Friday, February 23, 2007

One more fairly rad pic from that winter trout outing:

Monday, February 19, 2007

Stones in the Snow (winter trout fishing)

The world seemed to wake up today... it was great to shake off the somewhat oppressive mantle of cold that had persisted basically right up to this morning.

I left the house around 11 AM, intent on walking a stream and nymphing - something I hadn't done for a while. I had a coat pocket full of venison jerky, and I loaded the car with a thermos full of hot coffee, my gear bag and my 4 wt Avid, my Pentax Optio... needed nothing else.
I fished a local stream - no big secret - everybody fishes it... and it was just what I figured it would be: plenty of fish, but all small. They were where they should have been, and they were hitting the nymphs they should have hit... all pretty routine. What made the day was the combination of weather (sun, and no wind), lack of folks around (saw no one), and having plenty of time to slowly walk the stream. The sights were pretty astounding too... I'll let the pictures explain.
It'd been a long time since I fished a small stream... at the first hole my 2-nymph rig ended up in a tree, broken off. I zoomed way in, and you can actually see it, if you look close... look for unnaturally straight lines (the tippet) and a splotch of pink (the pink squirrel).
The stream was dead clear - some stealth was required for sure... but overall, I think that is a bit overdone by the magazines: you don't have to cast 40 feet and crawl on your belly. IMO, if you are quiet and keep a low profile you can actually get pretty close to the fish - particularly in places where they THINK they are safe... those are the best places.
Plecopterans were around.... I paused to take these pics. Two different colors - apparently two different hatches of stones that were approx the same size. If anyone can ID past family, please do. It was really cool to see these little guys running around with much energy despite existing on snow crystals.
Like I said - the fish were abounding, but not exceptionally large. In fact, of the eightI got to hand, four were <6".>
The last pic - check it out - can you ID it?

Saturday, February 17, 2007

More from Kooser - page 48

Beer Bottle

In the burned-
out highway
ditch the throw-

away beer
bottle lands
standing up

like a cat
thrown off

of a roof
to kill it,
landing hard

and dazzled
in the sun,
right side up;

sort of a
STOP drinking bottled water...

Among the myriad, here is another reason, posted at Trout Undergound

Corporations rape the groundwater resources, just so they can put the words "spring water" on the bottle... hard to believe, but I guess when you think about it for a second - believable.

Stop drinking that stuff man! Get a Brita filter, or just drink your tap water. Bottled water is a flat out scam... Isn't it funny that folks will complain about gas prices (the sun's energy stored and compressed over millions of years) while tipping a bottle of water to their lips for which they paid ~$6 per gallon? We just don't make sense.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Here is one of the more stunningly good pieces of poetry I've come across in my minor league literature career. I saw this collection approx one year ago, and I've wanted it ever since... I have it now - installed in my personal canon right next to Grass Roots and Given. When I read this poem, I just say yes, yes - everything is right... the words are perfect.


On the river bottom,
the carp have blown out
all the candles.

They whisper along
over the closed, black
bibles of clams.

Water-monks these,
with mouths like those
of angels singing,

but not angelic,
so very naked now
in darkness,

their cool, hard bodies
touching, among
the tapestries of weed.

-Ted Kooser

Poet Laureate of the United States

Flying at Night

Monday, February 12, 2007


We put JD in the care of the church nursery twice today - once for the service and once for the V-day dinner. When we went to pick him up we did some parent spying... just to see him when he can't see us. On both occasions we found him kneeling at a pile of toys, carefully studying one at a time... very slowly and thoughtfully. Around him was the buzz of kids - locomoting, yelling, etc. - but in the midst of it all his focus was apparent. He loves to pull things apart, hitch them together, stack them, rip them, assemble and disassemble them. Pretty cool for parents to observe!
Itchin' for a Scratch

I've been thinking about trout lately, and how I'd like to see and maybe even catch a few. I ate some salmon flesh tonight, and that only further stoked the flame. It's been bleeping cold lately, but I'm sensing a warm up. I made a tying to-do list, and I started on it recently... today I tied ~20 flies I'd guess - all for SE MN trout. The one in the yellow light is from a while ago - that one could double as a carp fly.

I call most flies "deadly lethal killers" but these dark blue hares ears really are the genuine DLKs. This would win the "one fly" contest in SE MN... this or maybe the Pink Squirrel. I have at all times at least 20 of these and 20 Pink Sq. in my nymph box. I love this fly. If you walk around in streams and turn over rocks, you will find that many of the bugs you see look like this - approx this size, shape and color. I like to think that that is why it is so effective (see old pic of fly on buggy rock from 2006 fishing tour)... but it could also be because it is a really flashy little devil too - gold bead and plenty of ice dub. Either way - easy tie, beautiful fly, gets to the bottom to bounce around, eagerly taken by salmo trutta et al...

Check out the detail provided by the macro feature of the Pentax Optio. You can even see the individual fibers of the fibers of the pheasant tail feathers.
A Study in Chocolate

Em became a 31 year old person on Feb 8. To celebrate, her boys made her a chocolate cake. It's really good. In fact, I just consumed a small piece at 12:38 AM after lifting weights. I figured I needed the protein jolt. It does contain eggs and milk.

She is 31 and as great as ever. JD and I are very thankful.

I thought this texture shot said chocolate better than would a typical shot of a round brown cake with a candle stuck in it.
Happy Birthday Mom!

Side note: we made consumer choices that were aimed at keeping atrazine out of your birthday celebration.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

This guy and his extended family live in our house. What do you think of that?

They aren't like the centipedes that I grew up with - the flat orange ones that live in old logs and leaf piles... This species lives indoors, and they are somewhat creepier: they move much faster, and when they do, their legs locomote in an eerily smooth wave-like action.

Once I bent over the sink to wash my face, and one of these literally leapt out of the overflow drain out into the basin... nice little "what the bleep??!" incident.

Anyway - I put the pic out because they are kind of marvellous from a biological perspective. Imagine being a bug... you'd consider this guy a really big badass I bet.