Thursday, December 18, 2008
The boss called today at 5:45 A.M. and told me not to try to get to work today. It looks like winter has finally arrived in full force. So I went out to the garage to get the snow blower cranked up. Wow! I was greeted by a lot more snow than I was expecting. I thought, big deal, I'll plow the driveway and go to work. Even with the snow blower, it took over 3 hours just to clear the driveway. I'm not sure why I bothered because I'm not going anywhere till the snow in the street is cleared. It's drifted as much as 3 feet in places.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
YAHOO! Looks like I'm going to have to build a new fly rod. I have a little time though. On this day; Dec. 10, 2008, our grand daughter Heather and husband Chris presented us with a new Great Grand Daughter. At 10:49 A.M. this morning, 7 pound 1 ounce, 20", Porscia Marie, by the grace of God, was presented to the world. Mother & Child are both fine and all the right number of fingers and toes are there. I found myself asking about the baby first and our grand daughter Heather second. There was too much to think about all at once, and as a new Great Grand Father I was accordingly perplexed and befuddled. Just too happy to make much sense one way or the other. Linda made the trip from Liberty Lake to Lewiston this morning and as luck would have it, gas was only $1.549 a gallon. That was a small blessing and I'm sure if gas was $30 a gallon she would have made the trip. We are both looking forward to totally spoiling this child.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Currently, I’m involved with a 3 month bible study group called Alpha. Alpha is a study of the tenets of Christianity. There are 14 studies with study numbers 8, 9 & 10 done at what is called the weekend away. One of the sessions is called “Who is Jesus.” Some of the other sessions are called Why Did Jesus Have to Die, How Can I Avoid Sin and Why and How Do I Pray. The course is presented by a man named Nicky Gumbel who is Vicker of the Holy Trinity Church in Brompton, England. The weekend away was spent at a church camp on Silver Lake just 15 or so miles west of Spokane. All the other meetings have been at Eastpoint Church in the Spokane Valley. At these meetings, we have dinner, sing some praise songs and watch a 30 or so minute video about that day’s lesson. Afterward, we have a discussion around the table of what that day’s lesson means to us. Alpha utilizes a great format where all questions are legitimate, and no one is the teacher. We have a table host who asks questions from a leader’s guided book, and 1 or 2 helpers who are there to help stimulate conversation. This is the 3rd time I’ve attended Alpha, with the last two times being used as a helper. Maybe next time I’ll be the host.
One of the unique things about this study group is the friendships you make along the way. Opening up and revealing some of your intimate feelings about Christianity has a way of making lasting friendships.
At the weekend away, the study is about the Holy Spirit. The lessons are Who Is The Holy Spirit, What Does The Holy Spirit Do, and How Can I Be Filled With The Spirit. It’s a very powerful weekend! If you have ever wondered what it’s like to have The Holy Spirit fill your life with His presence then this is a class you will not want to miss. Personally, I really enjoyed the weekend away and I look forward to the last few meetings.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Linda went to Clarkston Wa. yesterday (Nov 8) to attend a well put together baby shower in honor of our soon to be here Great Grand Daughter. Heather and her husband Chris are expecting Porscia' Marie sometime in the first week of December. Linda had taken one of her hand made quilts as a gift for Porchia' and she had a great day getting to see some very good friends and of course family. The shower was hosted by Linda's daughter Kerry (Heather's mother) and Gloria her dad's girlfriend. It was a great time for Linda except for the trip home. It was pouring rain with a lot of standing water on the roadway. And, coming down the hill into Spokane the fog was so thick that she told me when she got home that the white line on the right side of the road was a good friend to have. I enjoy it when Linda has fun,and this was one of those times. We are both anxious to see the baby when she arrives.
Friday, November 7, 2008
First thing I had to do was to make sure the reel seat fit the rod. When I ordered it, I asked that it be specially bored to .438" so it would fit. Next thing was to fit the cork grip. It was too long so I had to shorten it by about 1" and sand it flush. Once I acquired the desired length, I bored it out with a rat tail file to a snug fit on the rod blank. Then I assembled the reel seat, cork grip and rod blank using a 50 minuted two part epoxy from Lowe's Hardware. Next thing was to fit the winding check in front of the cork grip. With all that in place it was time to attach the guides and tip top. I decided on chestnut colored nylon wrapping thread with black tipping. The spacing for the guides was determined by a chart made available by Al Campbell from Fly Anglers Online. A website dedicated to fly fishing. With all the guides and tip top in place,I applied a double coat of Gudebrod Rod Varnish to the wraps and let it dry in the rod turner. I'm really happy with the way it turned out. Last but not least was a label made for me by Eppie Lew. (Handcrafted By Lotech Joe)She works at the same label shop where I work. I think it looks great.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
THE SHADOWY ST. JOE
In those tales & fables written by venerable old friends, we hear stories of ancient rivers and streams brimming with hungry trout ready to eat any hapless bug floating downstream through a foam line or seam between fast water and slow. Such was a day on the St. Joe River of northern Idaho. Don’t get me wrong though, while those highly educated cutthroat were sipping dries, they were also ferociously attacking small streamers, and they were tempted out of some 8-12 foot deep pools to do so.
It wasn’t the best of fishing because we had to work hard for our fish. But, it was the best of fishing trips.
It tumbles out of the Bitterroot Range on the west slope of the Rocky Mountains, and then travels through deep canyons, steeped in history. Added to by a myriad of tributaries on its journey, it builds in volume and flow. The St. Joe is a freestone river & as such can be a difficult river to wade. The riverbed is cobbled with an abundance of round river rocks, and can be tricky to maintain balance. Marble Creek, not the least of tributaries, joins the main flow a few miles below the town of Avery. An exploratory trip up Marble Creek should take you to several enchanted campsites, streams and ponds.
At the confluence of the St. Joe and Marble Creek is an interpretive center.
The museum there (closed when we visited) explains a great deal about the history of the logging industry in the region. If you are there when it is open, stop and visit. It is worth the delay in your fishing trip. It is boarded up during the off season, but in the summer and early fall it is open to the public, and it displays old photos and artifacts depicting what logging was like in days gone by.
On its way out of the deep canyon gorges, it travels through the lowland valleys, and past the town of Calder. A community fishing pond at Calder has been established by Buell Brothers Logging.You are welcome to use the pond, but only if you use it responsibly.
Below Calder, the river travels through widening flats, more private property, ranches and commercial camping areas. By the time it gets close to the town of St. Maries, it goes past the “Misty Meadows Campground.” A great place to camp on the lower St. Joe, alongside the river, with full amenity hook-ups. (No RV dump-I think) A few more miles downriver, and you are in St. Maries, a town of 2,600 with all you need as far as groceries, gas, hospital, high school, hardware, sporting goods, liquor and laundromat.
Below St. Maries, the St. Joe dumps into Lake Chatcolet, then into Lake Coeur d’ Alene, then the Spokane River, then the Columbia and finally the Pacific Ocean. The St. Joe River is noted as the highest in elevation, fully navigable river in the USA.
While backpacking in the hills and ridges, camping in the flats or travelling the river bottoms, it wouldn’t be uncommon to encounter several species of animals. Deer, bears and moose are all fairly common. Ruffed grouse and blue grouse are everywhere. I haven’t heard of mountain lions in the area but I’m sure they are there also. On my first visit to the St. Joe drainage, I stopped to watch several fish rising and I was pleasantly rewarded with the sound of elk bugling in the canyons. On my last trip in, as I rounded a bend in the road, I was surprised to see two mountain goats sunning themselves high on a rock outcropping. I didn’t know there were any mountain goats in the region, but there they were. It seems like with every mile travelled there is candy for the eye and a treasure for the memory.
The history of the area includes mining and extensive logging, continued even today. The region is a Mecca for big game hunters and is of course, a blue ribbon destination for fly fishers.
One of the really neat things about this river is the availability of camping. Along its 90+ mile length is a myriad of camping locations. Some are maintained with permanent outhouses and flat asphalt pads for camp trailers. These camp spots each have a campfire ring, BBQ and permanent camp table. If memory serves me, the cost is in the $6-$8 range per day. If that is more than you want to spend, there are almost unlimited, totally rustic sites available. If your lodging needs lean toward something more secure, there is a motel in the town of Avery. Also available there, is a laundromat. And, Sheffy’s is like a remote lost in the woods “one-stop” with groceries, gasoline, propane and fishing supplies. It is also a great place to find one of those big bratwursts on a hardtack bun.
All of the St. Joe is catch and release for cutthroat. From Avery upstream is single barbless hook and artificial fly. No droppers. The North Fork of the St. Joe, which runs north from Avery for about 30 miles, is the same. No dropper, single barbless hook, and artificial fly. The fish that inhabit the river include Whitefish, Bull Trout (which must not be removed from the water) and of course the Native Westslope Cutthroat. Cutthroat run from 8” to about 20”. The 18”-20” trout are extremely rare, with 10”-14” being the norm. The Bull Trout can get as big as a few pounds but they are also very rare.
I’ve seen cutthroat caught on streamers and nymphs, but upstream and dry is how most everyone fishes. My favorite flies include: Adams, Elk Hair Caddis, X-Caddis, Red Humpy, Yellow Humpy, St. Joe Special (looks like a black gnat with grizzly wings), PMD’s, BWO’s, and a small Sparkle Caddis. But, my all time favorite is the upright feather wing Royal Coachman.
The St. Joe River is a unique and beautiful fishery, and it should be on everyone’s “at least once” destination list. As such, it can also be very vulnerable. It deserves our kindest treatment and highest respect. If we as sportsmen, in whatever user group we’re in, treat that river right, it will treat us right for many years to come.
So, Welcome to My Homewaters!
Come, Fish It, Enjoy.
Friday, October 17, 2008
Linda has been working hard at her passion. For over 3 months she has dedicated herself to a wall hanging quilt. Her efforts are very welcome in our house and appreciated a great deal by her soul mate. (ME) If you look close enough, you can see the free motion stitching that adds so much to a quilt that is already beautiful. The colors she selected are perfect for the setting she has chosen for this project. Take a look and enjoy her work.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Well it was another beautiful day at Marshall. Marc and I set out from his house at about 8:30 AM and made the 1 hour or so trip to Marshall Lake. We took pontoon boats. Mine on my trailer and his in his truck. Very few people on the lake when we got there, and it stayed that way till probably mid afternoon. We were trolling nymphs of various colors getting short strikes off and on. Water temp at the surface was about 63 and at 80+ feet is was 45. Most fish were at the 25 to 40 foot level suspended over deep water. We even marked several fish close to the bottom. That seems quite deep to me for cutthroat, but as far as I know, that's the only fish in that lake. It was perfect weather with only an occasional gust. While I was trolling, I found that because I have to push so much water, I couldn't go quite fast enough. So, I put my rod in the rod holder and started using the oars. The slightly faster pace of the oars paid off for me. I managed to bring 5 fish to hand. I was using a claret colored bugger style nymph with plenty of crystal flash. The hook size appeared to be about a size 10 or 12. I would play out almost all my fly line and troll slow with the oars. Then just wait for my rod to start talking to me. At about 5:00 PM, Marc started getting hits on the surface using a renegade. That fly always seems to work at Marshall. All in all, it was a great day and I'm glad I got the chance to go back once more this year.
Monday, August 25, 2008
Sunday, August 24, 2008
I hadn't been fishing in a while and felt like I needed to go. So, I called an old friend, Jeff, and we went to Fish Lake. The picture above is the set-up I use to do most of my fishing. Fish Lake is on the back road halfway between Spokane and Cheney, just past the little town of Marshall. The lake was like glass for most of the day with only occasional breezes. Until late afternoon, we were the only people on the lake except for three kayakers. We couldn't have picked a better day to go. Except that is for the fish. I caught two of the smallest Bluegills I've ever seen. Jeff had a better day catching three Tiger Trout. Tiger Trout are a cross between German Browns and Brook Trout. They are sterile as a result of being crossed, and were introduced to Fish Lake to rid it of the Bluegills. One of these days, I hope to figure that lake out so that the catching is at least as good as the fishing. It was a wonderful relaxing day!
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Well, it looks like I'm building another bamboo fly rod. I traded a collectible fly box for and old Heddon fly rod. It needs a new grip, reel seat and guides. I finished the grip and reel seat and before long I had to take it outside and test it. I found that with a Cortland 333 WF9F,I could get 60+ feet out of my casts. Looks like it's a salmon or steelhead rod. It's going to be fun.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
A few years ago, Linda saw a news item that showed children in an orphanage in Afghanistan that were using a light bulb to stay warm during cold weather. It inspired her to start a ministry at our church called "Comfort Quilts." She would make quilts, and organized others to do the same. They would then be blessed by our pastor, and shipped to Afghanistan for those orphans. Since then she has been making baby quilts for all the homes around Spokane that house battered and abused mothers and children. She has also made many quilts for friends and family. She makes me very proud. This is just one of her offerings. It's called, "Hangin' With The Kitties."
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Linda has put many hours into our yard and it shows. This shot shows our fountain bird bath and some of her cosmos annuals. The bird bath attracts many different kinds of birds including wild canaries. They are a bright yellow with vivid black markings. And, they are a genuine pleasure to watch.
Monday, August 4, 2008
Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him; for God's temple is sacred, and you are that temple.
This tells me that we need to be good to each other. Because if we've given our lives to Jesus, The Holy Spirit lives in us.
This tells me that we need to be good to each other. Because if we've given our lives to Jesus, The Holy Spirit lives in us.
Steve and I getting ready to ply our passion on the Lochsa River in north central Idaho. Linda and I took our vacation at the Three Rivers Resort in Lowell Idaho, Sept. 2007. Lowell is about 98 miles up the Clearwater River from Lewiston. It's where the Lochsa and Selway rivers come together to form the Clearwater.