Friday, May 05, 2017


  Weekend in the Southern Corner



Goal #1: get kid to firearms safety field day.  We studied the options re classroom vs online.  A consultant suggested that the online course provides the following benefits: (1) go at own pace, (2) kid knows he has to pay attention because 10 question quiz after each chapter, (3) no driving anywhere for the coursework.  We went with it.  $25 fee and he could study the course as time allows, right in the living room.  Generally I like in-person but in this case I was swayed to deviate.  Each quiz must score 80% or better; that was no problem.  The final course exam was 50 questions.  The only trouble he had was laughing hard at the multiple choice selections, e.g. "What is an example of ethical behavior?  A. Shooting several deer and then asking the landowner for permission.  B. Strapping a dead deer to the hood of your car for transport.  Etc. etc.  No joke; those are almost verbatim.  Should note that overall the course was good, and the tests effective in educating.  He aced the final; he's a pretty good test taker because he knows he can eliminate 1 and probably 2 possibilities in any multiple choice setting.  The field days fill up quickly.  The closest we could get was Eitzen MN.  I don't like driving that far to fish, so even though there is good water down there, I rarely make the drive.  Goal #2: sell the old canoe to a coffee roaster from Viroqua WI.  We met at Eitzen to save him some miles and time.  $140 cash.  Farewell to the fiberglass canoe; quite a few good adventures.
Another reason I don't drive that far south is the unwelcome feeling that is generated toward fly anglers.  I understand the local angle: they don't want elitists from "up north" (which I suppose in this case includes Rochester) coming down to their water.  There are at least three signs that say in bold print: "NO FLY FISHING."  In fact I parked right near a sign with a big X through a dry fly under which was printed "night crawlers only."  So I spent a lot of time reciting in my head how I would engage any local should an encounter be realized.  I was basically set to say I understand your take on it; I can only do my best to show you that not all fly anglers are jerks that disrespect locals and push for special regulations.  I'm here to bonk fish too.  But I managed (without deliberately trying) to not encounter anyone, despite the fact that it was harvest opener and there were a lot of people about.  I started out dry fly fishing some busy water that was tromped down in boot tracks.  But with dry fly one can overcome: got three out of there; stomach contents of one pictured above.

Moved to another location looking for two more.  I wedged in between big swimming pool water that was being pounded by spinning gear; soon as I saw this water I felt that the creel would be filled shortly.  That water in the background seems tougher to fish with bait; perfect for banging with a streamer quartering up and across.

Indeed it took about ten minutes to get two more.  First limit of 2017.  I often don't fish the opener, but the kid was in the field all day shooting 22 rifle and parents weren't hanging around; it kind of seemed as though I had to fish for trout.

At the gas station on the way out of town we put this in plain sight; maybe to indicate some sort of (albeit technically false) membership.

Goal #3: get "new" watercraft.  Fiberglass canoe gone because we have need for only one.  This is the one now.  Picked it up the day after parting with the white tank.  This one's lighter.  Not superlight by today's standards, but lighter than the tank.

Previous owner was a native gal who used the canoe for ricing.  The middle thwart was removed, presumably to facilitate easier knocking and accumulation of rice.  In doing so, the gunwhale on one side had been bent upward/outward.  Coincidentally I had on hand an ash portage yoke received from my father some years ago.
This was the attempt at flattening.  Heat and pressure.  It worked to some degree.  The picture would indicate that it worked fully; but on removing the apparatus I found that the aluminum had cut into the wood approximately as much as the wood had done its part to flatten the aluminum.  Maybe 50% done, which was sufficient to allow attachment of the yoke.


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