Tuesday, February 28, 2017

What is a rain crow?

It was a hot, mid-summer day near Sims Bridge on the Duck River, I was fishing with my dad.  Kook! Kook! Kook! "Hear that" I said to my dad. "What bird makes that sound?".  "That's a rain crow." said my dad.  "Why is it called a rain crow" I said. "Because they say that when it calls, rain will follow shortly". Well, that was the last question that my ten year old brain had about the rain crow and it was almost fifty years ago. My dad had a great deal of knowledge about this river and our family has a long connection to this water.  In 1937, my father's family moved near the river and has been coming to this same spot for over 80 years!

Just last year, on the banks of the Duck, in the same spot, I heard "Kook! Kook! Kook! ".  I had a flashback. I instantly remembered that moment almost fifty years ago setting on the banks of the Duck River. When I arrived home that night, I did some research on the Rain Crow. I found that it is called a Cuckoo and locally it may be called a Rain Crow because it's call is normally on a hot, mid-summer day or before a thunderstorm. It is believed that the clap of thunder will set it to calling. They breed in the Eastern U.S. and winter in South America. Interestingly, they are only one of a few birds that eat hairy caterpillars. The best that I can tell, they live about five years. So, that bird could have been the 10th to 20th grandfather of the original bird fifty years ago. Kook! Kook! Kook.... 

I wanted a map of this beloved river, but found that you couldn't find really nice river maps. So, I created my own map. Here's one of the first test map that I painted back in 2010.
I enjoyed creating the map so much, I turned it into a business. After many tries, I finally perfected my style and created Leo Lakes Treasured Maps. You can find out more about my maps at LeoLakes.com.

Monday, February 20, 2017


Oh baby, I made the centerfold. My first! Here's the story. This publication called me and asked if they could use one of my maps in their magazine. Of course, I said yes and believe it or not, they used it as the centerfold. Now I can say, I was in a centerfold, sort of...oh yeah, my wife is jealous!     

Anyway, do you need a great gift for the lake house, lake lover, or fisherman? If you do, check-out my treasured decor maps ay LeoLakes.comHere is a recent comment from one of my customers: 

"Hi Larry, I received the maps yesterday and they are beautiful.  Thank you for shipping them so quickly. I’m sure the folks that I give them to will treasure them. Thanks again, Evelyn"

I call my maps treasured maps because most folks have that special body of water that they treasure. These maps make great gifts for the lake house owner, lake lover, or fisherman. I have over two hundred on my website that can be purchased right from the site, or I can do custom and personalizes lake, river or bay maps, too. If you would like to see more and read about my treasured maps go to LeoMaps.com.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Tramp Stamp, Drop the weapon, Awkward bobber photos

Yes, I'm still on the bobber cartoon kick because, "I'm trying to "Make Bobbers Fun, Again". Here's a new batch! Enjoy.....

Check-up my vintage style Lake, River and Bay Maps at LeoLakes.com. We have many popular lake maps such as the Lake Winnipesaukee map, Great Sacandaga Lake map, Lewis Smith Lake map, Pickwick Lake map, Greer's Ferry Lake map, Lake Sidney Lanier map, Lake Sinclair map, Table Rock Lake map, and Lake Wallenpaupack map. These vintage style lake maps are great for the lake house. Also, we paint custom maps and have personalized maps for that special someone. Go to www.Leolakes.com to see if we have your map.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

My Reel History

I was looking through my dad's tackle box the other day and found some interesting stuff. I believe this is from the late 60s or early 70s. Can you believe fishing line for $.23 or 60 hooks for $.98. My father was old school, using only braided line and only baitcasting reels. The line weight was in the 25 lb. range. I remember casting his reel many times. Each time, I would reach back and cast a long cast, watching the bait zoom across the water and splash down. Unfortunately, I would look down at the reel and find "the mother of all backlashes". Have you ever tried to un-backlash a backlash? Well, it's like putting toothpaste back in the tube, after you've brushed your teeth.    

This is the reason, that I prefer to fish with an open faced reel. In fact, I was the typical 1960s fishing kid that grew up using a Zebco 202. This was a great reel for a kid, you almost couldn't destroy it. It was like the Energizer Bunny and kept going. I out grew the 202 as a teenager and moved to a wonder reel, a Mitchell 300. Ohoo, this was a smooth reel that would cast forever. It was like driving a red sports car with the top down and a hot blonde in the passenger seat, sort of. I still have that reel, but it has been taken out of service for posterity's sake. Anyway, this is my reel history...

Check-out my lake, river and bay maps at LeoLakes Treasured Decor Map! Great maps for the lake house. Also, makes a great gift for the fishermen.  www.LeoLakes.com

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Find My Map, in the new TV series?

A few months ago, I got a call from a TV Studio. They wanted to use one of my maps as a prop in an new TV series. The series was planned to premier in February. They were interested in my Lake Conroe map and by the way, beautiful Lake Conroe is located in the great state of Texas. I shipped the map a few months ago and have been waiting for February to arrive. All this time I have been wondering how will they use the map, will it be displayed in an office, behind a desk of the main character? Will it be prominently displayed in every show or only be a quick flash during one show? 

Guess what, I will find out tomorrow, February 2nd starting at 9:00 PM Central Time. The show will be on CBS. Oh, I forgot to tell you the name of the show. The show is called "Training Day" and it's a cop show that sounds like it will have an interesting plot. Be watching and see if you can find my map. I'm planning on playing the drinking game while watching the show. You know this game, you take a drink every time you see a specific object or hear a specific word. Soooo, when I see my Lake Conroe Map, I will take a drink. If I wake in the morning and have a headache, then I will know that my map was a success....  

Checkout my maps, makes the best valentines gift for the fisherman, lake house, or lake lover......LeoLakes.com