Wednesday, August 29, 2012

August 2012 Miscellaneous Concatenation

He agreed that the volume in question did have its gloomy and disagreeable moments but argued that no collection of mild pretty verses would do a damn thing for anybody. He added a list of four basic goals which would guide his vision:

1. To paint the thing as I see it.

2. Beauty.

3. Freedom from didacticism.

4. It is only good manners if you repeat a few other men to at least do it better or more briefly. Utter originality is of course out of the question.

- Adapted from The Solitary Volcano, by John Tytell, page 40 [four basic goals from E.P. letter]

The screen, the keyboard have continued the piece-meal assassination, that much is clear. A person can barely stand to come back to it, especially if a work day includes prolonged mongering and drooling over it. Pixels are all light and nothing more but manipulated in such a way they become vague blue glow and piercing death all at once. We were born in the wrong time, I said the other day. And if you read about the old world, you hear them moaning about how hard life was then. It was hard. The question remains though, does hard translate directly and without caveat to bad? Never know I guess. And then you watch a movie and you like it; can’t deny that. You use computers; drive cars. No one is claiming innocence here. Dreams of innocence are only dreams. That’s what makes it so difficult: the critic and bitcher is in the world; he must deal with these things; must moderate them and must do so for children to whom he has been assigned caretaker.

We have recorded some successful instances of shedding rooftops and artificial light. These things must be considered in a deliberate manner; they must be planned out. The trappings of idleness and atrophy are at every corner. To the credit of my kids: they have levelled into a pretty good state of moderation. They know what screens are and they know how to use them. They don’t stare at them incessantly though. A main parenting goal is to disallow the fear of the real world, i.e. animals, plants, water, weather, darkness. You won’t define what your kids ultimately like or dislike but if you can prevent the formation of road blocks and misplaced fears, at least then you are opening the door for them to consider various facets of Earthly weavings. I can say that without a doubt, one of my sweetest observations as a parent has been watching my sons ford rivers. Nothing more and nothing less than that. It doesn’t define them as elite or better in any way; but it shows that they can walk into moving water, pick their way across it, and find the toads in the sandstone cave on the other side. That does it for me in large part because it does it for them.

Most writing now is done on a Sterling typewriter, with green keys. Someone gave it to me free and clear, some years ago. He said he’d give one to anybody who was willing and genuinely wanting to use a typewriter. It is not attached to any electrical cord. Sleeps in my fly tying shop and it has a boot-up time of zero seconds. So recycled paper gets the words more often now; less often here at the Dell Corporate keyboard. The electrical synapse machine.

On the other hand, I really like photographs. So there are contradictions to consider. And who can expect that any person can walk around today without showing some? Why be false, why lie about it? I’ve got nothing sorted. But the analysis must continue; if it stops, there is grayness and likely some problems.


Carping around here blows.  That's the report.  Unless you like ratio of two hours per small carp caught.  There have been fish had.  The instance below is the anticlimactic culmination of an event in which I found four carp that would have eaten, presented flies to two of them...    one picked up the fly as I watched but didn't see, then shook its head to spit it out...     the other was addressed with faith and thus brought to hand.

There is only one possible figure number (93) and caption for the following two photos: Nightrider!

The American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis).

Continuing the photo record from the top of Chimney Rock.
Kids found a horsehair worm.  I've seen a few but not many.  U of MN says this: Horsehair or gordian worms are long, slender worms related to nematodes. They get their name because of the mistaken belief that they originated from the long thin hairs of a horse's tail or mane that have fallen into a horse trough. When they are immature, they are parasites of insects, arthropods, and other invertebrate animals. As adults, they are free- living. They are harmless to people in all stages of their lives.

Sandstone caves and The River.

Old backpack, book and a beer bottle.  Caught my eye I guess.

Cooking over a fire and sleeping out under the stars.  I will say that waking up outside and starting coffee and maybe some sausage or bacon on a grill is a pretty good deal.

Stopped at a small BKT trib to do some recond.  Stood in one place , balls-deep in good cold water, and caught around 25-30 such fish.  Pretty splendid coloration.  All fish 5-9" length though.  Ate a couple.

Speaking of pixels.  In a car the other day, the radio waves started swearing and cursing.  The hosts and the songs themselves.  It's called satellite radio.  First time I've experienced it.  As I drove through Dennison MN, just past Dennison Meats, a lightning bolt touched down on the hill to the east and the song Freaks Come Out at Night flipped on.  Trippy stuff man.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Close-to-home-adventure-weekend Part I: float down the river

A straight line across country from our put-in point to our take-out point is 6.34 miles long. A rough charting of the river’s path is ~11 miles at low-resolution (not many nodes used). So my estimate is that we paddled approximately 13 miles. We pushed off at 1:23 PM. Two hours later we glided under a bridge that was 20 city blocks north. My gauging of travel time was off by quite a lot. So we ended up just canoeing; not stopping at sandbars to swim; not stopping at riffles or the deep slots to probe for smallies. Water was turbid so we didn’t have much opportunity to spot fish. Quite a few herons, kingfishers, eagles, deer and cedar waxwings though. Boys are learning the rules of a canoe. Learning how to hold a paddle. For three hours they were thoroughly engaged. Last hour they got a little bored. About what you’d expect. We ended in slow water and paddled by some great beds of arrowhead. Easy, close, interesting, affordable, educational and even a decent workout. We floated by one angler wading near a bridge. No other people.

Close-to-home-adventure-weekend Part II: four hours of trout fishing

At 6:40 AM I was walking downstream as normal planning to trek in a ways, get situated and then work back up to my motor vehicle. Within ~5 minutes most sign of civilization was gone. Only thing you’d really pick up on would be the close-cropped ground… result of good grazing ruminants. Here is a notable sequence of four events that’ll I’ll lay out for consideration. I don’t know which if any were directly connected. There’s a lot going on out there and I suppose the world didn’t expect a lone angler to walk in that early on a Monday morning.

(1) Walking on a good floodplain. Saw a flash of movement downstream; guessed it was a coyote. It was a coyote. It jogged into a thicket and waited because it couldn’t get around me easily due to high cliff wall and my position. I kept on walking and watched it come out the other side and then semi-hurriedly head off upstream.

(2) Approx 30 seconds later, just as I was turning away from watching the coyote, along came a pretty piercing feline scream. Bobcat or cougar. I stood still for a while hoping to catch a view. Nothing though; probably foolish to think I’d see anything but stood still for a while anyway.

(3) Approx 120 seconds later a dog way up on the bluff top started barking pretty regularly. Not going crazy but just a steady bark. Stopped after a while.

(4) Approx 120-180 seconds later came a single report of a shot fired. I’m no ballistics guy but it sounded like a crack as opposed to a boom, which made me figure it was a rifle.

That’s it. I was expecting to encounter none of these four when I crossed the first riffle that morning. Interesting stuff man. There’s a lot going on out there and nearly all of it happens without consideration of a person/bum like me as any sort of center of attention.

Fished from maybe 7 AM to 11 AM. It wasn’t crush mode like the last few nymphing outings. Still fine but not talking dozens of fish. More like one dozen. Almost all very nice trout in the 10-13 inch range. Couple brook trout, one of which was measured at 11 inches strong. Water is very low. Water is very full of plant biomass. This makes most of the water not-nymphable. But the good holes are still good and still full of fish. If you insist on fishing everything, you’ll have a hell of a time. Skip from hole to hole. Or try searching with dry flies. I would have bet the farm on hoppers going in… But tell me why there are hoppers everywhere I go except along that stretch of river. I never kicked one up. Oddest damn thing. ZERO takes on hopper patterns. I thought it was primed and it just flopped. Tricorythodes mayflies were present. Not in absurd numbers or scenarios though. I kept switching between nymphs and trico pattern. Got 2-3 fish on a #20 spinner pattern with CDC wings as the adults started to fall, maybe around 930 AM.

Other than that beauty BKT, here are the only other notables:

(1) At that log-dam hole in the pic, there was a nice BNT that was marauding a territory under the foam. Kept rising to the foam seam and taking bugs. Came after my nymphs three times but I couldn’t hook him I think because I wasn’t detecting the take right. I stood for a good while and put the nymphs through various drifts. Then I set them in the current and let the trailing nymph dangle up by the surface near that foam line. Sure thing, he came up and smacked it. It was his last mistake.

(2) Found some success stripping nymphs. I like this technique a lot because you can put a slightly larger nymph at the front, trailed by a smaller model. You can dead drift these as normal, but then you also have the option of casting and stripping back, treating the lead nymph like a small streamer. In slower water I did this a few times… couldn’t get a good drift but didn’t want to cut flies off. This worked pretty well. It reminded me that I was really into that at one time (last year maybe) and it works pretty well all the time. One BNT absolutely trucked the lead fly to the point of fooling me… sure felt like a monster smack. Nice fish 12-13” anyway. Load for the 2 wt.

(3) Check the stomach contents picture sequence. Good stuff there.

(4) I’m so damn happy that my family likes to eat trout. Hard to find better protein. Low in toxics. From wild, cold water of SE MN. Within twelve hours of swimming, five trout were eaten on our property. The scraps and skeletons were given to chickens. I used to bury that stuff. I’ve never put an ounce of fish guts in the garbage because it doesn’t seem right to me. These fish were cooked in butter and oil, salt, pepper. Cast iron skillet. Then that white rice was thrown in the skillet to dirty it up a bit. There wasn’t enough food to go around, turns out. You should fish more so we can eat more trout, someone said.