About Me

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

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.....


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Merry Christmas

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Yesterday I Hit the River...

...and unfortunately the river hit back

Untitled from Gene Norland on Vimeo.

They all can't be stories of triumph over adversity and glory.
To edit out the the tales of woe which feature the long drive home with the chin to the chest and the lump in the throat would be worse than dishonest and more importantly undermine the integrity of my little fishing journal and all the value that it has for me.


I lost a huge fish yesterday.


I started the day knowing that I was a day late and a dollar short.
This happens.
The river had set up beautifully for the weekend and I did manage to get in right on the top of it but the real stellar cosmic water would be flowing over the structure that I love probably Monday-Tuesday-ish. The new fish would've stopped pushing through. They would've found the holding water that they were probably in last year and we would've met again.
They would've been all cocky and stupid with overconfidence from living the past 9 months in the big water as the top predator and I would've been only too happy to educate them a little on their place in the world...magnanimous in victory...releasing them to swim again.
The pain in my back and shoulder from the hike in and the fishy fighting a more than fair trade for the soul curing medicine that catching these fish provides.
It is not all about catching fish...but it is a bit. Quite a bit.
I tried to get in there but family obligation and the Philistines at work did their thing. Maybe fishing has come to mean too much to me?
Opportunities pass in life...most never to return again.....and it fucking stings sometimes.
I don't get skunked very often even when the water is shit...and I didn't yesterday.
The big fish seem to go negative first and the silly shakers are usually still willing to compensate you somewhat. Maybe that is how they get to be big fish?

I caught 4 of these little hatchery bookends and one wild one of about the same size. It used to be that a right pec fin clip signified a Michigan stray and it does have the look of those fish. It is funny to think that those knuckleheads pushed that far up just to grab some salmon eggs.
Pretty in their own right.
Not what I am looking for...more of a bonus or consolation prize on days like today.
I knew the river would be tough and it was.
I went from hole to hole marshaling as much courage as possible and pinning all my hopes on the one hole I know of that holds enough water to possibility encourage some fishing activity.
Finally I get there.
Not bad....but not good. 5 - 6 ft deep in spots and I can see right to the bottom.
First drift I hit a fish....(bla bla bla...fishing melodrama hyperbole insert...)
...5 minutes later with a burning shoulder and a rod bent right to cork I am still on this giant beast of a fish which is head shaking and sounding in water that has merciless clarity...
It has been close enough at this point that I can see it is well over 10 lbs and way bigger than 30 inches and will...lol...bump one of my unfortunate top tens off the list....I almost had a hand around her tail at one point....
One last run and "pinc"...slack line...arguably one of the worst feelings in the world...
I just about puked.
The entire time I fought this fish I could see the other fish in the pool being spooked about.
I retied just in time to have a couple of knuckleheads show up and ask me if they could join me....I will end the story there...I hate people....nobody moved another fish out of that run and it was a long hike out.
It has taken me until today to come to grips with the fact that yesterday was a great day.

Untitled from Gene Norland on Vimeo.

I had a chance at a world class fish when the odds were against me in a beautiful place. I saw some deer and a bald eagle up close and took advantage of a day off work to get some exercise.
This was a blessing ...reasoning not the least of which being because it was remembrance day.
In the great perfect words of fishing sage John Geirach
"Only an idiot would blame the fish"


Friday, November 06, 2009

I Must Be Gettin Old..

I just about didn't go today.
Ave is feeling better and Kimi gave me the go ahead to fish but when the alarm went off I had one helluva time dragging my tired ass out of bed.
Part of it was the lack of rain.
I talked to my Father in law yesterday and he informed me that there had been very little precipitation since I last fished.
The useless turds at the water site hadn't updated the graph yet so I couldn't be sure what I was heading into if I did go.

The forecast suggested however that if I didn't get my ass out of bed and into the water it could be it for the rest of November.
Screw it I am going.
Truth be told I was running away more than running too.
Ave and I had a rough day yesterday.
Kimi took a teaching day and it was just the two of us.
By 15:00 I was ready to tear my hair out.
She is still not herself and her grumpiness was giving me hives.
Fuck the water...at least I would find some peace and quiet.
Well god or whomever threw me a bone.

When I got to the waters edge I just about fell over....
I don't know how or when but the river had come up and coloured.....and just like that it was fishing like it is supposed to be.

I just about hiked out in order to fish my home water but it is still Deer season and the guys who haven't filled their tags yet would be desperate at this point.
I do not want to die of lead poisoning...over some fish.
But they sure are pretty.

I saw a couple of Coyotes on the hike in this morning.
It was one of those beautiful but Oh SHIT moments...lol.
One stopped and turned back to get a look at me and my thoughts went out to the story of the person being attacked by Coyotes out east.
Would've been a cool way to go.
Anyway..the water is finally setting up....unfortunately the shitrats will probably have a murderous heyday this weekend.
Hockey dad tomorrow or I would probably roll again.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Jumpin Beef And The Swamp Thing

D(B)eer Camp...
It has become an annual tradition to join my Father and Brother in law for the first Deer hunt.

They happen to hunt not far from where I fish so I am only too happy to join them for some down time at the sugar shack.
This year there were four of us. 3 Hunters and a knucklehead Steelheader.

The river is still shit so I wasn't exactly thrilled about my fishing opportunities but it is always good to get away. There has been some rain and the river is right on the edge...it just needs one more shot in the arm.
The forecast is so fickle that I have stopped checking it for fear that I put a gun in my mouth.
My plan was to stay until Thursday but I got the call last night that I knew I would get.
Avery was sick.
My Wife is capable but I can't have fun when I know that the kids are not well so here I am typing instead of prowling the streams ...
I got 2 decent days out of it...a few card games, laughs,

good food and a wee hangover.
The boys got three deer and were driving into Goderich this morning for another tag.
One of the deer was right around 3 bills and it took the three of them 2 1/2 hrs to drag it from the bush.
I was conveniently not around.
This is good news for the Venison hungries...and I am one of them.
I timed it just right this year.
I was having an afternoon snooze yesterday when a shot went off.
Much more effective than an alarm clock BTW. LOL

A few minutes later I got to witness a field dressing.
I wasn't sure what kind of an effect it would have on me and I was surprised at how pleasant it was.

That is a strange thing....but these guys live for this. They hunt responsibly and really revere these animals. The sun was streaming through the trees...the air was fresh and crisp and it was a really peaceful happy moment for all of us.
What these guys find out there in the bush is not that far removed from my own tradition and I felt privileged to share it with them.

As far as the fishing goes I managed better than I expected.
I even beached one that is sure to make the top ten for the season.

It was a great moment.
I had been fishing the darker sections of the frog water and cursing the gazillions of little egg eating smolts.

I had been lulled into a bit of a trance when I set up on what I had been looking for with false hope.
Out the chute she goes and the chase is on.
These fish are tough and it is a minor miracle everytime I bring one to hand.
I don't need much and that was enough for the entire trip.
I have got to believe that better days are ahead.
On day two I bumped into Harv at the Mcdonalds washroom in Goderich....which was kind of weird...
I am pretty sure he was there to pick up guys.
He and his old man asked me to join them on the bigger water and as my own plans were a little nondescript I quickly agreed.

0 for 1.
That river hates me....but it is very nice to look at.
Back to home court for me.
I always manage to catch fish there even when the cons are grim.
There are a few big fish kicking around and tons of little ones.

The salmon are still on the redds and it is special to just stand there and watch them.

Untitled from Gene Norland on Vimeo.

The clock is ticking and we are all waiting for water.
Now back to the real world..
...as in real shitty.
( Baby crying in the background )