Thursday, October 29, 2015

Hi-Lite of the day..

Finally had some good rain, bringing the local salmon river up from a trickle to about 13.5cfs, which is a solid little flow but not "high" on this river.  Thankfully, it was high enough to get a few fish to start coming up from the reservoir below.  A few follows... and landed one about 20".

Lucky for me, a nice guy named John was working his way down stream and we were chatting just as this fish took.  He got a nice view of the fight - which included 4 solid leaps well into the air - and took a pic for me from the other side of the river.  If you ever see this - thanks John!

The fly of the day, and one I really love for this (or bass fishing, or trout fishing...) is Steve Culton's Hi-Liter.  You can see my version below.  I dont use a bead, I just wrap the underbody with some .20 non lead weight.  Rides great in the water, and with a loop knot, it dances seductively - especially when swung through the current and given the wet fly wiggle so to speak...

Here's my version of Steves great fly...  You can see his step by step, and a bit of his story regarding this fly's development here:

I've been in the woods some with bow in hand... but thus far, the deer have evaded my attempts at bringing them home for super :).  On opening day a gorgeous, probably 3.5 year old buck came by only 10 steps out, but was, surprisingly given the 19th of October is early for rut action, totally trolling for does and would not stop - just kept trotting on nose to ground.  Since, I've seen a few does with no shots and had one deer of unknown gender come by in the dark prior to shooting light.  Enjoying some relaxation in the trees though... it's good for me!

That's where I thought I'd have a shot, two runs intersect there dead center (above pic) and though hard to see there are three scrapes.  Another week and this spot should produce a sighting or two.

This is the little swamp coming off the edge of a pond.  Often they come from over there, after bedding for the day behind some homes.

There are some white oaks behind me dropping like crazy - so good eats for the deer in this area.  The open spaces are this weird (and currently dry) canal that goes around a shruby blueberry covered island at the edge of a pond.  Deer often bed on this impenetrable tangle.

Some times I call that stand site the "Engine Block Stand", because, blocked by trees in the above pic, is an old truck's front end - I'm talking 30's or 40's truck.  It's all rusted out, and never will be useful again, but its cool to see in the woods, and makes you wonder what was going on and why it was left there...

Hope you all are enjoying some of the amazing sights, sounds, smells and adventures fall offers!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Little fishing, little riding, lots of beauty...

This past weekend we did a little charity ride to help raise $ for a local family who's child is going through treatment for cancer.  You don't have to twist my arm to raise funds for such a cause.  After we were on the receiving end of such work, I can safely say it's a gift that is hugely helpful.  That said, this ride was made sweeter by including the trails I first started to ride.

When I was a kid, I'd fish constantly.  My dad likes to say he put the first 5k on his subaru wagon (about 30 years ago) by driving me to fishing spots - over one season!  So, as mountain bikes became more common, they decided it was cheaper to get me one for a birthday gift than it was to keep driving me around...

They bought me a bike, and at first, I rode every where to fish.  My good friend started to too.  And then we started riding to ride, then racing... and a second lifelong curiosity was born for me: preparation for and performance in endurance sports.  That lead to reading college sports science texts for fun in high school, and having been involved with endurance sports for over 25 years with about 20 of those as coach professionally.

It's been an amazing part of my life, but, over the last 10-15 years, I've been so busy professionally and then family wise, that I've had time to really train and enjoy sport myself as much.  I get to ride some or run some or hike or lift or whatever, but rare is a consistent patch of actual training or the chance to do a solid all day ride through the woods.  All fun things I enjoy... and hope to gradually get back to.

But, short term... What a day Saturday was.  2 river valleys, both containing wild fish, both that I've loved to fish pretty much my whole life.  Plus lots and lots of great ridges to climb and descend, awesome single track along rivers... Just great on all levels.  Do that on a perfect fall day - 60 degrees, nice breeze, great color... Ahhhhhh!

There is a bridge which no longer is passable by car over this river.  The trail goes up stream to the bridge, crosses the bridge/river and goes up stream on the other side.  This pic is looking south west, down stream with the river 30' below.  Had a day with a friend where we must have been fishing a few hours after the stocking truck, because we must have caught 30-40 rainbow's below this bridge each that night!

A locally famous trail that we call "the river trail" which was made by fishermen over the years, and maybe by native people's before hand.  I'm standing on the right side, but the trail is just left of that little tree left center and goes a bit diagonally from left to right to the center of the pic then straight away.  It's a trail with some technical points, but it's beauty next to the river is worth it!

Sitting on a rock jutting out into the river eating a cliff bar and enjoying a little break.  I've caught a lot of fish in this run...

Then today, I took lunch stream side.  Quick shot to a local wild trout water, and it was great.  Cooler still in the shade of the forest - the brightening leaves still offering shade.  The water temp was low, but the flow on the light side for this largely spring fed water.  And, the result was that, although I saw several fish, I only had 2 takes and both were missed on my part.  Not sure if they were brookies, browns or fall fish.  Regardless, it was really enjoyable to walk the stream and take in the sights.

Next to that log on the right, about 3/4 up, I caught a 13" brown earlier this year - giant on this stream.  I thought that the changing colors today were pretty and that this pic of the spot from late may or early June this year showed some neat changes - same spot... Greener and more water below.
The fall picture above this one was taken standing pretty much on that little rock pile.  

One of my favorite runs, today was quite still due to low flow.  That giant hemlock on the left, about half of that tree is undercut by the water and what a cavern it creates for the trout to hide.

I also saw something that could save this sport we all love.  A rare site today regrettably, and something that made me really feel good.  As I pulled in, I saw to creatures leaving the stream with rod's jammed into back packs - those creatures were kids of the 12-14 year old variety, pedaling away on their bikes.  I could see sneaker tracks working the edges of some pools as I fished, and it made me feel great.  I don't know if those kids caught anything.  I dont know if they were using bait or spinners.  But I know they looked like they had fun, and they were fishing in the outdoors.  Exploring the world on their terms and learning.  AWESOME!

Keep well

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

As is often the case for a parent of little kids... Life's been busy.  But, grad school's going well, kids, wife and family are good, and it's fall in New England - AWESOME!

Today I shot out to prospect.  We had some rain last week, and I hoped that perhaps a few salmon had shot up a local river that gets a great run of landlocked salmon and big browns in the fall.  Big meaning, it's not uncommon to see a fish in the upper 20's and low 30's go by (inches)... They are not easy to catch, but it's fun to try given the river is only about 10-15 yards wide in most areas!

It's a little early, and things had been so dry, that I wondered if any fish had come in... but at least from what I could see, there were no salmon in.  Lot's of young pickerel hiding in the shallows in the lower sections, but no big fish yet... A little more cool, and a good rain event and we should be in business.  Usually it's the last 2 weeks of October and first 2 of November, sometimes even as late as early December... So I'm on the early edge.

That said, it was really nice to be out and enjoying a gorgeous fall day.  Now I'm settling in to some good work projects and school projects and figured I'd pop up a quick post as a "warm up" to work :)!

I've had a few trail cam's out as well.  I'm not getting to many buck pic's this year - well, mature bucks.  But lots of does and 1.5 year old bucks.  The big surprise after last winters epic snow, is the number of does with fawns I've had on cam.  Pretty cool to see.

Also cool, was getting a shot of this old bruiser for the 3rd year in a row.  I'm going to call him 5.5 or 6.5 years old based on the racks the last 3 years.  Actually seems to be starting to get smaller now.  His rack is cool.  It does not have a ton of tines, but, it's really neat the way his right is only a 3 point side and seems to reach out to the side more.  Given he lives in a public land area, and an area that gets pretty stout pressure during gun season, it's really cool to see him still going - perhaps the fact I've only seen him on cam at night is part of his success.  Regardless, on a few ideal day's in November Ill see if I can see him during the day with bow in hand... 

Have an awesome week!