Friday, May 29, 2009

Who Said Fly Fishing Was "The Quiet Sport"?

From our friend (D. Cabarle) at the Fly Fishing New Jersey forums comes this......

They say the internet is the great democratizer. Or maybe it's that it has a way of bringing us all to the same age bracket.

The one thing about the internet is that no matter how you post something, you can't give your words tone, or inflections, that might show you are being serious, sarcastic, silly, funny, or any kind of emotional context. It's kind of like when someone says, "You are something, you know that?" If you can hear their tone of voice, or sense their emotion when they say it, you will know whether they are complimenting you, or being sarcastic. It just one more thing we have to adjust to in the electronic age.......thankfully, I can go fishing without any interference on that cell phone stays in the car.

If you are going to get involved in a forum, it's also important to take a deep breath before you respond to someone's response to something you post on an open forum (did that make sense?).......or else guess what happens........all hell breaks loose. You have to read this thread to believe it. Prepare yourself for some real shits and giggles....and don't take it too seriously if you aren't used to this stuff. Most of the players know each other (virtually or personally).

Thanks for a few (many) laughs, Dennis. Oh, and I vote to keep him.

Life is Good. Although it can be tough if you don't know how to play chess.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Fishing's Fine

Since I last posted, I've fished a few times and the Gods have smiled on me. Saturday morning, I hit a local river and caught browns, brookies and rainbows. I thought I'd see blue-winged olives when arrived as it was warm, overcast and humid. Fish were rising fairly steadily up and down the first, long run I stepped into. Not many flies were in the air, mostly caddis. After checking the water surface for a while, and watching the fish as they rose to spent flies, I tied on what I saw - spent wing egg-laying caddis, size #16. A few casts later, a nice rainbow that was sipping the egg-laiden flies just a few inches off a large, smooth, round rock along the opposite bank, rose to take my offering.

I fished up the run taking a number of fish, most of the stocked variety, but also a couple of smaller, richly colored wild fish. By noon I was off the water and heading home to spend the afternoon doing chores and errands with Karen. I took pics, but the camera is in my car at the office.......meeting in the City tomorrow early so I took a company car, its good for the paint job.

Last night after dinner with the family, I headed out again. This time to a different stretch of the same river. No one was on the water I chose when I arrived at about 7:30PM. It was cool, calm and partly cloudy, the sun peaking out whenever it got the chance. I knew the long, flat pool held lots of trout, as it always has and although the surface was free of the dimples and expanding rings from rising trout, I figured the sulphurs just had to show.

The first half hour I took one trout that was rising lazily in a steady rhythm, 1-2-3-4-rise, 1-2-3-4-rise, to what turned out ot be small caddis. Then, as though someone flipped a bug switch, sulphurs began to show. As time passed, their numbers increased, and with that the trout started to feed on them. By 8:15, we (me and the trout) were in the midst of another Sulphur Riot! A well placed cast to a rising fish with a snowshoe rabbit foot sulphur dun tied to the end of my 12 foot leader tapered to 6X, was all it took. It got so that I knew the second my fly touched the water on a cast, whether it would elicit a strike, or be ignored. The more I concentrated on making good, drag-free presentations, the more I hooked up on successive casts. When that happens, you shut off all tension in your mind and body, and just let your subconcious run the show. It may be the closet thing to true peace I can find. I fished til dark, almost fell in wading out of the river because I stepped on a large subsurface rock, and I caught about 2 dozen trout.......all on the same fly.

I'll post some pics tomorrow.

Life is Good. Get out and do something that takes you to another world....anything!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Sometimes its What Happens on the Way to the River That Makes Your Day

After dinner last night, I headed down to the river to catch another evening's Sulphur and Caddis Riot. As I pulled out of the drvieway and started to head up the hill, I saw the silhouette of a doe standing over what looked like a rabbit laying on the road. So I started up slowly and as I approached the beasts, I saw it was a doe with a beautiful, white speckled fawn, with halos of gold from the setting sun.

The fawn was reluctant to get up, but mom made her way into the woods just off the road. I waited to see if the fawn would follow mom, but it sat still and hid its face in its front legs.

Despite our road being a single lane, we have plenty of dumb asses that think the minimum speed limit is 45MPH, and the maximum whatever the SUV will go when the pedal is pressed to the metal. (Where's everyone going in such a hurry. Don't they know that life passes you fast enough without you passing it by faster?) So, I got out and after taking a couple of photos with my cell phone, I picked it up and placed it in the woods about 10 feet off the road. It was silky smooth, light as a heavy feather, and calm as sunrise. Mom watched unblinkingly from a distance, snorting lightly, ears at attention and stiff as a board.

I pulled away slowly and waited up the road until I saw mom on her way back to the little one.

Oh, and the fishing was spectacular again! An hour of fishing egg-laying caddis, and then when the sulphurs got going I switched to an emerger and continued to enjoy the riot. Managed a hat trick, with several of each species to hand. The wife is in the city tonight, so I'll just have to get involved in another bug and trout riot tonight after work.

Life is Good. Its' the journey, not the destination. Get out and fish.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tonight Was Cool, Bright With Lots of Trout Rising

I'm beat, fished well into dark tonight thanks to Karen being out with the girls. Caddis were hatching, trout were feeding on them, and taking my silly imitations of those caddis like they were candy. It was a classic dry fly evening that soothes the soul and creates a long-lasting smile.

And the fly of the day? An Iris Caddis....................what else?

I'd tell you more, but I have to get up at dawn to go help stock trout thanks to King Corzine furloughing the paid Fish and Game (and all state workers) later this week. I'm actually looking forward to spending the time volunteering with the other conservation corps guys.

Got to hit the hay.

Life is Good. More shits and giggles tomorrow.

It's Too Cold

Something ain't right here.....................we're having technical difficulties........

I'll be back with more later.

Monday, May 18, 2009

It's Bug Time!

Fished this past weekend and the bugs were really getting going. The cold front Saturday evening put a damper on things Sunday, but that will change this week. Sulphurs are just getting started, as are many other trout delicacies to be named later.

Work now, report later.

Go fish!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Third Degree

Yes, Karen got the third degree. It happened on Wednesday, and we couldn't be happier. In the morning she had her pinning ceremony - that's where all those who passed the nursing program get pinned by the deparment head - some kind of Florence Nightingale tradition thing. Here she is just after getting "pinned".

Then in the evening there was the graduation ceremony for all the students that graduated this year in their respective majors. Cory Booker, the mayor of Newark, was the key note speaker and he did not disappoint. He was gracious, funny as hell, insightful and inspiring.

Here's Karen and her study buddy Lilya after they received their diplomas.

So, now I'm married to a woman who has a B.S., Masters, and A.S.R.N. Will she go to work? Nope, she starts classes in the fall working towards getting her PhD. in medicine so she can pursue a career in cancer research. She's a survivor in every respect of the word, and my hero......and she fly fishes!

Life is Good. I'm going fishing this weekend, so expect this blog to turn the corner and get back to the other important stuff. : )

New Math. Work + Family = No Fishing, damn it!

Yes, that's right, new math. Not W's math either, if that were the case, I'd be on vacation and in the river, more than in the office. Nope, this is my life New Math. I'm not complaining, just venting since I'm continually getting emails from guys that have been on the rivers giving me the skinny on bugs and rising trout.

I know, I should be (and am) happy I have a job, and I am more than happy I have the family I do. Its just that when you're sitting at work and your email New Mail Folder keeps popping up with messages from buddies and others that the rivers are alive with bugs and surface feeding trout, you want to get your sorry ass out and into a cool, clear stream to cast a fly to a rythmically rising trout tucked tight to the bank in 6 inches of water.

I better stop, I think my head is going to explode!

Life is good. Sometimes it ain't what we'd like it to be, but that's life. I'm going fishing.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

It's Moms Day....Does She Fish, too?

Life is Good. Thanks, Mom, for everything, especially all those times you took me fishing before my bicycle took over for you.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Soft Rain, Blue-winged Olives and Trout

When I stepped into the river today, a soft rain fell on the freshly emerged leaves above and on the water, covering its surface with small rings. The sound was somewhere between a hiss and a slow boil. The windless air was cool and full of the smells of spring, and tiny, dark olive mayflies.

Along the far bank, there is a wide, smooth flow that widens as it moves downstream. A broad canopy of an angled maple creeps over the flow toward the center of the river like a many fingered hand. Trout were rising at different locations throughout the 30 yard slick, to sip the hatching olives before they could take flight into the humid air.

The gap between the fingers and the water surface averages maybe three feet. In other words, my challenge would be to drop a tiny fly under the branches and onto the water surface below and get a drag-free drift of at least a couple of feet to a rising target, without getting hung up on the branches above. Lots of sidearm casting made even tougher by imposing branches hanging over the water behind me.

The verdict....the fish were silly with hunger. As long as I made a good reach cast and got my fly to land below the leader and line, a feeding trout would cruise up under my fly. Sometimes they would just look, and other times they would open up and sip in my offering. After taking several nice trout from the run, I worked my way up the long run, casting to rising trout as I went.

I had planned to work in the yard today, but the weather put me on the water instead. So instead, I enjoyed two and half of the most peaceful hours one could ask for.

Did I mention I took of Friday, got up at 5:00AM, and worked volunteering for the state stocking trout in the Musconetcong River? Three grown men in a big pick-up loaded with an oxygenated tub and hundreds of trout driving into hard to reach places along the river to release trout. Rick drove, Rich stood on the bed of the truck and loaded trout in a bucket, and I ran them down to the river. It was humid, wet, muddy, messy and by the end of the day I was soaked to my knees (no waders, the thorns would have destroyed them). That was a blast, and I plan on doing it again in a couple of weeks.

We fished the Musky yesterday, covering about two miles of river and getting lots of exercise. It was up from rain and turbid, but I did manage to take two fish. Here's a couple of photos from yesterday.

Life is Good. One of these days I'll even get more done in the yard.