Did some more scouting
around over the last few days. This first stream “runs” through a local park
that listed fishing as among the activities one can do there.
The pond is on the gardens
of campus. It’s marked “No Fishing”. It does have fish though.
Now we’re getting
I found this small stream not far from home, and I'm told it has smallmouth and, perhaps more importantly, many, many carp. It's low now, of course, but we're in a drought. At least it has water.
Today, I found out that in about 9 minutes and 22 seconds, I can walk from
my office to a very nice set of riffles and pools on the big river. I was told
the fishing is pretty good here.
I would have stayed for more pictures, but I
believe I interrupted a fellow pleasuring himself by the river. From a
distance, I thought he was holding a fishing pole so I started to approach him
to ask him if he was having any luck (with fishing). But as I got closer, it
appeared as if he was holding his iPhone in one hand, and something else in the
other. I politely made some noise and when I got to where he was, he’d remounted
his John Deere garden tractor. He said he was a student here at the University
and sometimes likes to come down to the river before work starts. I guess he
works at the university garden. I suppose you can’t fault a guy who likes do
jerk off while looking at the river, particularly if he does it on company time
and drives there with a company vehicle.
Anyway, I’ll probably just go down there to fish.
Sent: Wednesday, 25 July
Subject: Re: Where to fish
and/or do other things
I just revisited the
picture and I see the tractor. Are you sure he was doing himself by the stream?
What was on his iPhone? - A Perfect Fish,
The river looks great,
Sent: Wednesday, 25 July
Subject: Re: Re: Where to
fish and/or do other things
I can't say for certain
what he was doing. What I know includes the following:
He was standing by the
river. As I approached, it appeared that he held some sort of smart phone
in his right hand. His left hand appeared to be putting something (a
penis?) back into the front of his athletic shorts (I emphasize this to point
out that he was not putting something back into a side pocket, or zipping up.
These were athletic shorts of the type that, as far as I know, do not
have a front zipper). No fishing pole was to be seen. He then got
onto the seat of the tractor (technically, I believe it is what is called a
John Deere Gator, but I think that's irrelevant to the case at hand).
When I approached closely enough to speak to him, he was sitting slightly
hunched over. This could be his normal posture, he could have had a
stomach ache, etc. It's hard to say. It is, however, the position I
would have adopted had I been trying to hide an erection. But again,
that's only one of many possible explanations. I said "Hi", and
asked him a few questions about access to the river, about how he got the
tractor there, etc. To me, he seemed either a bit reluctant to talk,
perhaps a little nervous, or both. I'd have probably been reluctant to speak if
I suspected somebody had seen me jerking off by the river. But as I said
before, he was also down by the river on a company vehicle and perhaps also on
company time, which is probably prohibited. And furthermore, it was the
first time we'd met, so I don't really know if this is just his general
personality. We spoke a bit, then I walked further along the trail and I
never looked back to see if he resumed whatever he might have been doing.
Now, I think in his
defense a couple points are worth making. First, I never actually saw a
penis. Second, even if he had been holding his iPhone in one hand and his
penis in his left hand, it's plausible that he was urinating while checking his
email. As you are well aware, some people do that sort of thing. I think
his case (assuming he would try to make the case that he was not masturbating stream side) would be strengthened
if he could show that he is right handed because I think it's reasonable to
argue that were he masturbating stream side, he'd have used his dominant hand
and held the iPhone in the other; that is to say the left. I realize this
isn't an air-tight defense, but it would certainly be enough to sow the seeds
of doubt. I'd also argue that while the river is very attractive, it's
not that attractive. Of course,
he was looking at his phone, not at the river.
Needless to say, I'll be
back (to fish). So perhaps we'll eventually settle this once and for all.
Sent: Wednesday, 25 July
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Where
to fish and/or do other things
I should imagine it might
be easier to have laid the iPhone on the tractor wheel or other convenient
surface, while enjoying the comfort of a seat?
This is the curious part to
me. Standing up just isn't practical. Let’s just hope he wasn’t pissing
in your river.
Do you recall the size of
that white hackle you sent me for the carp flies?I need to get some more.
Part of my absence from The Culvert is simply due to the
hassles of moving to the greater Indianapolis, India area (see earlier post).
But I also experienced some computer-related problems, which required some time
in a local Apple store.They fixed my problem
and they were friendly, but I hate those stores.
That said, their telephone system is top shelf.When you call the store, a recorded voice
informs you that “I am an automated system that can handle complete
sentences.How can I help you
today?”If you reply “I’d like to
inquire about my computer that is being repaired, “ the voice will reply “Is
this a computer you already own, or one you are considering buying?”
If you say “One I already own,” he will then say “Would you
like to schedule an appointment to drop it off?”
In the end, you just scream “FUCK YOU!!!” into the receiver
and drive to the store.
And so, it occurred to me that if we could set up some sort
of similar automated fly fishing advice phone service, we’d no longer have to
ignore so many of our faithful readers.It’s been a while in the works, but the we now have both the automated
phone advice system set up, as well as a fully automated internet advice
service.The great thing about this
system, whether you choose the phone service or the on-line service, is that we
can rapidly address your queries, even if we’re fishing or drunk.
Here are some transcripts from a few of the phone calls our
system handled.We’ve modeled it on the
Apple Store system, and it works just as well.
Caller: “Where do smallmouth bass hide in very low water
Culvert Rapid Answer Protocol (CRAP): “Smallmouth can be
broiled or pan-fried, but please keep in mind future fishermen and limit your
Caller: “Should I tie a dropper fly to the bend of the hook
of the other fly, or to the tag end of my tippet connector knot?”
CRAP: “Always concentrate on those spots where the water is
well-oxygenated, but that still offers protection from predators and a respite
from the strongest currents.”
Caller: “Should I fish a floating line or a sinking line for
early season trout?”
CRAP: “Are you fishing for stripers or bluefish?”
Caller:“Neither.I am asking about
trout, early in the season.”
CRAP: “Do you have your serial number?”
Caller: “That doesn’t make any sense.I want to know if I should fish for early
season trout, when the water is very cold, with a sinking line or a floating
CRAP: “Cork disc drags will compress, so always release the
tension after you are fishing.”
Caller: “Floating or sinking line?”
CRAP: “Your sensors are probably misaligned. Check the
sensors and if the green light comes on, try the garage door again. If it
continues to stop and then reverse, consider increasing the down force using
the tensioner screw or try a crayfish pattern, stripped slowly with the
occasional jerky twitch.Set the hook if
the line stops or if the “PLAY” button continues to flash."
If you'd like to use our automated phone system, call Jonny at home. If you'd prefer to use the on-line service, simply type your question(s) in the comment box, and within minutes you will receive an answer.
We've arrived in our new place. Our new home phone is (317) ***-****.
a few photos. One shows the house (the green one on the right, with
the woman on the front porch), another shows the main street downtown, and
another of the local trout and carp stream. I haven't fished it yet,
but it looks fishy as hell.
Fly fishing sucks you in to the point where you avoid, often without sentiment, the other methods of catching fish. You might not even feel schnide to the others: to whit, I recently got snarky with a guy who called the cops on kids chucking worms in a put-and-take TMA. I mean, think about that.
Fly fishing has consumed you and you understand it for all the right reasons, but there's been something niggling you since your so-called friends introduced you to salt water. It's the one aspect of fly fishing that's been slow burning all this time and is as inevitable as the need to go fishing at all: that we know, in all likelihood, that we won't ever catch a really big fish, or even one of over 40" if we like to fish for striped bass.
I like to fish for stripers. Since I got the boat I've had my gaze averted by the ocean. May I compare thee to a trout stream? Aside from its other-worldly allure - those gentle waves removing sand beneath your boots in a way that resonates beyond the average - the sea is an attractively risky place. Safety equipment is required, and I've already made a simple Death Prevention Rule to never paddle in open ocean alone. Saturday the swell was big enough to make me think of Dramamine as I chased the dark blotches of bunker-colored ocean. And I do so because, just two weeks ago, a fish of 75lb was captured off the Connecticut coast - a truly magnificent animal with white scales the size of nickels, its head as big as mine. And that's a pretty big measure. Until the genetic chicken farmers start growing fish (and Heaven forfend), you're as likely to catch a 20 or 30 or 75lb trout as you are a 20lb bass if you restrict yourself to the fly rod.
Restrict Yourself to The Fly Rod. There is the truth we all know. It's a feather and a hook. We romance that it isn't meant to work, because when it does it's better than most other things we'll do in a lifetime of trying. I love catching 6" brook trout as I love catching schoolies on the fly - perhaps even a brace that run to the mid thirties of inches over a long season, if we're lucky. It's the exact same satisfaction from fishing the right fly to trout on the Upper Housie. But they said I should fish for stripers in the same way they sold me steelhead. The steel are big and fight like confined bluefish, but they are uniform in size, give or take. Stripers grow very big and we cannot catch them on a fly, and many of us accept this truth and keep casting our flies. But isn't it inevitable that a fly-fisher will deviate in the presence of bigger fish to be caught?
Forgive me readers, for it is bitter/sweet that I have been trying to catch a bigger fish. The method is as far from fly fishing as I think possible [if you're easily offended you should stop reading right here.] Like those guys in Scotland who hunt ferox trout with wired dead-baits, hunting is what you do for big stripers. You use what they eat, with no imitation, which means either a live eel (pierce a large hook through its eye, cast out, twitch back) or live-lined menhaden or part thereof.
Ball of Confusion: Match the hatch and attend Confession, cast a worthless fly, or don't go fishing?
The gathering of menhaden as bait is everything that I'm meant to dislike. Basically, cast into their mass and impale one. Let it swim around as an injured and attractively easy meal for the predators below.
A size 22 BWO just wasn't the ticket.
The reasons why I disagree with my actions are too many to list, but perhaps most of all I find my consideration of one fine and essential species as a great deal less worthy than the prize it might bring to be challenging. Don't get me wrong, I think little about animals I deem less worthy - I'm not a vegetarian - but neither do I perform the ritual pictured above in most cases (on a recent trip to the tackle shop I actually had to ask if the snagging of bunker was legal, and I'm still perplexed that it is). At 15" long, the bunker in the picture is the size of a Farmington brown I'd photograph aside the creel and Rosebay Willowherb and call it a special day. You see this whole thing is somewhat difficult to understand, and as is right, I take some kind of comfort from my ethical discomfort.
But in the end, or at least today, I'm enjoying casting the bait rod again, just as I did in the first place. Carrying the long and short rods on the boat makes me feel like a better fly fisherman; my goal, and there is only one to my mind, to innovate to the best of my ken in order to outsmart a fine fish. I've simply been doing what needs to be done to go fishing instead of packing the gear away. I've taken the feather off the hook, and used it to affix a bait made entirely of natural materials. I've completed the illusion of life for the sake of the prize.
Ultimately, I'll be fucked if any of this has made me feel any better, as was my intent. And I still haven't caught a big striped bass.