Monday, March 28, 2011

Finally found a "little duck boat"

I've been toying with purchasing a skiff/catamaran/kayak for some time.  After trying just about every one on the market at one time or another, i finally decided on the stealth, and found the deal of the century on one.  The stealth is a plastic catamaran style skiff with absolutely ridiculous stability, and capacity. It weighs in a 100 pounds, and yet retains a 550 pound weight capacity. My buddy Ryan, his brother, and I put one to the test in a california marsh a few years ago.
I figured at the time human weight in that boat was 730 pounds, combine that with a 80 pound lab, three shotguns and shells, and at least 2 dozen decoys, we had to be pushing the 900 mark. While we weren't going to "win any races", the boat retained its stability, and had a little bit of free board remaining.
I also can attach a little trolling motor to it, and I have the perfect little panfish/bass summer fly fishing boat. Couldn't be happier with my purchase.
NOW, i just need to find a little bunk trailer. any ideas? greatly appreciated. Im thinking a little jet ski bunk my work? The boat is twelve feet long, and not very wide.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

My Dads new "toy"

After much convincing, and a little but of nudging. I finally convinced my dad to "pull the trigger" on his dream gun. He has been selling off more than a few of his doubles lately, keeping the mind set that "he simply can't shoot them all", and even if I did, I'd just be less than adequate with a lot of pretty guns".
He mentioned to me that someday he'd love to have really nice little over/under. I had been on the search for what he was looking for no less than the past six months. Then like a chorus of angels signing their glorious tune, it spoke to me. Having looks that closely mimic  a Farmars than any other over under I've seen, and with a NEUTRAL cast? You've GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!
After he saw it I knew he was in love, but he was still concerned about owning a really nice gun. I told him he deserved it , and the rest is history.
He finally found "his baby"
Congrats dad, it the nicest shotgun I've ever handled, and probably ever will!


Tuesday, March 15, 2011


OOPS, she did it again.
What better than having a fire alarm go off in the middle of the night?
How about your little "dainty" (as she's been described) GSP of five years channeling her inner hound and whining at the top of her lungs in all out agony.
For the second time in the same amount of years Dottie has managed to find a possum in our fenced in back yard. The first of these affairs resulted in her basically clawing up our fence, and the two sworn enemies snapping at each other. Followed shortly by collective screams from my wife testifying "Dotties gonna die"!
I managed to get her inside sans minor or major injury, but this event left a scar on my wife psyche for all things possum.
This second event was met with a much SMALLER possum, One that I am certain Dottie the "killer" ( I say that tongue in cheek, Dottie is scared of bees), would have made short work of. I actually have the audio clip on my iPhone , as it was simply hilarious.
So i ask where does this hate from Possums come? she doesn't mind cats, squirrels, birds, anything but BOY no possum is safe in my yard!
right on cue , my wife answered "FROM ME YOU IDIOT", those things are repulsive!

Friday, March 11, 2011


                                              NATIONAL WOODCOCK MIGRATION

While I stare at the white blanket still several inches deep out of my office window, I can't help but notice the increase in temperatures and daylight. Both of those indicators are a hint of a reminder to some of the best wild bird dog training I get all year. While the window is usually much smaller than their fall pilgrimage,  It' still great work, and makes my Dottie an awfully happy little camper.
While this time can also be used as a sort of scouting mission, I have not noticed a correlation between where I find them in spring versus a productive fall cover.
Rubber boots are a must, as well as a GPS, but this new tool to give up to the date data on what might be pushing through your area is a fantastic piece of technology.
Please keep in mind their are state laws about public land and dates being able to work dogs etc, so make sure to check with your local DNR to remain legal.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

To see, or not to see

For that is the question!
As the 5th of March and our catch and release season came upon us, the sullen tones of a grey sky, and a white backdrop meshed perfectly with below freezing temperatures and a bitter wind  to remind us where we live.
The mid April days forthcoming with the sweet smells of wildflowers, and gentle warm breezes, were the furthest thing from our mind as Nate and I entered the just above freezing waters of Southwest Wisconsin. It didn't take long for the gradual build up of ice in the guides to hamper in already rusty casting stroke and make me question if my usual pilgrimage to this area was a waste of a 3 hour drive?
The question was answered in a relatively short time. On my 5th cast to a giant pool I made one quick mend upstream and saw a very subtle pause on my strike indicator. To my surprise, a small, fat, 9 inch brown had decided my zebra midge was suitable fare, and made sure I couldn't even screw this hook set up as he ingested the fly. A quick hemostat procedure on the barbless size 22, and the little guy was back swimming towards his favorite run.
Nate had started a little further downstream, and was working his way towards me. He hadn't had any action as of yet, but turned the corner just in time to see me hooked up with a little nicer fish.It was nothing to write home about, but a much better specimen than my first. I stayed in the that first pool and had approximately another 5 fish,  while he jumped ahead and had his first action of the day.
The fishing seemed to pick up for the next hour or so, around the twelve o'clock hour. It was a bit odd in the fact that the temperature hadn't deviated from 31 degrees from the time we left green Bay, to the time we left SW Wisconsin.
I had been commenting to Nate how that might be the only time I had observed the outside temperature remaining constant from 6AM, to 6PM.
The surface activity had been dormant up to this point, and I have a general disdain for fishing midge on top, so I wasn't expecting to bring out the Aquel at any point. As usual, my general impatience for doing the same thing over and over again got the best of me. As I watched fish after fish rising to feed on the all but invisible bug, I decided it was time to "fish blind."
As if actually trying to tie the size 24 griffiths gnat isn't hard enough to do in these temperatures with dwindling dexterity in my already frozen figures, I figured I'd try to go blind by squinting for the next hour trying to actually see the fly.
After false setting on at least three fish , I finally hit pay dirt. After he made his way into the net, I took a second to revel in my first midge fish. As cold as I was, I was pretty excited. I picked up a few more fish on top before being broken off, by a pretty large fish who made me look completely inept.
By the 2 o'clock hour Nate and I had had our best opening day even as far as fish numbers go. Our numb feet had decided to to lose feeling about the same time, so we knew it was time to call it a day.
As I look at our forecast for midweek, another 12 inches of snow is scheduled to come our way, so I think we'll pass on this coming weekend, but then after that? Here we come, with no fear of any bug we can see, or not.