Saturday, November 28, 2009

Giving Thanks

I am thankful for crisp autumn afternoons spent throwing crankbaits to scrappy chain pickerel.

I am thankful that I eat, and drink, this much but once a year and that I have the good fortune to be able to do so.

I am thankful for the companionship of dogs and the company of folks who love them enough to make them an integral part of their lives.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Wilson Creek Trout

I'd had it up to here with Frau Nature. I've been trying for weeks to get in a trip to the hills to chase some trout and every time a plan got close to execution she'd rain on my parade. Monday was the last straw as the Geezer and I resigned to the postponement of the next day's trip to the North Fork of the New because of high, muddy conditions.

Pushed over the edge, I made a call to Bo Cash, owner and proprietor of the Table Rock Angler, a small shop tucked in the hills above Morganton, to see what conditions were like in the Wilson Creek area. While he hadn't been on the water for a few days, Bo said he did have a couple of clients hitting the creek that day and, if I'd call back after dinner, he'd have the lowdown.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Explaining Yet ANOTHER... Oh, You Know

It's not my fault this time. I swear. Blame Frank. He did it. He GAVE me the rod. It's my third new fly rod in the past four months, but this time it's bamboo.

The fly fishing seeds were planted years ago in my backpacking days when I liked nothing more than hiking along a beautiful mountain stream or camping within earshot of the soothing constant gurgle of running water. The desire was further cultivated by my stepsons who had hiked some of those waterways with me, recognized my love of that environment, and gave me my first rod and reel for Christmas; a gift I will be forever grateful for. It was my friend Frank, though, that brought the passion to full bloom.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Little @$$holes

It was a lazy fall afternoon, back in our previous life, and I was comfortably stretched out on the couch, considering a little cat nap, while the neighborhood kids scampered about the manicured lawns of our fancy suburban subdivision. The living room where I reclined looked out onto a sizable back deck where Mary had created a beautiful setting, replete with potted plants of all shapes, sizes, and vibrant colors. As I began to drift off to sleep in this peaceful setting, all hell broke loose.

From the deck there came a crash and, almost immediately, my gentile, diminutive 4'11" wife came flying through the house with murder in her eyes. She blew through the living room and out the back door, waving her arms and screaming at the top of her lungs "Get out of there you little assholes!!!!" Fearing for their lives, a handful of squirrels, interrupted while hiding their winter meals in Mary's potted plants, scattered in all directions.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

2009 Drake Flyfishing Video Award Winner

I don't normally borrow content for my blog, but I love this piece of film. The scenery is magnificent, the fishing is incredible, and I laugh every time the door slams. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Where's the Ark?

It's raining, It's pouring
The river is roaring.

For those of you living in North Carolina, you know just how I feel. Damp. Tropical storm Ida has dumped a load of water on us the past two days (I've measured 4.1 inches of rainfall in the past 36 hours) and it looks to continue through Friday.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Closing My Haw Bass Season

It was with a twinge of sadness that I worked my way down the trail to my favorite stretch of Haw River water. Night temperatures have begun to fall into the 30s and tonight we have our first freeze warning for the year, usually the closing bell for catching largemouth bass on the river. This might well be 2009's last trip to my home waters and I was feeling sort of bummed about it.

I haven't fished the Haw as much as I would have liked recently as a chunk of prime season was taken with my ankle injury, but, according to my fishing log, this was still my 22nd pursuit of shoals largemouth on this pretty stretch of Piedmont water this year. I suspected the bass were hunkering down for the season, but I had to be sure, both for myself and because I owed a trip to these waters to a couple of good friends. I wanted to be certain the fishing year was truly done before I put them off until spring.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Scarecrows typically do a decent job of keeping the smaller natural critters out of our gardens, but the real varmints, land developers and city planners, don't seem to be much put off by them. This whimsically protected garden sat on the outskirts of a municipality that has exhibited a distressing penchant for rapid suburban creep into the surrounding woodlands, so it was with no small amount of trepidation that I cruised back by the area where this shot was taken a couple of years ago.