Sunday, June 29, 2008

New Camera

I convinced the wife to let me buy my first DSLR to take better quality pictures of the baby, and to feed my need for gadgets. I placed my order yesterday for a Nikon D40 with 18-55mm lens, and I am going to get an additional 50 mm f1.8 lens for portrait specific photos. I also like the depth of field blur I can get with this lens, and I look forward to trying some interesting shots. As much as I would like to take some shots with this camera while on the water, I don't think I will risk it anytime soon. It should be here before this weekend, and I hope to take some shots with it over the long weekend. I will post some photos on here later for constructive comments.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Whew! What a Day!

The wife gave me a pass to go fishing today, so I took off work today around lunch and headed for the Clinch. Took along my closest friend and long time fishing buddy Scott (a.k.a. Uncle Scotty). We encountered a few sulphurs coming off, and some rising fish. I immediately started hooking up on an olive split case nymph, and Scott was into the fish on a sulphur thorax dun. Here he is with one of his best fish at right, somewhere in the 15 to 16" range. We continued to pick up some fish here and there on those two flies, and he offered to give me one of his dry flies he was using. I went back downstream to one of the runs that I had a large fish pull loose on earlier in the day to give the new fly a try. On the first drift I saw a large shadow float up from the bottom and sip my dry fly. I set the hook and immediately screamed for Scott to come help me. At the same time he was fighting a decent fish of his own, but he managed to take care of his and come help. After a 5 minute or so fight he slid the net under the massive brown and he barely fit in the net. We immediately let out a loud yell and high fived each other. This was by far the heaviest trout I have ever caught. We put the tape to him and he measured 19", but his girth was the most impressive. He had wide shoulders and was quite thick. I have put in lots of hours in search of such a fine specimen, and I finally managed to get him. I was using my 4-wt rod strung with 5-wt Wonderline and a 12' 6x fluorocarbon tippet. I was so nervous that he was going to break me off due to numerous runs toward a log jam downstream. I managed to keep him out of the woods though, and brought him into some slack water to finish off the battle. During his fight, he made a couple of amazing leaps clearly out of the water. As if the fight itself wasn't energizing enough, watching this beauty clear the water multiple times just helped to increase my heart rate. Just as exciting was watching him swim away after removing the hook and taking a few quick photos.

What a trip!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

2008 Fishing Trips

I am trying to come up with my possible fishing trips for the remainder of this year. I originally had planned to go to Colorado for 1 week in September, but I am putting that trip on hold until next year. I am looking to take two - 3 or 4 day fishing trips before the year is out. A couple options are the following:

Northern Ohio for Steelhead
Cumberland River Float
Western North Carolina Trout Trip
White River in Arkansas

I may even get a couple more trips in there while on business travel. I have a trip to Northern Arizona coming up in late July, so maybe I can hit up Oak Creek in Sedona. Maybe I could get an extra day and hit up the Colorado River below Glen Canyon Dam. Just a couple options.

I do know that with rising gas prices I am going to take advantage of the Clinch since it is close, and probably a few trips to the mountains. I have always been partial to the Cataloochee portion of the Smokies.

So, I am asking for your help. Please choose one of the 4 trips above in the

Sunday, June 15, 2008

First Father's Day

As my first Father's Day wraps up, all I have to say is wow. I have had 11 days so far with my son, and it has been so much more than I could have ever imagined. Not only have I spent time with my son, but I have spent a lot of time with my dad this past week and on Saturday. He is an inspiration to me, and I hope to be as good of a father to Trey as my dad was to me.

Today was our first day taking Trey to church, and I was told "Happy Father's Day" more times today than I can remember. Everytime I turned around somebody was walking up to me and slapping me on the back congratulating me. After church we went to lunch with my father-in-law and then back to the house for a day of rest. My wife had to have her incision reopened on Thursday to drain, and I am responsible for changing her packing and bandages. On top of that, Trey has plugged tear ducts, so I have been constantly cleaning his face throughout the day.

Around 6:00, my wife seemed upset, so I asked her what was wrong. She said she was so sorry that my first Father's Day was a bust. I told her that I thought it was far from a bust. To me, Father's Day is about showing dads and husbands about how much they are loved and needed. If I have ever felt needed, I felt it today. Taking care of my wife and son is an amazing responsibility, and even though it can be tiring it is extremely rewarding.

So, my first Father's Day, even though it wasn't filled with outdoor activities, sports, movies, etc., couldn't have been better. I feel a sense of accomplishment taking care of both of them today, and I don't think I would have changed a thing.

God Bless

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Baby Trey, Welcome to the World

Yesterday I was introduced to emotions never before imagined. A whole new box of thoughts and feelings was opened that I never knew existed in me. From the day we found out that we were expecting I have been excited. But seeing him emerge, and holding him for the first time, words cannot explain the rush of emotions I felt. I saw a completely innocent little person who I am entrusted to love and care for. A little person who will work my hardest to show love to and show love to his mother. I still think that the greatest gift a father can give to their children is to faithfully love their mother, and I am to fulfill that promise I made. I am up to this entirely new challenge and consider this my most amazing and favorite responsibility in life.

Trey was born at 5:41 pm after 14 hours of labor. My wife, Trey, and I were all exhausted after the long day, but we were so very excited to share this day with friends and family. We are so blessed to have both our families here in Knoxville with us to support us in this time of discovery and wonderful task. I am also blessed to have a job that allows me to have a week off work to assist my wife in her recovery from the C-section. I always have a positive outlook on life, and love to tell people about how good life is. I feel that I am a mile high right now, and don't see any way that things can get any better, and I know that God is due all the glory for this.

My fishing adventures will be on hold for most of the month of June, but I may be able to sneak in a few hours on the Clinch one day after work. In the meantime, I will be enjoying my son and dreaming of all the wonderful days to come.

By thw way, the lifetime sportsmans application is already in progress......

19" Clinch River Brown