Saturday, June 28, 2008

More fishing

The fishing bug bit hard this week, I just had to wet a line. On Wednesday I took our scouts to a nearby lake hoping to get a few casts in but that didn't work out quite the way I wanted...Those so inclined can read all about that adventure here.

My next chance was Friday. I generally have Friday's off and get to play with my son all day so I thought I'd try to take him fishing for the first time. I'll admit, this was a long shot. Trying to get a 17 month old to sit still long enough to even string up a pole proved too much of a challenge. It turned into a pleasant walk around the lake though.

Not one to be easily discouraged however I called up Louis (you may remember him from this post) on Friday night to see if he'd like to try the lake in the morning. Not only did he agree to come along, he offered to bring his boat! Wahoo! Neither of us had really fished the targeted lake before so a boat would allow us to cover more water and get to the better spots (or so we hoped).

Saturday morning dawned overcast and downright chilly but our spirits were high as we motored out onto the lake. A friend had suggested that along the dam was the best area to try so we made a few passes to get ourselves warmed up (figuratively speaking, since we were both shivering regardless...). After an hour or so we decided that there were no fish in that dam spot and motored toward the docks. With Louis expertly guiding the craft and generously allowing me to fish, we finally hooked our first of the day:

Not a lunker by any means, but a fish is a fish and if we had to end the day right then at least we could say we hadn't been skunked...Thankfully we didn't have to end! We tried a few more spots, I caught a guppy that might have put me ahead in the smallest fish ever caught contest and a small perch while trolling, but nothing too exciting.

We decided to head back to a small cove where we'd seen some fish earlier in the day; Just as we arrived and were getting ready to take our first casts the water virtually exploded around us! We knew there were stripped bass in the lake, the Colorado State record was actually pulled from those very waters, but hadn't thought much of it until then. Shad came flying out of the water as perhaps a dozen HUGE stripped bass rolled and lunged after them. It was an incredible sight but it ended as quickly as it began. I'd taken a few casts into the fray with my measely spinner but Louis pointed out that the strippers were after a meal not an appetizer, the shad they had been chasing were 6 to 8 inches long and my spinner was only 2. With our hearts pounding after the spectacle Louis rigged up a top water lure that he'd used for salt water fishing when he lived in Texas. It was a gigantic lure, probably 8 inches long, and, despite what I'd just seen, given the guppies we'd been catching up until that point I was more than a little skeptical that a lure that size would do any good. I casually tossed out my puny spinner again as Louis heaved the top water lure toward where we'd seen the strippers.

I wasn't really paying any attention when Louis suddenly shouts, "Whoa! Look at that!" My eyes darted to where his lure sat dancing in the water as a stripped silver monster rolled over once, twice, three times, knocking his lure clear out of the water before this:

Despite the ending, it made our day! Of course I immediately borrowed a gigantic lure and started lobbing it in the general vacinity but sometimes one chance is all you get. We trolled around for another half an hour trying to entice another monster out of the deep but there were no more takers. We pulled the boat out of the water with smiles on our faces and stories of the one that got away.

Needless to say, we'll be back!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Passed Inspection!

A Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) Officer stopped by Saturday morning and looked over the mews. Everything checked out so my paperwork is off to the Feds. Hopefully I'll be a licensed falconer again within the next month or so. Moral of the story: Once you've jumped through all the hoops once put all your paperwork in a lockbox in a safe place so you don't have to do it again!

Now all I have to do is wait for the fall. Only 81 days until trapping season...but who's counting? :-)

Friday, June 06, 2008

Mini Hawkbox 小型の鷹箱

With my mews finished and awaiting inspection next Saturday and having finished school for the summer I jumped right in and got to work on another project (I've always got something I want to build/make/invent for falconry!). Today I made a mini hawkbox. I've got an awesome large box already from my friend in Japan, and it will get plenty of use someday, but it's a little oversized for a tiny kestrel so I put my creativity to work and came up with this little number:


I had no dimensions to go by for a small box like this so I just guessed. It's 16"x10"x12" (LxWxH) and I think it will do the job of transporting the kestrel to and from hunting fields just fine.

There's still 3 more months before trapping season so plenty of time to make more stuff!