Sunday, September 14, 2014

Fall is one of my favorite seasons

The one thing bad about fall is what comes after it. That Old Man winter that likes to hang on long after it should have left.
Fall is a season that comes along with lots of activities. Snooze and you'll miss them while you stand outside with a snow shovel in your hand.
Fall signals a time to get ready for a big change ahead. Get those outside chores done before the snow flies.
Gardens need turning, weeds plucked and some pruning can take place. Unless you plan on fishing, get your boat winterized and covered.
Fishing in the fall gives you another season to figure out. And you won't be rushed because most people have put away fishing stuff for hunting gear.
Grouse, woodcock-later pheasants-now squirrels and soon rabbits will be ready to be hunted. Bow hunters are plunking arrows into back yard targets. Firearms hunters are at the range getting zeroed in.
Then there are those luscious fall colors to enjoy on the way to your favorite cider mill. Don't forget a cinnamon donut!
Get outside and enjoy the fall. Soon enough, we'll be cooped up waiting for the spring thaw.

Photo from DNR of fall colors in a state forest.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

9-11, an important date to remember

It's hard to believe 13 years ago commercial airplanes carrying hundreds of passengers were intentionally flown into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and crashing outside of Washington, D.C.
Significant life changing events are painful to remember, but often remind us of what we were doing when we first learned of these tragedies.
Fresh out of the Navy, I was bowling with a friend in Hollywood, California. After our game we walked outside to a different world.
There were absolutely no sounds. People were walking as if they were in shock and indeed some were. Stores that sold TVs with displays in storefront windows were lined up with pedestrians watching the events unfold about President Kennedy.
Early reports indicated he had been wounded, some said he hadn't been shot, then later, the news that he had died was broadcast.
No one around us could believe such a thing had happened. After all, this is America. That doesn't happen here.
On 9-11 I was fishing for perch on a calm Lake St. Clair near the area known as the dumping grounds. The sky was sunny and blue.
All of a sudden it felt like the world stood still. There were no planes flying overhead nor were there any other boats near us. A couple of helicopters probably from Selfridge flew over then it was quiet again.
We headed into shore, tied the boat up and left for home. My car radio was tuned to WOMC. When it came on, I was already nearly out of the parking lot when I heard an unfamiliar voice say "America is under attack. Two commercial airliners have intentionally been flown into the twin towers of the World Trade Center.
The news about the remaining two aircraft wasn't broadcast at that time. The streets were quiet during the drive home. People driving looked stunned.
Today, reading and watching the news, those events come back as if they happened yesterday. The slogan, "Never Forget" applies to all of these tragic events.
9-11 has changed life in America forever.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Summer, where have you gone?

I can't believe it's the end of August already. Seems like we just rolled up April and were getting ready for the various fishing openers.
Spring and summer both have passed right by us. We went from winter directly into a chilly summer. Hex bugs were set back knocked out of whack. Not many stories about large trout being tangled with using the hexegina limbata or better known at the hex.
My fishing began early in the year with a trip to Bergland and Lake Gogebic this past January. Since that time I haven't had  a line in the water unit this past Friday evening when I managed to get out with the long rod for a couple of hours on fly water.
I've seen more doctors and hospital emergency rooms than I have lakes or rivers.  I can almost memorize hospital menus, knowing what each institution offers better than I know what is in my fly vest.
Back in the real world for a few days now, my arms are covered with bruises the result of IV's, blown IV's and numerous blood draws.
I look like I was in a hatchet fight without the hatchet. Hopefully I'm on the mend and can eventually get into some fishing before the hard water settles in for another season.
Those of fortunate to enjoy good health should take advantage of it and enjoy every moment to the fullest.
Others, me included, should be thankful we are back and on track to enjoy the outdoor life and all that the fall seasons have to offer.

Monday, August 4, 2014

You've got the perfect excercise tools, so use them

The perfect exercise tool are you feet and legs with walking being the best all-around exercise for most of us.
This weeks column had to do with getting older, slower and perhaps taking the attitude that there wasn't anything left to do once old age has set it.
Doctors keep preaching it. Keep moving. Get off the couch, out of the Lazy Boy, leave the remote home and get outside.
You can begin your exercise as soon as you walk out the door. No special equipment is needed. An old pair of sweats, something to keep your head warm, a pair of athletic shoes and you're ready to go.
Many doctors are saying just 20 minutes of walking a day is sufficient to keep muscles loose and joints working pain-free.
Balance is another important part of our life as we age. So many people fall and break a hip which sometimes leads to pneumonia and possible death.
Actually, getting your balance back is easier than walking. Grab the back of a sturdy chair then raise one leg slightly off the floor and stand that way for a little while. Change sides and hands then do the other foot.
Try balancing on one foot while brushing your teeth. Half way through, change feet. Stand on alternate feet while waiting in the checkout lane. Hang onto the shopping cart for balance.
You don't have to give up the things you enjoy doing as you age. Just remember to keep those muscles and joints in good working order.
Begin now and you'll have the legs, energy and stamina for the upcoming hunting seasons.

Friday, August 1, 2014

A gift for Father's Day was a definite surprise for Lee Anderson




Lee Anderson from Wolverine Lake fishes that lake for bass, pike and panfish. He has never fished for musky nor has he had an interest to do so.
This year for Father's Day, instead of the usual necktie or socks, Anderson asked for a golfing rain suit.
"I got a small bag and opened it up. Inside was a certificate to fish with Captain Don Miller on Lake St. Clair for musky," said.
The trip would quickly involve Anderson's two sons, son-in-law and three grandsons making the charter a great family outing and educational for everyone as well.
"Don was great. He had the kids pick out lures, told then where to stand on the boat when we were trolling, where to move to when we got a strike and where to be when we netted a fish.
Anderson got the first strike which turned out to be a 49 1/4 incher ad good enough for the third largest caught in Michigan this year according to a letter he received from the DNR.
Grandson Connor who is eight, got the next strike, winding in a very decent 36-inch musky.
For more information on musky charters contact Miller at (734)-429-9551 email:dsmiller2@comcast.net, www.millers-sportfishing.com.


Friday, July 25, 2014

Mosquitoes and the British are a bad mix

My family all came home for our anniversary party. Son-in-law Jeff is very fair skinned. For some reason the bugs are attracted to him
He had barely been here a day and had been outdoors very little when the pesky bites began. Waking up the next day, he showed me his legs. They had huge red blotches calf-high and included his feet.
The next day most of them turned into blister-like bumps. No over-the-counter creme or anything else had any effect.
The bits were hardly bearable due to the extreme itching. H's very difficult to convince it might be a old time to go to the doctor but we finally did.
Diagnosis: Mosquito bites. Treatment: A prescribed creme that didn't have any affect. He's back home now in England and finally saw his doctor. He's under a regular course of treatment to get through this.
I know everything was put here for a purpose but what the purpose these bugs make is a mystery to me.
Remember to cover up, get that repellent on and if you can, avoid going outdoors at dusk.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Essetial kayak equipment

Besides the kayak itself and a paddle, you'll want a well-fitting pfd. If possible, find one with pockets in it to carry small items; first aid kit, a couple of tackle boxes and the various tools anglers use.
To carry tackle,  couple of Plano 3700's tackle trays should hold enough. Get a milk crate on something similar to keep the tackle in.
Bungee the crate and the trays to the boat. Because water runs in and out, figure out a way to raise your crate. There are all sorts of ideas on You Tube.
Fishing at night is going to require a white light visible for all 360-degrees mounted in the rear. During the day, a brightly colored flag will help other boats see you.
Remember, you'll be sitting very low on the water, practically on the surface. Do all you can to be visible.
Fish with a buddy or let someone know where you'll be fishing and when you'll return. Above all, wear that pfd. Good luck and happy paddling.