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Michael Gracie

Man’s Best Friends

Presented without further comment …

MG signing off (as promised)

Where are you sleeping?

Winston Ladd is guarding sleeping underneath the saltwater flies…

Not a bad life if you can get it.

Aaron Otto is sleeping in the dirt

Just as good.

MG signing off (to check out SID #7)

What Your Dog Says About You

Forbes:

You can pick up after your pooch and make sure he plays nice, but it’s your dog’s breed that truly speaks volumes about what kind of owner you are.

So this dog…

…says I’m a diehard rabbit hunter?

Fly Fishing Tip #219: Don’t let your dog plan your outing

After lingering around Orvis for an hour yesterday, I took the prevailing advice and decided to head for the Blue River – a little morning green drake action seemed the ticket. I thought scooting up there immediately, catching a late hatch and maybe a little streamer action, then catching some zzz’s under the single-wall, would have me set up for a solid Sunday adventure. Scheduling around the Gracie household usually involves the collie dog, but since he’s recently been sleeping his days away in air conditioned comfort while I toil away on mosquito-laden gold medal waters, I thought he should join and do all the planning as well. Or at least, in retrospect, that’s what happened.

Arrival and investigation

After packing for the overnight stay, which included securing dog food, dog biscuits, dog leashes, and a dog bed, we set off. We showed up at the desired location and took a quick walk to survey the scene. The dog spent his time sniffing, and I struck up a conversation with the first fisherman I saw (who just so happened to be hooking up as I approached). Red San Juans were the hot item according to this guy, so I side-barred with the pup. A tilt of the head during the ensuing communication was the nod I needed – red Juany followed by a greenish Copper John would start things off.

Underdressed for the party

Not five minutes had passed and I already had a dink in the net (and please note: “dink” means anything under a foot in Colorado speak). But, several fish had already rolled on the indicator, midges were dotting the water, and PMDs were fluttering around too. It was cloudy and cool out, so the dog had decided to stay in the truck – I was therefore safe from criticism regarding the relative chances of scoring surface feeders. So I switched to up-top – now throwing a size 16-ish PMD followed by a tiny Griffiths Gnat.

At first this combination seemed a good choice – less than ten minutes of laying it behind two rocks just upstream produced one pursuit and one hookup – I now had a decent rainbow in net. But it was time to walk up a bit, and it was precisely at that point which I remembered the dog telling me I didn’t need studded soles. See…the Blue has always been a wading nemesis for me, so I’d bought “some steel” for this very moment. But I’m also wary of “signs”, and a waggle of the tail always meant ordinary felt was fine – again, I’m superstitious. Damn dog! If I hadn’t listened to him, I’d would’ve been dancing up to those fine pockets ahead – instead I was now bumbling towards them.

Needless to say I didn’t make quick progress, but spent the next hour and a half pretending the part (and managed to land one more). The light was now in front of me, so I couldn’t see bottom. I felt like I was wading in beach sandals. And now, it seems, my legs were feeling soggy. What? Yep, my waders were leaking. And they were leaking a little last week too, but when I took them home, dried them out, and started studying the issue, the dog brought a squeaking stuffed toy into the office and begged to be played with. I ended up putting off the wader repair to satisfy this canine’s need for on-demand attention. What do I get in return? Soggy legs!

We can wet wade in the morning, so let’s sleep on it

Once back at the truck, I realize the only one who had food was the dog. Ironically, said furry passenger barely eats a thing when we’re out and the driver usually snarfs down at least two cheese dogs and a half-dozen donuts before we’ve left the city limits. This was a problem, so we cranked up and headed for the closest convenience store. Convenience is a relative term when it comes to Colorado open space, meaning the closest outlet for acquiring even stale snack food was a cool fifteen miles away. And we had to double back, so in reality we would now cover an additional thirty miles as a result of four-legged selfishness.

Gullet satisfied and stores for the morning secured, we went searching for a camping location. I drove through two maintained venues, only to find tents tripled up at each site. We then scooted back by the last fishing spot, but people were hootin’ and other dogs were howlin’. And no sooner did I leave that parking area then the already dark skies opened up – it started dumping. Now I’ve got nothing against rain, and have pitched plenty of tents in downpours. But dragging a sopping wet collie dog into the tent, and then trying to sleep soundly next to the mop, pushes the limits of even trout-driven fanaticism.

We drove home instead

So…for forty bucks in gas I touched three fish. I’d be happy with that count if they were all 20+ inch piglets, but nary a trout hit 16 inches so I’m calling Saturday a bust. I’ve got nobody to blame but the dog myself. Had he I filled the cooler, left a little earlier, secured a campsite before dusk, and tied on a PMD first, I might have had a decent story to tell. Flash visions of slurping fish gave way to unpreparedness…

And this (hopefully) memorable blog post.

you-are-not-taking-this-blanket

My owner is a sucker. And couches rule!

Dog lovers (and dogs) rejoice!

DogParkUSA helps you find a “puppy playpen.”

(h/t Mashable)

Beasley, the new kid on the block

I noted last week that a good canine friend had passed on. In fact, Mr. Boris was such a renowned fine dog that there are now bonafide web tributes up for him. My neighbors have since adopted Beasley to carry on the legacy.

beasley-the-new-kid-on-the-block

He’s got big paws to fill, but I’ve met him and think he’ll do a fine job.

Monday’s week in review

You can read on Thursday when you’re not so busy

Side note: A really great dog passed away on Saturday after a short but valiant fight with cancer. Courageousness could be summed up as follows: just weeks before he left us (and just days before his diagnosis), this guardian of the neighborhood hiked up a 14,000 foot mountain peak like he was born yesterday. Saturday night we drank and played poker and talked about the good ole dog days, and everyone (including my own mutt) misses him already.

My kind of heaven

Only dog owners will ever get this (and thanks to the friend who shared it with me)…
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