Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Old fly lines as backing

Or, further means of rejecting the notion that any typical lake fish specie in Minnesota could ever get to your backing and as such, the length and type of backing on your lake reels is basically irrelevant beyond the function of making line pickup faster.

Lots of old fly lines around; I like to label them so I can recall their history/use.  I don't have a lot of spare backing around.  Because I like to use things that are on-hand instead of spending more time/money, I made the dramatic and highly controversial decision to use old fly line as backing.

Orvis Clearwater on the left (again in the vein of which fish can actually run: the Clearwater is not an elite drag; no matter here, in a lake fishing application), the reel in the "cassette" package that I recently acquired.  The pack includes three heavy plastic spools that fit into the spool "holder" which fits into the reel per normal.  In the image above the old 4 wt fly line is spooled on as backing and my BWCA 7 ips full sink lake line is wound too tightly on that little reel on the right.

Here is the lake line now on the large arbor Clearwater.  The 4 wt fly line buried, basically never to be seen again unless this reel gets triaged into carp duty somehow.

The cassette approach needs some field testing, but in the short-term it freed up three fly reels for use in other endeavors.

Nail knots and line clippings.

Cassette pack L to R: 9 wt floating, multi-tip, full sinking lake line.  The three options that should be at hand when in BWCA or more generally when lake fishing for SMB and pike.

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Deer Hunting 2019

Only deer I saw from the stand on opening weekend firearm season A.  Shot placement very good with rifled barrel and red dot.  Twisting back to left shooting downslope approx 45-50 yards.

Crossed the gully and then died; slid downhill during the throes.  Never got out of my sight.

Pausing during long drag out.  Probably around a quarter mile but all downhill; pretty good feeling.

View from stand looking downslope over left shoulder; deer came kind of up and across this view.  Into a really good shooting window.

Spent good amount of the weekend trying to move deer to hunting mates.  Did move one but no shot came of it.  Also sent one up a slope as I was walking back to stand after dragging deer out.  Heard but did not see that one.

There is no place on this property that does not afford a spectacular view.  Count myself fortunate to be welcomed into this hunting party year after year.

They hang in the cedars on the steep sideslopes.  This rub was right on a worn-to-dirt highway they use to go in and out of the cover.  My stand is not on any of the cedars; my two hunting partners post those.

DNR communication, coordination and execution re CWD testing was very good.  No hassles.

Gun kill on left; road kill we picked up on right.

Stayed at a small farm in Houston County for the second weekend, with older son.  His photo credit here.

Sat out two nights in a really good stand.  No deer seen.  First time ever logged two consecutive blanks in that stand.  Neighbors got blanked too; we heard only three instances of shooting.  Saturday night was windy; too windy.  Sunday night felt pretty good; nothing.

Monday night after that second weekend, big deer right by our house.  City deer have it pretty good.

Doing some rounds of grinding and jerky rather than all at once.  17 lbs of neck meat and scraps in three ziplocks.

Only hunted one night of first weekend second season.  Sat with younger son on a property we were seeing for the first time, again by the good graces of a friend.

He was very quiet and careful; did a great job in the stand.  Also fell asleep.  One doe came into view right at the very edge of range, coming from behind us.  Got the gun up but it would have been very marginal; so I waited.  She was unawares.  Steadily angling away from us; never giving a shot; never angling toward.  Was hoping to wake the kid up with a start.  He never did see the deer.

Stratification of chili spices.

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

Final check

Walk up, shoot three, everything tight, walk away.

Picture says it all.  The shots patched under with white are from past years, shooting rifled slugs through a smooth bore barrel at 50 yards, open sights.  The three shots just above heart, grouped in couple inch radius are sabots through rifled barrel this past weekend, using red dot.  50 yards.  The rifled slugs - just can't keep them tight.  Remarkable difference; predictable but still interesting study.  Ready to go.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Ballistics 2019

Ballistics 2019

Couple events over the past decade or so prompted me to evaluate gun, barrel, sights employed for deer hunting: (1) one deer at which I "looked" with my eyes instead of looking down the barrel through the open sights (this was presumably because I had been practicing instinct shooting with recurve for many weeks leading up to the shot), (2) one deer at which I fired a shot during legal shooting hours but right at dusk (hit, followed blood trail to neighboring property, not allowed to continue into said property; I think a better shot - maybe one in which I could have better drawn my eye to a more focused target on the obscured deer body - would have put the deer down in closer vicinity).

As such, this year employing the rifled barrel (already had it) and a red dot scope by Sig Sauer (Romeo 5).  Required some set up; notes below.

Just to get on the paper I put the scope on the barrel, removed barrel from gun and set on a pillow at home.  Sighted down the barrel and adjusted the scope to eye-balling center of a target.  Wasn't sure how well this would work.  Not great, apparently.  First shot at the range at 25 yards was pretty far down and left.  The second shot was after clicking right 6 inches and up eight inches (did not have this effect as evidenced in photo).  Repeated the adjustment - right 6, up 8 inches.  Closer.  Up 8 inches, looks good.  These increments of "inches" are described as how much the sight will move at 100 yards, so there was needed an iterative process just to see what it would do at 25 and then at 50. 

Once on paper, next step was to move out to 50 yards and then shoot several different sabot types, with varying velocities.  A friend indicated that on the "not expensive" guns (like my own Mossberg) the slower slugs often shoot better.  I was hoping that the federal sabots would be good but they were all over the place.  The hornady was not tight either.  The slowest sabot I tried - the Winchester 1350 FPS - was the best: three shots dead on, two slipped just a bit likely because of my own error.  I had to undertake this same exercise with the smooth barrel years back; it is critical to determine what ammo shoots best out of each barrel.  Too bad on the federals as they are $6 for a box of 5.  The Winchesters are $12 for the same count.  With numerous variables in play, it is possible that I should not yet give up on the federals; I may just shoot one more box to study further.

Went back a couple weeks later with my son.  Thinking I'd be locked in and shooting all the paper out of that heart.  First shot, the red dot scope fell off the gun.  Good reminder that introducing new variables and gadgetry basically means that more shit can go wrong.  I'd have been in a tougher spot if I'd been in the stand.  Guy next to the shooting range was in his garage and he loaned me allen wrench.  Remounted scope.  It was no longer holding its center, as evidenced by the first three shots that are all left/low with sticks in them.  Executed some clicks and got back on; next three shots very good at 50 yards.  The three shots with no sticks in them are by the kid, who was shooting rifled slugs through smooth bore, with only a bird bead on end of barrel.  Little high at 50yards but still killing shots.  At 25 yards he is in a 2-3 inch group.  Most of the shots in bluff country are 15-35 yards. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

BWCA August 2019 Photos

95% of time I was paddling with the pup so no good fish pics of my father/son/nephews.