Tuesday, July 28, 2009

While Fishing, find fossils ....

Fishing 12-year-old nets Ice Age bone in Embarras River

From the Herald & Review. Com

Monday, July 27, 2009 6:34 AM CDT
By TONY REID - H&R Staff Writer

GREENUP - Josh Brandenburg went angling for a mammoth catfish and came back with a big bit of mammoth instead.

The platter-size circular bone he fished out of the Embarras River is now setting off some elephantine ripples in the scientific community. Experts from the Illinois State Museum in Springfield say the size of the bone means it belonged to one of the biggest mammoths on record from Ice Age Illinois.

The bone also has some "chatter marks" on it, which suggest it was gnawed on by a big meat-eater or maybe even hungry prehistoric humans who had just nailed the mother of all pot roasts.

Either way, Josh's find is something special. The bone is anywhere from 13,000 to 24,000 years old and came from, most likely, a woolly mammoth or another mammoth type, the mammuthus Jeffersonii, which is named for Thomas Jefferson, a major prehistoric critter fan.

Read the rest...

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Seeing Spots

So I packed up the car last Friday night on a bit of an spur of the minute escape. Got everything packed, a little food, tent, fly rods, six pack of beer, and almost packed everything, except I left some of my fly boxes. In fact, all I ended up with were softhackles and streamers. July 18, 19, 2009.

Since I had no dries I just fished right through that coral dun hatch with softhackles. I think every rising fish I saw took the softhackle.

The last fish picture was a trout of about 15 inches. I was fishing in a car sized hole, a bit of a rock ledged drop around it with a nice riffle pouring in. The bottom was filled in with a beaver willow cache. I had already taken about half a dozen smaller fish off the surface with a Soft Hackle on the return & saw a bigger trout strike at one on the retrieve. So I put an enormous streamer on - one that came from an unknown streamer swap, conehead with eyes, and large green articulated rabbit body, about 3 or 4 inches long. Soaked it, cast it in and on the strip had a log like trout hit it take it down into the brush pile and get off. Next cast in, a smaller fish - a brook trout hit is , larger than the one pictured jumped and flipped the fly. Third cast the pictured fish took it an I landed him. This was all in a spring creek hole about the size of me car, with a riffle pouring in.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Police spear Zander Fish

Monster fish killed after terrorising Swiss swimmers

GENEVA (AFP) — Police divers have ended the reign of terror of a huge fish that was attacking swimmers in a Swiss lake.

The zander, which was 70 centimetres (two feet three inches) long and weighed eight kilos (17.5 pounds), was harpooned on Sunday after it bit six swimmers over the weekend, fish warden Fabio Croci told local media.

Two swimmers were treated in hospital for bite wounds up to 10 centimetres (four inches) long after being attacked on Lac Majeur, which borders Italy, he added.

Police divers at first tried to capture the carnivorous fish with a net, but when this failed they pursued the zander with a harpoon and managed to kill it.

The meat from the captured fish was served up to tourists at the lake.

"It is quite unusual for zanders to bite humans", Croci said, adding he suspected the fish was suffering from a hormonal imbalance which could be responsible for its aggression.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Jim Lee column: Rainy fishing trip finds ray of sunshine

This story must have been written from a trip taken in May, as it hasn't rained much in the five weeks in the U.P. For those unfamiliar, it is not the wild unbroken wilderness people want it to be, and as this article attests, the natives are skilled at taking fish from the water with spinners, nightcrawlers and set lines. This is about the average experience up there though. Mostly few and smallish fish from the Escanaba watershed. The below is posted from the Green Bay Gazette.

ISHPEMING, Mich. — "All's well that ends well" ... so the saying goes.

"… if you can forget the misfortune it took to reach the finish," I might add, speaking from experience after a recent routine canoe trip got off to a rough start. Then things got rougher.

Bob LaFreniere and I had scheduled a trout fishing float down the Escanaba River in Michigan's rugged Upper Peninsula only to waken on the appointed day under soggy skies amid cool temperatures in the mid-50s.

"A little rain never hurt anybody," said LaFreniere, a native Yooper. "Grab your rainwear and let's get on the road."

Forty minutes later, our two-vehicle caravan pulled up to a backwoods bridge and dropped off Bob's pickup. Ten minutes and a roundabout six road miles later, we offloaded a 17-foot aluminum canoe at the designated starting point, a bridge about three water miles upstream.

Neither of us had experience with this segment of the river and had no idea what to expect, though we had heard trout fishing could be worthwhile at times.

The plan was to drift and paddle downstream to the truck, fishing and taking in scenery along the way.

No problem there. We managed to land a handful of brook trout, including a couple that broached the 10-inch mark, but the wilderness setting was too frequently interrupted by rustic cottages.

"These are all deer hunting cabins," LaFreniere assured. "The owners don't fish."

Some of them obviously had an interest in the water, however, as small docks emerged from several shorelines. A well-worn spinning rod sprouted from one of the appendages, the line still holding to a weed-encrusted bobber stuttering in the current.

The pulsating drizzle was an annoyance, not a hindrance, and the un-summerlike temperature coupled with a gusty wind removed the need for mosquito repellent.

Bob preferred fishing with nightcrawlers. I started fishing with worms, then switched to a spinner. Both rigs were effective.

A five-hour float brought us to the takeout point. When the canoe touched bottom, I made a move to exit. Veteran legs — after spending too much time in the cramped front seat — weren't up to the task.

My foot slipped on a rock. I tilted backward, lost balance and kersplunken ... I tipped the canoe.

After a few sobering seconds of soaking up river flow that eagerly ebbed over the top of my waders, I turned to find a somber Bob pinned in waist-deep water and contents of the canoe floating around him in disarray.

"You know my cell phone is shot," he quickly pointed out.

A dunking is death to a cell phone but considerably less hazardous to rods, reels, creels, boots, bait, clothing, cushions and lunch.

We gathered the drenched booty and hauled the canoe well on shore.

As Bob silently approached the waiting truck with a load of dripping gear, he slowly turned and said, "Do you want to know the rest? ... I left the keys to the truck in the Jeep back at the other landing."

There we stood, looking at one another — Glum and Glummer.

"Someone has to eventually drive by this landing," Bob finally said. "We'll ask them to bring us to the Jeep."

"This is a gravel and dirt road that doesn't go anywhere except to deer hunting camps," I pointed out. "It could be an hour or it could be days before someone comes along. You stay here and I'll start walking the road back out."

Approximately 45 minutes into a lumbering trek in semi-soggy waders, a rumbling pickup truck piloted by three young men stopped and offered to be my taxi. I eagerly clambered into the back of the truck bed, gingerly stepped around a pile of jagged, rusted, scrap metal and found a sprawling spare tire for a seat.

Heaven never looked so good.

After reconnecting with Bob, we made a beeline for Ishpeming, intending to replace the deep-sixed cell phone, which contained numbers vital to his business in Ohio.

No luck in Ishpeming. Ditto for nearby Negaunee. Finally, in Marquette, we located Bob's cell phone carrier — and an angel in the form of a customer service representative. With an ever-present smile, she patiently listened to our tale and helped Bob select a new phone — one with more features and a larger keypad than his defunct unit.

After processing the purchase, she beamed and said, "This is your lucky day. We're having a special sale on that model. After a mail-in rebate, it will cost you nothing."

Then she downloaded all information from computerized chips in the old phone into the new one. The major loss turned out to be three hours of phone service.

As we walked out the door, Bob was smiling again.

"You know," he said, "I never thought I'd be glad you dunked me."

Believe me, I just love a happy ending.

— Jim Lee is an outdoors writer for Gannett Wisconsin Media
. E-mail him at jlee77@earthlink.net.