Sunday, October 30, 2005

Fisherman's Prayer

Over the years I've received a lot of gifts from my brother.

Recently I got a new "Fisherman's Phone Holster".

A little bird must have told him that I've wanted this fleece lined leather fly wallet for some time now. He even included some hand-tied flies!

But one gift that he gave me to wish me a happy 45th was a plaque of the Fisherman's Prayer. This is one that I will treasure forever.

God grant that I may live to fish until my dying day.
And when it comes to my last cast
I then most humbly pray
When in the Lord's safe landing net
I am peacefully asleep
Then by God's mercy may I be judged
As a fisher of men and big enough to keep.

Thanks Bro
I love you man!

Boat In A Bag

Usually when I get a bright idea the result ends up short of my expectations. That's OK because I am very adaptive and can adjust my expectations without letting it ruin my day (too much). When I first unpacked my TU Colorado Pontoon Boat, I had the bright idea of finding a couple of bags to pack all the pieces in for easy transport.

The whole boat weighs enough to convince me that dividing everything up into two bags would be ideal. If I could only locate the perfect bags....

I tried a couple of unsuccessful candidates then located one at Gander Mountain that seemed to be just what I was looking for.

Its called "The Runner" wheeled duffle made by Camp Inn. GM had the 36" model and I found that I could fit the seat and seat frame, foot pegs, rear platform frame, rear cargo platform, and all hardware - everything except the pontoons, side frames, and oars in this bag.

I also learned that Camp Inn made a 42" model that turned out to be just the size I needed for the pontoons and side frames. I found one on-line at Your Outdoor Outfitter.

The oars are just a little too long but I intend on finding a bag for them too.

Now the rest of the story.

It's rare these days to experience excellent customer service. I've come to expect certain inevitabilities in the 21st century like buttons that don't stay on for more than a day, or minor defects in merchandise that are more of a nuisance that anything else.

When the bag from YODO arrived I was excited and eager to pack the boat. After I got the pontoons in I noticed a minor flaw in the workmanship - a poorly installed rivet.

Not to be put off, I found a similar sized bolt and repaired the defect.

Enter Dustin Buel from YODO. He called just minutes after I performed the repair asking if I had received the order and if everything was OK. I told him about the rivet and that I had already fixed it. He wanted to follow up with the Camp Inn folks because he said they were very interested in providing quality. He told me to go ahead and use the bag for the weekend and that he would get back with me.

Dustin called me back minutes later and gave me instructions on returning the bag for an exchange. He e-mailed me with the address to ship the bag to and will be sending me a RMA # and a UPS Shipping number so I don't pay for shipping. He will also be shipping me out a new replacement bag. That's what I call service!

Thanks Dustin

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Pontooning in Porter

Some days you don't mind not catching any fish. Brother Paul and I took the 'toons to a small residential area near Porter and launched out. The weather was perfect for the fishermen but may have been less than optimal for fishing. This was the maiden voyage of Paul's boat. He had his old trolling motor and a new battery (not a bad combination if you consider the alternative). It took a little while to get situated and to figure out how to reach everything but once he got going - look out!

I on the other hand was trying to demonstrate my oarsmanship with this cool spinning move.... impressive huh?

It was really great to be out on the water fishing again with my brother. I've missed it lately but am looking forward to tight lines in the future.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Joe's Big Catch

My buddy and fellow fisherman Joe got to visit the LC Ranch

After teaching Joe how to properly display the catch, the big rainbow was released. Watch the LC Ranch website to see if Joe makes the photo album.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Oregon Fishing

Traveling for work can have positive side effects. My companions and I completed our tour of facilities in Washington, Oregon & Idaho early and had time to wet a line this afternoon.

The local fly shop in Boise, ID, Anglers, is an Orvis shop. John took great care of us and outfitted us with gear, flies, directions and tips on how to fish the Owyhee River in Eastern Oregon about an hour and a half northwest of Boise.

The river was low, the Browns were staging prior to spawning and the weather was beautiful. My co-workers were successful in landing some rainbows and I hooked up on four big browns but did not get one of them to the hand. I believe this is called LDC&R.

And my rule is - "no picture and you can't count it"

Joe with the first Rainbow

Mark was the king today with this nice Rainbow.

It was his first time flyfishing...I predict it won't be his last!

Owahee River

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Needville Catamaran

I needed to get some data about how well these pontoon boats would perform. Lacking any flowing water, I took the opportunity to try stillwater first. Here I am on the bank of "Lake Evans" just outside my hometown. I thought if I went down at least I wouldn't have too far to swim to shore!

After getting used to the feel of the boat I pulled out the flyrod and started casting. I caught a few small bream and kept hearing some bigger fish surfacing near the shore.

I was able to locate some nice bass, bluegill and sunfish.

I'll be back!

Nice largemouth bass caught on a double bunny zonker:

This bluegill also took the DBZ:

This big green sunfish was fooled by a caddis fly :

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Pontoon Boats

Well we finally did it! We have been talking about it for some time now and were convinced we had found the right pontoon boat -

The Trout Unlimited Colorado.

Cabela's had one for $450 and we saw them on E-Bay for $350 but Sam's Club in Conroe beat them both by a mile.

Paul got one for his birthday and got to try it out in the living room last Friday.

He said the fish weren't biting too good:

I finally broke down and took the trip to Conroe myself. I was sure that they would be sold out and after a quick search of the store I was unable to locate any boats. I was about to give up and turned the corner of an aisle and there was one boat left.

I put mine together in the yard.

Unlike my brother the "house fisherman" I had some luck with the "grass bass", "limb bream", and "porch perch".

I thought about trying for a "cat" fish but my loving wife reminded me that CJ our tabby likes to sharpen his claws on car tires and other items nearby. I thought I'd better keep the pontoons away from him for now......

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

San Antonio Nightlife

I've been in the Alamo City this week and even though there hasn't been any fishing to report on there was a trip to Cabela's in Buda.

We also went to a catfish restaurant called Clear Springs Cafe.

Great catfish and onion rings and good prices too. Be sure to try the Jalepeno Stingers.

I made a new friend....

I also saw another favorite destination at the intersection of loop 1604 and Hwy 281 - Sportsman's Warehouse.

Looks like another trip to SA is in order...