Terry Drinkwine Outdoors!

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

Category Archives: Two Cents Worth

Think. Reason. What’s that?

Every now and again I find myself out-thinking myself. It’s a habit I got into when I was a kid, when I looked for reasons to not have to do something I was expected to do (or do something I was expected not to do). My dad first brought it to my attention – sometimes in an abrupt way – while I tried to explain my logic. Apparently, others have the same habit.IMG_0096

I’ve been hearing a lot, both in the media and from seemingly intelligent well-meaning people, about the cruelness of those who leave their dogs locked in cars with windows cracked, while they’re in a store or restaurant. It’s gotten to the point of people calling 9-1-1 to report it …after all, it IS an emergency; the dog has long hair and his tongue is hanging and it’s hot out.

These are the same people who dress their dogs in scarfs and goofy looking garb that give the animal a human quality because it’s cute and after all, treating the dog like it was human …well, that’s the humane thing to do. Too bad the dog can’t talk, there might be a comment or two his human wouldn’t understand why it was said.

I take exception to being told I’m hurting my best bud, my hunting partner, the one I share my sandwich and ice cream with. I take exception to someone who knows nothing more than having seen a story on a so called news program that ran with a horrific incident where an animal or child was left un attended in a car when the temperatures reached the 90’s and above. I take exception with the busybody who can’t think and reason out what he or she is confronted with.

I know we are in an age where everyone has rights; where by the push of a button or touch of an icon something will happen that enables us to be instantly in charge; where someone will make someone else do something for no better reason than we think it should be done/

If you see a Brittany sitting in the back of a Jeep with the windows cracked and his tongue hanging out, don’t call 9-1-1, it’s Seamus, the dog I make room for when he jumps up on my bed; the dog I share what I’m eating with; the dog I spend an hour picking burrs from his coat after a hunt, because I hurts me to see them intertwined in his coat because I think they hurt …the one I feed and water before I have my morning coffee.

So, unless he’s trying to climb through the partially open window to get out, mind your own business. By the time the cops get there, I’ll be back and gone anyway.

TD

Category Archives: Two Cents Worth

Even by accident, a find is a find!

A find! It took sliding down a hill (sandals don’t make good hiking shoes) while following Seamus as he explored his old haunt along Lake Michigan on the bluff on the south end of the Natural Area. We seldom go to that part, but there were more people than I wanted to content with on the beach area, so into the woods on the high bluff we went.

I heard it before I saw it – the leaves were like a curtain, which was one reason I slipped down the hill – but my curiosity got the better of me and after pulling back the curtain of leaves, there, below, was a rocky creek – mostly from runoff that was probably half the force it was in the spring. Since I was already down in the gorge, I followed it to its mouth to a sea-grass rung area at Lake Michigan.

The creek reminded me of a miniature Gibbons Falls in Yellowstone. Water was cascading over rocks at an elevation too steep for pools to form but the last hundred yards leveled out. I think it will be worth checking out this fall and next spring for spawning salmon.

The rest of the afternoon was spent looking for an easier way down, which of course made for an easier way back up. One thing’s for sure, no sandals the next time we come back.

TD

Category Archives: Two Cents Worth

IF… – a poem by Rudyard Kipling

 

 

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build ‘em up with wornout tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run –
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man my son!

Category Archives: Two Cents Worth

What’s old is new …if you wait long enough.

The boy had little in the way of equipment and yet he managed to have a good time catching fish. His three-piece bamboo pole (not to be confused with a bamboo rod) was bought at a general store in Chesterfield, Indiana, and it came with line (cord, actually) tied with a nondescript knot to the tip. A piece of stiff monofilament was tied to the cord that had an Eagle Claw hook …probably a size 8 or 10. A round bobber was attached to the mono along with a split shot and It cost only a couple of dollars; all that the boy could afford.

It was his prized possession for several years and he used it whenever he could find someone to take him fishing. The pole caught pan fish mainly, but the occasional bass and pike took him to the expectation of bigger fish …if only in his dreams for the time being.

As he grew older, his equipment grew with the addition of gifts of old rods from relatives and family friends; equipped with open-faced bait casting reels, the kind that produced a bird’s nest of tangled line if he didn’t apply the right amount of pressure with his thumb as the spool let the line wind off.

The line was a black braided material that was used for almost any species; it was strong and had to be cut to break. And as with everything else at the time, was relatively cheap.

The boy grew up, was able to afford more and his equipment grew. He turned his preference to fly fishing and trout. It became his passion. Soon he had the “latest and greatest” of everything the magazines and books said he needed. He even took a job in a fly shop, just to be near the “latest and greatest.”

But, as sure as the earth turns, things change and fads – new and old – take center stage. Tenkara arrived on the scene and, as with other fads before, it became the new “must” in the fly fishing world …and of course as it caught on, the price of the one piece rod with the line tied to the tip with a mono leader and fly, went up as well.

As the boy got older and wasn’t as persuaded by advertisement in magazines or displays and claims in fly shops, he dug out the first pole he bought back in Chesterfield, Indiana, took off the bobber, split shot and Eagle Claw hook, replaced it with a larger than usual fly, let it float over a bubble line and caught fish.

Over “two fingers of bourbon” he smiled and chuckled to himself. If he had known at the time he was Tenkara fishing, he might have bought two of the poles. He could have made a profit.

TD

 

 

 

Category Archives: Two Cents Worth

The thumb is part of the mitten too!

It took the course of a year to bring me back to The Thumb. To be more precise, it took the spawning of smallmouth bass to bring me back to The Thumb … Port Austin to be exact.11259469_10207039200003731_24118184625435048_n

To some it might seem strange for grown men and women to follow the mating habits of fish, but spawning smallmouth in waddable Eagle Bay and Grindstone Harbor have that allure. So 50 plus anglers – fly fishers to be exact – members of the Michigan Fly Fishing Club took over the Blue Spruce Motor Lodge and the several restaurants in the not so busy town that will assuredly go through a transformation after Memorial Day and swell in population.

Port Austin is one of those little towns along Lake Huron that, at one time, were fishing villages or places where Michigan’s natural resources gave residents a livelihood.

Today, after losing the industry, those hamlets have beautifully transformed harbors for pleasure boaters and sport-fishers. From perch to salmon, The Thumb is a destination for vacationers wanting a two hour or less trip from the Detroit area.

The fish were there, the town was hospitable and a little restaurant next to the harbor, served the best breakfast I’ve had anywhere. Couple that with friends and it doesn’t get any better.

See you next year.

TD

 

 

Category Archives: Two Cents Worth

Don’t bother me with details, just give me results!

Everyone has a sad story these days. Something isn’t right or “this should be like that” …you know what I mean. What ever happened to, “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it?”

I think the root cause of this insatiable thirst for ‘improving’ on things is that we, at one time or another, tend to out-think ourselves. Take the guy with six fly boxes in his vest. (Don’t ask how many are in mine.) Despite the selection, time of year and what hatch is coming off, he’s usually convoluted as to which pattern to tie on; patience is forgotten if immediate results aren’t forthcoming – and so the urge to make a change takes over.th

I hate change …I’m using the word “hate” here; I hate change almost as much as I hate the notion of “transparency.” You know what transparency is, it’s what people talk about when they think they have a right to know how everyone does anything that affects them. It’s gotten to epidemic proportion and usually results in the stifling of “what works.”

Accountability, that’s what works for me. What’s the end result and how does it affect me? I don’t care whether you pick your nose with your left hand or right, if you’re a nosepicker I don’t want to shake your hand in either case.

TD

Category Archives: Two Cents Worth

Home!

After being released from the work detail, I made it to the Jordan,  Through no fault of my own …well, maybe a little my fault, I had been absent from the river, but now I finally headed deep into a section of woods bordering the river that seemed impenetrable from the road; and with good reason. Large trees had been completely uprooted. I mean their root base were perpendicular to the ground sticking out from the trunk like a wall.

It took some time getting deeper into the woods along the river further upstream. Where I finally came out, the river seemed pristine; everything was as it should be …including brookies. For an hour I cast Hendricksons in all stages and was rewarded with natives.

It was good to be home.

TD

Category Archives: Two Cents Worth

Thought of the day:

Damien Echols's photo.

…..when you’re watching someone tie a fly, fishing with a friend or in a boat wondering why you’re the one not catching!

Category Archives: Two Cents Worth

A little late, but I’ll be there!

There are two dates that hold equal status in my love for nature and its bounty; opening day of trout season and opening day of grouse season. There is no ornamentation beyond the traditional garb and no iconic symbolism beyond the scenery, but, like Virginia, if you believe, they are special.DSC_0047

For the first time in more years than I can actually remember – for sure never since finding a home in the Michigan Fly Fishing Club – have I missed an opening day of trout season. This is the year I have to delay my pilgrimage to the cold, pristine waters where my favorite trout – the native (though not truly native) brook trout -abodes.

There is no reason to shed a tear for my plight …though an offer of “two fingers” of bourbon wouldn’t be refused, because, as I said, I’ll be delayed. On Wednesday, the Jeep will head north with the cruise control set at the appropriate speed to give maximum distance within the tolerance of most Troopers, LEOs and others who are watching for “rabbits” on I 75 and are probably in a foul mood for having missed their pilgrimage too.

Actually, this was my own doing, so I can’t blame anyone other than myself. But just in case anyone reading this plans on going to the gathering at Gates Au Sable Lodge on Saturday morning, a nice gesture would be to have a Bloody Mary for me when the MFFC toasts the new season and remembers those who passed on to fish the sublime waters with the Grand Piscator himself.

If you’re traveling north on I 75 on Wednesday, stay in the right lane.

TD

 

 

 

Category Archives: Two Cents Worth

As Mother Nature rejuvenates herself, if you’re lucky, you will too.

After the long hard winter, the two-track weathered just fine. It’s a testament to nature taking care of its own – if we leave her to her own devices. The ruts are less wide and the middle hump is a little more ragged, but the first few cars that go down will re-shape it. I hope it will be me, returning many times.Brookie water

At the end of the two-track, at the cul-de-sac, the once used buck pole stands hidden by shrubbery that has grown around it over the years. By next month, it will be hard to see as the leaves populate the bushes and trees. My first trip will leave a depressed area where I park the Jeep at the edge of the field of ferns. It is also where I gather ferns to line the wicker creel to bed the couple of brookies I’ll keep for the traditional opening season breakfast.

Making my way down the ridge I encounter bog, downed trees and look for deer trails that I know will lead to the river. It’s no use trying to plot a straight line, the soft spring bottom and downed trees and rotted stumps make that impossible. But the river isn’t that far and if I listen, I can hear the sound of rushing water as it passes over sweepers and newly downed trees, some of which will have to be cut back to let canoes pass without having to push their way through. For now, they will make interesting pools to carefully and methodically probe with nymphs and carefully placed dries.

I’m not the first to be here, canoes and kayaks have floated this water, but judging from the two-track, I’m the first to climb down from the ridge and over the bank to meet the natives on their terms. It sounds tripe, but I swear, Ponce de Leon was looking for this place.

TD

 

 

 

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