Monday, June 30, 2014

Dealing With Communication Barriers At Work

Driving in Tunisia, where the main languages are
Arabic and French.
We once went on vacation to Tunisia. That was in October of 2010, just before the Arab Spring started there. Yes, really.

Now, why do I relate that? Well in Tunisia the dominate languages are Arabic, French, and then everything else. In general though, you speak Arabic or French to get along. My wife and I do not speak Arabic, she speaks French fluently, and I speak French apparently (an instructor once told me but I think she was lying so I would sign up for another class).

So, to say the least, my wife did the talking. The thing about Tunisia it that it is a male dominated culture so woman, though having freedom not held in many Arab countries, are still expected to take a back seat to their husband when in conversation. So it was funny when my wife would talk to a man in French and he would answer me, the guy who had no idea what he was saying. It was uncomfortable and funny.

If that was not bad enough, police stops for routine license and registration checks are common. Like, expect one per 2-4 hours of drive time. Ya, seriously.

I felt just a little bit out of my element using my limited French to answer 2 police officers questions. Why was I in their country on vacation? Why was my wife driving? And other fun questions.

Thankfully, once I told them I was from Canada the conversation always went to Montreal, Canada Dry, and how cold it is there! Thank goodness for their relatives being in Canada.

So, I have been on the wrong end of communication breakdown and it is not fun. I have walked in those shoes and did not enjoy it.

For me it is ridiculous that in high tech, a bunch of highly educated people lack basic common courtesy. As a Canadian in the US, and a Newfoundlander at that, I have had my fair share of double takes from fellow native English speakers who are suddenly unable to process what I just said.

That pales in comparison to the crap I hear non-native speakers take. It blows me away that people talk so poorly to others that are struggling to communicate.

Here's what I have learned while working with non-native English speakers and those from different cultures.

  • Chill Out: It is a lot harder for them to understand us and get their point across than for us. So, don't lose your cool because someone can not speak at your high level of native nuance, "Ok, Bro, 'nugh said?"
  • Read the Cues: Start to read people's expressions. Did they all of a sudden raise an eyebrow or go kinda blank? Maybe they have no idea what you are saying or missed a word. I find it common to use terminology that seems basic or normal to me which others do not catch. Ask if there was something you said that they did not get. Don't be a jerk but be helpful and offer to explain.
  • Put Yourself in Their Shoes: Do you think they enjoy working in a language that they may struggle with? Probably not. Have you ever tried learning another language and then using it on vacation? Ya, that 2 weeks sucked and your grasp of the language sucked worse. Give your coworker some slack.
  • Be Polite: If they don't get it, then don't be a jerk. I have heard people raising their voice and belittling non-native speakers that are misunderstanding a topic/bug/feature. Instead, look for more constructive ways to come to a common understanding. After you explain yourself, try asking the other person what you said. And tit-for-tat, when they explain something to you, repeat back with, "What I am hearing is…" Repeating back what you heard is a great way to see if both parties understood.
  • Learn Some Culture: Go to lunch with your non-native coworkers. Get to know them and their culture. Some cultures say yes but mean no, maybe or yes. Three or four yeses means yes in some, whereas one means not likely. Do some research on culture differences/hazards and then keep your newfound knowledge to yourself (check out the hand gestures in this one for a laugh). But use your knowledge to try to help you understand your coworker better.

I've done all of these to be more effective with colleagues from different language and cultural backgrounds. I enjoy working with them as much as anyone else. I find that as we learn to communicate better we grow in our relationship and come to trust each other since we can cut through communication barriers to be effective.

People appreciate when your show respect, are willing to take the time to understand them, and learn about them. It's make work easier and more fun.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Weekly Roundup: June 23 - 28

One of the monkeys we meet in Nicaragua.
Wow, what a week! It was the first week at camp for my kids, I got out to a packed Xcoders, and I cracked 1000 page views on a single post in one day.

I was pretty excited when I woke up and saw so many people were reading my post about being an older developer. I have taken to replying to posts from other people when I have something to add. It's nice to be part of the collective conversation and be able to add my 2 cents to that conversation. To all that gave positive feedback, thanks.

Here is how the week turned out for posts.


  • With a new Cigar Box Guitar for a 5 year old I decided to tune it to Open A to make his first song easier to play and so I needed to do some work on figuring out the Open A tuning so I can teach him to play.
  • A new software development gig as a tester means I am doing a lot of bug hunting. Here's how I open those bug reports so they are the most useful for the team.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

What Makes a Good Bug Report

Bug Hunter
My current gig is a first for me; I am a SDET (Software Development Engineer Test) where I am
testing the production code, not writing the production code. There is a stigma by some devs that testers are not as good as "real" devs. The ones that ship are the real heros. That's a load, as I am seeing, getting to work on the other side of the fence. Without a good test team, lots of obvious bugs can slip through the cracks.

This is one of the reasons I decided to try our SDET. I wanted to get first hand experience of what an SDET does as at a major company and how the test organization works to support the release of a product from a software giant.

It has been eye-opening. I write a lot of code is the first thing. I write a lot of test automation code to test the production software. This is cool with me since I am a programmer at heart and love to code. Finding ways to break the code is a fun challenge and let's me stretch my skills in new ways.

Besides finding bugs in our APIs with my automation code, I have to do manual testing of the software. As any techie is used to, finding bugs can be pretty easy, especially during the development cycle.

So, what makes a good report that does not get sent back from the development team looking for more information? This is something I have struggled with on the development side for years. Getting people to write bug reports that gave me enough information to reproduce (repro) or debug their crash.

Here is what I like to see and what does not get sent back from development:
  1. Build version
    1. Of the software you are testing.
  2. Screenshot of the problem
    1. If it is a problem in the UI then a screenshot for sure.
    2. If you are seeing something weird with a command line test then a screenshot or copy paste of the text.
  3. Pre-Conditions
    1. What state was the software in before you started this test?
    2. What server were you talking to?
    3. Did you need to authenticate? What were the login credentials?
  4. Repro Steps
    1. What steps did you follow to trigger this bug.
    2. If this was an automated test or a test of an API then include the code if it short and demonstrates the bug or link the test case here so the dev can quickly look at your code. Maybe you made an assumption with code that is wrong or maybe the API needs to be fixed to take this assumption into account.
  5. Expected Outcome
    1. What was your expectation? Maybe your expectations are wrong.
  6. Actual Outcome:
    1. Ok, it did not work as expected. What did happen then? Maybe that was the expected outcome.
  7. Crash Report
    1. If we are running an application then crash reports are common. Know where to get the ones for your platform and how to attach them to the bug.
  8. Logs
    1. Collect logs from the app around the time of the bug. Don't see logs in the common logging location? Talk to the devs to find out if they are logging to a special file. Or maybe there are extra debug logs that you can turn on. Find out so you can help them.
That's what I look for, what I try to have in my report as a minimum, and what does not get sent back for more information (by me when working as a dev) and by the devs I am working with.

My goal as a tester is to open a bug with enough information that it is actionable by the developers and gives them the information they need to address the bug. I want to see a bug free product as much as anyone and if I can reduce the bug data collection loop so that devs can spend time fixing the bugs instead of asking for more information; then I did a good job.

Is there anything I missed in here that I should add?

Friday, June 27, 2014

Using git Within a Centralized Repo Environment

I have worked at several, less than idea locations, when it comes to using Xcode. What is less than ideal? When they want you to use a central repository that requires online access and which does not integrate with Xcode. 

As an Xcode dev, I want and prefer to use gitAs a dev, I prefer git, so when you take git away from me I get grumpy. 

But I am only grumpy for a short while. We have ways to work around this madness.

Here is how I work around the friction of using a centralized repository like TFS (Team Foundation Server) or Perforce when working on an Xcode based project. 

  1. Check out the latest code from the centralized repository into a clean directory. 
  2. Initialize a local git repo immediately using: git init 
  3. Setup my git ignore file: .gitignore 
  4. Check the entire code base into the local git repo as the first commit. 
  5. Start work like I always do with Xcode. 
    1. Caveat here is that most centralized repositories are going to have all files locked (read-only) on Mac. 
    2. When you go to work with a read-only file in Xcode it is going to prompt you to Unlock the file. Do it, unlock the file and edit away. 
  6. When I am ready to commit my changes I can now see the files I changed from within git. Using that list I go into my centralized repo tool and check out those files for editing. 
  7. Then I make my changelist, changeset (or whatever your version control system calls a set of files for checkin) and submit it to the central repo. 
  8. I then commit my changes locally to git.

Here is how I perform a merge/pull/get latest from the central repo. 
  1. If I have outstanding change not ready to commit then those are on a branch for that work (you use branches in git right?) 
  2. I go to my clean master branch and checkout the latest code from the central repo. 
  3. I then add and commit them within git as a "Central repo merge." 
  4. I then change to my branches and rebase the branch from master. Fix conflicts and continue. 

So, after a bit of grumbling, I have a new process that I can use so that I can continue to use Xcode's built in version control of choice (git) while respecting the projects decision of choice (centralized repo). 

As with many new technologies (if we can call git new) I can not wait for git to win the war and for dev teams to switch over to distributed revision control systems. 

Note: Now for those that may like another distributed revision control like Mecurial, they are great as well. But until Apple opens up Xcode and provides an API or plugin mechanism to let devs plugin their revision control system of choice, I will be a devoted follower of git and it's first-class status within Xcode.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Come On Over For A Drink

Yes, I chased a rabbit across our "lawn"
to capture this shot.
I have to admit it, I am no longer the young whipper-snapper I once was. I have been programming for over 33 years if you count teaching myself Basic when I was 7. As a professional programmer I have been working in the field for over 14 years. So I have seen a lot of code and written a lot of code. 

As a seasoned dev, I am the opposite of the Get Off My Lawn crowd when it comes to new devs. I read My Lawn by Uncle Bob who is preaching the Come to My Lawn mantra, not get off it, and it opened my eyes to my position.

In the article he points out that 1 in 16 developers are 40 or older. That is me.

Is the population of older devs quitting? No, not at all. We are still working but the inflow of new devs is causing the developer population to double about ever 5 years. So, the ranks of the older dev is shrinking in proportion to all devs, but not really decreasing in size.

The article by Uncle Bob made me think of the value I bring to a team. When I talk to younger devs I often see my younger self in them. They express frustration with many of the same challenges that I faced when I was younger. For some of those challenges I have figured out a path that works for me and some I am still figuring out. 

I am also reminded of my younger self's hubris. I used to think older devs were foolish when they told me to take it easy. Reign in the late nights. But I was being a hero! I was producing tons of code compared to them. Why chill and work a normal day? I was unstoppable!

The flipside was that I was debugging my late night mistakes, spending time trying to figure out what I had written, and finding bugs in code I had not fully tested. Then I inevitably removed code that was not needed. 

At some point I smartened up. Probably when I got married and we had kids. I had to work more efficient.

I decided there had to be a better way. I stopped and started to look at my practices. I started to do things like keep a journal of my bugs. I did this for a few months and then started to attack the repeating problems/bugs I had. This got rid of a lot of my bugs and taught me to slow down and reread what I was about to commit.

Then I started to look at the meta me. What outside of work and programming had an impact? 

    • Get 8 hours sleep. Ok, that sure helped.
    • Exercise daily.  When I do, it makes me a happier and more alert person as a whole. Bonus for work.
    • Eating right. Makes me less groggy after a heavy meal, reduces the high/low of sugar rushes, and helps me think clearer.
    • Reducing my coffee intake to just caffeinated (1/day), not high octane caffeinated!

    Then I looked at how I planned and wrote my code. I started to look at how to make my code easier to read and maintain.
    • I started to practice TDD or unit testing of some sort. No more, large integration tests for all my testing needs. I have been freed to refactor code to make it even easier to read and maintain.
    • Minimize methods to do concise chunks of work. I never was one for sprawling full page or multi-page multi-methods but I started to reduce the number of input parameters so that each method was concise and did a well defined job.

These activities took months/years of introspection, controlled experiments and then putting new practices into place to help me be a better programmer. It has meant I have had to become realistic with my time and how far I can push myself. My desire to be superman has had to be tempered.

Superman syndrome I have learned leads to one thing: Burn out! 

Burn out leads to frustration. Frustration with yourself and then when you are tired of blaming yourself you blame others. You start looking for another team if your org is large enough or you look for another company if it is not. This does not need to be the case.

The worse part of leaving one job for another is that you are thrust into a situation where you, most likely, will feel you need to prove yourself. Enter Superman and repeat cycle.

In the short term, people love you and you get a buzz from being such an awesome code god. But burn out creeps back in and bam, sucks-ville. It's not fun in the long run and not sustainable.

The Come to My Lawn article got me back to thinking about how I can help pass this hard-won experience on to other teams. For a while, I have noticed I am working with younger teams these days and then realized it's not the team that is young. It is me getting older. 

Well, I am fine with that. 

I love coding, I love learning, I love teaching. If I can help my teammates to not burn out and look for greener pastures, then I look forward to my "programmer old age" and sharing a drink with you on my lawn.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Open A Tuning for 3 String Cigar Box Guitar

This week, I will cover the Open A tuning for a 3-string CBG. I just built an Open A tuned Cigar Box Guitar for my youngest son which I will use to teach him songs. Before I can teach him I need to get the fretboard layout and some scales mapped to help me out.

The first song I plan to teach him is one of his favourites, Little Ghost, by The White Stripes. The CBG is tuned to Open A which means that playing this will be super easy. The song has 3 chords, A, D and E. To play those, we just need to play the strings open for A, then 5th fret for D and 7th fret for E. Here is a bit of it with me playing solo on the new CBG.

The thing to remember with these open tunings is that you can look at the note on the top string (in the diagrams below) and that is the note you are playing when you fret all 3 strings at the given fret. So for example:
  • Open = A (nothing fretted)
  • 2nd Fret = B
  • 5th Fret = D
  • 8th Fret = F
  • etc.
This is why open tunings are loved by slide players. You can hit all the notes without fingering if you desire. To get other chords like minors, 7ths, etc, you are going to need to finger the strings. But for my purposes to teach the note circle and the importance of frets to my son, slide playing will do.

Fretboard Notes

For reference, here are the whole notes laid out on the 3 string guitar.

Legend for my Diagrams

A Major Scale

Here's what the A Major Scale sounds like on the high A string (the one on the top of the diagram).

A Minor Pentatonic Scale
Here's what the A Minor Pentatonic Scale sounds like on the high A string (the one on the top of the diagram).

A Blues Scale

Remember, the Blues Scale is more of a roadmap. Take the Minor Pentatonic Scale and sprinkle in some of the Major Scale and see what works. Not every note on here is going to work but think of this as the options you have when working with the Blues.

Here's what the A Blues Scale sounds like on the high A string (the one on the top of the diagram).

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

300th Post Has Past

I posted my 300th post this past weekend. It was the post about my first long run of 9 miles in almost 3 It's Good To Be Back.
Image: Driftwood along beach in Puget Sound

Of those 300 posts in the past 6.5 years:
  • 106 are from the previous running blog I had.
  • 28,070 pageviews so far.
  • Only 44 have been guitar related.
  • 19 relate to Cigar Box Guitars.
  • 150 (1/2 the posts) were posted in 2014 (Wow! I can't believe anyone has kept reading my posts this year.)

It is fitting that the 300th post is about running since my first post on my previous 1000K blog (which has been combined with the Droolfactory) was about running. That first post was about my goal to run 1000 km in 2008 to keep motivated with running. I did pretty good that year and have kept running (off and on) since then.

I've really enjoyed how blogging has pushed me to explore my writing, encouraged me to capture events in my life, and rekindle my joy of sharing my passions.

I hope you've enjoyed reading it.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Cigar Box Guitar #2

My 5 year old is really into my instrument building and he wants to be just like Dad. He has also been asking for a guitar for a long time.

At first I wanted to jump in and get him a guitar but I know kids; who's interest can quickly wane. So last year we tried music lessons. He did not have the attention span for it and so he did not get a guitar last year.

Flash to the last few months and I have started building various stringed instruments. With that and all the guitar playing I have been doing he has been wanting a guitar again.

First I built a Diddly Bow with him, which he played on and off. That worked out well so I built the Canjo with him (a Diddly Bow with a can at the end to resonate the strings). He loved that.

So, with that it was time to build him a Cigar Box Guitar. We built about 50% of it together on Saturday, planing, sanding, and drilling together. Then on Sunday I finished it off for him.

A trip to the Music Store to get some soft acoustic strings and now he has a Open A tuned Cigar Box Guitar. This will work well since I plan to teach him "Little Ghost" by The White Stripes as his first song.

Why that song? He loves the lyrics, knows it almost by heart, and it only needs 3 chords (A, D, E). With the Open A CBG that means he can strum open for the A, then the 5th fret for D, and the 7th fret for E. The beauty of the open tuning being that to fret the strings at the 5th and 7th he can use the slide to fret all 3 at the same time. So he can do less fingering at first and instead start to learn about the note circle (A, Bb, B, C, C#, D, Eb, F, F#, G, G#) and how frets work.

To play with the slide though I needed something small enough for his 5 year old pinky finger. So, we went to Home Depot for some copper pipe (tried on for size so we bought the correct diameter) and then I got to building him a custom slide. Those chords should be easy to hit with the copper slide I made for him. Here's the slide being built:
To build the slide I just used a hacksaw to cut one long enough to fret the 3 strings on his CBG, then used a precisions filing kit to file the large hunks of metal, and finally finished the cut ends with some 320 sandpaper. The slide is nice and smooth and a perfect fit for his finger.

So, now we will begin working on learning what frets are and finding the 2 that he needs for Little Ghost.

But first, Dad has to mark the frets. I am going to need to hold off on that one though since he won't let anyone else touch it at the moment. It is his!

I adjusted the height of this CBG so that it was lower to make playing
chords easier when not playing an open chord.
With this 2nd CBG completed I now have my sights set on building a Cigar Box Uke (Ukelele) and a Cigar Box Bass. The Bass will be interesting since I will be investigating Piezo Pickups in the bridge. Not sure how to do that yet.

The Cigar Box Uke is another for fun build I want to do. The idea was to give it to my youngest but now that he has his CBG, just like Dad, I think the Uke will become a family instrument. That way anyone can play it. He seems so partial to the CBG.
I love that there are no rules with CBG. I needed something to hold the
rope "strap" on so a U-shaped nail filled in at the time.

My youngest does not really like the sound of the CBG plugged in due to it's grainy Piezo Pickup. I think that will be fixed once I get the Boss Super Overdrive pedal which I tried out in the guitar store but have not purchased yet. So, at the moment he does not want an electric pickup in his CBG but now that he knows how I build them (participating and watching a huge amount of the work) he said, "Later I might want to plug it in, so you can add that later for me."

This little hobby started as a way to try out a cheap instrument but has turned into a fun way to teach my kids about creating and building. They are really into the fact we are building instruments and can play songs on them.

Who could ask or anything more?

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Weekly Roundup: June 16-21

Image: My first two Cigar Box Guitars
Posts have been dropping off and I no longer have a couple weeks of posts in the queue. With summer
and the new job, I doubt I will be continuing to post regularly. We will see how long I keep up semi-regular posts.

Summer, is full on here now with the boys out of school and starting camp tomorrow. They are very excited but are realizing that Mom and Dad are not going to be off with them and that has them a bit bummed out. Doesn't it for all of us?

This weekend I also was able to fit in another Cigar Box Guitar, my second. That's the 4th stringed instrument I have made now. I was very happy with this new one, it's the one behind/to the right in the photo. It was much easier to make the second. This one's loving home will be with my 5 year old.


  • Being a programmer and a geek Dad I want to teach my kids a modern skill that I feel is equivalent in importance as reading, writing, and math; that's right, I am teaching my kids programming.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

It's Good To Be Back

Kicking the Blerch's ass that is.

Training the week went well for the 1/2 marathon in September.

Saturday's long run had a wicked elevation gain when I decided to try a new route for my 9 mile (14+ km) long run. I ran from the plateau I live on to the trail along the East side of Lake Sammamish.

Here's the terrain profile:

It was a hard run back up to say the least. That one mile took me an extra 4 minutes to climb back up that hill.

I also knew today would be hard but it still kicked the crap out of me. I tried to run around with the kids when I got home but was totally beat and sat out their antics as I recovered.

The best thing though, is I put in the miles, was only 2 seconds per mike off my planned pace, which I think is decent for the elevation I added in.

It's good to be beat kicking out longer miles.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Documentary Review: Muscle Shoals

Image: Wikipedia
An acquaintance recommended that I check out the documentary Muscle Shoals. I finally got around to that this weekend while doing some photo work from recent adventures.

The movie is about Muscle Shoals, Alabama and the two recording studios there that created many a familiar sound. Those studios were FAME Studios and Muscle Shoals Sound Studio.

The film is an amazing story of this town and the sounds that came out of it. I was blown away by the number of musicians that have recorded here. As well, the number of songs and albums created at these studios was staggering.

If you have listened to classic rock, R&B, or southern rock, then chances are those albums and songs were cut in these studios.

What is even more amazing is the number of R&B songs that were created here. I mean created. Not, brought in fully fleshed out by an R&B band, but built from the ground up with the FAME Studios backing band (which later split to form Muscle Shoals Sound Studio) who would be backing some of the biggest names in R&B singers.

They reiterate this throughout the film and it truly is mind blowing to find out that some of the soulest sounding R&B songs to come out had an all white backing band playing with the lead black R&B singer. They talk about how some musicians would walk in to record and wonder where the "Muscle Shoals" band was. They were even shocked to learn it was a bunch of white Alabama boys that were creating this sound.

This was a great documentary that anyone into music would enjoy. If you like The Rolling Stones, Aretha Franklin, Percy Sledge, Bono, Steve Winwood, The Allman Brothers Band, or Lynyrd Skynyrd; then you will want to watch this movie to learn some of the history of their great music.

It's well worth your music geek evening to watch this one.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Fishing The Yakima

Image: In my fishing attire.
I have been wanting to get away for an overnight fishing trip. Something where I can get further outside the city to some rivers further afield. This past weekend opened up as a free weekend this summer so I jumped at the chance to go.

I took my 8 year old with me who has been a fast learner with fishing. We packed the car on the weekend before so we knew what we needed to pickup for the trip and completed the packing during the week. I like to do this so I am less rushed the day or two before the trip.

We took off on Friday evening, after I got home for work and drove to the Cle Elum area to find a campground near the river. There are lots so this is not a problem I was told. We lucked in to find that there was a campground along the Teanaway River along the paved section of road.

The campsite was free, open and we had a good night there (no rain).

The next morning I decided to drive further up the road to see some more campgrounds and try our lines along the river (further from the campgrounds). We had not driven past the end of the campground along the paved road when it turned to a dirt road.

I am driving a new Honda Accord but said sure, it looks in great shape, let's try it. We never got 3/4 of a mile and the road turned into some serious rutted road. That ended that adventure and we turned backed up until we could turn around and head back out.

Lucky for us that out of the 5 campgrounds along this river, the 1st is on the paved section and had open sites. Else we would have been driving a while to find the next campground.

The morning started at 4:45am or so and we were on the road driving not long after. After our aborted drive to explore and fish, my son piped up that he really wanted to go try the Yakima (we had seen it on a Fishing show). So we set off.

He navigated in the back (I knew the route to take as backup) and we found ourselves ascending along highway 10 alongside the upper Yakima River. The morning light was fantastic and we stopped for some photos along a seriously gusty section.

Image: Yakima River at Umtanum Campground
We drove until we arrived at Umtanum campground in the Yakima Canyon. This was our first spot of fishing and to say the least, it was windy. The wind was making it hard to cast, as in, the line was blowing back into my face. My son's 2nd or 3rd cast was the same and his got into a terrible tangle.

While I untangled my line he tried the same with his. I then helped him finish untangling his and we both went back to fishing, but not for long. Another tangle and he was done. He began hunting for fry (baby fish) with a bait net along the bank. After a little more wind frustration I gave up and decided we would try another spot.

Luckily for us there was an interpretive session that day on the river near where we were fishing. We
Image: Captive Crawfish, Stonefly and Mayfly Nymphs
stopped by and found out that some Marine Biologists were explaining the river ecology. this included showing the kids what animals and bugs were living along the river banks and collecting worms, stone flies, nymphs, crawfish, and dry/smelt (baby trout and salmon).

We spent another hour or more here as my song helped with specimen capture, identification, changing water in the holding containers, etc. We had a great talk with the biologists and learned a bit about the river, identifying baby fish, and the habits of various bugs.

Next up we move upriver along the river and found a nice bend on the opposite side (from our previous location) of the river to wade in. We had the wind more on our side this time and were able to cast with few tangles. The tall reeds at our back being a bit of a challenge but roll casts and side casts were the order of the day.

Again, no luck, and so we packed up and moved further north-west (working our way in the direction of home) and put in at Ringer Road public launch. Just upriver from the launch was some nice ripple river about 12-20 inches deep for a wide section of the river that we tried out. Again the wind was a factor and was blowing downriver at us into our direction of cast. I was able to work out a side cast that let me get up river by casting along the top of the water.

Image: Specimen Hunting
It was fun and there were some ledges that I played with a large stimulator dry fly holding up a wet fly/nymph which I was trying to drop over the top of the ledge as it drifted past. A lot of work for no reward but again, another day learning and practicing my skills.

At this 3rd put in, my son said enough of this wind shenanigans and he went hunting frogs in the pool behind the river bank. He got close but never got his hands on one. Good thing I did not give him the fishing net or I am sure I would have some new frogs with us now. He got awful close with his hand capture attempts.

It was a long day on the river, lots of less than ideal conditions to deal with, but it was a day on the river. My oldest graduated to a fly rod, he has wanted to try one and after some practice at home he got to try it out this day. I am not sure he is impressed with it yet but I'll give him time. Just like I'll give myself time to get the hang of fly fishing.