Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Knocking at the Door

Waking up to snow!
Well, I wook up this morning to a fresh layer of snow, the first accumulations of the year.  As I stated last week, in 1991 we had 31 inches by the time it ended on November 1st, so this morning's 2 inches on the ground is pretty uneventful in the grand scheme of things.  It does represent the progression of winter and early snow hopefully means early ice, as I am anxious to get out.  One thing that is different this year is that even after a week, the leaves are stubbornly still on the trees.  I did get out on Saturday to put my tree stand up for this weekend.  We are still hunting on Rich Allen's place near my friend Jack's cabin, west of Onamia, MN.  Rich passed away a number of years ago and we sure do miss him.  Our tradition is to serve a steak dinner at his place on Friday night, a time now dedicated to reflect on our friend, his generosity, and how he enjoyed life.  You can be sure there will be a few toasts to Rich, a few stories, some deer hunting strategies discussed, and the general camaraderie I enjoy so much.  I'm not sure we'll solve anything but it is certain to be a good time.  Hopefully that big buck will walk by my stand, if it doesn't well, no big deal!
Record of jig fishing off 7 mile Flat
Digging around the office I ran across an old section of graph paper from my Lowrance X15B.  A state of the art fishing tool, it had a stylet on a belt that would pass across thermally sensitive paper and burn the image of what was under the boat via the transducer.  A precursor to today's super sharp color LCD/LED screens, it still provided images in detail that is still not available today, although admittedly they are pretty good!  The problem was that the thermal paper cost between $4 and $6 per roll, and if you ran it at the right speed, could last for over 6 hours.  Compared to what a dozen shiners cost, it really wasn't that much and gave a nice printed record of the days fishing.  I used to buy paper at a dozen rolls at a time and would probably go through 12 - 15 rolls a year as I never ran it while traveling from on spot to another.  The first picture is a shot of a jig I was working on the bottom off the edge of 7 Mile Flat in the middle of Mille Lacs Lake.  Graphs were super sensitive and you can see the jig fall almost from the surface to the bottom, watch it bounce off the bottom, and observe the fish come up and look at the jig as it rises off the bottom.  In the middle is a suspended fish, all of these were more than likely tulibee's as they inhabit the deep areas of the lake, just off the flats and throughout the deeper basin.  As a side note, I have never caught one during the summer yet if the water temperature gets over 75 one starts seeing them floating on the surface, a victim of the warmer water as Mille Lacs is about a south as their range goes.  On the other hand ice fishing can be very good because they are a cold water fish and seem to be quite active under the ice.
The day the wind came up.
The next picture is taken a few hours later as the wind abruptly came up and blew exceptionally hard.  Although I can never be sure, I believe this segment of the recorded events shows a wave that is 5 feet from peak to trough, the largest wave that I have ever experienced at Mille Lacs.  Granted, one night while fishing with my friends Eric Hayes and John Delestry, those waves were insane, yet nothing records better than the old paper graphs and the paper doesn't lie.  Another significance to this picture was my passengers for the day, Tom Emmons and Tom McAtee.  Although Mr. Emmons is no longer with us, I can still remember after riding this rather large wave I stopped the boat to put on my life vest.  Of course back then we were all invincible yet this one did shake me a bit.  Tom never forgot and through the years used this event to make fun of my vulnerabilities.  I wish he was still here to give me some crap!   Today I wear my inflatable vest 100% of the time as I've gotten quite a bit smarter than I was 20 years ago.  Funny, I still have the graph and if paper was available, I'd love to hook it up and make some recordings of the bottom readings.  The reality is the new HDS 12 has and extra SD card slot and one can simple insert any SD card and record the events of the day from the HDS's perspective.  Still unrolling the exposed graph paper kind of made one feel you just got back from a secret mission and were reviewing the findings.  Times have changed for sure.
Lory and I just finished up our last cider making day exceeding more than 40 gallons pressed this year.  I still have about 13 boxes of apples but with the cold weather, we are done.  Making wine, giving it to the neighbors who stopped by to help, freezing a bunch, we are all set for the rest of the year.  It looks like the garden tilling will have to wait till spring, I nailed my 6th pocket gopher this week, and the next week will be a push to get everything set for the winter, no small task.


Beaver Creek Cabins & Guide Service said...

Love the post. Brings back many memories of the loud purring of the graph.


Duane said...

Mr. Anderson - Try not to shoot a tree this year....

Dave Anderson said...

Mr. Holtan,

If you really miss that loud purr, I still have the paper graph in my Garage!

Mr. Ness,

Noted and will try to do better this year:-)

Jeff King said...

I had a paper machine that came with my first boat. I gave it to Debbie Burwen who still runs the King Salmon sonar project here...she was REALLY happy to get it because of the clarity and ability to keep the paper. so then Keith gave me one to give to her so she has parts, she still uses them to this day. I guess mine and Keith's little part in the science of Kenai King enumeration.