Wednesday, September 3, 2014

When it Rains it Pours

First fish of the day.
Let's start off with the good stuff from last week!  While scrambling to get things done for our trip to Lac Seul this week, Pete and I found time to get out on the river for a few hours on Saturday night.  The last trip saw a couple of walleyes caught on nighcrawlers fished on the bottom, a surprise as normally carp, catfish, and suckers are the results of this setup.  It got me thinking about trolling the holes with Shad Raps, Flicker Shads, or any other bait that would tap the bottom while trolling up river.  Once on the river it was obvious the recent rains had risen the water levels over a foot from last week.  The current was faster and maybe the higher water had pushed the smallies back shallow.  We decided to head upstream and cast for some smallies before starting to troll for those walleyes.  Rigging up Pete with a spinning rod, I attached my yellow crankbait and within 2 minutes he had a beautiful 18 inch smallie on the line.  Pretty impressive however there became an immediate discussion of was it the fishing skill or the guide's attention to setting up his guest for the evening?  Of course it was my opinion that the guide had 80% of the reasoning for this nice fish being on board.   Think about it as he picked the location, the choice of rods, the ever important "lucky" bait which he could have easily saved for himself.  That debate will continue this week as we both head to Lac Seul for 4 days of nonstop walleye fishing.  As for the rest of the evenings fishing, we did get about 8 fish, a couple in the 17 inch range and a number of small ones before we started trolling for walleyes.  I put on a brown perch colored Little Ripper on my rig and a fire tiger Flicker Shad on Pete's.  Trolling to the top of the hole, our intent was if we caught anything substantial, we would continue the pattern.  About the time we decided there was nothing going, we dropped the anchor and reeled in the baits.  To my surprise was a small 8 inch walleye, the same size as I got last week hooked to the Little Ripper.  Well, at least the method has promise.  Not all that excited about small walleyes and with the high water comes more current, we decided to fish some nightcrawlers.  The sun sets too fast these days and after 20 minutes of no action we called it a night.

A nicer time, sunset on the river
Sunday was originally planned to go motorcycling with my brother Steve.  We have done this for the last 3 years as I trailer my bike down to Fountain City while my wife attends Farm Fest with her cousins.  This year I had been a little indecisive as plans were changing by the minute.  Of course at the last minute it was decided that we would go, I loaded the Victory Kingpin and met my brother at our destination.  Our plan was to head to Minnesota, go through Iowa along the river before crossing at Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin before returning home.  Things were going really good, we weren't traveling too fast when we hit a left turning curve.  We were riding together as I was traveling on the outside of the lane when I got too high on the curve.  Instead of looking where I needed to go I looked straight, a big mistake.  We covered this in my motorcycle training but it was too late.  The bike went upright and straight for the guardrail.  Although my speed was more than reasonable, I should have never looked forward as now I was on a collision course.  Hitting the brakes the bike scrubbed a lot of speed before it went down.  Hitting the cable guard rail, it stopped everything like it should but threw me onto the edge of the road.  I suspect I was down to 10 - 15 mph when this happened and I sustained only a few areas of road rash and a jammed toe.  I always ride with protective clothing and I'm sure things could have been worse without a helmet, riding jacket, heavy pants and boots.  Getting up I staggered some before coming to my senses, was thankful no one hit me while I was thrown onto the road.  Walking back to the bike, it was impaled between the cables, still running and on it's side.  Unfortunately those cable guard rails do a great job of stopping you but also inflict a lot of damage as my bike was really wedged in.  I am confident that had there not been the rail there the bike would have stopped within a few feet of it, a little scraped up but rideable.   A few guys stopped by to help including a lecture on going too fast, but we finally got it out and upright.  Now the fender was pushed into the front wheel, the back tire was flat, not much I could do but hop on my brother Steve's bike and head back.  He really helped by getting my trailer and with his son in law Brandon, picked up the bike and brought it back to LaCrosse.  I guess pictures were the last thing on my mind.  Deciding to go to the Urgent Care on Sunday morning the doctor asked what's wrong.  I showed her the scraps, they took an xray of my toe which turned out OK but it was pointed to my that I have arthritis in the toes, and they showed me how to brace it using the toe next to the big toe.  She asked if there was anything else she could fix, I told her my pride.  No such luck.  I would not be surprised if the bike is totaled, but I'm hoping they can fix it.  Hitting a boat on opener, now's hoping my luck changes soon!  I guess one should be fortunate that all that happened was a few scrapes and soreness.   Therefore I decided to post a picture from the night before looking up river.

Tomorrow at 5:00 AM we head to Lac Seul and this time I'm bringing the Ranger.  I did have the sense to put on an aluminum prop, just in case, but it will be fun to fish out of my own boat.  Not one to go off exploring where I'm not comfortable with, cross my fingers, it will be just fine.  The only thing I worry about is that the water has been high and there has been a lot of deadheads in the water.  Apparently the water is down, which should help.  I guess we'll have a report next week and I'm looking for it to be as good as last year was.

1 comment:

Jeff King said...

jeez Dave....thank god you didn't hit a car. I think it's our age deal Dave. Just the other day I threw the anchor out and damn near went in with it. I really have to start thinking about things as I do them instead of just routine...and oh, I'm wearing a life jacket now.

Glad you're OK. One thing I know about life to be shouldn't worry to much about what DIDN'T happen.