Friday, December 30, 2011

RD's 2011...In Retrospect

When I put up my "Damsel 2011" tab last year...I thought that I would do pretty well accomplishing half of what I wanted to do in 2011.  Well, out of the ten items on my wish list, I did seven of them!  So, I would say that is pretty darn good!

1.  Attend the OBN Convention and meet all of those that I have blogged with.  Also, fish with a few of my buddies from OBN during that week! Or...because the OBN postponed...Create the Rocky Mtn. Frenzy and meet CO. bloggers! done

2.  Go Steelhead fishing with my new rod and Rebecca in March... ;)  done on both accounts!
3.  Back to River X to catch more MONSTER Brown Trout!!!   done
4.  Fish Montana in the Fall...The Madison and The Gallitin. 2012

5.  Tie flies (including Czech nymphs) with Rod aka:  The Midgeman. Had lunch and a fly casting lesson instead!  It was an incredible meeting
6.  Fish Idaho...Henry's Fork and Henry's Lake. That's ok...did that last year.
7.  Prove to myself that I can have one fishing expedition without "oddities"! Hadone, unless you call fishing with  cardboard "Kirk Werner" something unusual...
8.  Fish the South Fork of the Snake with a guide named Mel...??? 2012 : )
9.  Catch one Whitefish, just for the H*#! of it!! done. no story...
10.This is for next year...but why not start thinking about it...go fishing in GA!!!! :) DONE!!! Moved up this trip to GA,NC,&TN...Awesome video if you click here!

Yes, 2011 was quite a year in "fishing terms"...I journeyed out to meet and fish with fellow bloggers this past year that gave me memories of a lifetime.  It was an unbelievable year...full of new friendships, new territories to fish, and many miles traveled.  But, that is what The River Damsel likes to do.  I just have a little bit of  "trout bum" in me...The best way to describe this year would be by just posting my favorite trip here you go.  And in a few days, I will be announcing my new 2012 resolutions fishing wish list!


Lots of "Cardboard Friends" tagging along...(not wanting to be left out!)

And Lots of "Little FISHY Friends" finding my net...


But, BEST of all...meeting some of the most incredible people in the fly fishing world of bloggers...

Wow...I'm afraid that was just my out of state fishing trips!  And to think that I probably fished about 70 more times on my local waters... ; )  As you can see, 2011 was a mighty fine year... Thanks to all of those that hosted The River Damsel on some great adventures!  Where to next???

Monday, December 26, 2011


The  Day after Christmas...a time to reflect and remember when Christmas was more than playing electronic games. It was a holiday when people sat around a black and white television and watched Christmas shows from entertainers like Lawrence Welk and Andy Williams.  (My grandparents and parents eras)  You watched Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and knew that the Christmas holiday season had officially begun because Santa arrived at the end of the Parade.  Ahhh...Christmas to me is reading Christmas stories and singing group Christmas carols to our neighbors, having a turkey cooking in the oven, egg nog on the table, cookies on a tray, a poinsettia in the window, a fire in the fireplace, and finishing off the decorations of the Christmas Tree on Christmas Eve.

Do we still have some of these traditions?  And if not, have we created new ones for our children and future generations?  I'm sure that most of us have different ways to celebrate the holiday season in December.   For me, Christmas Day has come and gone and I look back at what the last two days brought.  The laughter and sounds of wrapping paper being ripped apart is now the silence of a large trash can outside filled to the brim of all the trimmings... The yahtzee dice and the Uno cards are now put away on the shelf of the hall closet. The day after...A time to collect my thoughts on all the preparation of the holidays and hoping that they were enjoyed by everyone that came by.  And to wonder why Mr. Damsel would give me a box of Dunkaroos for Christmas...???  ( be fair, I did order my Eagle Claw 6'6 fiberglass rod which arrived a little before the holiday)  Thanks, hun.

The last 15 years or so, I have felt something missing at Christmas.  I know what it is.  And by writing it into this blog, I will hopefully start a new tradition next year.  You see, when my Grandmother passed away, so did a family tradition at Christmas.  She was a workaholic who day after day, planned Christmas all year long.  She would shop for Christmas gifts probably in January and hit all the sales that she could find.  Putting away her great finds of combs, brushes, colognes, shampoos...just a lot of one dollar items that you could find at the drugstore back in the day.  These were to be part of her Christmas Eve "game prizes" after our family dinner.

The rest of the prizes would be those of a homemade nature.  She would crochet clothes hangers (which all of us treasure to this day), sew up kitchen aprons, hot pads and dish towels.  Ties and socks for the guys... There were also the lap quilts, that I still cherish in my cedar chest!  And then there was the fudge and divinity that she would make the whole month of December and put away for the big party.  (My little fingers seemed to find the candy's secret hiding place!)  My grandmother was a talented woman with as much love for her kids and grandkids as anyone could have.  Such an example of love and true charity to her friends and family.  She had the true Christmas spirit all year long and would always enjoy giving away rather than receiving.

Traditions come in so many different or activities.  On David's side of the family...we have oyster stew, chili, and tapioca pudding on Christmas Eve.  On my side, we have prime rib of roast, cheesy potatoes, and ice cream cake.  Christmas songs are played on the piano by my mom and we have a good ol' sing a long.  This year, my dad broke his hip and is still in the rehab center, so we missed our lead singer and chorister on Christmas Eve.   Then, there is Christmas Day where we have a special brunch which my kids have always enjoyed.  A breakfast casserole is served, along with the RD's famous "Monkey Bread".

But, The "Merry Christmas" game that my grandmother started, still needs to be re-lived.  My mother didn't carry on the tradition.  But, it is something that is forever etched into my memory as being the best time of the year.  Because of the togetherness of family and the smiles on everyone's faces.  It took a little work...ok, it took a lot of work.  All of the prizes were wrapped and put into each "head of the family" box.  So, my mom and her two brothers and sister each had a box of prizes for their families.  There were about eight card tables set up in the living room and dining room.  If one of the neighbors had peeked through the front window, they would have thought it was the craziest bingo game that they had ever witnessed!  Grandma would call out a number.  We would shake all of our dice and hopefully get that number.  If not, the dice were passed on to the next person at the table.  Kind of like the game of Bunco.  (Hey, Grandma had the right idea!)  There was a scorekeeper who would make chicken scratches and as soon someone could spell out "Merry Christmas" with their rolls, they screamed out those prolific words and were declared the winner.  Ahhh...memories of great traditions.  Cherished from the past and hopefully to be re-lived again in the future.  

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

To my wonderful friends and family, may you have the spirit of the holiday season with you at this special time of the year...

And hopefully, there aren't any of these moments!!

And may your travels go much better than this...

Thursday, December 22, 2011

This Land Is Your Land...

I wasn't kidding when I said that I was "guest blogging" this month!  One more "guest post" before the holiday break.  Are you with me???  This one has special meaning to me.  Nothing gets me more disgusted than seeing litter at the river beds.  And I have found a group that is pro-active in the cause of cleaning up those places that you and I enjoy.  I would like to thank for letting me write about something that really can make a difference if we all get involved!  Cory, over at Fisherous, has great reviews and spotlights that you should check out too!   So, come on over to see what The River Damsel will be up to this new year...

RD  <"((((><<

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Guest Bloggeress??

Yes, my hiatus is dwindling down it seems... The River Damsel has been asked to write a few guest posts here we go again!!  Could I become a female "freelance blogger"?  Mmmm...I don't think so.  But, I am having a good time writing for a few please join me over at Fly Fishing Frenzy !  These guys are the cream of the crop.  They have a blog site with pictures of awesome fish, tons of great fly fishing stories, videos, reviews, and river reports.  I know a few of the "Frenziers" and they are quality guys. (Some are from Utah and some from Idaho).  One of them even casted into a strong wind storm for me, so I could bring in a fish before the day was over...that's "top notch" in my book. ("FB" pic below) So, go take a gander at my little post and check out FFF's latest Holiday Give-Away Contest!!  There is a Scott fly rod in the mix...oh yeah!

Monday, December 12, 2011

A Guest Post For "Sunday Tippets"! seems that "Sunday Tippets" are enjoying a "guest post" over at Howard's place..."Windknots and Tangled Lines" and on a Monday!!  Howard was determined to get me out of my "hiatus" a little earlier than scheduled...Cardboard Howard really is a close resemblance, don't you think?

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thanksgiving Giblets ~ Damsel Style

Thanksgiving is a day when many Americans gather together with family for an afternoon of food and football, but just how far do people travel to spend turkey day at Grandma's house?  The AAA estimated that 42.2 million Americans traveled more than 50 miles over Thanksgiving weekend last year. 
Here are some fun factoids...errr...giblets for you.

1.  The National Turkey Federation estimated that 46 million turkeys—one fifth of the annual total of 235 million consumed in the United States in 2007—were eaten at Thanksgiving.

2.  Cranberry production in the U.S. is expected to reach 750 million pounds in 2011. Wisconsin, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon and Washington are the top cranberry growing states.

3.  According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the largest pumpkin pie ever baked weighed 2,020 pounds and measured just over 12 feet long. It was baked on October 8, 2005 by the New Bremen Giant Pumpkin Growers in Ohio, and included 900 pounds of pumpkin, 62 gallons of evaporated milk, 155 dozen eggs, 300 pounds of sugar, 3.5 pounds of salt, 7 pounds of cinnamon, 2 pounds of pumpkin spice and 250 pounds of crust.

4.  The sweet potato is most plentifully produced in North Carolina, which grew 972 million pounds of the popular Thanksgiving side dish vegetable in 2010. Other sweet potato powerhouses included California and Mississippi, and the top producing states together generated over 2.4 billion pounds of the tubers.

5.  Though many competing claims exist, the most familiar story of the first Thanksgiving took place in Plymouth Colony, in present-day Massachusetts, in 1621.  Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared a harvest feast, acknowledged as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations.  The first Thanksgiving celebration lasted three daysMore than 200 years later, President Abraham Lincoln declared the final Thursday in November as a national day of thanksgiving. Congress finally made Thanksgiving Day an official national holiday in 1941.

6.  The top five most popular ways to serve leftover Thanksgiving turkey are: sandwiches, soups or stews, salads, casseroles, and stir-fry.

7.  Only tom turkeys gobble. Hen turkeys make a clucking noise.  A large group of turkeys is called a flock.

8.  Several Thanksgiving day parades are broadcast on television. These parades are organized by big stores in several American cities. The parade organized by the Macy's store in New York is the biggest. Giant balloons 200 meters high float above the street. The balloons are in the shape of creatures from popular cartoons and television programs. People on the ground hold heavy ropes so the balloons do not fly away.  Hey...Look!  It's Mr. Potato Head!!

Stemming from traditions seen in Europe, the first parade was put on by Macy’s employees who were first-generation immigrants wanting to have festivals similar to the ones their families experienced growing up in Europe.

9.  Thanksgiving also is a time when Americans share what they have with those who do not have much. Churches and other groups provide free meals for old people, the homeless, and the poor. Many Americans give turkeys or other food to these groups. Some spend part of the day helping to prepare and serve the meals.  Several families in my neighborhood go downtown in the morning to the homeless shelter.  It is a great experience to volunteer and share time with those that are so truly appreciative.

10.  Did you know that the River Damsel started her blog on November 24, 2010?  Yes, my friends, the blog has done it's best to bring you some type of reading enjoyment this past year.  This will be the 156th post.  I know that it wouldn't have been as successful if it wasn't for my wonderful readers and commentors.  So, thank you from the bottom of my heart.  And a special thanks goes out to two people that really got me started by linking my blog in their posts.  Owl Jones and Howard (Cofisher) ...THANK YOU!
I have thouroughly enjoyed my time with my fellow bloggers.  Your stories and postings are often inspirational to me.  The friendships made are definitely a bonus...I thank Owl Jones for carting me all over GA/NC to show me the GSMNP and it's many wonders.  I thank Dustin and Stephanie for showing me the RMNP in Colorado.  And last, but not least...I thank Rebecca (Outdooress/OBN Co-chief) for letting me join her on a few wonderful trips to River X and taking my first shot at steelheading in Idaho!   

It's been a great year.  A very memorable one.  At this time, I must announce that the River Damsel will be taking a temporary hiatus...hopefully, it will only be that.  It's time for a hibernation of sorts.  I will still try to stop by and read my favorite blogs every once in awhile.    Be good and enjoy your time with family and friends during these next couple of months.  And keep those tippets in the water!  RD out...