Terry Drinkwine Outdoors!

Fly Fishing, Grouse Hunting and Fine Bird Dogs Spoken Here!

Category Archives: Tongue ‘n Cheek

He’s trying, but I am a slow learner!

Years ago, my mother gave me a coffee cup that said, “I thought I was wrong once, but I was mistaken.” Like all mothers, mine could size up my bullheadedness pretty well and that slogan on the cup wasn’t wrong. I still have it today.

Gus is four months old now and it took a few weeks to get back into the mindset of raising a pup. It had been over 14 years since Seamus came into our lives, which means we were 14 years younger. At first, everything Gus did was cute. But soon he became a pain and I had to rethink how to handle the biting, chewing, peeing on the rug and constant attention a puppy wants, and like Seamus, Gus soon took charge.

It’s been four months and we’ve struck a bargain: Gus doesn’t pee in the house any more (usually) and we’ve learned to put anything we don’t want chewed up out of reach. My hands are showing fewer scabs from needle-like teeth than they did a month ago and everything else I need to know, I’m picking up slowly.

If anyone finds a dog dish that says, “I was told once I was wrong, but he was mistaken,” let me know.

Category Archives: Tongue ‘n Cheek

Where did that hour go?

When you become a fly fisherman ….you know, someone who does things, sees things …even thinks things, without thinking, it should be no surprise that losing an hour of time doesn’t become noticed until well after the hour is lost.Ostrich-with-head-in-sand-illustration

Trout can’t tell time: Oh sure, they know when it’s time to feed, when it’s safe to come out from under the bank or submerged log to intercept that vole or other larger than usual food opportunity, but they could care less of the time. It’s the urge to feed and the opportunity. It’s called being hungry.

The problem with Daylight Savings Time is that it puts you behind, even in the fall when you gain an hour. (You don’t actually gain an hour, it’s still there we just renamed it.) It’s like the retailer’s ad that touts the 50% you’re saving if you buy the item right now – which of course, is only true if you actually wanted or needed the item. If you didn’t, you lost money…I tried to explain that to “She Who Must Be Obeyed” once and, well, suffice it to say it was met with a look and me going on to do other things.

Today is Daylight Savings Time. Today we lost an hour …it’s still there, just not where it was yesterday. To Seamus, nothing changed. This morning he jumped up on the bed and began pawing me to wake up. His internal clock told him it was time to get me up so I would let him out and start the bacon. Had I turned the clock ahead the night before, I would have seen it was an hour later and should feel more rested because I slept an extra hour. Of course, being a fly fisherman, I didn’t change the clock the night before and, being a creature of habit – something Seamus figured out years ago – the usual routine began.

Eventually, “She Who Must Be Obeyed” forced me to get with the program by telling me to set my watch ahead – presumably so I wouldn’t be late for dinner …as though that happens.



Category Archives: Tongue ‘n Cheek


There is a species amongst us I’ll just refer to as the “blowhard.” Its sole function in its less than meaningful existence is to fill a room with hot air and make itself known, usually for no other reason than to say, “Hey, don’t ignore me.”

Blowhards can be dangerous and they’re everywhere. Experts in anything and everything, legends in their own minds. They can make you lose focus if you let them, and make common sense a lost commodity. They do it by being loud, obnoxious and …listened to. Without attention, they’re mundane.

Seamus has a streak of Blowhard in him. Though he can’t speak – at least not with words – he can interrupt, take the attention away from others and squarely put it on himself. He’ll do it with a bark, a whine or just by rubbing himself against you or walking under your hand as your arm hangs over the arm of a chair.

The motivation of a Blowhard is self-gratification … usually profit of some kind. If you’re around a Blowhard long enough, you realize he or she has a short memory – what they’re experts in today can change tomorrow, depending the crowd. Theirs is not to contribute, rather to be heard.

Blowhards, of course, have a function. Blowhards can be entertaining. The next fishing show you attend, check out the hawker with the biggest crowd around him. It will probably be someone selling something “you just can’t live without.” The thing that will turn your kitchen into a place of technological enlightenment. You know, the knife that cuts through bricks. You can throw all other knives away, you only need this one…the thing is I just don’t eat many bricks and the fish I clean aren’t that tough.

Gotta go, Seamus just made his way under my desk and is pushing me back.





Category Archives: Tongue ‘n Cheek

There Is Always Tomorrow!

4_4_ice_fishingHalf of the fun of going on a fishing weekend is in the planning. This time the talk, consisting of the usual brag and lies, took place at the American Legion – there is no sense of planning a fishing weekend without two-fingers of bourbon or two.

It had been a long unusually hard winter for both and they were anxious to get their feet wet (pun intended). They had been on the ice, staring into a 10 inch hole several times, but it just wasn’t as much fun as it used to be …mostly because they were getting up in years and, whether they admit it or not, it just plain hurt to get stiff.

The plan centered on going to the Jordan. The Jordan had been their home river for years and over the past year changes had occurred that changed the character of the river. First: a large tree came down and swept the river causing a sand fill to take shape. Vegetation was choked out and the bottom was like a sandbar. Second: a bridge was constructed, removing two culverts that created a swift flow from one side to the other of the culverts. A large hole was carved out by the swift current that was a staging area for steelhead as they made their way upstream. All that was changed by the bridge that now spanned the river without the culverts. Thus, filling in the hole because the current was no longer a force.

This area had been named Rainbow Bend by the two because on a good day, rainbow, brook and brown trout could be taken there. Now, they weren’t so sure. This stretch of river became an unknown and they were anxious to explore and learn how to fish the change.

It is a stretch of the Jordan that was open to year-around fishing and, weather permitting, they would wade it before the opener. Fishing it early would be a good idea since when the bridge was put in, there was also a parking lot and canoe access added.

The talk quickly turned to tackle, flies to be precise. They both preferred dry flies, but knew it would be difficult to get a fish to rise unless a hatch was coming off and that required a warmer temperature which usually occurred in late afternoon this time of year and waiting until late afternoon wasn’t going to cut it. Alternatives were discussed; streamers, nymphs and wet flies came into the conversation.

Finally, it was over. They had said all there needed saying and the next stop was the local tackle shop to replace old leaders and tippet material. Then it was time to pack and get ready for the four hour ride to the cabin.

That night a front moved in and four inches of snow covered the car the next morning. A quick check of the weather for the Jordan and another trip to the American Legion was necessary to come to a decision of whether or not to make the trip.

It’s been several hours since they met at the Legion and still no decision. Their wives called, telling them dinner was on.

Oh well, there’s always tomorrow.

Category Archives: Tongue ‘n Cheek


DSC_0002Seamus likes toast. There is no such thing as eating a whole piece of toast when Seamus is around; he looks so pitiful your conscience won’t let you do it without sharing.

Toast is one of his favorite foods; it doesn’t matter if it has a jam or butter on it, plain “toast” is good enough … and his favorite is the piece from my hand. I suppose if I were to put a hamburger in his bowl and a piece of toast, the hamburger would be gone first, but the toast wouldn’t last long.

I’m constantly getting scolded from “She Who Must Be Obeyed” that it’s my fault that Seamus begs. Truth be admitted to, Seamus gets almost as much from her hand as he does from mine, she’s just a little more subtle about it. Seamus knows where to go for a handout.

Toast is a staple …no, a necessity, in any fish or grouse camp. It must have originated when someone burnt bread around a cook fire. Then adding a little butter and something sweet, like jam or honey …wow, ”let’s do that again.”

Most of us take toast for granted, that is, until you eat it in a mess hall with several hundred other people, all having gone through a “chow line” in about ten minutes with less time than that to eat it. Of course the toast is just a part of the creation the Army calls SOS, (If you don’t know or remember what SOS stands for, ask you dad or granddad) or, chipped beef on toast will do.

An entire industry sprang up around toast. A few months ago, SWMBO, decided our old toaster wasn’t performing to her standards. So, having learned over 48 years of training not to ignore a hint, I started looking for toasters on line – it doesn’t pay to put things off too long once SWMBO starts talking about “needing” something replaced.

Finally, after hours of internet searching and in store comparing, there is a new toaster on our kitchen counter. And after a not too short tutorial, I can do the same thing I could do with the old one.

As for Seamus, he still thinks toast comes from my hand.



Category Archives: Tongue ‘n Cheek

Careful Who You Tell

I think I need a new pair of waders.

I guess “need” isn’t the right word – after all, I have two pair I rotate between. Both pair are stocking foot and one is the latest material with weld technique to replace stitching to eliminate leaks….like the only way I get wet is if the seams leak.

The problem is, the older I get the lazier I get and putting on stocking foot waders takes time and requires a lot of bending. Boot foot waders, on the other hand, are like putting on you pants in the morning: you just put one foot in followed by the other and slip the suspenders over your shoulder. You give up ankle support with boot food waders, but if you’re not fishing the Madison or even the Ocqueoc, boot foot waders should be fine. All I know is, they’ll get me into the river sooner and are quicker to get out of.

“She Who Must Be Obeyed” keeps asking me if I have anything to put in a garage sale she’s determined to have this spring. If I make getting a new pair of waders a discussion point, I’ll have to have Seamus guard the other two pair….on second thought, that won’t work. She bribes him with treats.

It must be a genetic thing that women have about selling things they think we don’t need anymore. Just because we don’t use all our “stuff” on a regular basis, doesn’t mean we can do without it. Who knows when that little 3wt will come in handy? Just because I use my 5wt most of the time, doesn’t’ mean I won’t need it if I get the chance to fish a small creek. Or the extra vest; the time it saves to have a vest decked out for steelhead and salmon ready to go instead of changing my trout vest over, is immeasurable.

If I give in to this notion of getting rid of things that aren’t used on a regular basis, what’s next? Flies?

No, I better play it cool and not mention needing another pair of waders. The problem now is, I’ve talked it over with Seamus and I’m getting vibes from him that I better come up with more treats.



Category Archives: Tongue ‘n Cheek


It has been pointed out to me by “She Who Must Be Obeyed” that my shortcuts, designed to get us from one place to another quicker, usually cost us money. Hmm, gotta think about that.

I think it isn’t the shortcut that causes the cost, it’s the distraction it can create that derails the straight line concept of “getting there.” Take Seamus: when we’re out hunting or just scouting, there are instances when he gets distracted. Following a scent, suddenly, he can stop and change directions because he saw or smelled something that got his attention; and being a Britt, he has to check it out. It’s ok by me when that happens, you never know when a single can turn into a double.

“She Who Must Be Obeyed” isn’t without distractions either, though it isn’t going to be admitted too easily; It’s hard to pass a craft-shop or new winery. A trip to Petoskey last summer took so many turns I thought is was heading to a new spot on a river down a two-track. But we stopped and, yup, it was costly.

I think her complaint with my shortcuts is they can put new meaning to costly. Take construction on I-75 between Bay City and Standish a couple of years ago. The shortcut was getting off on Wilder Road and taking 13 to Standish where 13 turns into 23 and gets you back onto N/B I-75. Well, as luck would have it the shortcut took me passed Frank’s Great Outdoors in Linwood; for those who have never stopped at Frank’s, let me tell you, it’s worth the shortcut.

Frank’s Great Outdoors is a smaller Cabela’s and Jay’s that started out as a bait shop in the 50’s I think and is now a gem in the Saginaw Bay watershed area. it has most anything you’d want to fish or hunt, mostly dedicated to the Bay. So, when I-75 was under construction, taking the Wilder exit and taking 13 north  was the thing to do and stopping at Frank’s seemed natural. And just because.a new Winchester model 70 and a 10 in ice auger were the results of two stops, I get raised eyebrows every time I take that route just for a change of scenery.

Admittedly, I didn’t need either, but the walnut stock on the 30-06 was too much to pass up. And, well, the 10 inch ice auger makes a bigger hole for the big walleye I anticipate getting in front of the cabin. Both items a necessity, I’m sure you agree.



Category Archives: Tongue ‘n Cheek

If you’ve read the book, you’re an expert!

Someone recently told me, “Don’t ever tell someone there’s nothing you can do for them; you can always do something.”

I suppose that’s a true statement ….if you’re a priest; someone whose job it is get into your pocket by selling you something; or someone so far removed from reality that their ego has them believing they can be all things to all people. The rub, of course, is, the proof is in the showing.

I recall a man – he seemed like a fairly intelligent fellow – who walked into a fly shop wanting the latest and greatest “stuff” so he could catch a trout on a fly …and he said he’s willing to put himself in the hands of the salesman. Well, the salesman, who thought of himself as knowing all there was to know about fly fishing, was delighted to be of assistance. So after selling the man the latest rod, reel and line on the market, a dozen each of a dozen patterns, the latest innovations in fly boxes, new tippet material, a vest to hold it all, and an app so he could instantly check if he was doing it right, the man spent $1500, thanked the salesman and walked out with his “stuff.”

Sometime later, the man came back to the shop and complained to the salesman that despite his latest and greatest “stuff,” he hadn’t caught anymore or any bigger fish than he did with his old outfit. In fact, he became so upset with the app, he threw his phone into the river in frustration.

The salesman listened to the man’s story, sympathized and told him he needed a see-thru waterproof case for his new phone that had a clip so he could hang it from his vest. And, just to cover all bases, he should probably take another dozen each of another dozen patterns …and asked if he needed a bigger fly box to put them in.

Before the man left, he asked the salesman if he fly fished, where he fished, and did he enjoy it? The salesman said, “No, I don’t fish at all, I like to bowl. But I read a book and can tell you anything you want to know.”


Category Archives: Tongue ‘n Cheek

Just Following Instructions!

 ….and went over to the local Sporting Goods Shop to get a small 9 mm for home protection.
 When I was ready to pay for the gun and bullets, the cashier said, “Strip down, facing me.”
 Making a mental note to complain to the NRA about the gun control wackos running amok, I did just as she had instructed.
 When the hysterical shrieking and alarms finally subsided, I found out she was referring to how I should place my Credit Card in the card reader!!
 They need to make their instructions to senior citizens a little clearer.

Category Archives: Tongue ‘n Cheek

A gift for Santa!


Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house,

Not a creature was stirring, except a brown mouse;

Santa had been there and saw what he saw,

A little brown creature with a little white paw;

He needed a pattern for to catch the brown trout,

So he struck up a deal with the little brown sprout;

For a warm place to settle and a crumb of soft cheese,

He became the new model for a pattern to please;IMG_4275-1024x768

With thread and bobbin, and deer hair he spun,

To make up a tidbit sure to give fun;

And filling his fly box with a dozen or two,

He took the mouse home before anyone knew;

With fly vest and bamboo and flies of all kinds;

He headed upstream, wishing all, tight lines!

Merry Christmas!



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