Thursday, April 28, 2011
Monday, April 25, 2011
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Sure, we had a few days that went above 50....60....and one day I think went to 70, but those were single days, and not a long stretch. We had fake spring like days before during the official winter. I'm getting darn close to giving up on spring. Seriously, I cut it some slack in March, knowing it was too much to expect out of nature, but now it's time to live up to the hype.
I'm seeing photos online of our southern friends hitting the water in great looking conditions. This week great conditions would simply consist of NO WIND!
Is it really too much to ask for a consistent run of 60 degree days? I'm not being pushy and asking Mother Nature for 70's, I'd just like 60's CONSISTANTLY to start with. I'll even give up the night, an let the temps dip into the mid 40's, but daytime highs of 60's.....oh, and some sun...would be nice!
I've got poppers to fish and bluegill to harass. See, I'm even being nice and realizing it's too early to expect much from the bass!
Is it too much to ask for weather that brings up fish like this?
|18 inches of bass from July 2010|
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
It fit's together into a nice portable box, but opens up to find a vise and materials. Jim says that it's very handy to take on the road for business or fishing trips. He's known for running back to the truck then coming back to the water with a fresh tied fly.
|All Closed Up|
Sunday, April 17, 2011
Abel now offers a belt ($100) and belt buckles ($150), or both for a steal at $225.
|Keep your pants on!|
But, to be fair....if these were only $25 I'd be all over buying one!
Now, let's say you have one of those fancy belts that holds up more than your corduroys...then maybe you have a spot for the $250 flashlight.
|Light it up!|
But, to be fair again, if these were $30 I'd be all over buying one! At $250 I'd hope they'd still work after I bust out a window as my car starts to sink into the lake....and still be bright enough to lead the way back to the main road.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
This photo shows what my original $50 investment got me. 1 D60 can of compressed air, one grip, and 4 markers.
Disclaimer: Many reviews of similar ideas done to other canned products online shows that this might be dangerous, so I'm telling you here to not do this at home, school, church, or the river.....do this at your friends home!
My wife and I thought it would likely be possible to fill the can with a bike pump. First I had to get a valve into the can so I could have a hole into the can.
I decided the cut the valve out of an old soccer ball and use that in my can. Using a razor blade I cut the piece out around the valve, then cut the valve out of the air bladder.
|Cut the piece first|
|The valve before it was completely removed.|
|Trimmed up the edges.|
|The can's hole and soccer air valve|
I decided to wash out the inside of the can to remove any dust or metal filings from the drilling. I heard that water inside the can might cause rust so I dried it out in the sun and used a hair dryer. However, moisture in the air that I plan to put inside the can might cause rust in the end anyway. We'll see.
After it was cleaned I roughed up the can and valve with sandpaper and used JB Weld to seal it shut.
|Ready to mix the two parts|
|Applied some to the inside of the valve|
|Applied some to the can|
|The squeeze out|
|Cleaned up the squeeze out|
|Bike pump and refillable can|
I inserted the inflation needle to test it. Removed it and put it inside a laundry basket.
|Inserting the inflation needle|
|Laundry basket testing safety system. Patent Pending.|
|1 pump = 20psi|
|My first proof that it worked!!!|
|2 pumps = 40psi|
|Some of my kids initials for the test|
|Putting the kid to work!|
|My first bike pump popper|
|I see frogs in my future|
Next up, eyes, epoxy, feathers and legs!
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
This area is of interest to me, because it was about 20 years ago when I first saw some fat brown trout and steelhead in there. Of course, this then reminds me of my good friend who 20 years ago caught 2 of them with a net and shot them with a BB gun. We were young, and he was immature. Thankfully, he learned his lesson....and after shooting ME with a BB gun, he's given up shooting things at random......but, back to the hike.
The hike is only .5 miles round trip, and just right for kids that are wanting to go back and play.
We stopped at the creek, where my wife spotted a fruit bowl, and sent my son down to check it out. It was in one piece, and she took it home....but left the orange he found. We have seen salmon in here in the past, but didn't see anything this time.
|A dish, no fish|
|LOOK! A DEER!|
|Lock and Load|
We got muddy and had a great time. I bet somehow, next year, without planning, we'll end up hiking that same trail and looking for more fish in the creek.
Monday, April 11, 2011
|"Tying" the legs on|
Saturday, April 9, 2011
First - The Copic airbrush is a system that uses markers as an ink source, and this allows the changing of colors to take literally only a few seconds. Clean up of the system is likely not necessary, and I've done nothing to clean mine yet.
It comes in a few setup ups. I got the one with the grip and an air can. Other setups are available with a grip and a can (without compressed air in it) that can connect to your own hose and air compressor. A third setup comes with the grip, the can to connect to a compressor and the hose and a base to hold up the can when not in use.
Of course the cans of compressed air have a time limit to their use. Mine is rated to have about 7 minutes of continuous air. If you connect it to your own air compressor then your air supply is unlimited.
My investment consisted of the grip and air can and 4 markers. At a local art supply store I bought all these items for about $50.
|1 Grip + 1 Can + 4 Markers = $50|
First I had to super glue the hooks to the popper head. Then I put some Elmer's wood filler in the slot. I did most of them first, then remembered I had heard that thinning the wood filler with water worked well. I did that and found it much easier to push it into the slot than when it wasn't thinned.
|Glue hooks to heads|
After the wood filler dried I took a nail file and sanded it smooth.
|Top hook slot filled. Bottom hook slot sanded.|
Next, I painted the bottom of the popper white. This covers the wood filler and gives an even white color if you want to leave it white on the belly.
Now comes the Copic airbrush. This isn't too hard to use. I just load up the first marker and hold it back a few inches from the popper and make short bursts with the air. Just like spray paint, if you hold it in one spot too long it will get darker and even build up to the point where it will drip.
|Light colors first|
|Dark colors second|
Once I'm satisfied with the airbrush results, I switch to another source for color. I use markers or acrylic paint to make eyes and other patterns on the popper.
I put the eyes on in 3 steps. First I put black, let it dry, put a smaller white dot, let that dry, then finally a smaller black dot, and let that dry. I use the back end of drill bits for different sizes. I found that dipping the bit into the paint to get a drop on the end, then gently pressing that drop on the popper slowly works best. I don't really try to get the bit to touch the popper, but let the paint spread out gently, which it does uniformly. I found trying to rock the bit back and forth to get it to touch the rounded edge of the popper resulted in poor results. Letting the drop just press itself out worked well and gave good round results.
|First black drop|
|Second drop in white|
|Third drop in black. A group of poppers just hanging out.|
|A few more details put on with a marker|
Overall I'm really please with both the Copic Airbrush and the eyes. Many people that have seen these have asked me if you can use other markers. I do believe that I saw somewhere on the internet where someone said there was another brand of marker you could use, but I don't remember that source. The grip that holds all the stuff together does have a specific shape and size, so the marker has to fit. I did hold a different marker outside of the grip, and it did blow the ink out....so there is some potential. I think having the marker fit into the grip would be the easiest approach. I'd be interested to hear if anyone has success with other (cheaper) markers.
Stay tuned to learn how to get more out of your can of air. Coming soon!
Monday, April 4, 2011
If you want to purchase one for your car hit the "Get Your Shirt" link at the top of the page.
And don't forget to order your GFP t-shirt soon. I'll be taking orders until about the middle of April.
Saturday, April 2, 2011
My 8 year old son and I got out fishing today. The wind was much stronger than I would have preferred. We started off at a place I call Twin Rock. In past years this pond has offered up many bass and a bluegill that is massive. With the wind today casting was challenging with my 5 weight.
After working one spot for a few minutes with no luck, we headed down the shoreline. My son climbed up on one of the twin rocks and tried his best before giving up to throw rocks. I kept casting into the wind. It eventualy paid off. I caught a massive bass that almost made my rod bend.
Posting this from my phone for the first time, and the photo won't post. I'll try to post it later.