Big Bird 1

Saturday begins the Wisconsin Early Catch and Release Trout Season. For those of you who fished last year in Wisconsin your 2010 licence and trout stamp is good through March 31st of 2011, so you are still legal to fish through the first month of the season.

The preparations for the annual gathering on the Kinnicknnic River are almost in place with the last bit of shuffling still going on. This year’s group will be the largest in history and there will be serious fighting to get to the best spots after a hearty breakfast at a local River Falls restaurant. This year’s crew has both young and old, first timers and veterans. It should be an interesting mix. The lucky winners of this year’s lottery drawing, enabling their attendance, were drawn from the Antique, Red Metal, Folgers Coffee Can that was used in the movie A River Runs Through It. A member of the group bought it off eBay this year for $1,400.00 for the sacred purpose of bringing new blood into the group.

Fishing will take place on the Kinni but lodging will take place on the Rush River. Accommodations are within a pole barn-like structure which the owner has lovingly called MANWORLD. The carved pine letters are located inside the building and craftily nailed across the back wall of the dwelling. This location has been our home for the last few years and is by no means to be confused with the location where the inaugural  “Sensitive to Women’s Needs Club” meeting was held. However, some of the members of that club will be in attendance.

At this time I should make an appeal to the ladies whose men are asking(notice I said asking)to attend this years slumber party event. They know that they don’t have to ask for your permission. Most likely they are trying to be receptive to how you feel about them attending an overnight-er at a place called MANWORLD. These men have demonstrated that you and the family are their number one priority. But, if they could sneak away for this one night and be stupid with the other boys they would greatly appreciate it. Ladies, whether you know it or not your men need to attend the fishing event and slumber party. Lets face it, when men get in a group of their friends they are weak and sheep-like and will do things that they may normally not do. These activities may include but are not restricted to, singing, dancing poorly, trying to drink a beer while standing on their head. Playing catch wih an empty quarter barrel of beer, smashing cans against their heads, and or snorting shots of 100 proof alcohol. You do not want to  have to deal with the aftermath of these events and it is best that you let us take them to the hospital.  Enough of that, ladies, I know you understand.

The poker game will be a world class event this year with contestants coming from a number of different states. Head-dress, head-ware, hats, wigs or other head adornment will be required at this years Poker Game. This is a new tradition beginning this year to honor the memory of our friend Bob who passed away this spring and was one of the founding fathers of this opening day celebration.

Today, as I walked my pup down the drive-way, I noticed the trail of a small animal imprinted in the snow bank and meandering away from the side of the plowed road. As I followed the trail with my eyes, it appeared to end abruptly. Thinking that the small animal had dug a den in the snowbank, I proceeded to try and flush him out to make a positive ID. When I reached the end of the animals trail and studied the snow more carefully I realized there would be no identification. To the right of the small trail there were 4 perfect talon cuts. To the left was where the small rodent had taken his last step before taking his first and only ride in the air. Throughout the end of January and February the Great Horned Owls have been talking up a storm. Almost certainly, an owl had spotted this critter scuttling about last night in the snow. In one motion, this great bird had swept down and picked up the animal in his left talon, dragging his right ever so slightly in the snow. In The top picture the large tracks to the right are mine. The pictures above and below clearly tell the story of life and death and how fleeting it is. Enjoy life!

Big Bird 2

Big Bird 3