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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Fish, Food, "Green" and Beer - All Reasons For The Smoke Rise Blog

One of the reasons for writing a Smoke Rise blog is…to give ourselves an opportunity to answer questions. Questions for which we are really curious to know the answers. 

For instance: What are all these trails just beyond our backyards and where do they go? Where can you get good beer? What does being green mean in this place, here where we live? How do you fish Lake Kinnelon and other close by bodies of water? Are there good restaurants nearby, and what are they, if any? 

Some of these questions we have attempted to answer or are in the process of answering in the previous articles of this Smoke Rise blog, but there are others we will need your help to answer, and we think those answers are out there and you know what they are. 

So I am going to ask some of these questions and hope that you who read the blog will answer them either in the comments section or as guest contributors, with full articles of your own. 

All right then, all of you expert fishermen, how do you fish the lake? What gear do you use? What bait? What lures? Do you troll or cast from a boat? Do you fish from the shore? What time of day do you fish?  What do you catch and where?  Tell us about fishing our lake.  Do you eat your catch? Be specific and give us details. 

I myself, after not having fished since I was a boy, have been taking my 6 year old daughter, Emma, to the docks by the beach to catch sunnies, the occasional perch, and bass (the biggest was 4 lbs) on light spinning and baitcasting gear with nightcrawlers and Mepps spinners. Emma and I have our best luck after 6 PM during the spring, summer, and early fall. We don't get up early enough to get out there for morning fishing. 

My daughter always asks us if we can eat a big bass should we catch one, but she relents if we do, and we release all of the fish we catch. My daughter’s friend, Miles, caught a 6 lb channel catfish this summer, and I probably would have kept that fish had Emma caught it, and deep-fried the fillets up with a batter coating just like my folks did when we spent summers on the Mississippi river 40 years ago

On the subject of eating and food – where do you go out to eat? There certainly does not seem to be an embarrassment of good places to eat within, say, 20 minutes, but we have liked our own Village Inn, which is convenient and friendly, as well as The Station Restaurant, in Mountain Lakes, Yuki Japanese, formerly Sushi, mainly for takeout sushi on Rt 23N just up from Boonton Ave, and in Denville, the Heritage Grill, which serves really very good food in somewhat downscale (for the food) family style restaurant décor. Café Metro in Denville is also good, especially if you are into the whole grain macro-biotic thing. 

We have visited many other restaurants which shall remain as nameless as they are undistinguished (or worse). 

And while we are on the subject of food efficiency, and straying to carbon footprints and, generally being “green,” what do you do? 

Of course we recycle in Smoke Rise and Kinnelon.  That is, we separate cans and bottles and paper from garbage and put them out separately. 

Green can mean a lot of things: Lower energy usage and a lower carbon footprint. Saving money.  Keeping our wild areas free from trash and pollution. 

But what does it mean to be green here?  Do we take our own bags to the grocery store (as you may have to for BJs or Costco)? 

Some of us are moving to CFLs (compact fluorescent lights), which, I guess, pose their own problems (they contain mercury which is a hazardous material and needs special disposal). 

We all are aware that gas, oil, propane, and electricity have spiked in price recently, though gas has since dropped a bit, but most people we know have attempted to cut back on energy usage of all kinds just because of the eyepopping increases in the bills alone.  Are some of us using wood-burning stoves? 

Tell us what you do and what you think. 

Also, does anyone have old photos of Smoke Rise, Kinnelon and the area showing our buildings, roads and landscape as they were in the past, perhaps 40, 50, or even a hundred years ago? How about copies of the 1904 and 1857 maps of the area, that is the ones on display at L'Ecole on Kiel Ave? We’d like to scan, digitize and post them. 

Also, what questions do you have, that you would like answered?

Come on in, the water's fine.

 ~ Ted

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