Archive for June 2012

Summer!   Leave a comment

I live in a neighborhood that borders Lake Wingra, and this summer we’ve taken full advantage of that. We joined Wingra Boats and now have access to all of their canoes, kayaks, rowboats, and stand-up paddle boards.

My buddy and neighbor Stephen Rose has also joined up (he made me do it, actually) and yesterday he took his sons and I took two of mine “down to the lake”, as we say, for some fun in the water. The boys handle the kayaks beautifully, and even though it was windy, Stephen took out a stand-up paddle board. As you can see from the pics, these things make great play platforms. In a word, they are Awesome!

Hope you enjoy the photographs…

 

Shepard loves the lake!

Shepard loves the lake!

 

Good times on Lake Wingra

Good times on Lake Wingra

 

It's summer! Woo Hooo!

It’s summer! Woo Hooo!

 

Bode, Joe, Heron, and Stephen on Lake Wingra

Bode, Joe, Heron, and Stephen on Lake Wingra

 

Fun Factor: Off the chart.

Fun Factor: Off the chart.

 

There's a happy young man.

There’s a happy young man.

 

I'm pretty sure this guy has gills somewhere.

I’m pretty sure this guy has gills somewhere.

 

S.U.P on Lake Wingra

S.U.P on Lake Wingra

 

 

Bottle Cap Blues (Via MoldyChum.com)   1 comment

Posted June 11, 2012 by troutseeker in Films

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Venice Beach   Leave a comment

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It’s not Wisconsin.

Posted June 8, 2012 by troutseeker in Wisconsin

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“Light Traffic” this morning in Hollywood   Leave a comment

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Posted June 8, 2012 by troutseeker in Wisconsin

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Hollywood   5 comments

Today I took a trip to Hollywood. I work for a theatrical lighting and controls company and we have an office on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. I am visiting the office here in Hollywood this week to work with a team of engineers and PhD optical experts to suss out a design on a new light fixture. If I tell you any more about the project I will be terminated from my job and I’ll have to relinquish my first born son.

At any rate, travelling west is weird, for a few reasons. First, the time change is two hours. When you drive from Wisconsin to California that’s no big deal. But I flew, so I left Madison at 7am and arrived in LA at 11:30, even though 6.5 hours had elapsed. Whatever. Second, the surroundings are not familiar to me, which I guess one would take for granted since I’m a long way from home. But I’ve been even further from home than this and the surroundings have felt more familiar in those farther-off locales than LA. I guess that’s it for weirdness. OK, now the trip.

When the plane took off from Madison’s Truax field we flew right over my neighborhood. I almost had an “I can see my house!” moment, but there’s so many darn trees in Madison I couldn’t actually see it. Still, it’s cool when that happens. We flew right over and along Black Earth Creek too, and then I could legitimately say “I can see my trout stream!” Nice.

We flew along the Wisconsin River clear up until it met the Mississippi at Wyalusing, where I’ll be camping next weekend with my family. I suppose I could have thought at that moment, “I can see my campsite!”, but I didn’t actually think that.

 

 

Wisconsin's Driftless Region and the Lower Wisconsin River

Wisconsin’s Driftless Region and the Lower Wisconsin River

 

 

I had craned my neck for nearly fifteen minutes and that made me pretty darned tired, so I had to close my eyes for a while.

 

 

Tom napping

Tom napping

 

 

I got to Minneapolis and got a muffin and some coffee, sat down at my gate and waited. When they called my “zone” for boarding I somehow dumped my cup of coffee all over my lap. I was kind of hot and very wet. Damn. Everyone kind of looked at me like “Damn, that’s too bad. I wonder if it hurts?” No one made any move to help or anything. It was such a hot mess I can’t blame them for staying out of it. Luckily I had packed a pair of jeans in my duffle, which managed to stay out of the path of the coffee, so once on the plane I went straight to the lavatory and changed pants. Awesome.

I arrived in LA, got my rental car, and drove north on everyone’s favorite freeway, the 405. This road just can’t help itself. It needs to be choked with traffic. Ugh. I got off at Wilshire and took it to Santa Monica Blvd (UCLA, Beverly Hills, and the house where OJ Simpson’s wife was killed) , and took that to Sunset, which I then took to Laurel Canyon Rd (you know, like in the Joni Mitchell song Ladies of the Canyon). I then turned on Mulholland to drive past Don Henley’s and Jack Nicholson’s houses, and found my way to Universal City and my Hilton hotel. If all of this is just too much for you, I hope you can at least enjoy this picture I took from Mulholland of, like, The Valley.

 

 

Before they made movies here, the hottest thing going was a chicken farm!

Before they made movies here, the hottest thing going was a chicken farm!

 

 

Once in my hotel room I inquired about laundry services (in by 9am, done by 5pm) and found my room, overlooking, incidentally, the “mountain” the above picture was taken from. My hotel is the black building in the center of the picture.

I was determined not to go and eat at the mega-tourist-trap just behind my hotel known as the “Universal Citywalk”. I had been taken there once before and it wasn’t for me. No, I wanted to have an experience that was not available to me in Madison, Wisconsin.

It turns out there are several very good food trucks in LA, and I zeroed in on “El Matador”, located in the parking lot of an Asian muffler shop where Lexington meets N. Western. Dude, the Al Pastor tacos were muy bueno! Plus, the guy who took my order called me “amigo”.

 

 

El Matador Taco Truck, Hollywood, CA

El Matador Taco Truck, Hollywood, CA

 

 

Just across the 101 from El Matador is “Little Armenia”, pronounced “Leetal Armeenia” by some, but not by me. I had to park over there off Fountain Street because there was no parking near El Pastor. There was a nice church nearby.

 

 

Nice church. Whoa! A Toyota Previa! Jay Ford Thurston's long lost Armenian cousin?

Nice church. Whoa! A Toyota Previa! The Jay Ford Thurston’s long lost Armenian cousin?

 

 

Finally, the Coup of grace, I drove up to the Griffith Observatory to enjoy the last of my Al Pastor tacos and Mexican Coca-Cola. They did a nice job removing the tread marks from Optimus Prime’s shoes. I couldn’t see them anywhere.

 

 

Blah blah blah heros blah blah blah...

Blah blah blah heros blah blah blah…

 

 

Here’s a shot of the Observatory that they didn’t show in the movie Transformers…

 

 

Griffith Park Observatory men's Lavatory

Griffith Park Observatory men’s Lavatory

 

 

Everyone was taking pictures of the HOLLYWOOD sign as the sun was setting behind it. I think a morning shot would turn out better, but it’s inconvenient to wake up in the morning to go take a picture. Here’s my version…

 

 

A terribly lit HOLLYWOOD sign

A terribly lit HOLLYWOOD sign

 

If I seem a little cynical about visiting LA I apologize. The truth is I’m a little homesick already. I was “alone” most of the day in an unfamiliar place. I guess I can relate to my Grandma Viola Anderson, who grew up on the plains of North Dakota, when she went to Big Sky Montana 40 years ago. Her reaction to the beautiful Rocky Mountains? “You can’t see very far.” It goes to show there’s no place like home, eh?

 

 

Me and the Griffith, Los Angeles, CA

Me and the Griffith, Los Angeles, CA

 

 

Images from Friday   7 comments

Enjoy the pics from our outing to Richland County last Friday.

George (from Colorado) was struck by how lush the valley was. And if you’ve ever visited the Rocky Mountain high country, you know what he means.

What a beautiful place to call home!

 

Katie Rose with her first ever trout. Nice!

Katie Rose with her first ever trout. Nice!

 

Lush? Uh, yeah. Richland County, Wisconsin

Lush? Uh, yeah. Richland County, Wisconsin

 

George angling for some spring creek Brown Trout.

George angling for some spring creek Brown Trout.

 

Stephen Rose shoots fly line like a friggin' locomotive!

Stephen Rose shoots fly line like a friggin’ locomotive!

 

The view from naptime in the Driftless.

The view from naptime in the Driftless.

 

Tom A-B in one heckuva pool. How would you approach this? I didn't do well...

Tom A-B in one heckuva pool. How would you approach this? I didn’t do well…

 

 

Friday was a Good Day!   Leave a comment

Friday, I took the day off work and joined Stephen Rose, his sister Katie, and Stephen’s sister’s partner’s sister’s husband George (ha!) for a fishing excursion to Richland County to fish a gem of a creek in the Driftless. Stephen and I have had good luck here and thought it would be a nice place to take Katie, a first-time trout fisher, and George, and Colorado fly-fishing veteran.

Katie used spinning gear and had no trouble hooking into trout from the start. By the time we left the stream, she was a seasoned pro.

George, who fishes rivers like the South Platte and the Frying Pan back home, found out just how technical the fishing in our Driftless spring creeks can be. He was fishing a dry-dropper rig early and learned the hard way how spooky the trout in these crystal clear creeks can be. Nevertheless, he found his way into some trout after a short quick adjustment to his approach, and had plenty of positive things to say about the Driftless and the fishing.

 

Wisconsin's Driftless Region

Wisconsin’s Driftless Region

 

I will make an effort to put some pictures of our outing up this evening or tomorrow.

Hope you all had a great weekend.