Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Trout - Anyone?

Last weekend, Tuesday and Wednesday for me, I finally decided to drive up onto Mt. Lemon. I have heard so much about while here on this and other trips that I figured I had best finally take a look. I was not disappointed if only because the scenery was great, better than the shot at left but my camera was not at its best on the way down (operator error actually). The trip is well worth the 45 minute or hour's drive from various spots in northern Tucson to get there. You wind up driving from about 2,500 feet down in the city, up to just over 8,000 feet and you go from out and out desert to places like the lake and pine forests.. Getting there is all the fun what with some really great rock formations along the way, and some really great views of the valleys below on either side of the mountain. At one point you are actually riding along a ridge where you can see down to the bottom of the mountain at one spot on one side and then several feet away see down to the bottom on another side, that was pretty impressive.

When I drove up there I had two things in mind more so than the scenery. First of all I was about half ready to go on a hike. I had all my gear ready but as for myself, well I was pooped from poor sleep. I also had it in mind to do some trout fishing at Rose lake. As I drove up to the pay station/entrance I just drove around it because I had a parking permit for this national forest. I continued my drive to the top and a little beyond and stayed impressed with the scenery and with the newly rebuilt town of Summerhaven (burned down some years back). Nice quaint little village with high priced tourist trap shops as you would expect, but all those working in the shops were nice. After that I turned around and decided to try fishing at Rose Lake.

There were probably about 20 or so folks from very young to a fair bit older than me trying their luck. The quarry it seemed were stocked Rainbow Trout in what seemed to me to be no more than a 15 acre lake. I walked around the far side of the lake about 2/3 of the way to the small dam that formed it, and found a nice log on which to park my posterior. Then I got down to fishing. I set it all up with a bottom rig for a worm, then realized I had left the worms in the car. Oh well - it would be artificials for the day. I tried everything I had which was not much. I sure did not travel to AZ ready to go trout fishing (or any other type of fishing for that matter). What I had with me I had purchased since getting here, actually once Brendan had come out for his visit. Finally after about 2 hours or so of casting artificial salamanders, worms, spoons, crankbaits and spinners I latched onto a fish. I could tell right away it was bigger than the ones I had seen other catch. Yes that means other folks were catching them - some were reeling them in left and right - and of course, they were using trout worms as bait. Oh well, I finally had one and it was on a spinner bait I had bought when Brendan was here or just before he arrived. The feisty little booger trout was all of 12 inches, and looked like a whopper compared to some others I had seen float by belly up after people released fish that had swallowed too small hooks. Mine I would keep, I mean there was at least an appetizer.

Had some of those released trout that floated by me, and there were at least 3 or 4, still been flailing their gills and floundering about as they floated by I would have scooped em up to add to the larder. What a waste of a good fish. Not too small to keep legally, and an excellent size for the pan (which is why some fish are called panfish), and delicious at that. Of course, usually I throw small ones back to grow big, but not ones that I know will not survive. Some people think that such little fish are worthless and just throw em back and do not care that all they will do is foul up the water or become dinner for crayfish. The thing is that once you pull out their insides to dislodge a hook they are goners. Shame on the knuckleheads who released fish injured so badly they had no chance of survival. Better in the pan than being wasted like that.
By the way, if you think that fish looks pretty scraggly, well yes it does. I suppose that some crayfish went to work on it when I had it on the stringer in the lake. It really had a tail fin and looked a whole lot prettier when I caught it. pretty meant nothing though when compared to how it tasted when I ate it. As it turned out, I went back to my motel with just the one I had caught. I had it all cleaned up (just gutted is all) at the lake before I left, so when i got back to the ranch I put it in a plastic bag and popped it into the fridge. After a couple of days I remembered it was in there, gave it a whiff, and decided to throw it out into the microwave for a few minutes on each side. It was ever so scrumptious cooked with no additions at all - no spices, no sauce, no salt, nothing. It was great as it came out of the water except for gutting and cooking. Mmmmmmm-goooood.
All the best,

No Entrants

Not one person sent in an entry for the contest I ran on June 24th. So I guess that is good for me because I don't have to purchase the rifle case and send it to anyone, bad for me in that it drew no interest. If you want to know the answer to the contest question - it was Jaws.

All the best,

That Sunlight Can Be Beautiful, Tricky Too

Maybe the the nicest pic of the sunlight playing with the clouds not long before a sunset over the Sonoran Desert but yet an interesting one. Why interesting, well that takes a good look on your part to figure out. I am not one who believes in miracles or divine intervention yet I suppose some may enlarge this picture and think that such has come into play here. Me I think it a nice and curiously coincidental photograph, one in which I see a mans face on the right looking at something else - not as clear as the face- on the left maybe a ram's head with a flaming spearhead under it. Click to enlarge and maybe you will get my drift; or maybe my imagination is simply overactive lately. Too much time in the sun as some would say.

As for the second picture - what can I say. I was pretty near breathless watching the sunset last night. Those Monsoon rains with all the water filled clouds and moist skies sure do pretty things to the sunlight.

All the best,
Glenn B