Monday, April 30, 2012

Taking risks and catching fish...

Is this thing loaded?

High arms and willow trees

Inevitable results

Bingo brookies!
I was finally able to scratch the brookie itch this week.  The old haunt is just as active as always, and just as challenging with a fly rod as well!  Always fun to watch a good fly fisherman being pushed by a tree choked stream, but also being successful too. Dave made it look easy (most of the time).  To truly make it happen on stream like this, you have to take risks with how you fish it and we certainly took more than a few of those on this trip!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Mission Creek Recon

Dave Dawkins: Dreaming of the DT

It has been a slow month for shooting photos and blogging for me.  Loads of work, bad weather and family have won the day.  However thing are looking up here for some good shooting coming up so hopefully I can beat the slump and get back on track.  Not only is the weather shaping up again, the foliage is actually starting to grow up here in the tundra as well, so no more stick season shooting I hope!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Confessions from a metal tossing red neck...

Here comes the sun


The killing frost

Back light on the gate to fun

pay off

This has been the week of driving, working and slipping in a bit of playing on the side.  I was lucky enough to have to work with the HPT club in Lacrosse this week so I was able to visit my family in Pickwick and get out for some dawn fishing.

It was fun to get out on the stream for the first time this season and I have to confess a few things that might put in arrears with some of my fishing brethren.

First off, know that I was that kid in cut off jeans, Converse All Stars wailing away with a spinning rod on the trout stream.  There is a great Norman Rockwell painting where the well dressed and sophisticatedly equipped fly rodder is paying the local yocal kid (holding a bucket of worms) for a brace a sweet Trout.  Well cut that kid out and place me in the picture.  I was deadly with a number 2 Panther Martin and if the water was high and muddy, with drift casting a night crawler.  It was actually really hard and really fun.

Later in life and even now, I was turned on to fly casting and love it and it is the way I have moved as a fisherman.  But again, I have to confess every once in a while I love to drag out the ultra light gear and go toss metal and see what I drag out of that deep dark run... Tuesday morning was that type of day and it was perfect.

Oh the other confession?  I love to eat trout.  I return 99% of what I catch to the stream but every year I pull one or two fish out and make Trout Breakfast.  Usually it is spring and its fresh trout (like 15 minutes from the water fresh) soft boiled eggs and Morel mushrooms.  Ummmm.  Unapologetic on all confessions......

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Chicago Off Road Cycling: The rest of the story.

Air Saw Wee Kee

Scares the hell out of me but it sure looks pretty

A fun crew to ride with.  CAMBr

Dry hard and fast.  Palos

Art for all

SRAM Test riding track

In Duluth we are expecting snow

Old World Awesome


Yee Haw!!

Pumpy Saw Wee Kee
The success of the IMBA Chapter program has finally come to roost for me personally.  IMBA was finally able to hire a new RD to take some of my region off my shoulders.  Thus, I found myself passing the torch to Andy Williamson in Chicago this week.  We had a great visit.  Saw some really good friends at SRAM, met the CABMr folks for their board meeting and got in some fun riding.  In the past I had always been shut out of riding Palos and Saw Wee Kee due to time or weather.  So I was really stoked to get out and tour the trails.  We had some great guides in the folks that actually built the systems we were riding on.  Always a huge bonus as most of those trails had you needed to way find on your own you would be either lost or doing a combination of trails that is not the optimal fun it could be.

We were also really fortunate to get to meet and ride with Matt Slager, son of Stan Slager one of the dirt bosses at Palos.  Matt was a great rider and I found myself in that hard situation of having some good riding talent in front of me, my camera and no time.  We flashed out some quick shots, sans flash and got some fun images though.  I hope to someday head back and see Matt and dedicate some real shooting time to Chicago as it has a lot of photogenic qualities that were fun to visualize.

After our day of riding and looking at CAMBrs trails we also went to one of my favorite cafes.  I know that if I lived in the Palos region I would be hitting that place ALL the time.  Old Country does amazing Polish and Lithuanian food.  Lets put this way, they love meat and potatoes and do NOT spare the butter.  It reminds me of hanging at my Grandmothers house.... real food, real history.

Thanks again CAMBr!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Finding a good Posse: Piedmont 2012


Glen dreaming of the future

Rudy once again doing what Rudy does best
Thanks Glen, Rudy, Eric and Drew for a great night of riding and shooting.  Lets do it again!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Anticipating flowers: Preseason riding at Piedmont 2012.

While the city sleeps

Rolling the rocky roller coaster that is the Canadian Shield!


Rudy doing what Rudy does best

John Gaddo finding yet another play rock
Once again I submit that this is THE time of year to ride the upper midwest.  In a few short weeks the weeds will be as high as your handlebars and you wont realize the amount of fun that your missing, purely because you cant see it!  Thanks for a great ride to John Gaddo (he got up at 4am for this!) and Rudy (who got up at 6am!).

Saturday, April 07, 2012

April 2012 Torske Klubben Meeting

 Another great Torske Klubben meeting.  I originally hauled in my DSLR to shoot the meeting and quickly realized it would be way to intrusive.  So for the first time I whipped out the handy 4S and went the Hipstamatic route.  It caught a bit of the action, but someday I hope to have the light and the ability to truly get some shots of this interesting group.  This month the talk was from a MN Supreme Court Justice about his Norwegian roots.  The questions however turned to the recent US Supreme Court Hearings on the Health Care Bill and it was interesting to hear his insight.  A talk well worth the trip in its own right....of course I also like the butter binge as well!  I however, for the second time in a week was skunked by rain and although I hauled the bike was not able to ride Leb!

You got a ticket?
Whispers and side conversations

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Cuyuna: Shoulder season and what your missing!

The bones of the beast


Dead lake 

Sight lines anybody?

Nick, joining the Dark Side
Man, what a whirlwind of a week!  Tuesday I had the pleasure of meeting with a lot of my friends in the MN DNR.  Then I went and met even more friends at QBP.  That in itself would be worth a blog post.
However Wed then found me back at Cuyuna to work with the club there and meet with Nick Statz.  I like meeting with Nick, mainly because his office is the trail system!
This is the time to ride Cuyuna folks.  No people.  Firm trails, huge long sight lines and tacky, tacky turns on well dialed and updated berms.  Wow.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Back in the land of the bacon strip: Cuyuna 2012

Red Love

Tae ripping Bob Sled

Tae down!!

The family and I packed up the car and headed for the Brainerd Lakes Area this weekend.  Cuyuna is open and Margaret's mom's lake home was free so we loaded up the bikes and kicked off the single- track season.
I had a couple of really cool experiences while I was in Crosby, a place that has been quite important in my life these past few years.  First, the idea that I have spent a ton of time there and much to the detriment of my family.  However I really felt like Cuyuna was giving back to me personally when Tae, Margaret and I rode Bob Sled on saturday.  Tae is still rocking the Strider bike and he was literally rocking it!
In fact he had the first "real" crash I have seen him take.  It was that aha moment I had been waiting for as a parent.  It was obvious he was either going to get up and be done riding for the day and maybe longer or he was going to shake it off and roll on down the trail.  He shook it off, it took some tears but he totally got back in the horse and finished not only Bob Sled but also several other trails in the Yawkey area.  We may have a rider on our hands!
On the way home on highway 210 I had another epiphany.  I cant even begin to count the trips I have made on highway 210 between Deerwood and Carlton to do my job at Cuyuna.  It is a lonely stretch of road.  Not much in the way or pit stops (although the McGregor bakery is a great one) and coming home after 5pm it is a ghost town.  Many times on that drive I had sat back wondered if I would ever see the day when there would be cars with mountain bikes on them making the trip to ride Cuyuna.  Well today was that day.  I saw at least six cars with good quality rides on them, red dirt on the tires heading west today.  What a hoot to say the least.
Of course I had my own rides as well.  The most fun being the usual romp with Nick Staz, pretty much go as fast you can, no breaks and enjoy the grins...