Thursday, May 4, 2017

Training Wheels


A stunner...

After our inaugural float with the Hooligan XL, we witnessed the potential of our home river from a radically different point of view. No longer were we tempted to drive an additional few hours to fish the Upper Delaware. In fact, we ended up fishing the Upper D zero times this Spring despite it being the main reason for obtaining the three person raft. The Lehigh proved too tempting to pass up and usually had no other people on it to compete for runs, pools, and rising fish. Our first float produced two stunning wild brown trout, one on a nymph and the other on a Quill Gordon comparadun. On this float, we broke out the streamer rods and Ryan drummed one up from the deep. The fish, whether a holdover or a wild brown, was absolutely stunning and was another reminder of the potential that the Lehigh holds...

Monday, April 24, 2017

Evolution


We are all products of our environment. We've spent 20 years walking through the fertile Keystone waterways of our home while only recently picking our feet up and into some fishing-specific kayaks. The accessibility they allowed was intoxicating, but their limitations quickly became apparent. They didn't quite hit the mark.

Monday, April 10, 2017

The Opener


The trout openers of my youth are a lot different than the most recent first days of fishing I've experienced. When I was little, my father, brother, and I would stop by the local bait shop to pick up some mealy worms, night crawlers, and two dozen minnows in eager anticipation of the first or second Saturday in April. We'd often arrive early, but not early enough, to compete with hordes of other anglers intent on taking home their limits of freshly stocked rainbows, browns, and brook trout. I can state for a fact that I had no idea what a "wild" trout was. All I knew was that there was fish in the water and I could take them home with me in a bucket or on a stringer. Most often, I felt guilty about keeping a trout and we kept the fish alive in a bucket until it slowly asphyxiated to death. I look back on those moments of childhood horror as one of the main reasons why I have caught and released almost every fish I've caught since. Anyway, as I transitioned into the sport of fly fishing in my early teenage years, opening day was just another day of trout fishing. I came to seemingly look down upon stocked fish (although I catch them all the time) and now anticipate wild places and the stream born fish that reside in them. Over the past few years, I have looked forward to the NY opener and it has officially replaced those eves of my childhood with something similar yet different at the same time.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Sojourn


Washing away the daily grind...

The middle of March has two faces, Winter and Spring. This manifested itself in the latter half of the month when I was wearing shorts, a t-shirt, and flip flops. A few days later, I was shoveling 12+ inches of snow and enjoying the benefits of a day off of work. These climatic variations show themselves on fishing trips too. March finds the angler layering and delayering clothes in order to stay warm and cool on the water.  Despite this, March is a great month for fly fishermen and women as its usually when the fishing starts to get good, the bugs start to hatch, and the fish begin to rise. Katie and I planned a short weekend trip to take advantage of the good weather but it ended up being even shorter than planned. It wasn't due to a poor fishing and/or camping experience but due to the constraints of work and school. The day and half on the water proved to be a stress reliever that we both needed in order to head back into the real world and the daily grind of adulting. 

Monday, March 13, 2017

Winter Windows


Full on weekend warrior status occurs in the winter time where the opportunities from work are restricted to a few precious Saturdays and Sundays. Fingers are always crossed hoping for a good weather window but more often than not, the temperature is terribly low. Every now and then, the stars align and you get to fish a winter day with temps in the 40s and 50s. Although rare, these days don't always guarantee good fishing but at least the fingers and toes aren't that upset. When I wasn't failing miserably at musky fishing from a SUP, I found a few good big water browns, small water gems, and even caught a few on top.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Almost a Year


Over the past two years, most of my fly fishing has been for musky, which has been a series of trials and tribulations. This winter, I had high hopes of fooling a few good specimens in our not so target rich environment. Time was spent with only a few follows and an early November eat that fueled a few more long days of casting and paddling on the river. My lack of success forced me to take a day trip to a creek that has produced for me before. I hoped to not go an entire year without landing a musky and I had a feeling with a new moon and rapidly dropping barometric pressure that my stars had aligned.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Rockvember


The alarm rings early, 4:30 to be exact, as I rise out of bed and straight into some winter fishing clothes. Unlike the previous five mornings, the snooze button is unused. Compared to work, the anticipation of fish is still one of the best alarm clocks one can ever use. I check the straps on the roof of my car ensuring that the previous night's preparation remained true and slide my 8 and 9 weights into the back of the Subaru. I meet Tyler around 5 and we put the kayaks in the bed of his pickup. Along the way we stop at Royal Farms for a little coffee and croissants with chicken, eggs, and cheese. We are on are way for striped bass and only have a small window of opportunity. There is little time to waste and Tyler is in a hurry. At the put in, the early morning light is obscured by fog as we push off into the flow...

Monday, October 17, 2016

Black Belt


A Friday night camping trip brought Katie and three of our good friends to Western Maryland. We arrived around 12:30 in the morning after a long drive in the rain to find Deena and her husband John awaiting us at our reserved cabins. We quickly reconnected, unloaded our belongings, drank a cold one, and went to bed. Two favorite flowing rivers awaited us in the early light and I dreamt of a large, colorful, wild brown trout that I was going to catch the following two days.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Summer Download



Over the years, I've slowly realized that summer fishing can be disappointing compared to the Fall and Spring seasons. That is mainly due to the doldrum months of July and August that feature very hot days that increase water temperatures to the point where I simply stop fishing. When combined with very low water, the fish simply need a break and this thought process extends beyond just trout. Therefore, the large majority of this photo dump features shots from late Spring and late Summer. From stripers and carp to bass and trout, the outings were short but full of diversity. With another hot summer on the horizon, I plan on traveling a bit more to find colder water. That or write a piece of legislation to change the structure of the school year so that my vacation coincides with the best fishing opportunities. All kidding aside, enjoy the photos. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Mt. Washington

The highest point in the northeast is a dangerous place. On the slopes of Mt. Washington in New Hampshire's White Mountains people have been caught unprepared and killed by hypothermia in every month of the year. Not to mention the lives claimed by rock slides, avalanches, and falls. While preparing for this hike we saw this video of some pretty serious weather on June 9, 2016. The wind has famously reached 231mph at one point in the 1930s, the highest wind ever recorded.

Our day on the mountain turned out to be just about as good as it gets with 70 degree temps at the trailhead and low 50s at the summit with continuous bluebird skies and no wind. We got very, very lucky.