Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Kissed Goodbye

So the deer season is done and there is no venison in the freezer.
The old zig zag favored Mr. Big as well as Mr. Middle, Mr. Little and all the does and fawns.
Could haves, should haves, and maybes just aren't edible

Never quite gotten a kiss off like that!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Pursuing the venison

Midway through nine days of optimism
the game is much the same as it has always been
Quarry ahead and hunter slightly behind
ever hopeful for an interception

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

First flakes


Up until this past weekend the fall weather has been a lot more like summer than autumn. No need for hats or jackets. I hadn't even pulled on an old woolen sweater until late last week.  But then here it is today coming down raw and white. Time to pay attention. Get all the nuts stashed.


Sunday, September 13, 2015

Finally away

Gear and brain somewhat organized
A respite from the societal madness
Quietly awaits in the Caribou Highlands
Above Gitchi-gummi


Friday, September 11, 2015

Regaining control - maybe


Please accept my request for a week's vacation - to start immediately.
My customers and co-workers are very supportive of the idea.



now, where the hell are my keys
         come on, they were right here a minute ago
                  what have I done with that fly box
                              my five weight should be right there!!
                                         waders, where the hell are my waders
                                                   glasses? oh sweet Jesus
                                                                         babble, babble, babble................................

Friday, September 4, 2015

Absolutely nuts

The hazelnut crop here is the most abundant that I have ever seen
so naturally enough, I couldn't leave them alone
i put too much time in
and now they need cracking
junkie stuff indeed

easy pickins

the youngster flushed two coveys of grouse on the short walk-in from the road
i think we'll back in a couple of weeks
might early grouse taste of filbert


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

A well behaved predator

It is not unusual to hook a pike while fishing for crappie and bluegill
It is usual for said pike to dive into the pondweed or the chara never to be pulled out
Or to snip the tippet
A four weight and three pound leader isn't exactly pike gear
So when a pike of interesting size behaves well
And comes alongside the kayak
Whipped, after a few good runs and sounds
It is an unusual event that seems to deem a measurement and a snapshot
But bringing a twelve pound pike into a twelve foot boat?
Nothing good can come of that
So let's just unhook and estimate
They are bigger memories then

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Da tings ya see ven ya dont got da gun

Out for a little paddle at dusk to procure a crappie fillet or two.  Stealth is required, as the water clarity is pushing twenty three feet. The last stroke is made about 50 yards from the fishing spot so that I silently drift up to the edge of the weed bed. The bottom falls away to forty-three feet deep. A fish inhales the little jig about halfway down, and as I set the hook, my attention goes to a six point buck that clambers down the steep bank and into the water. He hears the crappie splash as it reaches the surface and instantly freezes both body and stare at the old grizzly guy in the little boat. The buck scrambles back uphill and disappears under the lower boughs of a big spruce as the flopping crappie comes unpinned.

I catch and lose a few more fish while listening to the deer bang around in the near shore woods. A rustling of brush or a thrashing of a bush and a few good clacks and whacks for good measure. Action packed. Then some splashing and movement to my right 50 yards farther on. Where the wetland necks down the valley to meet the lake proper. The high cattails obscure the commotion. It is past sunset and too far away. My little camera won't reproduce shit. But hey, I'll take the shot.........

Three bucks single file it across the little wetland neck. Heads above the screening vegetation. First the six pointer that clattered down the hill. Right behind him an eight pointer takes the same line. And then another eight pointer - higher and wider than number two.

Snap snap snap.  Two crappies in the bag. Paddle home. Kiss summer goodbye.

Saturday, July 4, 2015


No roman candles required
no crackling black cat packs
a farmer match and a piece of birch bark
a brush pile full of yellow jackets

Two of their soldiers had tied to prove that they held the west side of the yard
one in my thigh
the other on my right hand
my trigger finger

At dusk I crept across their perimeter

I sang Sousa
    "Stars and Stripes Forever"
         Take that you hornet bastards !

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Splendid May

The past week has been one of the true gems of the year
Calm winds with warm days and nights
Full on spring songbird migration
Courting ducks and loons
Eager panfish
Chipmunks everywhere
and now the bloomin' blossoms!

Taste it

Broiled bluegill with wild plum blossoms
Recipe modified from the Angry Trout Cafe
The proper recipe is available in their cookbook, but I do it like this:

Whisk together
one quarter cup extra virgin olive oil
juice of one lime (very cold)
pinch of salt
pinch of dried tarragon
Paint the bluegill fillets with the mixture
place under broiler or over wood coals
for 2-3 minutes
Wild plum blossoms for garnish 

Savor this fleeting week.....................................................

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Green fuzz


When the green fuzz appears, the fish really start to move. Today there were hoards of red horse and suckers massed in the current at the outlets of several lakes that I visited. Large mouth bass and hybrid sunfish were stacked just downstream of the spawning fish, no doubt gorging on sucker eggs.  They ignored my flies.

The quaking aspens are the first to pop their buds. To green up. To return from six months of dormancy.
I remember as a kid, listening to my Grandfather and his cronies telling fishing tales. One old grizzly guy says, "When those "popple buds are the size of a mouse's ear, you better just drop everything and go after speckled trout!"  Truer words.........................

The same applies to panfish in my locale. The bluegills run into shallow water from their winter depths and the crappies are not far behind.  They are picky biters until the water warms into the fifties. They reject a fly as fast as they take it. A strike indicator could help, but I am not a bobber guy.

This evening there was a blizzard hatch of large black chironomids and the fish were taking them just below the surface. For a few minutes just as the sun dropped below the trees, the lake surface did a little boil.

 A big, buggy, well munched number 8 stonefly is just the ticket. Easier to remove than a midge emerger. Small flies and low light and eager sunfish make for trifocally challenging releases, so a bigger fly is a better deal.

 Hybrid vigor of an old fighter touching the magic ten. Split tail might be the result of some earlier angling encounter. Perhaps we have met before.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

April Returns

9:07 pm
just dark
a glass lake this evening
with a few fish in the narrows
November's week long stint has passed the weather back into April's realm
her's to warm into May

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Fist full of pastel

A fly
A fish
And a piece of open water
A thing making sense
and the weather has changed
Bang On November

Wednesday, February 4, 2015


Split between the Solstice and the Equinox
The subzero dawn holds no woodchuck appeal
Borealis controls

Monday, February 2, 2015