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Tags: Beretta, calling, Crows, Oscoda, Shotgun, Van Etten Lake
Categories : Hunting
Crow hunting has to be the easiest, most relaxing type of hunting I know. I get to sit in my parents living room and watch fishing shows until I hear the sound of a crow in the distance. Once I do I put on my coat, grab my shotgun and caller and walk across the street which, is state land. After about a 200 yard walk I load the shotgun, turn on the caller, hide in some bushes and start shooting about 10 seconds later. It’s just that easy.
To be fair though I do have an ideal set up. My parents live on a dead end street in northern Oscoda near Van Etten lake. The north end of the lake is surrounded by huge pines that the crows roost in overnight and generally hang out at all day long. Across the street is state land that was lumbered out a few years back. It was never re-planted so there are a lot of small oak and pine trees popping up all around it. This has resulted in lots of small clumps of trees and bushes that make excellent cover. A two track runs right through the middle which makes for easy walking. All I have to do is hide in a clump of short trees, turn on the crow distress cd (yeah a CD, not a pre-programmed caller) and wait. Usually it doesn’t take long, they don’t have far to fly. The only draw back is that it is usually a very quick hunt, like less than a minute. Sometimes I get lucky and a straggler will come in a few minutes later but for the most part it is done pretty quick. Once I’m done shooting I pick up my birds and stuff and walk back to the house and go back to watching fishing shows.
Life is rough……
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Tags: Drift, Fishing, Flies, Floats, Huroc Park, Jigs, Lower Huron, Orivs, Plugs, Reach, Ross, Simms, Steelhead, Swiniging
Categories : Fishing
I spent the better part of this past weekend helping my friends out at their gun show. Dean and Barry have been putting on this show a couple times a year for quite some time now. I usually sit at the front and collect the fees and check the firearms coming in that people are trying to sell. It can be fun but it can also be a drain. Sitting there for 7 hours and answering the same question over and over can really wear on you. Once the show ended at 5 I thought I would go down to the lower Huron river and practice my swing casting some more. I am heading up to Oscoda next weekend to work on my boat and get a little steelhead time in. I wasn’t expecting to catch anything, I just needed to practice and de-compress a bit.
I walked around for a bit before I got set up and checked the water levels and to see if anyone was catching anything. I wanted to try a specific spot so I walked there first. On my way I saw another fly fisherman in the stream spey casting as well. I watched for a bit, checking to see how he was handling the faster current. After a few minutes I continued on and saw the spot I wanted to fish was open so I went back to get rigged up.
I put on my Orvis waders and Simms boots. Next I rigged up my Ross Reach Rod and Ross Reel. Now this may look like a shameless plug but I need to mention this so I can make my point. I pulled one fly out of my box and made my way back downstream. As I was walking by I was getting peculiar looks from the people fishing. The same people that paid no attention to me before were now staring at me.
I thought for a second and then realized what it was. I had transformed into the embodiment of something I swore I would never become. A walking billboard for Orvis and everything that I thought was wrong with fly fishing. Fishermen that are more concerned with appearance than actually fishing. I hadn’t changed but now I was on the other end of the stares. I remember my first time ever steelhead fishing on the lower Huron 30 years ago. I was the kid with the spinning rod not knowing what he was doing, being judged by the “pro’s” that knew what they were doing. I remember looking at those guys with contempt as they fished with all their “fancy” gear while all I had was my Ugly Stick. Now 30 years later it is the other way around. I’m the “fancy snob” and they were the every day Joe fisherman. Again, what changed? I’m still the same person but because I wasn’t fishing the same way everyone else was I was now that walking billboard I swore I would never become. I blew it off and went about my business. I waded in and started my casting. The current was faster than what I have been on so far but I was able to figure it out and actually get some distance with my roll casts. I also learned a few things about reading the water and getting the drift right. After about half an hour I was headed back to my car. Again I got the stares and they were probably thinking, “Oh look, Mister Big Shot with his fancy rod didn’t get anything either”. Whatever.
Before I left I walked upstream towards the dam to check things out. There was one guy floating spawn so I asked him if he caught anything. I got a resounding “NO”. What the hell? Do I have a big sign on me that says I’m a jerk, don’t talk to me? When did it get like this? When did fishing become so divided. It’s fishing, a common bond amongst sportsmen and women. I just don’t get it. Granted you are going to have undesirable people in every type of outdoor activity but why here? Fishing was supposed to be a common ground for all people. We are all after the same thing, to feel that tug and watch that fish run. It shouldn’t matter how we catch one whether it be by floating spawn, drifting a jig, back trolling a plug or swinging a fly. It’s fishing, PERIOD. I don’t know why it is like this and unfortunately I don’t know how to change it. I know posting the cartoon doesn’t help the situation but I thought it was funny. It helped to prove my point though. People out there actually think this way. People can fish any way they want as long as it is legal. End of Story.
Off my soapbox now.
Back to the vise, sculpin patterns today.