Friday, May 29, 2009

Bluegill fishing

I have been out fishing for bluegills a handful of times since school let out for break. Pound for pound, bluegill are my favorite fish I have ever caught, and I live them because they provide plenty of action and they'll take most anything you throw at them.

I learned to fly fish (and fish in general since I haven't done much of any other kind of fishing) on bluegill, my older brother and I would ride our dirt bikes down to a local pond on those calm, cloudless nights of my childhood and catch a stringer full of fish each. We'd ride home and my dad would fillet them up, my mom would cook up a gourmet meal and we'd use the carcasses for tomato plant fertilizer.

We have had some of those bluebird days and with the weather heating up, now is the prime time to get out on a float tube and catch some slabs.

My dad and I did just that and "found" a new lake that, although I am a lifelong Boise resident, I had no idea existed. Quinn's pond apparently used to be a lumberyard pond of some sort and it's deep, cool water and almost complete lack of other fishermen called us in for a relaxing afternoon of casting.

We caught quite a bunch and my dad fixed up a bluegill ceviche that was great! Here is the recipe he used. If you haven't had a ceviche before, you have to give this one a try. It is fabulous! Ours turned out a bit too lemony and not hot enough, but feel free to adjust the recipe to your taste. Also, a more crunchy-chunky type of ceviche is a little more traditional, but it would take away from the delicate flavors of the bluegill.

1 lb deboned fish fillets
1/2 medium white or red onion finely chopped
1 cup of pure lemon juice
1 diced large tomato
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of powdered sugar
1 finely chopped jalapeno pepper
(Use these measurements as a general guidline.)
Place whole deboned fillets in a deep glass baking dish placeing them as flat as possible. Add the lemon juice, onion,salt,and sugar in the dish. Be sure that the lemon juice completely covers the fillets. Place the dish in the refrigerator for about 2 hrs. After 2 hrs, put the jalapeno, cilantro, and tomatoes into the dish and stir lightly ensureing to moisten all of the ingredients. After 1 hour your fillets will be fully cooked with the lemon juice. Stir the ingredients into a nice medley and enjoy with your favorite cracker or dipping chips.

Bon appetite!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Western States Traditional Rendezvous

Last weekend was the Jim Brackenberry Memorial Western States Traditional Rendezvous (WSTR) hosted by the Idaho traditional Bowhunters and held at Magic Mountain Ski Area near Twin Falls Idaho.

It was a blast. I had so much fun meeting new folks, wishing I had deep pockets to buy some (more) gear.... lots of goodies from several vendors.

There were three 3D courses set up and available to shoot at all times of the day "until your arms falls off." Two of these courses were set up to shoot on a nice walk downhill after a breathtaking trip up the chairlift.

I made some good shots and missed the target completely, but I enjoyed every minute of the experience. This was my first event like this, but it won't be my last.

There was a "water torture" shoot that I really enjoyed. Played head to head, the object was to shoot your jug of water thus emptying it, before your opponent empties his. Speed counts, but so does accuracy, and the trick is complete pass throughs at the lower 1/3rd of the jug. Yardage was about 10, and the action was quick and lively. I surprised myself and made it into the second round and almost past that as well!

I also shot my first "smoker" round, which was a blast! Only one arrow was allowed, and those not shooting wood arrows were playing just for fun. However, the winner that was shooting woodies got half the pot or a really cool "war" arrow that someone donated (1000 grains, 100# spine, this thing was a LOG!). Ten targets placed in very tough, brushy areas broke more than a few arrows. I was shooting carbons, but managed to shoot all ten targets, including the steel plate potato and sheriff which demolished my arrow. Lots of laughs on this course, you can bet I'll be playing this again!

Although the chances of any of the vendors chancing by here and reading this, I do want to thank the ones I can think of off the top of my head for showing up and for the conversation! I enjoyed meeting all of you!
-Archery Past
-Grizzly Bows
-Whispering Wind Arrows
-Spirit Longbows
-Knives By Victor
-Camp Chef
-And there were several more that I just can't think of off the top of my head, but thank you for coming, the event wouldn't have been as successful without you there!

Wow, so much packed into such a short amount of time. I took 70 or so photographs, so be sure to check out the slide show below!

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Been Busy

I have been busy these last couple weeks, fishing, shooting my new bow, working on the never-ending boat project and generally spending my time outdoors as much as I can.

In the next few days I'll be posting about the:

-Western States Traditional Rendezvous
-Centaur longbow review
-Bluegill fishing, along with a fantastic recipe
-Boat update
-Bowfishing for carp
-Axe sheath

So I hope you tune in, I plan to get it all done before school starts back up next week.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Swan Falls

My Dad and I went on an impromptu fishing trip to the nearby Swan Falls dam area on the Snake River in search of a new fishing area. Although it was only one hour fifteen minutes away, neither of us had been there before and what a day to explore! Hardly a cloud in the sky, nice and warm at 70*, and a nice breeze every once in a while.

We got skunked though, due in large part because of the high water and not having any knowledge of where to go. The reservoir is a long, skinny and (relatively) not very deep body of water. We choose to fish the slack water just downstream from the dam. The banks are mostly choked with brush so back casting was mostly non existant and the channel became very deep very quickly so our options were limited. We decided to call it a day with no bluegill, no bass, no trout, and no carp in our creels. We figure the river portion would be much more fishable in August and plan to be back.

The drive in to the area took us through farmland, high desert (populated by a huge population of whistle pigs/ gophers), and all of the sudden the desert floor opens up into this massive gaping slash. The road down into the floor of the canyon hugs the wall and is, simply put, spectacular.

We saw loads of hawks, a vulture, this bluebelly skink lizard, a couple carp jumping, rabbits, marmots, whistle pigs, ravens, and redwing blackbirds.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

In between homework

... and finals I have been exploring a couple things. Having been motivated by other blogs I have dug up a couple websites on Otzi the iceman. One is on clothing and equipment and the other is the actual Otzi museum.

I also "found" a couple schools with interesting classes. Scouting, bowmaking, flintknapping, traditional living and others are found at Practical Primitive. Slightly more geared to the military is onPoint Tactical, but they still have several courses that look like a hoot!

Next week is finals week, then I have three weeks off. I have several posts in the planning stage, as well as some fun adventures outdoors, but I most likely won't be getting anythiing posted until then (so have no fear, rumors of my death will be very premature).

Thanks for reading.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Camelback funk

I don't remember where I picked up this gem but I have been using it for more than year now and it seems to work really well.

After I use my camelback (or other hydration bladder) I clean it out and throw in a couple plastic practice golf balls. They effectively spread the plastic apart and allow it to dry properly. I picked up the golf balls from the dollar store and happened to have them before I saw the tip.