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30 Jun

First Half (2015) Reading List

What follows is my reading for the first six months of the year.

JTH READING; 2015  [As Of 6-30-15]

(1) William Sanders. Are We Having Fun Yet? American Indian Fantasy Stories. (2002) [SS]

(2)Scott Russell Sanders. Earth Works: Selected Essays. (2012) [ESS

(3)Joseph Heywood. Buckular Dystrophy (2015) [Submission Draft]

(4)Sarah Bakewell. How To Live, or A Life of Montaigne: In One Question and Twenty Attempts At An Answer. (2010) [BIOG]

(5)Diane Osen. The Book That Changed My Life: Interviews With National Book Award Winners. (2002) [NF]

(6)Sarah Smith. Chasing Shakespeare. (2003)

(7)Kenn Kaufman. Kingbird Highway. (1997) [NF]

(8)Toshihiko Kobayashi. Insight Track – To Become an Internationally- Minded Person (2014) [NF]

(9)Hector St.John De Crevcoeur. Letters From An American Frontier and Sketches of Eighteenth-Century America. (1782) [NF]

(10) Thomas de Quincey. Confessions of an English Opium-Eater and Other Writings. (1821) [NF]

(11) Jose Saramago. The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis. (1984)

(12) Joseph Heywood. Covered Waters. (2015) [NF-Memoir]

(13) Bryan Stevenson. Just Mercy. (2014) [NF]

(14) Robert Shelton. No Direction Home: The Life and Music of Bob Dylan. (1986/2010) [NF]

(15) David Levering Lewis. God’s Crucible: Islam and the Making of Europe, 570-1215. (2008) [NF]

(16) Martin Walker. The Resistance Man. (2013)

(17) John Straley. Cold Storage, Alaska. (2014)

(18) Troy Soos. Hunting A Detroit Tiger. (1997/2013)

(19) George Craig, Martha Dow Fehsenfield, Dan Gunn, and Lois More Overbeck. The Letters of Samuel Beckett. 1957-1965. (2014) [NF]

(20) William Alexander. Flirting With French: How a Language Charmed Me, Seduced Me & Nearly Broke My Heart. (2014) [NF]

(21) Cheryl Strayed. Wild. (2013) [NF]

(22) Arturo Perez-Reverte. The Siege. (2013)

(23) Robert Harris. The Fear Index. (2012)

(24) Garrett Epps. American Epic. Reading the U.S. Constitution. (2013) [NF]

(25) Harriet Elinor Smith, Ed. Autobiography of Mark Twain. (2010) [NF]

(26) Adam Gopnik. Paris to the Moon. (2000) [NF]

(27) Philip K. Dick. The Man in the High Castle. (1962)

(28) Philip K. Dick. Confessions of a Crap Artist. (1975)

(29) Philip K. Dick. The Game-Players of Titan. (1963)

 

(30) William Alexander. Flirting With French: How A Language Charmed Me, Seduced Me & Nearly Broke My Heart. (2014) [NF]

(31) Sarah Blakewell. The English Dane: From King of Iceland to Tasmanian Convict: At Life Of Jorgen Jorgenson. (2005) [NF]

(32) Bob Dylan. Chronicles, Vol I (2005) [NF]

(33) Molly Ivins and Lou Dubose. Bushwhacked: Life in George W. Bush’s America. (2003) [NF]

(34) MFK Fisher. How To Cook A Wolf. (1942) [NF]

(35) Donald Barthelme. Sixty Stories. (1981) [SS]

(36) S.E. Gontarski, Ed. Samuel Becket: The Complete Short Prose, 1929-1989. (1995) [NF + SS]

(37) Stanislaus Joyce. My Brother’s Keeper. James Joyce’s Early Years. (1958) [NF]

(38) Laura Hildenbrand. Unbroken. (2010) [NF]

(39) John Darnton, Intro. Writers [on Writing]:  Collected Essays from the New York Times. (2001) [NF]

(40) Milan Kundera. The Art of the Novel. (1986) [NF]

(42) Samuel Beckett. More Pricks Than Kicks. (1934/1972) [SS]

(43) C.J. Ackerley and S.E. Gontarski. The Grove Companion to Samuel Beckett:A Reader’s Guide to His Work, Life, and Thoughts. (2004)

(44) Sarah Blakewell. The Smart: The Story of Margaret Caroline Rudd and the Unfortunate Perreau Brothers. (2001) [NF]

(45) Martin Walker. Bruno, CHIEF OF POLICE.(2008)

(46) Martin Walker. The Crowded Grave.(2011)

(47) Jim Harrison. The Boy Who Ran To The Woods. (2000) [Kidlit]

(48) John Gardner. The Art of Fiction. (1981) [NF]

(49) Adam Gopnik. Winter: Five Windows on the Season. (2011) [NF]

(50) Adam Gopnik. Angels and Ages: A Short Book About Darwin, Lincoln, and Modern Life. (2009) [NF]

(51) Emily St.John Mandel. Station Eleven. (2015)

(52) W. Somerset Maugham. A Writer’s Notebook. (1949) [NF]

(53) Phillip Lopate. Against Joie De Vivre: Personal Essays. (1989) [NF]

(54) Alistair Horne. Seven Ages of Paris. (2002) [NF]

(55) Alistair Horne. La Belle France: A Short History. (2004) [NF]

(56) Donald Hall. Life Work. (1993/2003) [NF]

(57) Laurence Stern. The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman. (1978)

(58) Edward Rutherford. The Princes of Ireland: The Dublin Saga (2004)

(59) Flann O’Brien. The Third Policeman. (1967)

(60) Italo Calvino. Marco Valdo or the Seasons in the City. (1963)

(61) Italo Calvino. The Baron in the Trees. (1957)

(62) William H. Gass. Omensetter’s Luck. (1966)

(63) Thomas Pynchon. Inherent Vice. (2009)

(64) Nicholas Carr. The Glass Cage: Automation and Us (2014) [NF]

(65) John Gardner(Foreward by Raymond Carver) On Becoming a Novelist. (1983) [NF]

(66) Robert Coover. The Universal Baseball Association, Inc., J. Henry Waurgh, Prop. (1968)

(67) Donald Hall. Fathers Playing Catch With Sons (Essays on Sport, Mostly Baseball) (1985) [NF]

(68) Edward Dolnick. Down The Great Unknown: John Wesley Powell’s 1869 Journey of Discovery and Tragedy Through the Grand Canyon.(2001) [NF]

(69) Joseph Heywood. Brown Ball. (UNPUBL MS)

(70) Joseph Heywood. Harder Ground. (2025) [SS]

(71) Henry Barbusse. Under Fire. (2010/1916)

(72) Tom Chiarella. Writing Dialogue. (1998)  [NF]

(73) Susan G. Wooldridge. Poemcrazy: Freeing Your Life  With Words. (1996) [P]

(74) Alastair Fowler. Literary Names: Personal Names in English Literature. (2012) [NF]

(75) Kenneth Burke. A Grammar of Motives. (1945) [NF]

(76) Ray Bradbury. Bradbnry Speaks: Too Soon From the Cavae, Too Far From the Stars. (2005) [NF]

(77) Maurice Merleau-Ponty. Phenomenology of Perception. (Pre-1923) [NF]

(78) David Brooks. Bobos In Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There. (2000) [NF]

(79) Roger Angell. Once More Around the Park: A Baseball Reader. (1991) [NF]

(80) Roger Angell/ Intro by Richard Ford. Game Time: A Baseball Companion. (2003) [NF]

(81) Christopher Hitchens. Hitch 22: A Memoir. (2010) [NF]

(82) Christopher Hitchens. The Portable Athiest: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliver. (2007) [NF[

(83) Mors Kochanski. Bushcraft: Outdoor Skills and Wilderness Survival. (1987) [NF]

(84) Robert Haight. Emergencies and Spinnerfalls.  (2002) [P]

(85) Robert Haight. Feeding Wild Birds. (2013) [P]

(86) Robert Hicok. The Clumsy Living. (2007) [P]

(87) Dave Dempsy and Jack Dempsey. Ink Trails: Michigan’s Famous and Forgotten Authors. (2012) [NF]

(88)Patrick Robinson. Slider: A Novel. (2002)

(89) Daniella Martin. Edible: An Adventure Into the World of Eating Insects and the Last Great Hope to Save the Planet.  (2014) [NF]

(90) Thomas McGuane. Crow Fair. (2015) [SS]

(91) Stanley Elkin. Van Gogh’s Room At Arles. (1993)

(92) Stanley Elkin. The MacGuffin. (1991)

(93) Stanley Elkin. Cries & Kibitzers, Kibiztzers & Cries. (1965) [SS}

(94) Jim Harrison. The Big Seven: A Faux Mystery. (2015)

(95) Jim Harrison. The Great Leader: A Faux Mystery.  (2011)

(96) Laurence Sterne. The Life and Opinions of Tritram Shandy, Gentleman. (1757)

(97) Michel Faber. The Book of Strange New Things. (2014)

(98) Joseph Heywood. Covered Waters: Tempests of a Nomadic Trouter. (2015) [NF]

(99) Juhani Pallasmaa. The Thinking Hand: Existential and Embodied Wisdom in Architecture. (2009) [NF]

(100) Henry Hitchings.The Secret Life of Words: How English Became English. (2008) [NF]

(101) A. Bartlett Giamatti. The Earthly Paradise and the Renaissance Epic. (1966) [NF]

(102) Joseph Heller. Now and Then: From Coney Island to Here. (1998) [NF]

(103) A. Bartlett Giamatti. Take Time for Paradise: Americans and Their Games. (1989) [NF]

(104) A. Bartlett Giamatti. A Great and Glorious Game. (1998) [NF]

(105) George F. Will. Men At Work: The Craft of Baseball. (1990,2010) [NF]

(106) Clive James. Poetry Notebook: Reflections on the Intensity of Language.(2014) [NF]

(107) Nick Hornby. Fever Pitch. (1992) [NF]

(108) Virginia Woolf. A Writer’s Diary: Being Extracts From the Diary of Virginia Woolf.  [1953] [NF]

(109) Ann Hood. An Ornithologist’s Guide to Life. (2004) [SS]

(110) Franco Moretti. The Way of The World: The Bildungsroman in European Culture. (1987) [NF]

(111) Kevin Smokler. Bookmark Now; Writing in Unreaderly Times.  (2005) [NF]

(112) Jeanette Winterson. Art Objects: Essays on Ecstasy and Effrontery. (1995) [NF-Essays]

(113) P.G. Wodehouse. The Code of the Woosters. (1938)

(114) Thomas Pynchon. Crying of Lot 49. (1965)

(115) A. Bartlett Giamatti. A Free and Ordered Space: The Real World of the University. (1976) [NF]

(116) Franco Moretti. Distant Reading. (2013) [NF]

(117) Arthur Koestler. Darkness at Noon. (1940) [NF]

(118) Arthur Koestler. The Sleepwalkers: A History of Man’s Changing Vision of the Universe. (1959) [NF]

(119) David Benioff. City of Thieves. (2008)

(120) Clive James. Cultural Cohesion. (2013) [NF]

(121) John Fortunato. Dark Reservations: A Mystery. (2016)

(122) Philip MacDonald. Dead Police (1933/1985)

(123) Virginia Woolf. The Common Reader. (1925/1953) [E]

(124) Nuala O’Faolain. Almost There: The Onward Journey of a Dublin Woman. (2003) [NF]

(125) Aubrey Williams, Ed. Poetry and Prose of Alexander Pope. (1969) [NF]

(126) Bruce Feiler. Walking The Bible: A Journey By Land Through the Five Books of Moses.(2001) [NF]

(127) Philip Kerr. The Lady from Zagreb. (2015)

(128) Robert Crais. The Monkey’s Raincoat. (1987)

(129) John Christopher. The Death of Grass. (1956/2009)

(130) Nick Rosen. Off The Grid: Inside the Movement for More Space, Less Government, and True Independence in Modern America.(2010) [NF]

(131) Chris Hedges. Wages of Rebellion: The Moral Imperative of Revolt. (2015) [NF]

(132) Phillip Lopate. Intro. The Art of the Personal Essay: An Anthology from the Classical Era to the Present. (1994) [Essays]

(133) Bernd Heinrich. The Homing Instinct. Meaning & Mystery in Animal Migration. (2014) [NF]

(134) Sue Hubbell. Far-Flung Hubbell. (1995) [Essays]

(135) A. Bartlett Giamatti. A Free and Ordered Space: The Real World of the University. (1976) [NF]

(136) Wendell Berry. What Are People For? (1990) [Essays]

(137) Wendell Berry. It All Turns on Affection: The Jefferson Lecture & Other Essays. (2012) [Essays]

(138) Wendell Berry. Our Only World: Ten Essays. (2015) [Essays]

(139) Wendell Berry. The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays of Wendell Berry. (2002) [Essays]

(140) Irwin Shaw. The Young Lions. (1948)

(141) David Landis Barnhill, Trans, Intro. Basho’s Journey: The Literary Prose of Matsuo Basho. (2005) [Essay and Poems]

(142) Anthony Doerr. All the Light We Cannot See.(2014)

(143) Cynthia Griffin Wolff. Emily Dickinson. (1988) [NF]

(144) Harry Middleton. The Earth is Enough: Growing Up in a World of Flyfishing, Trout, & Old Men. (1989) [NF]

(145) Ian Frazier. Great Plains. (1989) [NF]

(146. Wendell Berry. The Way of Escape and Other Essays. (2005) [NF]

(147) Harry Middleton. Rivers of Memory. (1993) [NF]

(148) Franco Morett. Distant Reading. (2013) [NF]

(149) Stephen Adams. Poetic Designs: And Introduction to Meters, Verse Forms, and Figures of Speech. (2003) [NF]

(150) John Elder. Following the Brush. (1993) [NF]

(151) Chris Ballard. One Shot At Forever. (2012) [NF]

(152) John Feintsten. Where Nobody Knows Your Name: Life in the Minor Leagues of Baseball.(2015) [NF]

(153) Bill Madden. 1954. (2014) [NF]

(154) Cris Laoutaris. Shakespeare and the Countess: The Battle That Gave Birth to the Globe. (2014) [NF]

(155) Kobo Abe. The Woman in the Dunes. (1964)

(156) Harold Bloom. The Daemon Knows: Literary Greatness and the American Sublime. (2015) [NF]

(157) Anthoney Doerr. All the Light We Cannot See. (2014)\

(158) Neal Stephenson. Seven Eyes. (2015)

(159) Tristan Gooley. The Natural Navigator. (2011) [NF]

(160) Harry Middleton. In That Sweet Country: Uncollected Writings of Harry Middleton.  (2010) [NF]

(161) Harry Middleton. The Bright Country: A Fisherman’s Return to Trout, Wild Water, and Himself. (2000) [NF]

(162) David  E. Dirks, Ed. Tenkara Fly Fishing. (2013) [NF]

(163) Tristan Gooley. The Walker’s Guide to Outdoor Clues and Signs (2014) [NF]

(164) William Shakespeare. K.Henry IV with the Humours of Sir John Falstaff. A Tragi-Comedy. Written by Mr. W. Shakespear. (1723)

(165) Matthew Pearl. The Last Bookaneer. (2015)

(166) Tina Packer. Women of Will: Following the Feminine in Shakespeare’s Plays. (2015) [NF]

(167) William Shakespeare. Hamlet.(xxxx)

(168) James R. Siemon. Word Against Word: Shakesperian Utterance. (2002) [NF]

(169) Barry Singer. Churchill Style: The Art of Being Winston Churchill. (2012) [NF]

(170) Michael Holqist, Ed. The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays by M.M. Bakhtin. (1981) [NF] [Essays]

(171) Nick Vander Bijo BEM. No. 10 (Inter-Allied) Commando, 1942-45 : Britain’s Secret Commando. (2006) [NF]

(172) Terry Crowdy. SOE Agent: Churchill’s Secret Warriors. (2008) [NF]

(173) Eugene Liptak. OSS 1942-1945: The WW2 Origins of the CIA. (2009) [NF]

(174) Pico Iyer. The Global Soul. Jet Lag, Shopping Malls, and the Search For Home. (2000) [NF] [Essays]

(175) Pico Iyer. Falling Off the Map. Some Lonely Places in the World. (1993) [NF]

(176) Pico Iyer, Intro. Graham Greene: Complete Short Stories. (2005) [SS]

(177) Denis Rigdon. How to Be A Spy. The WW2 SOE Training Manual. (2001) [NF]

(178) Pico Iyer. The Lady and The Monk: Four Seasons in Kyoto. (1991) [NF]

(179) J. Payne Collier. Memoirs of the Principal Actors in the Plays of Shakespeare. (1846) [NF]

(180) Randy Fertel. The Gorilla Man and the Empress of Steak: A New Orleans Family Memoir. (2011) [NF]

(181) Massimo Pigliucce. Nonsense on Stilts: How to Tell Science from Bunk. (2010) [NF]

(182) U.S. Army, Intro by Rick Atkinson. Instructions for American Servicemen in France During World War II. (1944) (2008) [NF]

(183) Winston S. Churchill. Painting As A Pastime. (1948) (2014) [NF]

(184) Dr. Peter D. Matthews and Maria Bassano. Shakespeare Exhumed: The Bassano Chronicles. (2013) [NF]

(185) Henrik Ibsen, Paul Negri, Ed.  Peer Gynt. (1867) (2003)

(186) T. Lothrop Stoddard. The Rising Tide Against White World Supremecy. (1921) [NF]

(187) Madison Grant. The Passing of the Great Race: The Racial Basis of European History. (1916) [NF]

(188) Henry Ford. The International Jew: The World’s Foremost Problem.(1920) [NF]

(189) Matthew Pearl. The Last Bookaneer. (2015)

(190) Chris Kyle. American Sniper.(2014) [NF]

(191) Bernd Heinrich. The Homing Instinct: Meaning & Mystery in Animal Migration. (2014) [NF]

(192) David P. Wagner. Murder Most Unfortunate. (2015)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

24 Jun

Pinery Indian Cemetery

 

 

 

Baraga County…

The U.P. is filled with history. You just have to get off the paved roads and go find it.

The U.P. is filled with history. You just have to get off the paved roads and go find it.

 

 

 

 

View from the hill.

View from the hill.

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Farewell to a warrior

Farewell to a warrior

Privacy

Privacy

 

Amazingly long life, 1818 - 1925

Amazingly long life, 1818 – 1925

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24 Jun

Silver Falls, Silver River, Baraga County

last chute and beyond

last chute and beyond

 

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start of the lower chutes, below the oxbow

start of the lower chutes, below the oxbow

chutes

chutes

fishable run, with some depth.

fishable run, with some depth.

 

Just below the oxbow

Just below the oxbow

 

Les papillons noirs

Les papillons noirs

The Oxbow

The Oxbow

Upper chute

Upper chute

just below lower falls. Whole thing runs about a quarter mile through rock chutes.

just below lower falls. Whole thing runs about a quarter mile through rock chutes.

21 Jun

Sunday Morning Drive

Some photos from this morning’s Putt-Putt Session in da Woods.

Building (circa 1910) from the Old Painesdale Champion Mine. This would have been new when the 1913 strike erupted. Painesdale was the scene of some shootings and other violence. Read Red Jacket to get the details.

Building (circa 1910) from the Old Painesdale Champion Mine. This would have been new when the 1913 strike erupted. Painesdale was the scene of some shootings and other violence. Read Red Jacket to get the details.

Painesdale Lupines in bloom They are everywhere now.

Painesdale Lupines in bloom They are everywhere now.

Our favorite birch, up on the  old Prison Camp Road.

Our favorite birch, up on the old Prison Camp Road.

typical summer Sunday in the Herman Hills.

typical summer Sunday in the Herman Hills.

Juvenile Northern Harrier perched above gravel pit across US 41. Sat for quite a spell.

Juvenile Northern Harrier perched above gravel pit across US 41. Sat for quite a spell.

Old 41.  Follow this old grade all the way over to Carla's Cozy Lounge on New 41/28, Moose sighting area.

Old 41. Follow this old grade all the way over to Carla’s Cozy Lounge on New 41/28, Moose sighting area.

You've heard of Electric Avenue, now meet Alberta Avenue.

You’ve heard of Electric Avenue, now meet Alberta Avenue.

Our Pairaloons were back this morning. Never could get them to settle close to each other. One kept diving and diving.

Our Pairaloons were back this morning. Never could get them to settle close to each other. One kept diving and diving.

21 Jun

Birdeye Maple and a Rainy Day

Mostly at work here. We seem to be in a  Sat-Sun rain-day sked  and hope this will eventually shift. Yesterday picked up our plants from Keweenaw Greenhouse, up near the headwaters of the Silver River. Sky filled with rain and skeeties.  Locally we still have blackflies (buffalo gnats) everywhere, but they don’t seem to be biting. The skeets are in legions and bloodthirsty. Wild strawberries are a sort of yellow color. way to go on those, haven’t checked Juneberry trees for actual berries yet, but will be awhile before they are ripe, so no hurry. I adquired some slabs of nice birdeye maple from my friend Dave Stimac, who dropped them this morning. Now to see what I can make of them. I love natural stuff. Over.

Perp Walk?

Perp Walk?

Lineup

Lineup

Less than a half-inch thick.

Less than a half-inch thick.

Birdeye doorguard

Birdeye doorguard

cross section, including some of the outer bark.

cross section, including some of the outer bark.

Up close and raw

Up close and raw

Up close and raw

Up close and raw

Birdeye maple, up close and raw, just as the saw exposes it.

Birdeye maple, up close and raw, just as the saw exposes it.

16 Jun

Recent Sojourns Along the Presque Isle River

This refers to the Presque Isle that runs south to north along the far westerns side of Porcupine Mountains State Park, one of our state’s great treasures (perhaps even the crown jewel). Enjoy. Over.

Jambe Longue

Jambe Longue

Stairway to Your Imagination.

Stairway to Your Imagination.

You betcha, hey.

You betcha, hey.

Shit islands?

Shit islands?

Mouth of the Presque Isle

Mouth of the Presque Isle

Hydro power

Hydro power

more hydroholes.

more hydroholes.

Twisty-quck-fast.

Twisty-quck-fast.

GRRReeeen!

GRRReeeen!

Traffic signs gone wild

Traffic signs gone wild

Spillways everywhere

Spillways everywhere

People on lower right to give you a sense of size of the falls. .

People on lower right to give you a sense of size of the falls.
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We're kayaking UPriver?

We’re kayaking UPriver?

Drop-ins

Drop-ins

Scenic rocks

Scenic rocks

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Over the Top

Over the Top

Curtains (Water Lace)

Curtains (Water Lace)

Here we gooooooo!

Here we gooooooo!

Take the Small with the Tall.

Take the Small with the Tall.

Water flowing over rocky flows...and so forth.

Water flowing over rocky flows…and so forth.

Birchbark forming into tiles?

Birchbark forming into tiles?

After the morning dew

After the morning dew

Growths

Growths

Pink Ladyslipper

Pink Ladyslipper

Angles

Angles

Stumpage study in green

Stumpage study in green

Jack-in-the-pulpit

Jack-in-the-pulpit

The mystery power of hyrdraulics (or Mother Nture's plan to drill through to China).

The mystery power of hyrdraulics (or Mother Nture’s plan to drill through to China).

What  a tangled web we weave.

What a tangled web we weave.

03 Jun

Hunting Fishing Water

For a lot of trout fishermen, home water is a loose and porous concept. Those who limit their fishing to one river and no other (either discovered in youth or adulthood) seem fewer and fewer and limited to landowners. When you shell out a wad for river land there’s a financial  reason to stay close. For the rest of us, the true nomads of the endeavor, home water is not so easily defined. For some it refers to several waters. For others, it’s a geographic region of a state. Or a entire state and no other. Or one part of the country (eg. Rocky Mountains) or just one country, e.g. USA, USA. Some are internationalists working US waters in summer and South American waters in their summers (our winters). For some in the regional bunch, the home water is thinly defined as the width and breadth of the Upper Peninsula.

All of this of course eventually reduces to “water,” which we find familiar and comfortable, and meeting certain aesthetic or production standards that guide our interests. For some trouters, home water may be infertile and unfruitful, yet beloved. It’s nice to catch fish, but this isn’t a deal breaker in home water identity stuff. I know anglers who now clip hooks off their flies and pursue a game in which they simple want to inveigle strikes and this done, they are happy and pleased and ready for a bankside martooni when the night’s fishing is finito.

As a nomad, my allegiances have wandered around with me over the decades. At the age of almost 72 I have a set of home waters for smallmouth (the Kalamazoo, Muskegon, and Paint Rivers), and another set for brown trout (Paw Paw River, Pere Marquette, Au Sable, Manistee) and yet another set for brook trout, all of which are in the U.P. despite one of the best rivers for the specs being the Black River in Montmorency County. It, in fact, may be better than any of the UP rivers, but the value of rivers, like the attractiveness of the other sex is in the eye of the beholder. The Black is clearly superior to any other brookie water BTB.

One of the major attractions for brook trout for me has always been that they live in clear, cold waters, but over many years I’ve discovered that some of the very best brookie water, has a loon shit bottom, a lot of floating algae and lily pads, nasty bottoms and is virtually unwadable the way we do it BTB. The thing about a brook trout stream is that the value of your eyes is only so much. What you want is 55-56 degree water, and to hell with what the creek or river looks like to the discerning aesthetic eye. With my crow’s shiny-thing eyes I have learned to listen to Ms Thermometer when selecting fishing grounds. It can look like a building eyes, shrewish and aging Betty Davis or worse, but if Ms. T says 55-56, all appearances are dismissed and the water body is immediately placed in the hold pantheon of waters of merit. There are no real vicissitudes involved in decision by thermometer. Eyeballs and heart, not so much, and way to easily swayed.

Angling, of course, is not the serious thing some make it out to be. Nor should it. If you are of the My Goal is a bulging Fishbag School, brookie fishing in the Yoop is not for you. Our fish are small in almost all waters, and few in  many. If you want to regularly catch 20-inch+ trout, you can go down and fish the hex hatch on any of the major trout rivers and there’s a damn good chance you’ll haul in  a bunch of big fish, Up here you’re unlikely to ever catch a 20-inch brook trout, or even a 20-inch brown, though the chances of that during the hex hatch on the Indian are fair to middling. I caught a 19-inch brookie when I was sixteen, and though I measured it, we never got a photograph. My mom said, “Nice fish,” and into the frying pan it went. I figured there would be oodles that size to follow as the rest of my life rolled out. Wrong.

I once began compiling a list of all the UP waters I had fished (based on personally measuring their temps midsummer days, but I quickly abandoned the task, seeing quickly that the list would run more than 100 and it’s a lot more since then as I have fished for brookies in all 15 Upper Peninsula Counties. Make no mistake, all 15 have some wonderful brook trout opportunities, some of which are well known, most of which are not. To repeat, Ms. Thermometer is your ticket to true opportunity. You take a stream temp at noon on a July day and it reads in the mid 50s, or even in the high 40s, get out your gear, Z?n yú liúlàng hàn. I think that’s Chinese for trout bum. Let me add that if you are so privileged to find a local up here sharing secret water with you, please take it to your grave (or funeral pyre, as your druthers may dictate). Brook trout grow ever so slowly in these often less-than-fertile U.P. water systems. Yet, hunger doesn’t make them saps for just any old fly or bait offering. Their primary tactic against a fly is the lightning fast strike, which by the time your brain gets the signal from your eyes, is long over. Of all trout, brook trout seem to me to strike faster and more savagely than other types. I tend to wade my waters, which limits the amount of water I can cover, but so-be-it. The ideal craft for most folks up this way appears to be the canoe, and they use them with great effect. Me, I flip canoes far too easily, so I avoid them now. Some kayaks area in use and I would think one of the sit-on-top types would be perfect for some Yoop waters, as long as you know how to secure your gear. Yoopers used canoes and they do not expect the grand God of They_Them to  clear routes of obstacles as is done on many BTB waters. Robochef Peterson and I once dropped a couple of our Missouri sidekicks into the Fox River, expecting them to make a 3-4 hour float, which turned into an eight-hour plus survival voyage involving dozens of portages over downed logs and one encounter with a feisty black bear. This condition of unexpectedness is a great part of the attraction of Upper Peninsula waters. I have encountered bears and bobcats and wolves while fishing, but not yet a moose, though no doubt that will happen. Last fall I found fresh moose doots by one of my beaver dam spots. Deer on the river are fairly common. Bob Lemieux and I were once standing about 15 feet apart on the Au Sable South Branch when a deer waded across the river between us. I prefer wading at a leisurely almost snail-like pace, with lots of stops to let the river show me what’s happening and to just flat enjoy the scenery. I usually take all my invented characters to the river with me and seek their views on what we are seeing. If that smacks of a touch of crazy, so be it. My balance is not what it once was (whose is?). Up here there is a lot of really dark tannin water (brown-orange to black, with rough-ass bottoms of tangles of who-knows-what. The rougher the bottoms these days, the less likely I am to wade. Yes, I’m getting cautious. Sufferin’ Succotash, Sylvester the cat used to proclaim and now I get it, Syl boy. Even if my range is shrinking it’s still great to put my wader boats in frigid summer water. Yesterday Jambe Longue and I scouted rivers. Believe it or not, lots of them up here are still swollen with winter runoff as the ice finally bleeds out of swampy headwaters. Most of the spots we checked are still unwadable unless you are 80 year-old Godfrey Grant who puts on his Superman shirt and hops in, no matter where, no matter when. Back in the old days, the old timers up here used to say, don’t even think  brook trout until after the Fourth of July. They were right. After three consecutive awful winters up here this last one was more along the lines of standard and here we are in June and the waters still unwadable in many if not most. So we wait. That’s prolly an anthem for us in these times. Over. Some photos from the meanderings follow. Tight lines, eh.

Rock River, still not wadable.

Rock River, still not wadable.

Rock River, heavy water.

Rock River, heavy water.

Our place is 5 miles, north, dead ahead.

Our place is 5 miles, north, dead ahead.

Perch River water

Perch River water

Perch River Fast Water

Perch River Fast Water

Perch River scene

Perch River scene

 

Perch River. A white pine missed by loggers.

Perch River. A white pine missed by loggers.

Hey, what is that up there?

Hey, what is that up there?

Sturgeon River

Sturgeon River

One-lane bridge over the Sturgeon, east side of the Sturgeon Gorge Wilderness

One-lane bridge over the Sturgeon, east side of the Sturgeon Gorge Wilderness

Burn -- .hrooms next year yumyumeatumup.

Burn — .hrooms next year yumyumeatumup.

Ogemaw Falls Profile

Ogemaw Falls Profile

Ogemaw Falls from the top

Ogemaw Falls from the top

Ogemaw Creek Pond

Ogemaw Creek Pond

Seen signs filled with bulletholes, but this is the first camp...

Seen signs filled with bulletholes, but this is the first camp…

Unnamed stream in Herman Hills

Unnamed stream in Herman Hills

 

02 Jun

Sickos and Their Latest Gambit

PETA is at it again. What total asshats, top to bottom…I do belong to PETA but my group is called People for the Eating of Tasty Animals.

Agitprop from the extreme end of a political spectrum

Agitprop from the extreme end of a political spectrum

02 Jun

Oot in Da Woods

Spent the day looking at trout water. Most places still far from unwadable, high with swamp snow and ice runoff, plus recent rain. Will post river pictures later, but here are some other things we ran across over the course of 4-5 hours:

 

UFO?

UFO?

Columbine. This flower, which resembles an eagle's talons was once under consideration for national flower. Beautiful. First either of us has ever seen.

Columbine. This flower, which resembles an eagle’s talons was once under consideration for national flower. Beautiful. First either of us has ever seen.

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Another look at the Columbine.

Wasn't there a song, "Hitchin a Ride?" No idea what this turtle is until we tip  it over.

Wasn’t there a song, “Hitchin a Ride?” No idea what this turtle is until we tip it over.

The answer: female westaern painted turtle.Gorgeous. The male is much redder and brighter. We have both  Westerm and Midland painted turds in this area.

The answer: female westaern painted turtle.Gorgeous. The male is much redder and brighter. We have both Westerm and Midland painted turds in this area.

Another first for both of us, a nodding trilium, one of 9 types of trillium in Michigan.

Another first for both of us, a nodding trilium, one of 9 types of trillium in Michigan.

Random Old Glory art base of bridge across the Sturgeon on the eastern edge of the Sturgeon Gorge Wilderness.

Random Old Glory art base of bridge across the Sturgeon on the eastern edge of the Sturgeon Gorge Wilderness.

01 Jun

June 1 Lilac Lifeforms

Lilacs are starting to fade but they are still drawing in the wildlife. Hummers were too hinky to catch with the camera, but mama robin remained calm on her nest and the butterflies and bees were busy. Only three blackfly bites in the process. Photos follow:

Mama robin on her nest

Mama robin on her nest

Perfect shadows

Perfect shadows

Paira

Paira

Full spread.

Full spread.

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Steep angles

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Diversity

Diversity

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