Thursday, December 22, 2011

Dirty Little Secrets; Things You Should Know About Lyme

     I think you'd be hard pressed to find some one on the planet who hasn't heard of Lyme disease. In some communities you might have a hard time finding some one who hasn't been bitten by a tick. The dangers of Lyme, and ticks is known. I was recently bitten by a Deer tick, and aware of the damage done by Lyme, I embarked on a quest to be treated. Unfortunately, getting treated properly wasn't easy. Fortunately I have somewhat educated myself to what is really going on in the battle against Lyme. I'm no expert, but I have learned enough to know that all isn't what it seems, and that anyone who lives in an area affected by Lyme, or spending time in the outdoors needs to educate themselves.

     Have you ever heard on the Infectious Disease Society of America? Didn't think so. Don't worry, neither had I. The IDSA is a group that studies infectious diseases, and recommends policy, and protocol. Here is their mission Statement, or at least a statement from their "about" page that sure sounds like a mission statement. sounds good, doesn't it?

     As it turns out the IDSA failed to live up to the statement and was found to have a significant amount of conflict of interest among their members assembled to study Lyme. This has led to a policy, and protocols that don't really address the issue, and doctors conflicted on how to treat patients. Fortunately there are doctors out there who are conducting their own research, and writing recommended protocols. Hopefully these studies, and recommendations will have an effect on their peers before more people suffer needlessly.

     For a little comparison take a look at this link.

     I will state again, I am no expert on Lyme disease. I do have a few recommendations on what you should do in the event you get bitten by a Deer tick.

*First off, go to see a doctor. Many don't know jack about Lyme, but it's still better than blowing it off. It doesn't hurt to get it documented in your medical records that you were bitten by a tick, either.

*Insist on getting a 28 day supply of an antibiotic. It's been shown that rapidly treating Lyme is the best course of action, and that Lyme is harder to cure the longer it goes undetected.

*Save the tick, and send it to a lab to be tested. You want to do this yourself for a couple of reasons. Many hospitals don't test the tick for Lyme, rather they just confirm the tick is in fact a Deer tick. Also, they may not test for any co-infections. Ticks carry more than just Lyme. In the event the tick comes back negative for Lyme, you only need to worry about any co-infection, which may have been handled by the antibiotic you should have already started.

*If your doctor refuses to treat your bite seriously go to another.

     A tick bite is natures way of sticking you with a dirty needle. Take it seriously, and get it treated.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Images Of Success; Deer Hunting

     The deer season has been open, in one form or another, across the country (and in others) for some time. I have yet to tip one over, but I have recieved some photos of the success others have had. I thought I'd share, so here they are.

Tommy with an 8 pointer.

Mich (in Japan) with his first deer.

Bruce (on the right) with the Nantucket wind chimes.

Mike with a fine NC buck. Mike was featured with his spring bear earlier this year.

Santa scored this year, too.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Streamside With GW; Calling It Like It Is.

     I thought I knew this river. Like so many things in life, be they women, wine, authors, or friends, I knew one side of it, and was surprised when I saw something unexpected in front of me later. I have fished it before, upstream a bit where the fishery is heavily managed to the point where pieces of railroad tie divert it and give cover to the fish.  Until recently I considered this river a theme park for trout fisherman, and I have grappled with the identity of the river as a place where old fisherman come to catch fish they have names for and a place where inexperienced people can come to fly-fish, perchance casting their lines across each other. I have plenty of opportunities to punch rude people in Boston, so I have avoided it since the first time I fished there in a pair of rubber clamming waders.

     I soothed the urgency of winter early one spring with a white-knuckle trip during a warming trend that I thought for sure would bring off a hatch.  The pretty day I planned on turned out to be not-so-pretty and climaxed with a light flurry… all but a short stretch of the same river was frozen bank-to-bank except for where I stopped, threw my gear on, and fished anyway.  While I was standing in a river that by all rights should have been skated upon, with dudes whizzing by 100 yards behind me on snow-mobiles, and making fists around my rod-guides to melt away the ice, I caught the finest brown trout of my life that day after ignoring no less than a half-dozen good reasons to bag on the entire trip. Tell your boys not to pass on a girl who isn’t so pretty in high school, she may just turn into a gem later.

     In between the upper part of the river and the lower stretch where I caught that beautiful brown, there is a meandering slither where the water goes by icy and smooth as if it were a melted flow of pure diamond so clear that the wavering clumps of vegetation (green, darker green, and brown) could be waving calmly off the backs of the stones in five feet of water or one. Behind the cobbles and in the feeding lanes, the trout are feeding, resting, or pestering each other.  They can see you, and will often post up right behind you and pick food out the plume your wading makes… Don’t hunt these fish, they’re fucking with you.  Drift something audacious instead through the feeding lanes where the less opportunistic trout have fought to make their bread and butter.  A patch of cobble and waving weeds will change into a flash of light and you can tighten your line well.

     You will catch rainbow trout whose heartiness and beauty will break your heart if you can outsmart them; these are educated fish, for the love of all things holy don’t hurt them; throw some stiff wood, bring them up, and thrash them across the surface, into your net, and release them wiser so that they may grow longer, stronger, and fertile. There are some pretty epic browns lurking in the calmer water too, countless wee brookies combing the riffles, and some landlocks that wash over the dam to break your ass off when you are trying to fish light. I am like you; I call bullshit on people who claim to catch 24-inch salmon in a Massachusetts river…. meet in the middle and fish a 5-weight.

     And remember; respect the river. We may be watching.
**Contributed by ASO Pro-Staffer George W.  George is Boston area artist, real estate professional, and an outspoken trout fanatic.