The 3 A.M. Brainstorm…

16 02 2011

 

It’s 3 am again and I’m awake. I’ve just banged out a few EHC for an order and I’m sitting here trying to unwind. But I can’t get a few things out of my mind tonight. Maybe if I just come out with it here, I’ll be able to sleep a little before the sun comes up. We’ll see…

 

I’ve been thinking about people  and businesses tonight. About how different we all are in alot of ways and how my view of things isn’t necessarily anyone else’s view. About how I’d do things, if I could…and about the way things are done by others. I’m trying more and more these days not to be that “glass half empty” kinda guy that I’ve been for the last 20 years, but every time my faith in mankind is somehow renewed, something happens that makes me shake my head with confusion or disbelief.

Recently, it’s things like this:

I talked with 5 fly shops about doing give-away’s for you guys. Only one had the decency to email back and politely decline ( Unicoi Outfitters ~ Helen, GA). Another acknowledged that they’d not replied, but that was all – and then they “never replied some more.” The other three didn’t reply at all. All five of these shops I have visited and bought things from. Apparently, none of them could understand the concept. (Which makes the Hook and Hackle guys who brought you the rod give-away look even more like the geniuses they are…)

Another company keeps making promises, and then keeps delaying and making more promises.

Wendy’s can’t get my order right. Not one Wendy’s. Anywhere. In a month.

There’s apparently a fly tying event to benefit Project Healing Waters going on in Asheville. I tried to email them about donating a rod or two, helping them tie up some flies, or anything else I could do. It’s not that they turned me down or said they didn’t need my help….it’s that they never even bothered to reply at all. ( I guess they have what they need, but still – a simple “no thank you” would have been nice.) So, not only do I not get to help in any way with this very worthwhile project that’s right in my backyard, I don’t really feel much like promoting it either. ( Although I suppose in a way I just did! LOL )

 

And this spring, when I need more pine straw for the flower beds, I’ll no doubt have to load the stuff myself because no matter how I ask, the guys at Lowe’s never seem to want to help me load it. I used to work for Lowe’s and I don’t really mind loading it myself, but when I see them standing around talking on company time it makes me wonder how good my Lowe’s stock might be doing if they hired people who would actually work? How much better would your local fly shop be if they were all like Hook & Hackle or Unicoi Outfitters (who misunderstood the give-away concept but at least had the courtesy to reply)?

 

 

 

It also makes me wonder how it is that I can’t get a job, but these slackers ( the Lowe’s guys and other retail workers who have apparently never heard of the phrase “if you have time to lean, you’ve got time to clean” ) are still employed?

How do you run a business and not reply to emails? How do you hope to be around in 2, 3 or 10 years in this economy by hiring people who give you so little in return for the wages you pay them? How do you think you can create business growth and a future in any field by making promises you have no intention of keeping?  The answer? I have no idea….

 

But I am going to try to get some sleep now.

 

Is it too much to ask that we slow down just a little bit and think about how we’re treating each other?

 

 

Don’t answer that…

 

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Frustration Vacation

13 02 2011

Did you ever have one of those weekends where you thought that maybe God wanted you to stay at home? That maybe some greater cosmic force was upset that you ended up in the Great Outdoors, taking in the beautiful weather and the warm sun? Did you ever stop, look up at the sky and ask “What do you want from me?” I guess I should have know from all the dead skunks along the highway on the way up here this weekend. Apparently it’s skunk mating season, according to my friend Chris. They must all want to mate with Freightliners and PeterBilts from the carnage along I-85.

Well anyway, let me take you through the weekend I’ve just had in case every trip you take turns out peachy-keen. I suppose I shouldn’t be feeling as frustrated as I do, after all the weather was great and the company yesterday was awesome ( my good friend Chris was there) – but we caught few fish. A few. 3. Between us both.

So the fish didn’t exactly go nuts for us, right? That’s ok, right? Yeah, well it would be ok maybe if it was spring already. But this winter! This cold, long, snowy winter that everyone in the South seems to be so sick of enduring…this winter is making it really hard to swallow 3 fish a day between two anglers. I don’t just want fish, I NEED FISH. I enjoy the nature and the woods and the water, but I don’t go fishing to sit on a rock and think about art. If I didn’t like the catching part of fishing, I’d just leave the rod at home and take up hiking I guess…

But, 3 fish a day –  What was I thinking? That’s ok! Because today I only had to swallow one fish. In a river full of 15-30 inch trout (that’s right…..30 inch trout in a public river) I caught one 11 inch brook trout. That’ll show me for complaining about three fish I guess! At least I didn’t break a rod this weekend.

I did twist my ankle and run a #22 Griffith’s Gnat through my index finger though. And I inadvertently froze two bananas out in the truck last night. You know what frozen bananas taste like? No? Trust me, you don’t want to know.

So, this morning I wake up to find that I’ve overslept and I make it to the river at a “rooster crowin’ crack of dawn-ish” 11 am. The river was crowded yesterday. Today it is twice as bad. Somewhere to stand and cast to a fish? Hope you brought your own rock. I eventually find a rock to stand on and this is where I perform the incredible feat of 5 hours +/- of fishing and one little brookie.

Then, I decide on a “non-camping” dinner and stop at Wendy’s. This will make the third time I have ordered the new funky cheese Chicken Sammich and NOT gotten one. Do they even make this thing? Are they just advertising it’s asiago cheese, juicy tomato and crispy bacon to lure  you in and then give you a PLAIN OLD CHICKEN SAMMICH! THREE TIMES WENDY’S! THREE TIMES you have totally screwed up my order. PS – your new FRIES stink, and tonight they were cold. That will teach me to check the order at the window. And by the way, it’s odd that you can always be super-slow in taking my order, but so pushy when you suggest that I take my change, my drink and my food in like .003 seconds. GIVE ME A MINUTE, will you! I have the same number of hands as you do, you idiot – and one has a wallet in it, the other has the change you just gave me. Shoving a large sweet tea and the bag (with my order wrong, mind you) in my face isn’t going to make me go any faster after I just waited 7 MINUTES FOR YOU TO SAY “CAN I TAKE YOU ORDER?” HELLO? ARE YOU NUTS?

Alright. So then after eating my PLAIN CHICKEN SAMMICH ( FOR THE THIRD TIME! GGRRRRH! ) I decided I’d download the video I shot today. There was precious little catching, but I did get a couple of decent shots of trout ( not of the monster 30 inch ones we saw, unfortunately…). I download the video, process it, save it and start to play it back before uploading it online so I can share it with you guys. Guess what? No, really. Guess. You’ll never guess. Never. Nev…..THAT STUPID GLITCH IS IN MY VIDEO AGAIN EVEN THOUGH I CHECKED IT FIVE TIMES BEFORE SAVING IT AS A MOVIE! SO, NOW I HAVE A MOVIE THAT I THINK IS PRETTY *$&# FUNNY, BUT I CAN’T SHOW YOU BECAUSE EITHER MY COMPUTER, THAT (#@&$ WINDOWS MOVIE MAKER, OR THIS CHEAP KODAK CAMERA KEEPS SCREWING UP THE VIDEO! I’m sure I’ll put up the video for you guys eventually, even with the errors in it…but I can’t tell you how frustrating it is to spend an hour putting something together only to have it come out screwed up with no warning.

And now…….I’m so frustrated I can’t sleep. Horray. Like I don’t already have enough of THAT problem as it is.

So, let me ask you guys – have you ever had to ask yourself if maybe you would have been better off at home?

Spring. Please hurry. I can only practice running from bears for so long. . .

 

Spring. Wonderfully Trouty Spring.





Remember when…

4 02 2011

No, not the Alan Jackson song, although that’s a good song. Remember when you were new to whatever it was you’re into now? I do. I remember it like it was yesterday. I walked into a bait-n-tackle shop in the small college town we lived in ( I was already married) and saw a Cortland 7’6 4 wt. standing in a rack with a bunch of bass rods. It was the only fly rod in the place and it was ( gasp!) $59.00. I’d bought a fly rod a few years before. One of those Kmart types with the rubber winding check that disintegrated after a year in the elements and a “butt end” just in front of that winding check that was as big as a large carrot on the leafy end. It was probably 8 foot something long and as heavy as ten modern-day rods. But this Cortland rod…this little gem, with it’s shiny plastic covering over the light, clean cork…this thing was something else. It was small. Thin, I guess is what I should say. And it was dark charcoal in color, not heavy burgundy like that old Kmart rod. And when I walked up to it and gently lifted it from between the rubber stoppers holding it in place it nearly floated to the ceiling! And the best part – the thing came apart at a joint and had a little case that it fit into just so! I had to have it. I bought it on the spot. No reel. No line. Just that little rod. I walked out of there like I’d won the lottery, the check-out guy shaking his head.

You see, the nearest trout stream was 130 miles from there, and everyone knows you don’t use a rod that small for tossing crickets and a styrofoam cork to bluegills “on the bed.” But it didn’t matter to me. I felt like Luke Skywalker when Obi Wan first handed him that Light-Saber. I was going to catch so many trout on this thing, I thought to myself, that my arms would fall off.

I wish I could tell you that I remember where I aquired a line and reel from, but I can’t. That’s what happens when you hit middle-age I suppose – at least when you were from an age where there were no “blogs” to record your fishing adventures. I didn’t know anyone at the time that wrote down things about their fishing trips. That would be silly. What would you do that for? Nonsense.

Anyhoot, I took that little rod and that reel and line from who-knows-where and I headed to the mountains that summer. I fished a few rivers without much success, and one day read in the Department of Natural Resources rulebook about some “artificial only” streams. I thought ” COOL! A creek where the fish like artifical stuff. ..only.”

I settled on the Coleman River. A little creek that feeds into one of the most popular put-n-take rivers in the state. When I got there though, there wasn’t a Coleman River. There was a Coleman stream. A Coleman branch. A Coleman Creek even…but I could almost hop across this “river.” Ah, but I didn’t care. I had my new rod and a new fly I’d discovered looking through the Cabela’s catalog. I was ready and I was hungry for success.

 

The upper Coleman "River"...when I was younger and didn't know any better...I once stood on that rock and pee'd downstream. Don't ask me why I remember that.

I stood upstream from a deep pool. I noticed that my head was almost touching some rhododendron limbs that sagged down toward the boulder where I’d gotten into position for a first cast into the pool. I flicked the new fly I’d “discovered” – a Royal Wulff into the current just short of the whitewater part…and I stripped out line. I knew how to cast, but I’d read somewhere that you could fish a fly this way in difficult current and catch fish. It was all difficult to me back then.

The fly floated downstream. A dark shape rose up in the water. A small rocket surged upward from underneath and there was a rather large spurt of water that shot up a foot into the air. The fly was gone – and I’d seen the thief that took it! I set the hook! The boulder was wet! My foothold failed! As I slipped, my new Cortland rod met it’s doom. My precious Light-Saber-Trout-Slayer-of-a-rod lodged itself between two rhodo limbs from two separate trees. I heard the THUWMP of my rear end hitting the rock hard; simultaneously I heard the “…crr-rr-rr-aa-cc-kkkkk!” of the Cortland as it splintered into several pieces just above the joint. I hand-lined the little 12 inch rainbow in, admired him and let him go. I almost got angry because of the broken rod….until I noticed the fly and it reminded me that I’d done what I set out to do. I was no longer the neophyte that hadn’t caught a trout on a fly. I was a fly fisher on his way to catching his share of trout over the years, who’d already broken the first of several dozen rods while doing so. I’ll take the trade-off now, just as I did back then.

This post happened because I was reading my friend Tippin’Taco’s blog about his new waders. ‘Taco has the “fever” and he has as bad a case as I’ve ever seen in a grown man. Reading his post led me to a post on  Intro to the Outdoors and both those guys reminded me of this story and that we’re all “noobs” at some point along the way. And you know, the thing is – it’s not something to stress out about. Don’t worry if you don’t have all the right gear or don’t make all the right casts. These guys know it’s all about the experience and that’s how it should be. Those first difficult and sometimes frustrating steps are something to enjoy while you’re new to the thing – whatever it is – and their something to remember when you’re older and maybe a bit wiser and their aren’t as many mysteries to solve.

Both of those blogs offer a fresh look into the minds of some new fly fishers and I think both are going to be very interesting rides. 🙂





Stealth Owl 101

26 01 2011

While the fires are raging over on the OBN thread about the First Ever OBN Convention, Outdoor Extravaganza and Fishing Expo ( ok, so I embellished a little, big deal ), I’ve already been planning ahead.

Everyone thinks I’m going to roll into town and paint everything red, but little do they know that A. I’m all out of red paint ( how about lavender rose? ) and 2. I hate painting.

No, it’s not going to go down like that. I’m going to slip into town without anyone knowing I’m there…do a little stealth reporting in disguise, maybe put a “Kick Me” sign on Quill Gordon’s back ( if he has the GUTS to show up! ha! ), pull River Damsel’s pig-tails, and then slide on back to the Smoky Mountains as quietly as I came.

There won’t be live video feeds about whatever that is that Mike the Tenkara Slave is wearing ( a sun dress, with those legs? hmm), how much money was won or lost on whether or not Joe and Rebecca really planned an online casino that went horribly wrong, or Rodney sightings,  etc. etc. etc. None of that.

There also won’t be pictures of food, beer, flies, reels, bass plugs, fly tying lessons, casting in parking lots, the trading of gear or baseball cards or even yesterday’s chili dogs that we left in someone’s car all day with the windows rolled up. No audio recorded of pillow fights, impromptu square dancing callers, feral pigs wandering the hallways of some unsuspecting hotel (being stalked by guys with traditional bows that cost more than my truck), nothing like that. Not at all.

We won’t have written documentation of anyone’s casting style, how many firearms you can fit into a ’79 Camaro, who has the stinkiest hiking boots or who will eat the most disgusting bug for $8 and some change. Can’t say that we’ll record the giant rainbow trout sure to be caught among the backdrop of the Rockies, the tears from the one that got away, or the quiet peace of a few friends finally meeting up in person and walking a river together.

You’ll have to come see all that for yourself if you want to hear about it. Or see it. Or experience it.

OK, there may be one video. Two,…max.

But me? You’ll never know I was there. I told you….I’m going to sneak in there, Ninja Style….

I’ve already got my disguise ready…





Stranded in the Wild: A true tale, Part One

17 01 2011

The following entry is Part One of a Four Part Series describing in greater detail than ever before the true story of how two experienced outdoor enthusiasts found themselves “turned around” and stranded unexpectedly near the Shining Rock Wilderness Area in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains.

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It was going to be an adventure. We were hiking into a small valley and the next day we’d be bush-whacking it over to a stream that had no trails. No trails at all. Not  into or out of the valley where the creek flowed, nor up and down the length of it’s course. We had no idea whether the creek would be large enough to even hold fish, having seen it only on our topo maps and in our dreams. There was only one way to find out, and that was to bush-whack our way over the ridge, and straight down into the steep gorge and see for ourselves.

I’ve learned many lessons since that weekend and I learned many lessons during that weekend. However, this is the story of what I didn’t do right, and how I came to realize two important things on opposite ends of the life-lesson spectrum. One, that I could do far more than I thought I could when the situation demanded it, and two – that I was no longer the “mountain goat” I was in my early 20’s and actually did have my limitations now in the great outdoors.

 

Base Camp along Base Camp Creek...

 

The day of our arrival, we unloaded Milliam’s hatchback, donned our packs and  hiked first down into the near valley and then upstream alongside the creek that would serve as our base-camp. It was a cool but clear late spring day, and the small (sometimes thorny) brush and stunted trees that reached out for our bare legs were beginning to turn the a somewhat olive shade of green. The processes of spring were still barely touching this high-country meadow, and the blueberry bushes were months away from producing their delicious fruit. The trail was, as it usually is in late spring, absolutely full of other hikers who come for the easy access and three waterfalls along our base-camp creek. No matter, the fishing would be good today on this creek and tomorrow when we crossed the ridge and dropped down into the far valley there would be no one around for miles. Hopefully, the creek would be big enough to fish, and would be home to native Appalachian brook trout for it’s entire length. Since there was no access other than by “side-hopping” 30 minutes down the unstable, nearly soil-less  mountainside, we were sure we’d have the whole creek to ourselves. We could hardly wait to find the solitude and bigger fish(we hoped) that “Death Prong” would provide, but had to settle with fishing the easier stream the first afternoon. We caught so many 4-6 inch brook trout that we nearly grew bored with them, I suppose. They would easily come to a big, bushy dry fly in the clear water and they were as brilliant and beautiful as any trout you can find in the Southern Blue Ridge. Dark green backs with pale yellow-white worm-like markings, bright orange fins and white leading edges, red spots with brilliant blue halos. These fish were made to be invisible in the stream, but I can’t also help bit wonder if they weren’t also made to be admired by fly fishers. There were no other fisherman this day, but plenty of hikers, and people with dogs and kids running around catching mayflies and caddis. A few young boys were trying to skip rocks across the creek. A bird of some sort chirped loudly and flew acrobatically away through the tangled tree limbs as we approached the creek to fish.

After settling in to the rhythm of fishing we heard a small ruckus behind us. A helpful young Cub Scout(with his whole pack in tow it seemed) was walking the banks with a giant net that looked as if it had seen better days in someone’s crappie or catfish boat. He assured me that there were “lots of little fish” just upstream and that he could “catch them with his net, if I wanted.”  I told him thanks, but we were doing ok and we skipped a couple of runs to move upstream of them. The kid was trying to help us out, but we were more than capable of finding and catching our share of 4 inch trout that day, and we proved it for four or five wonderful hours.

 

Milliam stalking brookies on the base-camp creek...

We had walked downstream and fished our way back to camp, catching dozens of plump little 4 inch brook trout that often rushed the fly like hungry wolves in packs of three or four.  These are high-altitude fish, in a high-altitude stream and their choices for lunch and dinner are unusually meager, even by Blue Ridge standards. They would probably swipe at a regulation sized golf ball floating downstream if they were presented with the chance. We fished our way back to camp, where the creek was barely a foot across. Our arms tired from lugging around those massive fish, we propped our rods against a tree and began preparing dinner. To be honest with you, I don’t remember what we ate. I do know that at least part of our meal consisted of the usual:  some outstanding back-strap from a deer my buddy Milliam took in the fall the year before. He is a great fishing pal, a great hunter of the whitetail deer, and an equally great dinner pal who always brings me the best deer meat I get to eat all year – even if it is the only deer meat I get to eat all year. We filled our bellies, sat around the fire until midnight or later and then engaged in a rousing game of “…hey, let’s snore until first light” which I undoubtedly won in a land-slide victory, although I have yet to receive my trophy for the effort.

The next day we geared up for the creek we have come to call ” Death Prong.” And here is where I apparently thought, somewhere back in the very deepest recesses of my sub-conscience that I was still a strapping young buck in my early 20’s. I packed up my fly rod, sunscreen, two breakfast bars, one small ziploc bag (quart size, half full) of trail-mix which was made up at home of M&M’s, raisens, chex mix and cheese crackers; an emergency blanket as almost an afterthought, three fly boxes, one pair of sunglasses and exactly one and a half bottles of Kroger-brand filtered bottled water. Milliam (whose misplaced “M” was an early message board accident that stuck) had a new-fangled UV filter bottle thing that I did not trust, no food, his fishing gear packed in his Cabela’s chest pack ( we both use the same fishing pack ) and probably at least a couple of knives. Milliam always has knives. We had no map and no compass, but he did have his hand-held GPS that had only failed us once before on a trip to find the “Secret Pond” whereby we bushwhacked for two hours through a thick Georgia forest, only to find that the “Secret Pond” had a road leading to it that also led back to the road we’d parked the truck on. SO…………….what could possibly go wrong? You know the answer to that is coming, right?

So, off we went. Talking and laughing and remembering past trips aloud; back through the trails that got us to our base-camp and then over more trails leading to the top of the ridge where we’d make our descent into the unknown. Through the still brittle blueberry bushes and other assorted scrub, the stunted little trees, and soggy carpet of the valley floor. Over a few small hills, where there were larger trees, some were even full sized specimens. I don’t know my trees, but Milliam does and he pointed out a few and told me their names, which of course I forgot within three minutes. I always find that there are more things in these wild places than my poor old brain can absorb, and I once again think along that trail that I need to take something with me so that I can write down so much of what I experience out there.  The sun is up now, fairly high in the sky and it’s clear that today is going to be much warmer than yesterday. We reach the top of the highest ridge and stop for a rest. Milliam looks like he needs it…I’m sure I saw at least two beads of sweat on his forehead at this point and I can almost hear him breathing a little every now and then, in-between my own desperate gasps for air. Once, he almost put his hand on a tree when stretching. I’m sure he’s exhausted, since obviously I’m a “little winded” myself. After this ten minute break which I insisted we take – for his sake, naturally – I finish off the first bottle of water that was only half full and put the empty bottle back into my pack. I don’t give it a passing thought. I’ve got fish-on-the-brain and no time to worry about anything but getting to the water. The trail goes north and south here, and according to his GPS, the two fools on a mission should veer off to the north-east across a sea of emerald green and very “pointy” looking knee high grass. Here, the small trees are spaced 5-10 feet apart and it looks like some sort of tiny and abandoned neighborhood park. There are deep shadows under each tree, whose small canopies are nearly touching, making for a sun-lit mosaic on the grass.  The grass looks sharp, but isn’t sharp at all and we push forward, my verbalized prayer ahead of each step: ” Go away snakes….no snakes today. Noooooooooooo snakes. No snakes today, please….” Luckily, we didn’t run across any snakes going through the high grass, which in a few dozen yards disappeared and gave way to the first steep drop toward the valley floor where we hoped a “Death Prong” big enough to handle two anglers at a time would be waiting for us.

Drought years were still going strong, as you can see...

As it turned out, this first “steep” drop wasn’t steep at all. Compared to what was to come, it was nothing. We didn’t even have to put our fly rods in our mouths, or hold onto small trees and grab handfuls of dirt and rocks on our way down at this point. We soon came to a narrow, flat area that was about a foot wide and decided to follow it’s gradual descent along the face of the mountain and it led us to a strange and mysterious find. It was a full-sized shooting table! In the proverbial and quite literal “middle of nowhere!” It was complete with old sandbags, a gasoline container, spent rounds, and a couple of small plastic bags. I think there was also maybe a short section or two of rope, but it’s hard for me to remember exactly what was there. I do remember stopping and having a discussion about what it would take to have hauled in that much treated lumber, nails and other things in order to build, on the spot, a shooting table of this quality. It was absolutely astounding in that it was nearly 2 miles from the nearest road, and built on the side of this mountain, a full 30 minutes from even the closest trail. Across from the table was a sheer rock face. Probably 400-500 yards from the table and it would be the perfect spot – the only spot in these mountains – where you could shoot that far and see where the shot landed. Still, we wondered why someone would build a table that solid and nice ( it a manner of speaking) so far from the road. ( It wasn’t the first mystery we’d encounter – on our second trop to Death Prong a year later, we’d find a hide-out that Eric Rudolph could be proud of…)

Deciding we’d stopped for long enough to ponder the history of this shooting table, we turned straight down into the valley a few feet later. Milliam’s GPS was saying the creek was pretty close now, but as I said the table was already 30 minutes from the trail where we’d left it and the mountain was dropping off steeper than before. We soon ended up “side-stepping” down the mountain, holding on to trees when we could, rocks and small bushes when there were no trees. Rocks turned under our feet, and several times the very thin carpet of dirt and moss under our feet would give way and we’d slide two, three and four feet down the mountain until we could grab another branch or bush or rock to stop the slide. Outdoor wilderness shows were not on television back then, but had they been, I’m sure we could have given them a run for their money if we’d been filming this trip! All down the mountain, we were careful where we put our hands and feet. It looked like the perfect habitat for the rattlesnakes that live in our mountains, with large and small rocks piled up here and there, and dead logs lying criss-crossed everywhere, blocking our path every 30 or 40 feet. It would be easy to twist an ankle here, or worse – to step over a log onto a suddenly startled serpent.  It was slow going for the next half-mile into the valley.

A very open, but shallow "Death Prong"...

Finally though, we heard the sound of rushing water rumbling in the distance like a soft, low whisper. As is always the case, one of us had stopped, stood upright and cupped a had over the back of an ear.

” What’s that?”

” Is that it?”

” Sounds big enough.”

 

“Is that a falls, or just a riffle?”

” It’s not a falls.”

“Let’s go…move it.”

The sound had come well before we’d reached any of the rhododendron that choke the banks and ceilings of our small streams, so we knew it was at least big enough to hold a few trout. We were tired from the tension and danger of getting down the mountain, but after stopping to listen to the sound of the creek our pace quickened. We were eager to get out of the thick woods and into the creek-bed.

Then, at last – there was the thick wall of  dark green and shiny “rhodo” we were waiting to see. We ducked down, walking more slowly now, trying not to get a limb to the face or get our rods caught on them. After 5 minutes of trying to find a way through the tangled mess of limbs, we saw a glimpse of  the clear, green-white creek shimmering in the noon sun. We broke through the rhododendron and dog hobble’s last lines of defense and with a satisfying “ker-plunk!” we popped out into the creek.

It was open enough to see the sky in places, dotted with mayflies and other insect life and nearly 12 feet wide. Just up-steam of our entry was a wide, deep pool that was twice that width and we smiled and laughed and talked about how a little blue line on a map could be this wonderful in real life. It had taken us a full hour and a half to get into the creek – not the thirty short minutes we’d planned. But now, finally… we would fish where few had ever walked, and see just what this creek – this “Death Prong” had in store for us…

I named this one the "Eden Pool"

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Part Two coming soon!





The Important Things in Life…

14 01 2011

We…drat! ..err….”I” don’t normally make it a habit to link to other blog’s content. Not because there aren’t great bloggers out there, or because I don’t want to pimp other people’s work. There’s a whole list of bloggers just to the right of this post that are all excellent reads, save maybe that OMG It’s Fly Tying! guy.

No, I don’t post many links to the content of others for one simple reason: I have so much to say, myself and it’s hard for me to get just my thoughts all crammed into one little blog.

That said, there occasionally comes along a post that I can’t resist linking to. The post “End of the Day” over at Average Joe Fisherman is that post today.  Sometimes ( even on Fish-Sticks Friday ), it’s good to step back and take a good, long look at what’s really important in life.

Please go to the Average Joe Fisherman site and read today’s entry. It’s a very, very, very good read.

 

And speaking of the important things in life, Mrs. Jones and I are taking the weekend off. Rather, I’m taking the weekend off from the laptop and making her go fishing. We’ll also be watching the Falcons game this Saturday against Green Bay. Lucky us, we’re Falcons fans, but we’re also long-distance Cheeseheads! So, this Saturday at least for one game – we win either way! Anyhoot, look for a fishing post on Monday here at FFSBR, and enjoy your weekend everyone – and this weekend make sure to take the time to remember the really important things. Ok? See ya next week, guys.








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