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.

Friday, January 14, 2005

On keeping a game book

I've always enjoyed keeping a record of the fish and game taken, even if most of the fish are released. The total for 2004 was well under 100 for fur, feather, and fin.

I started keeping a game book in 1982. It was a plain notebook that I rebound with red leather and marbled paper, befitting its importance.

When that book was full, I bought some English leather books, one for fish and one for game. They have neat columns for the various types, though some, such as sea trout and black game (also known as the capercailzie) are mostly only found in Europe. I believe the sea trout, a sea-run brown trout, is also found in Patagonia and on the eastern seaboard of the US.

Smythsons of London sells a sumptous gamebook on the web. The problem with these books, aside from the cost, is that you end up wanting to fill in all the columns at least once. I've often dreamed of going to Scotland to bag a capercailzie. Grouse and woodcock can be found in the US, though the columns remain unfilled in my book.

The entries do not always include only fish and game that I have taken. The total for small parties is always included, with no notation as to individual "scores." If I am in a large game shooting party, I record only my own success or lack thereof.

Just as a lark, I tallied all the books through the end of 2004, and came up with a staggering 3,775 total. Of course this includes 2,108 trout, most of which were released unharmed but wiser. But it also includes 127 pheasant, 31 duck, 302 doves, 214 quail, and 190 hares.

Sounds like a lot, but consider the Marquess of Ripon, an English gentleman, who shot 556,813 head of game between 1867 and 1923. The list includes rhinoceros, tigers and rabbits. His specialty was wingshooting, and he accounted for 241,224 pheasant and about half that many grouse.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

End of the season

The hunting season is winding down, and I am taking a break from hunting and fishing. Not a long break, though.

January and February provide an opportunity to tie flies, clean and organize gear, and generally take things easy.

I'm getting married later in the month, and putting a new household together will be fun. The future Troutwife is bringing a lot of camping and outdoor gear with her, and has announced that she will be buying her very own flyrod soon.

When things settle down in the household and with the weather, we may take a trip to the upper reaches of the Piru watershed to see if there are really trout up there. Last year's attempt was not promising, but the fish are supposed to be there.