Friday, June 30, 2006

Yellowwood Fishing Derby ... a success!

The 2nd Hand Lions, Fishing Derby, held at Yellowwood Lake, in Yellowwood State Forest, this past Sunday 25 June 2006, was a rousing success. Over 30 fisherpersons showed for the event. The day could not have been more beautiful Bright blue skies, puffy clouds and absolutely idyllic temperatures. But even under these conditions ... it still gets hot under the sun.

For a few of us, the 'event' began the night before with a campout at the Red Pine campground on the banks of Yellowwood Lake.

Yellowwood does not take reservations, so we had to 'boogy' down to the campground and 'grab a site' for the night. We were told by the campground staff that there wouldn't likely be any trouble getting a campsite. Well, we can't complain about near perfect weather .. but, it did bring out a lot of other folks to camp as well! Despite this we were able to get the actual campsites we'd chosen from the map.

Once setup we had opportunity to visit around a campfire. The evening was quite pleasant with enjoyable conversation and great weather for sleeping.

First light brought us out of the tents seeking coffee and breakfast. Coffee and ceral was the fare for the morning. A quick basic review of knots, techniques and bait handling and the crew was ready to head out for the start of the derby.

Bright and sunny was the day and so were the smiles and enthusiasm as the members of 2nd Hand Lions and their young partners for the Derby. Brian White, cooridnator of the event began with setting out the rules of the Derby and other important in

After the orientation it was time for the contestants to get their boats loaded with equipment and themselves. Fishing began shortly after 8AM and continued on to 11AMThe day proved to be a 'tough-fish', but a few fish fell to a variety of live and artificial baits offered. Following the Derby, the Derbyites convened left the docks and shore of Yellowwood lake to reconvene at campsites 23-24 in the Red Pine campground. There a grill was lit and hotdogs and burgers were the main fare with side-dishes being potlucked together. Awards were handed out for various piscatorial achievments.

Blake Zimmerman was top 'producer' with the most weight in fish caught. Darris McNeely took the 'largest fish' category. Good food and conversation was had by all.

Nature decided the day had gone on long enough and the party took leave of Yellowwood with a thunderstorm quick on it's heals. The camp was cleared - except for two conspicuously missing members: Mr. Fish and his trusty sidekick Sir Edward Quailbrook. Seems Mr. Fish just couldn't say NO to the fish. Since he has happened upon a real 'honey-hole' for bluegill. Meanwhile Sir Edward took roost upon high-ground above the banks of Yellowwood and proceeded to make up for lost sleep the night before. The thunder that alerted his fellow 2HLers to vacate - brought Mr. Fish's fishing came to an abrupt halt and sent him packing for the docks. The crickets did their duty and provided several 'rod throbbing' adventures from bull bluegill and sunfish. He did note one very exciting opportunity. One of the sunfish (like the one on the left) was mortally injured due to swallowing the hook. When put back into the water it began to flutter in an attempt to right itself. It did this up and down a couple of times. On the third time a very large dark form appeared at the bottom of a 'hole-in-the-weeds'. As the sunfish fell near to the 'hole' - a large rush of water surged toward the dark form and the sunfish - INSTANTLY - vanished from site.

Mr. Fish said he could easily see, in the 4' of clear water, the head of a very large - largemouth bass - that was at least 4.5" to 5" across at the eyes and stretched a good 6"-7" from the tip of it's nose to just behind it's gill-plates. He estimated the bass to be around 28" or so long and would likely have weighed in the neighborhood of 8-10 pounds. He said he quickly changed from crickets to bass lures, but was not successful in bringing a bass to hand. He did have a bass on, but lost it in the very heavy weed growth.

Well Mr. Fish and Sir Edward were bustin' seams to get their pontoon boats dismantled and stored in a mad rush to get backt to camp to take down the Yellowwood Condo and the Cock 'n Bull tavern (aka, tent and screen house repsectively) before the big storm hit. Well a long story made short -- they did it. But just barely! The drive home was quite rainy but uneventful.

So, Fishing Derby No. 1 is history and goes down as a success. So, it seems likely there will be a repeat. Until, then keep your reels oiled, your rods away from car doors and your hooks sharp. We'll be back on the water soon.

Uncle Garth

Yellowwood Lake Fishing Derby Photo Galleries
Darris McNeely Gallery
Mr. Fish Gallery

Saturday, May 13, 2006

We're Goin' Fishin' !!

Yellowwood Lake Fishing Derby

The 2nd Hand Lions will be heading out for our 1st Outdoor Activity of the year, June 25th. We're headed to Brown County, Indiana to the beautiful and uniqe Yellowwood Forest to fish the special waters of the Yellowwood Lake.

There we will gather at the banks of Yellowwood Lake to enjoy the piscatorial offerings on what we pray will be a beautiful and peaceful day. For those who want, boat rental will be available - on a first-come-first-serve basis. The boats are ALL row boats. NO MOTORS - except Electric Motors - are allowed on the lake. {See Special Note Below}.

We will be having a Fishing Derby with prizes awarded for the following:

  • Most fish caught
  • Heaviest total catch
  • Biggest fish caught in two different categories
      • Bass
      • Pan Fish

  • We will have two age categories
    • 17/under
    • 18/over

Some pointers on Fishing the Yellowwood Lake

( More information on this is the coming days )

If you are bringing your own NON-MOTORIZED BOAT there is a NEW Indiana regulation of which you need to be aware. As of January 1, 2006, ALL BOATS - Motorized and Non-motorized watercraft - MUST have a
BOAT LAUNCH PERMIT to be used or docked on an Indiana State Park waterway.

The permits are: $20/Motorized craft ( including Personal Watercraft [ie, jetski] ) and $5/Non-motorized craft (canoes, kayak, pontoon, drift, float-tube, etc.) The basic rule is this .. if you use a DEVICE to float - other than PFD (lifejacket, which is MANDATORY ALSO! ) - on the waters in an Indiana State Park, you MUST HAVE the permit.

The BOAT LAUNCH PERMIT can be obtained at the STATE PARK entry where you will need it - but the best way to get the permit is ONLINE. But unlike the hunting and fishing licenses that can be purchased and printed from your own computer, the BOAT LAUNCH PERMIT will be MAILED to you. So be sure to GET YOUR PERMIT IN ADVANCE of your needed use.

Yellowwood State Forest is named for the unique yellowwood tree. [1] Though not rare - for it's common to southern forests - Yellowwood State Forest is the most northern existance of this tree. About 200 acres of the current forest make up the remaining most-northern contingent of the yellowwood. Much of the Yellowwood State Forest is a standing mature growth of northern hardwood trees [oaks, maple, walnut and beech] - but their existance is imperiled. The Yellowwood Forest has been under the influence of heavy Forest harvesting (timbering) for a number of years and the results are not looking the same to all interested parties.

There is a growing concern for the health of the lake and the surrounding forest, due to the impact of the foresting practices now ongoing. The lake has shown signs of 'early aging' (eutrophication) from the increase run-off of the soils due to harvesting of the timber of steep inclined hills. The soil is running down the hills and into the lake (erosion), filling it up. In time this kills the lake and all the life in it. A recent independant study has shown that sedimentation (soils ending up in the lake from run-off) has increased over 30% in just the past 10 years. This is rapid-aging for a lake.

The process of sedimentation changes, not only the physical characteristics of the lake, but what can live in it, too. Lake need nutrients to sustain a wide range of life in them in order to keep a balanced food chain. But, too much nutrient in the water will cause rapid growth of algae and plantlife, depleting the available dissolved oxygen necessary to sustain the organisms living there.

Sedimentation is also damaging to the size, formation and safety of the lake. As the lake fills, there available water to boat-on or fish-in become less-and-less. With a man-made body of water, such as Yellowwood, there is a dam involved in impounding the water. If enough sediment collects near the dam (the natural end-point for sediment in a body of water), the increased pressure could cause the dam to fail. Such failures have resulted in catastrophic damage downstream of the lake water ... and sediment.

Is harvesting the timber from the Yellowwood State Forest wrong or a bad thing? No, not at all. Timber harvesting is actually a useful tool in maintaining the overall health of a hardwood forest such as Yellowwood. However, such a harvesting regime must be undertaken with special care to the needs of the land itself and the surrounding watershed of that land. This is the point of contention in the current discussions on the harvesting of the timber at Yellowwood. The State and the Foresters involved believe they are working in accordance to the 'better principles' of forestry practice. However, the people who are living on the land surrounding Yellowwood and those who utilize the resource for recreational purposes, believe the practices being used are not sustainable in the best interest of the long-term life of the forest or the lakes and streams within.

Second Hand Lions is about understanding our rolls as men in the Game of Life, being guided by the Way of God. God's Way teaches us that He is Owner of the land and all that is in it: including us. And that humans were given use of the land and the animals and plants that exist on earth. But we were also given a stewardship commission. Our origin-parents, Adam and Eve, were told by God, to 'dress and keep' the land. This is the basic guideline of stewardship. Since we do not own the land, we are given permission to use it. We are also expected to be respectful of the property owner in how we use the land and its adjoining resources. We are commanded to Honor God within the very framework of His Ten Commandments. There can be no greater honor, or show of respect, than to treat with great care the property of another entity.

For us to Honor God, thorugh the use of the land and its resources, we must become Good Stewards of both the land, the resource and ourselves. This is the base building block of the character God wishes for His Children to have: His Character. Just like building muscles, we build that Godly Character in everything we do: day-in and day-out. How we treat the land we live upon and the resources God created to exist upon, in and over it, shows both our respect for God and the level of Godly-character we are building in our lifetime.

The measure of a man is not in what he can accomplish and aquire, but in the maturity of his understanding and actions toward the building of his own Godly Character and the influence he has upon others in their own character development as well.

Let's take this time of fun, relaxation, memory-building and high-spirited enjoyment, to build a deeper appreciation, respect and honorable relationship with each other and with our God, the Great Creator of all that is and all that will become. After all - that is our goal... is it not?

Uncle Garth

Friday, February 03, 2006

Heritage ... What does it truly mean?

How many of us really know a lot about our family? About our mothers and fathers lives and the lives of their families while they were growing up? How much do we know about their siblings; our aunts and uncles? How much do we know about the lives of our grand-parents and their families and family members? What do we really know about the lineage of our families beyond our immediate grand-parents: parternal and maternal?

Do we really know where we come from? Do we have a full-picture and understanding of what it took for them to get to where they could provide us what we have now? Did their actions acutally place us where we are now... or not? To whom do we owe our current positions-in-life? Do we owe anyone, anything?

This is a question I began asking myself - seriously - soon after my mother passed-away in 1990. That event, was the beginning of my life as an orphan; my father had died in 1979; my little sister, Mary, who was the first such loss our family had known, died in 1961.

Now it is only me and my older brother, John. We have become the remnant members of OUR FAMILY. We ARE the 'left to carry on' generation. But what does that mean? I have pondered that question... a lot lately. My brother has 2-sons and 1-daughter; and I have 1-son. So, we have male progeny to 'carry-on' the family name. But just what does that mean? Just what is 'carried forward'? And how, is - whatever carried-forward means - done? Serious questions that never truly occured to me before. But they are with me quite regularly now.

This was not the first time I'd been confronted with such ideology. On a number of occassions aunts, uncles, grandparents and others of the 'older folks', had made comments - either to me or in my presence - that left me with these words ringing in my ears:
"One day you will want to know all about your family: who they are and where they came from: but it may well be too late. 'Cause by then, most of us will be gone. So find out now... while you still can."

For me and many others in my so-called, Baby-Boomer Generation, that time has come. Sadly, as is the case in most generations, we did not heed the earlier warnings. We did not seek to find the information that, for so many of us, is no longer available. Many of those who could provide us with the knowledge, understanding and most importantly, wisdom - learned by our family-collective, are now gone. To find out this information we must now embark on our own archeological journey. It will also be, in all likelyhood, as difficult as trying to find out the origin of ancient civiliazations.

Fortunately, just as it is for the acheologist of today, there are clues we can follow. Yet, much of what we find will have to be 'filled-out' with our interpretations and conjectures. No doubt, much of them will be error ridden. This is the price we now must pay for our immature carelessness. Our lack of interest in those elements of life that truly matter. We made a choice and now must live with ... or in this case, without it.

The younger generation still has an opportuntity to break this chain of ill-conceived conceit. Many of the members of today 2nd Hand Lions group, ARE THE younger generation. You still have access, as no other generation in the history of mankind, to an immense arsenal of media collection and achival tools. Tools that will aid you in codifying the events of your family history. But will you do it? Ah, this IS the million dollar question, is it not. I truly hope you all will.

In an upcoming posting I will offer you a few ideas I have found. Not the least of which is: "To those below the age of 50, begin NOW to explore, find and document the historical record of your family heritage; while you still have the luxery of time to do so."

I'd really like to hear your comments and insight on this topic as well. There are a lot very special insights into our spiritual lives here as well. And guess what - you don't see them so well at an earlier age either. Surprise.. surprise.

'Til next time ...

Uncle Garth