Saturday, May 1, 2010

Searchin' High and Low

Kneeling down and focused on the forest floor with the intensity of a cat watching in the grass for mice.   Scanning each and every leaf as to make sure you're not missing anything.   Your eyes land on a dome capped Morel and your heart rate increases.  Marking the shroom you don't move and continue scanning.   Another one to the left and two more to the right.   Have I found the motherload?

I'll have to admit, looking for mushrooms doesn't sound all that great at first.   Once you've experienced some success you immediately become addicted to it and can't wait to find more.   New spots to check are always popping into your head.   When you first start out it can be hard to stick with it when not finding any.  Be patient and keep lookin'.

Shroomin' is one of those deals where everyone has there own theories.    I to have my own.   That's part of the fun.   If you pay attention to were you have success finding them you can usually put a pattern together and use this pattern for future reference.   The basics are pretty simple.   The highest success locations are around dead Elm trees that are still holding their bark.   If you see dead Elms, look!   They are found in many many other locations as well, but this tip is the best I could ever give anyone.

When I'm in the middle of a good patch of shrooms I catch myself laughing.   Laughing at myself.   I get so fired up when my plastic Walmart bag starts to fill up.   Certain thoughts enter my mind as to how this can be so much fun.   They are only a mushroom for crying out loud!   Its the thrill of the hunt and the rush of success, I guess.   Either way, I can't get enough of it.

Helping with the motivational side of things is the amazing quality of table fair they offer.   Morels are so Delicious I would think they are worth their weight in gold.   If people hear of you having Morels in your possession, be prepared to get hounded.   I love to share them with all I can.   Morels, like most things, are much better fresh than any other way.   The more I give the more I can find.   They are such a spring delicacy!   Oh don't worry, I eat my share.   The fruits of my labour.   A belly full of Morels.

I have heard of Morels being prepared in just about every way imaginable.   I have two personal favorites.  One is the classic way.   Cut them in halves and pan fry them in butter.  I like to add a little garlic seasoning to complement their already wonderful flavor.   Prepare them in this order and generously cover the top of a steak fresh off the grill and watch out taste buds!   My all time favorite would have to be leaving them whole and dipping them in onion ring batter and dropping them in the deep fryer.   I like to dust them with a little garlic seasoning as well.  I'm a bit of a garlic junkie if you haven't noticed.  So very good.

If you haven't given mushroom hunting a try I strongly suggest trying it.   Its a great thing to do in a short time period or even to do with the family.   All you have to do is keep your eyes wide open!  Search high and low.  Happy hunting.

Casting and Conversation

Yep, headin' out on another one of my adventures.   Wisconsin bound for the Minnesota-Wisconsin Border Waters opener.   This trip has become one of those annual trips you look forward to year after year.  What is the water level going to be like?   Is the spring weather going to hold out?   What stage will the fish be in?   Its questions like these that make me intrigued to find out as fast as I can.

I have a long time friend that lives in St. Croix Falls near the big St. Croix river where we fish.   I think even more so than the fishing, his company is what makes the trip for me.   We don't get to spend much time together do to the distance between us.   It has been since the last opener that we have seen each other.  We had some great conversation during our short weekend.   We discussed everything from life goals to health issues.   Communicating with someone who seems to understand your every word in great depth is something that offers comfort like nothing else.  

It has really opened our eyes more towards the things we should be seeing.  Having land between us is a poor excuse not to see each other more often.  In all reality, when you have a friend of this caliber there really is no justifiable reason not to enjoy each others company more often.   This is the conclusion we have came up with and we tend on doing something about it.

As for the fishing, it was pretty poor.   Mainly on the weather side of things.   What seemed like gale force winds ripped up the river valley making fishing of any technique near impossible.   With the super low water levels, which didn't help matters any, trying to compensate the wind with heavier jigs just meant snag after snag after snag.   Replacing jigs time and time again while getting beat up from blasts of wind can get rather frustrating.   At times, yes, I felt like grabbing a handful of my leadheads and just giving them a fling into the river and saying, "There!   Happy now?" 

We did manage to land a few, and I do mean a few, walleyes, some small pike and the occasional smallie.   At any rate, I was flingin' jigs and in the company of a true friend.  That's what this opener is all about to this guy.  Casting and conversation.