Feb 26, 2010

Call me selfish, I would like the same considerations

The Illinois Department of Public Health has issued it's 2010 sport fish consumption advisory.  This year, the publication comes with an official statement. Sadly, this is a list that never grows shorter; this year's advisory features five new bodies of water in addition to those listed last year.

  • "These additions are the result of expanded and directed sampling by the Fish Contaminant Monitoring Program and do not suggest that Illinois fish are becoming more contaminated. "

Have no fear; the new waters are listed because they don't didn't do a thorough job sampling the state's lakes.

I've made my point about this in the past.  In reality the list shouldn't scare most people, but it does and has gotten my attention.  Sure adult men and women "beyond childbearing age" can eat a little, but why bother?

Do other states have similar advisories?

Feb 8, 2010

Sure the lines are long and the workers unfriendly

When it comes to registering boats with the state of Illinois, I'm starting to become an expert.  I've done it three times now and each time has been a pain.  Why can't it be easy?  To start, there is nothing but a website to guide you through a thousand different possibilities.  The law says I need to register a boat within 15 days of purchase, I'm starting to wonder if that is even possible.

First it was The Good Ship Clif - my old two man bass boat which will forever be missed.  Looking back, it was my most simple transaction.  Even though the seller had no title, it was only a lost title form and some extra money.

Then came my aluminum row boat, it too had no title but the seller I bought from had never licensed it.  I called the DNR for advice and they said I just needed to have the previous registered owner fill out the lost title form.  The last time it was registered was the early eighties and had passed through an unknown number of hands before I got it.  I asked who the previous owner was and she looked it up on her computer.  However she wasn't allowed to tell me the name over the phone - I'd have to pay for a title search and fill out a form.  The title search revealed the name of a deceased fellow and I found his son in the phone book.  Deceased owner?  That's a completely different form, it's called "power of attorney."

Now I've bought a kayak; third time's a charm right?  This one is a little different because it is brand new.  Now I have to write two separate checks to the same payee, fill out the RUT-25 "use tax form" and file the "manufacturer's statement of origin."  I received no such statement with the yak, after a call to the seller the statement arrived today.  I think I have all the forms ready and I will be mailing them tomorrow.  Wish me luck!

I never thought I'd say this but I have a new found appreciation for the DMV.  At least when dealing with cars, you can go talk to someone.  Sure the lines are long and the workers unfriendly, but they know the system and you can get it all done in a day. 

Feb 6, 2010

Creative Juices Streaming

I tied these tasty bass flies last week. I'm just getting around to posting pictures, hope you enjoy.

It started with an attempt to make a Bart-o Minnow, despite the fact I'm missing about fifty percent of the required materials.  I made due with what I have and the results do not look much like the Bart-o.  However, I'm pleased with the result and this is a fly I can't wait to try.

I like to use regular hooks for flies because they're cheap and easy to find, so I started with a 2/0 Eagle Claw plain shank hook.  I then tied in the following from tail to head.
  • Clump of white buck tail (not too much or it will look like the olive fly above)
  • Three white hackle feathers (left, top and right sides of hook)
  • Two clumps of artic fox fur (left and right side of hook)
  • 10-16 strands of pearl flash or tinsel (on top only)
  • White rabbit zonker strip (tied onto bottom side)
  • Darker rabbit zonker strip (tied onto top)
  • Palmer the white strip forward to head
  • Two strands peacock herl for lateral lines (left and right side of hook)
  • Lay darker zonker strip over the top and tie in at head
  • 40lb mono weed guard.
I suspect she'll be pretty bouyant with all that fluff but I'll wait to see before I adding weight to the next version.

Feb 2, 2010

The aura of bad luck could be felt as far south as Bismark

A few months ago, I brought you news of a fishing tournament where the average total was a staggering 1160 fish per boat (the winners counted 4150 fish).  Today it is my pleasure to bring you the other extreme.

In this article they've done their best to hide the dismal results.  However, savvy readers will see this weekend wasn't a great time to fish Devil's Lake, ND.  A total of 38 fish were caught by 4400 tournament anglers, an average 0.0086 fish per angler.

So if you're sitting at home - hypothetically we'll say you're somewhere in Idaho - wondering why you can't catch fish this winter, just be happy you were no where near Devil's Lake on Saturday.