The Trout Also Rises

"A blog upon my estutcheon" A weblog about fishing, hunting, hiking, cycling, books, beer, and other random musings. Any humor contained in this site is entirely unintentional and has not been tested on animals. e mail aaaaargh at msndotcom

Location: California

A hunter and fisherman, fascinated with books and history.

Monday, May 31, 2004

Favorite Fly

Next weekend, I'm planning to travel to the southern Sierras for some trout fishing. The duel of wits with fish will mostly be conducted with my favorite fly, the bead head hares ear.

My version has a twist, though. I add some rubber "legs" that seems to make this old standby even better. There are years when ninety percent of my fish are caught with this fly. Stay tuned.

Saturday, May 22, 2004

Bread Control Now!

1. More than 98 percent of convicted felons are bread

2. Fully HALF of all children who grow up in
bread-consuming households score below average on
standardized tests.

3. In the 18th century, when virtually all bread was baked
in the home, the average life expectancy was less than 50
years; infant mortality rates were unacceptably high; many
women died in childbirth; and diseases such as typhoid,
yellow fever, and influenza ravaged whole nations.

4. More than 90 percent of violent crimes are committed
within 24 hours of eating bread.

5. Bread is made from a substance called "dough." It has
been proven that as little as one pound of dough can be
used to suffocate a mouse. The average American eats more
bread than that in one month!

6. Primitive tribal societies that have no bread exhibit a
low incidence of cancer, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease,
and osteoporosis.

7. Bread has been proven to be addictive. Subjects
deprived of bread and given only water to eat begged for
bread after as little as two days.

8. Bread is often a "gateway" food item, leading the user
to "harder" items such as butter, jelly, peanut butter,
and even cold cuts.

9. Bread has been proven to absorb water. Since the human
body is more than 90 percent water, it follows that eating
bread could lead to your body being taken over by this
absorptive food product, turning you into a soggy, gooey
bread-pudding person.

10. Newborn babies can choke on bread.

11. Bread is baked at temperatures as high as 400 degrees
Fahrenheit! That kind of heat can kill an adult in less
than one minute.

12. Most American bread eaters are utterly unable to
distinguish between significant scientific fact and
meaningless statistical babbling.

In light of these frightening statistics, we propose the
following bread restrictions:

1. No sale of bread to minors.

2. A nationwide "Just Say No To Toast" campaign, with
complete celebrity TV spots and bumper stickers.

3. A 300 percent federal tax on all bread to pay for all
the societal ills we might associate with bread.

4. No animal or human images, nor any primary colors
(which may appeal to children) may be used to
promote bread usage.

5. The establishment of "Bread-free" zones around schools.

With thanks to my friends at work.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Put a turkey in your tank!

Someone figured out how to make oil from poultry. This is exciting news.

It sounds like just about anything could be made into oil.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Man vs. Bird

The deserts of California contain locally dense populations of chuckar partridge, a native of the Middle East, brought here by sportsmen many decades ago. The birds are much larger than the indigenous quail, and are highly prized by wingshooters. Bigger is always better in the manly world of fieldsports. Thus are salmon more highly prized than trout, geese are preferred over duck, and likewise the desert gunner prefers to bag chuckar over quail.

My own experience with these immigrant fowl is the sort of tale in which what is unsaid is as significant as what is said. The few that I've managed to bag have taken an immense amount of time to pluck, and proven tough and chewy fare at the table. Perhaps they were not representative of their kind, and there are legions of tender chuckar swarming in the barren wastes of the Mojave Desert... but something tells me that these are birds more fitted to a slow baked game pie than for roasting whole.

I should add here that my culinary experience of these birds has not been limited to the few I've bagged. My longtime hunting partner has several times returned to HQ staggering under a load of dead chuckar. I got to cook them. They were tough.

To those unfamiliar with desert wingshooting, I should add that there is good sport to be had in these dry lands. Quail and chuckar are not particularly thirsty birds, and a small spring or oasis will support a good many of them. If the winter rains are abundant, the birds will be there. And as for the chuckar, if you get any, eat them and smile. De mortuis nil nisi bonum.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Free Tibet, er, South Tyrol

I recently finished a fine book about the South Tyrol, or Alto Adige, as it is known in Italian. The Sunny Side of the Alps, by Paul Hoffmann, a native of Vienna, is part travelogue, part history, and tells the story of Italy's northern province. The area has a rich history, being situated at one of Europe's great crossroads, the Brenner Pass, which links Central Europe to Italy.

The South Tyrol is mainly inhabited by German-speaking Tyroleans, though the Italian population has been steadily increasing since World War I. The area belonged to the Austro-Hungarian Empire prior to that conflict. Italy, having sided with Britain and France, received the province as a spoil of war. Though badly treated by Mussolini, the inhabitants have over time adjusted to being Italian citizens. Now and then, the Schuetzen, or traditional gun clubs, perpetrate an act of defiance, such as toppling an electric transmission tower. But, like most people in the rational parts of the world, they are chiefly concerned with making a living and enjoying themselves.

Hoffmann's book is organized geographically, and each chapter describes the history, landscape, towns, and noteworthy features of the varied districts which make up the province. The author lived in the area prior to World War II, married a local woman, and has visited often since then.

Sunday, May 02, 2004

I spy a game bird pie

Yesterday was my friend Brian's annual potluck game cookoff and barbeque. This year we had sausages made from boar or venison, green chili pheasant casserole, dove and wild rice pilaf, fried quail, and, of course, Brian's fabulous game bird pie. I had some Stone IPA from San Marcos, a San Diego area product, which turned out to be an acceptable tipple. I could have identified it as a North American small brewery product in a blind tasting; it had that slightly wierd flavor which they all seem to have. Still, with temperatures in the mid-nineties, I was not about to complain, quibble, or otherwise question the hand of fate, my own hand in this case, which was holding the frosty bottle.