Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Anniversary Weekend

This coming weekend the wife and I will be celebrating our 27th wedding anniversary. We will be taking off work Friday and Monday to make it a four day event.
I gave her a choice of several different locations we have not seen. For instance, A boat trip to see Niagara Falls, Wine tasting in Napa Valley, Eat lobster tails in Main, A spa weekend in South Carolina and so on. I know those are a little on the extravagant side, but for the past few years we have not done really anything to celebrate putting up with each other.

The deal is, about three months ago I traded in our bumper pull camper and bought her a new 5th wheel.

We have only used it twice and she was really wanting to do something that included us and the camper.
Being we are not the sitting around and do nothing types, we plan to relax on the rivers in Beavers Bend Oklahoma doing some fly fishing. We try to go there once a year anyway and have not been this year so this makes a great opportunity to kill two birds with one stone. This will be good and way cheaper than the options I gave her.

Other updates,
This past weekend we looked at a hunting lease twenty minutes South of Hope Arkansas. I went ahead and bought in and now trying to gather all the supplies. It has been a few years since I have been a part of a lease and did not have the equipment needed to effectively hunt out of town. I plan on keeping the nearby areas hunted last year here at the house ready to hunt whenever I am not out of town. This lease will be good for deer and turkey.

Tiny House,
The kitchen is finally done. Cabinets and floors are painted and pantry installed. No more prepping off of plywood counter tops and and sweeping unfinished floors.
The plan was to build on the outdoor deck, kitchen and eating/sitting areas this fall and have more room, but now hunting took that money and time away from me. So maybe next year instead of an outdoor kitchen I may build on a man cave/adventure cave with a wine and cigar bar.
My wife is saying I am getting cityfied and "High Kept." Who wouldn't want a log cabin room, fake bear skin rug on the floor, watching the game on a flat screen, with a fat cigar and enjoying a class of chardonnay? LOL

I hope I will have some pictures from the all the fish we catch this weekend,

Saturday, August 12, 2017

We Fish

The Temperatures in Canada were from 38 degrees in the mornings to 62 during the hot part of the afternoon. And they call this their summer.

I have been to a lot of places I did not want to return from. The Canada fishing trip ranks at the top of that list. A thousand different "only ifs" were running through my mind as I took in a trip of a lifetime.  The folks living there and the people who have been multiple times might not see the draw anymore, but this old Texas country boy, who has never seen anything like this, could never get tired of it.

I have been back for a couple of weeks now and have been trying to figure out how to describe my experience. I have shown my friends and family the pictures and told most of the stories about the adventure.  Even now I cannot come up with the words or show enough pictures to do it justice. The photos do not describe what I was seeing and the stories do not tell the details of what I experienced.

With my lack of professional story telling through words, I will try one instance and see how it turns out.
White knuckled, holding on for dear life, it was my first time in a float plane. The wind was whipping at twenty miles per hour south to south west causing white caps to break over on the vast waters of Hatchet Lake. The 1957 model, single prop, flying tank was struggling to get off the water and gain
the altitude needed to clear the fast approaching tree line. Andy, the experienced bush pilot with a heavy Canadian accent was using all four of his limbs turning nobs, pulling levers and cursing the waves, wind and the old technology was earning his pay today. The roar of the plan was almost deafening and the vibrations were blurring my vision making my eyes rattle. A few more hard bounces off the water and we were off. "Are we going to clear the trees?" In a panic I almost shouted out loud to whoever would answer me. I turned to see the expressions of the other passengers. Two guides, a deck hand and three other fishermen who have done this many times before were seated calmly looking out the window or reading a book. With all of them not as worried as me, I simply braced myself, stared at the floor and hoped for the best.
At 1200 feet the winds were not near as bad as they were on the water. The flying hunk of iron dived, climbed and even kicked sideways a time or two, but she still plowed through the air like she was on a mission. The constant roar was hypnotizing in a calming type of way and for the next twenty minutes I tried to enjoy the ride.
The landing was a lot less eventful, but in my opinion Andy did bring it in a little too steep. Through the front windshield all I could see was the water fast approaching and with the same death grip I just realized I have been holding for almost thirty minutes now, I braced myself for impact. I will never forget the smoothness of my first water landing. 
By expecting and almost experiencing the worse I was surprised of the calm attitudes everyone was showing. Like they have done it many times before, the pilot, the deck hand, the guides and even the other fishermen all unloaded the flying death machine into two sixteen foot V-Bottom boats. You could say I was still in shock because it was not until Andy and the flying/floating terror of death had taken off before I realized it was all quiet and we were alone.                    
Alone, that was my first thought. I was practically stranded in the Canadian wilderness not knowing how or where to go to get back to civilization. What if the plane dose not make it back to pick us up? What if a huge storm blows in and Andy cannot come get us for days? What if the boat sinks, What if, what if, what if was all I could think about. Instead of enjoying my first time to do any of this, I was afraid of the what ifs. Looking around I was already seeing what I could utilize for shelter, fire and some way of surviving until help could find us. I was sure they knew where we were and could come get us, wouldn't they?
"Jerry! Jerry! Jerry!" I snapped out of my trance like state on wondering who I was going to eat first in the extreme event I had nothing else to find my fishing partner PJ yelling and waving at me to get in the boat. "It's time to fish" he said. PJ is an avid fisherman/hunter who actually does more than I do. We compare stories and pictures during the work week on what we caught or killed the weekend before like it's some kind of competition. 
"Five dollars first fish?" he asked. "Sure, but it has to be a Canadian five and the looser has to sign it." I said back. He smiled and agreed.
Our guide, Billy, had the little boat wide open. We scooted across the choppy water as fast as the little 25HP Mercury would push us. I did not plan on loosing the bet and needed to be the first lure in the water to up my chances. In a fury I was trying to tie on a spoon to the end of my line. PJ saw what I was up to and he began to do the same. I am sure Billy got a good laugh at watching us trying to string our poles and attach the bait while being bounced around in the small confines of the little boat. I didn't even get the chance to admire my surroundings, I was too busy trying to catch that fist pike. I don't know if it was PJ's plan or not, but it worked. Being competitive and only thinking about winning the bet and having all the bragging rights took my mind off the rough water we should not have been boating in. Just like magic the two and half foot swells died down to a more manageable size as the boat came to sliding halt. It was like the lake knew it was time to fish.
"What are we doing Billy?" PJ asked.
"We fish." Billy said without any expression what so ever. 
Billy in an native Cree Indian who lives about four hours south of where we were fishing. Winter fur trapping and summer guide fishing is his only income. Having never visited a big city most of our stories we were telling him fell on deaf ears because had little understanding of life outside of his village.  Come to think of it, there would not have been any better person to be stranded in the Canadian wilderness with then a local native, dry since of humor and all.
I will always remember setting the hook on my first pike. That pull, the fight and the sure will of the fish to not be caught. I have landed bigger fish, but nothing that fought like the first pike. After that first catch all my fears vanished. I enjoyed the plane rides everyday, the rustic views at every turn and most of all, the quiet.  
Over all for the week I caught close to 200 fish. Pike, Walleye and Lake Trout.  I was also able to check off a few items off the old bucket list and had fun doing it.

Oh, as far as the bet, well here's the proof on who had to sign the five.

Here are some more pictures of the trip.

 Talk to ya next time,


Monday, July 10, 2017

Final Preps

This week is all about the final preparations before my Canada fishing trip.
 I will be heading off to Hatchet Lake in Saskatchewan Sunday spending a week with some guys from work.
My company sends a few guys every year to give them a much needed break from work and to show them their appreciation for what they do and I got picked to go this year.
This will be my first time to go and hopefully not the last.

The biggest problem I am facing is the "What If" factor. What if I get stranded out on one of the many lakes, in a storm, not able to fly back to the lodge and have to seek shelter for a couple of days. Do I bring all the stuff to survive?
There, of course, is a weight limit on the amount of luggage you can bring everyday on the puddle jumping little airplanes. I will already be bringing poles, tackle, rain gear and two changes of clothes so I wonder if there will be room for MREs, fire making equipment and everything else I will potentially need. (Hatchet, ropes, tarps, emergency blankets, ect....)   
Talking with some of the guys that have been before, they all say to not worry and to just go and enjoy, but having a prepper mentality, that is hard to do.  

The biggest issue I have faced is the completely different type of fishing from what I normally do. Different fish, different tackle and different set ups all together. I had to buy most all new lures, travel cases and regular gear I did not have like layered clothes and so on. So in all, this free trip has cost a small fortune.

With the wife being out of town this week on business this gives me the perfect opportunity to pack, unpack, pack again and then redo it all once or twice more without her complaining I am taking up the entire tiny house with all my stuff. 
She says with all my new stuff I am "High Kept." I have a little story about being "High Kept" I want to share with you that happen this weekend. I may post that tomorrow or later on this week.

See ya,

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Where To Begin

I know it has been awhile, but my life is anything but normal.
I will update y'all month by month

I left off with the house burning last Thanksgiving. The insurance came through and we were able to pay the house off. The problem was there was nothing left over to rebuild. I could have rebuilt and still have a mortgage or just pay the place off and get it out of my name. The clean up would have cost more than the land was worth so there was no way to recoup that cost.  I decided to wash my hands of it and just sign it back over to the mortgage holder and let them pay for the clean up. It is no longer my problem.

Christmas was great. Not much of anything happen. We did a lot of fishing and hunting throughout the month. We had a couple of deer blinds and hog traps set out over winter. 


I bit the bullet and bought a boat.
It took me several years to find the right one and I am glad I did.


I don't get to use it as much as I fantasized about the day I brought it home.
It seems every weekend I work the weather is perfect for boating and the weekends I don't work the wind and rain just won't let me go out.

As you can see here it was January and cold, but I was not going to let that stand in the way of a good time. 

We did a lot of fishing and hunting this month and even added in a few chili cook offs.

A lot happen this month. What little winter we had was over so it was time to get to work.
I was in desperate need for a little shed to store some junk and get it out of my dad's barn so I built one. 

  My company had their winter retreat in Hawaii and we got to go.  
I finally got to cross off deep sea fishing from my bucket list.
The islands are really not my thing, but I was not about to turn down a free once in a life time trip.  Either way it was amazing. I got to do a bunch and see a lot of things I thought I would never do.

I wouldn't mind going back, but I would not stay at Waikiki if it was on my dime.  

Not really much. We fished a bunch, worked too much and slept even less. March wore me out.

My brother made me a deal I could not refuse on his hot tub so I built a little deck and wind screen walls out back of the house for it to sit.
Now I can sit out back and watch the sun set or during dove season sit in my hot tub while hunting.

Now that I have a hot tube, why not just make it a spa area. I found this sauna an ol boy really wanted to get rid of very cheap so I got it.
Now, I sweat enough at work and working around here, but there is something about that infrared heat that just makes you feel good and soothes those tied muscles.  All that fishing takes a toll on your body.
I am a firm believer in saunas now.

Two weeks ago I took all my girls including both grand babies to Texas Ladies State Chili Cook Off down in Seguin. It was the first time all three of my girls and the wife all cooked together. It was really cool to spend the weekend with them all, but it was a long way to haul the camper.

Storms, storms and more storms
We had a section of the barn roof blow off and last weekend we finally got that repaired. It seems every week another severe storm comes through. Even though it was Easter weekend and the wind was too high to take the boat out, we got a lot accomplished around the farm.

I am sure I have left out several things and many details but those can be something else to post about later.

One thing I can say about all my projects is I have a great support group. My dad, my nephew and my good buddy Kris are always willing to lend a hand. Most of the stuff I do takes two or three people and if it weren't for these guys I could not get it done and just go fishing.

See ya next time,