Thursday, October 27, 2011

On Cognition

   Who does not desperately cling to the notion that there is, if not benevolence, then at least ambivalence, in the workings of the fates? Show me a person that is indifferent to their destiny and I will show you one who is either enlightened or insane.

   The possibility that the states of enlightenment and insanity are co-mingled has, to my mind, never been properly refuted. That is not to say that I recon they are intertwined out of necessity, nor do I believe that coincidence mandates a causal interconnectedness. But on matters of our individual consciousness(es) there is little concrete understanding and much wearisome dogma. I do not comprehend what it is that constitutes an individual intellect, and I am dubious –contemptuous, even– of those that profess such knowledge. Still, knowledge is fruit borne of a tree which is by inquisition fortified. I do not begrudge examination of the issue. I merely disdain those that arrive at their destination without first making the voyage. For my part, a deep innate laziness allows me to be convinced only of my ignorance.

   I am tormented by fish. I am drawn out of myself by fish. I am pleased and rewarded and edified and damned by fish. Fish are my muse, my prison guard, my confidant, my companion, my ruin. I am held hostage by their watery visage, their alien grace, their solem and mute testimony. Why? Why? Why? If I may myself not answer this simple question, who may perchance offer a solution? I hate them at times, the way that we do all the things we love. But out of the deepness of my affinity comes a rage and contempt that would be impossible to conjure for a less beloved thing. I desire to possess them all, at last, and to gain the thing that eludes me. That thing is... nothing. And everything.

   I mentioned in a post this spring that I set goals for my angling. I am abandoning that practice. There is only one way that I can arrive at the end of this madness, and I am not yet eager for it. I am Sisyphus applying my shoulder to the rock. It should be enough that I have the rock to apply myself to. Many lack even that.

   My stated objectives in the entry dealing with my goals for this solar cycle were to catch a lake trout, a wiper, and a tiger muskie. I was able to capture an admirable specimen of both the hybrid and the lake trout in rapid time and with little effort. It was looking very much like it would be the first time in years I would meet my goals. And then a funny thing happened on the way to statistics.

   I quit caring.

   Not that it would not please me to catch a big gorgeous tiger muskie, but I just lost interest in chasing some arbitrary accomplishment when I might actually prefer to go bass fishing or to toss Stimmies at brook trout. And what of it? I may not know why I am addicted to angling, but I do know that I do not enjoy my fishing when it becomes obligate.

   I quit fishing competitive events because I did not relish the sensation of being held accountable to anything tangible, the other competitors, luck, the quantity in standardized measurements of fish-flesh that I could bring in a bag to the stage.

   Five alive, what a pointless objective.

   But then, aren't they all?


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Foiled and painted

Just a quick update on the status of my home-brew swimbaits...

There is an individual in Georgia (I love this, I lived in Marietta, GA for a while) that is interested in the bait. For what it is worth, this guy is getting the first swimbait I have ever produced for the public.

He wants a "Bone" patterned bait.

Bone, for the layperson, is a bait without paint. It is the natural white color of the plastic that is used by manufacturers for injection molded baits, and, as such, needs no paint. Therefore, it is a mild affront to my sensibilities that anyone would prefer a "bone" pattern to my own interpretation of a shad or a herring.

I think I will get over it...

In the mean time, here is another bait that I have foiled and painted...

Another view...

I am starting to have a good time with this...


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Fall Photo Essay

   I have avoided the Dream Stream this fall due to the incredible amounts of ass-hats that populate the river in the autumn of the year. The sight of every parking lot filled to capacity, trash lining the banks, dead and dying fish, and roving gangs of knuckle dragging mouth breathers sporting neopreme camo waders (two sizes too small,) mesh trucker hats, Ugly Sticks and blank expresionless stares, or the fancy pants thirtysomethings with "Orvis Endorsed Guide" stickers on their Land Rovers, smoking cigars and acting like they own the place, stomping up and down the bank, putting down a fish that you just managed to get set up on after a five or ten minute stalk, yeah, pretty much fuck that noise. I will go if and when the weather sucks.

   One the other hand, it is a little known and often overlooked fact that not every trout in Colorado lives in the South Platte river. There are several reservoirs in the state, and many of these have tributaries. Some of the reservoirs with tributaries are also inhabited by brown trout, and well, we won't know if we don't go, will we?

Fear the Jew-Fro


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Makin' baits

You folks know by now that I like to build lures. I like to tie flies, I like to dig worms. I like to fish.

But this summer has been all about bass fishing and bass lure making for me. I am quite content when I am able to sit at my desk and saw, hack, whittle, carve, mask, trim, and paint some new thing or other. Most of the time they turn out to be ho-hum also ran's that while being on the whole adequate, are nothing special.

You may or may not recall a few months (eons?) back I posted a tutorial for building swimbait blanks. That project, while it showed potential, was shelved as I waited in vain to hear back from a gentleman in the great state of California. This fellow was to have applied his considerable talent to the finishwork of my bait blanks. Though I am not a complete amateur in the arts of painting, I though it best to leave that element of the construction to a qualified professional.

I sent him two of my baits.

That was this spring.

I have been unable to reach him since then.

I dislike this most keenly.

Therefore, I resolved to finish the baits that I had left at my disposal in the way that best suited my purposes. Lacking the skill to apply an acceptable photofinish (for the moment) I used my airbrush and my paintbrush to do the finishwork.

That was a week ago, and I could not be more pleased with the results. I made an initial bait for personal use, and sprayed it with sparr varnish, being thinner and more susceptible to damage than epoxy. Why would I desire such a property in a finish? I like baits that are scarred and damaged from usage. These are the proven items that I reach for time and again. The thin finish afforded by the varnish, appart from being fast and easy, provides just such an effect.

You folks remember these baits, right?

Here is one with paint!

Here is another. This one is going out into the world for beta-testing.

Here is an experiment (quite successful) with embossing a scale pattern.

And here is the proof. A rather large Denver largemouth bass, on my bait.

Hmmm... What will I call it?