Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Arctic Blast

San Antonio River Walk from my balcony
Last Sunday was relatively balmy as Tom and I fished Pelican Lake.  Tuesday ended in San Antonio's 70 degree evening,  even humid enough to turn on the air conditioning in the hotel room.  Leaving Minneapolis, it was already snowing with a significant snowfall predicted during the next few days.  Meanwhile it was 80 degrees on Wednesday, unfortunately I was stuck in meetings all day.  San Antonio is beautiful this time of year.  If you've never been there I certainly recommend spending a few days in Texas's most visited city.  The focal point of downtown San Antonio is the Riverwalk, a man made canal which included the San Antonio River, circling an entertainment district downtown.  Staying at the The Omni La Mansión del Rio right on the Riverwalk, our room balcony on the 4th floor faced the river.  With the Christmas Season in full force, the area was one big holiday celebration.  By Thursday night the weather I had left in Minnesota was barreling through Texas and arrived in San Antonio unwelcomed.  Now this is a relative term as it was still a comfortable 45 degrees, enough to still walk around with my sleeves rolled up.  In the meantime the locals looked as though it was -10 below zero, bundled up in coats, stocking hats, with the outside propane heaters at full on.  I'm sorry, I just had to laugh as the predicted temperature when I arrive at MSP was -16, 45 degrees seemed tropical!  I guess it's simply relative to what you are accustom to and it was obvious no one was ready for this cold front.  The reality is we are a group of "tough bastards" up north but then again, everything is relative.  We'd probably complain about the heat come August!  The reason for being in San Antonio was our annual TTA fall meeting.  The TTA stands for The Transformer Association and I have been it's President for the last 2 years.  My tenure has been highlighted with a number of successes including an increase of almost 20% in membership and an increase in it's assets.  Probably my greatest success is leveraging my humble (don't laugh) upbringings growing up in Eleva, Wisconsin by making fun of my own heritage....Ole and Lena jokes.  The TTA has members from California, Texas, Illinois, New York, and everywhere in-between.  For me, it doesn't matter, I am who I am and damn proud of it.  I think that at first some people felt it was somewhat backwoods but in the end I believe that my genuine portrayal of who I really am became important.  I am proud of my Norwegianness, my parents, my up bringing, and my home town of Eleva.  I guess there's not much else!

Crappies from last week
Sunday was set aside to attend the St. Paul Ice Fishing show at the St. Paul Civic Center.  I really like this show and this year was accompanied by my friends Mark and Russ, two die hard fishing friends.  I've often talked about Mark, he is like a brother to me and Russ....well, just another friend that I share much in common.  I have had the chance to fish with Russ at Winnibigoshish, Red Lake, and this year we spent some time at Lake Oahe in July.   Mark and I have been discussing Wheel Houses for ice fishing and the show gave us a chance to check out all the pluses and minus's of the different brands.  I'd like to talk my brother Steve into going in with me on a new Wheel House as him and I have a lot of future plans, we'll have to see.  In the meantime Mark has added a few improvements to his wheel house and we will have an opportunity to utilize them over the Christmas holiday's, probably at Red Lake again.   So admittedly I am a sucker for these show specials that you run into while checking everything out.  My first purchase was a flag/bite indicator to install on my dead stick rod that I usually have fishing out of my portable.  Normally I have a rod with a slip bobber setup yet when a fish takes it down, you really have to pay attention.  With the flag, you have a better indicator of the bite.....we'll see!  There was a booth from Wisconsin selling Lily River Fish Breading coating, it's delicious.  I suppose just because it's from Sconnie I had to have at least 2 different varieties.  Could be worse.  Next was a device called  The Filet Claw, a stainless steel device for securing your filet while skiing to ensure a clean and effortless process while using your preferred technique (OK, I stole that from the package).  Either way it looked pretty cool so I bought 2, one for me and one for my brother Steve.  I have to admit, he's a pretty lucky brother as I am always thinking of him.  I finished the show with a purchase of a TUCR noodle rod for ice fishing.  We'll see if it lives up to it's reputation.   I decided to post a picture of last week's crappies, a limit is 10 but I did share with my neighbor Tom.  With the sub zero weather last weekend it is making ice, let's hope I can get out this weekend.

You can tell that winter is in full swing.  My friend Jeff King and his wife have left for Mazatlan, a sure sign it has started.  My other friend Keith Holtan is settled in Brainerd and catching walleyes on his lake.  In the meantime the weather continues to challenge the global warming crowd with a predicted -20 below tonight.  The weekend is suppose to warm up to the high teens, maybe enough to get out and try for some more crappies.  With the recent snows, it will be challenging for sure.  I have guests from Taiwan arriving on Sunday and their first request was if I had coats so we'll see how that goes.  Other than that, experiencing a 100 degree temperature swing is enough excitment for one week!

1 comment:

Beaver Creek Cabins & Guide Service said...

Norwegianess? That's a good one. We use to tell my dad (100% Norwegian and very fond of Ole & Lena) that there's the right way and then there's the Norway.

Stay warm.