Thursday, June 12, 2014

At Least I Didn't Break My Rod

Life has been nothing short of crazy since I started the new job.  Today was no different, but that's not why I am here. I'm here because I feel a little lost if I go too many days without posting something here.  Tuesday I took the day off from the office to fish a couple of creeks deep in the Poconos of N.E. Pennsylvania, with friends Jim and Bill.  These streams run cool, stained bronze from the organic matter that is borne of Hemlocks and hardwoods, and of which almost any artificial fly properly fished is a potential meal; hatches can be sparse, so the trout tend to take what they can get.  Green dominates the landscape as far and as high as the eye can see.  Stepping through the forest along the stream bank is dreamlike; the sound of flowing water, birds and nothing else, places fishing far down on the totem pole of what is important at the moment. Often, I had my rod in hand as I walked deep into the forest, but my mind was free of the need to do anything, let alone cast a line or disturb a trout.  The calm of the thick forest envelopes one in springtime much like a good wood fire bathes one in total warmth in the dead of winter.        

(Click photos to enlarge)

In the morning we fished a fast flowing, rock strewn stream with short, deep pools separated by fast pocket water dropping through large, scattered flat rocks so typical of the Pocono region.  The trout were mostly uncooperative except for a couple of rainbows and a nice brown that took a Walt's Worm fished through the slowest water in a narrow pool.  And of those large, flat rocks strewn everywhere, there was one that didn't like my stepping it, and I took a nasty spill down its face and into the edge of the fast water.  My right leg lead the way, taking the brunt of my weight.  After crawling up out of the drink, it was clear my morning was over - my right leg was screaming at my misfortune. Fortunately, my favorite rod was undamaged, as the hand I might have used to slow my fall, instinctively held the rod high and out of the way. I made my way back to the car, filled my wading socks with ice and got them on the sorest bumps and cleaned up my shin, and then we headed to lunch.

After a great lunch of soup and a burger, we headed out to another stream that flows through a relatively flat forested area whose floor was covered with ferns and saplings growing beneath tall Hemlocks, White Pines, Ash, Maple and Oak trees.  Deer quietly moved through the under brush at a safe distance, small fawns following, their heads barely above the fiddle heads.  Although my leg was unhappy with its owner, the flat terrain made walking tolerable; it helps, too, that fishing has a way of submerging discomfort without fail.  When I got to a spot I wanted to fish, I simply sat down on the moss and pine needles lining the bank and fished from down low.

And the fishing was really good on this creek.  The rainbows, browns and brookies took our flies like they hadn't seen food in years.  Most of mine were taken on Walt's Worms and LaFontaine Sparkle emergers. We even got a few on dries, and Jim caught a hog rainbow on a big, size #8, Bitch Creek nymph.  Here's a nice brown I took from a deep, slow run just off a submerged rock ledge along the opposite bank.

As evening approached and called it a day, we were tired and one of us was very sore, and after a quick snack and a cold beer we left the quiet of the woods to the deer, bears and birds that call it home.  

Sharpen your hooks!        

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Back in the 60's my family had a cottage on the Allegheny River just north of Oil City, A 1/4 mile walk got me to a Hemlock lined small stream just as you described, moss coverd rocks with only the sound of birds & water. How I loved fishing that creek. Thanks for reviving those memories.