Tag Archives: Fishing

About Slithering, Crawling and Slimy Things

This week, I saw a snake in Germany for the very first time. Regrettably, it was a dead snake I found by the side of the road on a small bike outing. I immediately pulled over, went back to retrieve it (as I was wearing gloves anyhow) and showed it to my father (who said “eek”) for identification, (as he is in all things nature, due to his lovely childhood, an expert).

It was a Ringelnatter (natrix natrix) also known in Britain as a grass snake. Odd name, since they tend to live in water or wet surroundings. I have often noticed them swimming on the surface of the lakes while I was fishing, but I have never seen one close up. They are not dangerous, and do not tend to bite. And they are on the “Red List” in Germany, meaning they are threatened with extinction.


One of the downsides of having retired persons living on the same property is that while you are virtually tied to your desk, having to earn a living, the retired persons can do things of their choice all day long such as going fishing.

My father went down to the river and brought these two lovely samlets home for lunch:

As my stepmom was away at a reunion, two were quite enough for lunch.

My father always brings the fish he catches to me for cleaning. I have no problem with that and it’s one of the reasons I have a big box of surgical gloves in the house – not because I find it gross to clean fish – but to prevent my hands from smelling like fish for the rest of the day.

I set to clean the samlings, and though both of them contained roe, one of them had eggs in it that were almost as large as a pea. Well aware of the fact that they probably could not have been fertilized if they were in the fish’s belly, I nevertheless collected them into a bowl and went to the garden pond were I gently deposited them in the water between the reeds on the edge. I figure if they hatch, fine, if not, the gold fish will have a special treat.

As I got up from my kneeling position on the edge of the water, I felt something bite me in the knee. I looked down and saw this almost 1 inch long Kreuzspinne (Araneus diadematus) spider attached to my knee. I immediately got hysterical, screamed continuously, flailed with my arms and stomped my feet. In short, acted like an idiot. Tobi came running out of the house at top speed, presumably to “rescue me”, but didn’t quite know what to make of my behavior. I quickly brushed the spider off of my knee and later collected her to photograph her and put her back by the edge of the water.

As anyone who has been reading this blog for any length of time knows, I don’t mind spiders in the least, but then again I have never had one bite me before either. Araneus diadematus kill their bait by biting it and injecting it with poison. Luckily, I was a bit big for her.

Oh, and the samlets were wonderful. Big enough portion that we got my nephews to help us eat it all.

There is Something Not Quite Right

about the fact that one of the lakes was stocked with lovely rainbow trout and that I managed to catch nothing.

Every year on April 16 (the end of closed season for rainbows here), one of the small lakes is stocked and early in the morning, everyone is raring to go and catch their daily limit of two trout. We arrived at 7 a.m.; my father caught two within five minutes of each other about an half an hour later. My lovely bait offerings remained untouched. We stayed until 11.00 a.m. They had stopped biting so we left, returning in the evening, only to spend another four hours waiting for a bite of some sort. We repeated that this evening, as I could not be bothered to get out of bed this morning because of some “stupid” trout 😉 and went home empty handed.

If they aren’t biting, they aren’t BITING. And at this point I must elaborate on the fact that there are, of course, other fish in there as well. But nothing was biting. I offered them various gourmet offerings such as corn, night crawlers, floating trout bait, homemade trout bait – all to no avail.

Ce la vie.

So Tired

I had three hours of instruction today; we started at 12:30 and ended at 3 p.m. The weather was lovely, meaning I had sweated like crazy underneath all of that protective clothing.

I did a fine job of driving around cones at walking speed, and did manage to bring the motorcycle to a dead stop within two meters with a driving speed of 40 kmh. Did I mention that this Honda has ABS? Wonderful.

And I caught my first fish of the season. Quite a drill, quite a fish. Mine was a carp with 5 kG (about 10 lbs).

My father and I have a running bet for the first fish of the season. The person who catches the first fish (first fish meaning a fish large enough to take home) owes the other a half a case of beer. Up until tonight, I had always won those. My father always caught the first fish. But tonight, I did.

I barely had him in before the reel on my father’s rod ran. Literally ran – until the fish was, apparently, in the middle of the lake.

We got him into the net 20 minutes later. It was a 20 lb. carp. And promptly broke the dip net I had bought this morning.

We let the big guy free. May he swim on.

I owe my father some beer.

Three Items of Note

1. Return to Normal Broadcasting

It was nice of the Bavarian State Radio to have special programming on Sunday in light of the Pope’s death. Normal broadcasting resumed this morning. I found this positive, as having to hear soft music all day long puts one to sleep. Besides, I don’t think he would have liked “Clair de Lune” or the orchestrated version of “Danny Boy”. The latter of which yours truly can play on the harmonica, by the way.

2. A safety warning

You know how some people like to pass around sample cake batter and dough and stuff? My 13-year old niece for example. She recently brought me a blue hard-plastic container with a screw on orange lid. Told me “this is Herman”. Instructions would follow later. They came four days later, and it turned out I should have stirred on the first day, added something or another on the second, stirred the third day, and so on and so forth. By the time I got the instructions for “taking care of Herman” from her, I was completely disinterested, put the instructions aside and completely forgot about Herman. That was two weeks ago. Last night, during dinner, there was a tremendous bang somewhere in the house. I failed to localise it, but assumed it was a piece of wood in the stove – you know how wood “pops” sometimes when it burns? Well, I thought this was a greater bang. When I opened the refrigerator this morning, there was white gooey stuff on the bottom shelf. I looked around, saw the cracked (yes, it cracked down the middle) Herman container but was unable to find the lid right away. This was because the lid, as I discovered later, had burst into about 22 different little pieces which I collected from various corners of the refrigerator as if participating in some sort of warped easter egg hunt.

3. About going fishing.

A note to all women. (And men). Pay attention! 100% of all anglers that I know (including me) do not just go fishing because of the fish, but because of the peace, serenity, and quietness of fishing. Staring at a swimmer for three hours can be the most relaxing thing in the world. It is not the most relaxing however, if you decide to accompany your husband, sit next to him and chatter in an UNINTERRUPTED fashion FOR MORE THAN TWO HOURS in a such a volume that the whole lake can hear you. Do me a favor. Do all of us a favor. If you can’t keep quiet, please, please please, stay home.

Gone Fishing

Much to my delight, my 2,5 HDD thingy came in the mail yesterday, so I spent all day on the PC replacing files I needed, importing bookmarks and so on. This is such a wonderful invention – and the best thing is that I thus have a 40GB backup device for the 40GB hard drive on the new laptop. Meaning, future laptop problems not be such a big deal (as long as I backup regularly).

Last night we went to the “office” of the fishing club to get our fishing cards for this year. It was my first time there and I was pleasantly surprised. They have one room with a computer and all the paperwork, and then a larger room with a bar, a large table and a kitchen (also with tables). So we sat and had a beer and some food and chatted with some of the other anglers that we know – traded fishing stories and gossiped about who caught what and when and how – who left their bait hanging in trees – quite nice and “gemütlich”.

So, now I can go fishing again! (Except for the fact that it is snowing and I object to fishing in the snow ;-)).

I spent today doing the usual Saturday leaning and chores – watched some TV this afternoon – films all over the genres, really “Run Jane Run” (the book which I enjoyed – the movie was somewhat dry, “Fear of the Dark” (recent Canadian production – not bad) and currently, “Omen IV” is on and geez it is predictable as ever, but I am going to go watch the rest of it anyhow.

Not Speaking Bavarian

Bavarian is such a lovely dialect. It just really does not resemble german at all. I wish I could speak it, but when I do, it just does sound like a bubble-gum chewing Ami – ridiculous. So I don’t. But here a lovely example of this wonderful language.

These trout we’ve been catching – the first day we caught them with a small spinner. By the next day, they weren’t going for that routine anymore – you see, fish are not stupid. So, we switched to “trout bait”, a dough like substance that can be purchased in a wide range of colors – yellow, hot pink, green, etc.

One of the more senior members of our fishing club, Ferdl, is a classic angler. He spends much time at the river – really knows how to fish and is never reluctant to give anyone tips – recently, he saw the grayling were rising to the surface, so he got into his waterproof trousers and began fly fishing right in the middle of the river. Successfully, of course.

Ferdl is a conservative fisherman. I don’t think he ever goes into any angler shop to browse the newest products. He catches his own bait fish. Sometimes he just sits by the side of the river and contemplates if he wants to fish or not. Ferdl is the epitome of tranquility and always cool as a cucumber.

So, when I went over to him after having caught some trout – told him I was leaving and that he should take my spot on the river, since they had been biting quite well there, he came up the river bank with his rod, baited with green dough, a doubtful expression on his face, and said

“Hoab no nia mit’m greanen toag g’fischt.”

German translation: “Ich habe noch nie mit einem grünen Teig gefischt”.

English translation: “I have never fished with green dough”.

I have never seen anyone so skeptical about anything – it was a wonderful sight. Can’t wait till the next time I see him to find out what he caught.

Trout By Coincidence

I just caught two nice trout. No, not at the market.

I wanted to go for a long walk with Tobi this evening, as this morning it rained quite heavily so we skipped it. My father wanted to come too, but didn’t want to walk the big round – he wanted to go down the river. See if there are any fish. Ha.

He actually insisted upon seeing some. Upon closer examination, there were trout. So, though we did not have all our gear in the car, we did manage to catch two each. They will be consumed within the hour. Hilde is making fried potatoes to go along with them. Hmmm.

Bug update: As can be read on the thread, an additional person helped with the bugs. He suggests they may be Birch Stinkbug nymphs. (Birkenwanze). Anyhow, I am raising a few of them in a plastic bowl according to the instructions provided by Harry, the british entomologist, and we will see what they are when they are grown. It’s quite interesting – they grow quickly.

Because of the rain, which we desperately needed, I finally tacked my three feet high ironing pile this morning. Started some laundry too (I haven’t wanted to add to my ironing pile, so I just let the laundry pile up, not good). It is supposed to rain tomorrow too, so I might get around to sorting out the closet – which I have been putting off because the weather has been too nice for such long indoor projects 😉

Visited Friedl today and brought her a few groceries she wanted. BIG points for her for not telling me that I have “gotten fuller in the face”. She tends toward brutal honesty, lol. The hip operation seems to have made some difference in her life. She went to the hairdresser the other day, and said that she has been in the garden every day. I know this is at the urging of her kind neighbor, because he told me so. Either way, living on the third floor when you are 88 is a bitch. I am glad she is somewhat mobile again and at least able to leave the apartment.

Oh, yes, the brain test – I will be sure to include this in my resume:

Brain Lateralization Test Results
Right Brain (24%) The right hemisphere is the visual, figurative, artistic, and intuitive side of the brain.

Left Brain (72%) The left hemisphere is the logical, articulate, assertive, and practical side of the brain

Are You Right or Left Brained?

personality tests by similarminds.com


Sadly, Not All Things

can end well, but I guess that’s just a part of life.

The song thrush didn’t make it. She died yesterday evening. Was sitting in her cage, sleeping. A bit later on I saw her sleeping on her stomach, when suddenly she started flapping her little wings – I knew that was no good. Held her in my hand, tried to give her some additional warmth to stabilize her by blowing warm air onto her, all to no avail. I buried her under the hedge.

I assume she had suffered some kind of internal injury, because when the vet checked her, he could find nothing broken. The swelling on the air sac, however, failed to go down and I assume it came from something internal.

It is difficult to raise most song birds; they require various diets and frequent feeding and a bit of luck. Nevertheless, I am always incredibly sad when things go badly.

On another note, summer finally seems to have gotten here so out of the house it was, finally. Went to the river with Tobi this morning, again this afternoon to do some fishing. Didn’t catch anything but that doesn’t really matter – it was just wonderful. The grass and weeds and everything growing there is almost three feet high and in full bloom – Tobi loved running through the tall grass. It was just good to be out.

This morning I sprayed my roses for the third and last time this season, they seem to be holding up well against fungi this year. Then I sawed off a few branches of the moor birch in front of the porch to get a bit more sunlight for the roses and for the other flower bed. It was good to be outside doing things!

Early tomorrow there is a fishing derby at a neighboring fishing club that we will be taking part in; it means getting up early but the weather tomorrow is supposed to be just as wonderful as today, so that is no problem for me. This fishing club is a lot of fun; they even set up tables and benches by the lake and serve brew and good bavarian eats. Hmmmm.

The Ironie of It All

So you pack special gear (strong reels with special fishing line), stiff and resilient rods, pack your butt into a boat and sit out until 10 in the evening, freezing your bunions off. And, you catch nothing. You go out for european catfish and just come home empty handed.

That was on Monday night.

This morning, we headed up to the lake at 5.30. We were hoping to catch some tench or carp or whatever, or just enjoy the wonderful sunshine and warm temperatures.

At 7.30, my swimmer gently went under, the line was being pulled nicely and I thought, well, small carp.

It was kind of a strange drill; at some point I realized the fish wasn’t acting like a carp and was certainly too big to be a tench.

Imagine my suprise:

90 cm long, 10 lbs. in weight. Wow. I drilled him in with my match rod (for those non-fishers out there, a very long and thin rod, designed for smaller fish such as trout). Wheeeewwww.

Have a look at the size of this guy’s mouth:

And last but not least, a big thanks to Uwe for scooping him into the net :-)).

Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful!