18 and life to go.

28 08 2013

On August 28th 1995 my daughter was born at Oakwood hospital.   Now, 18 years later she is getting ready to start college.  Where did the time go?

Daddy’s little girl grew up and I feel like I missed something.  When she was younger she couldn’t wait to for me to come home from a hunting trip so she could have her picture taken with my catch.  Now she prefers to never hear about any of it.  She doesn’t even want to go fishing with me anymore.  Alex, the same girl who wanted to compete in the DWF tournaments just so she could show the “Old Guys” that she could catch walleye too.

Where did that girl go?

New Interests, New Friends, New Settings, New Boyfriends.  A father doesn’t stand a chance.  Now I know why parents can’t wait for grandkids.  That way they can do it all over again.

Happy Birthday Alex!!

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08/16/13 Report

20 08 2013

I know, it’s been awhile.  Believe it or not I haven’t had a whole lot of desire to go  out walleye fishing.  I get like this about once a year, usually in August.  Summer is winding down and my desire to chase walleye hits a lull.  Usually at this time my thoughts are turning to other things.  Hunting season is just around the corner, kids are going back to school, perch are starting up.  In other words I am just feeling the need to go do something else.  Only reason I went out this time was because my Dad was down and he needed to get out.  He was down for some tests at the VA hospital in Ann Arbor so now that that was behind him he wanted to look forward to something else.

We hit the water around 8:00 pm and as I feard the SE winds were keeping the weeds on the US side of the river.  Oh well, not much we could do about it except deal with it and that’s what we did.  I hadn’t been hearing a lot of positive reports lately so I headed down to Calf Island and figured we would make a long run up to the stacks.  Once we found some active fish I would just concentrate on that area.  Problem was we never really found some active fish.  For the next 3 hours we picked up a few when we weren’t clearing weeds off of our lines.  That was about the only drawback for the evening.  It was a clear cool night, hardly any other boats on the water and even the bugs weren’t too much of a problem.  Unfortunately the fish just didn’t want to cooperate.  We did end up with 4 and my Dad lost 2.  My 3 fish came on a #7 Downriver Steel Rapala and my Dad got his on a #9 GFR Rapala.  The water is still gin clear.  3 to 4 feet of visibility which is unheard of.  It has been like this the last month.  A lack of rain and any substantial wind has kept the water very clear.  I figured the fish wouldn’t start up until after dark but we caught most of our fish before 9:00 pm and near the Blue Boat House.  From 9 to 11 all we had to show for our efforts was a lot of weeds and 1 Sheepshead.

Still it was nice to get my Dad out on the river after a day of being poked and prodded at the Hospital.  I think our next trip is going to be up his way for some more panfish.  Unless of course he comes back down and wants to try to get into some perch.  I may do that next time I feel like taking the boat out.  After I fix the broken wire on my navigation lights and replace the bracket for my GPS.

One observation was that Elizabeth Park Marina was full of minnows.  This is not surprising but I have been hearing reports all around the lower river of bass and a few walleye being caught and coughing up minnows as they are landed.  The lower river is full of them right now so I’m sure the walleye are being very finicky as to what they will grab.  Not much of an incentive to grab an imitation lure when so much of the real thing is swimming around.  Also, I have yet to catch any 3 inch Smallmouth Bass, this years hatch.  They may just be keying in on all the minnows as well but I usually catch one or two.

TC 8-16-13





River Scout Part One

5 08 2013

 

Several months back I received an email from the Huron River Watership Council.  They were looking for volunteers for a new program they were starting up, River Scouts.  The council members are trying to collect data on the hundreds of miles of creeks and tributaries that feed into the Huron River.  Since funds are tight for this kind of field work they need volunteers.  I volunteered.

I had to attend a training meeting to find out what this was all about.  I was going to be part of a 5 person team (I have to say person because I was the only male, sometimes it’s good to be me) that was assigned to Wood Creek.  This little stream is located in Lower Huron Metro Park.  My team and I would be making 3 visits throughout the summer to take readings, pictures, clean up garbage and record any observations concerning wildlife or any aquatic critters.  Seems simple right?  Oh was I in for a surprise.

Since we are all volunteers we are doing this out of the kindness of our hearts.  If other things come up then our volunteer work will have to wait.  Such is the case with this.  Trying to schedule a time when all five of us would be available was next to impossible.  Throw in the fact that the June of 2013 received almost twice as much rain as we normally do and you can see what I was up against.  Eventually I just said to heck with everyone’s schedule and just picked a date.  July 4th.

I sent out the email stating the date and only one person showed up, Erin.  That’s okay, for what we needed to do I figured one person would be enough.  I was more worried about the water levels anyway.  The prior weekend the levels were about 4 feet above normal and made wading the stream hazardous.  I had stopped by on July 2nd to see what the level was like and it had dropped some.  My fingers were crossed that a few more days and no rain would finally allow me to do the initial testing.  Erin arrived shortly after I did and we packed up the gear and headed to the stream.  The water level was back down to normal so we waded in.  After one step I remembered that I never fixed the leak in my hip boots.  Erin just waded in with what she was wearing.  She soon found out that all natural insect repellant doesn’t work worth a damn.  They attacked her in swarms.  For some strange reason they left me alone, not that I was complaining.

Part of our work is to take temperature and water conductivity readings.  The meter they gave me takes both temperatures and measures the ions in the stream.  Anything under a reading of 2 means the water is clean and healthy.  We had to take a reading every 30 feet and mark it with GPS coordinates as well.  All of our reading were around 20 degrees Celsius (or 68 Degrees Fahrenheit) and a conductivity reading of .80.  All seems good.  The stream itself had a gravel bottom the whole length we checked.  A good sign for all those Steelheaders.  A member of the HRWC told me that they have had reports of steelhead fingerlings this far up the Huron so this may be a viable spawning area for them.

Another part of our job was to take pictures of the surrounding vegetation and make notes of any aquatic or land based wildlife.  Didn’t see any critters but I did see lots of baitfish in the stream.  As far as insects go there were a lot of damsel flies and of course about a gazillion mosquitoes. Because of this and the total failure of Erin’s all natural repellant we hurried through our sampling and got off the stream in a hurry.  She was a little annoyed that I never got bit.  Like I said before, sometimes it’s good to be me.  She was a good sport about it thought and offered to enter all our data in to the spreadsheet we were given.  I told her I would go through the pictures and add them alter when she was done.

Mission Accomplished, now all I had to do was try and schedule future visits with the rest of the team.

I’m not too optimistic about this.

Up Next, Creek Walk #2 and my Advanced Warning System.

Wood Creek (1) Wood Creek (2)