Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Which Way Does the Wind Blow?

Do you ever wonder if the politicians have their own thoughts or ideals? Do they really think we're stupid?

It seems to me that they lick their finger and stick it up in the air before every speach. I think they may even get out of bed in the morning and do just that. They research what they think the crowd du jour is going to buy, and then they go with that.

What is that? It's a bunch of crap is what it is.

Just once I would like one of the candidates to speak from the heart on how they really feel about an issue or issues. Just once I would love to hear one of them tell us in their own words what they really think about what needs to be done to move the country in a positive direction and why. And then tell us how they intend to do that.

Stuff the polls and who thinks you should do this or that in your saddle bag and get real. We know the country won't change overnight, just have a plan and stick to it. Leave religion, the lobbyists and the contributors out in the cold, and give us something that isn't slanted or puffed up because you think you need to please every one of us or tell us what someone else is telling you we want to hear.

Is that too much to ask?

On another note we have new visitors to the homestead. Hummingbirds, tiny fleet-winged, feathered nectar seekers. Their bodies shimmer like a peacock's tail as they hover at bright colored flowers to take the sweet, syrupy juices that power those vibrating wings. Amazing birds they are. Stopping and starting on a dime. I smile every time I see one. If I didn't have to work to pay for this place, I might just sit on the deck all day long and watch nature come and go.

Life is good. Just do it with your eyes open.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Wow, where did a week go?

I think this was the fastest week of my life. It seems like yesterday it was last Tuesday.....

We've been enjoying the hawks every day. They have two fleglings that are now out of the nest and learning to hunt. They work at it all day long - there's a constant verbal banter among them from sun up until sun down. Tonight while we ate dinner on the deck one of them managed to catch a rabbit and then they fought over it up on the ridge above us. The adults sit in the trees above them and watch the sibling rivalry. In the end, they each seem to get their fill before taking to the air and squawking away at each other as they fly among the trees, landing on a branch for a moment and then lifting off as the other gets too close. Very cool stuff. It seems the nest is no longer needed as it sits alone in a mighty oak.

On the fishing side of things, I'm tying my butt off getting ready for our trip to Montana. I love tying flies in anticipation of a trip. As I tie, I imagine how I will fish each fly as I create it in the vise. How will it look as it sits upon the water waiting for a trout to rise and take it in? I imagine the cool, clear water flowing around me as I cast one of my creations to a rising trout. The fly alighting on the silvery water, drifting slowly into the trout's feeding lane before dissapearing in a gentle sip. The sun slipping below the mountainous horizon as I lift my rod tip and set the hook fast in the trout's jaw. It leaps into the golden hued air, sending droplets of sun drenched diamonds out in a fan only to melt back into the water as they return to their origin.

The fish bolts up river, taking line that cuts the water surface like a knife, making a wake that is low and sharp as it moves away. My drag singing that beautiful monotonous buzz only a spinning fly reel can make. It is a symphony unto itself. Who needs brass, strings,or drums when there's a rushing fish taking line from your reel? Nature keeps its own beat, the silence the perfect accompaniment to the singular buzz of a tense spinning spool. And then when it is all over I want to do it all over again...............

I dream. I dream of this often. The cast, the take, the fight, bringing the trout to hand.............. letting it swim away.

That's only part of the dream, really. There's the cool, clean, clear water.....birds, trees, wild flowers......fresh air.................sometimes its a dream, but often its a reality.

Life is good. Live your dreams, and then dream them again taking from experience.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Haven't the Last 8 Years Been Great?

Our wonderful President just can't seem to help himself.......from the California Progress Report comes this little ditty:

Bush Tries to Raid Salmon Disaster Funds-- West Coast Members of Congress Send Stinging Letter

By Dan Bacher
West Coast Representatives and leaders of fishing groups are outraged by an attempt by the White House to yank $70 million in disaster funding from commercial and recreational fishermen in order to pay for the census.

Read the whole story here -

Life is good. This time, let's try to elect someone that has a clue.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Two In a Row

Yes, another perfect evening here in Horseville. The birds are winding down for the night and there's a light breeze barely moving the tree leaves.

After dinner I took a ride down to the river to possibly fish. When I got there, there were fish working steadily on emerging caddis along the far bank, so I put on my waders and grabed the thermometer. After wading out from the bank to moving water, I dropped the thermometer in and watched the trout across the way feed on top as I waited the few mintues to get an accurate reading.

The news was not good, at least not good for fishing. The water was 73 degrees; too warm to fish. So I backed out and sat on a streamside rock and watched the trout as they fed unmolested. It was as calming and satisfying as fishing is. As Yogi once said, "You can see a lot by observing."

I'd pick out a fish and watch it feed. After a few rises you could get a good feel for the timing and rhythm of that fish, and then I'd imagine how and where I would drop my fly if I were targeting the fish. Some were very deliberate feeders, and others were casually aggressive about it, seemingly not taking any precautions to avoid being seen by prey. The largest fish were the most careful, easing up to the surface and then tilting their jaws through the surface and sipping the insects in ever so gently. Those are the targets that are the toughest, and that I most prefer fishing to. Awesome stuff. Sometimes a half hour on a rock is as good as it gets.

Life is good. Go sit on a rock sometime and watch nature do its thing.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Perfect Evening

As I write this I am sitting on the deck, a candle in the hurricane lamp casts a golden glow on my keyboard. The moon, three-quarters full, bright in the southern sky sends silver moonbeams through the random holes in the thick leaves of the canopy above. Classic rock and blues flows out of the Ipod system, and a glass of ice covered with a smidgen of Lagavulin sits on the small round table next to my laptop. The air is calm, warm and dry. A perfect late spring evening.

I would have gone down to the river to stick a few trout on dries, but the bright sun and heat of the day kept the water temps too high for the fish. Instead, we hung out here and watched the hawks, listened to the songbirds and the frogs in the pond, and took in what may have been the nicest evening of the year.

Who the hell wants to go to work tomorrow?

Did you hear what Jose Canseco had to say today about his former attorney suing him for $100's of thousands of $s in unpaid bills? "I'm surrounded by liars and thiefs." Interesting. What's that saying? You are who you associate with? Nuff said.............what a maroon.

Speaking of beautiful evenings, the Tricos are starting to hatch in the early mornings just after sun-up....another wonderful time of the day when the air is still and cool. I may get my ass out of bed in the morning before work and see if I can meet up with a cloud of the tiny mayflies as they gather over the riffles, and the trout that feed on them. Look for a report one of these days.

Life is good. Breath deep, look up at the stars and feel the peace.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Hot, hot and hotter!

When a deaf person goes to court, do they still call it a hearing?

Besides being hot as hell out, the weekend was good despite no fishing during the period. The party Friday night for the graduates - Megan and Leigh - was a blast. Good food, friends, music and perfect weather.

Yesterday and today was spent cleaning up and working on the house. Leigh and I got one more room painted and finished today. Now I can set up my fly tying desk and start tying flies for the Montana trip in a month.

In between working, I went outside and watched the hawks (Broad-winged hawks) as they glided on the updrafts created by the heat and tended to their nest up on the ridge. The nest is high up in a big old oak tree that rises from the rocky hillside about 100 yards up the ridge from the house. There's a perfect gap in the canopy that gives me a good view of the nest from the deck with binoculars.

Every so often one of them will manuever low through the trees behind the house like an F-14 fighter jet, looking for an unsuspecting chipmunk. When they do this, the chipmunks start up a loud, high-pitched squeeking I assume to warn each other of the danger flying overhead. The other morning as I sat out on the deck,, one of the big birds flew by with one of the tiny creatures in its talons and headed for the nest. I haven't seen any chicks yet, but I would think soon the pair will shift into high gear having to hunt for more than themselves. Very cool stuff.

Life is good. Keep your eye on the birdie.

Friday, June 6, 2008

One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish.....

Yup, it's been a while since I sat and wrote on this thing. Busy is an understatement for my life right now, but its good and no complaints. We're getting the new house ready for the big party Friday night for the girls. Even so, I managed to get out fishing with Vinnie a few days ago.

Let's start with Obama-lama-ding-dong. Sure, I know many of you probably think he's great and I respect that. He is a gifted, moving speaker. However, I'm still not climbing into his boat and going along for the ride. His goals are not realistic and almost fantasy-like in that they are so lofty. And even if they were realistic, he has yet to really show us a clear plan to reach them. Who knows, maybe now that he has the nomination sewed up, he'll surprise us. Wake me up if and when he comes to.

As for Hillary, she's just nuts. Good intentions but too self-contained. Who told her narcissism was a good quality for a president? Bill?

Now for the good stuff! I picked up Leigh tonight for the weekend and out the front door comes Megan with a big, red leather binder in her hands. She got her diploma from Miami U today! One down and two to go..........what a great kid she is.

And lastly, since I'm being summoned to get some sleep so I can get everything ready for the party tomorrow night, the fishing. Caught some nice browns the other night, all on dries. Vinnie also did well. Lots of sulphurs, some cahills, a few different kinds of caddis, and a fair number of isonychia's were on the water. I got most of my fish on a caddis emerger in the film early on, and then as darkness approached I switched to a sulphur dun and killed them. A few of the fish topped 16 inches.Got to run. Next up, pictures and highlights of the graduation bash for two daughters!

Life is good. Love your kids and go fish!