Friday, May 31, 2013

Hot Dogs Day 1 - Bacon Wrapped Hot Dogs

     What do you do when you buy a large amount of hot dogs for a camping trip and that camping trip ends up being canceled? You put those hot dogs in the freezer for an upcoming Memorial Day BBQ & thaw them out a few days before the BBQ. What happens when you prepare too much food for that BBQ and nobody wants the hot dogs? You search the Internet for creative hot dog ideas and then you post those ideas on your blog! Prepare for 3 or 4 days of hot dog posts!!
     I'm sure those of you that spend a lot of time on Pinterest have seen the bacon wrapped hot dog pin. I decided this would be the first hot dog post. You need hot dog buns, bacon, hot dogs, cheese (optional) and tooth picks.
      If you don't want the cheese, skip this part. I think Swiss Cheese would have been awesome and probably wouldn't have melted so fast. Cut a slit in the hot dog, pull the hot dog apart a little bit and put the cheese inside.

Stuffing Hot Dogs With Cheese
     Next, Wrap the hot dogs with bacon. I wrapped the hot dogs with 2 pieces of bacon, but I think 1 pieces would have been better and it would have gotten crispier. Use tooth picks to secure the bacon to the hot dog.

Bacon Wrapped Around The Hot Dogs
     All of the posts I founds on Pinterest said to grill these, but the wind was so bad the grill wouldn't light so the frying pan worked okay. A grill would definitely work better though.

Starting To Cook
  Because it too took so long to get the bacon crispy, all of the cheese leaked out and burned. One piece of bacon and a grill would help prevent this.

Getting Crispy
     Top with your favorite hot dog condiment.......or eat plain.

Very Yummy!

     I wonder if this would work on a hot dog fork over a fire?

Thursday, May 30, 2013

How To Make Night Fishing More Fun

     I have to admit night fishing is not one of my favorite things to do. Part of it is I'm afraid of the dark, well I'm afraid of the mice and other small animals that move around in the dark. Another part of it is because I'm very clumsy. I roll my ankles on flat surfaces with nothing to trip over in the daytime so rocky surfaces in the dark are not fun for me. I prefer night fishing close to the vehicle or from a campsite but I have found with enough lanterns and flashlights, I can night fish almost anywhere. Here are some tips I've come up with to make night fishing easier and more fun:
     The first tip is to get organized before the sun goes down. Make sure you know where all of your lures, hooks, bait and "squishies" are while the sun is up so you aren't looking for them later. It is also good to make sure your flashlights, bug repellent and night time snacks and drinks are easy to find, also.

Cori organizing her "squishies"
    My next tip is to make sure your rod holders are in the spots you want them to be when the sun goes down and if you are going to throw lures you have an idea where you are going to stand. It is a very good idea to know your surroundings before it gets too dark for you to see them well. Right after the sun goes behind the mountains is my favorite time of the evening and is a great time to get to know your surroundings. I will sit in my chair and enjoy the views and also make sure I know where the big rocks are I will probably trip over at some point in the evening and also watch for the nice calm water for fish activity so I know where to try to cast once the sun is down. The fish may not still be there when the sun goes down, but it's still really fun to watch fish surfacing on nice calm water.
     My next piece of advice is totally optional, but I TOTALLY recommend it. Get a glow-in-the-dark fishing rod!! My husband gave me this rod as a gift a few years ago and it is the rod that I have to keep an eye on at all times while we're night fishing because people are always coming over to look at it once it is dark outside. If I have the rod out in the sun all day, it will glow for most of the night. If the glow goes away then there is a switch to turn on a couple of blue lights that will charge the glow and also look really cool in the dark.

     My grandpa was a State Patrolman for a very long time and then became a sheriff so I grew up respecting law enforcement officers very much....until they threaten to "confiscate" my glow rod! We were camping at one of our favorite lakes 2 years ago a sheriff deputy drove up to our campsite and started talking to my husband and brother about the glowing rod. I was in the RV so I came out when I heard them talking about it. When the cop said "I'm pretty sure that is illegal, I'm going to have to confiscate it." I said "NO WAY! You can't take my rod!" And then I realized I just yelled at a police officer. Thankfully the officer was joking and also took my yelling as a joke (after he gave me a stern look) and agreed not to confiscate my rod or arrest me for yelling at a cop. Phew!

     I am a lot better about night fishing now even though I still get a little nervous. I hate when bats fly around above our heads and mice and lizards scamper around in the rocks behind me, but with my arsenal of flashlights and my glow-in-the-dark fishing rod, I'm more comfortable.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

A Frustrating Day, But Also An Inspiring Day

     Sorry for not posting in a long time. Not being able to be outdoors has given me a writers block. Today we were finally able to do some fishing again. I was excited to finally do some fly casting on the water! I was very confident that I was going to do great since I caught on so fast in my back yard. I may have been a little too confident.
     First, I couldn't get the tippet tied on. I had practiced that knot many times and was really good at it until it was time to use it for real. My first cast was horrible. I had forgotten everything I had learned about casting. I kept cracking the whip, getting stuck in the weeds behind me, I was slapping the water behind me on my back cast, I have no idea how I lost one fly, one fly was destroyed during my horrible casting and I couldn't get my rhythm down.
     When I was practicing at home I was making sure there wasn't any wind during practice. That was a huge mistake because today, there was wind and I was fighting it. I finally figured out how to deal with the wind, but I was still having issues.

     So I sat down in my chair and started enjoying the scenery and rested for a few minutes. At this point my husband informs me he's caught 8 baby bass. I'm sure the look I gave him was not nice at all.

    I baited up my favorite rod and reel with a worm and bobber and after 2 casts, I caught a baby bass, too. Catching this fish on my favorite rod and reel reminded me why I fish. It's relaxing and fun and when I was trying the fly rod, I was working too hard, getting frustrated and not having any fun.  I let my baby bass go back in the water and decided to try the fly rod again.

      I was back in my original spot where the wind was messing with me but also where I caught my first baby bass.
      I caught another baby bass! My poor fly wasn't looking much like a bug at this point so I'm sure he bit it out of curiosity instead of because it looked yummy.

      From my experience today I realized I love my spinning reel and rod and prefer it over my fly rod. The fly rod is fun and once I get better at it, I'm sure it will be fun, too. It may take me a little longer to get to the "I'm Good At It" point but I'm not going to give up on it. I need to remember to go back to my basics like I was doing in my backyard.

     On the drive home I realized another reason why I'm fighting the fly rod! THERE'S NO RED ON IT!!! The rod is green, the line is green and clear and the reel is black! I may have to get some red stickers and change that for the next fishing trip. I also need to work on tying flies because at the rate I'm losing them and destroying them, I'm going to be need a lot of flies. Watch for some fly tying posts coming soon.