Tuesday, December 18, 2012

It's been a long time

It's been a long time since I rock and rolled...one of my  favorite songs from Led Zepplin. It's also been a long time since I put up a post on ye olde blog. That's gonna change (obviously it's changed, since I'm posting now!). I've been fishing a couple times since I last posted, got some new gear, and have generally been pretty busy! Look for a new post in a couple days...got some new waders and boots and rod and reel and trekking pole and....I think that's it. Meanwhile, here's a picture of Jayne Cobb to keep you entertained:

Friday, August 10, 2012

Happy Birthday, Peaches!

She's 9 years old (yesterday).

Luckily, she inherited my good looks...and some English person's teeth, apparently.

This is a much better picture:

She's smart, funny and has somehow inherited my sarcasm. I have no idea how that happened. She's not all that excited about fishing, but she likes to kayak, and she doesn't complain too much when I turn off the crappy pop music and turn on AC/DC. She'll even shoot whatever gun is nearest to her when asked, as long as I'm there to help. I think I'll keep her. Happy Birthday!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Whoohooo! Fishing the Broad River

It's been quite a while since I've been able to get out on the kayak and do some fishing. Between what I do as my everyday job (forensics), and what I consider "fun" at my job (simunition training for cops across the state...I'm a very good bad guy/bullet sponge!), I've been putting in serious time at the j-o-b. But with all that work, comes some overtime comp time. A full day of comp time, at that. So I decided that I needed a day on the river. But not just any river. The Broad River!

There's 3 rivers that flow near me: the Saluda, the Broad and the Congaree. I've fished the Saluda, mainly for trout because it's fed from the bottom of Lake Murray, so the water stays below 60 degrees pretty much all the time, and it's pretty fast flowing (350-1000 cfs). I've fished the Broad near downtown Columbia, and had pretty good luck with the bream, but I wanted to try the kayak on it, so I loaded up the green monster and headed north. Lucky for me, I had some friends with me!

All these guys have been good enough to hook me up with swag, so the least I can do is give out some props...image-wise, at least. I mentioned the green monster..that's really the best way I can describe my kayak.

It's a Lifetime tandem sport fisher. It was 300 bucks at Academy, and so far it's been worth every single penny, even if it handles like an aircraft carrier. But as you can see, it fits in the back of my truck, and I catch fish out of it!

I headed up to Peak, just below the Parr Reservoir. Off of Hwy 213 is a very small road that takes a sharp turn below the bridge and takes you to the canoe put-in for the Broad River. The put-in is....interesting.

Getting in was easy. Getting out was not. It just looks level in this picture. In reality there's a 10 food drop almost vertical down to the water. I'm bringing a winch next time.

I did pretty good on the water. I would paddle to some rocks, anchor off, and then fish for a while.

The Broad River is....broad. It's also pretty shallow, at least the part where I was. I was constantly running into rocks. Luckily, there was no current on the side where I was. The Parr Reservoir was just upriver from the put-in, and the greenery in the picture above was an island separating the current driven water from the still water.

I caught about 10 small bream, but only took a picture of 1...you'll have to take my word for it!

They were eating up my spider-fly. I'm no pro fly tyer, but this fly was ugly even by my standards. It was my first attempt at a bug-bodied spider. Trust me, it was ugly, but these bream were chasing it almost to the rod tip. I had 2 inch fish attacking it on top of the water! I love topwater fishing...

Here's your obligatory self-pic...notice no duckface.

I learned some stuff today, too.

I don't need 4 gallons of water, but a 20oz Pepsi does not replace sweat the way Powerade will! I was prepared to catch fish, but I saw several gar, three of which were over 2 feet long...I had no way of "catching" something like that....

and I left this in the truck. Good for me, I was wearing polarized sunglasses, so I could see the gars before I cast to them. Except for the ones that were tailing 15' from the boat. Those I cast to...but didn't catch, thank goodness. I think a pair of long needle nose pliers and a towel will be in my load out for my next trip. Along with the machete, too. I saw one snake. Unfortunately it was two feet from me, and I had just walked past it. I was anchored up behind the pillar on this railroad trestle:

and had got out of the boat to try and cast into the current. I just took a look down and saw this little snake head peeking up out of the rocks taking a look around. By little I mean I could see a foot and a half of him, and he wasn't much more than 1-2 inches in diameter. Still, it was a snake, and it was close. Too close, so I waited until it disappeared, and I very gingerly reached out to the boat and got in it without crossing back over the rocks. I'm sure I looked pretty funny trying to reach my kayak with the butt end of my fly rod...but I wasn't going back over those rocks.

With the exception of the snake, it was a great day on the water. I didn't catch anything big, but I did catch fish. Next time I'd like to paddle up to the spillway and try and float with the current down to the railroad trestle. I've got a feeling the smallmouths will be on the "current" side of the river...better food sources and all that. That, and I need to have another truck/fisher/kayaker with me so we can float down the river, load back up and retrieve my truck later. Volunteers?

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Independence Day!

I've spent the last few hours watching The History Channel's series on the American Revolution.  Here's how it really happened:

We all know the Brits used Zombies, and GW had semi-autos to deal with'em.

Because today is actually a pretty important holiday, here's a copy of the Declaration of Independence for your perusal:

The Declaration of Independence: A Transcription

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Read it. Live it. Thanks to all the folks who fought, and still fight for our freedoms. Thanks to the guys and gals in blue who strive to keep us safe here, and thanks to the firemen/women who are gonna put out the flames from my freedom celebration tonight!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Sick days and the lack of fishing

Well, I started a blog. There, I jumped straight into the deep end, and now I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to swim against the wind and current to get to the bank.  Just FYI, I'm not near as good at this as Owl Jones or TFM or T-Rage (I don't think Owl has copyrighted T-Rage as his personal nickname for Troutrageous). I don't fish as much as I want to, and I don't have a camera so I can make cool videos like YGF. I am pretty funny, though.  Just ask my wife and kids. Don't ask the 8 year old, ask the 2 year old...she thinks I'm hi-larious! That whole "this little piggy goes to market" thing just cracks her up!

I stayed home from work today...Peaches (8 year old) had a swimming party in the middle of the day, so I figured why even go into work? I took her to the party, went to library and then stopped by a new-ish outdoor gear consignment shop. If anyone is in the West Columbia area and wants to give some of your cash to a pretty neat guy, Bug Outfitters on Meeting Street is where to go.  Not a whole lot in the fly fishing department, but he's got a lot of advice on where to go, be it stripers, reds or trout around here.  Not that there's much to choose from for all you hardcore trout fishermen. It's the Saluda or nothing! And yes, the Saluda has trout in it, and not just those dinky ones that SC DNR stocks, either! There are...actual, real holdover trout!

Unfortunately, I did not go fishing today. We (Peaches and I) went yesterday to one of the local ponds with some-GASP- live bait! And we didn't catch a dang thing. Well, I caught some grass. Not even the kind you could smoke, but the sticky, clingy, slimy kind. So now I've got about a full container of worms to try and keep alive until my next outing. Maybe I'll go this weekend, when it's forecast to be in the low 100s...yeah, out on the river with no shade..that'll be AWESOME!

I guess if I'm going to make this blog thing work, I'm going to have to do something other than make fun of my wife and kids...which'll make this much harder than it should be. In future posts, look for more stories about how I got skunked in various sections of the Saluda River, the Broad River and Lake Murray. I'll take award winning pictures of myself with huge invisible fish, and you will find yourself saying, "Man, I wish I could be as cool as ElRakeman!". But you can't. Also look for updates on my new conservation project, STFU. Oh, wait...that doesn't mean what you think it means.

STFU is Southern Trout Fishing Unlimited...oh sure, it means what you think it means, too, but I'm gonna totally make it over. Into something even more awesome! Stay tuned!