Category Archives: Announcements

Dragonfly

This is Only a Test

No, really. This is only a test.

So it’s a little boring, but I wanted to try out the WordPress Gallery feature. I keep going back and forth on using it, which I haven’t, or to continue to just put in images like usual, full size and you scroll down and down the page.

I’ve seen others use the gallery feature and it doesn’t bother me. For the most part.

The one thing I know I don’t like is that it won’t let me use the images that are on my image server. I have to upload all the images to the WordPress Media Library. I like to organize things in folders, by date and location. The Media Library just dumps things all together. I have over 2000 images on my server all nice and neatly organized. I can’t access any of them for this gallery feature. Unless there is a way and I just have to figure it out.

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Illinois Catchable Trout Program

Three years ago I put up a post that does a decent job of treating the Illinois Catchable Trout Program like the joke that I think it is. I actually wrote it 15 years ago but never bothered doing anything with it till then.

Illinois Catchable Trout Program or Fishing in Hell

Since Illinois has no native inland trout, I can’t find anything that says it ever did, trout native to California are imported here and then placed in rivers, lakes and ponds that get too warm to support them and they eventually die.

That’s why the stocking for this program occurs in early spring and fall. Maybe the water will stay cool enough for them to survive a little while.

In the mean time, fishermen are charged a fee for the privilege of going out and catching these trout and you can keep and kill five of them I believe on a daily basis.

I think money better spent would be on trout from a half way decent fish market, at least then you stand a better chance of getting fish meat that doesn’t look kind of gray and doesn’t smell and taste a bit like cat food.

Spring and fall are when some native Illinois fish are aggressively active, like crappie and bluegill, so why not catch them. Plus, they taste much better then trout.

But I hear there’s a lot of nostalgia surrounding this program and I found out at many a dam removal meeting that nostalgia always wins over logic and reason.

So the chances of making this program go away is probably nil.

Though I don’t do it much, I do know how to fish lakes and ponds. A couple of decades ago, when I was in a rod and gun club in Virginia and had access to three private lakes, I read about and fished lakes a lot, at least out there.

One of the books I have is about catching big bass. It’s packed in a box somewhere and I don’t remember the exact name or author. You’ll have to figure out how to search on this sparse info.

The guy that wrote it lives out in California.

The reason bass get so big in the lakes in California is because one of their favorite meals is rainbow trout. High fat content and all.

The reason this guy catches so many big bass, among other reasons, is because he uses things that look and act like rainbow trout.

I tried these techniques on the one spring fed lake in Virginia where we threw in handfuls of rainbow trout every now and then.

Worked like a charm.

I can understand the pleasure of fishing for these trout here in Illinois. On a good day they fight a little better then a wet sock.

But this is a bass state after all, small and large mouth.

So, while fishing for rainbow trout, I think fishermen should reconsider taking these bland tasting things home for dinner.

I think they should gently and quickly release these trout back in the water from where they came.

Chances are the waters where these trout are being caught are already full of small and large mouth bass.

Chances are the fishermen will be back later in the year to fish for those bass.

Why not release all those trout year after year and let the bass eat them, year after year.

Imagine the size of the bass we’ll be catching in a few years.

So, here’s the new name for this changed program:

Illinois Catch and Release Trout Program.

Only this one will have a slogan:

Feed the Bass.

National Organization for Rivers

If you have never visited the National Organization for Rivers site, you should.

National Organization for Rivers

I first came across it over a dozen years ago and rely on it heavily to do what I do here in Illinois.

It’s been a couple of years since I visited the site myself and I recently got a note from Vanessa Jones informing me that there are all kinds of new things going on at NORS.

New site look, new book, new info and it’s worth it just to download the one page summary River Law Handout.

If you know about NORS and haven’t been there in awhile, go check it out.

If you don’t know about NORS, go now.

Either way, pass the link around.

I think it’s info that all of us that wade rivers and creeks need to know.

Might get a Little Annoying for Some

Over the next week I’ll be putting up around 40 posts. These are the ones I put up on my ChicagoNow blog starting back in September.

I no longer have the time or inclination to spread myself so thin, so there’s no real reason to keep anything over there any more. I can’t see myself getting into a daily writing routine, hell, I can barely do one a week lately. So may as well give up on it.

As I put them up here I won’t let them notify anyone that subscribes via email. Problem is, I have no clue how others may get notices of new posts, so for them, you might get flooded with a few notices.

Sorry about that.

Hopefully I’ll get this done quickly, it eats into my fishing time.

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Introducing Quill Gordon’s Story Time

I like to read well written short stories about the outdoors. The specific topic is unimportant, as long as it is well written. My bookshelf is stuffed with books of short story collections either by individual writers or a collection of writers writing about specific types of outdoor adventures.

If you go looking for stories like this in any of the half dozen or more outdoor magazines that focus on Illinois, you’ll be looking in vain. Those magazines will be filled with product reviews and how-to’s that are peppered with the dropped names of advertisers in the magazines. I understand this, you have to pay the bills somehow. Plus they cater to the majority of outdoorsmen that find a well written story, as I was once told, too flowery for them.

The problem is that the product reviews and how-to’s get boring really fast. Still more gear you probably don’t need. Still another article on how to vertically jig a ledge in 30 feet of water or how to best maintain your deer stand. After you read one of those once, there’s no reason to go read a similar one in another magazine and there’s really no reason to read one again the next year.

Because of my penchant for the well written story, I’ve whittled down my magazine subscriptions to just one, Gray’s Sporting Journal. Of the printed magazines, Gray’s is hard to beat for it’s quality writing.

Luckily there’s the internet. Over the years I’ve found numerous good outdoor writers that only appear online. With the increase in blogging over the last few years, it takes some searching, but you can find some truly incredible writing by authors that appear nowhere else.

A couple of years ago I came across Quill Gordon and his blog The View from Fish in a Barrel Pond. Quill Gordon, the pen name for one Ken Hall, produces some of the best outdoor related short stories that I’ve found on the internet. Quill/Ken is the caretaker of a fishing camp somewhere in Vermont that he calls The Neverwas Nonesuch Angling Society. His short stories are filled with characters that visit the camp during the fishing season, as well as some of the local characters that live around there year round.

Like any good yarn told over a few beers, there’s a thin line between fact and fiction. You know you’re being told a story, you know it’s beyond belief, but it’s being told so well that at the end, you sit there scratching your head, laughing and thinking, well, maybe.

That’s the way Quill, I mean Ken, writes.

And now he’s writing new stories and rewriting archived stories for new uses. He’s recently started releasing his short stories for the Kindle and Nook e-readers. I highly recommend that if you like good story telling regardless of the subject matter, you should check these out.

You can find the details for his e-reader releases on his blog.

The View from Fish in a Barrel Pond

If nothing else, bookmark his blog, subscribe to it in your favorite feed and go back into his archives now and then.

It will be time well spent.