Pramaholic: 4/5/2010

I was itching to get out on the water this week, but the weather forecast has been pretty crummy.  I’d read reports that Beaver Lake was recently stocked, but that place is odd, you have to be there on the day of the stocking in order to catch any fish.  My experiences have been very fair, because within a matter of a few days, the fish are devoid and the baitchuckin’ crowd has depleted the 8″ fish from the area. 

I wasn’t so hot on fishing, but had installed some additions to the Smith Boat and wanted the first opportunity to test it out locally before I made a more distant trip with her.  I was going back and forth about the seat as I really like having back support, but dislike the look of 99% of the seats out on the market.  I was ready to install a black vinyl wrapped ‘tractor’ seat that came with the SpringCreek pram, but remembered that I’d picked up a couple of old school folding chairs from a local garage sale.  They were free and I thought that they were pretty neat and definitely sturdy.  They are solid oak, with a red fabric that reminded me of an old football.  I saw them in the corner of my eye and then my wheels started turning and thought of having a backrest and folding solid oak chair as a pram seat quickly brought out my skill saw.  The final product was fantastic, not only is it functional, its lightweight, and the wood theme carries out through the whole boat.  I was a bit worried about the tractor seat from the SpringCreek since it would have sat higher than I cared for causing some problems with the rowing position.  This new seat turned out to be just perfect, the height is just an 1.5″ above the bench and once I made my first backstroke, I could tell I’d dialed in the sweet spot for balance and optimal rowing.

I was completely amazed at how light the new pram was and how well it tracked on the water.  It was almost as if I was floating on the water.  The wide displacement  and the higher sides of this boat made me feel very safe and comfortable.  I really don’t know if I’d fish much out of the SpringCreek now that I have the Smith Boat as an option.

Yes, its a hassle with the upkeep, but the this boat got compliment after compliment from the other fisherman on the bank.  They were amazed at how light it was and how beautiful the Mahoghany was. 

I was asked from a suscriber to show how I made my truck rack.  I can effectively haul two fishermen, with prams and gear with no problem.  All I ended up buying was a pair of Thule gutter racks with locks, and two pieces of angle iron.  I secured the angle iron to the bed rails with self tapping bolts and attached the Thule gutter racks to the angle iron.  this has been a fantastic way to carry bikes, boats, lumber, and my Thule box.  I can carry a pram in the bed and the ski box on the rack with all my camping gear.  I guess there are nicer and commercially available rack/rail systems that do the same thing but this was cheap and it works!

I still have a thought every once in a while about upgrading my truck, but for all that it does, its hard to justify spending money on a new truck to essentially do the same thing: get me and my gear safely to and from a fishing destination.  Its reliable, its semi comfortable, I never worry where I park it, its cheap to maintain, and its easy to drive and park with ease.  I just wish it was a bit more powerful, for towing my saltwater boat.  Oh well… I guess you can’t have it all.

On the fishing note, we didnt’ catch anything, water temp was 51 degrees, and rainy with a heavy bout of sleet.  The sun did dip in and out of the sky, and there was a great Chironomid hatch coming off.  I didn’t mark many fish and the ones that I did were deep, sitting at the bottom of 25-30′ of water.  There were a few fish around the lauch, but I think that the regulars at Beaver deplete that lake and pick up every hatchery fish with their power bait and worms.  I hear that its supposed to be stocked tomorrow, don’t know if I’ll venture out to see if its good, but it might be nice to get a pull.

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