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Al Agnew

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Al Agnew last won the day on March 22

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About Al Agnew

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    Smallmouth Bass Angler

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  1. It's really difficult to know just how careful to be. Just saw a pretty good Youtube video on how to shop for groceries more safely. Plan ahead before you go to the store, and know exactly what you need to get. Plan to get enough to last you two weeks. In the store, don't touch anything unless you're committed to buying it. Don't use cloth reusable bags. When you get the stuff home, disinfect your table or countertop first, in two sections, one for possibly contaminated food, the other for clean food. Dump all your little plastic bags of groceries on the contaminated side. Anything that's in a box or plastic container that you can wipe down or spray with disinfectant you do that. and set it over on the clean side. If it's in a package the inside hasn't been touched by humans and is presumably clean, but the outside of the package isn't. So your other choice on any package is to carefully open the package and dump the contents into a container, then throw the package away (if it's something like boxed cereal, you just open the box, take out the bag on the inside, throw the box away. Fresh fruits and vegies, you have a sink filled with soapy water, dump the vegies in the sink, scrub the fruits after dumping them in the sink, then rinse off and put away. Frozen stuff you have to disinfect the outside of the package, because freezing doesn't kill the SARS type viruses apparently. After you've done all that, throw away the leftover bags and boxes. You should have disinfectant wipes handy and continually wipe off your hands while you're doing all this. And when you're finished wash your hands with soap for 20 seconds and re-disinfect your workspace. So we just had two relatives who had to go to the grocery store today, and both offered to buy us any groceries we needed while they were there anyway, so we took them up on the offer, and did pretty much what was recommended, except that a lot of the stuff we just left in the garage, since most of the things they are saying is that three days should render the virus harmless on pretty much any packaging. We've been staying home and not having anybody in the house. The mailman came to the door this morning to deliver a package that wouldn't fit in the mailbox, and Mary barely opened the door to tell him to just drop the mail on the porch. Then I went out and disinfected the doorbell. The mail is only touched with rubber gloves on and goes into the garage to sit for three days before opening anything except what's obviously important, and so far nothing important has come. Just another report from the era of paranoia. But just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get ya.
  2. And...here's why people are selfish, willfully ignorant morons if they don't take this virus extremely seriously. Mary and I live out in a rural area, more than an hour from St. Louis, and we have been very cautious and prudent ever since this thing started, since we are both old enough to fit into the higher risk groups. We have been feeling reasonably confident that we can avoid getting this thing for quite a while because of our location and our precautions...after all, the nearest place to us that has any cases is the St. Louis area. This morning we went into Farmington to the Schnucks at 6:15 AM, because they announced that the hour from 6 to 7 would be reserved for people over 60 years old, and we figured that there wouldn't be very many people, even old farts like us, who were going to get up that early to go grocery shopping. We were met at the door by an employee who disinfected the handles of our shopping cart, along with our hands. There weren't many people in the store. The shelves weren't as full as they usually are, a few items were completely gone (toilet paper was, of course, one of them but we're good for now on TP), but we got what we needed to get, and got out of the store. Used disinfectant wipes on our hands again when we got into the truck, and wiped down all the packaged groceries when we got home, along with washing our hands carefully. So we were feeling good about the whole thing... Until we got the news that last weekend there was a wedding in Bonne Terre, 10 miles away from Farmington and 20 something miles away from our house. 200 people in attendance. And two of the guests came up from Arkansas, and two days later tested positive for the virus. The Health Department stated that they were symptomatic when they came to the wedding. A member of the family of the newlyweds disputes that. But there were a LOT of high school and college age kids at the wedding, and they all went to school on Monday. So you can pretty well expect that there will be a hotspot around Desloge and Bonne Terre, and that's hitting pretty close to home. And several of those kids went out later to a bar in Farmington, so it will probably show up in the hotspot, too. This is why I am completely pissed off at ANYBODY who plays down the dangers of this virus. I don't care what you believe, I don't care why you think it's no big deal or it's a conspiracy or whatever the heck you think. This is not a game and it's not politics. It's a very serious matter, and YOUR ACTIONS CAN HAVE DANGEROUS AND EVEN DEADLY EFFECTS ON OTHERS. If it was just you that was going to suffer from acting like a moron, then I'd be fine with that, but it isn't. I and the people I care about can suffer from your stupidity, too. Even if we don't suffer by getting the disease, everybody is going to suffer from the sacrifices we'll have to make for a longer period of time. All the government restrictions that are now mostly requests and advisories are going to become mandatory, and it won't be because the government is stupid or out to get you, it will be because of selfish, willfully ignorant people who did whatever the heck they pleased and ignored those restrictions when they were requests and advisories.
  3. No, it ain't a good comparison. This disease is at least as contagious, probably a lot more contagious, than the usual flu. And like I said before, you're comparing a full flu season to two or three weeks of this at the very beginning of the epidemic in the U.S. ALL new epidemics start out with just a few people, but grow exponentially. That was my point before. Just because there are only a relative few cases right now means nothing if this disease follows the usual track for highly contagious epidemic viruses. Unless something unexpectedly good happens, I'll just about guarantee you that in a month more people will have died in the U.S. from this virus than died from the flu this year. THAT'S when you'll have a better comparison.
  4. Don't know why they deleted yours, there are about a hundred versions of it on my Facebook feed. But I gotta say that it's a ridiculous comparison. We've had an entire flu season to compare to two or three weeks of this virus, starting from next to nothing. The EXPERTS in epidemiology keep telling us that exponential spread is possible and even inevitable if we don't follow all the social distancing. Exponential spread means doubling and tripling in a very short time interval over and over again. That means that if your little town starts out with one case and doubles every two days, in a month your little town will have 32,000 cases. So get back to me in a month with your comparison, because right now it means nothing.
  5. That's great, JD...Mary is coming up on four years with no problems from hers, probably as healthy as she has ever been. It's a great feeling.
  6. I've said this before, but what really pisses me off is that it would be easy to put a stop to this. Just have the county deputies show up every weekend night for a few weeks and arrest everybody they find that's even close to doing something wrong, and make it known that they'll keep doing it as long as there's a problem. The word would get out pretty quickly that it's no longer a place to party. Dang it, that is part of their jobs. Just a bunch of arrests for underage drinking would be enough. I get sick and tired of losing accesses because law enforcement won't do their jobs. It's like if people were constantly shoplifting at the local Walmart, and instead of having a police presence for a while and arresting everybody they caught, they just closed the Walmart.
  7. Definitely a big one. I knew there had to be some big fish in the river, especially after I caught the one 20 incher, but I just don't have any idea on how to avoid catching little ones long enough for a big one to take your lure. It's also possible that some really big fish come up the river in the spring out of the Columbia, and maybe they go back to the big river earlier in the summer.
  8. I actually had hair about like that for a while back in my early years!
  9. Regarding "structure fishing", I read Fishing Facts magazine religiously for several years and learned all about the whole Buck Perry thing. I put it to use and caught a lot of bass and won a few local tournaments back in those days. I was catching big fish on channel swings and subtle drop-offs on the local lakes pretty regularly. But as the years went by, maybe I just stopped fishing lakes enough to keep up with the times, or maybe it was something else, but those spots that had once been pretty obscure and known to only a few with good electronics and a lot of time on the water became known to just about everybody and fished to death. Maybe that's why those flats that Wrench talked about are good these days...they aren't sexy enough structurally for the average angler with a depth finder to think of fishing. Nowadays, you see a lot of big tournaments won by guys fishing the banks and pounding cover, not fishing in the middle of nowhere on a drop-off. Now not all banks are equal and not all cover holds fish...you gotta find the particular banks that have subtle differences that hold fish, as I'm actually finding in river fishing for smallmouth. Used to be, I'd just float a river and fish everything I came to that looked like it could possibly hold a bass, and catch them regularly all up and down the stream. Now, on the heavily pressured streams (those big enough for jetboats and bass tournaments), there are good banks and long stretches of water that seem devoid of fish, and a lot more fish are hanging on subtle drop-offs, current seams, and transitions, and not in the cover along the banks.
  10. You can drive through the Badlands in a couple hours just sightseeing, or plan on a little more time if you want to do a lot of photography (some wildlife, including bison). Or spend a full day driving the Badlands and parts of the Black Hills. Cool landscape. Emigrant gives you more options on the Yellowstone than Gardiner as far as floating and fishing. The fishing is a little different between the two places. Gardiner to Yankee Jim Canyon provides lots of cutthroats along with a decent population of rainbows and some browns, and is basically two days of floating. From below Yankee Jim through Emigrant and on downstream there are a lot fewer cutthroat and more rainbows and browns. If it doesn't matter which kind of trout you catch, the cutthroat in the Gardiner area are a little easier to catch, but for other things, including more spectacular scenery, Emigrant is great. Parks Fly Shop in Gardiner is the place for info, flies, and guides up there, but Anglers West in Emigrant are VERY good for guided trips. If small, wild, native cutthroat on a small creek is your thing, it's a quick drive up the Mill Creek valley as far as you can go, where you'll find closed in brushy rock strewn upper Mill Creek, with a lot of easily caught little cuts that eat Stimulators with abandon. But take your bear spray! At some point you might allow yourself a (long) day to drive the Beartooth Highway. One of the most scenic drives in America. Go through the park to the Northeast entrance at Cooke City, take the Beartooth through the mountains and down into Red Lodge, and then to I-90 back all the way to Bozeman, then up the Gallatin River valley and to West Yellowstone and hence to Old Faithful if that happens to be where you're staying at that point. Like I said, a LONG day, but if you start out at daylight you'll see a lot of wildlife and not much traffic through the park getting to Cooke City...park traffic usually doesn't crank up until 8 AM. Might be too long a day if you want to do much stopping. Living in Livingston, we usually do it from our house and back around to our house, which is somewhat shorter, and we don't always stop in Red Lodge. If the womenfolk like cool little shops, Red Lodge has them aplenty. Or if staying somewhere else at that point, just drive up the Beartooth through the mountains and turn around and come back...but it's well worth seeing no matter what. The Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman is well worth a half day if you have time. Great dinosaur exhibits and lots of other very interesting stuff.
  11. Beautiful fish! There is just no comparison between a wild trout and a stocker.
  12. If you want a raft type craft and don't want to row, check out a Water Master. One person raft that you sit on with your feet dangling in the water, so you control the boat with swim fins, but it has a set of oars for getting somewhere more quickly or running rapids. You can stop in fairly shallow water just by standing up and wearing the thing like a doughnut around you, and fish there for as long as you want. The only problem is wearing swim fins and trying to get out of the thing and wade or walk. I tried some high dollar swim fins that fold up again.st your shins, but they pretty much suck. Still trying to find a solution to that. But the thing is really sweet on the Yellowstone (I keep my Water Master in Montana).
  13. Well, I actually do that when I'm fly fishing for trout, unlike the way I fish for smallmouth. I agree with you completely about the good spots, and the only good way to fish them is to get in there with them. I have a friend who used to guide on the North Fork out of a big johnboat, and from June through mid-September he spent most of his time in the water at the back of the boat, not in the boat, holding it in the current so his clients could fish those fast water areas without getting out of the boat and possibly drowning. He's a good sized lad and strong, so he could hold that boat in the middle of a rapid, or hold it in water up to his neck in the perfect spot to really pound a good run.
  14. I have a friend who does nothing but fly fishing for trout, and is as good at it as anyone I've ever seen. From what he's said, the North Fork was just about the best trout river in the state for a several year period until the huge flood that tore out those bridges. It hasn't fished anywhere near as well since...in fact, he says it's maybe one fifth as good as it was before. And when I fished it with him summer before last, the last time I was on it, I really noticed the lack of tree cover along the banks through most of the trout water. This was still early, like late May, and the water temps were already well up into the 70s by the time you got to Dawt Mill; that lack of shade was really messing up the river. He said that the best fishing was now within the first few miles below the springs. I actually gave up on the trout about halfway through our float down to Dawt, and started fishing for bass (it wasn't all that great, either). There are just too many people fishing for them these days, though, and the word gets out about one stream fishing well and then it gets pounded by everybody at once. Current River was amazing with big browns a few years back...then some guys who kept every big one they caught started pounding it, plus a hot summer moved some of the big browns up into Montauk, where the nimrods cleaned them out. It hasn't fished the same since. I know where I'd fish for trout right now, but I ain't telling.
  15. “Where you going? Oh, you men are all alike. Seven or eight quick ones and then you’re out with the boys to boast and brag.” "Ohhh, sweet mystery of life at last I've found youuu!" "darn your eyes!" "Too late."
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