Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A Fish for Fontinalis

Cofisher made me do it.  'Good luck with that schedule', was the gist of his comment.   A long hot day at work, then rain, just enough to keep me from accomplishing all that I needed to, and still I got home late, dirty and tired.  Did I make dinner and go to bed? No- Cofisher's comment burned in my mind- "You can't do it" was what he, in effect, said.  Howard- you're right- I can't do it.  I didn't fish Saturday, I didn't fish today.  But yesterday I had to do it, push myself, however foolishly to get out there.

Now let me tell you the pitfalls of video.  You see, in times past I would have already had my gear in the truck and would have just gone.  But I was covered in dust and stain and a three day scruff, none of which look good on video, and so I went home and showered and shaved, gathered my gear and cameras, and headed out.  If you look close you'll see how tired I am.  The lack of coherence.  The disorganized gear.  (Today's tip- I wore the raincoat, not for rain, but so that I wouldn't have to put on much insect repellent.) But I gave a pledge to the fine people at TakeMeFishing.org and to you my readers, and Cofisher double-dog dared me. Or something like that.

So I went.  I had one hour.  I bushwhacked through a miserable little tag alder jungle gym.  I screwed around with the video camera, and I must say- my Joby tripod saved the day in spades, as brook trout streams in tag alder swamps are almost completely devoid of flat hard surfaces.  To be honest, doing the video was what made it fun.  Oh yeah, and this fish.
a fontinalis for Fontinalis

This next photo is a shout-out for both Take Me Fishing and National Fishing and Boating Week and Joby- thanks guys- for the cam, and to Joby for making such a great tripod.

I pythoned this thing to the bush-cool
I think in that hour of fishing I got four fish to rise.  The mosquitoes were fierce.  The thunderstorms that rolled through had put a damper on fish activity, and the beavers had changed what was once a familiar stretch into the dark side of the moon, piscatorially speaking.  But I'm glad I went.  I forgot my hunger, the heat, the fatigue, my bills, and all the reasons I won't say no to jobs right now, even though I've only had two days off in the last month, I forgot about all the personal things that plague me, the things I kick myself for each day.  I forgot about it all when I first got a whiff and then a glimpse of trout water, when that first fish rose, just a boil, the first rise to my fly, my first brook trout of the year.  I was again, there, in the moment, in my natural environment, where I needed, desperately, to be.  I caught a fish.  I clowned for the camera.  I had a great time.

By the way, I didn't catch a fish on camera, but I did lose one- here's the video.  You may have to turn the volume up to hear all of my ridiculous gems, or turn it off depending on your valuation of verbal  gemology.  It was a pretty cool strike- typical of the frantic fight that brook trout give, and why they can be a worthy challenge.  Check it out.

So again my thanks to the people at TakeMeFishing.org for letting me participate as a blogger in National Fishing and Boating Week.  Get out there folks and enjoy it- the outdoors is waiting for you.  Remember- here in Michigan, the free fishing days will be this coming weekend, June 11, 12, so take your family fishing and have a great time.  More posts to come.


  1. Nothing like a double dare to get you motivated! It's funny how a beaver can change a stream and make what used to seem up, disappointingly down...the dark side of the moon was a great description.

    Nice video...and nice fontinalis. well done!

  2. Was that five casts and a fish??? Nice...

  3. I, for one, like the unedited and imperfect video. And the countless excuses–er, references to the fact that you had your less than ideal gear with you...good stuff. Way more engaging than if it were slick and polished, like what I would produce if I shot video ;)

  4. That was good stuff Jason! Great video! In 2008 we were asked by farmers to come out and "lower the woodchuck population" on a little over 6,000 acres. We shot 5 hours of dvd and killed a little over 200 chucks at ranges up to 500 yards. Video cameras are a great tool to have in the bag! Proof is on this page! I wouldn't post those woodchuck dvd shots, the rifles we used were a little large in caliber for varmints!

  5. Glad you pushed yourself....always worth it. I really enjoyed the videos - looks like you were having a grand time! I need to do a little after-work fishing myself...weekends just aren't enough. :-) Very cool post, and my thanks to Howard for setting up a challenge. He has a "way" of doing that!

  6. Thanks FR! Nice post. I really enjoyed this one. I am an inspiration aren't I? I've just challenged myself...we'll see how I do.

  7. When that skeeter buzzed the cam @ about 3:20 I smacked myself in the side of the head like, what the heck is a skeeter doing here in Mesa, Az. in the middle of summer in my house!?!?!

  8. @Kirk- just doing what I can to improve the quality of outdoor video.
    @Feathers and Fins- blown up woodchuck video may not make into Versus lineup. I may put a cam on my bow this year though.
    @ Erin- I'll never reach my goal to fish 100 days this year if I just do weekends. I try to get out at least once mid-week.
    @Cofisher- I probably wouldn't have gone if you hadn't left that comment. I was tired. I'll go check yours out.

  9. Nice work! That laugh when you lost the fish is one that is familiar to me. I'm envious of your great Brook Trout water. Great job with the video.