Friday, April 19, 2013

Green River Baetis hatch

April is the most holy month of the Baetis dun  emergence on The Green River and the nexus of  nice spring weather. In no other month can the angler witness so much surface activity and take so many foolish trout with such ease and on banker's hours. But a few key points must be observed or even the best hand with a fly rod will utterly fail.
                            1. no flock fishing; stalk the banks for a single consistent riser
                            2. sneak down the bank about 20 feet downstream from the target and get down on one knee or stoop low enough to be unseen.
                            3. cast a few feet upstream of the riser, but a bit off to the side so as not to spook it with the leader falling on top of it,  such that the fly will float within a few feet; no need to be dead on target. hungry trout will move over and pick it up.
                               OR sneak upstream, make a short downstream cast, then strip off and shake out enough line for your fly to float down to the feeding fish.
                              4. after the trout takes the fly, wait a fraction of a second till he starts head down. By then his jaws are closed and the hook will take with a gentle lift. 
                              5. Match the hatch:  when trout key on these dun forms, you must use a similar fly. They are so bonded to this bug after a week or so of gorging that they look at nothing else. In fact they often run when presented with a strange fly, not matter how otherwise "attractive".
Blue Quill, BWO, etc.,  one size larger than the 22-24 naturals provides a competitive advantage in that trout go for the larger bug if presented a choice and the angler can find his floating fly easier.
Green River Baetis dun bodies range from dark green to dark gray with the usual grey dun wings so they are easy to make at home too. 
And keep the fly dolled up with plenty of floatent so it rides high, like the floating naturals which trout take in preference to drowned duns i guess because they can't be confused with floating junk. My impression is that trout do not pursue nymphs quickly swimming to the surface because it would be more work than taking slow moving duns which can more leisurely be "supped" off the top.

Angling for select riser, stealth, keeping the sun on your back, short, soft accurate casting above target to avoid disturbance of feeding fish and floating what's on the menu are all ke 
Browns on Section A taking Blue Quill #20, one size larger than the naturals for better visibility and preference of trout for the biggest offering on the water.
Baetis Tricaudatais [nymph has 3 tails; dun has 2 tails], dun stage, resting on the snow. They come off noon to 4ish on days when wind is less than 15 mph, rain or shine.

Notice tiny specks on water, each a dun floating on surface film, preferred over drowned duns or fast moving swimmers on the way to the surface, I presume because they are so still and vulnerable and not confused with floating debris.
Blue Quill # 20 vs. 22-24 naturals
raft of Baetis Tricaudatis after big emergence.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Road to Destruction

"The nation that destroys its soils destroys itself." – F.D. Roosevelt, 1937.

Mr. Herbert, New York Times editorialist, points out today [june 5, 2010], in Disaster in the Amazon , the heinous acts of a parasitic entity without a soul, the laissez faire corporate model, which is currently sucking the soul out of America.

Agreed, wetlands destruction anywhere is nothing less than a national disaster but it is only the tip of the iceberg.

FDR, over 70 years ago, was clueless of practices yet to be born.

A few examples of impending disasters:

1. Under the best of circumstances fossil fuels will fail in time, threatening our national defense, not to mention poisoning our potable water with mercury and fouling our wetlands.
Answer: Support renewable energy at least to the degree we support fossil fuels, allowing more jobs while avoiding leaving our children brain damaged from mercury and threatening national security. Even now many beautiful trout streams have toxic levels of mercury risking fetal brain development if eaten by expectant mothers.

2. We have rendered the entire nation vulnerable to resistant infections as a direct result of the unrestrained use of our life saving human antibiotics added to animal feed by corporate farm and ranch operations, predictably leading to super bugs. These bugs then infect humans and we no longer have effective antibiotics to save ourselves.
Answer: limiting use of certain critical antibiotics to only humans and even then human use must be restrained to appropriate cases by prescribing doctors which is not the case today.

3. Agricultural use of insecticides and herbicides, when we know these agents are of only temporary benefit, again due to the predictable development of resistance. This leads to the use of ever more toxic yet ultimately ineffective agents that pervade our environment with unknown toxic hazard and renders humans vulnerable to fatal insect carrying diseases, with the insects resistant to our pesticides because of unrestrained use.
Answer: limit use of pesticides to those carrying human disease and accept some level of crop loss or perhaps selective use if critical need arises.

4. Wholesale use of agricultural fertilizer leading to overpopulation and expanding dead zones from the runoff into streams.
Answer: sustainable farming using crop rotation

5. Corporate industrial fishing leading to the destruction of habitat off the US East coast and the crash of our Atlantic Cod, which was thought to be an unlimited natural resource. Not to mention salmon, tuna and whales, to name a few.
Answer: none known for the cod other than maybe a thousand years for the ocean bottom to heal itself

Pogo said, “Yep, son, we have met the enemy and he is us.”

This is so true because our myopic thinking leads us down the primrose path thinking that technology will bail us out before we destroy ourselves and because the of the Siren Call of life on the cheap.
In the short term all the above measures would cost more money but in the long term we would not end up on the ash heap of failed nations moldering on top of the rotten carcasses of Rome, Easter Island, the USSR et al.

But the rub is that every nation is in the soup together.
how to solve these problems on a planatery level is the subject of another post.

uncle steve

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Enemy Within

As i read more of the blame game about the Deepwater Horizon conflagration and blowout, I thought of the famous quotation of Pogo by cartoonist walt kelly which ran on Earth Day back in 1970. The cartoon is shown above.
The Gulf Coast beaches could easily be substituted for the T-rashed forest. The beaches would be covered with a stinking slurry of dead fish, birds and axle grease along with the aroma of sour gas topped off with an assortment of plastic water bottles.
"The more things change the more they stay the same" crosses my mind, a quotation as old as time, attributed to many, but first seen by me in french as a student and I thought how we seem doomed to repeat history.
Because of voter fixation on emotional wedge issues to the exclusion of serious problems, Americans elect fools instead of statesmen. Not surprisingly, our elected official allow corporate CEO's to walk away with the gold mine, leaving us the shaft. But Americans love it until tragedy strikes. Even then, they continue to sink deeper into the abyss as they plunge down the primrose path of deregulation and anarchy.
You can't have cheap gas and sun on a clean beach and eat the fish simultaneously.
Americans will decide at the poles soon.
So this Memorial Day, consider how much oil and mercury you want to feed your kids at the cookout and how many eyes your grandkids might have at birth and where they may be located, not to mention the diminished size of their brains.
We can have hydrocarbons, but we might have to pay more to avoid being destroyed by the industry that provides them.
unc steve

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Corporate Governance in America

Carl Linnaeus, the Swedish naturalist, commenting on the North American carnivorous Venus Flytrap declared it was “against the order of nature as willed by God”.
I presume that he made the assumption that plants were by design far too beautiful, peaceful and innocent to cruelly devour other critters. Or maybe that plants eating insects couldn’t be so, since in Europe “it just isn’t done”.

Charles Darwin learning of the Venus Flytrap never thought to judge the plant. Characteristically, he proceeded to try understanding the nature of the flytrap down to the most intricate detail, like why it snapped down on even a single human hair but ignored a raindrop.

So, in thinking about Corporate America, I wonder if we should look at it like Linnaeus, who would be outraged at the deceitful nature of Corporations that embrace lies and half-truths as central to their business model of seeking maximum profit while providing the least in products and services, perhaps also “against the order of nature as willed by God”. Or should we look at it like Darwin, assessing its nature without judgment, instead of assuming it has any kind of personhood (in spite of recent Supreme Court rulings) or "soul".
This laissez faire business model without a doubt is the most efficient model at producing money and crushing competition and has given Corporate America great worldwide success.
But unrestrained, this business model is unconcerned with the risk to human and environmental values. In fact, the ultimate in laissez faire economics would be if employees paid their employers top dollar for their jobs, corporations left no resources in the land they exploited and in the final act only a single world corporation existed, having destroyed every other competitor and union on the planet. The earth would be left a smoldering toxic landscape except for some gated and glassed in community full of banks, CEO’s and all their trophies. At some point, they would realize that in winning they destroyed their fellow man, the earth and finally themselves.
Of course, this is happening with the complicity and support of representatives and judges at all levels of government chosen by we the people prior to our extinction.

For the past month America’s anger and rage has been growing at the behavior of
BP plc [public limited company] with their sun flowery logo, as its spokesmen attempt to minimize the blowout of its deepwater well in the Gulf of Mexico and manage it in a fashion crafted to minimize the hit to its stock capitalization and maximize quarterly profits for the benefit of CEO and board bonus payments while avoiding stockholder anger.
In short, BP is reacting exactly as any corporation organized to function under American law would react. We can all take credit for their behavior.

So why the outrage?
A corporation, or I presume a “plc”, is studiously designed to maximize short-term profits to the fullest extent of the law. I contend that the rage is directed at the wrong party. BP plc after all is soulless and heartless by design and characteristically has shown no remorse, blamed others, limited its liability and approached what may be the most horrific unnatural disaster since the Chernobyl Meltdown in what they view as a cost efficient manner. No surprise.

Personally, as a human with a soul and a heart, BP plc’s inhumane response seems diabolically penny wise and pound foolish as I consider the magnitude of the pain and suffering this ecological disaster has created and will create on into the future for unborn generations to come.

But the blame rests with America and the system of corporate governance, which we have created over several decades through congress, which has allowed it to be bought and paid for by corporate America and the courts, which recently ruled that soulless corporations have personhood and therefore civil rights guaranteed under the constitution.

Now this behemoth without a conscience, known as corporate America, is in control of unimaginable cash resources and power, and has the neck of the vast majority of American citizens under its boot heel with a choke hold on our airway. Yet the Supreme Court finds that they need still more protection from American citizens.

It would seem that Americans like it that way and therefore have nothing to complain about when our land is destroyed little by little and we are slowly being reduced to pecuniary. A few whimpers are heard as the rest cower under that boot heel.

Seems about time to clean house using the vote and then legislation which limits lawmakers to working citizens with short terms and no possibility of profit more than the average Americans and basic educational requirements to allow them to function intelligently. Sort of like the Framers described. Then working folks would be able to get the boot heel off of their throat and have a fair fight with Corporate America, which has become such a malignant bully after entirely taking control of all our elected officials as well as judges who carry water for the biggests, richest Corporations.

But at this point I am not the least surprised that BP plc has lied and obfuscated since its well blew up.
Americans should be ashamed and get a grip on congress and judges to get corporate America off our backs and force them to follow the same laws we do.
Nobody could be getting away with destruction of our Gulf Coast wetlands and still be out of jail, other than a corporation.

Uncle Steve

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Easter Island party

after reading about Easter Island in j. diamond's book collapse, chilling parallels with the USA are obvious.
the islanders were encouraged to build larger and yet larger monuments to their gods as manifest be the ever increasing size of the well known monuments found at the ruins of these sites after their collapse. actually they destroyed each other's monuments over time and when the first Europeans arrived few if any remained upright.
this society began in the lap of luxury with rich endowments of forests and wildlife on the island. they lived in shelters apparently of wood and stone and reproduced rapidly.
after several hundred years they had consumed every stick of wood and most wildlife had been eaten leaving them to slowly starve. they of course began fighting over the last scraps, including cannibalism, and were reduced to living in fortified caves under constant siege from each other, like human wolf packs.
America along with the rest of the planet is on a quest to consume the resources as rapidly as possible and with ever improving technology we feel that success is recovery and consumption of those resources more rapidly than our neighbor, and borrowing money to consume even more than we ourselves can produce.
i see little discussion about the fact that this "success" most assuredly can not continue forever.
obviously if a nation continues spending more than it makes, a day or reckoning will arrive and how can it be managed if we are out of resources.
most folks find it easy to party as the ship sinks and maybe that impending doom actually accelerates the party and causes them to ignore the inevitable.
but what can be done to motivate societies to sober up and face the future with actions that ensure their long term survival?
democracy encourages shallow platitudes from candidates that the electorate wants to hear vs. the facts which guarantee a candidates failure at the polls.
Americans are the greatest and most intelligent people in the world who have an ever more prosperous future ahead. they do mention that our spending is unsustainable but that they have a plan to easily manage the fiscal train wreck.
when they get elected the congress never introduces legislation which actually increases taxes enough nor cuts spending enough to bring back our balance of trade.
to do so would result in too much financial pain to be re-elected and would be ignored if such measures did get passed as we have seen in the Medicare program.
does anyone out there have any idea how a democracy can protect itself from certain destruction by over consumption, not to mention the rest of the planet.
voters simply do not have the will to face problems with solutions painful enough to solve the issues of the day.
An Easter Island crash seems inevitable for us all with the last ones standing hunkering down trying to kill each other for the few gallons of oil and trees remaining to withstand the nuclear and environmental calamity we have created.
an ugly picture to imagine but is there any sign that humans can become enlightened enough to limit consumption of goods and services to match what the planet can produce without the alternative of wars, disease and starvation?
optimism suggest that Americans will elect candidates who promise to life within our means, even if we must stop wars, reduce consumption, balance our trade, restrict medical to what we can afford and live lives within our means.
but so far the electorate wants congressmen who continue to prosecute wars that they claim will pay for themselves and explain away negative balance of trade as some temporary phenomenon which will cure itself.
what is the answer? i wish i knew.
uncle steve

Friday, May 14, 2010

BP oil spill, the solution to pollution

BP spokesman states, "the estimated rate of flow would not effect either the direction or the scale of our response, which is the largest in history."
i could not disagree more. the magnitude of the leak is critical to the response.

if a patient is undergoing major surgery, has stable vital signs and has a little bleeding which you can easily be controlled then the surgeon does so and proceeds with the procedure.
IF the patient's vital signs indicate a rate of bleeding which will lead to hemorrhagic shock, the procedure is entirely different because death is certain within hours. in the case of Gulf Coast wetlands, death is a few days away.
Therefore, accurate vital signs on this rate and volume of spill is critical and BP's response should be tailored accordingly.

Accurate vital signs are critical in surgery as well as in oil spills. BP doesn't want to know so they can continue in denial mode with a low ball figure for the leak. Why? Stock price? Reputation? Hope that some miracle will appear and get them off the hot seat.
BUT now we learn that the leak is probably much more serious, on the order of hemorrhage.

It has been said many times, "You see bleeding. You hear hemorrhage." With hemorrhage a surgeon knows everything possible needs to be done immediately or risk losing the patient's life.
If there is hemorrhage, then the surgeon calls for transfusions to start immediately, blood warmers, platelet packs, fresh frozen plasma, other surgeons to come in and help, immediate increase in IV fluids, vascular instruments, clotting factors for local and systemic use and other kinds of retractors and more nurses and anesthesia help, at a minimum.
In short everything that can be done is initiated immediately since this moment is the patient's only chance for survival.
NEVER does a surgeon take a few measures at a time when a patient is going into shock.

so what should BP do?

An independent event boss should be named by the President in 24 hours who has the most knowledge and experience with managing these kinds of oil spills.
This event boss should begin barking orders from the command location at the well site where he should be until the battle is won. No biking, golfing, weekends or holidays off. this is war.
He/she should be able to engage the entire petroleum industry, world wide, the Feds should be entirely engaged with any agency or entity who can help and it should be immediate if not sooner. this boss should be given the power to call on anyone and have the support of any commander in chief.
as a layman, i would order drilling 100 wells into this formation to drain it dry as well as riddle the end of this leaking pipe with as many horizontal wells as could be managed to plug the leak.
this response is not too much considering the fact that 50% of US wetland are at stake and knowing that the damage could last centuries.
i have seen clouds of ducks and geese rising and settling back down at dawn in the Louisiana wetlands in a cacophony of calling. there are no wetlands this vast anywhere in America.

corporations are legal entities created to make money. they have no feelings or morals. they are not intrinsically good or bad. they are not designed to stop environmental disasters.

what is needed to now is some ad hoc entity designed to stop this disaster with the zeal of a mother's love and the force of a commander-in-chief. something like the Army, Air Force and Navy with no limit on spending till this well is plugged.

if there was ever a time for the USA to wake up and to go into survival mode, now is that time.
For President Obama, it is time to assume the mantle of Commander-in-Chief and bring on this disaster management organization now.

uncle steve

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Jenner and "different strokes for different folks"

Musing today, as I walked down my street, of the greatest accomplishments of the human race, it seems to me that respect for the ideas of others has led to more relief of suffering than any other single idea of mankind.

To wit, think of Ed Jenner, country doctor in England who was advised by an illiterate milk maid that she and her colleagues were not bothered by any Small Pox epidemic because they had had Cow Pox on their hands and it protected them from Small Pox. Milk Maids had been reporting this for decades and were taken seriously only a handful of times but never by a physician champion.
A Dr. Fewster, wrote a paper, "Cowpox and its ability to prevent small pox" which he sent to The London Medical Society in 1765 but according to what i can find he was not convinced of the benefits of vaccination and let the idea drop. This was several decades before Jenner popularized his vaccine. Maybe he felt the heat from colleagues and backed off out of fear of damage to his reputation.
English doctors scoffed at such outrageous blather from common milk maids. In fact this "old wives tale" was common knowledge at the time but was not pursued by the medical establishment because it was not "conventional wisdom" and the very idea of injecting pus which had come from infections of horses and cows was considered anathema. I suspect that any doctor who would resort to the use of Cow Pox material would be shunned by all his colleagues and branded a quack.
As a result, for decades this monumental observation was largely ignored.

But Jenner must have learned the lesson of "different strokes" because he pricked up his ears when he heard the milk maid's claim and went to work on obtaining Cow Pox material from milk maids and honed a technique for infecting healthy folks with this infectious agent. Jenner submitted his original work to the medical establishment to present this method he called vaccination to his colleagues and publish the information but the establishment rejected his initial report. However, he continued his work adding more cases and then inoculating those vaccinated patients with actual Small Pox material to which he found they were immune.
Pilloried by the medical establishment, he persisted. Mainstream medicine was extremely intolerant of different ideas where then as now "conventional wisdom" prevails.

But Jenner soldiered on with the vaccine because he was tolerant of new ideas from anyone, even a lowly milk maid. He marched to the beat of a different drummer and heard things that others did not hear.
Jenner's sentinel contribution was not the discovery of Cow Pox vaccination but doing clinical study on real patients and proving that vaccination could be done reliably and that when such patients were challenged with Small Pox they were immune. Then persisting in having this information heard and reported in the medical literature.

I heard Dr. Michael DeBakey the famous cardiovascular surgeon once explain that recognition of a discovery did not go to the first person to perform the procedure, but to the person who first performed the procedure successfully and clearly reported the results in a convincing manner.

I see tolerance well developed in Native American culture where they live and let live much more so than other cultures. They discriminate against nobody so long as they do no harm to the tribe. The only immorality is to cause suffering to the tribe. Actions that help the tribe are moral. And they have survived for thousands of years using this philosophy.

This respect for other differing opinions from any quarter made all the difference and led to one of the greatest medical miracles the world has ever known.

What an incredible lesson to learn. The idea of tolerance would make the planet so much richer and a much better place to live.

If Jenner's lesson to always question conventional wisdom and to respect and consider new ideas were put into widespread practice, progress in improving our lives would be much more rapid and we would all be happier for it.
Without those brave souls who think for themselves and challenge the status quo nothing would change and we would forever be stuck in the Dark Ages, still thinking that the earth was the center of solar system and burning different folks for speaking of things they saw that others didn't.
Consider the bison in the header, who decided to leave the trails and take the blacktop road. He marched alone and fortunately no one bothered him while he explored a new method of travel. But actually after a while walking on this hard black top road he moved back over to the usual bison trails, I guess because his feet felt better on the trail.
But I applaud him for trying something new and different. One day maybe he'll make a discovery because he marches to his own beat.

Uncle Steve