Something Fishy

Something Fishy
t Doesn't Get Much Better

Monday, December 30, 2013

One year end, another begins

Another year ends. Another year begins. It’s time to plan for coming seasons and enjoying the outdoors.
Although Jan. 1 is the date we take down the old calendar and put up the new (some people like me still use paper calendars), it hasn’t always been that way. And today, there are some regional parts of the world that calculate years differently.
The Roman calendar using January to December dates back to about 700 years before the birth of Christ, however in England and Wales, March 25 was considered the start of the new year until sometime in the mid 1700’s.
In this part of the country, Jan. 1 is the start of a new year, a time for making and breaking resolutions, and a time to look forward to another year, and a time to try to keep warm.
While I’ve given up on resolutions, I found some interesting ones made by outdoor folks on the internet.
One read, “I resolve to sit on the bank of a pond with an earthworm suspended under a cork and thrill to the sight of the bobber trembling and then going under. I will also have a chicken liver on the bottom on another rod while it is propped up by a forked stick, and I will watch the tight line for movement indicating a cat is nibbling.”
What a great resolution. It’s simple and conjures up wonderful thoughts of why most of us enjoy fishing. We don’t need expensive equipment and far away places to gain pleasure from angling.
Another resolution was “to go to a lake I have never fished and learn about it. On that trip or others I will take someone with me that does not get to go as often as I do. I resolve to take a kid fishing - and not use them for bait”
Despite a few difficult moments (for me and not the youngster) I’ve encountered fishing with children, I never considered using them for bait.
However, the resolution to take someone fishing whether young or old is a great one. Much better than resolving to lose weight.
Other than thinking about resolutions, what does one do in early January. There are tackle boxes to be cleaned, books to be read, tackle to be repaired, and shotguns to be cleaned.
And then there are sports shows to visit. First up in this area is the Cincinnati show, followed by Louisville and then Indianapolis. These shows offer outdoor people the opportunity to learn about new fishing, hunting and camping destinations. They also provide an opportunity to view and experience some of the latest gear and outdoor equipment as well as boats and recreational vehicles.
The Cincinnati Travel, Sports and Boat show is open the weekend of Jan. 17-19, closed Monday and Tuesday, and then opens for a run Jan. 22-26 at the Duke Energy Convention Center.
During the final five days is the time the Cincinnati show has an emphasis on fishing, hunting and camping.
Also, running Jan. 22-26 at the Louisville Boat, RV and Sports Show at the Kentucky Expo Center.
Feb. 14-23 is the big Indianapolis Boat, Sport and Travel Show at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. The show utilizes a number of buildings, and may be the largest of its type in the country. 
Tackle Town at Indy has as much fishing gear as one will find assembled anywhere at a retail sports show.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Kids played a game in the snow; anyone remember more?

As I was writing a Christmas column, I thought about how lucky I was as a kid that we didn’t have all the electronic gadgets. Kids actually played together and talked to each other.
Among the winter games, I remember making a huge circle in the snow. It was like a wagon wheel. There was a place in the middle and spoke led to the outer circle of the wheel.
We must have played some sort of tag or similar game.
I vaguely remember it being called, “Ducks and Geese,” or something similar.
Does anyone remember the game? Do you recall any details?
If you remember, please add a note or comment.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Used bike was great present; gave me mobility to explore the outdoors

It was a shinny red bike. It stood parked by the Christmas tree. Wow, a bike.
I couldn’t have been happier on Christmas morning. A beautiful, full-size bike. It wasn’t new, but I didn’t care. It was new to me, and I couldn’t have been more excited.
Money was scarce when I was growing up. We always had plenty to eat and a warm house, but not a lot more. I didn’t know we were poor.
Some where my dad found a used Western Flyer bike. He cleaned, painted an polished the old bike, It also had new tires, It looked brand new, beautiful. And to me, it was my ticket to the world. It was my transportation to frog ponds, fishin’ holes, woods, and other neighborhood kid’s home and outdoor games.
I was blessed, electronic games had not been invented.
Another year’s special gift I fondly remember was a Red Ryder BB gun. It came with a package of BB’s.
I spent many hours shooting targets and cans down by the old railroad tracks. It was where I learned some of the early fundamentals of target shooting and hunting. It also helped teach me the value of saving money so I could make trips to Goodwin’s store to purchase more BB’s.
For many old-timers like me, Christmas is a special time -- a time for nostalgia about bikes, BB guns, Christmas Eve church services and trips to Grandma’s house.
Growing up, Christmas Eve started with a trip to a little German country church in rural Clark County, Illinois. The kids of the church practiced  for weeks in advice on a special Christmas program.
The programs were short, probably no more than an hour. But, they seemed an eternity as we had fun things to do afterwards at grandma’s house.
There was a big valley and hill near the church, and it always seemed like it was slick with snow and ice. One farmer kept his tractor at ready to help pull stranded cars up the hill after the service.
After the service, our family all gathered at Grandma and Grandpa Junker’s house. It was small, but we all managed to pack inside.
There was oyster soup and chili, plus sandwiches and homemade Christmas cookies. As a youngster, I disliked (mild words) the oyster stew, but would love to have a bowl today.
Kids were later told to be quiet and listen for Santa’s sleigh bells. Hearing the bells, we were told that Santa had made an early visit to the closed off living room. There we found gifts under the tree One for each youngster. There also were gifts for adults, who following Thanksgiving dinner had drawn names. Later, we kids received the remainder of our Christmas gifts at our homes.
My Christmas memories still fill my head at this time of year, and I have a special recollection of that red bike. It was my access to the wonderful outdoors.