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.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004


I've not posted anything on cycling yet, so today may be a good time to start. I started last year, using my daughter's beat up mountain bike. In the beginning, the madness was limited to three or four mile rides around town. Later, I began taking the San Gabriel River bike trail., which passes right by my town. The rides increased to 8 miles or so.

The next phase began when I bought a Fuji mountain bike in around the end of 2003. The nubby tires soon went, replaced by high pressure kevlar-belted road tires. The rides increased, soon extending to twenty-one miles. Next came the cycling shorts, the lime green jacket (for visibility in traffic).

I soon got tired of being passed all the time by the guys and gals on their road bikes, especially when some of them were a lot older than me, and I am no spring chicken, having been born the year Rosa Parks refused to sit at the back of the bus. Wiser persons than I imparted information about the gearing of bikes, how road bikes have bigger front gears which allow them to go faster with less effort, and how the narrow high pressure tires offer less rolling resistance.

Fearful of spending money on another new bike so soon, I started looking around and found a Bianchi Premio road bike from the late 80's, kind of old technology (steel frame and forks), but well built and not too heavy. Of course, it had to be tweaked, with new rims and kevlar tires.

The Bianchi is riding well now, and I've done over 215 miles in June. My longest ride was twenty-five miles last Saturday. I feel great, my pulse is way down from all the aerobic work, and I love going fast.


John at The England Project, has been cycling lately, for pretty much the same reasons I started doing so last year. John, you're the man!

Another Fishing Trip

Just around the corner... In mid-July, I'm planning another fishing trip to the San Joaquin river near Devil's Postpile in the Mammoth area of California.

The trout up here are usually so eager to take a fly, it is amazing that there are any left. They are particularly fond of the Mormon Girl fly, an old pattern I got from the Ray Bergman book, Trout. Another Bergman fly that works well up there is the Orange Fish Hawk.

I hope this trip works out better than this month's trip to the Merced River, where fish were hooked, but not landed. Troutson was not impressed.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

The Merced River

With any luck, I'll be at the Merced River Saturday afternoon, casting for rainbow trout with the Troutson.

The river has been very good to me in the past, giving trout more often than holding them back. Early summer is one of the great times to fish this river, and again in early fall, when the days are cooler.

Autumn is the time of the October caddis, a big bug which emerges around sunset, followed by big trout coming out of the deep water in pursuit. The angler who is ready for the hatch is guaranteed a fast forty minutes of excitement.

The dog days of summer are less productive, though I've done well there on sultry August evenings. On one of my first outings to the Merced, I caught and released ten nice fish literally under the eyes of the law. A bored deputy sheriff came up to pass the time just after I started fishing. I was catching fish downstream from us, one after another. It's very satisfying to have a witness to success in what is often a solitary pastime.

The fish I've caught are all in the medium size range, alas. The lady at the gift shop north of Briceburg told me about a crew from Orvis that showed up around Labor Day a few years ago, shooting a fishing video and hauling big 'uns out of the pools.

Say it ain't so

The fearsome looking camel spider of Iraq. As big as your hand... My admiration for the alliance soldiers just increased.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Last Citadel

I just finished Last Citadel, a book about the battle of Kursk, by David L. Robbins.

The book tells the story of the battle from the viewpoints of a Spaniard serving with the Germans and a Cossack on the Russian side. Kursk was possibly the largest land battle in history, involving two million men and huge numbers of tanks, aircraft, and other military hardware. Neither side won, but the German failure spelled the beginning of the end in the war against Russia.

WWII happened two generations ago, and it is easy to forget the truly titanic nature of the struggle. The outcome of that war still shapes our world today, and if Europe is half-hearted about engaging in the war on terror and taking on dictators, it may be that the Continent has still not recovered from the trauma of 1939-45. This was the first modern war in which entire nations, military and civilian alike, were combatant. The result is the Europe of today, pacifist and pessimistic, with no serious religious life, and birthrates so low that once proud and vibrant populations who carved out empires of territory and commerce are in danger of becoming irrelevant because there will be so few of them.

The latest buzz

Attack in Florida! Quick, call in the UN beekeepers!