Archive for the ‘Circuses’ Category

Milwaukee Salmon (but not Steelhead)   5 comments

I fished in Milwaukee on Saturday with dozens of my closest friends. There are a lot of guys out there after salmon. I haven’t got the strategy figured out yet for catching migrating salmon legally. I’m suspicious that every salmon caught in the Milwaukee River is caught via a snag. I know this debate rages on forums like Lake-Link.com with some saying they are catching them in the mouth while others go on and on about witnessing fish harvested with treble hooks in the dorsal fin. It sure looked to me like the few hooks that found salmon were stuck in places well back from the mouth.

I’m hoping in the next several weeks the salmon have run their course, the weather gets nasty, and the Steelhead are all that’s left of the lake-run fish. I’ll be out there, with a lot fewer friends, swinging streamers for Steelhead.

Speaking of swinging, I got the hang of the Skagit cast to the degree that I made every fourth or fifth cast very adeptly. I have work to do to get power into my cast so I can get them to reach a little further. Right now I’m basically able to cast the shooting head and about ten feet of running line. I need to slow things down a bit on the forward cast I guess.

Cheers!

 

Salmon Fisherman on the Milwaukee River

Salmon Fisherman on the Milwaukee River

 

 

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

 

 

Madison Fishing Expo   Leave a comment

Stephen and I went to check out the Madison Fishing Expo tonight. First time for both of us.

I think our collective reaction to the proceedings could be summed up as follows:

Meh.

We heard about some improvements in the works for Black Earth Creek in the Village of Cross Plains, we took in the wonder of giant fishing boats with glittery paint, and saw more than our fair share of musky lures, discounted “custom” fishing rods, and people shilling for northwoods retreats and guide services.

 

A well-fed Pike

A well-fed Pike

 

For the kids there was a “trout pond” full of brook trout meeting their maker by way of a piece of corn affixed to a hook. The best part was that after a kid hooked a fish, their dad would take it off the hook and then the “UNDERTAKER” would come around with a bag and a knife and “put the fish out”, as we say in the business.

 

The Fishin' Pond - complete with hillbilly background music

The Fishin' Pond - complete with hillbilly background music

Hey kid, lemme put that fish out for ya.

Hey kid, lemme put that fish out for ya.

 

The highlight of the night was talking to a couple of trout fishermen, Craig Amacker and Rob, from Fontana Sports. Two knowledgeable, friendly guys with the only fly rods in the entire place.

Last, and probably least, my favorite painting from the expo (although the 3-D largemouth chasing a leech was a close second)…

 

I'm a wolf, bitch!

I'm a wolf, bitch!

 

My advice, spend your $8 admission fee (and $6 parking fee) on a burger and a pitcher of beer at your neighborhood tavern. That’s $14 well spent.

Posted February 25, 2011 by troutseeker in Circuses

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