** Gordon and Billie **

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Greg's Fiji Diving Pics

My friend, Greg Reusch (the son) went on a scuba vacation to Fiji. He took beautiful photos while there. Here are a few he shared with me. Click on the pictures to enlarge them for their full impact.

Thanks, Greg, for sharing with us. Fantastic!!

We'll Go Where?

Our Final Quest
When we have reached that distant shore,
We'll still be friends; and what is more.
I'll have my fishing rods and bait
Prepared behind the Pearly Gate.
At Spirit Lake we'll wet our lines.
I'm sure the fish will be divine.
But, please, pray tell! I've got to know!
There, at the place where we will go,
Will Angel Fish be caught that day?
Or, will we catch a Devil Ray?
Copyright - Gordon Hand

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Lamar Became A Star - 2008

Billie made the long drive to New York with me in 2008. It was the first time I have ever had her at my side on a long distance fishing adventure. We were delighted to have our niece, Megan, come along. We picked Lamar up at the Syracuse airport. Billie and Megan did not participate in fishing, but, they had a great time exploring and encouraging Lamar and me to catch the big ones.

Some stretches of the Salmon River were a challenge to navigate in waders.

Where the river was wide it, virtually, called to those passing by, "Come, enjoy yourself!" And, many did.

In the main river, hooking-up was easy. Hooking-up and landing was a challenge. My nephew, Lamar had determination as he learned the ropes of the river. He is a fine fishing companion.

In the end he was rewarded for his can-do attitude.

We enjoyed our time together so much that we plan to do it again in 2009.
The sign says fishing's great, and, they never wet a hook! But, they are soul mates, forever.

Waterfalls are always an enjoyable diversion.
We caught BIG Kings in this little turn in the Orwell Brook.
Salmon River Falls, a jewel in the backwoods.
Yes, Billie will always be my greatest catch! She never says, "Don't go." to anything I want to do. My best friend, and eternal love is welcome to go with me, anytime!
What is Real?
After all the fishing's done,
And, I have had my fun,
Hand in hand we'll have a chat,
Of this and, then, of that.
Leaving rod and fishing reel,
I'll tell you how I feel.
"Nothing stands an inch above
Our never ending love."

Monday, January 5, 2009

Braden Braves Alaska - 2006

Two Thousand Six was a terrific year to be in Alaska. Having my friend, James, my son-in-law Jim, and especially my grandson, Braden with me made the trip perfect. It was one of those years when our timing was right. The salmon were running. The halibut (even though they were not giants) were biting. Life was good.

James and I arrived three days early so that we could travel to the Copper Valley for the Sockeye Salmon run. We caught our limits each day, and, still had time to explore. The scenery south of Glenallen is beautiful.

We found snow alongside the road, and, could not resist a little snowball entertainment.

Sunsets were what you might expect in a frontier like Alaska. These two shots were taken about eleven o'clock at night. The sun would rise again about three o'clock. It never got dark enough to need a flashlight.

Down, out of the mountains, we discovered wild brilliant beau ques, arranged by the Master Florist.

The Klutina River provided exciting times catching Sockeye (Red) Salmon.

We even stumbled onto the Alaska Pipeline while we explored primitive backroads.

James found time to clown around on an old wrecked car that had tumbled down an embankment.

One of the oddities in Alaska is the multitude of storage houses, designed to keep the locals' supply of meat out of reach of bears. The houses are built very strong for that purpose, and, need no refrigiration through the winter. Outside elements make a great natural freezer.

Jim and Brady arrived in Anchorage. We picked them up at the airport and drove to our cabin on the Kenai Peninsula.

Wildlife was abundant, from large to small.

Our cabin even had an outside hottub. Jim and Brady could not resist a picture opportunity.

It was off to the Russian River at the first opportunity. Braden got an assist in landing his, first ever, Sockeye.

Jim and Braden, the proud fishermen!

Is it legal to have so much fun?

There's always a payment to be made for having fun. I was impressed that Jim, always, worked hard when work was necessary.

We had warm days and cool days. Jim and his shadow (Braden) endured the elements.

Halibut fishing was enjoyed by all aboard the Nautilus II.
Braden was a terrific fisherman with great determination.

The deck hands were very impressed with Brady's attitude.

On our trip back to Anchorage, we stopped to photograph this herd of wild mountain goats. You never know what wildlife you will see in Alaska. Everyone should get to go at least once a year!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

It Rocks at Carters' Dock

The hospitality of Melvin and Sharon Carter is enjoyed by many. They, graciously, allow many friends, and friends' friends to invade their space. In St. Augustine, a multitude of fishermen, "fisherwomen" and "fisherkids" have felt the joy of their friendship. We are, all, fortunate to know them.

The view from the dock at sunrise and early morning. Night fishing is especially enjoyable because of the floodlights illuminating the water. Many times the water takes on the appearance of a sea aquarium.

There are plenty of BIG fish and little fish in the river. Sometimes they won't fit in the cooler. Other times, the smaller ones create memories for the kids. Granddaughters, Jenna, Kendra and Carlee enjoy the unusual "Lookdown Fish". It gets its name from the downward slope of its face, eyes to mouth. Many people call them Moonfish because of their round shape, and silver color.

When the youngsters, like Jared, decide that it's time for a rest, you will still find the "hardcore" fishermen, like his uncle Bryan, still catchin' em

Traci's family doesn't get to come often, but they make evenings of fishing even more enjoyable when they are here.

Father and son, Greg and Greg Ruesch caught "Sailor's Choice" and "Drum". The fish were not big, but the fun and bonding were.

Mike (Jr.) and Mike (III) Cowart have fished the dock many times. On this occasion they took home two coolers full of "maritime bounty". I enjoyed teaching Trey the very important skill of telling fishing tales. His Black Rock Fish was a prize. Trey's only question, after fishing all day, was, "When are we coming back?"
Our neighbor. Spencer Sargent, visited the dock for the first time on a cold evening in February. With the patience and persistence he showed, he is welcome to go fishing with me anytime. I'm sure there will be many more posts on my blog about his angling adventures.
James Preslar has been the very best friend a person could have. He and I have kicked around together for a long time, now. He is a good fisherman, and always willing to share outdoor experiences with me. He's holding a Red Drum (a.k.a. "Red Fish" or "Red Bass") and a Spotted Sea Trout.
Brett Pielstick and his son, Dagan, are family friends who I don't have the opportunity to fish with often. The times we have had, though, have been fun. They're holding a Nurse Shark that Dagan was none too enthusiastic about touching. Nurse Sharks are quite tasty, if prepared properly.

Billie's uncle H.M. and uncle Tommy caught Sea Trout at the Carters' dock. They speak, fondly, of the great time they had. Seeing them enjoy their night of fishing was much better than catching them myself.