Thursday, September 22, 2016

What Did Your Dad Do In The War

Well, I didn't get out to fish this week, but starting Sunday I've got 4 days at Upper Lake to fish my little heart out.

I'm posting this because I don't have anything to write about and Mike (Troutrageous!) already hit on the new Star Wars movie. 

Most of you either had a dad that was in WWII. Korea, or Nam. Being a Geezer, my dad was in WWII. All my younger life I was under the impression that my dad was at the Normandy invasion. Not sure where I got that from, but it was all I remembered. Not so.

My dad was in the Coast Guard and was a Chief Machinist Mate on a troop transport called the USS William P. Biddle. That's all I really knew.

Image result for uss william p biddle
USS William P. Biddle
As the Internet grew, every so often I would Google the ship's name. All I got was stuff about William P. Biddle, but nothing about the ship. Then I hit gold.

Somewhere in the area of 2002, I found a reunion for the ship late that year. Once I contacted the reunion committee, the rest, they say is history.

Then the information came in, wave after wave. The one item I did discover is that the ship was all over the world. I also found out that the William P. Biddle spent some time at Mare Island Ship Yard in Vallejo, California in 1941 (that's even before Moi). We pass this island every time we cross Highway 37 going to Hendy Woods State Park or any of the other destinations up the North Coast.

One of the stops it made was at Espiritu Santo in the New Hebrides. If you watched the TV show "Black Sheep Squadron" you're familiar with Espiritu Santo. I just watched a show on the Smithsonian Channel (I think) about the F4U Corsair which was the staple of the TV show, the war in the South Pacific,  and about Pappy Boyington who in his later years lived and passed away in Fresno, California just South of where I live.

Another place the ship stopped was Sicily. From there it went to Oran in Algeria where it picked up German and Italian prisoners of war for transportation to the US. You knew that there were prisoner of war camps in the US, didn't you? In fact, there were more than 511 of them all over the United States. At the end of the war in 1945, there were 425,871 POW's held in the United States.    

Some of the island landings she was part of were well known places like Tarawa, the Marshall Islands, Guadalcanal, Guam, and Leyte in the Philippines.

I don't know what time period my dad spent on the ship and the paperwork I have doesn't list any, only that he was a member of the crew at some time during the life of the ship.

So here is a little piece of my history.Hope you enjoyed the ride.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Just Not That Good Of A Day

Since I picked Upper Blue Lake the last time Yuki and I fished, I let him pick the place today. They were stocking Upper and Lower Blue Lakes, Caples Lake, and Silver Lake.

Yuki got to the house at 8:00 and on the way uphill to Cooks for coffee, Yuki decided Silver Lake was the place to fish today.

We were undecided whether to fish the dam area that he usually does well at or the Day Use area that we've done so well at in the past. Once again Yuki's decision was the dam.

He fished over by the pylons and I fished, well on the near side of the rocks in the picture below.  

Yuki's spot
I got two rods in the water, one with rainbow Power Bait and the other with a half a crawler and a couple white floaty things to keep it off the bottom. I don't do well with the "blow up the worm" thing. The worm always seems to be lunch for a crawdad instead of a trout.

Almost immediately I took first blood on the Power Bait.

First fish
Then the dissing started. "It will probably be your only fish of the day". Remember, last time I only caught one. "You might as well quit now because that's all you'll be catching today". It continued until I threatened him with walking home.

Then this guy showed up.

Department of Fish and Wildlife
While I had a spare minute, I took some shots (even though you've seen Silver Lake before) to capture the lake and the beautiful day we had.
To the left toward the dam
Then the catching started. The next one I caught was big enough (about 10") to put on the stringer. Yuki was going to smoke them so we decided to keep anything of any size.

Most of what came next were those little bitty stockers. Most were about 8 inches, maybe 9 inches if you stretched them out. We kept catching and throwing back fish after fish.

About 1ish we both had 3 on the stringer so we decided that we'd grab two more each and call it a day. I have to admit I was getting tired of pulling in all those small fish. One could barely get the second line in the water when the first one started that "fish on" bouncing.

I put one small one the stringer and then put my line out one more time.

Since I only had one rod out, I decided to just hold the rod and await the bite, and bite it did. It hit so fast, all I can relate it to is a freight train going by. I'm sure you've experienced one like that.

Turned out to be about a pound and certainly not one from the stock truck. It also turned out to be the biggest fish of the day.

Biggest fish of the day
Yuki went home with 10 for the smoker. 

Total for the day, 27. Yuki caught 14 and I caught 13 although, with Yuki keeping count I think I caught more, maybe 25 or so. Just kidding.

Just not a good day?  Who am I kidding, it was an awesome day.

I might be able to get out once more before heading out for our maiden voyage in the Freedom Express. Target - Upper Lake with that cool camping spot RIGHT ON THE LAKE.

Stay tuned...............