Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The People You Meet While Knee Deep in a River - Incident No. 392

While I was sitting on the bumper of my car last night getting ready to hit the South Branch, this guy walked past me and said, "Hey, how ya doin?"

I said, "Good". And he kept going, leaving bootprints on the pavement from the river in his felt soled, chest high, waders. He had on a old, fraying at the edges, greenish ballcap that had a standard issue, red Boston Red Sox "B" over the brim. His hair was over his ears and salt and peppery colored, medium height, wrinkled vest, net, and generally what you see these days on the river......that, or the other species of fly fisherman known as an "Orvis Cowboy". You know, the guy that has all the latest and greatest, highly marketed gear that thinks the more he spends, the more he looks like a bad-ass, top of the skill pyramid, fly fisherman.........Right!

So, a short while later, I'm at the head of a run casting to a couple of trout that were lazily rising to no apparent insect matter along the opposite bank. Downstream I see Mr. Redsox entering the lower end of the same long pool. No problem by me, he's 75-80 yards downstream of me. I do notice, actually can't help but notice, his casting style is less poetry-in-motion and more washing machine. Did you ever swish a stick back and forth in water? Well, that's what his casting sounded like.

A short while later I hook a small brown trout and it fights mightily, splashing about as I bring it in.

"DUDE! That's awesome, you nailed one!" I look downstream and there is Mr. Redsox now about 40 yards downstream of me shouting. "Cool!"

I said, "Thanks, it really isn't that big. I'll take it though."

"Oh, but man, you got him on TOP! That was soooo cool." He says, and then continues slashing the water.

I thought to myself, What's the deal with this guy? He's bobbing and weaving in his waders, casting like a monkey might if it had a fly rod, and he had this silly, happy as a clam, smile on his face. We, I mean I, kept fishing and out of the corner of my eye I could see Mr. Redsox slowly working his way towards me.

He lights a cigarette, and sucks in the first drag like he's a 4 year old kid using a straw and his glass is almost empty of lemonade. Hisssssssss.

I just smiled and tried to concentrate, but I kept thinking, What's the deal?

I get another take, but I miss it. Mr. Redsox sees it and at the top of his lungs, "Ohhhhhh, man, that was in your face man. Fail!"

I started laughing, "Do I know you?" This guy was hyper and having too much fun. Again, I thought, What's the deal with this guy?

And then, as though he heard me, he says quietly as though we were surrounded by cops, "Dude, there's nothing like getting stoned and fly fishing. Everything is beautiful out here."

And there was the moon..........


Rainy day woman would be proud.

Monday, June 29, 2009

More Fishing Vicariously - Death Wish XVI: The Stream Why

I did finally get out yesterday - last evening - and of course, 5 minutes after I got in the water it started raining. A cold, steely rain that came straight down from the heavens. The few flies I saw hatching ditched it when the drops came, never to return, even after the sky dried out as the light faded. I did manage one nice 15 inch rainbow on a cream drake emerger right just as the sky went from dusk to dark.......

So here's a better/more interesting report from our mosquito attracting friend at Singlebarbed:

Death Wish XVI: The Stream Why

What's bugging you?

On the river, you listen more than you talk.

As I've always said, it's not just about fishing.......here's a good read:

Fly-Fishing and Coping on the Big Hole Flathead Beacon

I do have one question/thought.....if gramps was so important, how come the guy didn't leave the river behind for the funeral? Just saying.......

Friday, June 26, 2009

Still No Fishing Going on Around Here.......

Yesterday we actually saw the sun for most of the day. It was beautiful, although humid, and after taking care of some business in the morning, I met a couple of friends at Fiddler's Elbow for a few hours of smacking a little white ball down the lawn and into a little hole. What else can you do when no river within hours of here is at normal flows and clear and you need an outdoor fix?

A wicked, 165 yard, par 3 from an elevated tee that just messes with your head as you line up your tee shot.
And here we have a 584 yard, par 5, dog-leg right.

A downhill par 4......look, blue skies!

It was a pretty quick 18 holes, thanks to all three of us hitting the fairway on just about every hole......and the fact that we had no one in front of us to slow us down or screw up our mojo. Scores in the 70's and a great time that didn't end there......it was date night with my bride.

Now I have to go fishing.............

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Fishing Vicariously..............

Since I have no fishing report of my own to share, I thought I'd share this one from Mr. Chandler in No. California..............the photos alone are worth the trip........enjoy -

The Alpine Small Stream/Brown Trout/Mosquito Fly Fishing Report (in Pictures)

Thanks, Tom, I had a great day on the water in my mind. Sure beats work........

Monday, June 22, 2009

Caddisfly or Cranefly?

I don't know, but the trout seem to like it.

I was farting around with these fine round rubber legs that were given to me by a manufacturer to try out this past winter, and decided to incorporate them into my Caribou Caddis adult. Since then, I've had numerous occasions to try it out and the results so far tell me the trout like it.

Whether they take it as a caddis or cranefly I don't know, and really don't care, but it works during the day and at dusk. Maybe it just looks "fishy". Maybe it looks like something the trout have never seen and they just want to see how it tastes. Maybe it looks so ugly to them, they just want to smash it, and knock it dead like Obama's fly swatting trick. (At least we know there is one thing the guy can finish......)

Will it stand the test of time? Odds are that it won't. Many newly tied flies work well "off the truck", but few continue to work season after season, so we'll just have to keep fishing the darn thing and get back to you in a few years. My Caribou Caddis w/o the legs sure has passed the test, so who knows?

Give it shot if you're a tier, or wait until it hits the big box stores. I'll keep you posted.

I have to come up with a new sign-off.........some appliance company stole the old one ; )

Friday, June 19, 2009

Have You Ever Seen the Rain?

Most of us are feeling a lot like this guy, and not without good reason. We've had only a couple of days this month when the sun came out from behind the clouds. Of course, that's not why I've been away for so long, but it has kept me off the water. I need some serious on-stream recharging of my gray matter.

Last time I checked in here, I mentioned I was going on a little road trip with some friends to a fairly remote (for the East Coast) Pocono stream. That was great fun - good fishing, good food, beautiful woodlands framing a crystal clear stream complete with a pair of Bald Eagles and a good sized black bear that came to visit one day while we sat on the porch of the lodge putting on our waders. Oh, and it rained more often than not during the trip, but that didn't dampen our spirits. In fact, it was one of those trips that gets put in a special box in the lifetime memory bank.

Here are the falls up river from the lodge. Those shelfs are naturally occuring and formed from shale.

And the bear after deftly swimming across the stream as though we didn't exist.

Besides that - worked, worked some more, traveled, played some golf, got the vegetable garden finished, fished a little, and spent time with my sweetheart. I'll try not to take so much time off from this fine work of prose in the future.

Life is Good. Sometimes it gets in the way of even noticing a little thing called time as it flies by.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Sulphurs, Caddis and More Sulphurs = Great Fishing

Got out a few times the last couple of days and the fishing in New Jersey waters continues to be as good as I've seen it in years. The late day Sulphur hatches have been thick and at dusk, the spinners have been turning on every trout in the river. Rises in every direction can really get your blood pumping. There have also been some serious caddis emergences and egg-laying falls in the A.M. and late afternoon into evening.

It helps that the weather has been perfect and virtually windless. I'm heading up to Canadensis, PA today to fish Bright Creek for the next couple of days. Report to follow. Here's a few pics from recent outings.

The barn cupola at the Raritan Inn and the half moon late in the evening after fishing the sulphur spinner fall on the property Saturday. A nice run on the South Branch downstream of Long Valley. It fished well throughout the length of the run. All fish rose to egg-laying caddis.
A nice rainbow taken on an egg-laying caddis from the above run. Looks like a heron or hawk took a swipe at this one. The fly is in the corner of the mouth.
Life is Good. Looks like we're going to get wet in PA, but if the fishing's fine, who cares.