After church and Sunday School, we stopped at Walmart for groceries, then drove to O’Reilly’s for automatic transmission fluid (ATF). The warning buzzer and lights indicating “jacks down” on the motorhome were going to drive me crazy enroute to Heber Springs and back for recall work on the motorhome. After panicking the last couple of days, I ready that the warning could result from a partially empty reservoir of hydraulic fluid used to deploy the jacks, and ATF was the fluid of choice. After we got home, we took the access panel off from inside the front storage compartment and had easy access to the tank. I poured half a quart, and Kay started the motorhome, but still got the warning. This was followed by a full quart, and another half quart, but it worked—and the alarm became silent! This will make the drive a little less complicated.
We awoke early Monday; I drove to the Ford dealership in Heber Springs. All their sales and service people stared as I drove the motorhome onto their lot. The service manager took the keys, I signed the release, and began the expected 3-hour wait, including a walk to McDonald’s to access their Wi-Fi. When I returned after about an hour, the service tech said he had me ready, and I was enroute back home. While the Ford dealership had never done the particular type of work needed, they were great to work with.
FIVE LAKES. We packed clothes and fly fishing tackle Monday evening for our trip to Five Lakes Outing Club near Hughes, AR. Ed and Linda have been so gracious as to invite the “traditional” group of fishers who make the trip to Quetico in Canada each year. We were the first to arrive, and enjoyed sitting on the screened-in porch of the stately old house on Horseshoe Lake. John and Sandy followed shortly, and John and I headed off to Brushy Lake to try the bluegill. Wind was blowing from the wrong direction making it difficult, if not impossible, to position the boat for casting, but John did an incredible job, and gave up fishing most of the afternoon in order to put me in the right place to catch bluegill. I started off using a foam floating bug, but quickly switched to a bream killer; all told I may have caught slightly over 25 fish. John’s karma was working as he managed to catch fish as we “anchored” to a tree. Ed and Dave came later, but we did not see them. We understand that Dave needed to “boil” his line before fishing again (a private joke). We enjoyed a great dinner of fried crappie with all the trimmings, followed by lively conversation till bedtime.
Wednesday morning came early as we were up before daylight. After coffee, we headed back out to Brushy Lake where John and Dave gave the bluegill and bass a whirl, staying close by the put-in where bluegill typically hang out. Every time we looked in their direction, it seemed like one or both would have a fish on. Meanwhile, Ed and I focused on bass. Brushy Lake is a little unique in that vegetation grows heavily around all but the south edges, leaving only the middle of the lake for bass fishing. We were casting poppers, but most strikes were subtle. Ed is an awesome bass fisher, and managed a bunch of hook-ups despite a bunch of near misses. He had an awful sitting position on the front of the boat, but that didn’t stop him. We wrapped up the morning fishing for bluegill where I lucked out and caught a few of the monster bream. The afternoon saw me returning to bluegill fishing, again with a fly rod and bream killer, and for the day I ended up with another couple of dozen of the giant bluegills. Dinner for the evening was grilled chicken and it was very good.
A cold front had worked its way to the area Wednesday night, and with wind and cold temperatures, we opted not to fish Thursday morning. We all departed for home shortly after breakfast. Many thanks to Ed and Linda for hosting, and John, Sandy, Dave, and Joann for lively conversation—these are good people.
Our neighbors, Bill and Bootsie, arrived in town early Friday afternoon, and we had a great visit on the patio despite the pollen, gnats, and warm temperatures. Now that Bootsie is working we don’t get to enjoy their company very often.
RIDGE. Ridge and his parents arrived late Friday afternoon for a weekend visit, and we enjoyed their company Friday evening and Saturday. Ridge is without a doubt the most pleasant baby I’ve ever been around. He is constantly smiling, and rarely cries or whines.
The following report on our trip to Five Lakes is from Donald’s Fishin’ Journal.
DATE: Tuesday, April 10 and Wednesday, April 11, 2012
TIME: Tuesday PM, Wednesday AM, and Wednesday PM
WEATHER: Low 80s, partly cloudy, very windy
WATER CONDITIONS: Clear
LOCATIONS FISHED: Brushy Lake, Five Lakes Outing Club, Hughes, Arkansas
FLIES USED: #10 Bream Killer for bluegill, large foam “Frog” popper for bass
ROD USED: G. Loomis 9’ 3-weight custom IMX, Winston 9’ 8-weight BIIX
OTHER: See above journal entry with photos