28 April, 2010
I'm headed off the grid in a very short while. To places without WiFi, and in fact where often even cell phones don't work. And I'm looking forward to it. Yes, I'll definitely check in, but it will require a conscious decision to find a place with service. I already know that several of my favorite UP fishing spots DON'T have cell service. I may visit those first.
Ahhhh. More tales next week - with pictures!
27 April, 2010
26 April, 2010
- Egg flies -- it's still steelhead season for at least a little while, and I want to have my program DIALED for these come Fall.
- Wolly Buggers -- easy to tie, plus solid for summer trout and smallies. A big Huron River fave.
- Green caddis nymphs -- always had good luck on these, and now I have the materials for them.
- Grey Drake Parachute or Adams Parachute -- having a dry in the mix forces me to up my game and this is a solid all-around pattern.
Naturally I've already picked the next four. But I'm hoping I can spend the next month or two getting these down. Plus, a nice supply of these four will get me a solid start on summer!
22 April, 2010
For a while I've been thinking I should renew some of my First Aid/CPR certifications, since it's been a LONG time. Last night's scene put some more motivation onto that feeling. I find myself in plenty of places where having some training could prevent a bad situation from degrading into a disaster.
This is kind of the missing link in my Boy Scout "Be Prepared" ways. I'm usually way overprepared for my outdoor adventures -- extra layers, waterproof gear, etc. And, I'm usually thinking things like, "What if it's colder than the forecast?" or "...if that rain turns to snow....". But what if something injury happens to me or my companions? That's a significant missing element in my plan.
So, I think it's off to the Red Cross web site. I think a basic First Aid/CPR class will be a good start. Probably a good idea for anyone.
21 April, 2010
20 April, 2010
19 April, 2010
Initially, I decided to move fast through this area working around the others I encountered. But then it occured to me to move to the end. Gleason's Landing is the end of the flywaters (and of most guided float trips) so I decided to move down there early, then jump back up the river later. Turned out to be a decent strategy. Far fewer folks at Gleason's. Then after lunch I moved up to the Ledge Hole access to work that. As I was rigging up in the parking lot four guys walked out. Those were the last people I saw all afternoon!
I really enjoyed getting out of the comfort zone and finding some other good spots. As an added bonus, I haven't been back to the Ledge access since taking my little unplanned January swim a couple years back. So, I needed to conquer it -- which I did. Seeing it now I can see how I stepped into it; but I'm amazed how much I've learned since then. My wading skills are MUCH better now!
Found some nice fishy spots. I think some will be especially good for summer trout on dries and nymphs. While I had a few strikes, and a chase from one sizable brown, my only catch was a little rainbow. Hey, better than getting skunked, right?
16 April, 2010
Also, in week one we tied some Green Caddis nymphs. I want to bang out a dozen or so of those before end of month trip to the UP.
This should be a cool and creative outlet!
15 April, 2010
But, then I remember that improvements are a result of continuous and regular effort and won't be instantaneous. Just need to get out 2-4x per week and I'm sure that after a couple of weeks, all will be well. But, for now, I think I'll stick to solo rides -- I think a group ride would kill me.
On the upside, sure was nice to be out on the road. Bike felt tuned and crisp. Shifting was great and precise. Even the normally poor brakes (Note to Giant: long reach calipers and house brand brakes? Why?) felt solid and had decent stopping distance.
OK, just have to squeeze time into schedule. A few weeks and I won't even remember the slow start!
14 April, 2010
12 April, 2010
Made an attempt at a perfection loop recently that looked like a ball of yarn by the time I was done with it. And blood knots look so sleek and elegant -- except mine. My nail knots just slip apart before they grab.
But, I can tie improved clinches and surgeons knots. Why? Because I tie lots of them. Watching guides amazes me. Those guys just bang out 83 different knots almost without looking. Again, practice.
So, I think that's a good summer's goal; learn to competently tie two additional knots. I think up next will be perfection loops and blood knots.
09 April, 2010
On the upside, I think fly tieing may become the perfect fill-in for this situation. As of now, my bike's cleaned up, household chores and repairs are in good shape, and I don't watch a ton of TV. Downtime? Tie flies!
But this weekend I get to participate in one of my favorite warm weather activities - Tiger baseball! Friends are coming to visit and we scored super-cheap mezzanine tickets for tomorrow afternoon. There's little that's as much fun as a Tiger game on a nice day in downtown Detroit. Supposed to be sunny and mid-60's. In April, I'll take it! Nice way to relax, meet some nice folks, and enjoy one of the best things about Detroit. And a little Slow's BBQ afterward might just round out a great day nicely!
07 April, 2010
I did get to use a good vise last night and could definitely tell the difference. Very easy to get a firm grip on the hook bend. Also the rotary vise was really excellent for trimming and clean-up. Renzetti Traveller looks like the solution.
One thing that became clear to me last night was that certain practices need to be consistent so you'll always know how you did it. For example, I've learned to always wrap over and away. That way, whether I'm tying in material, wrapping a body, or taking apart a goof, I know how things should be oriented to prevent a self-destruct. And, yes, I learned by doing it wrong a couple of times.
Only downside? We shot two dozen pheasants on last hunt and I didn't keep ANY tail feathers!!! Last night we learned to tie Pheasant Tail Nymphs. Guess what one of the key ingredients is?
Looking forward to learning more!
06 April, 2010
05 April, 2010
Classic joke and illustrates a good point. When you dam rivers, fish can't go where they prefer. When you consider anadramous species like steelhead and salmon where they start in rivers to spawn, move to the lakes to grow, and return to the rivers the impact of a dam is tremendous. In many river systems, like the AuSable, this journey is artifically shortened by a dam that prevents migration.
But there's more bad stuff that dams cause. One of the best simple discussions I've seen is here.
Why bring it up? As infrastructure budgets are shrinking at local, state, and Federal levels many communities are considering removing dams rather than investing in repairs that will lead to more repairs in the future. If you're in a community where this is happening, if you're interested in healthy rivers, it may be worth your while to get involved.
02 April, 2010
- Scott A2 in 9' 6-weight; my all-round trout/smallie rod
- Scott S3 in 9' 6" 8-weight; my all-round steelhead rod for indicator fishing
- Orvis Clearwater II in 9' 8-weight for chuck-and-duck steelheading
- TFO Signature in 7'6" 3-weight for tight UP trout streams
- Raven IM6 13' 6" float rod for centerpinning
- Ross FS in 9' 5/6-weight; back-up/learner rod
- TFO Signature in 9' 10-weight for Kings
- Albright GP in 9' 8-weight; probably for stripping streamers to big trout and as a back-up (hey, it was CHEAP...)
On the upside, I don't think I paid anything near retail for any of these. Many were used from guide friends clearing out their garages. Others were sale or closeout items.
At the moment, only two others are possibilities -- looking to pick up a Scot A2/3 in 7'6" 3-weight to replace my TFO (I love the Scott A Series rods), plus may be doing some trade out for a longer 11' switch rod for drifting indicators to steelies (probably a TFO Deer Creek).
Let's not even talk about reels. Yet.