Tuesday, January 31, 2012

50 PLUS.

 Lastd ay of January an it's 50*  plus outside.  Jason posted that he did well fishing yesterday so I hit the stream to try my luck with the fly rod.

  I've fished with a fly rod since I was a small boy.  Jigging, casting and flipping for crappies, bluegills, smallies and trout.  But, fly fishing with light tackle is a new ballgame.  Tonight was better than the last outting, at least I didn't loose any flies.

Fishing a stream that's a little more open helps.  The more I fly fish the more I become aware of  what its going to take to get a fish on.  Stealth approaching the stream, a well placed cast, the proper drift into the pool and the part that I've missed so far... setting the hook and landing a trout.

Not a  total wash today.  We've been studying streams in class and when I was checkin out the gravel bed I found a little chunk of antler or maybe it's just odd  shaped rock.  Or a stick?  I'll let ya know after I clean it up.

Saturday, January 28, 2012


Friday after school the cabin at Rolli looked warm and inviting with the its line of lights lit up on the snowy afternoon.  Fishing as the snow falls always puts a smile on my face.
 Catching a fish would have helped too.
 I love having a Saturday with no pressing matters.
 Heat up the pole barn and putter around out side.  I blocked up a few loads of fire wood and wandered down to the hoop house to water the spinach, 34* outside and 90*  inside.

With a free afternoon we drove up the valley to take some pictures of Susie's favorite subjects.  The Blue Eyed Paint and his friends. He fed close to the stream that was loaded with water cress, the green grass poked up along the bank of the stream.
But another band of ponies was on top of the ridge.  So, after a brisk hike up a steep hill that over looked the meandering trout stream we reach the 15 horses feeding on top of the hill. 
The paint that Susie was after wasn't cooperating but his buddies were quiet friendly.

Back home for a sunset walk with the dogs and then inside for some coco with honey, cinnamon and hot pepper flakes.

new stuff

Thursday, January 26, 2012


                                                                              As I was heading out of Maquoketa this afternoon I was sadden to see the apple trees at tubbs family orchard were being clear cut.

The small family-owned orchard located in the city limits of Maquoketa just off of  Hwy. 61.

I don't know a lot about the history of the orchard other than, the old couple that started to orchard are now in their 90's and there health appears to be greatly declining and their son looks to be in his 50's or 60's.
About 15 years ago when Susie was the hot lunch lady, she would drive to Tubbs Orchard to get apples for the schools hot lunch program.  Apples from a local orchard, how great would that be for a school?

My destination was another area that had been clear cut last fall.  The farm that lies just East of Mart and Joan's cleared a large area of red cedars to make more room for pasture land.

My goal was to find a large cedar stump with roots to use for a base for a rustic table, that Marty is going to build for our kitchen.

The huge piles of cedar had some beautiful trees but no stumps.  They had all been cut off about a foot off the ground and dosed into the pile.

The owner had told Marty he could take what he like before they torch it this spring.  Marty has been working on a plan to make a cedar log cabin and these piles will prove to be a treasure trove of cedar logs for the future cabin.

Louie's cabin sits high on the ridge across the valley and its a great spot for trek around the farm.
It's tiny and rustic.  With a small wood stove and a fold down sleeping loft.

Stopped by the trout stream on the way home and it seem like just tying the fly on, is getting more difficult  now that I've been using these little flies.

It's been just year since my first post on this blog.  with over 2000 views by folks from all over the world.  All I can say is thanks for checkin in and get out and enjoy the world around you.   Tom

Oh yea and.
Stop wishin.  Go fishin! 

Saturday, January 21, 2012


 The storm rolled in early Friday morning and school let out by 12:30.  Beau and I took the dogs out for some nordic style bushwhakin back in the timber and down the old logging road to the abandoned farm down in the bottom. 

 Then today we met up with friends out at joan and marty's  for some back country skiing, Jackson county style. We were right in the sweet spot for yesterdays storm, picking up just over 7" of fresh powder.

My role seems to be that of trail buster with strong back and weak mind.  By the time we had made it around to Louie's lodge we had all broken a bead and were ready for a break and a seat around the fire.  The smell of cedar and the warmth of the fire was a tough vortex to pull our selves out of.

A loop down the valley and then back to the top of the ridge helped to build up an appetite.  The cook stove in Joans kitchen felt warm an inviting.  Susie had made a spicy carrot, potato and leek stew to be served over rice and Joan had a made a curry spiced squash stew.



 Its been a great couple days of bird watching.  The feeders have been busy.  Yesterday we had 8 male cardinals,  harry, downy and red bellied wood peckers, nut hatches, tit mice, finches, grackles and blue jays.  This morning as we drank our coffee a eagle flew over the house and dropped in to roost in our oaks.  Over a hundred eagles hanging out below the lock and dam in town.

Below is a passing shot of some Canadian Geese that are getting a late start for the run South.

You've got to get out and enjoy it while you can.