Sunday, July 15, 2007

Cast and Blast

I got all of my yard work done on Friday evening and Saturday morning. I also replaced the kitchen fluorescent lights with a newer, larger, nicer set of lights (though my wife wanted recessed lighting). So, since I had several weekend work out of the way, my wife agreed I could do some things on Sunday afternoon while she watched the Argentina vs Brazil Copa America soccer finals.

The Blasting

I arrived at the outdoor range around 2:30pm and found an open pistol bench so I started loading my magazines with CCI Blazer Brass FMJ 180gr rounds. I had gone last weekend to complete 500 rounds in the new XD pistol and afterwards found it to be highly dirty after placing 250 rounds of Winchester USA ammo. Both my thumb and trigger finger had black soot on them which was really bad. I scrubbed and cleaned the XD thoroughly and thought there should be some other ammo out there that is cleaner burning but still inexpensive to allow me to shoot at the range.

I started looking through forums and lots of folks recommended CCI Blazer Brass ammunition not only for it being cleaner but also cheaper than the Winchester ammo. As it turns out, the CCI BB was much cheaper. I bought 150 rounds of the CCI BB to see if it was decent.

I took a little bit of adjustment but the BB performed well enough to make the switch and after 150 rounds, my fingers were clean. I had no failure-to-feed (FTF) or any other problems with the BB. With the Winchester USA, I had at least one FTF in the previous shooting sessions but this time it may simply be because the gun is pretty much broken in already. I haven't cleaned the pistol yet but it didn't seem as dirty as with the Winchester USA ammo. Looks like a winner!

While I was testing out the BB, there was a gentlemen next to me firing a large framed .44 magnum revolver. Man, was that thing loud! It was a heckuva cannon that's for sure!

After an hour of being at the range and expending the new ammo (this is with breaks and slow reloading mind you), I headed home and rested for a short while and then put together my 2wt.

The Casting

I arrived at the park pond around 5pm and cast a #16 humpy under the shade of a tree hanging over the water. I had some swirls and some missed strikes but finally landed a bluegill. It had been a while since I had done this. For some reason, the humpy was difficult to get a good hookup so I switched to a #14 olive hare's ear and that worked a bit better and started catching bluegill, green sunfish and redbreast sunfish more consistently. I also caught a small largemouth. The best fly, however, turned out to be a #14 red San Juan fly which caught larger sunfish than the other flies.

While I was fishing quietly I spotted two "rodents" swimming towards me which turned out to be baby nutria. They swam into some vegetation along the shore next to me but eventually swam out and hung out about three feet right in front of me. They didn't seem all that scared and as if they wanted something from me but I didn't know what and eventually they swam back among the weeds. I know in Louisiana the state pays a bounty on nutria since they damage the the root systems in the wetlands and marshes. I've seen otters in the lakes before but this was my first encounter with nutria here.

After an hour and a half at the pond I went home to find I'll be building a dog house for my two dogs next weekend. Yet another weekend project. Oh yeah, Brazil won 3 to 0! I thought for sure Argentina was going to win.

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