Wednesday, February 21, 2018

A River of Memories...

At five or six years old, I vividly remember our first "fishing rig". It all started when my dad came home with an old red 57 Chevy station wagon, just perfect to load up with fishing gear.  Not long after, we went to the local Sears and bought a new 14ft aluminum, flat bottom boat. Soon afterwards, dad added a 3.5 hp, Western Auto Outboard, which performed well on the little flat bottom boat. However, in later years, I remember him fine tuning it while in a large bucket of water and blew up the engine. Smoke and and water went everywhere. After the stream had disappeared, you could see a crack down the cylinder wall. Believe it or not, I still have that old motor in my studio. 

  
One last addition to the fishing rig, a dog. We called her Lucy, a white, long haired mutt that had little black spots sprinkled around her coat. She kind of looked like a chubby, long haired, dalmatian. Lucy, loved the water and would jump in for no reason, or just to get wet. She was a very special dog that always stayed near me and loved biscuits.
This is how we ran when I was a small child. Boy do I have stories to tell.
It's amazing that most of these items have survived my childhood. I still have the boat, tackle box, and outboard motor (even though it has a big crack in the side). I could have easily tossed these things out, but they are a river of memories.......Oh yeah, with all this talk about fishing memories, I almost forgot to tell you that I do lake, river, and bay maps. Check'm out at LeoLakes.com 




Thursday, February 15, 2018

A few bucks to fish.......

We started on our way during late-afternoon. I remember that when we neared our destination, we crossed a creaky, old truss bridge with wooden planks, a bit  scary for a six year old. We arrived at a farm. A farmer owned the land that was the best access to the river and we had to visit him before continuing. We parked in front of his white farmhouse and dad knocked on the door, no one was home. So, dad took a few bucks out of his billfold and left it wedged in the door. I didn't know it then, but that was the custom in order to fish on this farmers land. 
  

After unloading the fishing rig, we headed upstream, me, my dad, and our dog Lucy. As we traveled, dad would stop and tie drops on flexible limbs that hung over the water. Drops are also called limb lines, which are  nylon fishing line attached with a hook and baited. The bait of the day was chicken livers, yum...Finally we arrived at our destination, a campsite about 15 feet up a dirt bank. We set up camp just in time to start cooking over a, green Coleman Stove. What's for dinner, fried potatoes, round steak and white bread.
   


The next morning, we were up very early and ready to check the lines that we put out before making camp the night before. As we boated downstream, we came across a huge swarm of mayflies traveling upstream. They were about three feet above the water. There were thousands of them. Luckily, when riding in the boat, we could stay below the 3 ft level. If not, it would have been like a sideways rain of mayflies, not pretty. This was so interesting for a six year old kid. To this date,  I have never seen so many mayflies, what a sight to see. Did we catch fish? Yes, I think we caught a few catfish on those "drops". 

Hey, check-out my lake, river and bay maps at LeoLakes.com



Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Water Dog...

While growing up, I had a dog named Lucy. Lucy was a white, long haired mutt that had little black spots sprinkled around her coat. We took her on all our fishing trips. She was a great fishing dog and would watch the bobber for hours. When I would get a bite, she would go berserk, knowing that a fish was soon to be near.    
This dog loved the water, she would often jump in the water while we were fishing. Then, come out of the water and shake, shake , shake..... water going all over near by fishermen. 


One time, when I was swimming in the river and Lucy was up on the bank watching. I decide to play a little joke on her to see what she may do. I acted as if I was drowning and called for Lucy to save me. You know what, she jumped in and swam to me. I grabbed her collar and she dog paddled back to shore. Amazing!!! 

One of my favorite things to do with her was toss her a biscuit after she had eaten. She would be too full to eat, but would take the biscuit to a spot and drop it, while sniffing around. She would dig a 1-2 inch hole and place the biscuit in the hole. With her nose, she would push the dirt back over the biscuit until it was completely cover. Funny thing, her white nose tuned dirt brown, so you could always tell that she had buried something.    

They sure don't make dogs like they used to. Hey, check-out my lake, river and bay maps at LeoLakes.com  






Monday, January 29, 2018

A few of my silly lake cartoons........

A few of my silly cartoons. Forgive me, I have a little creativity to blow off.



This why you never keep your worm near a bobber, that is unless they are on monofilament in the water.....

Hmmm.... a bobber whisperer. Interesting, very interesting. If you are having problem with your bobber, you may need to call a "bobber whisperer".... 

Oh how scandalous......a strip bobber!

Oh yeah, I do beautiful decor maps. Looking for a great decor idea for the lake house or lake cabin, frame your favorite, lake, river, or bay. Makes the best Gift!

Unlike most maps, There’s a tiny mermaid hidden in the waters which folks love to search for and some say she moves around! You'll love the waterfowl which are hand painted (touched up) on the canvas prints to give that original look and each map is hand signed by Leo. For a personal touch, you can even add a small star to the location of your lake house or special place and add a few words such as "Evan's Lake House, Est. 2014" or be creative. The signatured Ruby Meridian, waterfowl and vintage plane have a story that’s included in the signed Certificate of Authenticity.  Leo Lakes treasured maps will make a cherished gift for that special someone. 

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Approaching the water line

I was in Florida last week and discovered the best fishing hole ever! I was lucky to have my camera with me to document the catches. Obviously, this is not the kind of fishing that you are thinking of, but still fishing is fishing. I met a few new friends that were fishing from the shore. Mr. Bittern is shown here approaching the water line ready for a big catch.  


With in a second, a fish is near.....

and bang, Mr. bittern has the catch 

Hummm, looks like a shiner minnow. That will go well in the sunshine. Yum, yum!  

Here's another friend nicknamed "Sandpiper". Oh, looks like he has something. Got to get a closer look.......


It's a crab! It's not bad to have crabs sometimes.......Looks delicious !

Not a bad five minutes of fishing.

Paddle over to my website, LEOLAKES.com. I paint beautiful lake, river and bay decor maps. Folks are discovering that these decor maps are wonderfully unique gifts that become family heirlooms. Oh yeah, I hide things in the lake waters, such as a tiny mermaid/fish. Folks love to search for them. I call my maps, treasured maps because most folks have that special body of water that they treasure. My treasured maps make a great Christmas gifts for the fisherman, lake lover, or Lake house. 


As you can see, my maps make a great gift.  Orders are picking up during the holiday's, so order soon. Click here www.LeoLakes.com for more information.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

My beach wandering........

I was in Florida last week walking around a bay with my camera. I spotted this sailboat with the American Flag flying and thought it would make a great photo. 



Little did I know, there was a lot more going on in this photo than I first thought. Can you pick it out? I didn't realize it until I was looking at the photos on my computer screen.


See the sailboat in the distance. It has come loose from its mooring and washed up on the shore. I wonder what the story is...................I may never know, but I do know this "Life is short, Get away from the big screen and get on a big stream."


Something else, I do beautiful maps. Paddle on over to my website to see some great maps of your favorite lake, river, or bay...LeoLakes.com makes great gifts for the Lake Lover, Lake House, or Fishermen.


Friday, December 29, 2017

Follow your Dreams......in 2018

A few years ago, I got to follow my dream, a dream of having my own studio and creating the art that I love. After some wandering around on exactly what I wanted to produce, then putting all my creative and artistic ability in to it, I can now say that I have found it, "producing creative decor maps of places that folks love." I think this email below, from one of my customers pretty much sums it up, I have found my calling!" 



I received my custom, Hammock Lake decor map yesterday and was like a kid opening it on Christmas Day.  I could not wait to see it, and it definitely did not disappoint! It it stunning!!  Thank you so much for working with me to create this amazing focal point of my home. Your work is gorgeous and is just what I had been looking for!! I absolutely love the barn wood frame!! Thank you also for your promptness on answering your emails and for the super quick delivery.  Your business is more than 5 star and is so much appreciated!!! Thank you again and have a GREAT 2018!!




Have a very "Happy New Year" and remember "Life is short, get away from the big screen and get on a big stream."