Tag Archives: storms

In 2015 I only took about 6,000 photo’s

In 2015 I only took about 6,000 photo’s, give or take a few. Which probably explains why I don’t have time to go back and play with them much.

Decided to start a project today. Went back to June 10, 2015 and a sunset storm I shot out at Silver Springs State Park that had some of the most amazing clouds I’ve ever seen. Took 209 shots that day.

I’ve set aside 6 single shots to play with, will probably go back for more. Also set aside 25 sets of 2 or 3 shots to make into panorama’s.

Picked out one of the simpler pano’s to start with. I try to keep the processing to a minimum and do my best to make it look like what I thought I saw. Then I turn it to black and white and make adjustments to that to make it have the same feel as the color shot.

We’ll see how this goes. Took a half hour to make the pano and get the colors the way I want. Took 7 minutes to turn it to black and white.

I need to retire and just play around. For just these 31 final images let’s say I spend an hour on each. It will take about 31 hours to finish this one little project. With a full time job eating up a good 12 hours a day, this could take some time.

That leaves me about 5,950 photos to go through and play with from last year alone. A rough estimate dating back to the year 2000 when I went digital shows I have about 25,000 more in my collection. Let’s say that only 5 percent may be worth playing with. That means I should be able to whittle it down to about 1,500 images to play with.

What am I getting myself into.

From here on I’m going to figure out how to make posts and galleries on my website for these. Might be a challenge. This site is reminiscent of the forums I’ve been leaving stories and pictures on for nearly 20 years. Takes no real effort on my part to put things here, it’s second nature.

For nearly five years I’ve had my eye on a paid theme called Photocrati that would work perfectly. That also shows how long I’ve been toying with the idea of making a switch like this. Each passing year has shown that my fishing stories keep getting shorter and the emphasis has been put on the images. I’ve always been image heavy, but now the images have a lot less to do with fish and fishing and the words keep getting fewer.

Well, I won’t fish again till the smallies start heading up the creeks some time in March. Which means I have some time on my hands till then.

But still, the thought nags…

What am I getting myself into.

Like Fishing in a Sauna

Checked the USGS gauge of the creek I wanted to fish before leaving work. 4.78, the cfs gauge has been broken for months. I’m getting used to reading the feet by comparison. A few days earlier the creek had shot up to nearly 7. I plugged in a 90 day view, that’s the highest so far this year. Usually it’s April that gets like that, didn’t happen this year.

I’m sure I’ve fished this creek when it was at 5. Maybe it was 4.5 or 4. Whatever, can’t be that bad.

I get to the creek, get suited up and one big lone cloud full of rain and lightning parks its ass directly over head. Partly cloudy skies all around it. I sit it out in the car for twenty minutes. The rain did not cool things down, made it worse.

Got to the creek and it was high, fast and muddy. I’m not going in there, at least not past my ankles. Bunch of casts and nothing. Considered calling it quits.

Decided to put my exceptional high, fast and muddy fishing skills to work instead. It’s not the river, so it’s not so bad. In about an hour and a half and 200 yards I went 11/5 on smallies. I was glad I stuck around. One fish in particular hit hard, then practically crawled along the bottom. Drag humming and pulling out line. Couldn’t lift it off the bottom. Never jumped. I’ve landed a number of 18 inch smallies so far this year and I’m thinking this one has to be pushing the 20 inch mark to be doing this.

Finally get it near me and out of the water. I’ll bet it wouldn’t have measured 11 inches. I was impressed.

It wound up being the smallest fish of the day.

Was glad I wore the waders anyway. Everything was soaked from the rain. Back at the car and stripping down, the inside of the waders were wetter than the outside. Sweat was pouring off my head and down my shirt. This should smell good after a day or two in my trunk.

Walking through a swamp in April is easy, in June after a rain and everything is now thick and taller than me, not so much.

The wife says I should learn how to fear lightning.

The woods look like a jungle.

The sound of frogs was at times deafening only I couldn’t find a single one.

Like usual, I had the whole place to myself.
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Back at home, leftovers. Bow tie pasta, shrimp, garlic, butter, olive oil and parsley from the garden. More olive oil in a pan. Throw in all that stuff. Add the stripped off flowers from the basil plants in the garden. Toss in the first pepper of the year from the garden. More olive oil. Done and plated, add some parmesan and a couple of slices of garlic bread.

I smell wonderful.

The stronger taste of basil flowers has become my favorite part of the basil plant.

You can’t have too much basil.

Or olive oil.

Damn Tree and
You Learn Something New Every Day

One of the trees in my backyard that got destroyed by the storm we had at the end of June was a locust tree.

Since then the tree has been removed and most of it has been hauled away. A good cord of it is stacked along the fence waiting for cooler weather so it can be turned into firewood.

The stump was cut down to just a couple of inches above ground level.

Apparently, the way a locust tree propagates itself is to grow another one out of the cut stump.

But you don’t get just one.

You wind up with something that begins to look like a locust tree bush.

Did you know that, when they first start growing, locust trees are filled with thorns?

Very sharp pointy thorns?

Well, they are.

Now we all know that the root systems of a tree extends up to and beyond the canopy of the tree.

This can be extensive depending on the size of the tree.

Another way locust trees propagate themselves, as I am finding out, is through their root systems.

Apparently, the roots sense that something is wrong with the parent tree. In their efforts toward world domination, the roots begin to sprout more locust trees.

Wherever the roots may be.

In this case, throughout my whole back yard.

Mixed in with the sparse grass left over from the drought, locust trees are sprouting.

Everywhere.

By the hundreds.

Since I won’t use chemicals in my yard, for now I’ve been treating them like grass and they get mowed to three inches tall.

This, I know, is a stop gap method that won’t continue to work next year.

Next year, I have no clue what I’m going to do with all these damn trees.

Some Fishing and What the Hell Happened to You?

The last couple of weeks of fishing on the Fox River have been nothing but a huge disappointment. There have been some nice days…

But even those have gone almost fishless. Most of the days I’ve been getting out have been mornings, which I hate, so I blamed those. Then I went out one evening, the result was the same.

So now I’m blaming the low water and the weeds.

The heat is pretty much over, but the damage has been done. This is what happens on a river during a drought year when the water is low and short sighted, narrow minded people are allowed to have input on whether or not useless dams should be removed. Massive algae blooms and green water.

The sunsets are still beautiful though even if the fish are gone and you have to put up with massive mats of weeds covering the river.

The creeks have even taken a hit with low levels and the fish disappearing from the upper reaches, but by accident I discovered huge amounts of fish at the mouths and up the creeks for a mile or two. I initially hesitated in targeting these fish because of the conditions, but then I realized nobody else was fishing them, and if they were, they were using all the wrong things and not catching anything.

What else would explain catching 18 fish one day, 34 the next, missing twice that many and seeing hundreds more disinterested fish swimming around.

Though I only target smallies, the occasional bycatch of other species isn’t bad. From one fast deep stretch, even at this low water I hesitate walking through it, a lure drifted around got nailed. I considered keeping it for dinner, but decided to wait for cooler weather when they’ll taste even better.

A tiny island in the middle of the river is anchored by one lone tree. Around it grow flowers. In the morning light, they shine nicely.

This morning I was up before the sun rose, stalking down a little creek, catching smallies from 4 inches to… who knows, I don’t measure fish anymore. But when they hit in less than a foot of water and have no where to go, they’re all just plain fun.

A rock bass, green sunfish landed and even a carp that thought it would join the fun till I pulled the lure away from him. No carp for me thank you.

Even the smallies’ lowlife cousin was hitting.

And then there was this poor thing. I like catching flathead cats. They hit hard like this one did. They put up a decent fight and test the limits of your gear. While I was reeling it in, something looked odd. From the back, everything is normal enough.

When I got it out of the water and was looking it over I know I said out loud… What the fuck? What the hell happened to you?

I’ve pulled fish out of the water that have had some pretty serious injuries and scars, but this was a first. I imagine it’s going to starve to death, nothing goes down it’s gullet. In it’s mouth and back out again.

It’s been slowly raining for a good six hours now. According to the radar, it’s probably going to keep raining for another six hours. It’s coming down a bit harder. It’s been raining more even further north. All good for the river. Maybe it won’t flow green anymore and the mats of weeds and algae will disappear.

It’s the time of year for 50 to 100 fish days on the river. It should have started already. I’ll chalk it up to the lack of rain and hope that the disappointing days are over.

I’ll know in the next few days…

Bamboo — A few Pictures

Sadly, not a whole lot with fish.

Which figures, since I have this wonderful bamboo fly rod to play with.

A cold front came through a few days ago and pretty much shut down the fishing. It turned the water considerably cooler and on one creek, it turned it crystal clear.

Of course the fishing will turn back on as soon as I ship the rod off to the next user.

A week earlier the fishing was hot and heavy anywhere I went on the Fox River or any of it’s creeks. My trip to a creek proved it to be devoid of smallies except for one.

A far cry from the previous week when I stopped counting somewhere around 30 on this same creek.

I was looking forward to another banner day of fishing, the creek is beautiful and it would have been a treat for the fly rod.

I did get a rock bass to cooperate…

And a handful of crappie were eager to hit.

Not what I wanted or expected, but better than getting skunked.

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I took the time to peruse the journal.

Definitely an enjoyable read with a bit of an artistic flair at times.

Also played around with the flies in the little traveling fly box.

Do you trout anglers really use such tiny little flies? Even the bluegills around here would scoff at that as an offered meal.

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Today was supposed to be a banner day of 20 or more smallies. It’s a go to spot, but nobody told me the fish had got up and gone. The bald eagle that floated around the area for a half hour gave me hope, but apparently they know as much about fishing as I do.

Did manage to avoid a skunking…

So I hung out near a boulder and tried to get a half way decent shot of the reel and some background. The fish weren’t biting, so I had to humor myself somehow.

Sunday, the ponds. This is where I salvage the week.

Unless they’ve all dried up since I was there six or so weeks ago. Hasn’t rained much in all that time.

If so, back to my initial plan…

Tying on a peanut and going for my wife’s trained squirrels out in the front yard.

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The Outdoor Blogger Network teamed up with Fall River Flyrods, Montana Fly Company and RIO Products this spring to put together a rig consisting of an 8ft, 2-piece, 5wt “South Fork” bamboo rod, Madison reel, and double taper, floating line to be fished by 15 far-flung anglers over the course of the season. One of those 15 anglers will own the rod, reel, and line when all is said and done, along with an accompanying journal in which all 15 anglers will record their thoughts and experiences during their time with the rod. With a first season like that, the story of this brand new rod is off to a very good start.