by the end of the second day we were sharing a beer and some smoked salmon with the natives in the parking lot as we geared down.....passing on a few secrets and answering questions about our "funny looking flyrods with monofilament". :o)
One guy yelled across the river "way to go guys...you sure had a good day!" as we were leaving.....took me a few seconds before I realized he was being genuine.
Nice people.
It could have something to do with the fact that the community depends so heavily on the tourism created by the local fishery. Either way ,...it was very enjoyable.
We met up with a couple of other fishing freaks that were kind enough to let us in on a cabin dealio right on the river.Thx again fellas.

Four seasoned Steelheaders...beer and bad food. Great way to spend an evening.....too bad Morin sounds like Darth Vader when he's sleeping....I'll have to remember the ear plugs next time....or drink a little more.
Besides the inevitable flatulence that can only be expected from the bizarre mixture of too many Rolling Rocks, meatball pizza, Appleton rum, Hot buffalo wings and sheer exhaustion the accomidations were pretty cosy.
Next morning was a frosty one and, hangovers be damned,we were on the river early to meet another push of bullets.

Morin of course got one on the first drift.

Most of the fish we caught were small compared to the fish we get around here but they fought like stink! Most were out of the water 5 or 6 times...fresh nickels...like October fish.
I usually associate spring fishing with stale dropbacks and this fishery was something new to me. All these tight fish pushing up the river in pods at first light and again in the evening......you'd be hard pressed to get one over 5 lbs but there were tons of them and if matched properly with the right tackle they were great sport for a bunch of knuckleheads from Ontario.
At one point on the morning of the second day Brian and I had connected on three double headers in a row!
We just stared at each other and laughed.
That kinda fishing can ruin a fella if he is not careful but it could easily become a great spring ritual to shake off the shack nasties of a long fishless winter.
Fresh air..train whistles...and woodpeckers.
Hmmmm.....what next?

Sunday, March 25, 2007

FISH ON!!!!!

It appears that I am going to live after all.
I have managed to throw my illness.....just in time to go back to work.
Oh well,..training for most of this week so it shouldn't be too taxing.
Today was a day of reunions.
I met my old fishing buddy at our 'secret spot' this morning and did some early season floatfishing. This location can be loads of fun if for no other reason than it is so convenient for us. Generally it doesn't start giving up fish until April-ish but we still managed a fish. I hadn't fished with Brian since well before Christmas....and if I am not mistaken he has yet to turn a fish this year?

My buddy Gary dropped by later in the day and brought his Bass with him. We managed to cool a few standards before Ella had her afternoon nap.
Gary had just returned from a trip down under to visit his daughter and his grandchildren. It must be a helluva thing having family you are close to that live on the other side of the world.....literally.
I'll be giving my kids an extra hug tonight before they go to sleep.
Dinner with J-Mike and his kin tonight.
Steak and Skeeters Wings....
Oh ya.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Maybe someone should shoot me..

Spring is here.
I am currently looking outside at blue skies and my neighbours in shirtsleeves.
I am stuck inside ....ill.
I hosted a fish-fry the other night.
This is a fun filled crazy event where I fill my house with people I like and feed them Walleye (or 'pickeral' for you die hard canucks) until they burst. It is a bit weird in the fact that I am usually so busy frying fish that I barely get a chance to talk to anybody.
I believe the head count was somewhere around 26(?) including a gaggle of kids..one of which was brand spanking new. Very cute. She must get her looks from her mother.
I haven't killed a Steelhead in a long time but my father in law and I are hell on the walleye. We are very fortunate to live in an area where the walleye are so ridiculously plentiful and catching them requires so little effort that fishing for them is looked upon by the locals as a harvest more than any kind of real sport. Why is it that I can knock off a creel of walleye without batting an eye and yet even seeing a Steelie on a stringer can send me into the depths of despair is anybodys guess?
The Walleye have two big strikes against them I suppose. They are hideous and they taste really good. I feel the guilt but I console myself with the knowledge that any damage I may be doing is miniscule compared to the commercial fishing in these parts...and don't get me started about the natives.
The invited crew on this one consisted primarily of yin-yangs from work and thier spouses.Lots of laughs and the beer flowed like wine.
At one point I was kidding my boss about his age and he fired back "me?".."F***, your the sickest guy I know!".......should you be concerned when your 'boss' calls you on this?
..Probably,...but I am not in the slightest.How quickly they forget?
I worked through a broken wrist a few months back without missing a day!
Besides...the boys got my back. :o)
Oh well it was all said in good fun and if I can dish it out I suppose I can take it.....however it did get me thinking.
Am I sickly?...maybe?
It surely has something to do with the fact that I come into close contact with no less than a 1000 different people throughout the course of a week from all corners of North America if not the world.....most of which are currently not the healthiest of people to begin with. English scientists could spend their entire lives categorizing the multitudes of viruses/bacteria that I am probably exposed to in a 24 hr period. Couple that with the long hours and crappy weather and it is a wonder that I am not dead!
If that doesn't do it, my wife is also a supply teacher and gets most of her work, logically enough, during flu season. She bounces around from school to school in this area teaching young kids that are invariably hacking and coughing and dripping snot. She loves her job and to her credit she is tough as nails (especially compared to me!) but I am sure she parades home bug after bug as well.
The knockout punch is the our kids themselves.
One usually brings it home and then it gets generously passed from family member to family member.
My head currently feels like it is in a vise...and my nose is ....well.
On a positive note it looks like my reels have sold.
I hope that I don't regret selling them but I have decided to leave the collecting to the loonies.....besides, I have, to my surprise, become very interested in music again. I have been listening to John Coltrane like a mad fool and he is inspiring me.
I want to start practicing hard again....and I have started to think that it might be time to have a new guitar built and the reel money will probably go towards this.....provided my wife doesn't kill me. I love my current guitar and it is a work of art but it might be time for a change. A buddy of mine builds world class instruments and I have a few ideas for him.
We'll see....the house also needs a new roof.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Spring cleaning...

I have decided to auction off a couple of pins that I own.
It is nice to have lots of stuff but I have always been the kind of person that is bothered by owning things that don't get used....especially if they are qaulity items.
A good float reel that isn't being fished?....that just isn't right.
I hope they find a good home and each feel they pull of a good fish this spring.
Adcock Stanton
Arnold Kingpin
With the amount of fishing that I have been doing lately I am inclined to sell all of my gear. All work and no play...and I am worn out. We are so short staffed at work that any 'days of rest' inevitably bring about calls for overtime from the man. This means extra dough and that is always good.....makes it very hard to say no ...even when you need to.
Just finished off another 50 odd hr work week including 4 midnight shifts in a row.
I was in great shape today.
I really do love my job and most days I can't wait to get into work but I am currently very close to burn out. .....and without a break things could get really weird.
I have turned down OT to fish before and I may have to start now just realign my soul...but that money can haunt you even on the riverbank. "Make hay while the sunshines" and all that but enough is enough.
Speaking of sunshine.....looks like we have finally made the turn?????
Talking 17 tomorrow...that should be it for the snow ,knock on wood and I plan on making up for this downtime this April.<><
Family day tomorrow and I really am looking forward to it!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

God damned fish...

After listening to the neighbours dog bark for the past hour (no exaggeration!) I finally decided to get out of bed and at least 'do' something instead of lying there clenching my teeth.If my blood pressure gets any higher I will surely have a stroke.
I wish I was the type of person that could walk over and say something to these friggin idiots..but I am not.I will grin and bear it until something inside me snaps and then god only knows what I am capable of. I wish they were the type of people who could show some consideration for others...but they are not...obviously.
I can't expect them to know that I am in for midnights this week but really, in my mind that is beside the point. NO ONE wants to listen to that fucking dog bark !!!!
I know that dogs bark...god bless them....I do love dogs...mans best friend and all that....and come to think of it if some fool left me outside for over an hour in this weather I would be making some noise too....but..OH GOD!!!!!!!!!!!! JUST LET YOUR DOG IN!!!!!
I'll be tossing lawn darts over the fence tomorrow.Sharp ones.
This day is not going well.

I love the act of fishing. When the conditions are right it 'is' one of the things that I enjoy most in life.
I hate not catching fish.
Quite often the two things go hand in hand....and today I got skunked!
This might sound like bragging ....and it isn't....it's more that I am amazed by this now that I think of it ....but I haven't been skunked in years. I have had a couple of close calls but I have always managed to pull one out at the end just to save face.
When I first started fishing for trout I was getting skunked constantly. There is a very definite learning curve involved particularly when fishing for Steelhead and I am amazed in retrospect that I even stayed with it.
I remember, early on, thinking to myself on the first trip of the fall that if I caught five fish a season it would be awesome. I miss the wild enthusiasm I used to have... the blind searching. Innocence?
I still get worked up when I prepare for fishing... but now I 'expect' to catch fish.
Maybe not gobs of fish like my freak friend....but man surely I can catch one!
Not today.
I knew it would land on me eventually and I suppose it is good for the soul once in a while. "Good just to get out in the fresh air and all that" ...bah....that is crap!
However,it was a perfect day to fish. The outflows are starting to unlock and the wind was down making long beautiful extended drifts possible. The river was lovely to look at and even with all the industry about some sections were postcard pretty.

Damned fish.
Oh well. Looks like the weather is making its turn so the good fishing will be just around the corner. I was checking out my new schedule and most of my scheduled time off falls right around the Salmon derby and opening day for Steelhead. By burning a relatively small amount of leave I will have 22 days off at a wonderful time of year. I will have to ask my co-workers why I should be unhappy with my job again because for the life of me I can't remember? I am sure they'll be happy to tell me.
Midnights...oh god I hate them...and I have four in a row to endure. At the very least we'll have a full compliment with our team tonight. One of our members has been off on parental leave for the last month and we have been hamstringed without him. Hard as it is to admit ....this particular character is handy to have around. If nothing else I have missed the comic relief.
Ah Christ ..it hasn't been the same without you......here's hoping I don't punch your head in.
Heh?.....silence?.....dare I try and go back to bed?
God damned mutt.