Sunday, February 23, 2020

Filming My Fishing Trips

I have been spending time this past week working with some Video Editing software. I needed a more advanced version than I've been using in the past. I'm still in the process of learning all the ins and outs of this newer version. 
I've decided I am going to film more of my fishing trips this year, especially on Smith Lake. Smith is the only place that I haven't filmed a video. The video below was filmed using my Contour camera. The camera is attached to a cap I wear and anywhere I point my head I get video action. One of the things I have to get used to is moving my head fast which will affect the quality of the video. So I'm posting a video I recently completed for you guys to view.  This video is from previous videos I've filmed on the Sipsey.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Testing the Waters

There's been one day in the last two weeks here in Jasper that was suitable enough to fish and that was last Monday. The rest of the time it has been raining with flooding. Ivan and I boarded my Pelican boat and fished Monday afternoon on beautiful Walker Lake. We wanted to see if the bluegill and red-eye bass had moved into the shallow water next to the banks. We spent a good three hours casting small poppers and nymphs in some areas we both had fished before. 
I had to change poppers quite a few times before I got this bluegill to sniff hit it. Sniff hit meaning an extremely light hit, making me believe that the fish was annoyed with popper. This fish and the other small ones we landed were at least 6 to 7 ft. away from the banks; in other words no bank action at all. 
A slight breeze all afternoon kept the water surface laced with ripples. The only place we got any surface action at times was when found a smooth surface area.  Some small lakes take on a drab look in the winter months, but not Walker it retains its beauty throughout the year with large pine and oak trees lining its banks. 
Ivan landed this bluegill using a small Betts white popper. He spent a good hour fishing various colored popper patterns before this fish hit. Letting the popper sit motionless for a short period produced the strike. I was surprised that no fish was landed using the nymph. I told Ivan before we launched the boat that landing fish would be secondary for me this afternoon because I was just glad to get on the water. 
The levee was one area to avoid the wind. Poppers don't produce well when fishing choppy water surfaces. There was no red-eyed bass landed on this day. The red-eyed bass is native to the creek that feeds Walker Lake. The largest I've ever landed here was in the 12" size. 
The size 10 Betts popper is one of my favorites when fishing for finicky fish. The white and red Betts poppers were the winners today that got the bluegill's attention. Color does make a difference when fishing for bluegill. Most fishermen will tell you that bluegill is stupid and will hit anything cast their way; not the case when fishing out of season for this fish. Catching this size bluegill on a 2 and 3 weight fly rod is a blast. All of the small nooks in this lake doesn't require one to fish with a long fly rod. A 7 1/2 foot fly rod is a great choice to cover the banks making a short cast. 
As I get older I've come to realize that one doesn't have to land the largest and the most fish. Today's trip was a great example of that statement!!

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Wood Projects

The winter months are a slow time of the year for me, mainly because of the limited time I spend on the water. Living in the deep South one doesn't encounter the extreme cold that the rest of the country experiences. 30 to 40-degree weather here is cold enough to keep folks inside, especially me. I can remember when I was younger I could endure the cold much better. Now I spend the colder days working in my woodshop, blogging, going to the gym, ancestry research and watching older movies, especially westerns. 
As for today's movies, there a very few that interest me. While I'm trashing today's movies I might as well lump the music of today in there too. The late sixties, seventies, and eighties had some of the best music ever. In other words, those individuals could sing and deliver a song with meaning. 
Sorry for straying away from my post title, "Wood Projects." I've spent the last 3 weeks working on three wall shelves for the grandchildren which will hang from there newly painted rooms. They needed some shelf space to display all the items they have accumulated since birth. I'm amazed at what a 10, 7 and 5-year-old have collected. 
The next step is getting the paint on all 3 wall shelves. 32"wide and 42"tall should display a lot of the kid's items they have collected.

My love of woodworking was developed during my teenage years working at my Dad's sawmill. My younger brother and I would spend the summer working at the mill while we were out of school. After high school, I attended a local Jr. College where I signed up for a woodworking class to take as an elective. At the time I wanted to be a history teacher, but after taking the wood class I decided I would change my major and become an Industrial Arts Teacher. It was a wise decision for me because it enabled me to do something that I enjoyed. In all my years of teaching, I never had to carry any of my students to the Principals office. I was blessed to have taught some outstanding individuals. 
I spend a lot of time in this 12 X 12 shop in the winter months. I'm still working on hanging some of my clamps.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

My New Fishing Buddy

I kicked off my 2020 fly fishing season this afternoon, on Walker County Lake. Little did I know that this year's opening for 2020 would be a memorable one. Why, because I would meet a little guy that was as excited as me to land fish. This eight-year-old name James reminded me of my own grandchildren. James, his sister, and his parents were fishing for catfish and trout using redworms. The parents had landed a couple of catfish but no trout. When James saw me land a nice size trout he ran over close to me and wanted to get a closer look at the fish. His mom told me that he had never seen a trout up close and thank me for letting him touch the rainbow. I saw how excited he was so I told her and her husband that I would be happy to let him land the next three I hope to land. So James waited patiently while I landed my 4 limit trout per fisherman. 
James' little sister wanted to get in on the action; one proud little guy with his sister to offer encouragement! Congrats James on landing some quality trout.
Walker County Lake is beautiful this time of the year. We've had a lot of rain lately causing the water level to be quite high. Even with all the overflow the lake still stays super clear. I'm looking forward to landing some supersize bluegill starting early March on this outstanding bluegill lake!! 

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

This and That

Winter is a slow time of the year for me especially if the weather conditions aren't suitable to wet a fly. On those days that I'm cooped inside; my time is spent doing quick workouts at the gym, reading blogs, Ancestry work, watching fly fishing videos and just maybe a trout fishing outing. This past Thursday was one of those rare fishing trips. Thursday was the only day I could go because of other jobs and things my wife had planned for us as Christmas gets closer. 
The caretaker at the lake told me he was closing Thursday evening after me and a few other fishermen left. The lake opens again the middle of January. So Thursday would end my fly fishing on Walker County Lake for another year. I assured him I would be back in January if the weather would cooperate. 
This one rainbow made the few hours fished a success. Released back into the lake for someone else to land in 2020!!
Cathey and I got to make a trip back in October through the New England area. We scheduled the trip so we could witness some of the spectacular foliage that occurs each year in the area. Vermont top the list of states we visited with some of the prettiest foliage. 
In full form in Manchester Vermont. 
The scenic Batten Kill river flowing through the small town of Manchester Vt. Wish I could have fished this awesome looking river.
Portland Lighthouse in Cape Elizabeth Maine
Rock formation along the shores in Cape Elizabeth; the boulders actually look like petrified wood.
 The largest house on the Kennedy Compound where Ethel Kennedy still lives. Two other houses are on six acres of waterfront property on Cape Cod along Nantucket Sound in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts. We couldn't believe we got this close to the big house before security waved us away, quite an experience! This is a trip we had been planning for years and was glad we were able to make it during great weather. 

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Exploring the Smokey Mountain National Park

If you like the mountains as we do then one of the best places to see some scenic beauty is in the Great Smokey Mountains. Cathey and I usually make at least one trip a year to the Smokies. On this trip, we meet our daughter's family there for a few days of relaxing. One day was spent at Dollywood with the grandchildren in Pigeon Forge. We seldom spend any time in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg because both places have become so commercialized. 

The main attraction for fly fishermen is the spring-fed Little Pigeon River flowing through Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. I have to fish it before I retire my fly rod. My son-in-law fished the river some years ago when they were visiting Gatlinburg with his family and landed numerous rainbow. Most all the trout in the river are stocked rainbow and brook trout. Very few wild trout are landed near the towns.

B. T. and I wanted Bryson and Cash to see the mountains up close so we spent the better part of another day exploring. Their sister Laelyn went shopping with Mom and Meme.

We were above the clouds atop Clingman Dome the highest point in Tennessee. The ranger told us we were 6,775 ft. up. The hike up the steep trail nearly a mile was a workout. There were benches along the way for breaks. Many individuals made the hike up to the summit to stand on the big concrete circular platform for an awesome view.

A little rock climbing on the way up------how I wish I had this stump in my front yard. 

The spruce trees were still draped with clouds as we made our way under the tree canopy. The ground was a soft sponge of decayed spruce foliage that had built up over time; very comfortable to walk on.  I don't know the name of the mushrooms that dotted the forest floor. I do know they were not Portobello.

A lot of blowdown in places simply because of the thick growth of the spruce trees. Cash soon realized he needed that jacket. Down below the temp was in the 70's atop the dome it was in the '40s. 

 The shirt says it all!!

Nothing like spending time with the grandchildren!!!