Thursday, March 31, 2011

Out Like a Perfect Lamb

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It took us all by surprise. Suddenly yesterday the temperature climbed past the seventy degree mark. Today it was right back up there. That, in case you've forgotten, is actually warm. So March, after coming in like a lion, is going out like a perfect lamb.

It inspired me so much that after work today I took the long way home past my favorite lake. I was pleased to find no trace of ice, just a lake already turning on. Birds, butterflies, midges and assorted bugs...

And, best of all, a few fish actually working. It felt like a miracle.

That was really nice. The early season lake opens tomorrow and I'll get there sometime soon. I also plan to hit some new spots on the river; people are still catching Steelhead.

But boy, after today my heart is already out there with those holdovers. I feel a bond with them, one survivor to another.

Less than a month now before I can once again take my place in their lives.

Pool 32 Mag, Edition Three

An amazing amount of material, all good. Click here.

Friday, March 25, 2011

NCAA Tournament Report: Sweet!

When you aren't sure who to root for anymore you can always engage in the great American pastime of rooting for the underdog. It's the socially acceptable form of just outright hating the number one seeds.

And when things work out...

Oh yeah. It gives double the satisfaction.

Go Underdawgs!

Some Days Yer Krazy, Some Days Yer Ignatz...

Click for full size image.

George Herriman, sheer genius. 

So what does this have to do with fly fishing? Well, ask yourself what fly fishing has to do with anything.

But then there's this...

Excellent Resource From Wild Steelhead Coalition

Click here for download.

Intimations of Mortality

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I took this on Tuesday as I ran Jeremiah and his friend into town to shoot baskets at the park. I hung around until Isaiah's basketball practice was over at 7, then took two of his friends home before finally heading home with the boys. Business as usual.

The thing is I was sick. Something in the chest and throat. I'd had it for a month. I thought I could just bull through it again. Business as usual.

But I couldn't. By Wednesday I was out of it. For the first time in a long time I finally had to resort to doctoring and prescription medication. That's where I was for the last two days, in a fever dream.

I'm better, but I'm not over it. I'll keep taking my medicine and, well, keep taking my medicine. This is what I get for not taking better care of myself in the first place.

Hoping all of you are well...

Great Story. Can't Wait For Gierach's Version

Thanks to Matt over at Third Coast Fly for the heads up on this one. John Gierach and Scott Sadil in one boat  in one bad run of Oregon weather.

Click here.

I've also added The Caddis Fly: Oregon Fly Fishing Blog to the Blogroll in the right margin of this page. Don't know why it wasn't there sooner. Check it out if you don't know it.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Good For What Ails You: A Bracing Shot of Pure Beauty

Spring Through a Jaundiced Eye (I'm Sick and Crabby and Cold Again)

The first day of spring was once the time for taking the young virgins into the fields, there in dalliance to set an example in fertility for nature to follow. Now we just set the clocks an hour ahead and change the oil in the crankcase.
E. B. White
One Man's Meat.

Spring is not the best of seasons.
Cold and flu are two good reasons;
wind and rain and other sorrow,
warm today and cold tomorrow.
Author Unknown

The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another. The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month.
Henry Van Dyke

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Nothing But Good Times and a Long, Hot Summer Ahead

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Funny how things work out sometimes. I didn't expect to go fishing today, but this afternoon Jeremiah and his buddies started begging to go. I know where they're coming from. We went.

The day was beautiful; 55 degrees.

And windy. I had advised jackets before we left but somehow that concept never computes with Jeremiah. So he thought maybe he could get under the wind. All the time we were there he would say to me, "Move, you're in my sun!"

The boys weren't the only ones who heard the call of the lake today. Three people were out in a little boat, and then our friend Jake showed up. He's a big time bass guy and this was his shakedown cruise for the season.

He uses big plugs and pulls out five, six, seven pounders on a regular basis.

He didn't touch anything today--mainly he cruised up and down the lake at sixty miles an hour.

The boys didn't touch anything either. But they told stories about last summer. They said over and over how much they could hardly wait to jump in and swim. Mainly, they were there again with a fishing rod in their hands. The season has begun.

There's nothing but good times and a long, hot summer ahead.

Friday, March 18, 2011

From the "There's More To Life Than Fishing" File

When I said last night that there was a chance of rain today I should have added "and a chance of kids." The rain held off, the kids came on. Isaiah and Kim left for yet another AAU tournament this afternoon, so, being on kid duty here for the weekend, I didn't get to the river.

Right now, Jeremiah is upstairs with two friends who will be staying the night. They finished their pizza a little while ago, and just dragged sleeping bags and blankets out of the bedroom, so they'll be killing zombies most of the night with a few sleep breaks to keep them going.

Lidia, meanwhile, went to a movie with friends, so I've been downstairs on my own. That's just fine. Instead of a steady drone of Spanish novellas from the downstairs TV--and someone is always yelling or crying hysterically on those things--I was able to settle in for some NCAA tournament action.

I'm not a rabid Husky fan (get it?), but having lived here for almost five years I have developed some home state loyalty, so I greatly enjoyed Washington's last-second win over Arizona in the PAC10 tournament, and was glad to see them advance to the Sweet Sixteen tonight.

I don't feel I'm at the level of commitment to allow me to shout, "Go dawgs!" So I'll just say, "Go, dogs."

Round 2: #10 Georgia 65 - #7 Washington 68

 - Add to iGoogle

Mar 1812T
Bracket-Live video
Sweet Sixteen: @ #7 North Carolina Tar Heels, Mar 20 12:15pm ET

We'll see how they do against the Tarheels. But win or lose, I'll still be watching--if Lidia and I can work out our TV schedules--as the tournament winds down to the championship game. If the Huskies fall by the wayside, I'll find some underdog to root for.

Of course, I'll still be watching for fishing windows. Monday looks good right now.

But, all in all, it's a pretty good time to not be able to get to the river.

Respect the Planet--and Its People

A sobering look at the devastation in Japan using satellite imagery and a slider. Click here.

If you're looking for a trustworthy relief organization, here's a good one. Click here.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Maybe Janet Will Drop By

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I knew that today I would be up near what I've been calling "the early-season trout lake," so I threw my vest and my light rod into the truck. I even wore my old boots so it wouldn't matter if I got them all muddy. The plan was to do my work then head over there and cast a nymph or two for awhile before heading home.

Because the lake was already open, see.

Just before I left I decided I'd better confirm that little fact for myself. Well, I couldn't. I didn't find anything in the DFW regs or special rules except what I had thought in the first place: this lake opens on April 1st.

Not March 1st.

I headed over there anyway after work. Things are looking good.

I was tempted to follow through on my plan. I probably would have except that the last time I was on the river I heard the brush crackling across from me and looked over expecting to see a deer. But it was a woman climbing down the bank. "Hi!" she said. "How are you?"

I thought maybe one of the fantasies I had as a younger man was coming true. Then she said, "I'm Janet, with Fish and Wildlife. Just looking around." She was real nice, didn't check my license or anything, and was really just trying to find out how the fishing was. We had a lovely chat.

But. Wham!, out of nowhere, there's the DFW standing across the river from me. This time it would have been a steely voice behind me: "I'm Bob, with Fish and Wildlife! Freeze!"

So I just took some photos. The water is opening up nicely.

And for the first time I could see that sweet descent from sun-dappled shallows to deep green depths that pulls me right into a lake.

I also saw a couple of muskrats, reminders of last Spring when they were everywhere:

Home Waters: A Fly Fishing Life: Monday Fishing Report: A Modest Proposal
Home Waters: A Fly Fishing Life: I Rest My Case

So I will continue to wait. Tomorrow I should have some time to get back to the river. The temperatures have been in the fifties, with a couple of sixty-degree days thrown in, and there's supposed to be an overcast with a chance of rain. Promising.

Just a couple more weeks and I'll be out there with those ducks and geese--and muskrats. And maybe Janet will drop by.