October 07, 2016

Apple Fest

leaving shortly.

back sunday late.

October 06, 2016

Close Your Eyes

Long ago my father sat me down in this exact area. We walked quite a ways to get there.  He teased me and built up the place as somewhere very special. All I saw was frozen ground and trees that looked like they might be dead.

It was about 50 years ago.  I didn't see anything special but dad typically had a lesson he wanted to teach me each time we went into the outdoors. This grove of trees are certainly relatives of the ones my dad gave his profound speech to me in.

He was a nature nut.  He loved to show me the hidden beauty of things in nature.  I was kinda little then and didn't understand all the symbolism he had in his talks on stream.

This was one of his favorite places.  I didn't understand his initial talk when he gave it to me.  Eight years old are more visual and rely on immediate sensory input to understand. I remember him telling me to close my eyes and take it all in. I did what he said.

I left one of my dad's favorite places not understanding what words of wisdom he had tried to impart upon me.  He made a long speech and I kinda tuned him out.  All I remembered from the "Wonders of Nature" speech was things are not what they seem always. He kept saying take it all in.  Use all your senses.

About 30 days later we returned to fish the same area.  Dad made a point to open all the windows in the vehicle just before we pulled up to his special spot. I could see Dad's grove of trees on the hillside quite far away. I saw my dad smile when he saw my eyes grow large and take in a long slow breath.

I thought I had not understood dad's wonders of nature speech when he gave it but I did.  It all became crystal clear as I got out of the car. We made the long walk up to the grove of trees in silence.

We sat down at the exact spot from a month ago. The once dry brown grass was green and the snow was gone. Winter had released its frigid grasp upon my stream.  Nature was alive again.

The barren trees of a month ago now were decorated with a white bonnet of blossoms. He asked me if I needed to close my eyes again. The plum blossoms' smell was indescribable. I smelled them the second he opened the car windows from 300 yards away.

As I sit here today and close my eyes like my dad told me to do 50 years ago I can still smell those plum blossoms. I can hear him say: "Smell that?"  " Better than any high priced perfume from France or Italy."  He taught me to love and respect nature.

October 05, 2016

Season's End

October 15th is screaming up on us.

You better get out there and fish.

The excuse the weeds are too high is not true.

The last gully washer knocked the weeds down.

It will be the last good trout fishing until March.

Saturday night the temps will get near freezing and skitoes will be dealt a death blow.

Get out there!!!!

October 02, 2016

The snag began to move

Krysz and I fished this evening.
The outing began gangbusters.
Krysz landed a 17/18/19 incher in the first hole.
He lost another large brown there and had
a snag that moved there also and shook his lure.
 Krysz landed 28 browns and 4 huge chubs.
I landed a dozen browns mostly spectating.


The Fishing Spider

 I saw the commotion from about 40 yards. Lots of wing flapping and movement. I took a break from trout fishing and quickly approached the action. My camera was out and I started taking photos from 30 feet out. When I got closer I saw a huge dark-colored spider in a battle with a big butterfly.

The spider was having its way with the butterfly. The spider was so large I was afraid to get close to it at first. It looked very busy trying to consume this butterfly so I took my chances and got a couple close-ups of the death match. The butterfly was really struggling and I felt sorry for it and gave the spider a nudge with the end of my rod and it quickly retreated down the stalk of vegetation it was on.

The butterfly sat there for a while putting itself back together. The spider made a couple more runs up the stalk to try to resume the battle but I blocked it each time. The butterfly flew away. The HUGE spider then went on with its search for food. They hunt on the surface of still or slow moving fresh water. They row themselves across the surface supported by the surface tension, and can also sail across on the wind.

Initially I believed the spider to be a wolf spider. I went on the internet to search spiders and narrowed the type of spider to either a wolf spider or a fishing spider. The eyes were what made me think it was NOT a wolf spider.

 I sent away the photo to an insect specialist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Five months after my query I got an email back and the professor identified the spider as a female fishing spider. He also said the butterfly was a question mark butterfly.

 The fishing spider can go under the surface and trap prey such as minnows in its front legs.  They can get up to three inches in body length.   They have unique lungs that are almost like accordions that trap oxygen in them.  This allows them to stay under the water to hunt much longer than you would expect.