A Journal Of
Fishing and Farming
 Along with other good times and interesting discoveries

Richard Loller
 

Fall 2005


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December 17-18
More jobs around the house on Saturday.  Sunday I went to Center Hill pool and caught 7 or 8 nice trout.  No crappie or anything else.  Tried to catch trout on top with flies.  They were hitting some sort of little bug I didn't recognize.  Not a misquito, but about the same size.  Had no luck with the fly rods and caught them all on the spinner.  I had the place to myself almost all day.

Sunday night Sherry and I celebrated our 41st anniversary with James and Travis at the Hermitage Hotel.  Beautiful place, but I was a bit under the weather.  A cold I shook off?

The bird bath grew a strange ice rod.  How?

Nice roses.  They were on the island in the kitchen when I got in from fishing Sunday.  Oh!  It's our anniversary.  Wish I'd thought of that!
Here's the boat about half unloaded after a pretty chilly day on the water.  Just thought I'd include it to show what a pile of stuff it takes to fish in the winter.
That's three pairs of wet jersey gloves in my cooler, which is where I keep a lot of stuff that might get stepped on if I left in around loose.

This guy brought his son and caught two or three off that point near where I caught most of mine.  It's just above where the pool narrows down to become the river.  Shallow with a bit more current there.  That day that's what the trout wanted.  Other days it will be deeper water.

I gave James and Travis the two large trout on the way home and kept these three for us. Sherry used a recipe James had given her.  It was a little like stir fry, but he says its poaching.  They were very good whatever it was with a bit of soy sauce to top them off.

December 10-11

Too cold to fish or fool with the garden, but got lots of Christmas and other jobs done.

December 3-4

Weather report for the weekend was for rain and cold, but colder on Sunday, so I went up to the pool below Center Hill Saturday.  It was pretty cold and now and then the rain came down, but mostly light rain that didn't last long.  The trout were active on the surface and I caught quite a few on the spinning rod and two or three on the fly rod.  No crappie or walleye had an interest in my offerings today.  I used my little portable gas heater and it sure felt good.  Kept the hands from getting too cold.  Have to be careful not to brush against it though.  Makes holes in my nylon rain suit.

As for the garden, the pile of bean vines in the corner sums it up--not much going now until January when I'll plant the snow peas and sugar snaps.  The turnips look a little rough, but are still growing.  Maybe we'll have new leaves this spring and big crisp turnips to go with them.  Garlic is also moving along, but probably won't grow much more until February or March.
I kept six of the rainbow trout.  Had to throw the brown trout back since the legal limit is 18 inches. 
This is the lure the trout liked.  Cheap, but it is the best I've found for trout on the Caney.  It is heavy enough to cast a fair distance, but light enough so that it moves slowly.  Saturday the trout liked it when I moved it slowly with constant jerks to make it jump.
This was the biggest, around 14 inches.  I also caught several brown trout on the fly rod with a white 1/100 oz. jig.
Not much of a garden photo, but the pile of bean vines is pretty representative of what is happening now.  Just letting them rot and letting the ground rest until I till them under in January.

November 24 - 27
Thanksgiving Day and after

Pop turned sick Tuesday after several weeks of feeling "off."    Went in an hour Wednesday and then home to bed.  Great worries about where to eat, etc., since Sherry had just got over it and Travis had had it before that.  But, although definitely sick, I wasn't too bad to sit up and stir about, so we ate at our house.  Hanley, Denile, and Natasha came down from Lexington Wednesday night and around 11 on Thursday James and Travis arrived with the turkey and a lot of other stuff.  Sherry and Travis ran the cooking show with good help from James and Hanley.  The rest of us stood back and did little chores as asked.  When it finally all hit the table it was beautiful and delicious.  We do, indeed, have much to thank God for, not least the beautiful weather and the fact that we could all be together for the first time in years.

As for Friday and the weekend, I was in bed or on the couch.  No fishing, no farming.  As I write this late Sunday I feel pretty well, but not back to 100%, so next week I'll take it easy and hope to be back in the garden and on the lake by the weekend.  And, now that I think of it, I did get something big done today.  I finally got the Storyhouse web site up to date with the 2005 contest winners, rules for the 2006 contests, etc.  I also notified the contest winners.   Doesn't sound like much but took all day.  Visit the site and let me know what you think.  Click here

Delicious things are cooking.

A turkey too pretty to eat.

We gather to begin.  Pop is shooting and about half shot.  I guess I'd have made more people pics if I'd been healthy, but sometimes more is not better.  Anyhow, that's just the way it was.

The lovely flowers Sherry saved from the frost decorated every corner of the house.  She really ought to go professional.

Even the humble potty enjoyed an elegant arrangement.

The odd corner in the front bedroom gets brightened.

The bathroom dresser was very nice.

John Cummings' Chinese Red vase was nice on the mantle.

Ginger Anderson came by with these in a rush on the way to the airport.  She wanted us to have them before the frost did. 

Our bathroom takes on new elegance.

The bookcase gets a Japanese look.

The front window was awash with color.

The little kitchen window Angel has some little friends

Hanley and Denile and Natasha had to leave around 6, but Travis and James stayed long enough to play rummy and pick turnip greens.  A hard frost was expected overnight.

 

November 19-20

Stayed home Saturday and took down the rest of the bean trellises.  Got some butter beans, but they had been through a pretty hard frost, so almost none of them were good--except for the dry ones.  Sherry brought in the best of her flowers and they are all over the house, brightening up the dark corners.

Sunday I went back to Center Hill below the dam.  I used the fly rod almost all day with a very small jig.  Caught several small crappie, one nice trout, and one small walleye.  It was fun, but the fish were really not with the program.
 

Last of the butter beans.  Hate to see them go--they are so good!

Some of the pretty flowers giving their beauty to our window.

Last of the pot plants outside.  Won't last much longer.

Pile in foreground is mainly bean vines.  I'll let them rot until next year then till them back under.  Here you can see how small the garden really is.  Yet it produces so much.  Compost and no poison is the rule.  Sherry won't let me use artificial anything.

Sherry's flower garden is almost gone.  Hate to see them go.  I complain about them crowding out my garden, but not really.

What's left?  The turnips on the right are beautiful, but may not make it through a really hard freeze.  The rosemary, thyme, parsley, and oregano, in the foreground will freeze as will the row of arugula on the left.  We are eating as fast as we can!

This trout was the only one I caught on the little fly rod jig.

Caught 5 or 6 of these guys.  Fun, but not big enough to keep.

Still catching walleyes and sauger near the surface.  This one hit a tiny jig with a yellow tube on the back

These little jigs are pretty effective and cast well on the fly rod.  Only 1/100th oz.  You can get them at 1/64th of an oz. as well if you want them to drop a little faster.  You often do.

 

November 12-13

Saturday I blew leaves off the roof and chopped them up and did other chores.  Took all day because there were so many of them.  Sunday went to Center Hill and  tried again.  Lots of stripe, sauger, and one lone bream, but no trout, although they were active on the surface.  The would  follow the lures in and hit lightly but the few I hooked got off.
 

Sherry's blue morning glory, thought to be a wonder since most of the others were purple.

Stripe are moving in but I only caught small ones.  This little guy is only 10 inches or so.
Here's another cigar Sauger.  Lot's of fun to catch, but not keepable.  They have to be at least 14 inches.  It's pretty unusual to catch them on a lure fished close to the surface.  Mostly only really deep.
This was a nice fat little guy big enough to keep, but I only caught this one bream today.

November 5-6

Well, Travis and James got here with the rest of their stuff Thursday night.  A ring the size of a coconut is on Travis' finger, so I guess they are eventually going to get legal.  We are all excited as fudge.

Saturday Sherry and I picked the butter beans and, although we got a nice mess, there are still lots of flat and immature ones on the vine.  Just have to let them go as long as possible before pulling them.  I did clean out the string beans and take down that part of the trellis.  Chopped up the vines and spread them on the garden.

Sunday I fished the pool at Center Hill and caught a lot of trout and sauger.  Two of the trout were very nice, 13-14 inches, but at the last I let them go.  Getting too lazy to get messy for only two fish.

Lots of butter beans left, but many are pretty thin and not at all ready.

Stripped off the old blue lake string bean vines and took down the poles later.

Here's the crop for today.  They will be oh so good later on when mom does her magic with them.

The beats were a wash out.  Here are two or three little beets.  The rest of the row died or never came up. 

Little turnips in the ground but the greens are nice and big.  Maybe we'll get some turnips before frost.  Still no rain but some predicted for tonight.  Water again if not.

We have two nice little ichiban egg plants and one or two others trying to make it.

I pulled up the okra today.  There was one last blossom on one.  Put it in a vase.

New blossoms on Sherry's Calla Lily.

The front part of her garden is still going well.

A shot of the big bed.

That's a butterfly enjoying some of the blooms.

The small bed is really nice.
I caught five or six sauger (or walleye, don't know which) fishing a rooster tail for trout.  It was going pretty slow but not more than a foot or two deep.  All were "cigar" sauger, long and less than a foot in length.  They aren't legal until they reach 14 inches.

This pretty brown hit a tiny brown rooster tail.  I caught three or four like this.  At Center Hill browns aren't legal under 18 inches.  this one is maybe 11.  I caught two good rainbow which could have been kept, but I ended up letting them go, since I only had the two.

October 29--31

Saturday I pulled up the tomatoes and peppers.  Lots of small or green ones that will still be good, but the temperature was close to freezing last night and it was time.  Still have lots of butter beans on the vine.  We will wait until the last minute to harvest them, since they may yet fill out if we wait.  I watered this weekend because we haven't had much rain for over a month.  After the morning of work I tried fishing a new spot--the Cumberland River.  Yes, the very river that runs right by my house.  Charlie Faulkner had been to a seminar at Bass Pro Shop and was told that the small mouth were big and eager right there.  Well, why not?  So I tried and got skunked as I have the only other time I tried.

Sunday I went back to Center Hill and tried the dam pool.  The generation was from 10 to 12 again, so it stopped soon after I got there.  Results below.

Finally, I've included a couple of shots from my walk Monday morning.  Daylight saving time is great.  Now I can see!
 

View of the Briley Parkway Bridge from my little jon boat. I had fished downstream with the current from Lock Two Park and was about ready to give up on fish at that point.  Shortly after, I did.

After I finally gave up on fish, I made a visit down the Bend and ended up at our house and was suprised to find it almost invisible from the river.


I thought Bruce's house might be more visible, but his house, on the left, is almost as hidden as ours.  his father-in-law's house, on the right, is the only one really visible.

If I hadn't done this before it would have been a big thrill.  I was fishing a rooster tail type lure for crappie and hooked this big carp in the tail.  Since he could pull straight away he seemed twice as strong.  But I knew it was a carp.  They are thick in schools up against the bank next to the waterfalls.  I just let him pull the boat around until I could get him in.  Didn't want to lose my lure.  Figure that, a 10 lb. carp pulling me and my boat all over the pool for 10 minutes on 4 lb. test line.  That says a lot for the fine drag on my vintage Cardinal 3 reel and the good rod I made from an ultra light fly rod blank.

I finally got him in and took his photo.  Then he got to go back to screw up the natural balance again.  Carp are not native and they are pushing out native species.  Well, neither are the trout in this river, but I'd rather have the trout.  If we ever get really hungry in this country we'll find that carp are not bad eating, as the rest of the world already knows.

My next catch was a pretty nice skip jack.  They are called "Tennessee Tarpon" since they look like tarpon and are great jumpers.  Still, just a trash fish--no good for eating.

This is a shot of a dead fish, which was quite large, about 4 feet below the boat.  See me shooting the photo in the reflection.  It might have been a trout or a walleye--I couldn't tell.  At any rate,  it was a really nice one, 24-30 inches.

This is the dam at Center Hill at noon, shortly after they stopped generating..  See the turbulence.  That's the sluice gate which they open to aerate the water.  It creates great turbulence so that you can't put a little boat in when it's running.  The pool level is already going down.  Note my boat is twenty feet away from the pool.  When I unloaded it at 12 noon it was next to the water.

Daylight Savings Time hit Sunday, so on my walk Monday morning it was already pretty light when I started and by 6:30 the old Sun make an appearance over the tree line.  A beautiful sight--tempered by the knowledge that we lose an hour of afternoon light.  Ah....

All the weeds are putting out their seeds and this goldenrod was especially pretty in the slanting rays of the early sun.

October 22--23

I did the leaves Saturday, including blowing them off the roof and cutting back the limbs and bushes growing out over the room and banging against the phone and electrical wires.  All in all it was an all day job and wore me out.  I also picked butter beans and got a large number.  Left a lot as well, since many weren't filled out.  As for fishing I went below Center Hill and caught nothing but a few trout.  The crappie weren't having any.  No bass either.  You never know.

Like an x-ray, you can see the small beans in the pod on the right.

They generate from 10-12 noon now on Sundays.  The water is falling all the time I fish.  Maybe that's why nothing much is biting.

October 15--16

It's time for the garden to go back to sleep, except for the winter hearty things like turnips and garlic.  Here's a little review of where it is now.

I put in garlic on Sunday and got a million misquito bites.  Those guys are hungry!  Saturday I fished upper end of Creek J (photos below) and Sunday the mouth.  Did pretty well Saturday and not so good on Sunday.  No small mouths at all at the mouth and only three or four large mouths.  Still, it was good to be out.  The water was beautiful.

While I was fishing Sunday Sherry, the mad kayaker, was off floating the upper Stones River with her friend Heloise and about 15 other nuts.  Had a good time with Heloise's two big dog's swimming after them until two of the folks got them on top of their kayaks.  River wasn't too pretty, but the scenery was nice and the folks compatible.

The bell peppers never were great this year.  We still have a fair number, but most are small.  We had very few large ones.

Sherry's flowers are still nice although some are showing the approach of their end.  This section of red and blue is nice.

This is a salad mix called "micro greens."  Package said not to thin.  Lots of things on the package, but only two or three seem to be growing.

Morning Glory vines mixed with the red flowers of the creeping cedar vines.

Only three small eggplants so far, but the plants are still growing and may produce more.

The last of the blue lake string beans.  Note the dead leaves.  I'll pull them up next week end.


More dead leaves in the tomatoes.  Still a few green tomatoes, but most are done.  I'll leave the green ones until just before frost, then pull them all and their year will be over.

This is a new planting of purple top turnips, the kind that has a fruit as well as leaves.  Looking forward to some before winter and again next spring.  Ann helped thin them when she was here.

On the left is the new planting of garlic, next are the turnips, then the mini-greens and the mesclum mix.

View of Sherry's large bed from the house.

Redeye hole below the overhanging tree on Creek J.  It was cold enough to wear waders today.

Nice fat little redeye fell for a plastic crawdead.

Way upstream I caught 5 or 6 nice small mouths.

The prettiest little wildflower grew all over the creek banks.  Anyone know the name?

October 8--9

Ann arrived Wednesday for a conference at Opryland Hotel.   She got up at 5 AM to go walking with me Thursday morning at Shelby Bottoms.  On Thursday afternoon she and Sherry met Linda Leaming Thimphu and me and we all went to Rotier's to eat.  Friday we had barbecue up the street.  Saturday I worked all day on the yard and cleaned off the river bank--we can now see some of the water.  We ate at home.  Sunday Sherry, Ann, and Linda took off for the Piney River to kayak.  It looked like rain but didn't.  Sherry, however, managed to dump her boat.  Ann helped her empty it.  It's a miracle Sherry didn't drown with the multiple layers of clothing she wears.  All's well that ends well.

I decided to try Center Hill instead of kayaking.  I caught several crappie, but all small, and three really fat and nice bream, but nothing really exciting.  Too soon, I guess, for the large crappie and sauger to come in.

Three brave amigas.

Boldly going where no woman has gone before.

Photo op along the shore.

Ann poses for a photo Sherry wanted.  It was about 5 AM, just before we went to the airport on Monday morning.

A fat and sassy little blue gill.

All the crappie ran small and were soft biters.

September 30--October 2

Toulouse-Lautrec Exhibit in Chicago

Sherry got us tickets to see the Toulouse-Lautrec exhibit in Chicago, so early Friday morning we flew up there and took the orange line to the loop, walked three blocks to the Congress Plaza Hotel and checked in.  Lots to see and do in Chicago.  We hadn't been there in almost 30 years.  Great big beautiful buildings but with that great park system between those and the lake.  Wide streets and tons of folks.  Too much to see in a brief trip, but we saw a lot and liked it.  Must go back and see some more.

We rode the El from Midway to the downtown loop.  Got off at the public library.  It's a beautiful building with iron sculpture decorating the roof.  One of many uniquely decorated buildings.

The southeast corner is graced by what looks to be an owl studying a manuscript.  Let's do this in Nashville.  Money?  No problem!

Here comes the old elevated train rumbling and rattling around the Loop.  The Loop is the downtown area where the tracks make a racetrack shaped circle and you change from one line to another.
We found that the same cards that worked on the trains also worked on buses.  $1.75 got us from the airport or to a museum 10 blocks away. 

We visited the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum of the Chicago Academy of Sciences Friday afternoon.  Best was the Butterfly room where they were letting new butterflies out to fly freely shortly after we arrived.  It's humidity controlled in there and every now and then a mist would fall on us.  But great.

Our tickets for the Toulouse-Lautrec exhibit at the Art Institute were for 10 AM, when it opened. We were ready to get into the long line when Sherry discovered she had left them at home.  A very nice museum person put us up front and sent us to the business office where another nice woman found us on the computer and gave us tickets.  All in all it was good.  We bucked the line.

We took a river and lake tour of the city and saw many of the unique structures from a different angle.  One interesting fact is that the cities water comes from the lake and, to avoiding polluting the lake, they have reversed the flow of the Chicago river.  It now runs from the lake.  Locks regulate the flow.

Sunday we walked across Grant Park to the Shedd Aquarium.  It seemed much larger than I remembered with a huge section for the dolphins and Beluga whales.  It was built in 1930 and is decorated with some wonderful details.

These brass doors are covered with sea creatures and other nautical themes.

The chandeliers were decorated as well.

At the finale of the dolphin's show they swam up onto the lip of the tank and took their bows.  That's a boat on the lake in the background.

September 23--24

Peacock Bass in Miami Backyards

Smith Barney offered me a trip to Miami to attend a "Multicultural Conference."  Naturally (it was free) I went.  Conference was OK, but I'd been wanting to catch a Peacock Bass since Jerry Bauch told me about them.  I called Frank and he picked me up at noon on Friday and our guide Tony took us out.  A quick trip, but a good one.

Not one to miss my morning walks, I shot this of the InterContinental, my hotel, before dawn on Friday morning.

This ticket seller's kiosk in front of a downtown theater was very interesting in the AM light.

Line of palms along a hotel sidewalk.

Gulls over Biscane Bay at sunrise.

Me with guide Tony.  The canals we were fishing were in suburban Miami and ran through neighborhoods.  It's strange but pretty nice for the people living along them in case they like to fish.  We sa no one else fishing for the 5 hours we were there, however.

Frank shows what a colorful fish it is. They are really not bass, but a South American chiclid.  However, they hit like a grenade and fight like a mad dog.  So who cares what you call 'em?

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