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

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Flick Of The Switch

Its Over Ladies and Gentleman....

The past few years winter sure has snuck up on me...

My last post had me all jacked up about the river. The Bayfield was fishing beautifully and I was turning the corner on a whole whack of time off from work.


In comes winter and shuts...in fact slams the door.


After a few failed attempts at the home water I am forced to face the hard and Cold fact...
Turn out the lights.
El nino, closed highways and frigid temps have in two weeks turned an opitmum fishery into a borderline impossible one..
Time to reassess..

I am taking it better then I would normally expect.
I think the fact that I got in there early and had some really outstanding days helps.

What also helps are the new options for us maniacs...mostly courtesy of my Buddy Bri!!

The Michigan fishery is pretty exciting and now that Brian owns property over there the finny future is very bright.

Yesterday I just returned from a trip over there. This was my first trip to see Brian and Heathers Cabin and it is really sweet.

It is nice to see people being rewarded for their hard work and even though Brian is a POS he is a hard working dude.....way harder than me.

Fuck Work.

This is a dream that Brian has realized and it is cool to see good things happen to good people.
....Because lets face it...that is a rare occurrence....

We fished this weekend but drove into a Lake effect storm front against all warnings....

I ended up being trapped over there an extra day....which was less than horrible.

The fishing was slow.

We fished with a new guide on the Muskegon the first day over, braving what had to be the worst winter river conditions I have ever faced.
The wind was so bad at times that the boat wouldn't stay anchored.
It was newer water we fished and I think that with more optimal cons we would've drilled them.

As it turned out Brian nailed two beautiful fish and I found the only runt in the whole river system. The guide was a character....like most Michigan people are from the west side. It is a miracle we lived but a good day on the water to laugh about in the years to come. That has almost as much value for reverie as a day full of fish..

I think I would prefer to fish with Jeff Stuhan. He has a bigger boat and inspires a little more confidence in me anyway.

The west side MI storm was moderate but on the second day of our trip Kim called to warn me that Sarnia was just getting drilled.

I stayed an extra day just to be safe but couldn't believe my eyes when I eventually arrived home.

Coming across the bridge I read signs notifying motorists that "ALL ROADS OUT OF SARNIA ARE CLOSED"...and "STATE OF EMERGENCY" declared.


I made it home and shovelled us out but found story after story on the NET about 300 + drivers stranded on the 402 highway and how the military had been called in to assist with evacuations.

I think that I can put the gear away for a while.

At least until we can get out on the Muskegon again...hopefully this time with less than hurricane winds.

The kids are back in school today and I am off until Friday.

I am starting to unwind and it feels good.

2010 was a good fall season for me and I am thankful for it.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Two Amigos

Well Morin finally finished his plastic making mission and the plant can now roll along with its own impetus.

Life is weird..
How the fuck did we get here?
Oh well..

He obviously has an important job and I am proud of him...even though he is a POS.

Untitled from Gene Norland on Vimeo.

So the plan was to fish Today and tomorrow.

The weather cooperated.

Beatng up the fish in Nov 2010 from Gene Norland on Vimeo.

The water was close to mint...right around dead sexy...or to use a new and apt phrase...it was rated PG ( Perfect Green..LOL)

I was jacked.

I can't remember the last time Morin and I fished together and although it meant that I would have to shelve any delusions of competency next to his Steelhead gifts we were long overdue to fish the home water as a team.

The Steelhead nerd team.

Useless at the Stick from Gene Norland on Vimeo.

It was a great great day with a ridiculous amount of fish being caught but more importantly it was a great chance to get caught up and shoot the shit with a good friend.

The fish are just an excuse for being there...well it is a little more than that...quite hard to nail down actually.. but it is a special thing to share these moments with someone who can really appreciate it on the same level ...an unabashed love for this river and its fish....

That is a bit of a gush.... rife with melodrama but I am drunk... and feeling a little emotional.
Poor little Ella had to go to the hospital today to have her broken finger reset.
They put her out for it luckily but she has come around now and is in agony.
I feel terrible that I was on the river having one of the greatest days of my life while my family was home dealing with this.
She is my special little girl and I hate seeing her like this.
The bone doc called us today with an opening and decided to take another run at this break and I had no way of knowing.

Obviously I would've stayed home and will tomorrow as well...but I needed a day on the river and I am glad that we were able to squeeze this one in...oblivious to this shit..
Life...holy fuck..some days it really gets you down...
These are my days of rest and all my kids are sick and my holiday plans are completely fucked...
Status Quo...
Except it is not funny anymore...
Oh well..numb nuts will be out there I am sure and I hope he drills them.

Big moment today on the water when Morin nailed a beauty with a Jig that I had tied for him!!!
Ella and I will have to gt back to the fly bench and tie up some more.

She got a real kick out of that news and out of the picture.

Oh well...back to reality...and the numbness of an alcoholic haze...

Saturday, November 27, 2010


Well the river has shut me down lately with "high" water...?
The rains that we have all prayed for have finally come ...now if I can only be patient...and get rid of this fucking chest cold.

I am in for OT 4 to Midnight tonight ...going on very little sleep.

Poor Ella had a sleepover at grandmas house last night but in the middle of night fell out of bed and broke her finger!


Kimi made the Emerg' run but in the process Avery woke up and now we are all running on empty today.

Ah joy...and these are my scheduled "Days of Rest"...?????....REALLY????

Oh well...there are people in the world with real problems and Morin and I are fishing Monday Tuesday...on dare I say it ...prime water!!!!!



Dig this...

And this...

This is the State of the Art.....and it pains me to know that I will never get close....
But wow what music.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Day # 1


Just the other day dipshit and I were musing via email about what we considered our greatest days on the water.
Today was my greatest day.

After an intolerably long dry spell the skys finally opened up and dropped some wetness.


..except for the fact that it looked like I was going to miss out.
I am back in this weekend Friday Saturday Sunday and by the look of the weather those days were going to be dynamite.

I watched the graph...which has become useless...unless you like knowing what you should've done...
But on a whim I decided to try today...

By all accounts I would be a day early.

So much for prognostication.

Today has left me speachless...I feel like it was a dream...

I wish Morin could've been there....as gay as that sounds.

Long story short ..the water was mint and I caught so many fish I lost count...10+ out of the swamp water above Thompsons which is kind of cool because I feel like I discovered that water and it is dead sexy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The beaver seems to have improved it...even though I hate those fucking rodents I suppose I owe him.

His little dam has 'held up' the water enough to widen the pools and create more pronounced seams.

Every run gave up a few fish except for the eagle run.

It had this weird chaulky colour to it from the clay.

If I had hit it on the way out I may have turned something ...who knows ....but after a while enough is enough...and I ended on a great fish.

There was one black mark to my otherwise perfect day.

One of the Steelies I hooked had to be harvested...which really bummed me out.

I tried to release her even though she was bleeding out of boths sides but the poor thing ended up bellie up 5 mins later.
I thought about leaving her for the eagle but the last thing we need is to encourage that thing...
Heaven forbide he develops a taste for them.

Besides...I enjoy these fish on the table and it couldn't be helped.

Perfect conditions ..perfect bait (thx to Morin!!)..and I was THE ONLY MFER ON THE RIVER!!!!
Where do I go from here?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Music...in the place of rain

I just finished 11 days out of 12 off.

I should've been fishing like a lunatic but here we are again with almost no rain.

I have instead been playing (and listening to) a ton of guitar and that has been cool.

Here is a clip I found from Youtube of John Scofield playing the way I like him too....if only he would.


Monday, November 08, 2010

Fishing The Trickle

The river is not much to speak of right now.

There are quite a few fish in it but they have been left high and dry by mother nature.

Oh well...

Today was my day to fish and I knew it was going to be tough. I almost didn't go...but I am glad that I did.
I would prefer to fish the river at its best but the nice thing about the present conditions is that all the knuckleheads stay home....all but me that is.

I did alright considering.
I went from run to run and managed a fish at each one that was fishable but the commotion would send the rest of the fish scattering and after that they couldn't be coaxed.

I was up late last night and the weekend was a bit of a blur.

I played a jazz gig Saturday night with my friend Torrie...which was horrible...
The night before Owen woke up sick and I had him into Emergency in the early hours and most of the morning.

He is still not quite right..so we may have to switch his medicine around tomorrow..
Kids stress me out.
If I'd had any idea how much I was going to love them I never would've had them..if that makes sense....
It doesn't ...but nothing really does.

We had some friends over last night that we hadn't seen in years.
This guy stood up at my wedding and yet somehow I had allowed the friendship to become one where we barely spoke anymore.

It was nice to get caught up and I am hoping that we can do it again soon.

The alarm came awfully early with the time change and hangover from the entire weird weekend but off I went.

I didn't see a soul.

But I did see a lot of wildlife.

Very peaceful day.

Now if we can only get Owen on the mend.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010


After the great day I had on Friday I could'nt wait to get out again.

My Wife...god bless her suggested that I take a run up on Sunday...Halloween Sunday.

She assured me that I wouldn't be needed until around 5 -6ish and that it would be good for me because I obviously enjoyed Friday so much.

I can only believe that she is cheating on me....

...but hey whatever...if thats what it takes!


Truth be told Sunday at 5 am saw me in no shape to fish.

Saturday Kimi and I went to a Halloween party. Aunt Tracy had the kids and the party was walking distance.
I was nothing short of a Bag of Milk when I got home...I didn't even know who I was...
We had a ton of fun BTW.
I had to be talked...in fact begged into going but it was a good time and I loved seeing Kim get a chance to let go.

I had to hit snooze but at 6am I fired up the rice burner and headed north.

After hiking in for more than an hour I stopped to take a leak...reaching down to unbuckle my fanny pack....


Ooops...left in the car.


No bait,...no terminal tackle....no floats....no leader line...

Fucking hangover...

So back to the car I go.

I hiked like mad to get to the water I had planned on fishing and barely saw a soul.
I think JFL was right when he said that Sunday is the new Wednesday...or something like that.

I think the midweekers are outsmarting oursselves half of the time.

I did bump into one older dude who was in the middle of slicing up his wild Steelhead....I thought about pushing his fillet knife into his ear but I am not quite there yet....

Close,.. but not quite.

At 9am I am standing over the water that I was forced to walk away from on Friday...

Long story short...it wasn't quite as hot but it was pretty friggin cool!!!!!

October Chrome indeed.