Monday, June 18, 2012

Chris & Claire go fishing

I think I have time to get out a quick post...

Lately my time has been spent making lures, fishing, and working on my upcoming dub album. If you want to hear a few of the tracks, head on over to my tumblr. Once I'm done with all the tracks, I'll post the whole thing on where you can stream it and download it for free. I'm pretty excited about it- I've been working on it for quite some time, and got some of my buddies to play on it, and they are awesome.

Most of last week I worked outside- my new job is remote, meaning I can pretty much work anywhere there's an internet connection. I work from home, so I've been taking advantage of the patio. Walter loves it, because he gets to hang out with me outside all day. Here's my "office" as of late:

"Please, step into my office. Watch out for the grill"
It's an amazing thing to head out of the "office" over to the grill for my lunch hour to enjoy some delicious grilled meat.

I've been turning out an average of a lure a day, some days three. My carving, sanding, painting, and hardware-adding is getting better and more predictable. I start with 2x4s, cut out the shapes I want, carve them with a little hobby knife, sand them down (sometimes not so well), paint with spray paint, acrylic, and nail polish, and add hardware. Recently I've made a few emulating some vintage lures I've seen- the whole white body red head thing is pretty awesome.

Topwater torpedo-style lure
This one started as a jitterbug clone, but I added a tail
and two propellors for good measure
I'm calling it mousie
..and this one looks pretty nice, but
is a complete failure in the water...
back to the drawing board
This weekend Claire and I did a lot of fishing together. We went to Blackwell Forest Preserve (Silver Lake) for the first time, and really liked it. Very pretty, big hills, awesome. We fished along the shore, then somehow we decided we should keep on walking and continue around the whole shore. Halfway through we realized what a huge distance it was and how we would have to scale an almost vertical path into the woods if we wanted to continue... We turned around and retraced our steps back to the boat launch.

There was a goose standing in the road like a moron, and when a car came up to it the driver honked profusely and yelled "Get off the road a$$&*#!" without a hint of sarcasm.

We went to check out a dog park, and noticed it was very close to the Dupage river. We decided to go and check it out, as neither one of us had ever been to that particular body of water. My first time wet-wading (wading without waders) and I loved it. The cool water was a welcome respite from the 95°F air.

The water was only about a foot deep, and looking at the stretch I guessed if there were fish, they would be hanging out under the bridge where it might be a little deeper and shaded. Turns out I was right! Claire and I fished some brush piles, rocks, and the bridge itself for about an hour. My wife, as I found out, is quite an angler. She caught her first smallie right there under the bridge- and then proceeded to catch 6 more! (Maybe it was 5, don't remember.. I was trying so hard to catch my own smallies, unsuccessfully, I was distracted.)

A nice smallie for a kick-ass wife
I managed to catch 4-5 green sunfish. Claire had the magical touch; she kept pulling out smallie after smallie while I struggled to entice a handful of 3" green sunfish. It was awesome- the water was incredibly clear; even in the dark under the bridge, we could make out every pebble of gravel on the bottom. I saw some crawfish scurry away, which was perhaps another reason the fish were there. Although I didn't do so well in terms of fish caught, it was some of the best fishing ever. Great weather, great company, just super great all around.

The next day, in an effort to avenge my dismal numbers (and explore the lake more fully) we headed back to Silver Lake with our kayaks. After about half an hour of waiting in line, waiting for somebody to come break our $50 bills, and $70 later we had Dupage county boat licenses and were ready to launch.

Almost immediately I got a little largemouth bass on a twister tail; he was hanging out with some bluegill under the shade of some trees in very shallow water. I wondered if he was eating bluegill eggs/fry.

Baby bass
The water was ridiculously clear; we could see very far down into the water. I wondered if that has to do with the lake's beginning as a quarry, or the types of weeds in it, or lack of mud, or what. Earlier in the day I installed a third rod-holder in my kayak, as well as a strap to hold my new fish finder. It was great- paddling around, armed to the teeth with fishing gear, seeing fish hanging out on all the dropoffs- just where I thought they would be.

Couldn't catch any more though; Claire on the other hand was slay'in'em, catching her first two crappies (and first fish in the kayak too!)

Claire's serious angler pose
We're both super impressed with Silver Lake and the whole preserve. It's a bit of a hike for us, but it's worth it. There seem to be a fair amount of fish in it, even if we couldn't catch too many of them. The shockingly clear water is a revelation to me, I can't wait to go back. I know clear water doesn't necessarily equate to clean water, but I think I might come back and do some bluegill fishing. I've got a filet knife that's never seen a fish, and would like to change that sooner than later. Great times with the wife, awesome times exploring new waters.

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