MW Mobile Blog

For friends, family and the random search engine visitor. This blog started as an experiment in mobile blogging from my Palm TREO 600, 700, Prē, HTC Evo, Samsung 5, Pixel 3, Pixel 6 Pro. Now it serves as a simple repository of favorite activities. Expect bad golf, good fishing, great sailing, eating, drinking, adventure travel, occasional politics and anything else I find interesting along the way including, but not limited to, any of the labels listed here...

Monday, September 24, 2018

Cast and Blast - 2018 Edition

The trout season is ending, the bird season has started, it's "Cast and Blast" time in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The idea is to hunt for Grouse and catch trout in the same day.

Uncle Sid and Grandpa George
An almost annual event, we've been making this attempt since 2007, and generally with umm... limited results. Usually it's me and brother Harlan making the attempt. This year, Brian and I continued the tradition:

Brian and Mike
 Over two days we tried a couple of locations around the family River property, with the usual results. SPOILER ALERT: No grouse. No fish. But we did come away with a couple of stories.

Deer corn to bait the trail cam..
The adventure often starts with a supply run at the Little Store on 581

The basic food groups to sustain us. 
Wendy didn't want to loan us her new SUV, but we needed high clearance after the rain.

The road into Lil' Camp
Gearing up
First, we went looking for birds...

Then we reloaded the trail cam batteries and feeder...

Finally down to the river for some fishing...

Reviewing the day with beer and cigars.
I promised stories. 

First, a Fish Story:
Brian is unfamiliar with river fishing. I set him up with a small spinner and piece of worm at a known fishing hole on the river. On his second cast (seen in the video below) he snags the bottom. I instruct him to wade upstream to try to free the snag. He successfully frees the snag, and as he begins reeling in the lure is immediately hit by a fish. It's a monster brown trout that jumps completely out of the water and throws the hook. I have not yet put a line in the water and see it all from shore. It was the only fish we would see all day. 

Second, a Bird Story:
We spent a couple hours in the river and got out of the water at dusk. After striking out all day, we make our way back up to camp, stow our gear and head back. We are driving along a muddy two rut road with open fields on both sides. The headlights are on, and there, on the road in front of us, we flush a grouse. It flies 50 feet up the road and lands in the middle of the road. There are two more grouse there. I tell Brian "Stop the car... get the shotgun."  While he is unloading the gun, I'm keeping eyes on the bird, then I see it - headlights from an approaching car directly in front of us on the two rut road. I have never seen an approaching car on this road. But... there will be no shot. We put the gun away and drive home. 

We decide to come back the next morning and this time bring Tucker:


Second verse, same as the first. A little bit louder and a little bit worse. No birds, many picture, and a fun day.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Shag Lake + Two People + Another Dog + Smoked Fish

Wendy, Brian and Tucker arrived late Thursday night. Harlan planned to accompany them, but work interfered. Since Dad and I had the place to ourselves (plus Bowser) for over a week, we were ready for some company. They brought a smoker, cooler temperatures and rain. But with rain, comes rainbows:

Frist, we had a some work to do. Primarily we had to pull out two sections of the dock as requested by Roy:

Wendy upgraded the camp menu with some tasty treats like Cowboy Caviar and Caprese Flatbread:

First priority was smoking our Northern Pike haul. As noted in a previous post, we have been catching our fair share of pike.

Although a boney fish, we pretty much keep everything we catch because:
  1. Northern Pike are an invasive species in this lake and shouldn't be there. 
  2. We fillet the big ones and smoke the small ones. 
This will be our third smoking effort. I remembered the drill and got things started the night before they arrived. After filleting, the fish go into a secret brine recipe to marinade overnight.

Okay, it's not so secret. After Brian and team arrived they were ready to go on the drying racks for another 6-8 hours:

No Tucker. Bad dog! Not this time! 

Finally, into the smoker:

Yes, they are as good as they look. We enjoyed them over a couple of days.

Breakfast of Champions:
Fried egg, fried potatoes, fried and smoked fish.
Yooper Surf and Turf:
Smoked pike with venison sausage, wild rice pilaf and Two Hearted Ale. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Shag Lake Sojourn

I flew into Chicago on  September 11th. As I passed through the concourse at SFO I took note of the current art installation...

... an exhibition of antique radios. In particular the display of 40's and 50's era Bakelite radios caught my attention because...

 Self-Portrait with Bakelite Radios
 ...we have our own antique Bakelite radio on display at the Lake.

Dad, Bowser, and I drove to Big Shag Lake on the 12th. Although fall color was underway...

...we arrived to unseasonably warm weather...


... which allowed activities that are not often part of our fall visit.

Trying out the new walkboards.
Harlan left us a lot of food, so we were well provisioned and...

... just needed to get ourselves outfitted for some warm weather fishing.

We found the mysterious white duck of Big Shag Lake

Bowser also enjoyed the warm weather:

After about a week, the warm weather broke, our fishing luck improved, and I finally got around to catching up on social media:

 Which set us up nicely for our expected Labor Day visitors.