Saturday, November 01, 2008

A Fall Day

We’re hitting 60s here in The Driftless, despite the fact that it’s November 1st today. When I woke up, I was literally nervous thinking that if we don’t put our minds to it, we’d waste the daylight hours. I get that way now and then, especially during the latter part of fall. Man, did it work out though.

(1) Went to the recycling center and dropped off 1+ month’s load. We filled all the empty containers with compost at the waste-to-energy facility on our way out. The total was 280 lbs of crumbly beauty. We don’t have enough food and yard "waste" to supply our entire garden area, so we’re concluding that we’ll have to amend with outside compost sources.
(2) With a wagon full of dirt, JD and I stopped at the coop. For $6 we got three plate-sized whole grain pancakes, a cup of coffee and a free smoothie sample. Really can’t get much better than that. I’ll tell you, sitting across from your four-year old soon, listening to him explain things and ask wonderful questions…. Sipping black-ass coffee and dipping pancakes in sweet maple… hehe. That’s the way to go.
(3) On to the paperback exchange. We swapped a bunch of books and rolled up an $18 credit, which we used to buy a couple good kids books (A Tree is Growing and Cock-A-Doodle Dudley), a manual on fruit and berry growing, a Sanford novel, and Wolf Willow by Wallace Stegner, who taught Wendell Berry in the late 1950s at Stanford University.
(4) Kids down to nap at 13:30. Out the door to a local water. I had food on my mind this time, so I went to a foodery instead of a catch and release beauty. I was really waffling on using the canoe… not sure if I had enough time to launch it, as I figured on being back at 15:30. I finally decided that I should try something new. Hell, I reminded myself that the paddling itself, on a day like today, was the point anyway. I don’t often fish for trout in lakes… in fact, I only vaguely remember ever catching a fish from a lake, although pictures prove that I have. I wasn’t excited about fishing a sinking line, but it actually worked out really well. That Avid I have redeemed itself somewhat, after noodling too much the other day when I was trying to cast big streamers with it. It handles that sinking line really well – I could get great distance with it, and shoot as much line as I could keep from sinking at boatside. I should have had three fish, but only ended up with one. Another popped off just out of reach, and a third I just flat out missed – maybe a short hit – not sure. One trout does not a meal make, but I am not ungrateful. Have to go out and look for more. All action came in deep water, on Holschlag’s Bushy Bugger – a compact streamer with an extra wide hook gap. Given that I only actually fished for ~1:15, I liked the action and the potential of this water for future exploration. I need to talk to some lake-fishing folks and study up. Easy paddling, just enough wind to slow drift across the water, and solid peace and quiet… fall colors still hanging on. Nice. It’s remarkable how the simple act of catching a fish can relax a guy.
(5) Bop around the house a bit, and then over the neighbors for dinner, kids play, and a little talk on big browns and Atlantic salmon. Walk home with Danny in my arms, checking on some stars.

An absolute necessity for this quick hitter fishing is rapid prep. I can have the canoe loaded in <5 minutes, and the drive to this water is literally between 3-4 minutes. The portage to the landing is ~1/5 of a mile, which isn't bad. The rack in the picture holds itself in by tension only, and was made entirely of scrap wood from the tearoff of the siding from our old home. The purpose is to create a wider base on top of the Subaru, as required by the width of the canoe.


13 Comments:

Blogger Joe Watkins said...

Nice post. Canoe looks used. Cool.

10:11 PM  
Blogger Wendy Berrell said...

The canoe is used. The canoe was salvaged, in fact. I've gotten decent use out of it. It's pretty heavy, and there is no portage yolk right now. Dad gave me one, but I haven't installed it yet.

Meaning to get out there again and take another trout or two... may not happen though.

7:01 PM  
Blogger Joe Watkins said...

Liked your reference to lake near home town where you caught your first trout. Recall opening day on that lake. I'm guessing your canoe experience is more peaceful.

9:28 PM  
Blogger darklake said...

Uhhhhhhh....didn't trout season in lakes close 10/31??

7:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The place where I think he went has special regs - open all year.

Paul

6:14 AM  
Blogger Wendy Berrell said...

Yes - special regs - open all year. I hope to get out there again this fall... let me know if you want to come along. No snagging my face though.

7:43 AM  
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