Monday, January 30, 2017

Invitation

I wasn't planning on making it out this weekend because I had to work all day Saturday, but when I was on the bus ride home my dad texted me seeing if I wanted to go ice fishing on Sunday. Usually it's me asking him (and he usually can't) so I jumped at the opportunity (after checking with the wife) and we decided Atley should probably go too.

Due to the potential move coming sometime in the future (read about it here) all my ice fishing gear was in storage. That meant Atley and I had to get up a little early in order to go and gather everything up, but Grandpa was right on time so it didn't seem like a wasted effort. Fish lake is always beautiful, but especially in the morning.



After a short walk out to what looked like a good spot we drilled through the thick ice. While taking quite a bit of effort, at least the ice put Atley's fears at ease. We checked depth and I helped Atley get a rig down while grandpa and I cut more holes and set up the shack. Atley iced his first fish before we were done getting things ready.



Once we had everything set up Grandpa caught his first fish of the year, a little splake (a cross between a brook trout and a lake trout) which set off a morning of pretty consistent action. We iced quite a few, but they were all pretty small. The most entertaining part, for us, was watching Atley miss a barrage of hits, frustrating for him.



The midday sun brought the temperature inside the shack up to comfortable, which cued the boys for a little nap. It didn't take long at all before I was serenaded with a snoring duet from Atley and Grandpa in stereo. I've never been able to sleep while there was fishing to do, so I kept on catching a few and trying new things.

When the snore-fest finally came back to the land of the living we decided to try a little closer to shore in hopes of finding some perch for Atley to play with. Part of the reason he was willing to get back out on the ice was the chance for catching a tagged perch, and the fabulous prizes that go along with it (read about that here).



Once the temps began to drop again we decided to gather up and head for home. Atley seemed quite distraught by the fact that he hadn't had any 'real' lunch and was forced to eat candy (some people's kids). All in all, it was a great day with great company.


Hope you're as lucky,
Kidder


Monday, January 23, 2017

Looking Back & Planning Ahead

We're hoping for lots of changes in the upcoming year. Right now we're prepping our house to put it on the market, I just got braces (in an attempt to save my saxophone playing), I just accepted the position of Jazz VP in our state's Music Educator's Association, and we're looking at potential places to buy or build a new home. Whenever life's on the brink of new adventures it seems like a good time to look back. Luckily, google put together a slideshow of the past year that helps with that.

video

Even with all the changes that could be happening, I'm tying flies and looking forward to getting some fishing in. 





Crazy time in the Kidder household, but we feel like great things are in store. Hope you're as lucky,
- Kidder


* This is Post #200!!! Maybe we should do a giveaway or something*

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Soaked Ice

Talked the wife and kids into joining me for a couple of hours on the local pond's hard deck. Whenever I can get out with the family it's a good time, even if we were in the middle of a January rain storm. Yes, a rainstorm in January. Usually at this time of year you can open the fridge to warm up the kitchen a bit, but this year it's decided to rain instead of snow. 


You'd think that if it's warm enough to be raining that it might not feel so cold when you're out there on the ice, but the way it actually worked was that we were all wet by the time we got set up. We stuck it out for a little while, but soon it was obvious that the day was going to be cut short. At least the boys were both able to get a fish, their first of the year, and Caden even lost a little better tiger at the hole. Too bad the wife couldn't get her first fish of the year on the ice but I might be able to get her back out there one more time this year.


Cleaning up our ice shack soaked in rain was a cold experience, one that I hope I can avoid in the future. It's always good to spend time with my favorite people, hope you're as lucky!

Kidder



Sunday, January 8, 2017

Book Review: Another Lousy Day in Paradise

Another Lousy Day in Paradise
by John Gierach


Since I, like so many that enjoy books about fishing, am a Gierach nut this book has been on my reading list for quite a while now. It's not that I didn't want to read every one of his books as quickly as I possibly could, it's just that I felt diversifying my reading list would keep things a little more interesting.

This book is a collection of essays about many subjects in and around fly fishing. From helping a fisheries biologist locate some rock bass for his collection to the art of a game dinner with friends, nothing is outside the realm of Mr. Gierach's musings. I particularly appreciated his view on carp fishing as a anti-establishment activity and the chapter on the challenges and joys found in winter fishing (especially since by reading this book I've avoided doing some of the cold weather escapades). But my favorite chapter is "What Else is There?" where the author explores his own reasons for fishing. In this chapter he confronts the questions of "why?" that we've all had thrown at us at different times and comes to the conclusion that it doesn't matter. 

Definitely worth your time "Another Lousy Day in Paradise" would be a welcomed addition to any fisherman's library.

"If people don't occasionally walk away from you shaking their heads, you're probably doing something wrong." - pg 139

Buy "Another Lousy Day in Paradise" at Amazon.com

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Earning It

Sometimes falling asleep isn't as easy as it should be, like when you can go fishing in the morning but haven't figured out where. The usual haunts are always good options but a new spot might work out to be even better, so the argument goes on in your head until you've stayed up much too late. Then, more often than not, you end up sleeping in and eliminating so many of the options that you had considered. Pretty much how I decided to hit up one of the local streams this morning on the search for my first fish of the year. 

The morning (yes, it was still morning. I only slept in a little) was warmer than it has been lately and there was even some good cloud cover that I thought would help the fishing. So anxious to get on the water I put my waders on at the house so I wouldn't have to waste any time once I arrived. Good thing too, since the first two hours of fishing yielded zero fish. No hits, no fish spotted, nada. I started out using the dependable black Wooly Bugger only to find the fish weren't interested. I had figured that might be the case while I was not sleeping the night before, so I put on the nymph indicator rig to try and dredge something up. I tried every fly, in every color and/or size that I thought would get rid of the skunk to no avail. 

Heading back to the car, tail between my legs, I spotted what would surely turn this day around, a rising fish! Off came the nymphs and I set about rebuilding my leader to make better use of the small dry fly. I chose a red Zebra Parachute in a size 20 since I wasn't seeing the fish's nose when it ate and hoped this would be a good emerging pattern. The first cast splashed a little more than the fish liked because I had forgotten to take off the strike indicator! I may have been a little excited at the prospect of my first fish being caught on a dry. Off came the indicator as I waited for the fish to show himself again. Once he had come back and eaten a couple of times I risked a cast. Perfect! The fish ate after the fly had only floated down current a few inches and I set the hook. Somehow, the perfection ended there as the fly came free without so much as a hitch and right into a tree. As I tied on a new fly the fish showed himself again and I had another shot. Another good cast was met with another good eat and I tightened the line to feel the weight of the fish for a moment before he came loose...


I figured it was a done deal as I made my way back to the car. There were no more risers in sight. I put the wooly bugger back on just to try one of the spots before calling it a day. No sooner said than done, I had the first fish of the year in hand. A quick pic and release and my fishing year was underway. 
Hope you're as lucky,
Kidder