All posts by Barbed

Feeding the Peasants

imageAs I paused to wipe the mud from my eye, I remembered all those glossy fly fishing spreads depicting the Test and Itchen, their manicured banks, and the stream keepers who trimmed weed beds and mowed pathways to the wading pools – in full tweed.

What the magazines failed to show was those same stalwarts having to endure his Lordship’s boorish house guests, or worse, rented “beats” to the nouveau rich so that they might make sport of ceremony, proper field attire, and insist on clubbing the life out of anything brought to hand.

My home water is the opposite of all that chaste decadence, and its roman-nosed “peasants” are as needful and hungry as Salmonids, only they lack the social graces of mingling in deep water, preferring to pounce from ambush rather than a frontal assault.

In even shorter supply are those wanting to tend to public lands to ensure all those “peasant” fish are as pampered and pedigreed as their silvery cousins, and why my sanity is in question.

Trimming weed beds being a noble pursuit, but it won’t cleanse the sin of all the fish kilt in your youth prior to your conversion to catch and release. Only helping fish or improving the watershed can erase that stain. I consider it payment on the Karmic Debt incurred by your super-consumer self – by ensuring what few fish that survived your youth are now bloated and obese ..

It was the rumor of a dwindling watering hole that was home to a massive frog population that set events in motion. Frog being an essential protein to my fish, and the notion that several hundred pounds of that delicacy was liable to expire with the receding water galvanized us into activity.

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I figured the game warden would frown on the proceedings, simply because Fish & Wildlife are devoted to the “high dollar” piscatorial fisheries and lack the funds or the desire to assist “peasant” fish. Their rationale would likely involve anything moving from one pond to another may introduce something unwanted – despite both being man-made and neither being connected to any waterway, and they’d let the entire lot expire out of their scientific version of Political Correctness.

With only a couple of long handled nets we were able to retrieve several thousand frogs and pack them away for relocation. In addition to the frogs, the act of scraping the bottom of the pond also yielded thousands of trapped dragon fly nymphs, water striders, pond beetles, and water boatmen, all suitable table fare for the bass that would be beneficiaries.

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I’m sure the egrets and herons were much disappointed on their return, but both birds enjoy a following of marsh organizations intent on promoting their well being – and can afford to lose the occasional battle for groceries. I didn’t feel any remorse in removing most of their trapped food supply.

After transporting all that protein to permanent water, I had the pleasure of releasing handfuls of squirming wildlife into every nook and cranny that lined the bank. Once freed, most burrowed into grass, wood piles, plant debris, and anything else that would shield them from predation. I was careful to spread them over the backwaters of a 15 acre impoundment – rather than empty the cooler into the deep end and watch the ensuing festivities.

Knowing that I’ve added many unwanted pounds to the native fish is liable to make me restless all Winter. Naturally I’ll have to exercise those fish thoroughly next Spring – via popper and handful of Gink.

I think I can live with the guilt until then – but am running low on Olive Deer hair …

Cancel that Alaskan Fishing trip while you can

reefmadnessNow there’s more reason to “Go West, Young Man” – given as how Oregon, Colorado, and California are soon to upstage Alaska, New Zealand, and Argentina as the last bastions of pure angling body count …

While each has its own unique allure, all are “blue” states, home to free thinkers, liberals, men of letters and science, but more importantly – legal Weed.

In an effort to breed Tuna that Tastes Good, scientists have determined that stress-free fish tastes better than those forced to watch their brethren dismembered during processing. Those “fight or flight” endorphins released just prior to death turning grey and tasteless farmed salmon into grey, bitter, and plank-like salmon, which by all accounts – being even worse.

As the Filet of Fish and therefore the culinary health of all America is at stake, scientists have been redoubling their efforts at reducing stress in farmed fish by introducing cannabis extract to the water supply prior to harvest …

… and while it is too early to determine if cannabis in the water was better than issuing blindfolds, it did make the fish eat like a sumbitch.

Well, it did something. Although the fish didn’t appear to be any healthier or happier after the study concluded, the researchers noted that their metabolisms had increased, so they ate and digested food more quickly – a case of the fish munchies, you could say.

-via the Sac Bee 10.24.17

Given how most of California is being reseeded with medicinal hemp, all a canny angler has to do is stuff a couple of wader bags full of his neighbor’s unwanted chaff, stake the bag into the headwaters of his favorite creek, and bask in the benefits of “Trout Tea” and its ability to unlock the watershed – turning even the wiliest fish into a frenzied eating machine.

Hell, it’ll take years for the wardens figure it out, and even then we can blame it on the Sinaloa Cartel, or whatever the latest ill Donald Trump is peddling us to fear …

Before pulling up stakes and selling the homestead, there was a conspicuous lack of infomation on the effects of cannabis extract and the local mosquito population – and while they are wired a bit differently, it could be they never recovered the journals (or the bodies) of the scientists tasked with that bit of errata.

Welcome to Singlebarbed

Welcome to Singlebarbed. Whose words are you reading?

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Humor is King, which is why you shouldn’t take me too seriously, unless of course I’m writing on a topic that suggests you should, and it’s possible you won’t know the difference. Sometimes it’s not easy to be you.

Sit back, relax, enjoy — and comment your ass off.

Singlebarbed.