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Showing posts from 2008

Holiday Play Day

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Had the chance to get out and play one more time this year, and of course, had to take it.

The weather showed us a little bit of everything this weekend. Friday was bitter cold with gusting winds in our face and snow flying. It was also fishless. I had one, short-lived fight late in the day (last time I take long-shanked J-hooks with oversized barbs steelheading). It was truly one of those days though when just being on the river was all I needed. For some reason, white-outs are just beautiful when you're standing knee-deep in water a half a degree above freezing.

Brian fighting the cold snow blowing in his face. Once we got off the water, nature started in with the typical northeast wintry mix. By the time we got out of bed Saturday morning, it was full-on pouring outside. We decided to make our maiden voyage to the DSR, seeing as we'd had no luck the day before, and it should be holding some fresh fish. Unfortunately, we had trouble finding any good-looking water that was holdi…

How's that for a slice of fried-gold...

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Yeah BOIY!

Winter Backpacking

It's almost that time again. I tend to save it for when I just can't justify trying to fish due to cold (i.e. February).

Why would you want to do such a thing as spend multiple nights in seriously sub-freezing temperatures? WinterCampers.com's Jim Muller answers that question pretty well, and give some good first-timer advice, in an article for The Conservationist.

Couple more steelhead outings and I'll be yearning for the relative warmth of a fire-side lean-to in winter.

I'm not dead yet...

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...it's just that our internet is still out from last week's storm...or rather...from the DPW worker cutting it to free traffic. Stay frosty!

in the morningz we were always ready to catch more steelheads becuz we love steelheads!

The Biggest Pulls...worth a read if only for the hilarious captions. Some conservation up front as well, and that's always good.

The New Paradigm (or, two tasty trout recipes)

This is a long time coming, but, I just had the opportunity to try out a "new" fish recipe.

Tomatoes and Trout
Knowing I wanted to do justice to the trout I decided to keep Sunday (one filet went to my sister, the other was for Hannah and I), I went for a variation on a supposedly traditional Italian recipe. As laid out below, just use the quantities you feel comfortable with, and substitute to your heart's desire:

Fish filet, skinless - any fish will do, but, my preference is salmonid. While the recipe will probably hold up to meatier fish like tuna or swordfish, and is undoubtably outstanding with most any white fish, I think it really shines with the pink and orange.

"Dressing"
Tomatoes - ripe plum if available, in quantity to roughly balance the same amount of fish, diced.
Garlic - FRESH minced
Onions - any mild onion, chopped or quartered (I used white pearls)
Capers - to taste
Olives - kalamata (or green or any other variety, if you prefer), pitted and halved or c…

Smiling at this blessing, this life is the best...

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Consider this my (belated) Thanksgiving. I won't even try to express how lucky I am to have the family, friends, job, ability to explore and enjoy my passions, and of course, woman who's company, I enjoy so much. Thanksgiving is supposed to be the day we reflect on our blessings, but I can tell you I count them every day. Top it all off with the fact that I was able to steal 3 days to myself (yes, I cherish solitude as well) to hit the Salmon River, and I feel guilty to complain about anything.

This is my hour, I’m never going to bed. The sky is still black, but begs to be red. I just put my book down, but it begs to be read I’m not nod, I’m not napper, never rest my head. Some days I feel I’m getting smaller and smaller, but some nights, I seem to grow taller and taller. And we keep shrinkin’ and shrinkin’ but this will not finish. You’re never nothing, if you didn’t disappear. Just when I discovered the meaning of life, they change it. Just when I’m loving life, it seems to start rain…

Know Your Role

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My role Saturday was getting to the spot, hooking the fish, getting back to shore, and landing it. Brian's role was trying not to fall down, staying off my leader, cutting off the escape route, and snapping photos. Mr. Chrome's role was being dumb and docile enough to make it all possible yet spunky and bright enough to make it that much more enjoyable. A tall order, well performed. And for that I am thankful.

Reading the water...

It's a very important skill when fishing. One of the more easily discernable (from the surface) places to likely find fish is along "foam" or "bubble" lines, where current seams trap and hold bubbles formed by turbulent water upstream. How'd you like to fish this foam line?

The Trouble With Salmon Farms

Well, at least part of it...http://www.watershed-watch.org/sealice.html

"Give a man a sea-kitten...

...and he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to sea kitten and he’ll squander his day posting on sea kittening websites."

Oh PeTA, we love you so. Don't forget to read the comments.

Pay my respects to grace and virtue

Less than 3 weeks before new Killers. I'm such a homer. I can't get the new single out of my head, so I'll give it to you as well if you haven't heard it.

Baltimore for the weekend. Leaving early tomorrow. It's gonna be weird not standing in the Salmon River at 7 Sunday morning for only the second time in 5 weeks. "Wave goodbye, wish me well."

"Banning logging and fishing...

...would be conservation done wrong, because of a lack of vision."

See? Not all environmental advocacy groups are off their rocker.

Silly government...

...alcohol is for drinking!

I bet you thought this was gonna be an election-related post.

Gee...who ever would have thought ethanol-as-energy investments would be failing? (free registration req'd for full article, via Ted Williams)

I'll give you a hint...he's got two thumbs....

From the article:

Six of the biggest publicly traded US ethanol producers have lost more than $8.7bn in market value since the peak of the boom in mid-2006....

Ouch...but that's nothing compared to what you've lost....

Investor losses come as taxpayers have paid billions to support the ethanol industry. More than $11.2bn has been spent since 2005 on tax breaks for companies that blend ethanol into petrol. Billions more have been spent on direct state and federal subsidies for US ethanol production.

“We’re looking at an industry that’s cost $80bn to get to this point,” said Bob Starkey, a fuels analyst at Jim Jordan & Associates, a research group in Houston.

Hmmm...eh, it's just money. Mo…

Wayyyy Behind...

But, I got stuff to share from the Salmon River...and heading back out there Sunday!

Just no time to do any of that now.

Also...more invasive species news. Doesn't look good. Hopefully my Queen stay's clean...probably won't be long though. Sacandaga's too close.

The Day the Music Died...

I'm depressed.

I've spent the past six and a half months living in a fantasy dream world.

Last night, it all came crashing down.

For the first time since I broke out the gear this spring, I actually put all the fishing crap away...because for once, I honestly don't know when I'll make it out again.

It's not away for the year. I hope to make a few trips a month still. But everything just got more complicated. Daylight hours are still waning, Default is closed for the season, and the chill will be turning the bass off if it hasn't already.

Putting the gear away is like sifting through the leftovers of a failed relationship. It just doesn't seem right. This has easily been the best fishing year I've ever experienced. Diverse and successful. Fly fishing trips have seen Adirondack ponds and local lakes, trickle streams and Ontario tribs, and have brought to hand all manner of trout, bass and panfish. Trolling Ontario has brought salmon, steelhead and brow…

The Rundown...

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Yeah, yeah, get off my back, I've been busy and I know there are thousands, millions probably, out there clamoring for an update.

Alex took me to the Salmon River a couple weekends ago. It was my first time out there, and it was amazing. I hooked up with a few salmon but didn't land any, and Alex still hasn't sent me the picture of the massive brown I brought to hand, but needless to say, it was a blast. Had such a good time I'm heading back out this weekend with Brian, and hopefully will meet up with a few guys from Fish with a Fly. With any luck, the crowds will be starting to thin out and the browns and steelies will be thick.



Alex fighting a king on his half-century-old glass 7 wt.

Apparently Alex is a little self conscious.Too bad he didn't have the same concern for the poor salmon (notice the torn up jaw; also notice the chartreuse egg inside the fish's mouth - see, they will bite in the rivers).This past weekend it was time for a little getaway. I al…

To Fish or Tie...

So, my truck was delivered to the my office around 4 pm on Tuesday. Took 'er for a spin, completed the paperwork, shook hands, and was on the Mohawk by 6.

First time out in 2 weeks. Only had about an hour to fish before dark (damn you winter, I know you're coming). Thankfully, as soon as I stepped off the bank, I was hooked up. Managed about 20 smallies with 3 of decent size (12-14"). All on a cone-head natural/tan bunny-strip. Unfortunately, Brian didn't do nearly as well. He threw all his usuals (bug nymphs, buggers), but couldn't buy a fish. I almost felt guilty. (Almost.)

Now I have a dilemma. Heading to the Salmon River Sunday (gonna be a long day...), and should really tie at least something up. Tonight is pretty much my last chance. But...maybe I need to shake the rust off my casting arm....

Bear continues to get my Goat

Dear BG,

"You're tacky and I hate you."

Love,
FH

OK, hate may be a strong word. I mean, how can I hate a guy who provides countless hours of entertainment as he laughably plays out over-the-top stunts and gives completely incomprehensible and illogical (and often dangerous) advice in his one-man outdoor version of Fear Factor? I suppose so long as we can agree that Man vs. Wild is a shock-comedy moreso than it is a wilderness survival series, than we can agree that it's good TV.

To be completely honest, I love to watch the show. I mean, my survival skills and understanding of nutritional needs are marginal at best, but sitting through an episode of "What Ridiculous Thing Will Bear Do (yes that image is from a MvW staged scene)/Say/Eat Next?" makes me feel like an authority on the subject. For example...

Monday night was my first opportunity to view the Louisiana episode (originally aired 8/27/08). Although I did miss the first few minutes, I have to say, I wasn&#…

Allergic...

...to my office?

Maybe it's just the withdrawal from spending the entire weekend outside. Maybe it's just the fact that summer has indeed ended. Maybe it's the mish-mash of papers strewn across my desk, mocking me. Maybe it's all the organic/health food I've been eating recently.

I can't stop sneezing and my eyes are itchy.

Maybe I just want to go home.

Weekend Roundup:

Irish 2000 Fest at Altamont Fairgrounds - Why is 2000 still in the name? Anyway, spent a couple hours Friday night. The Guinness was delicious. Tossers actually showed up on time and, though the set was still short, rocked pretty well (better than last year's disappointment anyway).

Chowder Fest along Troy's Riverfront - A little warm for chowder sampling Saturday, but at least it wasn't August. What was with the country music though?

Sleeping Beauty - Rounded out the weekend by saying my final goodbyes to summer with a little hike. It certainly felt like fall. More on the trip later.

Ax Men Axing Salmon

Once upon a time I thought clearcutting had pretty much been abandoned. Maybe that's because, as early as elementary school, we were told all about the history of our local Adirondack Park. The potential impacts of stripping vegetation from forested hillsides and mountains was ingrained at an early age. At the age of 10 I had no reason not to assume that the rest of the country operated responsibly managed forestry industries. Then I saw the History Channel's Ax Men for the first time. Hard to believe that I had made it so far through my life without ever questioning my naive assumption. It's always enlightening to see the raping of our natural wonders glorified in HDTV.

Bacon's got some images of an otherwise picturesque landscape over at BWTF. The viewshed is the least of many issues related to clearcutting (and other irresponsible forestry practices). Who would have thought increasing the potential for erosion and landslides could ever possibly harm a species…

Motivation Renewed

According to some, I'm not a morning person. But, if it means free breakfast and coffee with a pretty smile, I'll get myself out of bed at just about whenever I need to. If it's just to get to the office on time, trust me, I ain't rushin' (I love my job, but not more than the snooze button). It's a problem of motivation. (is this really the best clip youtube has to offer?)

Likewise, it's been tough to prioritize fishing lately, what with the weather, car shopping, intermittent lack of transportation...and general laziness. Last night I finally had (just barely) enough time (and sense) to make it back to default pool for the first time in weeks...months...and was rewarded.

Honestly, I didn't expect much. I just needed to get out, and had about an hour before it would get dark. As much as anything, I wanted to see the condition of the stream and, just maybe, spot a few fish that had made it through the summer.

I took about 10 minutes (an eternity for me) to …

News of the day...

This just in...ummm...no real news on BPA.

Another inconclusive epidemiology study for everyone to get excited about.

But the results do not establish a causal link between BPA and disease, and the study design does not allow researchers to determine which came first: higher exposure to BPA or illness. "I think our study definitely puts a scientific question mark over this compound," says epidemiologist David Melzer of the Peninsula Medical School in Exeter, UK, who led the research. "Still, this is the first study. It has to be repeated."

Oh, there wasn't already a question about BPA's influence on human health? I guess at least they're continuing to study it, but does anyone else get tired of sensationalized reporting of minimal findings? Maybe I'm just feeling grumpy cause I haven't been fishing in...?

A bio-energy I can support.

Genetic engineering is amazing, isn't it?

Scientists at San Diego–based Genomatica, Inc., have announced success…

This Just In - We're Still Killing Fish

Well, it's certainly no surprise to hear that more freshwater species of fish are in more danger now than were 20 years ago...but the numbers are no less disturbing.

Educate the youth

This would be funny...if it weren't so fucking lame.

The good thing is they're young...so maybe they have time to recognize the flaws in their technique. Then again, it leaves many years remaining if they don't convert.

While you're there, check out the rest of JD's page. He mixes up hardware with the occasional bait or fly, and has good advice on all 3. Big time promoter of protecting the west coast's wild salmon as well.

Has the Large Hadron Collider Destroyed the World Yet?

Well, has it?


Thanks for the update Pat.

Beguiled

2 Evenings

1 River

4 Locations

12 Flies

100's Spotted

0 Landed

That's my story for Monday and Tuesday.

Sometimes exploring new territory can be frustrating. Especially when fish are immediately spotted but refuse to cooperate. The Mohawk has still been my venue this week. I had actually hoped (wished) to fish above just the falls, but couldn't quite seem to find access down there. So I worked some other areas.

Managed to hook up with one 6" smallie at stop 1. Of course, I couldn't even keep him on the line. But, the area looks to have potential for future visits. Saw some bubbles from what could turn out to be feeding carp.

Stop 2 looked to hold much more promise. Massive carp rooting, rolling and splashing everywhere. I threw everything I had in every direction I could, hoping that if they weren't interested, at least I could entice a largemouth out of the weeds. All I ended up with was a 3 second struggle with a 4" pumpkinseed.

Stop 3 was a little c…

Him wants fishes.

Haven't been out in forever (over a week is forever). It's tougher when you have no car. Planned to scout/scare up some local trout early on Saturday but Miss one-h-Hanna had other ideas. Now I'm jonesing. If I don't make it out this afternoon there's no telling what I'm capable of.

Looking for something to do?

I'm an EMS homer. I'm not ashamed. I love them. Don't gimme any of this REI bullshit. All I ever see in their catalog/fliers (which I never asked for, thank you) is overpriced gadgetry. Bean is good, even great. But when it comes to the shit you need at a price you can afford, EMS is my people.

OK, enough with the free advertisement, GoBlog tipped me off to EMS's new outdoor activity/planning site, mntnLIFE. Looks pretty cool so far. Essentially a collection of trips/trails for 9 different categories (under 3 subheadings...water, earth and snow...insert crack about using water twice).

Check out New York's hiking trails. Pretty expansive for only a couple weeks. Not so sure about the difficulty ratings just yet (Pharaoh Lake and Black Mt get the same rating as Dix, Algonquin, etc.?), but it's another resource, and it's got the potential.

Couple others I use...well...occasionally...

Summit Post - GREAT site. Gives area background, trail descriptions, …

What? What? You got somethin' to say?

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Bring it! He don't give a f--...

...seriously...

Hungry fella?
In case you were wondering what he started with.

This falls under the "Things Occasionally Seen Just Outside the Office Window" category. This guy likes to hang around the office complex and watch for injured or dead ducks and geese...I'm dying to see him take a carp out of the pond. (above photos courtesy of Tim Massie)
Here's one from a similar incident in the not too distant past...apparently it was a blustery day...yes, that's carnage behind him through the whole courtyard.
We don't take kindly to folks that don't take kindly 'round here!

Palin, Pebble, Potato Salad (Potato Salad?)

Hamburgers, hamburgers, hamburgers...(yeah...I don't know...I'm tired).

These just links, no time writey.

Tom Chandler on Palin and Pebble.

Murdock on Pebble and the community (and big bows), live (though sick) from AK.

Ballot Measure 4 text.

Are you havin a laugh?

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Is he havin a laugh?
The great wide virtual world brings you the (hopefully intentional) comedy of Emo Guide Service.

Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhh.via moldychum

This is what happens...

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...when you F a stranger in the A!
Or when you drink and drive. And then flee the scene. Young lady, I hope you learned your lesson. Yes ladies and gentlemen, it may very well be the end of the "Grandma's Car" era...damn. She's served me so well. And even with all that damage to the trunk, only one of 5 rods came out broken (spinning rod, not too upset). Notice the jeep in the background...little miss DWI actually hit that car, and propelled it into mine...while on an uphill slope, in the vicinity of a stoplight, in a 30 mph zone. People, don't be stupid, don't drink and drive. She was real lucky she only totaled 3 cars and not someone's life. Me, I'm pumped. I've got a big mediocre insurance check headed my way, and I've already dedicated a portion of said funds for a new spey outfit. Maybe I will have a shot at the salmon river this fall. Definitely steelheading in the winter. Happy happy joy joy. Now...to replace a car... On a fis…

Eating responsibly...I'm for it!

How do you feel about frilly toothpicks?

I try to eat with health, ecology and (personal) economics in mind. I do. I swear. I'm just not very good at it.

Alright, I'm just flat out lazy.

But I can appreciate articles like this one from Sustainablog. They're good peeps, even if some of them do run a little...well...green (even for me). I think one thing that many people miss when it comes to living a "greener" life, even if they do get the importance of it, is the simplicity of the thousands of everyday decisions you make, and their impact. That's where I think Sustainablog is strong, giving us simple (well, sometimes not so simple) measures that we have control over.

So back to food. Listen, I agree with JVK here that the key is to eat simply. Of course, I'll still resort to occasional fast-food and other prepped items. And who can live without the aged prime ribeye splurge every once in a while. Some of the points he makes are right on. Some do strike me as …

Suicide Runs

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Sometimes there are fish to be caught, and that's all that matters. So this past weekend meant a trip out to Lake Ontario to hang some hardware in the Fair Haven Challenge salmon derby. Unfortunately for me, that meant I had to be at the Oswego launch for a 5:30 am departure Saturday. Thankfully I didn't have any trouble getting some sleep in before my 3 hour drive...that is to say, I did not attempt any sleep.

Started Friday off with a nice, fully organic breakfast sandwich and coffee. Got out of work in time to head up the Hudson a-ways with Brian for some smallie action (lost a magnificent fly to the biggest bass I've had on a fly...barely had the hook set, turned to see if Brian was watching my skillful maneuvering...and it was suddenly over. now I don't have any olive bunny strips.). Headed home early (about 8 pm) for some food and a shower, a couple beers, one scotch, and some Always Sunny. A quick workout to get the blood flowing, re-upped the iPod with the Gnarl…

I wasn't gonna...

...but then I read Part II.

Kamchatka...heard of it? Doesn't matter, you have to read this...so far Page 38 is my favorite...

Seriously...you have to.

Some, some, some I, some I murder; some I-some I let go

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That'll be the story (hopefully) this weekend. Generally C&R all the time (99% of the time, all the time), this trip the big boys stay in the cooler. When you feel a need for suspected carcinogens and bioaccumulated inesctisides, you head for the fish with "lethal poison through their system." Granted, Great Lakes salmon are relatively clean by modern, local standards...I guess... So, now that John's boat is repaired, I'm playing 1st mate for the derbies this weekend. Hopefully we can sign up at least one other person...never been so hard to find people to go...not sure if it's because of Travers or...well...what happened last time (if I can find the pic, I'll show you).
Yeah, I'd rather be standing in the river with a brand new spey package (anyone...anyone...? hey, I'll take used, not picky) but this will do for now...cant let a guy down. No one on the corner has swagger like us. (Why is this song stuck in my head for 3 straight weeks? Thanks …

Alternative salmon?

I was always told this stuff isn't edible...I guess $30/lb for the more traditional counterpart is making it look much more appetizing. Hey, the pros are doing it, it must be worth a shot.

Why? Why would you do this to me? Playing me like a drum...

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Note the left-most section of the graph...really...is that necessary?

You're beautiful...I miss you.

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It just occurred to me I haven't caught (or even targeted) a rainbow yet this year (at least not with the fly).

What is wrong with me?
Even this absolutely horrible picture of a 10-11" baby (my hands are big) from Vermont last fall shows her beauty. Gotta gets me sum dat.

Can you spot what's wrong with this quote?

"Over half of the world's native plants require animal pollinators, and most of those are bees," she says. "Native pollinators are serving as a backup plan for the honeybee."

Now, I take issue with the article itself to a certain extent; the title alone is sensationalist (Saving Our Bees: Implications of Habitat Loss) considering the bee populations that are undergoing significant declines in recent years are generally "domesticated" honeybees.

What have they found so far to correlate to these declines?

During the course of the summer months, they found that the further a colony was from natural areas, the fewer worker bees it sustained.

Ummmmmmm...no shit? Nature is better at providing for animals than man? Interesting.

Their point is that "domesticated" honeybee populations that are isolated from wild(er) environs in favor of seasoned crops often fare poorly due to growing season issues and potentially lack of diversity. I get it...but what doe…

Don't be an a-hole...

...fish barbless.

Badass movie, badass tie...

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...if purple can be badass. I submit that it can. Especially in capable hands.

Unforgiven by Shaq



Pennsylvanians love their bread...apparently...

Seriously? You've got to be kidding me. This is the most controversial thing you have to fight about? (via Ted Williams)

Here's a kind of an open-ended question...what percentage of high-public-use areas that sustain wild- (or pseudo-wild-) life that you have visited display signs about not feeding the wildlife? There's a reason they're everywhere, it isn't just to rain on your parade.

In this case, the authority in question even accounted for the emotionally defended and entrenched practice of feeding garbage to garbage-fish by providing for a cleaner, and supposedly healthier alternative. OK, so they're going to be making the money off of it instead of the bakeries and local stores. OK, so you might only get a couple handfuls of pellets for the same price as a loaf of bread. OK, so you lose out on decades (decades? are we serious people? decades? fine, the 30's...that's almost 80 years, i can respect that) of tradition.

I will completely agree…

Mining is a dangerous issue to debate.

This is a bit old but I forgot to finish it last week...ooops...

BWTF picks up on a NYT editorial on the need for mining law reform.

On some level (the main level), it's a no-brainer. When it comes to mining, and the bill mentioned in the editorial, there are three major issues of concern:

1) Environmental and safety risks associated with mine development and operation.

2) Environmental and safety risks associated with abandoned mines.

3) Royalty payments as a method of "insurance" and/or revenue.

I work extensively with the mining industry in New York State (hopefully this post doesn't come back to bite me...it shouldn't, but I do feel a little uncomfortable), and I find it incredible that other states have not taken the initiative to address these issues directly. I realize I'm a little close to the issue, but in my opinion, New York State's Mined Land Reclamation Law, and it's application by NYSDEC, does an excellent job of addressing environmental …

If it swells...ride it

One of my all-time favorite t-shit logos...even if it is immature (so is Dave...and it's his shirt).

Anyway, life is good, this weekend was awesome, and I'm just gonna ride that wave.

Disclaimer: I don't really get people who blog about their personal life, and at times that's where I've been lately, and this is no exception, so just bear with me people.

Reminds me of another favorite shirt..."Awkward mornings always beat a boring night."

Work was pretty stressful this week, so to relieve some of that Thursday, met up with Brian to hit Alive@5 in Albany...music wasn't great but met some cool people and had a really good time...someone (not naming names) had a "better" time...

Friday, hung out at home, met some more cool people, had an amazing night.

Saturday, did some more hanging out with said cool people, hit a new (to me) spot on the Hudson with Brian, caught a bunch of smallish and one decent smallmouth, had an all-around great day.

Today, cau…