Big Rats for Dinner

So the other day I am flipping through the channels to have something on in the background while I work on homework.  I happened upon a show called Bizarre Foods on the travel channel, and decided to leave it on.

Well, the episode was about hunting and eating the Nutria down in Louisiana. This 3rd generation trapper took the host of the show into the bayou and found some of these giant rat-like creatures.  He then proceeded to whack it on the head with a stick, skin, it and take back home where it turned it into gumbo.  There you go – a big rat for dinner.

The most interesting part of the show was the fact that the host made about our food sources.  There is a stigma around eating certain types of animals.  I know when I visited my family down south as a child, squirrel was a typical menu item.   However, you don’t see squirrel on too many restaurant menus.

This got me thinking about how the animals that we do eat are raised.  Many chickens never see the light of day, many cows are injected with drugs and hormones, pigs are fed food just as nasty as anything else.  However, we (well, not everyone) still think it is gross to eat something from the rodent family.  Oh well, I just found this interesting.

Fishing the AuSable

Very soon, I will get to fish the AuSable up north. We are heading out ahead of the actual trout opener because there are areas of the river that are open all year. Two of these areas are flies only and catch and release (which is what I’m always doing anyways). I posted a map up a while back that shows exactly what portions of the river is still open.

I’m not sure what to expect because I’ve never went during this time of the year, and more than anything I am afraid of the snow melting and causing the river to rise up too high. Luckily there is some stream flow data available from the USGS:

You can also actually see what is going on up in the north woods with these web cams and weather data:

Hopefully, I’m able to get some fishing in and the weather stays clear and the water stays wadeable.

Justifide reborn…

Without getting into the debate over whether Christian rock is wrong or not…

About a year or so ago I stumbled onto a band called Justifide while trying to find some new Christian rock bands/music. I found a band called Justifide, and immediately bought one of their CD’s.

I was curious what was going on with the band and found out that they had some creative differences with their music label, so they decided to go off on their own and they have formed a new group called Reform the Resistance. Listening to some of the clips they have available it seems like their sound has evolved a bit from the CD I bought.

If you like bands like 311, Rage Against the Machine, and POD, then I definitely recommend checking these guys out.

2007 Midwest Fly Fishing Expo

Today was my first time visiting the Midwest Fly Fishing Expo, and I am definitely glad I went. It was extremely fun and worthwhile. As I was leaving Matt snapped a shot of me by the expo sign:

Midwest Fly Fishing Expo

Matt and I met up for breakfast and then we headed over to the show. The first thing we saw at the show was a good fly tying seminar with Jerry Regan. He showed how to make some parachute variations that are somewhat distinct to Grayling, MI. He also gave some good tips on what types of materials to use – like yellow polypropylene yarn, and deer hair from a 5 year or older doe.

I found a good rod-maker I would like to purchase a rod from. They are called Green Stix Rods, and they use a carbon fiber blank for the rod giving it a lot of strength and durability. Bamboo is nice, but (as Matt pointed out) I could get five rods from them for the price of a bamboo from someone else. They are local to Michigan, and I really liked the rods and thought they were very reasonably priced. My next rod I’d like to get will be for small streams and I am thinking about going with a 6’6″ 3wt.

I did buy a couple of things (but strangely no fly tying materials). I signed up for a subscription to Fly Tyer Magazine at about 60% the newsstand price, and I bought one of the TU Challenge Chapter guide books for the Pigeon River. I would like to visit the Pigeon River more than any other of the rivers in the lower peninsula. There was also this cool fly fishing artist selling some cool artwork that I just could not afford, but he was also selling a sticker that says “Flies Only – Catch and Release” which I bought and will be going on the Jeep.

One nifty thing I definitely cannot afford but I think would be really cool to have is a kayak made by Freedom Hawk Kayaks. The kayak is built specifically for fishing, and what is nice is the interesting outrigger setup where the back end of the kayak actually folds outwards allowing you to gain stability while standing. With the outrigger portion disconnected the kayak weighs 65 pounds. This is very cool.

Lastly, I got to see Joe Humphreys give a short casting seminar. My favorite part was when he was showing how you don’t have to “look like you have a wedgie” to cast long distances. While he was casting I noticed all of a sudden the line looked like it was tangling a little bit by the reel. I then realized he had casted out ALL of his fly line and was into the backing. The casting pool was 100 feet long, so he was casting somewhere around 75 – 85 feet. It was fun to watch, especially since I have enjoyed watching his DVDs – my favorite being “Tactics for Casting in Tight Brush.” The lighting was awful to take pictures, but here are a couple pictures of Joe that turned out decent:

Joe Humphreys 1

Joe Humphreys 2

Overall, it was a fun experience, and I’ll most likely be attending these Expos in the future. Matt was talking about how Fly Fishing is expensive, and walking around this place would make me agree. But on the other hand, you could buy an initial rod and reel setup, get a fly box, and maybe some waders and that is all you really need. But they sure do make it easy for you to spend money…