Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Health issues slowing the writing process

   First, thanks to all of you for your kind thought and prayers. It really was nice that so many voiced concern over me recent bladder cancer diagnosis.
   To get you caught up, I finished ( I hope) my last chemo treatment about three weeks ago. Those of you that have gone through chemo understand how it leaves you with no energy and very fatigued. It's work just to sit at the computer and write some days.
   This Friday I go in for a check up to see what the chemo has done. This is a scope procedure that goes directly into the bladder. The advantage is the doctor can see right then in real time what's going on.
   If there are any more tumors, how the site of the original tumor looks, and what effects did the chemo have on the overall condition.
   The disadvantage is that this a very uncomfortable procedure. You are wide awake for the entire thing.
   Believe me, I've tried deep breathing and convincing myself to try and relax, that it will be over soon. But there comes that moment when it's go time. I gripped every part of that table I can and try to stay still.
   So that is briefly an update on where I'm at. It's on my mind almost constantly. I've had sweaty palms just thinking of the procedure and try to tell myself that it will be over before I know it.
   I haven't learned any secret fixes but did find out that if you ever smoked in the past, you could be a candidate for bladder cancer. Apparently, the chemicals from smoking all find their way there eventually and begin a build up.
   Some smokers won't be affected. I quit smoking 35 years ago and boom, got the surprise of my life in March when a cancer diagnosis was made.
   If you smoke, do everything you can to quit. And if you don't good for you. It's one of the best things you can do for yourself.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Off Shore Planer boards-one way of salmon fishing

   The discussions are already on about the use of planer boards, dipsies, and every other kind of board or disc you can think of.

   "This would be a great time to use a Off Shore Planer Board," Off Shore owner and consummate fisherman, Bruce DeShano messaged a few days ago.
   This was in response to my blog about salmon fishing from a kayak in Lake Michigan. Some people opine they are for them and have caught lots of salmon using them, while others talk about the drag it puts on the side of the boat the board is on, making paddling different.
   I don't have a comment one way or the other other than to say I've caught loads of fish from larger boats using boards.
   That's why, this year, I'm going to take a long some small Off Shore boards and give them a try. To battle the boat control, I think I'll throw one out on each side. That way I can fish two different depths with two different baits.
Son Matt with salmon caught using a planer board
   We'll see if this method gets them.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Kayaking for salmon-coming soon

   Another year and another summer that has gone by far too quickly. Hunters are starting to feel the itch to get back into the woods or field to chase game. Archery hunters are slowly getting bows tuned and checked up for the coming season.
   Anglers have no thoughts of pulling boats or shrink wrapping them for the winter months when they will sit idle until next springs launch day.
   Kayak fishermen are looking forward to hooking into a salmon early this fall on Lake Michigan. They are as eager and excited as any bass fishermen gets prior to opening day or deer hunter waiting o go north for chance at a large rack.
   For guys like me who prefer to kind of ride along in a kayak, this type of fishing is made for us. The speed a yak travels while being paddled is just about the right one to attract salmon.
   So that means a trolling bite. I've heard different guys say they use spoons, swear by crank baits, and anything else that dives deep.
   This will be my third Salmon Slam and about the only thing I've been able to slam is the beach when I land and manage to tip my boat part way over.
   But the weather has always been great despite an occasional shower, and a bit of wind. The rest of the time Lake Michigan has been nice to us.
   If you want more information visit www.kayakfishthegreatlakes.com.

Chris LeMessurier with a nice Lake Michigan salmon caught while trolling from the kayak he's sitting in.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Kevin McCrory recently passed away. He championed

   You may not have had the pleasure of knowing Kevin McCrory from Fostoria. He was just 54 when he recently passed away from a variety of illnesses.
   I first met him while serving on the board of Outdoors Forever, a group dedicated to see that the outdoors was accessible for everyone.
   Back in the day as they say, we used to host an annual salmon fishing trip out of Oscoda. Charter boat captains donated their boats and time to take a disabled person out on Lake Huron to discover what it was like to hook and catch a salmon.
   Most were successful, fighting fish from their wheelchairs. Those with other disabilities  had help from able bodied people on board.
   Wurtsmith Air Force base, still functioning at the time, would send over some troops to help load people and wheelchairs from the dock into a boat. Eventually a hoist was built and installed that would lift people in chairs, then swing out and lower them into the back of a charter boat.
   Following dinner one night, several people wheeled in a portable piano. Kevin got up and began to play. His wife, Jacquita started singing. The two made a great combination. Kevin was great on the ivory and Jacquita was not only attractive but she had a beautiful voice.
   The thing I remember most about that night was the way Kevin played. He was striking the keys with the side of his hands.
   Later when I met him he explained that he had club hands and feet. "You should come to my house and we'll go ice fishing this winter," he said.
   With all of the physical problems Kevin had, he never quit trying to do the things other people were doing.
   He fashioned a kind of glove to play catch with his kids. He built his own ice auger and powered it with a car battery. He was always up for trying most anything.
   He never liked the limelight. Instead he preferred being in the background and letting others get the credit for accessible trails and fishing docks he had spearheaded.
   Kevin was the most gentle, friendly, talented and fun loving person you could ever meet. He'll be missed by all of his family and friends.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Bill H. was my lifesaver

   Bill H. That's the way people are identified in a club that I belong too. Bill belonged to the same club, actually for a lot longer than I did.
   For a longtime, he was very active, helping others get their lives in order, put some sense into what they were doing or had done, and being available 24-ten as the saying goes.
   I met Bill in 1981. Our first conversation was truly accidental. I was calling for information about Alcoholics Anonymous and was told someone would contact me the next day.
   Several days went by without the phone ringing. I called back and started chewing on the person on the other end of the line.
   Turned out it was Bill. Following a rather rough and crude introduction, he invited me to stop by his house on my way home from work later that evening. I was there until almost 8a.m.
   From then on, for several months, I was a regular visitor. Pretty soon, my visits tapered off to once or twice a month, then stretched to once every 3 or 4 months, and finally, once a year.
   Our visits had to do with what was going on in our lives, and ore directly, how I was doing. There was no lying or hiding anything from Bill. He sat in his rocker in his small, neat home in Waterford and watched me closely. He listed very well too.
   Sometimes he had a question. Most of the time he would talk about experiences that turned out to be teaching moments.
   I have a lot to thank Bill for. Mainly my life and helping me get myself back together. I used to tell him that or write him notes to that affect.
   Like people that are true to their causes he shrugged any compliment off as though ignoring them. To him, he didn't do anything.
   He was almost shy about coming to my home and meeting my family. They too all thanked him for what he had done to be of so much life changing help.
   That first meeting was a little over 35 years ago. Every day, I'm thankful that I got to know Bill and have been able to put into practice so much of what he spoke to me about.
   Bill passed away July 4th. He'll be missed by not only his family, but me, even though our visits were too few and far between.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Weather is the hot topic

Excuse the intended pun but that sees to be on every ones mind. Golfers can't get out because the courses are too wet and carts would do considerable damage. If you are a walking golfer you'll need waders.
   While fishing seems to be off and running in Lake St. Clair, especially the smallmouth bite, northern rivers aren't producing the way they should be.
   I haven't been on any of our local lakes to see what's biting. By the looks at ramps though, they seem to be pretty well deserted.
   Once I get a few things sorted in the garage, I'll get one of the kayaks down and get out for a personal   experience.
   Don' forget the Oakland County Archery Jamboree coming up in early August. Call the club at (248) 623-0444.
   This is a good way to get into the swing of bow hunting which isn't that far off. In fact it wouldn't hurt to get an idea on where you plant to hunt now, then get out soon and do some scouting.
   Just remember to wear long sleeves and a hat. And bring plenty of OFF along.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Archery, great sport that isn't a team effort

   Oakland County Sportsmen's Club will hold it's 40th annual Bow Hunter Jamboree August 10-11. Call the club at (248) 623-0444 for more information.
   The name of the event may be a bi misleading. Whether you hunt or not doesn't make any difference. If you are a beginner that's fine too.
   The purpose is to get you outside in simulated hunting conditions, improve or learn new skills, and have fun while doing it.
   You're allowed one arrow per target. Targets are made up to appear as deer, bear, and other wild game.
   Distances to targets are all different. It's up to the shooter to figure out how far it is to the target and even the correct angle.
   Some shots will be high, some low, and at least one at a long distance. That's all good and fun. But I think the best part is no one sits on the bench because he or she isn't good enough to participate.
   This is a sport that invites participation from one and all. Whether you shoot bulls eyes regularly or miss the target often, you're more than welcome.
   If you decide you would like to learn more about archery, there are many different leagues open throughout the year with certified instructors there to show you the correct way to shoot.
   Whether you hunt or shoot at a target, archery is a fun activity. Give it a try.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Where has summer gone?

   I'm hearing people say we haven't had our summer yet. Take a colder-than-normal spring, enough rain to hopefully help raise lake levels that need it, colder-than-normal nights and it's no wondering people are asking what is going on.
   Anglers of the long, limber rod-fly fishermen- are also concerned. Bugs that can be counted on to hatch t certain times of the year haven't been seen.
   Worse, the fish that normally feed on these insects are scarce as hens teeth. Add to that the high waters in rivers that are normally wadeable, these same rivers will probably float a good-sized yacht.
   When and if a true warm up happens, the $64 question is will these hatches finally occur? I'm in the camp that thinks its been so cold and in terms of the time in an insects life, we might be better off fishing poppers on lakes for gills.
   Having said everything negative about cold water fishing, there are some that manage to get a nice brown trout to take a fly.
   Even though conditions aren't what we would hope for, if I had regular access to any of the "up north rivers" on a regular basis, I'm afraid I would be thrashing the river to a foam.
   Don't give up yet. There's still time and who knows, these fish could turn on for the best bite ever.