Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I'm Famous

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This photo, and my name, was published on the Flyfish Journal blog. It's my entry for their Smolt of the Month feature.
Nice concept. Check it out.
Link is in the right margin of this blog.

Football Weather

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Where did August go?
On this, it's last day, we're getting a real taste of Fall. It's overcast and windy, and it was only 64 degrees in town at 3:00 this afternoon.
And it's football time. Practices began last week, and today was the first day with pads. The Middle Schoolers filed down to the high school to practice with the Big Boys.
Isaiah and Jeremiah are primed and ready. Both are doing well in practice. Jeremiah has so far earned the starting position at fullback for the Seventh Graders. Isaiah has been assigned the starting position at running back on the Eighth Grade team. They're excited.
So am I.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Lake Report: Beautiful

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Photos of scenery on a fishing blog mean that someone didn't catch any fish. So they say.
Well, on this blog photos of scenery mean I'm once again blown away by the sheer beauty around here. If I have some photos of fish, too, that's great. But it's not because they're somehow more important or more to the point than scenery. When catching fish becomes more important than the places we catch them in, we're in trouble.
No, it's because trout have meaning, if they have meaning at all, because they're a beautiful part of the beautiful places we catch them in.
Around here, it's all about the ambiance.
Take a look. It was a beautiful evening on the lake, and I caught some beautiful fish.
Beautiful.

Lake Report: Fun In Class

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Sunday evening on the lake. The wind was kicking up so I paddled over to the protection of John's Cove. Tied on the Big Bomber and had a hookup after just a few casts. Not big, but these little fish are strong. They can give you what you crave.
I hadn't counted on a fly fishing class showing up. There were five men and three or four kids, and they all came paddling and rowing out into the channel. Got a little crowded. So I moved to the north end of the lower lake. This is a good spot, and I hadn't been there in awhile, so I was glad to go. And it was in the lee of the wind.
The fish were up and working, and I caught a little one right away. Meanwhile the fly fishing class was nymphing with indicators, calling out what they were using ("I got a hit on the Copper John!" "Really? I got a hit on a Flashback Pheasant Tail." "Really? A Flashback PT?") and coaching their young charges ("You gotta paddle out farther, you're still in the weeds. There you go. Give it a twitch now and then; you gotta give it some action.") and the kids seemed to be having a good time in spite of it all.
A brief shower blew through.
It didn't slow the fish down. They were still all over the Bomber. I caught a better one.
Then one a little better than that.
And then the best fish of the day.
I ended up catching seven fish, mostly small, but all lively and intent on getting into the weeds. The two bigger ones both took line off the reel and gave me a couple jumps. All in all, it was one of my better evenings.
The class had gotten off to a slow start (I heard all about every bump, hit, and hookup, as well as the size of the few fish caught) but to the credit of the kids they were still hard at it at dusk when I paddled through on my way back to the truck. And the fish were keeping them busy.
Hope they had as much fun as I did.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Lake Report: Touch of Fall

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Lidia went with me again this evening. She actually said, without prompting, "Do you think I can catch that fish that got away last time?" Anyone who still remembers a fish that took your fly two months ago--and is still mad about it--is a fisherperson.
I gave her the Big Bomber and was hoping that the sudden cool-off (95 yesterday, 75 today) wouldn't cool off the fish. There were some fish up, and both of us got some swirls and hits, but no hookups.
Just as Lidia was really getting into it the wind shifted to the north and began to blow hard. Then it started to rain. Nothing in the weather report about that. I had a rain jacket, but Lidia didn't. I decided not to get her wet on what promised to be a cool evening, so we paddled in for a break.
It gave me a chance to admire my new feather. I think it's from a Magpie based on the other feathers scattered with it. Notice the older feathers; says something about the amount of wind and rain we've had this season.
After about half an hour the rain dwindled away and blue sky opened up to the north.
We headed back down to the lake for another go.
Not so many fish up after the rain, and no more swirls to the big flies. I put a caddis on Lidia's line, and a caddis-like little stimulator on mine.
I managed a couple of little fish, and then this better one. A bleeder.
Lidia worked at it, but the wind was still pretty stiff from the north, and she wasn't able to get her fly over any of the risers. It was also cooling down fast, and I noticed Lidia kept scrunching lower and casting less. She finally reeled in and huddled up. She claimed she was fine, and that I could keep fishing...if I wanted to.
The fishing had also cooled down by then, and the wind showed no sign of letting up, and more rain threatened in the north. Lidia finally admitted she was pretty cold. I wasn't exactly hot.
So we packed it in. It was actually pleasant to get off the water with plenty of daylight left for loading up. And it was pleasant too to have Lidia crank the heater up for the drive home.
On the way she said, without prompting, "Next time I'm going to dress warmer!"
Looking forward to it.

Garlic Festival

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I love the small town festivals around here. Ours is the Garlic Festival, a reflection of the gradual shift in this area from orchards, which have fallen on hard times, to organic farming, garlic being the mainstay of that burgeoning business.
The festival is in the city park, the same park that has the pool in it, so Isaiah swam with his friends for awhile. Kim helped at the Band Boosters booth. Lidia hung out with friends. Jeremiah was at a birthday party. I wandered around and enjoyed the tamales and cinnamon rolls and the great local music.
A wonderful August day. It's one way we build memories to help warm us during the long, cold nights to come.