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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, November 29, 2008

An Act Of God...

I remember that in the not too distant past a 1 for 4 day , with quality fish, under less than ideal circumstances, would've had me grinnin ear to ear.
Well... I have come to expect more.
This speaks to the quality of our fishery as well as to my skills I suppose even though I am more than willing to acknowledge that I am hovering right around mediocre...lol....especially lately.
I kinda miss the good old days when a 10 or 12 fish season would fill me with pride. There seemed to be more mystery to the game then.
There is no going back of course but I have been struggling to maintain a philosphy about this little pastime lately.

This season is wearing on my nerves ....and yesterday around 10:00 I was right prepared to call it a complete write-off.
I have today regrouped and can laugh about it a little...very little.
Dig this...
Yesterday I arrived at water and found hope....in a season bereft of hope....I found hope.

The Giant Niagra like river that our river has become had dropped to a level that was almost recognizable and had right around 12" of visabilty. With no real precipitation in the forecast I also knew that not only would it continue to drop throughout the day but it would also warm and clear even further and right around noonish I could expect to, excuse the vulgarity...beat the living shit out of them...

My gameplan was to circumvent the GBO/FFnet spawned dirtbags and hike way up and start at the top. Crossing the river was tricky to the point of stupid and looking back I regret the risk but we've all been there .
By the time I reached the starting point the morning was well underway.
First drift...Bang..fish on....
It was a strong take and the fish fought very well and even jumped a few times...very impressive considering the temps caused by the melting snow.
Slid the fishy in for a quick photo-op... walked back up for the next drift.
Bang fish-on...

Here I slide into a very Morin-esque fit of uselessness...
The next three fish were all winners...lol....good for them. It didn't even bother me at the time and it served me right really for teasing Morin so much lately for being useless ....and he is useless!!
...After all ... I had an entire day of easy pickin's ahead of me.
Then the water starts to turn...
Slowly at first...
I tried to hike above it but that didn't seem to help so I turned back and tried to get to the a spot we call the wintering hole before it all goes for a turd...
I stopped at the sausage run to fish the tailout and I witness something that I have never seen before.
The water goes from 12" to ZERO....like I mean pure MUD in an instant!!!!
I look upstream and can actually see this wall of mud coming downstream and ruining everything.
It looked like someone had dumped it into the river.
I can only assume that one of the clay banks upstream must've had a slide or something.
My luck is running....
I could've hopped in the car and tried to get above it but I had neither the time nor the energy so I called 'no joy' and turned towards the hike out with my tail between my legs.
I must've wronged someone at somepoint...Maybe God is punishing me for hangin around that shitrat Morin??
Oh well...
Today after Hockey my son and I made our annual donation of toys to the Salvation army...Ho Ho Ho...maybe I'll get some bonus points with the big fella for that one. If nothing else this very small act seems to help get me into the Christmas spirit.....no small feat sometimes.Morin is out today...and of course they will hammer them....
BTW...If I ever run into the POS that is leaving his crushed Busch Lite cans on the river I am going to open his fucking head.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Sometimes you just have to see for yourself I suppose.
So off I go in the wee hours of the morning to a river that by all rights should be destroyed by rain.
I don't know whay I do these things but I will say this ....I don't regret it. At one point on the way out I sat down under a tree and just stared up at the sky.
There was a soft rain coming down through bare limbs and it covered my glasses until I couldn't see anymore. I could feel the rain find its way down the back of my neck but still I sat there....thinking. You can think out there....and I need moments like these. This is the only place I can find them.
I go there to fish but anymore I really don't give a shit if I catch fish or not. It is fun to catch fish ...particularly these fish and if I am fishing with another I am still vain enough to be bothered if I can't keep up but I have noticed that I have lost that sort of maniacal predatory edge that we get once we have reached a certain level. That is gone. I remember it though. I remember getting to the river an hour before sunrise and listening to my heart pound and watching the water for any indication of fish.
Now I just want some peace and quiet.

...And I like watching Morin lose fish.

Because he is a POS.

Friday, November 21, 2008

My Mother In Law Loves Me...

..and I am sick of winter already.
It seems Morin and I had some people in a panic over our decision to fish yesterday. On the way home we just missed the closure of the highway.
My Mother In Law called me first thing this morning to give me a blast of shit about how concerned she was yesterday. She said that the radio had claimed that at times you could only see 1 car length in front of you....
....It was way worse than that!
Morins wife called and suggested that we should just stay over...now that is something
..My wife would have me abandon the car and crawl home...lol

Winter Steelheading has arrived early and I suppose I should be happy. The increased hardship getting to and from the fish is usually enough to filter out some of the Shitrat contingent and that is always a bonus but I can't seem to shake the feeling that we got ripped a bit with the fall weather.

There is no end to the Nerdiness between Morin and I and our new thing now is using the movie mode on the cameras.
There is one video we have made this fall where I am fishing a wee piece of water we call the 'stick' and in the background the wind is blowing the trees back and forth. The fall colours were in peak and it looks like a Tom Thompson painting come to life.
I have watched that video so much over the past two weeks that it actually concerns me a little bit. I love being in there when the colours are up...and we had very little of that this year.
The forest is smashed now. ...and that has its own special charm.
I just wish that we could have transitioned a little more gently.

The plan this week was for a back to back Thursday Friday assault but 'common sense' (courtesy of my wife) and road closures have shut us down....well at least me anyway....I haven't heard from Morin this morning....could be he is en route with the dogsled...that OCD POS

Oh well...we made it home alive....caught some fish...and the best part was when I arrived home to find out that everybody is now healthy in the Norland infirmary.

Here is hoping that the river will shape up at some point and I can fish it without having to take my life in my hands at every crossing and I won't have to tie my roe up in bags the size of grapefruit...

Enough already...

..Oh Yah...BTW...
On the way home we stopped at an awesome Bakery where we bought, among other things, extra spicey Oatmeal/Raisin cookies...they were delicious in a burn your throat kind of way ...but they tasted
like my Grandmas house smells
...is there a lethal level of Nutmeg?
I have had a headache ever since and I can't wait to have more.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

W T F ?????

So... I figure that I have wronged someone or something...
Maybe my lack of recycling zest has offended now even the fish gods??
I had better start scrubbing those yogurt cups out so that I can save the world along with all the other victims....
Look at that snow... I mean come on...
Mid November and we are literally snowed in.
This is getting depressing.

Morin and I are fishing tomorrow regardless of any of this shit so look out....
Chances are it will be a fruitless slush-fest and I will end up even more depressed than I am now...

But the bottom line is ...I HAVE TO GET OUT OF HERE!!!!!

...and who knows...we just might get lucky...

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Genesis 7:19

....It just keeps coming...and I am getting very irritable.

Just when things were starting to shape up fish wise we get enough rain to last us 10 seasons all at once...
I was hoping to fish this week but even if the rain stops right now...which it hasn't....it'll be at least a week before any river ...particularly my favourite ..is fishable.

When the water gets this high...and it is really friggin high...I can't help but wonder if all the fish that have loaded up don't just bounce back to the Lake?
It would be one helluva a trick to hang in there while the river tears trees down.
Oy .. I am bummed.
Oh well at least the Pistons are playing well.
...I really wanted to fish this week

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

My legs hurt

Hiking is cool...
But it was way cooler when I was younger.
I fished with Morin a few days back and we did alright but I am seriously thinking that I am getting too old for this shit. These trips to the river whip me into shape just about the time when the season closes and until then it is a test of sheer will.
My favourite moment is when we pull into the driveway and I try to peel my pain riddled body out of the car. My legs are still cramped up.

The fish were difficult and the weather was cold. I had forgotten that this is a cold weather sport. I actually broke out the hot pockets.
Most the leaves were down and the forest is taking on that wonderful stark look that I really dig. I would like to get out a few more times this week in order to savour this stage but it looks like the river is going to blow again.
I think my weatherman must die comment has cursed us a bit but I will take too much water rather than too little water any day ...and so will the fishies.
With this high water I think that a lot of the fish are just shooting through and not holding up at all...

I don't pretend to know a ton about these fish...in fact I am quite stupid most of the time....but when it means so much to be able to tangle with these little silver monkies you do pick a few things up out of necessity.
My day started slow and I blew the first fish which can always test ya but luckily there were a few dumb ones kicking about.

Now I find myself praying for no rain.
Steelheaders are crazy people.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Weird week...

My father in law and brother in law are hunters.
They live for the deer season in particular. Two weeks out of the year they disappear into the bush in the hopes of filling the freezer full of Venison ....but more importantly to get away from it all.

It took me a while to to get on board with this whole delio as I was very much under the influence of the Bambi vibe...
Poor wittle things..
...that is until I tried Venison chops on the BBQ with Montreal Steak spice.
Bambi can lump it...besides the population of deer here are very good and we don't need a situation like northern MI where you are taking your life into your hands driving on the highways at dawn and dusk.

On our first run to the Cadillac Michigan area Morin and I added a significant amount of travel time to our fishing trip just having to slow down because of the abundance of deer. It would be a helluva thing to have one come flying through your windshield.
The getting away from it all thing is something that I really dig...

Generally there is a crew of four that take advantage of a sugar shack that isn't being used this time of year. They will roll back into town a week later quite often with nothing to show for their time and effort other than facial hair and stink.

Sounds like a blast.
Card playing drinking and bad food. Sign me up.
The boys hunt very close to where we fish this time of year and this year they were kind enough to extend me an invite. I am not a hunter but I am a drinker and a card player and there is nothing like the smell of a wood burning stove....
I was there for two nights.
I had to clear the mouse turds away in the loft to make room for my sleeping bag.
The first night rained so hard that I had to sleep in the car. The sugar shack has only a tin roof and shortly after midnight the joint began to sound like a snare drum. I am no Mary but WTF!!!??
I got up that morning to a stiff neck and a blown river. Not a good way to start the week. The hunters too were a little down in the mouth so rather than hang around camp and be miserable I bolted for a river a little farther north.
When I got there I was surprised to find that the water albeit high and fast was quite fishable. I managed two strong-backed Steelies that this river is known for and a confused looking Lake Trout???
My friend Dave filled me in that they are actually quite common for this particlar river.
I would've liked a pic of the Laker at least for the memories but my camera was right next to the empties on the table in the shack.

I was a wee bit hungover. Nothing like a combo of Scotch ,Red Wine and English ale to put you against the ropes...
After I fished that river which shall be nameless I had to scoot home for a dinner party we'd planned with some good friends.
The plan was to return the following day early in the morning and fish my brains out...Sugar Shack it...then fish hard the following day with Morin.
Ah November ...
So I pick Owen up from school and he greats me with Daddy ....my throat is sore...
Of course it is ...why wouldn't it be....Jesus H Christ....
I love my kids more than life itself and my son is a low maintenance angel from heaven but I cannot remember a Fall that has been without a steady string of bugs in the Norland house...sometimes it can get very depressing.
So we have a look in Owens throat and it looks like a grenade went off in there. I whip him in to the Doctors to find out that he has Hand Foot and Mouth disease.
"yes...we've seen quite a run of this this year"....
After having fifteen heart attacks the doctor manages to assure me that it isn't that big of a deal other than the fact that it is very painful. It is a virus that is common and should clear up on its own in 7- 10 days.
..Oh well..I tried to pull the plug on the trip but my lovely Wife assured me that it wouldn't be neccessary. God I love her....and my kids...
...and fishing...
So...early the next morning I am forcing it on a river that I know well enough to know better...handicapped not only with high water but with a guilty conscience.
It was only fitting that I had my ass handed to me...
6 solid hrs and nary a tug...rotten fish.
Back at camp the boys were celebrating over two deer. My brother in law got himself a Buck that weighed in at the butcher at right around 3 bills. They were beside themselves. Good for them.
The next day was better. I hit a fish right off the bat and I could exhale...

The river has been a wee bit tight so far this year.

Hardly worth the effort ...unless you are in love with it.
The deer camp thing was fun and will surely become a tradition with me.
I bought Owen some Lego today and it put a smile on his poor little face...
I hope he is feeling better tomorrow.
When my kids get sick it just breaks my heart.