Thursday, May 26, 2011

Things of an Owlie Nature

I love getting mail. Let me rephrase that. I love getting pertinent, enjoyable mail. Opening a letter from friend or family is always fun. Opening a package is even more exciting. Especially when you are not sure what is inside.

I came in 2nd place in the Rise Fishing Giveaway contest help by Owl Jones. Yesterday, I found a package leaning against my door, waiting for me to come home.

Inside I found a new Morell magnetic fly box, about 15 hand tied flies made by none other than Owl Jones himself (guaranteed to catch fish), a beautiful brook trout pin, a retracting tool holder, and a fancy Rise Fishing Co. decal sticker.

Other Owl related items. Mr. Jones is working on a Fly Fishing Across America trip this summer. What I like most about it (besides wishing it was me going on the journey) is that he is trying to connect with other outdoor bloggers along the way. There already is an OBN summer rendezvous scheduled and I believe his plan is to stop by that as well. Since this is Owl Jones we are talking about, he will be filming the entire thing. I am imagining an epic hour long movie showing us the fun and beauty of fly fishing in state after state.

Anyway, I'm supporting this trip, in writing and with a small monetary donation (money should never stand in the way of a dream. It is a real world reality, but a silly one). I'm posting a link on the side of my page, an Owl Jones one and hope you have a moment to check him out. As he says, at the very least, he is entertaining.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Southern Culture on the Fly

I stumbled across this on the side of Owl Jones' Place. As far as I can gather, it is similar to Catch Magazine (in terms of photography, video and variety of fish), but with more words and focussed on The Southern US. They have their preview, or "spring thaw" issue to the upcoming October 2011 inaugural issue here.

I laughed a bit while reading it. I like the attitude. An enjoyable preview for what is sure to be a fun online periodical.

In Which I Re-discover a Book that Changed My Life

There are a lot of people who think really insightful things. Some of them, can convey them with speech, written word, or both. ( follow the link, when you get a chance. it's better written word than what you'll find here :) For me, Jean Craighead George thought and said something really, really worthwhile. Thankfully, he wrote it down. It was delivered to me in the form of children's fiction literature.

It wasn't until I came across his book in grade school, that I really began to daydream about my relationship with the outside world around me. It took a story about Sam Gribley, a runaway from New York City, to show me how intimate the outdoor world could be.

I swung by my parent's house a week or so ago, and I found the book on the shelf in my old bedroom. I find it funny that such a short book can be the reason I have practically fantasized that I was Will Smith from "I am Legend" or Tom Hanks in "Castaway."

Long ago, David sat reading "My Side of the Mountain" and believed that could be me. I could hollow out a tree. Learn to live off that land. Find peace in the noises of the forrest. But when it came time to commit and really run away, I got only as far as those before me. I packed my ninja turtle suitcase, considered the inconvenience of having to come home to make my daily peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and decided it wasn't worth the effort.

I think that is why, whenever I read about someone else's grand, outdoor journey, get a chance to sit in the quite of the wilderness, or see a photo that transports me to a place of untouched beauty and solitude, I simultaneously feel at home and a pang of longing to be closer to the wild. Closer to the Earth and her animals. Further from fumes and concrete. I love the natural world, and always wish I could be as close to it as Sam Gribley.

If you get a chance this summer, read it again or for the first time. Maybe read or give it to a child. It has directly and indirectly given me so much joy, I can hardly believe it.

Let me take a moment to point out the title of this post. "In Which I Re-discover a Book that Changed My Life." I didn't say "the" book that changed my life. I acknowledge there are many more books important to me.

Do you have a book or story that impacted you unlike any other?

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Final gig in Omaha.

The Benson Grind has been good to me. It may be a long time before I play again. Good times. Thanks for coming Sara, pete, Tina, will, and Amanda.

Friday, May 20, 2011

ONE of our favorite late night stops in Omaha

Open 10pm-10am. Donuts are home made and always fresh. You drop coins in a box to pay for your coffee and there is alway a game of cards being played. Oh, Donut Stop, I will miss thee.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Video by Henry Harrison: Fly Fishing is a Joke

This is a beautiful project. The video has been online for a couple months, I guess. I stumbled across it this morning with my coffee. It was for his MFA Thesis for Montana State University.

It is about 10 mins and may take some time to load. If it does, let it do so while you prepare something to eat or drink, throw in a load of laundry, pay your bills, tie a fly, contemplate the remaining American Idol contestants, whatever, just make sure to sit and watch. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. He doesn't start narrating until about a minute and a half into it.

Fly Fishing is a Joke from Henry Harrison on Vimeo.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Little Mermaid Post

Well, well, well. What do we have here? Another quick trip to Walnut Creek turned out to be fun and productive. I wanted to stick to a frog-like popper since the hopping amphibians have been active lately in Nebraska. After downsizing about 3 times, and switching to a dark body to create a nice silhouette in the sunlight, I found what the fishies liked. I caught a little over 30 bluegill and 3 largemouth bass. Two bass with decent size, a 15" and a 11". The 3rd was the size of my thumb. We were all that size once, I suppose. Yes, you were once the size of a fish. Smaller even.

While fishing, a female Redwing Black Bird got all flustered by my presence. I looked down and happened to see her slowly developing family. After a quick photo, I moved on to set the fretting mother at ease. I think she appreciated my departure.

Next to the big bass, the highlight of the day came when I saw another of my reptilian friends skating across the water. This guy put the last snakes I saw to shame with regard to size. He was a good 4-5' long. It was a Bullsnake (Pituophis catenifer). I watched as he (I'm 100% guessing on sex here) struggled to reach over the 10"+ rim and move up the grassy hill away form the water. As I followed, what did I see? Well, another Bullsnake awaiting his arrival. This one (I'm calling it a "she") was slightly smaller, more slender, and had a lighter color to her body. They both made sure to intimidate me with hissing and tail rattling. No worries though, those tails were rattle-less. (Jay, any thoughts on sex differentiation between Bullsnakes? EDIT - see Jay's thoughts in the comments below!)

"Almost there"

"Almost up"

"Sniff sniff"

"Let me go!"

I imagined Marvin Gay was blasting somewhere in their minds drawing them to do what animals do in the springtime. Unfortunately for them, they had this annoying human following them with a camera. About at romantic as Scuttle serenading Ariel and the Prince.

Anyway, I let them be and headed back to the car. It was a fun way to top off the morning.

Jay, I swear, I'm not trying to jump in on your snake game. You will always be "The Fly Fishing Snake Guy" to me. Cool?

This one goes out to the two cutest Bullsnakes in Nebraska. My part comes in at 2:22

You were wondering where the title for this post came in, weren't you?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Beautiful Pines

I really love pine trees. The shapes, colors, texture and smell. My new phone takes nice photos and here is one of some incoming cones.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Graduation week means lots of celebrating!

Toasty malt taste with a fresh hoppy finish. 5.2% abv.

Go get em fat tire!

Thursday, May 12, 2011


It was May that we walked
Beneath the tall bushes
Surrounded by a fragrance
I treasure more than any other.
In college I brought a branch to you
To keep in your dorm
For the last few days you lived there,
But in the water
They wilted.
Short lived is their bloom,
Even shorter when picked.
Enjoy them now
For soon to be gone,
Returning again the same
But always impossibly
And unbelievably better.

- David

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Fly Fishing, Snakes, and Beer

This morning I went out to Walnut Creek to cast at bass and bluegill. I couldn't entice any bass, but the bluegills were eager for a popper supper. It was a short trip. Hour and a half. But I had a lot of fun and caught about 15-20.

I also saw this little guy out for a swim.

Last Sunday, Sara and I went up to Boyer Chute Wildlife Refuge for a jog and morel hunt. Well, the jog was shorter than normal because the flood plane of the chute was completely flooded. The Missouri is still high up here in Nebraska. While stalking mushrooms in the woods, we saw 5 common garter snakes. All were pretty good sized. Lots of fun, but no mushrooms.

All snakes (including these two) were Common Garter Snakes - Red-sided variety
(Thamnophis sirtalis)

On Saturday, we got together with some good friends for a german feast. Kraut. Sausages. Spatzel. Potato pancakes and applesauce. Delish. Paired with a Sam Adams Summer Ale. Oh, so good. The Summer Ale is light and sweet. Perfect for a warm evening sitting on the porch.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Take Them Fishing!

Well, first let me say, this will probably be my last contest entry for a while :) I'm feeling like I need to do more fishing and less writing about fishing. That being said, when OBN posted a new contest in coordination withTake Me Fishing forNational Fishing and Boating Week, I had to enter. The thing is, I'm not entering for myself. This is for my nephews and niece and their families. These kids love catching fish. Notice I said, "catching fish." At their age, attention span is ... well... let's just say limited. ( see troutrageous' guest post regarding tips to make the outings more enjoyable for the little guys) So while the act of fishing (the process of seeking out the fish and not necessarily catching any) is fun to me, for these little tikes, it takes a little more stimulation. All of the goodies that Take Me Fishing will provide them with a literal package of activities to possibly make the fishing aspect more enjoyable, but definitely make the catching fish more exciting. So, yes, it will all go to them. They deserve it more than I.

They are all up in Minnesota and will soon be enjoying fishing with Grandma and Grandpa. Now, I have 3 nephews and one niece all belonging to my brother and sister. There is, however, another nephew on the way via my other brother and sister. Believe me when I say, G-ma and G-pa have their hands full when these kids are around. I want to be able to explain this to you, but I think it is better if I just show you....

Honestly, these kids kill me with joy and love. They are just so crazy fun. When they get excited, I think they are going to have a seizure. They are intensely excited when catching fish.... and when there is cake. They love cake. And frosting.

I mean look at them. They go crazy. CRAZY!

I'm hoping to get around a do some casting myself next week here in Omaha. It will be quiet time alone, relaxing and enjoying the last few weeks I have here. But I will be thinking about the joy my little buddies get from being at the Lake in Minnesota, fishing with family. I don't need someone to take me fishing anymore, but they do. And these trips while young can not only create memories, but also an appreciation for the world in which we live. That is something I think is very valuable. – National Fishing & Boating Week

The Owlie Awards

I had the honor, along with 3 others, to be awarded with an Owlie Award for my efforts in the Rise Fly Rod giveaway for the contest put on by Owl Jones. The other winners were Mike Agenta from troutrageous, Troutmanbrook, and Floggin' Water. Congrats guys and thanks to Owl!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Owl Jones Live Radio. TONIGHT.

11pm EST is the first broadcast of Owl Jones Live. Here is his post telling you what you need to do to listen. Have fun. Good luck, Owl. I think this is the on-line radio channel.

Owl, I borrowed your picture, but since I'm promoting you, I figured you'd be okay with that. Cool? Cool.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Rise Contest: Final Task

A commercial for Rise Fishing Company. Congratulations to TroutManBrook for the victory! Thanks for a fun couple of weeks.

Music by Conor Oberst, "Souled Out." Visit and Rise Fishing.

Notes about the video. I tried to tell a story about the company as well as about me. I am sort of a hack fisherman. I get the job done. I could be worse, but I thought this would be a good opportunity to make fun of myself a bit, too. Additionally, I noticed Rise Fishing Co. usually has their videos in black and white. Because of this, I decided to decrease the exposure a bit to brighten the colors. Give it a little more fluorescent feel. Lastly, I love music, so I tried to find a song that I can listen to over and over again. The point of placing the Conor Oberst song in the video and having it play so loudly was to keep the mood upbeat throughout the video and force you to listen to it :) I wanted to share a guy who isn't very mainstream.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Rise Contest: Final Task Revealed

We are almost done with this madness. Owl Jones has listed the points. It's just two contestants left. Troutman Brook and myself. Flogging Watercame in 3rd with an awesome post about hist great fishing memories.

There is one task left worth 1000 points. It is winner take all. Just like the Highlander, there can be only one.

Our task is to make a commercial for Rise fishing. It has to be a minute long, but basically can be anything. Animated, set to music. It can't have any professional actors or actresses in it though so I have to cancel Macaulay Culkin and Marisa Tomei. Probably for the better, I was having trouble getting them separate trailers.

Stay tuned!