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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

July on Sixmile creek

I had not been down to Uncle Joe's since Earth Day in April, when I caught the largest smallmouth I have ever caught. I have been working hard in the shop and needed a break, so I headed for Hancock county. Just before I got to Uncle Joe's, I saw a blacksnake on the road and I stopped to check him out and perhaps save his life as the country boys would be eager to run him over. He was a youngster, about three and a half feet. He held his ground and did not run. He acted like he would bite me if I messed with him. I got a stick and moved him from the road. He did not seem grateful and may have returned to the warmth of the asphalt after I departed. I moved on and saw a skinny fox come running out across the road to disappear in the corn.

When I parked I could see the creek was surprisingly low, and no smallmouth were caught, only a small bluegill and a couple of chubs. It was warm enough that I could wade the creek and explore it more. The water was clear and the bottom was sandy. There were a large number of mussel shells, which is an indicator of clean water. Shadows of buzzards moved over me as I fished, always an unnerving experience. I have early memories of lots of buzzards roosting at Uncle Joe's and they are always around.

I moved on to the rapids just downstream from the mill dam on Blue river, about two miles west. The water was higher here and very refreshing, but no fish. There was a large arm chair that some stupid peckerwood had thrown into the water. Not even a bite.

I headed back to the shop somewhat disappointed. I was treated to the sight of an eagle over the lake on Sugar creek between Fortville and Greenfield. I also saw several cheerful groups of goldfinches and swallows. I could her indigo buntings all along the road.

I returned to the shop where I have been working on a run of 5x7 and 8x10 picture frames, using up some of my large store of plywood strips gathered from Hickory Designs. They throw away large quantities of the strips and they are just what I need for my frames. It saves me the labor of individually ripping them from sheets of plywood as well as the expense of the plywood itself.

I changed from my wet clothes and settled barefoot in my favorite rocking chair to enjoy a few beers and my pipe. Even a disappointing day fishing seems to have the ability to refresh and prepare me to once again launch into making more of my handmade rustic willow furniture.
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