Monday, September 4, 2017

September 4, 2017 - Lake Pelham

Today was a beautiful day, sun shining, warm but not hot, breezy but not windy, every environmental parameter seemed to be set to the ideal labor day weather.  I drove out to Mountain Run Lake, but there were so many people I ditched to Lake Pelham.

The town has constructed a new ramp and has kayak/paddleboat/canoe rentals, and consequently, there were a lot of people there as well.  It's understandable that the Lake Pelham regulars are pissed off about the change.  However, if you take the optimistic view, theoretically by having more people enjoy the lake, the overall well-being of the community will increase, and therefore there will be fewer jackasses ruining life for the rest of us.

Yeah, I don't believe it either.

Regardless, there was still some wildlife to photograph, like this sandpiper:

And these egrets:
I also got some pictures of a bald eagle, but they didn't turn out too good.  None of the pictures are that great, actually, mostly because I'm using a 500mm focal length mirror lens, which has pretty limited depth of field, from a canoe, with a monopod.

But there didn't seem to be much hope for fish at Pelham, so I took out, ate some dinner, and went over to Mountain Run Lake.

I caught three crappie on curly tails, and a few bass, a couple of which were ~10 inches.  

Sunday, September 3, 2017

September 3, 2017 - Mountain Run Lake

Put in at Mountain Run Lake to fish, but I took my camera along in the event there was anything worth photographing.  And there was!

Green heron
 Cedar Waxwing
 Immature bald eagle

Fishing was slow though, caught nothing on a curly tail, caught some small bluegills on poppers.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

August 12, 2017 - Mountain Run Lake

Went fishing at Mountain Run Lake, ran across this:

That is a truck tire with a snapping turtle that got stuck in it, died, and decayed.  Because snapping turtles have spent 49.9999 of their last 50 million years of evolution without having to deal with assholes pitching rubber donuts into the water, it's not a surprise  that he wasn't prepared for this contingency.

And this was a big turtle, as big as any I've ever seen in this lake.  This turtle might have been 30 years old.

And he might have sat there in the muck living his miserable turtle existance for another 70 if some fuckwit didn't throw a truck tire where it doesn't belong.  I know Culpeper citizens have this grand tradition of littering, but come the fuck on, people.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

The great bufocide of 2017

Went fishing at Lake Orange, got there around 5, took the canoe off the roof, and a thunderstorm hit.
I took refuge and waited out the storm.  By the time I put in finally it was about quarter 'til 7.  Of course, not 15 minutes after I put in, another storm blew in, and I took shelter in a cove, tied up the canoe, and sat under the canopy, watching the rain fall on the water. While I sat there, I cast a curly tail into the cove, and caught what I believe is a warmouth.

Finally, the sky brightened and it turned into a nice evening, but there were no fish to be caught.

As I took out, I saw a toad sitting there at my car, who hopped away.  I should've realized then what was to come, but I don't have the gift of foresight.  Driving along the road, hundreds of toads were hopping around on the asphalt.  Stupid creatures, not realizing the import of a 16 foot strip of mysterious black rock running through the woods.  And of course, me, in a 4000 pound car, bearing down on them, engine racing, exhaust spewing unburned hydrocarbons and monoxide, tires inexorably turning over and over again, squishing toads by the gross.

Actually, I drove slowly, hoping to give the toads time to hop out of the way, but I must have run over at least 10 despite my precautions.

Which leads to the title of this post. When I was younger, american toads were in the genus Bufo, but according to wikipedia, they are now apparently in the genus Anaxyrus.  Consequently, my title is taxonomically incorrect.  I wish scientists would leave well enough alone; don't we have enough science by now?

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Uplocking vs Downlocking Reel Seats

Let's start with the stipulation that every generation of humans represents an improvement on the last, on average.  That's why 20,000 years ago we were getting eaten by pterodactyls and therefore today we have ICBMs so if those fuckers come back, we're prepared.  Advancement in technologies should never result in a reversion in this model of humanity's evolution.

Today, as basic proof of this fundamental principle, I will contrast uplocking reel seats, which my father prefers, and downlocking reel seats, which I prefer.

Here is a picture of a reel mounted to a rod with an uplocking reel seat.  Take note of the following defects and shortcomings inherent in this design:
  • There is an inch of seat extending back beyond the reel, ready to snag your shirt sleeve, the line you have stripped off, anything in reach really.
  • Because the reel is mounted forward of the butt, it serves as a less effective counterweight to the force at the rod tip exerted as you cast than if the weight of the reel was closer to the butt, further from the fulcrum that is your hand.    A downlocking seat locates the reel closer to the butt, easing casting.
  • When putting the reel on the rod, you have to hold the reel up into the upper ring while you tighten the lower ring, while gravity is waiting for you to fumblefinger the operation and drop the reel on the ground.  The lower ring on a downlocking seat holds the reel in place while you tighten the upper ring down.
  • Aesthetically speaking, it looks like shit.

It wouldn't be fair for me to not acknowledge the flaws of the downlocking design as well, so here goes:
  • Because there isn't the unnecessary protuberance below the reel, when you set the butt of the rod on the ground while threading the line through the guides, the reel sits on the ground.  This can be mitigated by making sure the reel is sitting on grass or leaves instead of sand or concrete.  Although, an extra inch of butt isn't going to save you anyway.

You might be asking then, if downlocking reel seats are so great, why aren't currently produced rods using them?  It's because assholes are in charge of the world. 

Thus concludes my objective analysis of fly rod reel seats.