Tuesday, August 30, 2011

"No Shortage of Good Days" John Gierach

Our rivers are flooded and off limits at the moment, so we're left to tie flies and comtemplate the conditions we'll arrive at when we do get on the water in the hopefully near future.

We're also spending too much time checking out the web for snippets of trout, flies, clear water and other related stuff to live vicariously through until we can do it ourselves.

I found this ditty posted by our friends at Moldy Chum

If ever there was someone that has life pretty much figured out, it's this guy.  He'd likely beg to differ, but if it came down to it, I seriously doubt he'd want to wear our shoes, if even for day.


What's in your portfolio?  Does it really matter?

Screw it.  I'm going fishing........

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Yep, we had an earthquake.  Actually, Virginia did yet it was felt here in Jersey as well as in many other east coast states and even Canada. 

We also confirmed that we have have a Black-chinned Hummingbird visiting our feeders.  They are a very rare visitor to our neck of the woods.  I showed a photo of one of the hummingbirds to a bona fide bird man, and he instantly identified it as a Black-chinned.  I knew it was different from the others, as it has a very deep purple throat and the black area above is nothing like the Ruby-throated species.  It also has a beak that is noticeably longer than the ruby.  Pretty cool stuff.

On another note, more fly fishing related, the rivers are rebounding nicely after a long, hot summer with little precipitation.  The recent rains and cool nights are just what the trout ordered.  We hit the mid fifties here in the woods last night.  Unfortunately, I'm off to Boston in the AM, but I hope to hit the rivers this weekend with rod in hand and flies on the line. 

Until then, tie some up and get out on the river and fish!


I think we just had an earthquake............even the trees were shaking.

Monday, August 15, 2011

You Can Observe a Lot by Just Watching

Saturday the heat, humidity, low water and generally poor stream conditions continued in my general location, so trout fishing was out.  I spent much of the day doing yard work, and after lunch I sat out on the deck and watched our feathered friends for a bit.  Like Yogi said, you can observe a lot, especially if you remain still.

Here's a couple of piliated woodpeckers searching for food on the silver maple off the back corner of our house.  They worked their way up the tree from here, circling the trunk as they ascended the hulking old hardwood, all the while communicating in soft squeaks and chirps, sounding much like guinea pigs as they went.  If you closed your eyes, you would have thought there were furry pets nearby.  

Here's a close up of one as it listens for crawling bugs under the surface of the bark.  They better take advantage of it now, because come the fall, the tree is coming down before it comes down on its own.

And here is the very best of why I love living where I do. I have identified about 6 hummingbirds that frequent our feeder by there coloring.  One, a mature male dominates the others.  He sits on the wire and puffs his ruby red chest out when the others fly close.  And if they have the nerve to try to feed while he is present, he chirps loudly and attacks them with abandon.  Still, they all manage to find the feeder free of antagonists often enough that they can feed without stress.  Karen and I often sit out on the deck after dinner watching them as they feed.  They are beautiful birds, and for some reason, watching them can be the most relaxing things I can do.      

Here  is the alpha male taking a sip of my home made nectar.  I make my own - the pre-made stuff you buy has dyes and other preservatives in it that I don't want these beautiful wild animals to ingest.

The tiny birds are fascinating.  They hoover one moment, and then the next they are streaming away like a winged bullet into the canopy.  When they hoover, the sound of their wings is pitched differently depending on whether they are moving forward or backward.  Sometimes they just hang in the air without any lateral or horizontal movement whatsoever.  They must be the most agile animals in the world.

The moral of the story...........just because you can't fish, doesn't mean you can't enjoy what nature has to offer. 

Friday, August 12, 2011

A View From the Riffles and Runs

I held the tiny nymph on my fingertip, a mere speck I duplicated with a clumsy fake.  As I cast it into the fast moving current, I too became a speck, held by the expanse of beauty that surrounded me, engulfed by a sense of peace as enormous as the nymph had been small.  Amonst the mighty scheme of things, I felt I had a place.  - Chiya Sagara

I love this quote.  It captures the sense that while we fish, thigh deep in the flow of a cool trout stream, we become entangled in the natural world that is truly much larger than we alone can ever be.  There is no truer peace than when one surrenders their being to that which they cannot control.

We do this every time we step into the fishes world..............  

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Build it, and They Will Come......

We are not always sure where they come from, but they find the forums.  On one of our regional NY,NJ and PA fly fishing forums, we found this post (exactly as we found it) under the topic "Jurisdiction Question". 

Anywho there is a (what jerseians would call a WTS) trout crick that rolls off the top of the appalachians for maybe 1/2 a mile in NJ, then into NY for almost equal distance (ny water is bigger and further downhill thus had the greater # and bigger trout (as usual)). A precarious spot indeed, in years of late ive noticed more DEC (more toward hunting season). if i wanted to stalk this creek for the wild trout it has and i stepped into UNPOSTED nj land and cast a fly would i SERIOUSLY get in trouble if a CO was there (excluding the instance he was looking for such an act and if so hes an A-hole who has it out for either; me, loves the crick, hates new yorkers, or hates fly fishermen). i mean really? the creating of borders cut a small trout crick in half and i cant fish the pool ahead of me because i dont have a 80$ trout stamp non resident SHOT AS HELL nj license? that creek is MY TOWNS CREEK.

you know what? its not posted nj so F it, im a born native of this town and i intend to fish its sparkling waters until i cant lift my arm or my leg

So the question becomes......

If you run into this guy on the water do you:

a) Talk about the fishing and what flies are working
b) Call the authorities and tell them you found Sasquach
c) Ask him why he pees like a dog
d) Ask him if he has any Grey Poupon
e) Run like hell to the nearest post office to see if his picture is on the wall

Saturday, August 6, 2011

It May Be Legal, But it Sure Isn't Ethical

I'm out running errands today and while in the Califon area, I decided to drive along the South Branch of the Raritan, where the road parallels the river for a mile or so.  The river is very low, and the water temperatures lately have been in the low to mid 70"s most days.  Poor conditions for trout, particularly if they are stressed from fishing.  If left to themselves in the deeper holes and cooler stretches, they will survive quite well.

The river level is low, so low in fact that the tops of many rocks are high and dry, when typically they will be under water.  The water is very clear and trout are easily spotted as they hang just above the bottom barely moving.

In one stretch I observed two guys in the water standing next to a large, half exposed boulder about 25-30 feet off the mouth of a major trout spawning tributary.  On the top of the boulder they had a pale blue, plastic bait container, and they were casting their wormed hook right up into the mouth of the creek.  I've been fishing near this creek for 25 years, and in the conditions we have now I have seen dozens of wild and stocked trout stacked in the deep mouth where it meets the larger South Branch.  Today was no different, you could see them from the road. The creek is cool, and the trout are there because it is a thermal refuge; a respite from the harsh conditions of the main river.  They are there as a matter of survival.

So why do these idiots think it is okay to fish for them? 

Are they starving and in need of food?  From the size of their waists and jowls, that was clearly not the case.  Is this the only thing they could do on a hot August day?  I doubt it, and in fact, they could have fished for warm water species if they were so driven to cast a line.

Some states have fishing regulations that prohibit anyone from fishing within so many feet/yards of where a tributary enters a trout stream in the months of July and August.  Why?  So dumb asses like these two guys cannot fish legally for trout that clearly do not want to be disturbed.