Saturday, February 26, 2011

Picture Truth #1 Nature and Inner Peace by Gary Fultz

Boundary Waters canoe Area Wilderness Waterfall
I admit it; I wanted to stop, build a cabin and stay here forever. A sense of inner peace flooded my very soul. In the spirit of that moment I forgot about everything practical. I could have shucked all commitments, responsibilities, job, the coming winter, and a small detail that I was in the middle of guiding a group of teenagers on a 60 mile wilderness trip by canoe. I entertained the thought "I could live here!"
Boundary Water Walleye
    The fishing was great in all the surrounding lakes, A deer had just stepped out of the trail to let me by as I carried a canoe and pack to the next lake, and what a view. Ahhhhhh, water , food, scenery, and away from lifes headaches!
    This scene in the small valley would be totally hidden but for the ominous sound that could be felt as much as heard. The trees crowd together by the mighty little stream. White cedars bend themselves over the water to get as much sunlight as possible. Boulders, smaller rocks, and downed trees froth the tumbling water as irresistible and immovable create their own niche in natures synergy; a microcosm of life everywhere. I relate most to the driftwood in some ways.
    It's a place of life and death. This life giving water is not a quiet stream after it rains. A few days before we arrived it had rained seven inches in one night. Rivers and quiet streams hadturned vicious! We had already witnessed the the power of this water as a man and two sons tipped their canoe trying to cross a raging river. A strong teenager (a future Army Ranger) and I shot the rapids to rescue the dad as he was clinging to a sinking backpack. I can still hear him calling to his sons "tell your mother I love her" as he neared the edge of  a series of cascading waterfalls. The emotional cries to dad from the young men hanging on to small bent trees in the foamy water will never leave me.
    I felt the essence of nature, in this particular spot, calling me (although my wife would say I have hundreds of those spots). In this place I felt danger, adventure, beauty, peace, and unexplained emotion. What a place to contemplate the purposes of life, the essence of purpose, or whittle on a stick!
    I already know (Iam constantly reminded) that creation in nature does not care about you; only the creator does. I'm not sure why we feel close enough to God by hanging in and around His artwork. Nature does not help you when you are caught in the current and the canoe tips. If a sudden storm catches you in big water the white caps do not wait until you get to shore safely. The concept of "Mother Nature" is false; there is nothing personal there.
Mystical morning in Boundary Waters

    I love the adventure, beauty, the challenges of the wilderness,and all the stories that come from being there. I love the feelings that come from my "waterfall" places. But, it's easy to be deceived by the illusion that nature can satisfy the craving for inner peace, much less impart us with any lasting peace beyond the moment.
    I visited this place again with another group of Boundary Waters Wilderness seekers. I stood in the same spot with the same emotions and more as I said to my Creator "Jesus, You really made a great spot here, thank you for letting me see and feel all this!" Nature didn't care, but God was there with me as we were immersed in the majesy of the moment.
Loons enjoying the calm waters
 Gary D


Monday, February 21, 2011

Best fishing tackle for Ice Pike By Gary Fultz

Brass flutter spoon
    It cannot get any less complicated than a stick with some fishing line, leader, and a spoon hook. It's all you need to catch northern pike through the ice. My brother and I have pulled out over 200 fish through the ice this winter alone, fishing mostly weekends.
    Is there some skill involved? yes. Does it help to put bait on the trebles of the spoon? sometimes. Are they always biting? What kind of a question is that? Let me put it this way; We usually out-fish the tip-ups with live bait and the dark houses with spears. In short, this is the deadliest ice fishing method I know of to get the most northern pike through the ice. 
    How about some testimonials of fishing this method. 

Hammered silver spoon
Magic spoon (Red white silver)
Magic spoon
Red and White spoon

    Sometimes we tip a treble hook with a minnow head or tail. A piece of pork rind works as long as the hooks are not cluttered with bait to impede  the action which drives the Pike crazy.
    Small quick jerks with make the spoon spin up and tip over sideways and then flutter down. The fluttering down seems to be a triggering mechanism that makes a curious pike hit. Most of our fishing is in four to six feet of water under the ice offering a good view of the fish coming in when the lake is clear. Sometimes the pike will drift in and out and watch the hook and finally swim away; come back a little while later and slam it at 90 mph. Other times they are wild and miss the hook several times before getting serious. It's fun to watch even if all you have is an eight inch auger hole. Get in a shelter or chair with a covering and watch the action.
    A couple more things to remember; make sure the ice is safe to walk or drive on, dress warm, make the kids wear boots and not tennis shoes (I don't know why they think they can stay warm this way), and bring a sled or bucket for all the fish. 
    Just remember the fishn is always good, sometimes the catching is as well!
                                    one last testimonial
caught on the pretty hook
Bronze flutter spoons
     They each caught fish that day. Now to fillet a Pike boneless...We will talk about that another time

Gary D
    For more information on the spoon hook click here

Friday, February 18, 2011

A Case for...Outdoor Adventures By Gary Fultz

                                    46" pike... Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness
    I'm a thrill seeker in the outdoor arena. Adventure stirs and wakens brain cells my teachers thought were missing. It's not enough for me to to read adventure stories and fantasize surviving the "call of the wild" lifestyle; I want to live it and tell the stories. I love to take people with me and share the adventures as well. As competitive as I am I feel a greater glory when someone else catches the monster fish, takes a great picture of a cow moose with her calves, or gets to chase the bear away from the campsite. Raw rugged adventure... and it's great! So let me build a case for seeking an outdoor adventure.
    I realized early on that everyone's quest on these adventures I was leading was often quite different. Some wanted to see as much country as possible while others wanted a nice view and contemplation time. From spiritual revival to competitive fishing, the individual quests often form as the trip progresses.
     Some gain what they don't seek
      Self confidence, outdoor chef training,  muscles, a reality check, and our smallness in an indifferent environment take some by surprise. Perfect weather and no mosquitoes can become killer storm and black fly hell in a matter of minutes. I have concluded one must die to become one with nature (dust to dust). Black bear often feel entitled to your camp food and may invite themselves at any time (my experience is they really dislike rocks thrown at them). No trip is even close to's an adventure! Why would anyone not do this?
    So why go to all the work of having a wilderness adventure?
    I realize some people have their adventures in the mall looking for deals, while others sense of adventure is on par with going to the other end of the hall for ice. The answer for me is a compilation of many things. I want to know myself when all pretense is stripped away, I want to know my creator and experience His living artwork, I am a bit of an adrenaline junkie (high on the Richter scale),  and I love $100 plates of food (trust me you would pay it) at the end of the day around the campfire.
Bottom line: These kind of adventures began to morph the boy into a man of character and a girl into a woman who can hold her own anywhere.
    Another Bottom line: Honesty
    That lake (15 portages and 35 miles in) you wanted to get to? No short cuts, or any other way to get there; you have to do the work to get to those lake trout. Forgot your matches? Oh well! Weatherman said five days no rain? So much for sleeping under the stars (it's you and a zillion mosquitoes under the same canoe). You thought God was magically encountered in nature? Guess again...God is a person and not a rock, tree, beaver, or storm (a very good place to see his art work and experience Him in person however).

    Bonds: A worthwhile quest
    While nature works through a balance of give and take, people work better through relational bonds.
I've watch the father-son, husband-wife, family bonds grow. Poor relationships, selfish behavior, and personal discomfort bring out the worst and best in people. When the storm hits, when the wind blows high waves, when the bear walks into camp, people tend to work together. 
     There is plenty of talk time in the wilderness. plenty of bonding time for your relationships to grow.
Sitting around the camp fire one evening a teenager shared how she had met with God while sitting on a rock looking over the lake. She had never talked with God informally(and out loud) before. Another teen talked about getting to know his dad "I didn't know my dad was so cool"! A dad gave his son a hug and said "son I've been protecting you too much, you are carrying the canoe tomorrow!"
    I leave you with one more reason for taking a wilderness adventure...
           Five minute exposure from an island in crooked lake BWCAW

Gary D

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Food for thought By Gary Fultz

                               Scrambled eggs, coffee after a good Time with God by the fire this morning
I heard it....I heard it again...then again....
    How I start my day has become important to me. I have had to discipline myself to listen to all the voices vying for the days attention starting now. E-mails, weather reports, morning coffee, breakfast, and reading my bible jockey for position while I wander around in PJ's or less wondering where to start.
Me first...
    As I sat up to the computer to read Kirsten Lamb's Blog so I can learn how to blog.
Me first...Again..It was distinct and I didn't need to look around. A couple of months earlier I had heard the same thing, same voice, same request, not urgent but a compelling..."Me First".
    No coffee, no breakfast, or fire in the fireplace; just getting alone with the creator of the universe who whispers "Me First". I have to admit the other voices are louder and more demanding. I guess I let them do that to me. So I read and wonder if God can communicate to me this morning. Does God need some backround music to set the tone? Do I need the backround music to hear God's voice? "Me First"...guess not!
    What do you do when life seems like a barren  wasteland or frozen lake...dead but for the springs?  Can I really hear Gods voice?

   I had been rereading the passage from last sunday's sermon from Isaiah 55
Invitation to the Thirsty
 1 “Come, all you who are thirsty,                                      
   come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
   come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
   without money and without cost.
2 Why spend money on what is not bread,
   and your labor on what does not satisfy?                                     
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
   and you will delight in the richest of fare.
3 Give ear and come to me;
   listen, that you may live....
    I never realized how many times we are told to listen and how many ways God talks to people. I am going to spend a season of time in study on the subject but I already get the sense that God feels we don't listen very well. I guess the "listen, listen" is a clue. I feel like I'm a four year old being talked to.
    So this morning I listened, spent time with the amazing creator, talked a little myself, and then my parameters were reset for the day. Planning my next adventure fishing, reading and exploring the social networking world with the latest greatest book on the subject, and of course making a fine breakfast (pictured top still steaming hot).
    In what ways does God call you? Do you listen? Let me leave you with a song that often comes to my mind...Whatever it takes...Is quite a call...yet probably comes as a whisper.
    So find a spot, take a walk, get alone, listen for God's voice in his recorded word, Listen for his voice in your busy world, Then invite Him into the rest of your day.
Gary D

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Day is Done by Gary Fultz

                                                                                         Nice photo Hutch!

    A beautiful sunset marks the end of a perfect evening on the water. You shiver as the big Timbers start to moan at the end of the tamarack swamp nearby. It's so still that you can hear your fingers squish a couple of big Minnesota  mosquitoes honing in on your face. Down the shoreline some type of animal is wading and splashing the water; probably a coon washing some clams, crayfish, and anything else edible. You long for one more cast with a spook in the reeds for that huge bass that swirls huge water as you drive away.
    Fisherman, adventurer, solitude seeker, beauty connoisseur, and gaggle of other descriptive words come to mind when the universe lines up for a perfect finish...and you are there.

    Some people are never there!
 It takes initiative and sometimes hard work to be in the sweet spot of your passions. I have it easy! I love adventure, wilderness solitude, on the spot breath taking scenery, and the competitive nature of the food gatherer. I hunt, fish, camp, winter camp, bring my camera, and drag a few people with me.  

   One month into 2011...Where have I been this year? Where am I going to be? Are my physical disabilities going to stop me or just modify how I get there? Am I going to just blog or have something to blog about? far so good! Just to start the year my lovely wife went out on the lake with me..several times! hence the picture.

    I'm thinking a good caption is "I out-fished him!" She is thinking...well she wouldn't tell me what she was thinking but I know it wasn't "I hope he teaches me how to clean fish".
    Back to "being There"...It's way more than chance as the movie suggests. There is something to Dina Craik's quote as well "It's never too late to be who you might have been".
   Ahhh...We are back to fishing again aren't we! We fish for goals, ways to accomplish goals, who we want to be, what we want to do.
I'm telling ya...Spend some time on the lake, Spend some time with God walking around in his artwork, set some goals that need a clear vision, good organization, and some steady work to obtain.
   If you want to just fish, I can make it happen...otherwise take some steps toward becoming who you want to be to get to where you want to go. I'm going to say this several more times...
    Take a walk
       have a talk
          get right
            stay tight...If you can do it alone it's too small!

Proverbs 16:9 The mind of man plans his way but the Lord directs his steps
Here's to walking on sweet spot (Minnesota-February-with a jigging stick)
Who doin it?? What's your ideal sweet spot?
Please make your comments below

Gary D