May 4, 2018

Cold Creek Getaway in Fish Taco

The Tacoma with its new Lear 100R shell, including head liner, drop out cab-side window, and a three outlet,
12V power block near the rear lift window.   
Okay, I admit that I'm having a man-crush on my Tacoma.  I feel like a little boy who got the Christmas present he had been harassing his parents for since Halloween. I could easily succumb to the temptation to run away to distant places every weekend.  Maybe that's what happens to a truck owner after driving Dodge Dakotas for 18 years.

But, I can't give in to those childish impulses, at least not completely.  There remain certain relational responsibilities to Jesus, my wife, my daughter, and my employer (even if it is a part-time arrangement). And besides, the infatuation with road trip adventures would eventually wane and I'd emerge from the delusional fog one day to discover my wife and daughter have left me due to my abandonment of them.

I find the shell very convenient, and not only when transporting gear to my destinations, but also using
it with a lowered tailgate really facilitates staging equipment as well as post-angling tear down.
Of course it's more complicated than that.  I love my wife deeply, but I've learned over these past 38 years it takes a consistent effort to stay actively present in her life and my children's lives.  If you don't pay attention, you can easily take your spouse for granted.  That can lead to miscommunication, or no communication, which results in drifting apart.  It can be a marriage death march.

Being a Christian, I am so thankful for the Word, the Scriptures.  Those who are unfamiliar with the Bible may not realize the depth of wisdom it contains regarding relationships, especially the marriage commitment.  It teaches that in marriage, "two become one" (Mark 10:5-9).  The Pharisees were trying to trap Jesus on the issue of divorce.  While He explained to them that divorce decrees were allowed under Moses’ leadership as a concession for “hardened hearts,” the truth is that marriage creates a new unity, a "we" if you will.  This is not to mean that the two parties cease to remain individuals, but that they are to become a sacred unit. 

Angling action was a little slow, but it's to be expected in this little pond the farther away from the late-winter
stocking and with the arrival of the mid-spring heat. This trout was hooked deep in the pond, and it
fought well despite it's somewhat lean condition.
Note the brown nymph located in the corner of this rainbow's mouth. He was in reasonable shape compared
to the other two I landed, but his pale coloring denotes to me insufficient aquatic insects in the pond. 
So how is it possible to remain "we" for half a century or longer?  Isn't it a reasonable expectation that couples drift apart over time?  Isn’t divorce a reasonable option for couples with irreconcilable differences?  For a Christian based perspective on this worldly viewpoint, read this article by Steven Kalas, a locally noted Nevada author, therapist and Episcopal priest, “Don’t kid yourself: divorce is forever.”

It’s helpful to first recognize that we are all sinners by virtue of our selfish, prideful focus on our personal happiness based on the world’s standards, not God’s (Romans 3:12-18).  The cure for that deadly self-centered attraction is to pursue and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit and to allow Him to change our perception of values, to reject the world’s carnal values in favor of His. Apostle Paul says this will renew our minds. (Romans 12:2).  This spiritual relationship is further described in Ephesians 5:15-20 and other similar verses.

A couple of wild mares and a colt feeding along the pond ditch.  The older
mare actually walked over to my truck with the shell window and tailgate
wide open.  She stuck her nose into the shell looking for food, but I was
worried she would take off with my real case in her mouth.
These feral horses are pretty tame, but still unpredictably dangerous.  They always come right down to
the pond to drink, and they don't respond to hooting, hollering, and whistling because I tried that
when the older one stuck her nose into my camper shell.
Waterfowl are common around the pond, especially during seasonal migrations.  This pair of male mallard
ducks was odd; a couple of bachelors, or...
When we allow ourselves to be in the presence of the Holt Spirit, scripture takes on new relevance and truth in our lives.  When I am centered on my relationship with Jesus. I am able to re-align with my family relationships, especially with my wife. For example, Ephesians 5:21-33 describes how I am to love my wife.  When I find myself straying from my commitment to be “radically present” in my marital and familial relationships I remind myself what the Lord’s, not the world’s, version of love is supposed to look like by reading 1 Corinthians 13:4-13, likely the most often read verses at weddings of all sorts.

For an expanded version of marriage fidelity and its various infidelity entrapments, read this short article also by Steven Kalas, “True fidelity isn’t only about sex.”

It is a handsome truck... but I'm prejudiced.
Added my fishing stickers, the Canyon Ridge "God First" sticker, and my
American flag magnet. I believe I'm good to go now.

All that said, I admit that my three-hour trip to Cold Creek as the sun peeked over Frenchman Mountain was very satisfying, but certainly can never replace the importance and satisfaction of my marriage fidelity and all that relates to it.

April 21, 2018

Fish Taco on the loose in Cold Creek

My new Toyota Tacoma SR5 4x4 (a.k.a., the Fish Taco) visiting the Cold Creek Pond for the first time.
Those of you familiar with my blog might recall I affectionately referred to my 2007 Dodge Dakota Quad Cab 4x4 as the "Trout Truck." Although it was my daily driver, its underlying purpose was to get me in and out of the destinations where the trout angling was better than average and where inclement weather, which is often good for fishing, can make passage difficult. I had gotten stuck a few times in my previous 4x2 Dakota, but the 4.7L V8 4x4 never got stuck which was a great comfort to me and certainly increased my angling time. 

As the Trout Truck approached 10 years old I began to contemplate its replacement. Dodge stopped making the Dakota after the 2011 production, and Toyota's Tacoma increased its market share of the mid-sized 4x4 trucks. Recently GM introduced a new mid-size 4x4 (Chevrolet Colorado and GM Canyon) to better compete with the Tacoma. About 17 months ago my son Brian purchased a 2017 Tacoma TRD Off Road. His Tacoma started my juices flowing again until I finally made the decision to swap my 2007 Dakota for a 2018 Tacoma SR5 4x4. I'm so pleased with it I honestly don't know why I waited so long. 

The SR5 has some really nice safety features that are new for 2018, but it does not have the versatility of the TRD Off Road's electric locking differentials and its state-of-the-art Multi-Terrain Select and Crawl Control. But I couldn't justify an extra $2000 for features that I might use once or twice in the truck's lifetime. The SR5's basic 4x4 with rear end limited slip differential and traction control should be enough to avoid getting stuck. It is already clear to me the new Toyota Safety Sense features like Lane Departure Alert, Pre-Collision Alert, and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control will get plenty of use while traveling Nevada's two-lane highways enroute to the dirt roads that lead to the best angling locations. I will install a Lear bed cap much like I had on the 2007 Dakota; I found the cap to be highly practical for my fishing trips, especially transporting my angling watercraft. 

An added bonus of purchasing the Tacoma is its slang name "Taco." Die hard Tacoma owners often refer to their trucks as "Tacos," which gave me the idea to christen the new angling truck the "Fish Taco" (I highly doubt I'm the first to use this moniker).

The Fish Taco's maiden off-road voyage was an early morning run to the Cold Creek Pond. Frankly, passenger cars can make it down to the pond if they have reasonable clearance, but this trip provided the excuse to put the truck in four-wheel drive for the first time as well as to cast a fly line for 45 minutes. 
The first trout of the day. 
I arrived at the pond about 7:15 AM and was very pleased to be completely alone. I was also surprised to catch two small stocked rainbow trout within the first 15 minutes. It was then I noticed a passenger car carefully finding its way to the pond. A man and small child exited the car with fishing rods in hand. When they got within conversation distance we exchanged pleasantries. The father, Tim, was taking his four year old son Aiden fishing. They had fished Cold Creek a few weeks before and did very well. Tim mentioned fishing Eagle Valley Reservoir, and asked if I had as well. I told him I was a long time southern Nevadan who fished throughout most all of the state. I told him I wrote a fishing blog. He mentioned discovering Cold Creek through a blog, and then after hesitating a few seconds he said it might have been my blog. He asked me what my blog's name was and I replied "FisherDad." He recognized the name, and then politely said he thought the blogger in the website photos looked older than I did in person. That made me smile. 
The second trout of the day.
Tim asked how long I had been writing the blog since some of the posts were dated over 30 years ago. I told him the story of my son Nick creating the FisherDad blog as a Father’s Day gift 11 years ago. Because I had older adventures I wanted to post I decided to backdate them to their original time frames. I mentioned Nick was a web designer at the time, and that he now works at Square in San Francisco as a Front-End Engineer. Tim laughed and said that coincidentally he was a Systems Analyst for Optum Health in Las Vegas. 

I discovered that Tim is married and a father of three: Aiden and his two younger sisters. He explained that Aiden had a congenital eye disease that impairs his vision which will eventually lead to blindness. He spoke of some frustration with the Clark County School District's inability to provide his son services until he loses more of his vision, and it reminded me of friends with autistic children who also seem to fall in cracks. Despite Aiden's disability, Tim was very upbeat and happy to be spending time with his son. The visit was reminiscent of the time I met Amelia Smith fishing the pond with her father John.
The final rainbow trout of the day, maybe over 10 inches, but definitely the strongest of the three.
I was fortunate to land one more trout, slightly larger than the first two, and decided to leave the pond to Tim and Aiden. I was content with three trout in 45 minutes, and after all it was all about the Fish Taco's maiden off-road angling adventure anyway

(Tim, if I’ve misspelled names or misrepresented any facts please post a correction in the Comments.)
The ubiquitous feral horses that haunt the Cold Creek area. We're instructed not to feed them,
but visitors obviously disobey that command.  When I stopped to snap a photo this mare and colt
started toward the Fish Taco, likely looking for a carrot or apple.
A close-up photo of my Fish Taco.

December 1, 2017

Fall Stocking Completed at Cold Creek Pond

On a day with temperatures in the low 50s and just a gentle breeze, I was very happy
that I had but one other angler to share Cold Creek on the first Friday of December 2017.
A few weeks ago I read in the local paper the Nevada Department of Wildlife was scheduled to plant trout in the Cold Creek pond.  Today I confirmed they did.  One other angler was fishing bait, but he was doing it well: small hooks enabling him to catch and release five trout that I noticed.  As for me, in about an hour I landed four, but had hooks pulled out of three others.  Awesome weather there today.  I was surprised but thankful only one other angler was on the pond.  Enjoy the photos. 
Feral horses getting their morning drink from the pond. Several small groups (I hesitate to
label them "herds") came through, including a few mares with young colts from last spring.
Doesn't the ribbon of creek water glistening as it flows into the pond look inviting; often
the horses stop near it to drink, likely because it's cleaner at the inlet.
Little stocked rainbow struggling to free itself from the size 16 nymph.
All four were carbon copies of this one.
One last examination before release back into the pond.