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

Thursday, December 31, 2009

This Is Pretty Neat...

I am a terrible photographer.

It is too bad because I have seen some pretty cool stuff.

Today on the way home from a jam session with my Jazz Guitar Buddy Tori I happen to notice this bird sitting on a post in the middle of a farmers field.

...Now Joseph Ahmad I am not...lol...but I had to try.

I walked close enough to him to spook him into a tree.

After that I decided to take a chance and whip home and grab the kids so they could see it.
We lucked out and he hung around for us.

The kids loved it.

Ella couldn't really make it out until it Lit out across the farmers field.

Really pretty sight..

Happy New Year

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Last Chapter



But I don't regret it.

If we hadn't gone it would've haunted me.

We had made plans to fish today and regardless of the forecast or deafening winds howling outside our windows last night we were not going to change them....

The cocka-roaches finally got shut down by the nasty old river...and maybe a slight touch of old age/common sense.

.. if we'd made the hike we might of caught fish....but I am alright with the decision not to.

There was a token effort today and a nice drive through some beautiful winter ravaged countryside...hot coffee...Islay Scotch and Mennonite Baked goods.
Now...dare I say it?....Tis time to shut'er down for the year.

Happy New Year.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Fishing Like An Idiot

Some days I just can't seem to get it going...
Yesterday was one of those days.

It didn't help that I was carrying around a significant amount of guilt.

Kimi had given me the nod to go ahead and fish even though Avery ..our little one was under the weather.
I have been going through a bit of a tough time lately and she has been extremely supportive.
I think she knew that I could really use a day on the water ....she is a good girl and I love her.
In my heart of hearts I knew I should've stayed home....even though I really benefitted from yesterdays jaunt...
Oh well ...fuck it...
She was in a good mood when I got home and Ave seems a little better...no harm no foul...
..But it is something that I should keep an eye on...priorities

The river was cold and the fish were lethargic...and I was a useless POS.

Not a good combo.

It didn't help that Morin got himself an absolutely stellar Buck before I even felt a tug.

I hate that POS.

Actually ,it was very good to be on the water with my friend...especially under these circumstances and I will take this opportunity to thank him once again for being such a good friend and for putting up with me over the years.

Gay people can be very kind.

Anyway..our day is recounted better Here ...but We left the water with yet another Norland Story where I defied the odds and stared death in the face....well whos kiddin who...but it was pretty funny and I will remember that little 2-3 lber all winter.

Extreme "Norland" from Brian M on Vimeo.

I was a little melancholy yesterday...particularly on the way out and back at the car. I spent quite a bit of time staring out at the surroundings.

I have a feeling that I am going to miss this River more than ever this winter.

A Muskegon trip with Stuhan could help assuage my 'end of the season' sadness and I am already going through my Videos/Pictures of the Spring Manistee trip from last year...

...whos knows though...I may yet get out again before the 31st..

Regardless whether I do or not...

I would just like to say....

Merry Christmas fish nerds.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Those Three Chords...

It doesn't matter how far removed any guitar player becomes from the first few lessons ...he/she can never quite escape the blues...
The instrument was built for it...
And these guys were built for the instrument..
Listening to this makes my nuts tingle.
Do yourself a favour...
Crack a Beer...and turn it up...LOUD

Honest to god Larry keeps getting better with age. You can shoot a guy in the throat and still he can't be stopped...
He is a cock-a-roach...Just like us!!!!
Real guitar heros..
Gotta love You Tube
Here is another Gem from the same show...these guys are tits..



Thursday, December 17, 2009

To Fish, Perchance to Freeze

.. once winter kicks in it sure doesn't take long for things to get nasty here in Ontario.
The river is a slush fest and it is right on the edge of lock-up.

Morin and I were commiserating about how this is at least two fall seasons in a row that have let us down weather wise.

Nothing is perfect.....but fishing for these beautiful fish is as close as you get.

I had a great season and although I have a sneaking suspicion that today could be it for the home river there is a slight chance I will get in there a few more times.

I spent the last two days fishing and it was very beneficial.

I froze my ass off and the first day I lost two fish under an ice shelf.
Winter Steelheading indeed.

Brian and I fished today together and we had a blast.
No faggy Visor today...Christmas Miracle???

I got to watch him tear it up a bit on some new water that I had discovered earlier in the season.
That is always a bonus.

Well new to us anyway...
This run has been Christened "The Mitchell Run"

It was a bit of a test trying to float a drift through all the slush but we managed alright. In fact I never would've guessed we'd do as well as we did.
Iced guides, line and floats be damned.

At a run we call "The Drive in" I managed a buck that makes the ugly list...but at the time he was just fine by me. He fought really well and I was proud of him.

I don't know why Morin had to bite him on the nose.
It was a weird moment.
After releasing that fish I just about blacked out from the pain in my hands....definitely one of those WTF is wrong with us moments.

In a moment unique to this sport we had to pull into the local car wash to de-ice our waders in order to take them off.
My right leg was half full of water.
Time for some new gear.
Morin got his Christmas present early today but unfortunately today wasn't a JIG day

...or mine suck ass???
I also gave him a case of mixed KLB beer...which I happen to be enjoying right now.

This little brewery is back in business courtesy of Amsterdam distribution and I am off the chart happy about it.Their Raspberry Wheat Beer is one of the greatest beers in the world in my book...and this Cream Ale is none too shabby either.
Two days of hiking through the bush has done wonders for my blood pressure but my back is killing me.
Bald eagles, sexy fish...deer and pain.
I can't wait to get out again.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Back At It...

I am going to continue to BLOG.....but I think that I will go private.

There has been a lot of goofy shit that has gone on this month and although I have calmed down considerably about it I can't shake the fact that I have placed something dear to me in harms way due in a large part to my own vanity.

I had someone insinuate once through this medium that I considered myself 'Elitist'.
This is Ironic considering that I have spent most of my life searching for a sense of community.
My search has been non-resultant.

Human behaviour throws me to the degree that I sometimes wonder if I am even human myself.
Probably not...lol.

I love fishing for these fish and I love the area where I fish for them just as much and I can't with a clear conscience keep this public if I chose to continue to keep a journal of my experiences.

Chasing these fish I have managed to run across a few kindred spirits.

One is a landowner.
A landowner that up until very recently has extended a very generous hand out to the people who pursue these fish.
Unfortunately he has had a very understandable change of heart....and people are going to have to respect it one way or another.

It saddens me to think that he'll be forced to take any formal action. He and his family are looking for a peaceful life and only seek the respect they deserve.
Sometimes it is the gracious people that get shit on the most.
Sometimes quite literally.

It would be a very bad mistake to use my name to find favour with anyone , but particularly with this man and his family.

I love this sport and depend on it so much that removing myself from it would be similar to asking someone to stop breathing...
...It is undoubtedly a sport full of self serving shortsighted vane greedy people that have zero regard for others.
It is a sport that is bereft of veteran leadership and I can find no community within it.
This was the reason I removed myself from the public forums dedicated to this sport and it is now the reason why I am choosing to make this BLOG a private one.

Two important things...
I don't harbour any grudges against anyone.
Blogger has a feature where I can invite people to participate in my BLOG format.
All I need ( I think ?) is their email address that they use with their Blogger account so if anybody cares to they are welcome to shoot me an email and I will invite them.
It should be understood that the things that I recount here are of a somewhat private nature and I expect people to respect that....particularly location...and ESPECIALLY ACCESS.
I will leave this post public for a week or so and then I will pull the whole BLOG.
It has been fun and has really added to the quality of the outdoor experience for me but I think going private is the responsible thing to do.
Word of mouth is bad enough without the search engine peril and
I have tried to be careful...but have failed.

"My River"....
It is as much mine as anybodies and I am super pleased when I can hike the river and not see a ton of people...particularly the type of people that will have a negative impact on the fishery or jeopordize the ability to access the river.
The access point that we(Brian and I)use is NOT open to the public and I have been asked to spread the word on this and to even "help keep an eye on things".
Fish the river...just find a legal way to access it.

Anyhoo...there have been a number of sad stories swirling around my life at present.
Nobody said life was easy and I am not looking for sympathy....everybody has problems.
My kids are healthy and I love them. My beautiful Wife and I are more in love than ever.
The other stuff will fade...
The fishing helps...these beautiful fish and the beautiful surroundings are BIG medicine for me.

I even managed to catch my first Steelhead on a JIG!!
Very cool...
This little event has forced me to clean up my horror show of a fly tying desk and blow the dust off my flytying chops....If I ever had any!!
Morin has gone JIG gay and has asked me to tie him a hundred or so...

Here is my first attempt

Morin and I have been out and all is as it should be....
Other than the fact that he is growing horns out his back

...and has gone insane.
Hopefully we'll get out a few more times before the season shuts down.
Let the healing begin.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Sauble Falls

This morning I pointed the car towards the only place that I knew had rushing water....
And even it was skinny.

The forecast has been teasing us for about a month now and I am really start to lose it.
I had booked a day off this week as the conditions should've been favourable.
The smart play would've been to just pull my leave and go into work as scheduled but my job is currently not very enjoyable.
As it turned out Kimi got called to teach on Tuesday so I took the kids to the beach as opposed to guarding the nation with the rest of the Turkey Police.
We had an awesome day and Ella and I got a few more pieces to add to our beach glass collection.

Wednesday was a Write off and I had pinned my fishy hopes on Thursday.
I miss the home water so badly that I was considering forcing it there today.
I am glad I didn't..

I stopped in to check 'er out on the way home and it was grim.
It was like visiting a sick friend.

It was cool to fish Sauble again.

I hadn't been there in years.
This was where it all began for me and it is a bit of a pilgrimidge whenever I return.

It is a tough place to fish between the ultra clear water and wood.
The fish that I did catch today were tucked in tight to the lumber and had to be muscled.
I was 2 for 3...which is pretty good on that river.

I remember a rainy November day about 10 years back when I hit 13 fish there in a morning but that was definately a fluke.
There is something special about Bruce County. The air just seems fresher or something.

I arrived at the parking spot earlier than I had planned and ended up napping for about an hour in the morning...just listening to the rain pound down on the top of the car...

Very cool...very peaceful.
I almost didn't go fishing.

It rained like hell up north but the sun broke the closer I got to the home river....

Rain in the forecast for next week...but who is kidding who????


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Granting Leave..

Apparently Kimi needs a break once in a while too.

The audacity!


I promised her I would be alright watching the kids for a weekend while she and her friends went to this madness called Deer Widow Weekend.

This is an annual Michigan tradition where the local shopping centres launch crazy sales to entice the ladies who have been abandoned by thier deer hunting husbands.
Hence the name.
Couple that with the cross border shopping proclivities of the canucks that live near the border and the strength of the Looney right now and you get something that resembles a mass exodus....eh.

I was happy to see her get away.
She doesn't ask for much and I enjoy spending time with the kids...during the day.

The night shift sucked a bit.

Avery was still recovering from an ear infection so she was up every hour on the hour...

I will be glad when she turns the corner on this stage.

For Owen it was right around two years of age...Ella was always a low maintenance angel.

To help pass the time we went to the Pinery for a picnic.

We basically had the place to ourselves and it is sure to be one of my fondest of memories.

We did alright together and Owen was a great help as was my sister in law.

We were however...VERY glad to see mommy when she got home.

Looks like it will be the Wolverine State for the next big adventure fishing wise....this weather is making me nuts.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Return of The Visor

The Visor makes me sad.

What to do?

There is no reaching that POS.

Today we took a run at the big water...and even it was skinny. I have a real tough time with giant rivers and they don't really come much bigger than this.

0 for 3 for me but Morin got his licks in...and I was happy for him.

It felt good to fish with my buddy again and my stomach is sore from laughing.

The discussion in the car to and from the river ranged from Workplace bitching to Asian porn and geo-caching my excrement.

Renaissance men indeed.

I love fishing the Niagara River almost as much as I love hiking the Gorge. It is a really unique place and the fact that there are a multitude of fishes to cover is a bonus.
I felt my age when we got back to the car and although I don't think that it will ever become my number one choice I would love to hit it at least once a year just because it is so strange.

We eschewed the Whirlpool madness today and took less fish with less people.....an easy sell for me.

Untitled from Gene Norland on Vimeo.

It didn't take Morin long to get back on the horse and after only a few drifts he was into a leaping Steelie.

I think we touched 7-8 fish together and the highlight of trip was a beautiful Brown that came late in the morning.

The mad dash thing has its time and place.
We left at 4am and were in my driveway by 5pm with a 6 hr round trip LOL.
Even though I am half exhausted and still half high from the Rock-Star energy drink that dipshit forced down my throat I am sure I could be talked into another road trip soon.

...I mean...unless it rains.....