Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Folks are fishing and thinking across the USA... Pretty good coverage.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

James has had a pretty fun and somewhat adventurous week. He played with Elia, explored a state park, worked on our gardens, had folks over for dinner, and watched a nice soft rain come down yesterday.

We've both agreed that watching a child grow is the single best thing life has to offer!

Here are a few more pictures from the trip... (1) We landed quite a few fish like this brown on day one. (2) We both registered our first quillbacks.
(3) It'd been a while since John had caught a brook trout - he landed a few on day two of the trip. They are uniquely colored fish.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

The annual SE MN flyfishing Tour was a great success. I’ll let a few pictures speak for themselves, but I’ll outline a few basics here:

Day 1: lesser-known trout water fished all day, produced ~10 beautiful browns for both of us… almost every fish caught was in the 12-15 inch range. Perfect weather, perfect water… great day all around.

Day 2: popular trout water produced one large brown and a handful of brookies… a nearby larger river produced a couple smallmouth for each of us and a couple redhorse for John. Afternoon was spent exploring some unknown water where John caught a couple more redhorse and hooked a couple carp that he fished to for quite a while.

Day 3: Whitewater system and Trout Run (mention them generally – no big secrets)… fished pretty well – we found fish in many places but we didn’t run into huge numbers anywhere, nor did we find any really defined hatches.

Day 4: Fished a large warmwater stream all day… we had a plan, but we axed it once we started fishing – we couldn’t leave the first hole we fished…. Started around 830 AM and ended around 400 PM – not a drop of water, ounce of food or bathroom break included in that span… in fact our feet never left the water except to creep along certain ledges to get in position to cast. On this day we caught 125-150 fish between us, including (in order of abundance caught (approx)): bullhead, carp, sheephead, quillback, sunfish, crappie, buffalo, catfish, smallies, wallies, pike and one fish that I think was a warmouth but I’ll have to ID later. All these fish were caught nymphing… It will go down as one of the greatest fishing days of all time. Between the two of us we landed approx 30-35 carp I’d guess – I landed ~12 and the lord of the carp probably hit around 20-25.

We were counting up the specie list for the entire trip, and I think we are close to 20:
Brown trout, brook trout, rainbow trout, creek chub, common shiner, redhorse sucker, white sucker, quillback sucker, unknown sucker, smallmouth bass, walleye, carp, smallmouth buffalo, bigmouth buffalo, catfish (channel cat I think, but not sure), sunfish (specie?), white crappie, warmouth (I think), northern pike, sheephead, bullhead…. That’s off the top of my head right now… just counted 21 species – all taken with flies!

There were a couple instances in which we could see dark carp torpedoes shoot after our flies no sooner than they’d hit the water. In most instances though the takes were very subtle and you need just the right drift… which John perfected and I was able to hit every so often.

We probably caught around 200 fish total between the two of us.

Other very cool notes:
John’s digital camera is waterproof – we experimented with underwater pics and video – some of it turned out really well. The best stuff can’t be displayed here though, due to many bytes required.

We had two carp doubles – both hooking and playing carp in simultaneous fashion…

John actually played TWO CARP AT ONCE, which I would believe is unheard of to this point. I was a witness, and I saw both carp on his line – one took each nymph. When he went to land them though he grabbed the bigger one and the smaller carp popped off.

I landed two fish at once too – but they were a carp and a sunfish.

A carp hooked me for a change… I went to land one and he slipped through my hand and pulled the trailing nymph into my finger. He then proceeded to fight further, and every turn he made pulled the hook into my person… interesting situation it was: trying to hold the rod but reach my offhand out as far as I could to ease tension…. This went on for some time. I figure I deserved it. Every time I pulled a hook out of a carp’s mouth I could comprehend the sensitivity of the mouth on those fish – it was almost like they were wimpering. They don’t have the hard/bony/toothy mouths of other warmwater fish – their soft mouths seem to be very delicate searching organs.

I’m sure I’ll write a little more about this later… I don’t have all the pics yet. We have a combined 686 MB of photos and video.

What a great trip!

Friday, May 19, 2006

James met one of his cousins this past weekend, and they were able to goof around together in a hotel room... They both really liked jumping around on the beds. It was fun to watch them interact and be little kids.

JB is coming to MN, and odds are, this is what we're doing right now. Talk to you next week! - JW

Some recent misc pictures of JD... dressed in his wedding outfit, getting aggressive with his spaghetti, and carrying around a transparency tube (it's not a bong).

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

How to Recycle Practically Anything

Get this: Recycling and reuse businesses now employ about as many people as the auto industry, if not more, according to a 2001 “U.S. Recycling Economic Information Study” commissioned by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and several states through an agreement with the National Recycling Coalition. At least 1.1 million people now work in the industry, more than triple the jobs in mining. BusinessWeek in February pegged the number of auto factory workers at about 950,000. Demand from industrializing China and India is helping spur the U.S. recycling industry, which now provides a “major source of raw materials,” according to Jerry Powell, editor of Resource Recycling magazine.

Without recycling, given current virgin raw material supplies, we could not print the daily newspaper, build a car, or ship a product in a cardboard box,” says Powell. “Recycling is not some feel-good activity; it is one of the backbones of global economic development.” To his way of thinking, recovering cast-offs and putting them to good use “are key ingredients to industrial growth and stability.

Read the whole story here:

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Joe logged his first stream hours on Sunday.
We fished for quite a while... found many fish in some great holes. However, being that we were starting out in learning mode - creeping, casting, drifting, mending... the trout made us out at most locations, and just sat tight to
the bottom chuckling at us. Joe did get a few hits on nymphs, and he hooked a few fish too. It was very enjoyable for me to sit and observe him pick up the technique - he took to casting really well... After a few hours we were on our way out and we stopped at one last hole. I suggested that Joe nymph the hole like he had been all day... a few minutes later I looked over and saw what is captured here with these pictures - a GREAT first ever stream trout caught and released. Nice job Joe - beautiful fish. I'm glad we got out - hope we can do it again soon... we need to get Mitch and Dad out too.

Friday, May 05, 2006

[pardon the lack of formatting - didn't come through in paste]

I do cringe at the irony of posting this with a machine... digitally. However, it's good enough that I can look past that, in order to share the text.

Some Further Words
by Wendell Berry.

Let me be plain with you, dear reader.I am an old-fashioned man. I likethe world of nature despite its mortaldangers. I like the domestic worldof humans, so long as it pays its debtsto the natural world, and keeps its bounds.I like the promise of Heaven. My purposeis a language that can repay just thanksand honor for those gifts, a tongueset free from fashionable lies.
Neither this world nor any of its placesis an "environment." And a housefor sale is not a "home." Economicsis not "science," nor "information" knowledge.A knave with a degree is a knave. A foolin a public office is not a "leader."A rich thief is a thief. And the ghostof Arthur Moore, who taught me Chaucer,returns in the night to say again:"Let me tell you something, boy.An intellectual whore is a whore."
The world is babbled to pieces afterthe divorce of things from their names.Ceaseless preparation for waris not peace. Health is not procuredby sale of medication, or purityby the addition of poison. Scienceat the bidding of the corporationsis knowledge reduced to merchandise;it is a whoredom of the mind,and so is the art that calls this "progress."So is the cowardice that calls it "inevitable."

I think the issues of "identity" mostlyare poppycock. We are what we have done,which includes our promises, includesour hopes, but promises first. I knowa "fetus" is a human child.I loved my children from the timethey were conceived, having lovedtheir mother, who loved themfrom the time they were conceivedand before. Who are we to saythe world did not begin in love?

I would like to die in love as I was born,and as myself of life impoverished gointo the love all flesh beginsand ends in. I don't like machines,which are neither mortal nor immortal,though I am constrained to use them.(Thus the age perfects its clench.)Some day they will be gone, and thatwill be a glad and a holy day.I mean the dire machines that runby burning the world's body andits breath. When I see an airplanefuming through the once-pure skyor a vehicle of the outer spacewith its little inner spaceimitating a star at night, I say,"Get out of there!" as I would speakto a fox or a thief in the henhouse.When I hear the stock market has fallen,I say, "Long live gravity! Long livestupidity, error, and greed in the palacesof fantasy capitalism!" I thinkan economy should be based on thrift,on taking care of things, not on theft,usury, seduction, waste, and ruin.

My purpose is a language that can make us whole,though mortal, ignorant, and small.The world is whole beyond human knowing.The body's life is its own, untouchedby the little clockwork of explanation.I approve of death, when it comes in timeto the old. I don't want to fiveon mortal terms forever, or survivean hour as a cooling stew of piecesof other people. I don't believe that lifeor knowledge can be given by machines.The machine economy has set afirethe household of the human soul,and all the creatures are burning within it
"Intellectual property" namesthe deed by which the mind is boughtand sold, the world enslaved. Wewho do not own ourselves, being free,own by theft what belongs to God,to the living world, and equallyto us all. Or how can we own a partof what we only can possessentirely? Life is a gift we haveonly by giving it back again.Let us agree: "the laborer is worthyof his hire," but he cannot own what he knows,which must be freely told, or labordies with the laborer. The farmeris worthy of the harvest madein time, but he must leave the lightby which he planted, grew, and reaped,the seed immortal in mortality,freely to the time to come. The landtoo he keeps by giving it up,as the thinker receives and gives a thought,as the singer sings in the common air.

I don't believe that "scientific genius"in its naive assertions of poweris equal either to nature orto human culture. Its thoughtless invasionsof the nuclei of atoms and cellsand this world's every habitationhave not brought us to the lightbut sent us wandering farther throughthe dark. Nor do I believe.artistic genius" is the possessionof any artist. No one has madethe art by which one makes the worksof art. Each one who speaks speaksas a convocation. We live as councilsof ghosts. It is not "human genius"that makes us human, but an old love,an old intelligence of the heartwe gather to us from the world,from the creatures, from the angelsof inspiration, from the dead--an intelligence merely nonexistentto those who do not have it, but --to those who have it more dear than life.

And just as tenderly to be knownare the affections that make a woman and a mantheir household and their homeland one.These too, though known, cannot be toldto those who do not know them, and fewerof us learn them, year by year.These affections are leaving the worldlike the colors of extinct birds,like the songs of a dead language.
Think of the genius of the animals,every one truly what it is:gnat, fox, minnow, swallow, each madeof light and luminous within itself.They know (better than we do) howto live in the places where they live.And so I would like to be a truehuman being, dear reader-a choicenot altogether possible now.But this is what I'm for, the sideI'm on. And this is what you shouldexpect of me, as I expect it ofmyself, though for realization wemay wait a thousand or a million years.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

It's a sad day when Abdur-Rahim - a guy who throughout his career as a starter was a solid 20,10 and 50% from the floor - is reduced to the second man off the bench. I will contend that if given the chance to start, he still has a few good years in him. When Artest was suspended he logged 30+ minutes and dropped 27 and 9 on the Spurs. He's a80% or better FT too.
I don't understand this... I've always wanted to get into the minds of people who litter. What are they thinking when they toss garbage out the window, or leave stuff like this at streamside? It degrades the experiences of all else who encounter locations like this.... more than that though, it sends a strong message: there are a lot of fricking jerks out there. No non-jerk is going to leave a pile of litter like this. Just a bunch of punks, red-necks and jerks is what I think... So when a person starts to think that society might be okay and we might be headed in a good direction, and that people may be willing to change for the better... you see things like big piles of litter and you're reminded: nope, people are not responsible, caring or ready to move forward. Heck if we can't even take care of our waste, how can we ever even dream of moving to alternative energy sources, sustainable agriculture and smart growth? I see litter like this EVERYWHERE - even in remote locations. I'm sorry to say that this is why I've formed a negative opinion of the general bait-fishing world: it's obvious that most trash is left by bait-fishermen. Pick up your damn worm containers you lazy SOBs!!!!!!! Peel your harley bandanas back and take your $2 shades off so you can see straight, put down your 33 pound test line and pick up your damn natty light beer cans, pall mall ciggy packs and worm containers you suckwads!!!!!! I need to start carrying garbage bags with me so I can do extra to make up for folks who can't take the time to do their part... they must be in a hurry. Hurry to do what? Probably watch more game shows or Nick at Night.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Carp are Brutes - I'd forgotten just how brutish though...

I hooked a few carp last night. Either that, or someone fastened my nymph to large suitcases with boat motors on them. Some were foul hooked, but I think at least 1-2 were fair hooked. I couldn't get them on the reel fast enough. I played one for quite a while, only to have him pop off on an amazing run. I did get to see that fish though, and it was in the 6-8 lb range. Can't get any pics up now - will try later. I was almost accosted by a beaver - pretty funny.