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Friday, August 31, 2012

First week of the Fall Semester

On Wednesday I was able to register at noon on the first day of classes which is earlier than normal for the Golden ID (geezer) program, but it was too late to receive the professor's e-mail that there would be no discussion classes that day.

Fortunately, outside the classroom there was a display of aquatic insects of the Middle Patuxent that was ideal entertainment for a Maryland fly fisherman.

The first lecture was yesterday and the course, "Evolution of Life and Environment on Planet Earth (And Beyond)",  looks to be interesting.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Tidal Patuxent

Having spent the past week getting in tune with the ocean tides, I apparently needed to wean myself away gradually because I found myself heading to one of the close to home tidal areas today.  Although I didn't check the  tables until I got home, my visit turned out to correspond closely with one tidal cycle since I arrived at Hills Bridge just after the low at 10:18 this morning and left about a half hour before high tide at 2:27 in the afternoon.

It was my first time with my new wooden kayak paddle, and I enjoyed using it very much.  Only caught one small fish although I had heard some promising reports concerning largemouth bass.  I guess I'll have to sharpen my tidal bass skills because although I hadn't been there in quite a while I plan to be returning.  It's a beautiful area which is amazingly wild considering it's only 20 miles from Washington, DC.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

This year's beach house

We've had quite a variety during the 25 years we've been renting houses for the week in Bethany Beach, Delaware.  Some we've stayed in multiple times and others just once.  This year it was one of the better ones, and we're likely to try to rent it again.

It was larger than most we've had with two screened in porches, a deck which extended the full width of the house, and a huge living room.  Actually there were two living rooms with the smaller having the TV.  Having only three bedrooms was unusual for a house this size, but three are plenty for our family.  It was not on the beach, but the ocean was visible from most of the house.

The weather was excellent, and we had daughter and fiance all week.  Son Greg made it down for a couple of days.  We had friends Margaret and George over for dinner one evening and had brunch at their house in South Bethany yesterday before leaving for home.  Great week.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Summer fishing summary

Since it's getting close to Labor Day, I'm going to summarize fishing trips that I haven't mentioned previously on this blog.

-Three or four times I've fished from the canoe at Rocky Gorge Reservoir, and as usual only caught one or two bream on each of the short trips.

- Twice I've explored new places on familiar rivers and probably wouldn't return.  Once was on the Monocacy at Buckeystown where I did catch a number of bream and a small bass, but there's a park there which made the whole experience too public, especially since rapids discouraged me from exploring upriver.  Another time was downriver from my usual spots on the Patapsco, on parkland accessed off U.S. Route 1.  Not only was it also too public, but I caught nothing at all there.  Fortunately I had some luck upstream, so I didn't feel blanked for the day.

-Although I've been avoiding fishing the nearby pond this summer, I did go out once in the rain and had decent luck with bream, a largemouth, and a crappie.

-The day before yesterday I had another good day at Nolands Ferry on the Potomac even though the river level was higher than I prefer for the wading spots behind the island.

All in all, a good summer.

Monday, August 6, 2012

For Whom the Bell Tolls

I finished reading this Ernest Hemingway novel a few days ago, so I've been able to reflect on what I feel about it.  Initially I read it as a teenager, but I don't remember exactly how I reacted to it then.

Spoiler alert:  If anyone reading this thinks they may someday read this book and if knowing the plot beforehand spoils a work of fiction... read no further.

The action takes place over four days, and the young protagonist experiences during those days a lifetime of experiences and emotions.  The band of guerrillas in the Spanish mountains during the civil war become Robert Jordan's family and lifelong friends.  He first experiences romantic love with the even younger Maria and reflects as he faces his likely death that he considers his life as complete because of the intensity of the four days.

Like the rest of us Robert Jordan has his work, and he sometimes has to put his love for Maria aside to focus on that work which in his case is blowing up a bridge of strategic importance to the cause that he is fighting for.  There is his painful resignation that, "the world is a fine place and worth fighting for and I hate very much to leave it."  As an outdoorsman, Hemingway always provides the reader with  the sights, sounds, and smells of that surrounding world and makes us feel the sadness of anyone having to leave it.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Hot action on the upper Monocacy

Weather's hot and so was the fishing today.  In a little over an hour I caught 2 smallmouth bass and about 15 or 20 bream.  Hot fly was the B&B.  Bass weren't as big as I've been catching on the Potomac but jumped and fought well on the five weight.

This is the furthest up the Monocacy I've ever been.  Water level was 2.11 at Bridgeport and 1.83 at Frederick.