It’s been a while since I update ya’ll on my adventures and my injuries so here goes!
Annual Fishing Adventure:
Since I moved within a few states of Nebraska, me and my old NE pal Mike have been exploring fishing in the region. This year we had planned a trip to Lake Ogallala in Nebraska. Link here. You’ll see on the east (right) side of the map two flows coming out of the lake. 1. The North Platte as it continues on into Nebraska and 2. the Southern power/irrigation canal. Both of these flows are stuffed full of very nice rainbow trout. In fact, Nebraska’s state record was taken out of Lake Ogallala.
So Mike and I plan the trip and go. We arrive to a cornucopia of shitty conditions:
- Three days prior of solid rain on the Platte that extended all the way back into Wyoming. All of this “stained” water eventually flows into where we were fishing. Trout hate stained water.
- A low pressure front which trout hate.
- 35 mph winds with gusts exceeding 45 mph.
- And the biggest problem: gate flow changes.
That last point was the killer. 6 months prior when Mike reconnoitered the waters he had a good trout outing. When we were there they had shut down all of the main North Platte gates which essentially made that stretch of water dead. The southern power canal is also excellent fishing when one gate is open. Naturally, they had four gates open which made it impossible and dangerous to fish. This left us with the SE corner of Lake Ogalla to fish. This spot under good weather is also excellent for trout. Not so much for this visit, however.
Despite the conditions there was an 11 a.m. burst where everyone around us including Mike had action. 5 fly fisherman on the upper Ogallala lake flow all caught trout. The guys fishing bait and spoons/spinners on the SE corner all saw action and many caught trout including Mike. Ol’ Bob? Well…not so much. Zero bites on bait, zero hits on spoons/spinners, and ZERO fish for the entire trip. Hell, I did not even have a nibble!
Here’s Mike with the one trout he caught. It is far from the biggest either of us have ever caught.
Those waves were churning at about 3 – 5 feet high. The high ones were spraying up onto the platform we were on. It was hell. To keep dry Mike and I had to shelter behind a sm. storage shed that is out of frame and to the left of the white fishing pole. Oh, it was also bloody cold!
Since we couldn’t fish for the amount of time we had planned this left us stuck in a hotel room at Turd Burglar Nebraska. Naturally, Mike and I had to explore the dive bars and pool halls. Here is the bar that I almost got into a fight in:
That photo was taken early the next morning on the way out. Ironically it was about the only sun we had. So the Crystal Palace is a shithole. Mounted animal heads everywhere, dark, everything wood, and it even has those saloon-era swingy gates on the bathrooms. Oh and it was full of locals wearing cowboy or John Deere hats.
Mike and I roll in sans hats and after having enjoyed half a bottle of of 20-year-old scotch at the hotel. After surveying the dive we decided to have one drink and then move on to the next dive bar. Now bear in mind that Mike and I were dressed in clean jeans and t-shirts so it’s not like we stood out too bad. However, this is one of those bars where everyone knows everyone, so many people were eyeballing us because we were not regulars.
Long story short: I had to use the bathroom and as I weaved my through the crowd I accidentally bumped a scrawny 20-something guy in cowboy hat. The good news is that his hat stayed on. The bad news is that he spilled half his beer and most of it went on his pants.
Shit. Here we go.
He did swear at me and he also called me several names. I can’t remember them all and due to my high-range hearing loss and the crowd noise I could not understand half of them. He was, however, agitated. So as he attempted to get into my space I put my hands up and out in a non-threatening yet defensible posture (God Bless you 10 years of martial arts training). Doing this succeeded in keeping him from getting inside me and it also made him pause so I could talk.
Me: “Hey pal, I’m sorry about your beer. Tell you what: If you go sit down with your pals I’ll buy you another one. Deal?
Mad cowboy: “You BETTER!”
So as the table of four glared at me I had the bartender send them one cheap pitcher of PBR farmer beer. Problem solved and without a fight. 🙂
It was a shit fishing trip but at least I did not get arrested for beating up a drunk cowboy over a spilled beer.
Partially Torn Tendon Update
Totally healed! The steroid shot and another week of rest fixed it. I tested it heavily while fishing and am having no problems. I now do some grip exercise 3x a week because I don’t want it tearing again. This one had me worried because it was taking so long to heal. I was moving into four months which would have meant surgery.
Anyhow, I have to think about if it’s worth returning to judo or not. More on that in a another post when I get time. I have hit the weights 3X a week, running 2X, and weaseling in 2 10 minute stationary bike sessions at home. I’m getting ready for something but I’ve not decided what the something will be.
As for this weekend, well, the weather is supposed to be excellent so I’m planning an all-day fishing trip to my favorite trout haunts. I need to get the skunk off the start of a pretty shitty fishing year!