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, November 29, 2004

Someone let me know if this is true...

Little Known Naval History:

The USS Constitution (Old Ironsides) as a combat vessel carried 48,600 gallons of fresh water for her crew of 475 officers and men. This was sufficient to last for six months of sustained operations at sea. She carried no evaporators (fresh water distillers).

However, let it be noted that according to her log, "...on July 27, 1798, the U.S.S. Constitution sailed from Boston with a full complement of 475 officers and men, 48,600 gallons of fresh water, 7,400 cannon shot, 11,600 pounds of black powder and 79,400 gallons of rum."

Her mission: "to destroy and harass English shipping."

Making Jamaica on 6 October, she took on 826 pounds of flour and 68,300 gallons of rum. Then she headed for the Azores, arriving there 12 November. She provisioned with 550 pounds of beef and 64,300 gallons of Portuguese wine.

On 18 November, she set sail for England. In the ensuing days she defeated five British men-of-war and captured and scuttled 12 English merchantmen, salvaging only the rum aboard each. By 26 January, her powder and shot were exhausted.

Nevertheless, and though unarmed, she made a night raid up the Firth of Clyde in Scotland. Her landing party captured a whiskey distillery and transferred 40,000 gallons of single malt whiskey aboard by dawn. Then she headed home.
The U.S.S. Constitution arrived in Boston on 20 February 1799, with no cannon shot, no food, no powder, NO rum, NO wine, NO whiskey and 38,600 gallons of stagnant water. GO NAVY!

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Hunting it ain't

A Texas company is considering offering online hunts with a gun and a webcam. You shoot the rifle from your home computer ( a fast connection is needed to track the animal and pull the trigger). The fee is a modest $150 plus meat handling and taxidermy fees.

Unless a hunter is handicapped and unable to travel to the field to shoot an animal, this is a really sick idea. If you are going to kill game, at least have the courtesy to show up in person. What if some online Nimrod gut shoots a wild pig? How long will it take the company's employees to track it and finish the job?

The link is here.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

More on Flashman on the March

Rejoice! The Amazon UK website shows Flashman on the March as being available on March 28, 2005 in Great Britain. North American Flashmaniacs will have to wait a bit longer for the US edition, though the British edition can be ordered online from Canada in April.

A quirky synopsis of the series is here.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

November quail

The quail won today, sort of. Out in the desert again in the endless quest to bag these winged demons, we found that the birds flushed wild when they were in coveys. Singles and doubles were workable, but hard to come by. Quail learn fast.

The weather was clear and crisp. The Sierras to our west wore a dense blanket of white cloud in the morning. The cloud layer started returning in the mid afternoon.

The final tally was nine quail and one jackrabbit. Home by 6:30.

6:40: A foaming tankard of Hofbrauhaus beer is miraculously grafted to my hand. In German paradise, you are rewarded with seventy different kinds of beer.

A fine November day.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Kern River flies

These are the flies that I had the most luck with on my backpacking trip to the upper Kern at the end of September (see the archives for the post of September 27, 2004).
The fly on the bottom is a bead head hares ear with rubber legs. The legs are long enough to give the fly a lot of action in the water. I believe this version will get more strikes than one without legs.
The fly above is an old time pattern called the Mormon Girl. This fly actually outperformed everything in my flybox on the trip. The pattern is easy to tie and a description is included at the end of the September 27 post.
Both flies were fished downstream and most of the strikes were on a slow upstream retrieve. It may not be purist flyfishing, but it worked.

Friday, November 05, 2004


As of November 5, 1,700 miles year to date. Should break 2,000 before the end of the year.

It makes a difference; those hills don't seem so steep when I'm out chasing quail. Going again next Thursday.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

My only political comment

Regular readers of this weblog (all three of them) know that it is non-political. I have kept it that way on purpose, wanting to expound on subjects that are interesting to me without alienating anyone for reasons of politics.

Now that the election is over, I will say I am saddened by the current state of the Democratic Party. A republic such as ours needs two strong parties to thrive, and they must both be near the center of the political spectrum. The Democrats are no longer perceived to be near the center by broad portions of the public. Most Democrats are fine, decent people who care about our country. Their party has let them down.

Even though the US is a rich country, most of us are not personally wealthy and would presumably be better off economically governed by the party representing the ordinary working person, the Democrats. So why do so many vote Republican, not once, but over and over? They vote out of fear.

They fear that their guns are going to be taken away. They fear that additional huge tracts of the West are going to be locked up in the form of National Monuments or National Parks. They fear that unchecked immigration is going to alter America's culture beyond recognition. They fear that their tax dollars are going to be spent on wacko social experiments. They fear that their religious beliefs will be mocked and marginalized.

To start winning elections again on a national scale, the Democrats are going to have to remove this element of fear among the electorate. The Democratic Party is going to have to be seen as being patriotic. And baiting the "religious right" is political suicide in a nation in which forty percent of the populace identify themselves as born again Christians.

Michael Moore and the pathetic Hollywood celebrities have to go. The people who believe the inanities spouted by this group are going to vote a straight Democratic ticket anyway. Dump Moore and Cher and the rest. There is nothing more irritating to the average person than hearing some superannuated star lecturing us little people about the threat to the universe embodied in the person of George Bush.

Hello DNC! You have to broaden your appeal. You lucked out with WJ Clinton, but a charismatic leader like that appears only once in every few generations. You need to become, once again, the party that you were in the time of JFK and Hubert Humphrey. You need to be the party of the average American, not the party of the looney left. The people ain't going to come to you - you are going to have to go to the people.