Troutbirder II

Troutbirder II
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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

How The Pelicans Saved My ..........

Muffy, Yes "Muffy" the Chesapeake Bay Retriever. Muffy it was. It seems when I brought her home as a puppy home some years ago, I had to go someplace for a few days. When I came back she was already named by my sons and spouse. When I pointed out it might be a little embarrasing calling back "Muffy" in front of  my hunting buddies, the reply was "but we always wanted a kitty." A few years later she  and I were fishing a small bay on Lake Pepin. Lake Pepin is a huge widening of the Mississipi River, caused by the silt laden waters of the Chipewwa River. Huge sandbars, deposited by that river in the Mississippi, keep the Army Corps of Engineers busy maintaining an opening for the 12 ft. river channel. The bluegill fishing was good that day. Real good. So good, in fact, that I forgot the time and my promise to Mrs. Troutbirder to be home by 7 P.M. When I realized that I was running late, Muff and I scooted out into the main part of the lake and headed south to the landing at Lake City. I mention incidentally that we had seen a few eagles, some pelicans and lots of seagulls that afternoon. Pelicans always have fascinated me. They are somewhat awkward looking except for their majestic soaring habit. Hardworking, blue collar types, actually busy seining the waterways for fish. Yup, they are definately cool.
I've seen them play follow the leader floating by as well.

I was tearing down the lake at full speed. On the main channel one must keep at lookout for the river buoys. The river is full of sandbars, deadheads and rocky wingdams, all designed to tear open the bottom of a boat or wreck a lower unit. Stay within the marker buoys to be safe is the rule. With the lake widening to a mile in places that didn't seem to be an issue that day.
It was then that I spotted a bunch of pelicans and seagulls floating calmly in the waves. I whipped out my handy little digital, to get a group picture floating and flying, as I rushed towards them.......

It was then that I realized THEY WERN'T FLOATING - THE WERE STANDING!!!
I managed to kill the motor just in time... coasting to a less than elegant stop. Muff gave me that "what the heck was that all about look" and the birds still seemed quite unconcerned. Whew!!

No doubt about it a bunch of resting white pelicans saved my you know what that day!


  1. Oh, I love this story! I've been a fan of pelicans ever since I saw Pelican Dreams, and I will never forget those sweet eyes. I would have snickered to hear you calling out "Muff! Muff! Muff!" :-)

  2. Muffy or not, I've never seen a dog levitate a bluegill like that.

  3. You almost muffed your chance of getting home at all that day.

  4. oh, boy! (and laughed at your explanation of 'muffy'.) :)

  5. This is a great story. I am lucky to see Pelicans in the Atlantic every August when we visit Hikton Head. They are the grey/brown ones and I love seeing them. You are so very right, there is just something about a pelican in flight. And then suddenly a swoop and a splash and there they are floating... Muggy looks like a great dog!

    1. Oh! I'm typing on my phone! I meant Muffy of course!