Fishing with close friends – the best way to relax

5I love to go fishing by myself or with friends and family. There is just something about this sport that calls to me, and I can’t think of a better way to spend my free time than by sitting around waiting for a bite. I should also mention that fishing is by no means a boring sport, trust me when I say there are plenty of moments of excitement and frustration. There is nothing quite like the feeling I get when I feel a tug on my line and just know that there is a monster nibbling at my bait. I love fighting to land my catch, but I must say that I still haven’t gotten used to the feelings of intense frustration when I realize that my fish got away. I have lots of those stories, but I’ll save them for another day.

 

Feier am See

One of the things I love best about fishing is that I get to relax, and it is even better I’m with my close friends. We all have hectic and busy lives, and often fishing is the only time we have to get together and catch up. A couple of my fishing buddies I’ve known since high school so we always have something to talk about. Plus we all have our own stories about the “one that got away” so we never run out of things to say.

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During our fishing trip we get to just be guys. We can get dirty, pluck cold beers out of the river, and the only responsibility that we have is to make sure a fish didn’t steal our bait. There have been times when we’ve had so much fun it didn’t matter that we came home without a single fish. Before you ask, no one believed us when we told them we were participating in a “catch and release” program.

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When I’m fishing I always feel closer to nature, and that in itself is relaxing. Just listening to the wind, the water flowing by and the occasional bird or animal can simply make all of my worries melt away. When I am out with my friends I get the same feeling only multiplied. The only thing that I wish is that we could get together more often. After spending a few hours fishing with my friends I almost always come back relaxed, less stressed and ready to tackle the next week at work. I firmly believe that if everyone who complained about always feeling stressed and tired took up fishing with their friends they would soon feel relaxed, and ready to handle almost anything. For me at least it is the best form of stress relieving therapy.

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My new trout fishing gear

When I first set about getting my first fly fishing equipment, I had little to no idea about the technique, which proved to be a bad idea as I wasn’t able to select the right products until I did my research on the matter. The greatest challenge of this technique is managing to convince the trout that the fly that you’re using resembles one from its natural diet. Using a set of perfected skills, fishermen have to perform several movements so that the bait looks appealing to the fish. As for the species that can be targeted with the help of this kind of fishing, I’ve had great results with catching both salmon and trout. Depending on the area you plan to organize your future expedition in, you have a high chance of using the same fly fishing skills for targeting species such as pike, chub, zander, carp, and even perch.

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The most amazing thing about fly fishing is that you don’t need lots of gear in order to get started. While I had some knowledge about the pastime in general, as my father taught me the basics when I was in middle school, I found it a bit daunting to select the right kind of equipment. The first thing you ought to do is go to your local tackle shop and pick a fly rod and a fly reel. Other essential items you’ll need is some backing line and fly line. The line should be balanced and matched up to your rod, and this is a key factor to keep in mind, particularly since I had to ask the opinion of a consultant to make sure I wouldn’t choose wrongly. If, for instance, you have a rod rated for number 5, you ought to get the same fly line number.

Getting a good pair of sunglasses should be a top priority, which is something I failed to understand at the beginning of my fly fishing journey. The fact of the matter is that a fly is a very sharp object, and when casting it, all sorts of accidents may risk happening. It’s better to be safe than sorry, they say, and I couldn’t agree more. Although my budget wasn’t something to brag about at the time, I decided to pick a good polarized pair of sunglasses mostly because I had a high chance of going blind if I would have been squinting all the time because of the sunlight reflecting into the stream water. A cap is a good thing to wear, as well, because it will protect your head from the sharp fly.

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Finally, I picked a box composed of about twelve flies and gradually, I added more until I reached twenty. While the shape and size of the bait vary a lot from one species to the next, you might see that sticking to the basics is a good idea, especially if you don’t have enough experience just yet.

My review of “Finding Dory”

Finding Dory is a beautifully animated adventure in and out of the water that provides an entertaining supplement or chapter to the classic story of Finding Nemo. it is thought-provoking, poignant and funny at the same time. It is a fantastic follow up with a lot of great lines, emotional hooks and absolutely zero stinkers no matter if it closely hews to the same plot as its predecessor’s. Using the Pacific Coast of California as a setting instead of the Great Barrier Reef of Australia, Finding Dory follows an eventful afternoon at an aquatic park, or the Marine Life Institute, with the recorded voice of Sigourney Weaver in the background constantly reassuring any PC-oriented visitors that the facility has been designed not to cater to human amusement but to “Rescue, Rehabilitation and Release.”


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Aside from optimizing the multi-hued plant life and underwater inhabitants of its predecessor, Finding Dory also leverages on its talented cast of celebrity voice actors beginning with Ellen DeGeneres who vocally gives life to the blue tang Dory with her childlike glee and buoyant spirit. Dory is a fearless blue tang afflicted with short term memory loss, which had proven valuable during the most critical times when daddy clownfish Marlin was searching for his young son Nemo. Dory always acts in the moment because of her short-term memory loss, and this served to be more beneficial than anything.

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Ellen DeGeneres shows she is the perfect one for the role with her sometimes giddy and sometimes goofy persona, this time with Marlin and Nemo assisting her instead of the other way around. The story may not be a fresh one since the script was penned and directed yet again by Andrew Stanton with Victoria Strouse as a co-writer and Angus MacLane as co-director. The characters here seem to defy all logic since they are able to swim through pipes and jump from one liquid container to another at the institute with amazing skill. You even have the octopus Hank driving a runaway truck on a busy highway despite the fact he can’t reach the pedals or view the road over the dashboard.

However, the movie tugs at the heartstrings if it doesn’t succeed at beguiling the mind. With the same overwhelming parental concern that Marlin had for Nemo in the first movie, Dory’s parents, Charlie and Jenny (voiced by Eugene Levy and Diane Keaton) make Dory understand the importance of telling everyone she meets that she has “short term remember-y loss”. Her learning disability leads Dory to become a helpless child whose memory almost instantly vaporizes, making her forget what she has forgotten in the first place. This results in her being dragged by the undertow and separating her from her parents to devastating effect.

The movie revs up when a now older Dory gets an electrifying flashback that makes her realize she actually has parents and she is off to find them with a supportive Nemo and a perpetually grumpy Marlin in tow. Although her initial purpose is to locate her family, the journey proves to be one of self-discovery for the blue tang, who experiences snatches of defining memory through it all, albeit briefly every time. The seagulls that chant “Mine! Mine! Mine!” are in the movie, and so are Mr. Ray, the fish-school instructor, and turtle dude Crush and Squirt, his son. The new characters aside from Squirt are the octopus Hank, a near-sighted whale shark (acted by Kaitlin Olson), a brain-addled beluga whale (voiced by Ty Burrell of “Modern Family”) and a pair of lazy Cockney sea lions (portrayed in voice by Idris Elba and Dominic West) with their crazy cohort Gerald.

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Although Marlin seems to refuse to help the heroine in her quest, all the other creatures are more than willing to assist. The ending is heartbreakingly happy and the after-credits sequence is just a sign that the filmmakers don’t really know when to say enough is enough. Overall, this is not a fresh take but it succeeds well enough on its own.

The best animated movies of 2016 – part II

 

As 2016 has a wide palette of animation movies to watch, I’ve decided that the short list I have created earlier and posted on this blog needed to be extended, so that it truly includes this year’s best animated movies. In my last article, I mainly talked about popular productions that were or will be released this year, but also about some that are interesting from a technical point of view. One amazing quality associated with animated movies is their creativity and the innovative ideas people invest in them. As anybody loves a good story or, at least a daring point of view, I sometimes pick the movies I want to watch based on their main theme and less on the innovative technology used to make them.

The Secret Life of Pets

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As I am a big admirer of the Toy Story franchise, when I saw that The Secret Life of Pets was going to be released, I immediately decided that I needed to watch it. I don’t know if the movie follows the same line as Toy Story does, but I know it explores the life of pets once their owners go out for their daily tasks, a similar situation to that in Toy Story. The animation focuses on Max, the main character, a terrier who faces one of the biggest changes in his life when his owner brings home a new dog.

Kubo and the two strings

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Kubo and the two strings is another story that appealed to me, not because it seems original, but because of the setting of the story: ancient Japan. The narrative seems relatively simple: a boy needs to fight an ancient spirit that reappears to settle the scores of an old-age vendetta. It seems the traditional tale of the becoming hero, but I am sometimes attracted by simple story lines, so I think I’ll give it a try. In addition, it is speckled with stunning images and many famous actors are involved in this project. Amongst them  Charlize Theron, Ralph Fiennes, Rooney Mara and Matthew McConaughey.

Kung Fu Panda

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Another movie that I planned to watch but gave up at the last moment every time is the Kung Fu Panda series. The main idea of the animation is creative and original, but I never managed to get myself in the right mood to go through the adventure. This year, the franchise has released a third movie, a continuation of the adventures of Po the Panda who is facing other supernatural threats. The first movie released in 2008 was nominated for the Oscars, so I should definitely make time to watch it. In addition to that, Po is an intriguing and unconventional character.

Sausage party

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Surprisingly, one movie that caught my attention was Sausage party, a story that focuses on a sausage that tries to find meaning of existence. Judging by the theme they picked, the movie can be a wise choice or not so much, but it is worth giving a try, when you want to spend the weekend at home and have nothing else to do.

The coolest animated movies of 2016

2016 is a rich year when it comes to wonderful animated movies. If I were to choose a few that I’d really like to see from the many released this year, the following six would be ranking high on my list (not necessarily in this order).

Finding Dory

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Well, I am sure kids all over the world (and not only kids) have waited a sequel to the successful and wildly popular animated movie Finding Nemo released in 2003. This time, our fish friend with short term memory loss issues goes down memory lane and remembers her parents. As a result, she and her friends go on a quest to find Dory’s family, a journey in which each one of them will discover new things about themselves and family ties.

Ice Age: collision course

The Ice Age series are one of the most awaited for animated movies whenever one is released. This year, the fifth movie of the franchise is available on the big screen, to the pleasure of the fans. Manny, Sid, Diego, and the rest of the group are saving the world yet again, this time from a meteor strike caused by none other than our old friend Scrat and his acorn obsession.

Loving Vincent

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This is probably one of the most daring animated movies to be released this year. This movie recounts the life and death of the famous painter Vincent van Gogh and it is made entirely using oil brush painting. In the project there have been involved more than 100 painters trained in van Gogh’s painting style and every frame of the movie consists of one painting. This is a project I am waiting for impatiently ever since I’ve had a look at the trailer.

Bad Cat

Bad Cat is a Turkish animated movie and, although I haven’t got much experience with their animated style, I do know one thing or two about  the Turkish cinematography and I’m looking forward to seeing if their animations equal their movies. The main hero of the story is Shero, the cat and his gang of friends. They are all leading a life of adventure and amusement until, one day, they meet humans and that messes up their entire existence.

Ballerina

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If there’s one thing that I miss about animations, it would certainly be the classic stories: when the heroes overcome all the obstacles ahead of them and, against all odds they manage to fulfill their dreams. Ballerina tells the story of a girl who wants to become a ballerina, but has a long tough trip to make to fulfill her dreams. Her journey starts when she leaves her home in England and flees to Paris. This all happens in 1879.

Zootopia

This movie has gained quite a big popularity already, being well received by both critics and public. It is centered on the animals living in the city of Zootopia, where everybody is happy and everything is well, but, this Arcadian state of things is about to change. I see it as a great movie for kids and adults altogether.

How a fishing trip can go wrong and then right again

Rods do break at times, not in any circumstance but, if you’re careless enough, if you use an old and not precisely strong rod, they do. It happened to me on my last fishing trip with my friends. It was a warm, summer weekend, we woke up in the morning, took our tackle gear and we, four merry fellows, went down to the lake to land some fish. Unfortunately, nature had something else in store for us, particularly for me, as my rod broke after casting it for the first time. I’m not sure what it hit, but, because I was sure there were zero possibilities to break it, I pulled too hard on it and it did.

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There was nothing that could happen worse than that. I was so confident in my rod (I used it for years) that I couldn’t believe my eyes (and ears, cause it made a clear cracking noise when I forced the line out of the water). I didn’t even bother taking a spare rod with me, especially because we weren’t far from home and we planned staying there on Saturday and returning on Sunday at noon, to prepare a barbecue with our families.

toon2Fortunately, and that is why you should never go on a fishing trip alone, one of my friends had a spare rod and he lent it to me for the day. It was a shiny, brand new spinning rod. I don’t use spinning gear as much, but I had no choice but to force my hands to readjust to this type of equipment. Until the end of the day, my new rod and I became best friends. I found out that it was a Tica Libra series rod, a lightweight piece of equipment, built with high modulus graphite that, honestly, saved my fishing day. There was really nothing I didn’t like about it. Besides the high-quality shaft material, the reel seat was made out of graphite too, the guide lines and the hook keeper both made with stainless steel and the cork grip was a wonder to hold in your hands. The one I had the occasion to use was a 2 piece, 7 feet long rod, but the series offers models spanning from 7 to 10 feet that vary not only in length, but also in action. This one was a medium action model, excellent for fishing bass, trout or walleye.

Due to this fine product and to good friends, I didn’t go home empty-handed and, though we didn’t catch enough fish to feed all people joining the garden barbecue, we’re lucky that our wives went shopping and supplied us with enough food from the supermarket.

My plans for the future

Welcome to my blog! I’ve decided to create this space so I can share my love for the animated movies that I’ve enjoyed watching over time. While few people tend to think about it this way, animation is one of the most complex types of art I’ve come across as the culture aficionado that I consider myself. Anybody’s heard about movie pictures created by Pixar, whether these blockbusters were made before or after the company merged with Disney. However, I’d like to point out that animation has been used for a relatively decent toon3amount of time in the U.S. and Europe, both for artistic and commercial purposes. I remember going out to an animation festival where I had the chance to look at some animated shorts originating from the Czechoslovakian Republic back in the seventies. In spite of their shortness, these shorts were masterpieces in terms of originality, script, and effects.

toon1Since this is going to be my personal blog, I thought I’d share with you some of my fishing stories as well as talk about the places that I like to visit during my expeditions, as well as the gear I enjoy using. I have experience with multiple techniques considering that my father was the one who taught me the basics of baitcasting and I’ve been an eager fisherman ever since I was in middle grade. Over the years, I’ve tried rods and the best baitcasting reels manufactured by some of the most well-known brands out there, ranging from Daiwa to Abu Garcia and Shimano. I can’t say which one’s the best for a particular type of fishing considering that I usually get them separately for the purposes I have in mind.

toon2Whether you want to target panfish, pike, salmon, trout, or bass, you’ll notice that my blog will be filled with pieces of advice for every species and technique. I’ll also make sure to include several tips on how to select the right equipment, whether we’re discussing clothes or gear that you can’t do without. Part of the reason that I like fishing so much is that it brings me closer to nature, thus allowing me to spend more time with my friends and family. I have a brother-in-law that’s as passionate about the sport just as much as I am, which is why we make sure to go out on fishing trips every other weekend. It’s sometimes hard to schedule our adventures given that our jobs make it difficult for us to coordinate our spare time. Even so, I’ll be sure to share some of these moments with you, and I hope you get to learn something out of them.