Panning for gold at R.J. Haney Heritage Village. (File photo)

Looking forward to a shiny new year

The Great Outdoors/James Murray

Well, Christmas has come and gone. So has New Year’s Day. This year I think instead of resolving to lose 10 pounds, I resolved to catch a nice, bright shiny steelhead that weighs at least 10 pounds. I mean, who knows what the new year has in store.

While on the subject of nice, bright shiny things I received a nice, bright shiny new metal gold pan as a gift for Christmas. Pretty cool. I’ve been using the same rusty old metal pan for the better part of 20 years now. It has served me well and over the years I’ve even found a bit of gold – enough to at least pay for my gas and sandwiches. Who knows what I might find in my new pan.

I guess you could say that over the years I’ve sort of taken a shining to searching for the glittering metal.

Similar style gold pans come in a variety of sizes ranging from eight inches in diameter all the way up to 16 inches. Some are made of plastic, others of metal. I prefer metal, although both serve a purpose. The pan I use 90 per cent of the time is a lightweight metal pan that is made right here in BC. It has riffles that are indented instead of ridges like most other metal pans. I also have a Keene 12” green plastic pan that I use in conjunction with a metal detector. It too has a good system of riffles, which are the indentations built into the sidewall of the pan designed to help trap small flakes and particles of gold. I never get tired of finding shiny bits of gold in my pan no matter how small it might be.

Related: Fishing and gold-panning much alike

Another bright shiny thing that I received as a gift a few years back is a Schrade folding knife. It has come in handy many times. However, this coming year I think I am going to use my Schrade knife to do some sort of whittling project. Nothing too involved or elaborate. As it was explained to me at an open house I attended this past summer, hosted by a local carving and whittling group, whittling is no easy task – although it can be therapeutic and relaxing. I also learned that the type of wood you choose to whittle/carve depends on the project. Soft woods, such as pine, can be carved more easily but lack the ability to hold detail. Hardwoods such as ash, oak and maple are very difficult to carve but hold finer detail. Basswood, while soft and easier to carve, also has a fine grain and is considered an excellent choice for beginners. I might even invest in one of those whittling knives they sell at Lee Valley Tools. Yes sir, I can just see myself this summer sitting out on the porch of the cabin up at the lake, whiling away the hours whittling away on a piece of basswood. Maybe I could carve myself a wooden plug for fishing.

This coming year really does seem quite promising.

Talking about promising, I should mention here that for Christmas I was also given several nice shiny five-inch metal trolling dodgers designed specifically for kokanee fishing. Actually, if the truth be told, I gave them to myself. I also picked up three Apex lures, a fluorescent pink, a light blue and a dark blue for deeper waters. Kokanee detect sound either with their inner ears, a lateral line on each side of their body and/or with their air bladder. The air bladder is used primarily to detect distance sounds while the inner ear and lateral lines are used to pick up more nearby sounds. Terminal tackle such as dodgers and/or flashers are used to induce an attraction response. Their movement creates sound waves that kokanee detect through their air bladder. The dodgers I picked out, combined with the Apex lures, should do me very well this coming fishing season.

I suppose the only other thing I might want for this coming fishing season would be a new shiny aluminum boat. Oh well, maybe next year.

We are only a few days into the new year and I have already come to two realizations. One, I apparently have a thing for bright shiny objects and, two, the year ahead seems full of all sorts of promise – not to mention a whole bunch of new projects to complete and new shiny things to try out.


@SalmonArm
newsroom@saobserver.net

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