A Day on the St. Francois River

The St Francois River is a tributary of the Mississippi River. It is 426 miles long and meanders through northeastern Arkansas and southeastern Missouri.

In the springtime they have kayak races on the part that goes through Silver Mines Park. Fishing is fair with a large variety of fish.

They were calling for a high near 70 degrees for today. That was all I needed to hear. I was river bound. I decided to try a new place that I had found. It was on the St Francois River in an area I had never fished.

I really didn’t think the fish would be hitting anything that I had in my tackle box. Just 3 days ago the high for the day was 9 degrees and a front was moving into the area today bringing rain with it. Well that wasn’t enough to stop me. I loaded the yak in the truck and headed out for a day of peace and relaxation.

The air temp was 55 degrees when I got to the river and the water temp was damn cold! It would not be a good day to flip the yak.

The water clarity was clear and water level was normal for this time of year. I didn’t go upstream 20 yards before I had to get out and pull the yak through the riffles. Once through there was a good 300 yard stretch with numerous deep holes and lots of structure and cover for the bass to suspend in. I knew to get them to hit I was going to have to drop my lure right under their nose.

I knew as cold as the water was I was going to have to fish a slow moving lure. This time of the year bass are lethargic and slow to attack the food source. So my choice was a pig and jig and a Charley Brewer slider worm.

The morning really started off slow. Not one single hit in 4 hours. Then a little after one p.m. I got a hit and set the hook. Didn’t appear it was going to be much of a fight then I guess it decided, not today bucko and the fight was on. After about 5 minutes I got it close enough to the boat so I could see it. OMG!!!!! He was big. My heart started beating 200 beats a minute then crap: I forgot the dip net.

Well he dove under the yak and popped up on the other side. With the help of the cold water it tired quickly. I got it up to the yak and I lipped it and put it in the boat.

OMG! What a beauty. I put it on the board and it was a hair over 20 inches. I admired its beauty and returned it to the river. It was a spotted/Kentucky black bass.

I caught two more spotted/Kentucky black bass.

Eleven and a half inches

Thirteen inches

All in all it was a great day. When I pulled out of the river it was 68 degrees. I felt good. I really needed that.

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. It is very much appreciated. Remember to spread the love and be kind to each other.

All photos are property of Double D Acres LLC and May not be reproduced without written consent from me.

The River is Calling

I know I write a lot about the river. It is a big part of my life. I know it is hard for some to understand my passion for the river. For those that don’t have a chance to enjoy the river I hope you can get to experience it through my writing.

I love to be on the river at early dawn. Just as the fog starts to lift off the river. You can hear the fish hitting the top of the water partaking of their morning breakfast.

Songbirds fill the morning air with their beautiful music and the squawk of a Heron can be heard.

The river is my utopia and my kayak is my yacht. The world seems so perfect there. I have watched deer cross the river 10 yards in front of me. Watched beaver hard at work and have had Bald Eagles fly above me. One early morning I had an otter swim up and put his paws on the side of the kayak.

I can sit for hours and listen to the sound of the water working it’s way through the riffles. I can feel the tension start to melt as I begin to relax. There is so much that goes on at the river.

It’s a place one can go to take the time to know themselves better.

It’s a place to shed your troubles and worries.

It’s a drug you can’t overdose on.

It’s a place that can cause you to be overwhelmed with joy.

It’s a place where your soul, spirit, and mind can be healed.

In time it is a place of memories.

I am truly addicted to the peacefulness of the river. My love for the river has been around for a long time.

Thanks for reading. I appreciate it. Remember to spread the love and be kind to one another.

One Tin Soldier

“Now the valley cried with anger, mount your horses draw your sword and they killed the mountain people so they won their just reward.

Now they stood beside the treasure, on the mountain dark and red.  Turned the stone and looked beneath it, Peace on Earth was all it said.

Go ahead and hate your neighbor, go ahead and cheat a friend.  Do it in the name of Heaven, you can justify it in the end.  There won’t be any trumpets blowing come the judgement day.  On the bloody morning after…one tin soldier rides away.”

In 1969 the Canadian pop group, The Original Caste, recorded the song One Tin Soldier written by Dennis Lambert and Brian Potter.  It was during the Viet Nam war era and was considered by many an anti-war song.

Who was this “Tin Soldier”?  The message simply put is that human greed and violence is futile.

The Mountain people seem to be isolated from the rest of the world and dedicated to protecting the treasure that they coveted so dearly.  Did they believe they had a solution to the greed and hatred that was consuming the governments of the world buried underneath the rock?  Would it end the oppression of the weak?  Could the Valley people be representative of an affiliation with a Christian religion?  It’s possible that the “Tin Soldier” was a messenger from God whose job one day would be to bring judgement on those who had committed violent acts against others with the hope of bringing “Peace on Earth” to fruition?  The answers to these questions are entirely left up to the interpretation of the listener.

It’s clear the Valley people believed that “tons of gold” along with other riches were buried beneath the stone.  The Valley people wanted these treasures for their own (greed) and are unwilling to share the treasures with the Mountain people.  Upon the answer from the Mountain people, with our brothers we will share all the secrets of our mountain, all the riches buried there, the Valley people shouted mount your horses and draw your sword and they killed all the people on the mountain.  They turned the stone to find the treasure “Peace on earth”.  No gold.  No riches.

They declare war on the Mountain people and as they stand upon the mountain dark and red with the blood of the Mountain people they find the answer to all the inequities of the world, Peace on Earth.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.  I have no evidence that this is the message of Lambert and Potter.  It is merely nothing more than the interpretation of this listener.  I hope you enjoyed it.  Remember to spread the love and to be kind to each other.

Trust to let go!

Savvy Raj

Trust and Dancing.

As you dance with another…what matters most is the trust you place on yourself and your partner. To dance as one unit moving in synchrony and feeling the harmony of your beating hearts . This is the ideal connection which makes a dance come alive in the moments.

Yet as much as trust is a much needed trait in dancing together as a couple, often trust takes time to build and is also a subjective matter amongst dancers.

To trust is to let go doubt

To trust is to allow space for growth

To trust is to know patience in waiting

To trust is to allow space for faith

To trust another is not easy
For one and all…
To some it may be the most difficult
But trust is certainly worth trying!

To trust takes effort not assumptions
It takes practice in time and space.
For…

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Aw the Memories

As I sat at the window today watching the snow flakes dance to the ground my mind revisited the memories of my childhood.

I remember sitting in front of the window watching as the snow blanketed Mother Earth.

I loved walking in the woods while it is snowing. Not everyone realizes you can hear snow falling to the ground. It has its own distinct sound. You have to stand really still and be quiet and you will here it. I have to admit I only heard snow fall in the woods where it was really quiet.

I remember the year we got our hands on an old car hood. They make great sleds. It held all six of us but it took all of us to pull it back up the hill.

The last ride of the day was a wild ride. The slope now had an ice sheet on it. Now all we have is the hood and we needed steering and brakes to go with it. Off we go down the hill and we blew by the old stopping place and on the cuff of a new distance record. Then “BAM”! We hit the side of a car parked in the driveway. Now let me set the record straight. That car wasn’t there when we put the hood in motion. No brakes, no steering. We were hollering at the driver and he just waved at us.

I am happy to report that no one was seriously hurt and we walked away. Now for the car there were two perfect head imprints in the side. The car hood slid right under that car and came to a stop.

My mind became flooded with memories of snowball fights, snow forts, building snowmen, and sledding. I could taste my mom’s snow cream. That was always a treat we looked forward to.

A cat jumps up in the tree in front of the house and wakes me from my trip down memory lane. Guess I better put some hay out for the horses.

Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoyed it and maybe took you on a trip down memory lane. Spread the love and remember it doesn’t cost to be kind.

Christmas 2018

I sit here in the midst of a “Winter Storm Warning” where they are predicting 6 to 9 inches of snow with some areas getting a foot. I am as excited as a child on Christmas Eve. Yes I am a “snow bunny “.

Sitting here looking out the window enjoying my Baileys and coffee watching the snow fall my mind wanders back to Christmas 2018.

This is a Cook It All manufactured by the Lodge company. It is made of cast iron and I have wanted one ever since I saw it. You can bake, stir fry, grill and so many more possibilities.

What makes this so unique is that I received it from a “Secret Santa”. It was delivered to my front door. It took me by surprise because I hadn’t ordered it. I opened the invoice and all it said was to deliver 1 Cook It All to my address and it has the address of Lodge where it shipped from. Then there is a two word note ” Merry Christmas”.

I still don’t know who sent it and who ever you are I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I absolutely love it. Thank you.

The second surprise was a gift from David Tripp and his lady friend, who I consider a very dear friend. It has opened my eyes to what a good cup of coffee tastes like.

Now every morning I have this ritual where I fill the grinder with coffee beans and grind them fresh every morning. It has taken my morning coffee experience to a whole new level.

Maybe 2019 will be a good year after all.

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. I appreciate you. Remember to spread the love and to be kind.

“Small House Living

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The last day of 2018 is finally upon us and 2019 is waiting in the wings.  It is definitely going to be different for me.  With all the rage about “little house” living I decided to move into a 10 x 14 cabin along with my Great Pyrenes and Australian Shepherd.  It is going to be a challenge I know.

I do have electric but no running water.  I do have access to a shower and bathroom.  I have been living in it for about 2 weeks now and so far so good.  The dogs have a fenced in yard and handle the close quarters real well.  They have adjusted well and I hope to enlarge their fenced in yard real soon.

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I finished the inside of a prebuilt cabin. I chose to do it as economically as possible and have managed to keep it under a thousand dollars. Instead of buying cabinets I made shelves and I have a compost toilet.

It isn’t anything fancy but it is livable and cozy. I heat it with an oil filled electric heater that will run you out of the cabin even with temps in the teens.

I have some property that I want to build on and this adventure will help me see what is important and not when I build my place.

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. It is deeply appreciated. Wishing everyone a happy and prosperous New Year. God bless you all.

Where Do You Stand?

“Life is not tried it is merely survived if you’re standing outside the fire.” Standing Outside the Fire – Garth Brooks

I am definitely not the type of person who stands outside the fire. I have took chances. Sometimes I won and sometimes I lost. I have celebrated and I have cried. I have never, no never regretted that I chose not to stand outside the fire. By making that choice the fire tempered my spirit, strengthened my soul, and made me a better person. The flames tempered my whole being, taught me respect and made me a survivor!

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog and remember to spread the love.

Until Next Year!

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“Time will pass and seasons will come and go.” – Roy Bean

The end of the fishing season on the rivers here in Missouri for me has come to the end of the season.  On sunny days I will still float the river but fishing will have to wait until spring.

I know you all are probably getting tired of hearing my fishing stories so I will keep today’s blog short.  I put in the river at 8:30 a.m. and the temperature was 30 degrees. The “weather guessers” were calling for a high of 60.  The fourth cast of the day I caught a largemouth bass.  It appeared the fishing would be good toaday.  So I thought.

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The wind was a force I really didn’t want to deal with.  At one point I was going through a shallow, swift area of the river when a wind gust hit me head on and actually pushed me and the yak back up river against the current.  It made it pretty difficult to fish.

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That morning I caught 2 large mouth bass and one smallmouth bass.  Oh well a bad day on the river is better than a good day at work.  After lunch it didn’t get any better.  I caught 1 smallmouth and 2 perch and that was it.  It wasn’t the way I wanted to end the fishing season but next season will be here before we know it.

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It was a good year.  The Big River really is becoming a trophy smallmouth bass area.  The largest one I caught, actually put in the boat, was 16 inches.  Here in Missouri it takes approximately 7 to 9 years for them to grow to 15 inches.  I also caught a 19 inch largemouth and an 8 pound channel cat.

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I want to thank my high school friends David Tripp and Mark Nelson for taking time out of their busy schedules and doing some fishing with me.  I had a good time and hope you two did also.

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Thanks for taking the time to read my blog.  It is very much appreciated.  I hope you enjoyed the photos.  Photography is one of my passions.  Remember to spread the love, be kind to each other and above all, respect each other.

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All the photos were taken on the Big River near Desloge, MO.