Terry Drinkwine Outdoors!

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Category Archives: Tongue ‘n Cheek

One mans treasure ….

If it’s not broken, don’t fix it. Sounds like sound advice, but men being men, it’s not quite that simple. Those of us with more time on our hands than we know what to do with are always trying to fix something – make it better – and more times than not, end up with a pile of nuts, bolts, springs and a lot of washers. Years ago I tried to fix a coo coo clock …you guessed it, the clock went away because I couldn’t put it back together again.

But now comes the internet. So far, I’ve found schematics to every reel, boat motor and most everything else I’ve tried to fix, whether it was broken or not.

Once I figure out how things work, they loose some of their mystery and appeal. So I’m ok with getting rid of them fore something I haven’t figured out how to “fix.”

This Saturday at the Birch Run Expo Center, there will be lots of stuff to tinker with. I’ll be there looking for “old – new” stuff. But, if it has too many scratch marks, I’ll know someone “fixed” it a few times. I think I’ll pass on that one.


Category Archives: Tongue ‘n Cheek

You can’t play mumble peg without a pocket knife!

I’m a dinosaur. I know it and accept it. It’s taken a lot of years to get as set in my ways as I am and I’m comfortable being there and see little reason to change. But sometimes things I take for granted turn out to be soul searchers. Take pocket knives.21R624_AW01

I’ve been carrying the same pocket knife for over thirty years. It’s an Old Timer made by Schrade. I guess it’s what you’d refer to as a stockman’s knife used in stores to open cardboard boxes prior to the razor knife’s introduction. It has three blades: one regular blade, one “sheep’s foot” blade and a short flat edged blade. It’s too small for its own sheath and too big for a keychain. It’s just the right size for my pant pocket.

My first recollection of a pocket knife was my father’s. It was a common folding knife with manila colored sides that was popular in the 40’s and 50’s. When he gave it to me, the first thing I did was throw it at a huge oak tree in our backyard like Jim Bowie, hoping it would stick and I’d look cool. It didn’t. The sides popped off and worse yet, my dad saw me do it and I not only lost the knife, but after a swift kick in the rear, I had to start proving I was smart and mature enough to earn my having my own pocket knife all over again.

I think I was pretty typical when it came to thinking pocket knives were cool and everyone should know who to throw one and make it stick in a tree. After all, we played cowboys and Indians, cops and robbers and war. And the men we imitated and looked up to all knew how to throw a knife…..we saw it on TV and surely it was true.

We were expected to cut ourselves too; mostly by being careless when closing the blade. The good news was it only took one bleeding finger before you learned how not to cut yourself again.

Moms were never ok with boys getting a pocket knife. It took dad to allow it; usually as part of a camping trip or learning how to clean fish. Slowly moms came around once they understood the knives were only used on camping trips or part of a Scouting project.

Most of us never considered taking one to school. Getting caught meant having to bring a note home and have a parent come and pick up the knife, resulting in yet another swift kick or two in the rear – for carrying it let alone bringing it to school; no questions asked or explanations accepted.

I thought about all this because my grandkids are getting to the age when learning how to use a pocket knife is going to be important. As they do more outdoor things like go fishing, they’ll want to clean their catch so they can eat what they caught, cut sticks to roast marshmallows over an open fire with or maybe just plain whittle a stick down to a toothpick like gramps does.

Having a pocket knife today is a little different and can cause problems. Ever try getting through security at an airport with a pocket knife in your pocket? You’ll never get it back if you do. If a kid takes one to school, it won’t be up to the parent to straighten him out; it’s an automatic suspension in most districts.

There are good reasons for these restrictions of course. It’s the price we pay for feeling everyone’s pain instead of insisting on personal responsibility.

Pocket knives have taken on the connotation of being a weapon instead of a tool.

Having said all that, pocket knives are still a part (necessity really) of the out-of-doors and there is no reason for them not to be part of the “coming of age” process. So before things get too far out of hand, applying common sense might just be the “ounce of prevention”.

When my grandkids come up north, they’ll cut their own roasting sticks, sharpen them to take a hotdog or marshmallow and they’ll learn to use a fillet knife to clean fish. They’ll do it under supervision and with the knowledge that a knife is a tool not a toy. Just in case, I’ll have a good supply of Bactine and Band-Aids on hand.

The Boy’s and Girl Scouts are great organizations that teach kids the use and respect for things like pocket knives. They do an even better job when parents are involved too.

I can’t wait until the issue of a .22 comes up.


Category Archives: Tongue ‘n Cheek

There was a reason my mother tied my gloves around my neck.

There are glasses (cheaters and sunglasses) in almost every river I fish on a regular basis in Northern Michigan …and, of course, they’re mine, or, used to be mine. For some reason, I have this mistaken belief that I can do two or more things at the same time and keep my mind on each as I do it.

The result is, when I’m trying to change flies in a hurry because fish are rising and I think I know what they’ll take, the important thing is always to get the fly on the water. The problem is, I can’t even see the eye of an 18, let alone thread the tippet through it without my glasses. So the process of changing from sunglasses to cheaters, selecting a fly from the box and tying it on, then changing back to my sunglasses is the equivalent of a monkey having sex with a football.

I know there are several options, like wearing a lanyard on each pair of glasses, or just plain taking my time and thinking about what I’m doing, which I do most of the time, but at least six times a year, I loose a pair of glasses; the worst part being, I don’t know it until I need them for the next change. Usually it’s the cheaters that go, but several times last year, it was my sunglasses.

There are several ways to address this problem, one being to connect them to a lanyard and hang them around my neck. But doing that with two pair, well, you feel like a bird dog with several collars while trying to get through brush and bushes.The other is to buy smart.

Having been an optometrist in a past life and owning my own shop, I know the difference between quality and hype when it comes to glasses, especially lenses. So I’ve taken the position that if I’m going to loose a pair of glasses several times a season, I’m not going to give up a high cost pair of cheaters or sunglasses. Those can be saved for normal, non-standing in a stream activities, like leaving them in a restaurant or fly shop.

Cheaters are just magnifiers that come in various diopters. Once you know what yours is, the two dollar pair do just as well as the $75 pair …and it hurts less when they become part of the bottom structure on a stream or muck along a bank as you’re climbing out.

At last week’s Outdoorama, I found a booth that sold all types of sunglasses. Their display was nice but they were a cheap grade. Having said that, their lenses were a fair grade of polarization and for the price, when I loose them, it would let me go on fishing without dwelling on how I was going to explain to “She Who Must Be Obeyed” why I was buying another pair of sunglasses instead of taking her out for dinner.

For the treasure hunters reading this, there is a custom pair of polarized sunglasses somewhere between Graves Crossing and C 624 on the Jordan. If you find them, wear them in good health.


Category Archives: Tongue ‘n Cheek

Dog hair…hmmm!

This is the time of year when things that are taken for granted any other time, consume my thoughts and become as important as making sure there’s enough bacon for Seamus in the morning. So after tinkering and trifling with anything and everything, my attention was turned loose on dog hair.IMG_0096

It occurred to me – when I happened to glance at a dark sweatshirt I was wearing –that Seamus is leaving a trail of white and liver colored hair on everything he rubs against or in the air when he shakes; which isn’t that often because I think he’s trying to conserve energy like I am. Anyway, I digress.

Suddenly it crossed my mind that “She Who Must Be Obeyed” is constantly on me to brush Seamus because, as she puts it, “There’s dog hair on everything in the house and it’s clogging up the vacuum.” But Seamus is about as excited about being brushed as I am about shaving. (“She Who Must Be Obeyed” has thoughts on that too.)

I thought back to when I had Jake, my yellow lab, who’s fur I collected and used it to tie caddis wings on smaller hook sizes. It wasn’t as stiff as bucktail and stiffer than squirrel tail. So I began pulling dog hair from my shirt, the couch and loveseat, and before I knew it I had a nice little bundle of fine soft fur. Dry fly dubbing is soft, I thought. So I cut it up with a sharp pair of scissors until I could dub it on tying thread without protruding strands.

The next step was to get the right mixture of colors. The white with a little brown made a shade I could use for sulfurs but, if I mixed in more brown, I could use it for other mayfly patterns …then it hit me. I could bundle the different mixtures up and sell them. But first I had to get a decent quantity.

“She Who Must Be Obeyed” was all for it. She got out the vacuum cleaner, showed me how to turn it on, and showed me what the attachments were for. I was on the way to….hey, wait a minute.

Boy that was a close one.



Category Archives: Tongue ‘n Cheek

Sometimes you just get caught up in the process!


Been there, done that.

Category Archives: Tongue ‘n Cheek

And then, there’s alway that!

Ice fishing is one of the cheapest ways to fish: You cut, drill or chop a hole in the ice, drop a line with a mousey, wax worm or minnow and wait for something to swim by and suck in the tasty morsel. Maybe you have a shanty and a propane heater, but that’s about it ….unless you stop at Franks Great Outdoors in Linwood on your way Up North for a teardrop or two.On the ice4_4_ice_fishing

Franks is one of those all-encompassing outdoors stores like Cabela’s and Bass Pro on M-13 in Linwood. It started as a bait shop in the 50’s and is now a go-to place for basic, no-nonsense hunting and fishing supplies. And it’s geared to local activity; the Saginaw Bay region, especially where ice fishing is concerned.

But, for the weak of mind, it’s a trap. Take the guy who stops for a few tear drops and walks out with a 10″ ice auger. A good deal to be sure …but don’t tell that to “She Who Must Be Obeyed” who was standing at the register with a smile on her face that spoke volumes of things that will be said …later!

It could have been worse …they sell shotguns and fly rods too.


Category Archives: Tongue ‘n Cheek


After receiving numerous complains about Ernest Johnson taking bushels of fish out of Lake Watson, the Department of Natural Resources sent an undercover officer to investigate. Jim Dotson, arrived in town and went into the local American Legion and joined in on the banter about how the fish were biting on the lake.

It was several hours later when Ernest Johnson and Jim Dotson struck up a friendship after Dotson bought several rounds. The long and short of their discussion ended with Johnson inviting Dotson to come fishing with im the next day.dynamite

They met at the small boat launch in an isolated part of Lake Watson, where Johnson kept a small boat chained to a tree. After loading their tackle boxes, Johnson took a wooden box out of his truck and put it gently in the middle of the boat. They went to the cove in the big pines and dropped the anchor. Ernest lifted the wooden box and sat it down in front of his feet. After opening the lid, he took out a stick of dynamite, lit it and threw it into the lake. Instantly it exploded, causing a gush of water to shoot over their heads and into the boat. When the water settled down, Ernest scooped up a dozen fish that were now laying unconscious on top of the water and put them in a gunny sack.

Dotson couldn’t believe it. He instantly blurted out, “I’m a Game Warden, and you’re under arrest for the illegal taking of fish.”

Ernest had taken another stick of dynamite from the box, lit it and threw it over the side with the same results.

Jim Dotson was speechless. Regaining his composure he blurted out again, “I’m a Game Warden, and you’re under arrest.”

Ernest didn’t skip a beat. He took out another stick of dynamite from the box, lit it and handed it to Dotson. “Now,” he said. “Are you going to talk, or fish?”




Category Archives: Tongue ‘n Cheek

“I win by default”

Three actuaries went rabbit hunting and see a rabbit running across a field in front of them. The first actuary shoots and shoots behind the rabbit. The second actuary shoots and shoots ahead of the rabbit. The third actuary says, “I got him.”Cotton tail

There is a moral in there somewhere.


Category Archives: Tongue ‘n Cheek

Makes sense to me!

Peggi Sue Streambeds's photo.

Category Archives: Tongue ‘n Cheek

Thought of the day

For those who think they’re shrinking as they get older, go for a walk in the snow wearing felt sole wadding boots; before you get a 20 yards, you’ll be two inches taller …you might as well take a fly rod with you, why waste the euphoria you feel from putting on wadding boots.


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