Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Happy Anniversary

Today is the anniversary of my marriage to Kristin. We have been together 14 wonderful years, and I cannot imagine life without her.

I often wonder how I was lucky enough to marry such an incredible woman. My only conclusion is that after following her around often enough she tolerated a pity date. That same compassion keeps her with me to this day.

Today's topic for discussion: When does following become stalking?

I love you Kristin. Happy anniversary.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Today's Topic for Discussion...

How fast do hotcakes sell?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Best Fishing Trip in Kentucky

What exactly makes the best fishing trip? For me it is catching the fish. What is the fish? It is typically large and fights hard. The requirements may be different for different species, but when you catch it you know. It is the fish that did not get away. The one that leaves you with a permanent grin on your face. It is the fish that makes you say it was a great trip, even if it was the only one you caught. Now I like to catch fish as much as the next person, but I have always said that one fish can make the trip.

Tonight started like any other evening fishing. I got off of work a little early and drove home. I could not decide if I wanted to take the pontoon to the lake or go wade a river. I can catch fish all day long on the pontoon. And the lake is close. But nothing beats a good wading trip. So I decided to go to Hickman Creek, about 30 miles from the house.

I packed the fishing gear and at the last minute remembered a fly I had read about. The Crackleback. My fly tying equipment was setup so I quickly tied up a couple to try. It took about an hour to get to the water and get setup. I brought my 5 weight 8'6" Sage XP rod. I tied the Crackleback to the tippet, then attached another 18" of tippet to the Crackleback and hung a Bead Head Prince Nymph under that.

The trip started out as I expected. I quickly hooked into some Smallmouth Bass. They were only about 8-10" long, but they are fighters. And on the 5 weight they are a lot of fun. As I moved up the river I also caught a bunch of Panfish. I am not sure exactly what species these are, but they are fun to catch. They have striped that are light blue, with orange bellies. (Note - I have been told these are Longear sunfish, also called Pumpkinseed)


As I worked my way back I continued to catch more panfish, with the occassional Smallmouth thrown in. The panfish were so plentiful that they would try to grab the free fly in the water while I was removing the other fly from another fish.

As I got close to my take-out spot there were some fish rising. I made a few casts and had a fish go for the fly. I missed the fish and saw him turn away. It was a big fish. As I stood in the water and watched the scene I noticed bugs on the water and fish going for them. I could see the sides of the fish as they turned. There were a lot of good sized fish. I made a few more casts and had a fish on. After a minute he was free. This was repeated several times. A fish would take the fly, but I would lose him before I had a chance to see him. They felt like large fish.

I worked the area trying different drifts and retrieves. As the fly was drifting through the line came taught. I stripped the fly then pulled up on the rod. The rod doubled over. I have not had a bend like that in this 5 weight since I built it almost 5 years ago. The fish was quickly on the reel. This was one of those times when you are glad your reel has a good drag on it. It took over 15 minutes to land the fish. If I had the 8 weight I could have brought him in quicker, but I had to tire him out with the 5 weight or lose him. During the 15 minutes he spent most time underwater. He did come up a few times and roll on the surface. And several times he ran, causing line to scream from the reel. This was a big fish.

As I finally tired him out I realized I did not have my net with me. I was not expecting any size, and left the net in the truck. I worked the fish to the shallows. As the fish approached the shallows I noticed a second fish following. He had taken the nymph. I was fighting two fish at once - one on the dry fly and the second on the nymph. I worked them both to the surface and took some photos.

The Smallmouth Bass was about 20" long, while the Hybrid Bass was about 10".

I released the Hybrid back into the stream and it swam quickly away. I gently sat the Smallmouth in the stream and held it by the tail, slowly rescesitating it after the fight. As it swam from my hands I knew I had caught The Fish. It was truly the best fishing trip I have had in Kentucky.

Monday, July 14, 2008

When Worlds Collide

I have previously penned my hostility towards the pink hue. See Plethora of Pink for details of this aversion. However, I have recently found myself in a quandary. As anyone who has read this blog may surmise, I have a passion for fishing. Recently my opposition to pink and my passion for fishing collided.

Rachael is in training to become my fishing buddy. Sure, right now we only make it out for an hour or so at a time. And I must tolerate her (gasp) pink and purple princess fishing pole. But I have high hopes that soon she will move on to a fly rod and discover the true joy that is to be found on the water. Rachael has also made it clear that her preferred colors are pink and purple, in that order. With this mindset she informed me that she wanted a pink fly to fish with.

I do not have a pink fly. I do not want a pink fly. I do want my little fishing buddy to be happy. Preferably happy while fishing. So I did the unthinkable. Rachael found a feather boa she uses to dress up. I cut a couple feathers off the article. No, that is not the unthinkable of which I spoke. I took the feathers and tied up some pink and purple flies.



Rachael was overjoyed with the results, and proceeded to play with them as if they were dolls. I never knew flies had such conversations! My ploy was not working.



I only had one option. I must unite the pink and purple flies with the pink and purple fishing pole. Do you remember the scene in the movie Ghostbusters cautioning us to never cross the beams? I was about to embark upon an experiment with potential catastrophic results.



Having survived the initial tying of the fly, we proceeded to fish. Much to my chagrin, the fly worked. Rachael proceeded to catch several bluegill on the fly.



No, I do not intend to add the fly to my regular rotation in my fly box. And if you ever see me on the side of the lake crouched behind a tree, pink and purple tackle box in hand, I would ask you to show me mercy by simply moving along. And please, please do not mention the pink fly I am tying on.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Today's Topic for Discussion...

Who coined the phrase: coined the phrase?

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

My Little Fishin' Girl

Yet another post about my daughter fishing. It just makes a father proud to see his little girl doing something so worthwhile!

We were out at the lake again last night. I put a dry fly on Rachael's fishing pole below a bobber. We would throw the bobber out and Rachael would reel it in. We had the camera with us this time, and Kristin managed to get this video of Rachael bringing in a fish on her Princess fishing pole.

Notice the teenage crowd in the background - yes, my little 3 year old did catch more fish than they did!

Are We There Yet?

Rachael has finally learned those 4 words all parents dread - Are we there yet? The issue is not so much that she asks the question, but rather when she asks. The first offense typically comes immediately after she is buckled into her car seat. No, the car is not running yet. The second offense makes an appearance about the time the rear wheels are leaving the driveway. And before we have reached the exit to the neighborhood the 3rd and 4th offenses have made their presence known.

Having been an excellent traveler in my youth, this is particularly difficult for me. When I was three years old I was partaking in illuminating discussions on the state of affairs in the nation with my father, broken up with the occasional solving of Fourier Transforms from my seat in the back.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Feedjit

This is a cool little widget for your blog. It is a feed that shows where traffic to your blog comes from. On this blog it is a map on the right hand side, down a page. I saw it on Kristin's blog and copied it over.

I am not affiliated with this in any way, but it is a fun addition. I never imagined people from so many different countries would be visiting! I just need some clicks from Africa, South America, and Antarctica...

4th of July Photos

Here are a few photos from our 4th of July celebration. Rachael enjoyed the sparklers, but was not so sure about the large fireworks show. I think she was just tired by the time the fireworks show started.







Friday, July 4, 2008

Fishin on the Pond

Last night Kristin let me take the pontoon out on the pond. The weeds had taken over much of the water, but I managed to get a few fish to the net.


I seemed to have the best luck on Bass with a streamer I tied up a few months ago as an experiment. It swims just under the surface, and the Bass seemed to like it.

As I was heading in (I really did intend to be in sooner than I was), the Bluegill started rising all around me. But no one (including me) was hooking any. I tried a couple different flies with no luck. Finally I just watched them for a few minutes and noticed small flies on the surface that they were eating. I found a size 20 midge from my trout box and tied it on. It was just the thing - every cast a Bluegill grabbed the fly. I probably caught around 20 in 15 minutes!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Back to our Regularly Scheduled Broadcasts

As the blog has taken a turn from all the fishing talk recently, I decided I better get it back on track. What is with work getting in the way of fishing anyhow?

The family did go fishing last night. We went to the local lake with Rachael to catch a few Bluegill. For a 3 year old, they are the perfect species to hone her skills. We took her Princess fishing pole and tied a foam popper underneath the bobber. I admit, I do not know how to bait fish. But I can catch Bluegill all day long with a fly. So I went with what I knew.

Kristin would cast the pole and hand it to Rachael who would reel in the line. We had to coach her a little to reel it in slowly. She can really make the line move when she wants to! As she reeled the line in Bluegill would grab the popper. She hooked her first fish by herself. Rachael caught several more on her own, and brought in even more that were hooked by Kristin or myself. She had a great time, and managed to stay entertained almost the entire time.

Unfortunately we forgot the camera, so no photos this time.