Karl Seckinger

Karl "Trout Whisperer" Seckinger is an outdoor enthusiast and resides in northeastern Minnesota.

feb deer hunting

Posted by: Karl Seckinger Updated: February 28, 2013 - 1:06 PM
Some whipped Chiffon snow is covering the bog today. Might be the last good one of the winter season. From here out we usually get the heavy wet stuff. Leather leaf and Labrador tea look like a powdered sugar commercial. My bog is rimmed recklessly in short denuded tamaracks almost looking like thumb tacks on an empty cork board. The towering black spruce stops my eyes from a further gaze. I like walking in these spongy moraines in winter. I detest trying to cross em in the summer. The cotton grasses in clumps are landmines for my legs especially in chest waders and in minutes I’m sweating. So I’m hot, sweaty, crabby, and I often wonder why God puts brook trout in the most uninhabitable inhospitable places on earth. Today I get even. Today I just bump along through the humps feeling my feet get steered by the mounded clumps. It’s kinda fun. It’s also fun because I won’t flush a grouse, this aint there kinda turf. No heart attacks. There are no rabbit runways, again not their romp or pasture so I aint bunny hunting. So Nothing to deter my efforts or distract me from my goal. Last fall I watched a whopper buck tuck his brown carpet into this little bug infested wetland nare to return. I think his hide was saved do to this bailiwick of bottomlessness. Well all winter I walked what I thought was his trail, his route. He has a path that looks like a white gray rope that meanders through the midst of the bog and finally splits off over by the big spruce. Once he leaves the bog it’s much harder to follow him because he doesn’t allows stay the course. In the bog he has a set stride pace and road. This snow will cover tracks I want to check. It could also cover what I’m looking for. The buck didn’t grow old being lazy or careless. I’ve bumped him during this past winter only once. Again in a settling snow that drowned out my footfalls. The season of melting freezing snow underneath is far too crunchy. I won’t be walking up on him today that’s for sure even with this duff of fluff. I’m on what I think is his trail looking for at least a piece of him. I’d been hunting his horns when they were attached for almost two months on and off and today after an hour I have the left side, minus the meat. It’s a little victory. The trout whisperer http://flyrod58.wordpress.com/2013/02/28/februarys-deer-hunting/

it takes......all kinds

Posted by: Karl Seckinger Updated: February 25, 2013 - 7:32 AM
It takes, all kinds…. We hiked the portage trail for the third time. You know, out, in-out, in-out, to remove everything we hauled in for our combined six days of winter camping. This is like the end of deer season for us. The winter trout treks are over for another year. There is more season, we just won’t have time. So we try to end it on high note with a lengthy stay. So now, all the gear is out of the boundary waters. The last trip out, the final leg of our trip we had a buddy coming at noon with his snowmobile and snow sled in tow to take the gear four miles to the parking lot, dump it by our vehicles, and then we will spend the afternoon hiking out on foot. It’s a clear breezy day and we as usual have that lethargy about leaving so to prolong that agony of ending a great trout trip we linger. Now in retrospect that wasn’t such a good idea. Hindsight, sometimes that word really bites me in the hind a bit too hard. My own fault of course. So, just so you know, and you know who you are, the four inch slash through the flap on the larger Duluth pack was made by a very sharp axe. I set the pack flap open against a log to stabilize it while I’ll dug some camping gear out back in the late 70’s. My buddy finishing cutting kindling on a crisp fall afternoon just turned around and buried his hatchet through the pack flap and into the log accidently slashing the pack flap. Also that same pack you have, when my baby girl was little, I used to stuff it with a sleeping bag and she would be all bundled up while I duck hunted. She was four years old and that little pink faced blonde haired cutie would love to crawl inside the pack, kinda nest, and sleep right through my duck marsh mornings. I think of that every time I’d touch that pack. Everytime. Those two packs, I owned them for over thirty years, yup, faded green with black and brown bruises and have many a reminder in them for me. But you probably don’t care. I have my two new packs. I’m kinda in sticker shock at how expensive they were. There isn’t anything wrong with the leather or the tump lines. The buckles are bright and shiny. Both packs have no fireplace ash smudges or scrapes. They also have no experience and they carry no memories. But those two packs you stole from me did. The trout whisperer http://flyrod58.wordpress.com/

forbidden fruit

Posted by: Karl Seckinger Updated: February 1, 2013 - 10:20 AM
Well-meaning I suppose, well intentioned I guess, but the stuff smells like another batch of what we affectionately call, Jacks gasoline. We’re all pretty sure he was born without taste buds or a sense of smell, because when he cooks, or in this case, tries to brew up his own personal batch of bourbon, we think less of drinking it, and more of trying to use it as a possible paint remover alternative. This is his thirty fourth year at distilling moonshine, making stump hole or any other mythical name for boiling up his special blend of mash. I’ve sampled it now for twenty two years, and in all that time, it’s never gotten better, some years it’s just not totally nasty. But I’ve never, to this day, been able to actually swallow any of it. I think it almost melted one of my fillings a few years back. The bottles he puts this concoction in are clear, the liquid in the bottles once corked, appears dark brown, almost black and with so much eye appeal we all try to feign any interest in being thirsty, but he knows we imbibe far too often. Were stuck in our own vice, so to speak. He starts pouring us all a round, and somewhere in that bottles liquid past, is the repose of clear translucent apples. We all take a sip to be polite, and when the creator of this liquid nitrogen is not looking, I spit it out into the snow as quick as I can. I have to wonder, how anybody in their right mind, would, or could drink that stuff. I wonder Just like when Eve gave Adam the apple, did he quit after one bite, did Eve finish her apple, and in any case what happened to the apple cores because we know Jack uses his apple cores, peelings, seeds and all, for making an apple jack champagne that borders on awful. We keep trying to tell Jack to just stop, give it a rest, that it’s really a bad thing to do to apples as far as we’re concerned, but this in the end, it just makes him try all the harder. I asked if he would switch to grapes, nope to expensive, Beth wondered if he ever thought of trying to make some home brew beer instead. Nope, he wants to make the best apple jack around, he says he has to because his name is Jack. After Jack took this year’s attempt at poisoning all of us and left, Kevin suggested we change Jacks first name, to ether. The trout whisperer

It’s the same old ice

Posted by: Karl Seckinger Updated: January 25, 2013 - 9:06 AM

There were periods here last summer; I would spend up to three nights a week fishing this lake after work. I’d show up sweating like crazy, waiting for the heat of the day to finally end. Today, this morning, at eleven above with the lake frozen solid, it’s almost like waking up on another planet. If Rod Sterling skated past me right now out on the ice I’d probably laugh.

The snow scrunches when I’m walking around and I like that; there are no bugs and I really like that. Nobody else is here yet so I know I’m the first guy to pop the top on this sheet of ice this year, that’s cool too.

I get everything packed, I think I checked all the gear half a dozen times this week just so I wouldn’t forget something, but I check it all again before I head out onto the ice. I’m just buzzing inside; it’s another fishing season to me.

These first few steps, it’s not like riding a bike. It’s the same old ice, but in all my years, this frozen water never keeps from finding new ways to put me on my backside, so I stride ever so slowly to begin with.

I know exactly where I’m headed, it’s a mid-lake cabbage patch that seems to hold perch and pan fish all year, it’s a lot faster with the boat to get to it in the summer, much easier to locate with weed fronds sticking right out of the water, during duck hunting season I cheated, I gps what I hope is the honey hole and so I move one foot at a time closer to a black dot with so much potential.

When I arrive at the black dot, the gps starts to blink; I shut it off, tuck it away, and drop the tow rope. I waddle back to my sled, reach for the auger, and down I go. Yeah it’s the same old ice and the only good thing about falling on it, is that no one else is here to see me.

I rise, and so does one long exhaled chunk of frozen cussed words.

After drilling my holes, I set down, feeling half mad, sort of sore, so I decide, I don’t plan on moving for quite some time. I flip the lid of the portable over my head; I set the heater on high, drop my bait, and hope for the best.

The trout whisperer

Logs, piled

Posted by: Karl Seckinger Updated: January 24, 2013 - 9:29 AM

In the fireplace is all that color and it sends forth such warmth that my feet edge ever closer to the hearth. My wool socks start to get to hot, so I withdraw the digits to a more respectable distance.We have a semi-circle of perched feet in jostled chairs vying for the warm effect.

Our glasses seem to be in constant need of filling and we as a group tonight don’t feel the need to be marchin after ice and the jug of internal warmth, especially after how colds it’s been outside so we skip the cubes and on an as needed basis, we pour it straight and pass to the needs of all present. It’s just too cold, to be too concerned.

As we reheat our innards the conversation has made its way round to what we did and what we will do. We go over last year’s deer, ducks, fish and so forth. We muse with what we will try to tune or tweak for next year.

The conversation moves at the pace of every so often a log of wood gets added to the fire and some new thought is mulled over.

From across the great room comes a shot heard round the house and we bolt upright from our warm lazy stupor. A log, in my log home, pop’t, from the outside air temps, a log of many logs piled that kindle the warmth within.

It’s too cold out and blessed be the warmth from within but the logs can’t be hot and cold lain as if that’s just fine and dandy like us so they start to sound off.

If the wood had a spirit it must want to scream for the cold as the barked logs years ago scribed mitered and chinked in place aren’t allowed to move and for the wood blazing away in the fire rapidly being consumed so the logs groan and rifle shot about the house.

After we drain the jug, the night somehow has consumed us as well. Each guest off to a bunk of his or her choosing and I damper the fire. One last check of the temperature outside. I shake my head at the low number. A log goes off almost in agreement.

The trout whisperer

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