Wednesday, October 21, 2009

One of These Days...

My cell phone alarm awakened me early Sunday morning urging me to get the hell out of bed and go fishing. After the initial shock, I opened my tired eyes and in the gloom of the backlit screen I saw my two Labradors looking at me in the dark. They shifted their gaze and looked at each other before collapsing sideways into me. Their combined weight nearly pushed me off the bed. They must have thought I was crazy to be waking up at such an hour to leave the warm confines of my bed and head out into the heart of one of the season's first noreasters. I got their message and stopped the alarm.

Fall on the Pohopoco.

The Fish Congregate Under the Rhododendron.

I awoke several hours later and this time both dogs were off of my bed, eagerly gazing up at me. This time, they wanted me to get up. I obliged, and took them out for some early morning exercise. Tired and panting relentlessly, Riley and Sophie came back inside. They saw me head for my fishing gear and realized I was about to leave them. Normally, any movement towards a jacket or shoes results in several jumps or excited moans and groans. It's wierd when the dogs know when they are and are not welcomed. I always feel bad taking one and leaving the other, so they both get left behind. One day, when they are both mature enough to handle fishing and have some sort of stream etiquette, they will never be turned away.

A Shallow Poho Run.

The View From Below.

I arrived at the Pohopoco Creek tailwater emptying out of the Beltzville Dam around 9 a.m. The place was empty and I headed down to the stream. Looking downstream, a small layer of fog hovered precariously above the water. I rigged up my outfit and fumbled tying on my 7x on the dropper. For mid October, the weather felt more like late November. The cold air caused the joints in my hands to ache and the strongs winds traveled down any opening in my outer armor. The first cast produced a stocked rainbow who fell victim to a small, soft hackled flashback pheasant tail. I slowly made my way downstream and then back up. Heading upstream, I was casting directly into a strong wind that often caused my dry dropper combo to collapse in a heap of ruin. Every so often I got my long leader to unroll upstream and produce.

The First Bow = Mangled Mouth.

Ahh, Much Prettier.

Soft Hackle PT Slays.

& Claims Another.

Soft Hackle Hares Ear Does The Job Too.

Underwater Release.

Taking time off from fishing, I played around with the river bottom, lifting and turning over large rocks accompanied by thick vegetation. The stream was alive with insect life. Olive and yellow caddis, black and golden stones, and a strong population of sow and cressbugs. I took my time trying to take some micro shots. I took even more time trying to find a large black stone. I only produced a small one around a size 12. I tied on one of the blackstones I tied for the Salmon River. It was a size 6 with a tungsten bead and rubber legs galore. I heaved it upstream behind a fallen log. In the 12 inch water, the tungsten hit bottom in less than a second. In around 2 seconds, I saw a flash and set the hook. A small wild brown could not resist the large meal and he came to my cold eager hands.

Large Caddis Dwarfing A Small Stone.

One of the Small Stones.

Cress Bug.

Green Caddis Larva.

Small Black Stone.

My Large Black Imitation.


The next time I head out, one or both of those labs are coming with me. They need more training and I guess the only way to find out if they can handle it, is to throw them into the fire. If they spook all the fish or runaway, so be it. I'll probably have as big a smile on my face as they will on theirs.


Anonymous said...

great macro shots. Sweet

Wade Rivers said...

Beautiful images along with entertaining commentary.It doesn't get any better than that.

Mucho gracias.

Adam said...

I need to give you a crash course in taxonomy my friend. Instead of the (quite painful) large caddis and green caddis you could take them bad boys to their genus... Hydropsyche, and Rhyacophyla. Haha, I should use that on an exam..."Green Caddis", that would go over like a fart in church...

Mark said...

what are they biting on? What? WHAT ARE THEY BITING ON? WHAT? I SAID.....



Nah, I get your point, I really should learn the scientific names. Break me out of my stage, color, and size fly fishing habit.

You need to blog more.

Adam said...

Damn Straight...