Lots of posts after this past week so things arecertainly starting to liven up in here and on the troutstream. Nothing like a couple of summer like days lastweek to kick everything into high gear. So on that note I decidedto kick off my 2018 Trout Campaign this pastweekend. I had planned to fish on Friday May 4thbut had an unfortunate issue with a tire going flat on my wife's truck Thursdayevening so I had to deal with that on Friday morning. Can'tgo fishin' while the wife is in duress.....that's not a good look;-) So that brought me to Friday evening drooling over the PAstream flow gauges and knowing that my chosen stream was going to bepriiiiime-tiiiiime from both a flow and temperature standpoint. I packed most everything in the truck and hit that sack like a kid on ChristmasEve struggling to fall asleep. I somehow musthave set my alarm for PM instead of AM so it never went off but luckily Ididn't wake up too awful late but the 30 minutes I'd lost was most certainlygiving me anxiety and it would prove an issue a few hours later (although I'dovercome that).
I arrived at the stream a good 40 minutes afterfirst casting light and on the way remembered that I’d forgotten my bike, whichreally ticked me off knowing I’d now have to walk along the road. In order to save my bar boots the beatingon the asphalt, instead of ditching my bike upstream I ditched my sneakers inthe weeds haha. I quickly shot backdownstream and eased into my spot and began to feverishly put my gear on. I was really excited to get started andfelt I’d missed a good bit of quality time on the water. As I slithered over and peered at thestream it was indeed flowing perfectly.
I snapped my bail over, which felt weird for somereason, let the first cast fly, snapped the ball back over, which once againfelt weird, and brought the spinner back empty. I sent a few more fruitless casts and eachtime the reel felt weird. I took agood close look at it and came to find that I had packed my old Ci4 the nightbefore and not my new model. I guess I am still just sooooo used to the oldone and the new on is still new enough that I didn’t even notice thedifference. Normally not a big deal butthis particular reel doesn’t snap the bail fully closed but maybe 60% of thetime so when you set the hook the bail snaps open again and you almost alwayslose the fish. So my choice was tojust bag it and head home or adapt and manually close the bail for the entiretrip. I chose option #2 and started toaccept and get used to that for every cast. As I worked my way upstream it just became an afterthought and I startedto ease into a grove a little. At firstthe fishing was pretty slow but I expected that. I also expected it to pick up right aboutthe spot that it did, well, pick up! Once I started to catch fish things really gotactive and fish were coming to hand very quickly.
As you can see we’re behind. That was fine though because the fish didn’tseem to mind and they responded just like they did last year, if not better,when I had one of my best days of the year to start the season off.
I was making tracks towards my half way point whenout of the corner of my eye I caught movement, which startled me. Another fisherman came out from behind thebush. In 10 years of fishing thisstream I’d never once seen another fisherman so I was rather shocked. As he approached I saw he had a stringer fullof nice wild browns in tow as well. That was a bit of a surprise to me being that you don’t see peoplekeeping limits of wild fish that often but I figured it was no real big dealsince the stream is loaded with fish and can afford someone killing a few. It’s legal anyhow so who am I to judge. He was a very nice fella and we spoke for afew minutes before shaking hands and parting ways. He was kind enough to tell me exactly wherehe started so I looped back around and to the truck. On the way back I saw 2 other fisherman soit was indeed a busy day on the water. I’ll go entire years without seeing 3 other trout fishermen on the samestream on the same day. Very rare forme.
When I hopped back into the creek where the guymentioned that he’d started he was definitely telling the truth. I caught trout immediately.
The fishing kept up the pace for a long time. I checked my phone to see it was about12:30PM and with family coming over later I knew it was about time get to mysneakers and head for the truck (at a snails pace). There was one more pool ahead which I sentmy spinner to the top of. The retrievewasn’t successful but as the spinner churned through the depths I noticed alarger fish sitting on the bottom. Thenext cast brought the offering less than an inch from its mouth and the largerunexpected rainbow moved ever so slightly and grabbed it. It was a real silver bullet and shot aroundthe hole in hopes of escaping. It wasn’tto be though and I was able to lift the 19” rainbow for a pic before quicklyreleasing it.
I fished for 5 more minutes and didn’t catchanother trout so that’s probably the first time ever that I landed a fish thatlarge to end the outing. For thetrip I had just crested the 200 trout mark. Despite the reel issues I caught a very large % of the trout that hit myspinner which I didn’t expect. I sawan eagle, a shaggy looking red fox, and a muskrat swim past me. On the walk back I saw this amazing tree thatwas fused completely at the base. Itwas half White Ash and half Sugar Maple.
I am more than curious if the trees are fusedenough to be sharing any internal workings. They were so bonded that at the base you couldn’t see any visible signsof a separation other than bark differences. Probably not amazing to most but to me that was one of the mostinteresting things I’ve ever seen in the wild. I’m a big tree guy though.
So another great start to this season much likelast year’s when I also broke the 200 mark. I’ve got some big plans for this year although I say that every year andevery year they don’t transpire. We’llsee how this one goes ;-)
Yes, bonded trees are very rare at all. They're just 2 main leaders from the same nut. I guess you could say they are twins in a way. The above was not something I'd seen although I've walk past that pair many times in the past but have never notices it until this day.
Something tells me you wouldn't have too hard of a time racking up 200 plus days TDM. For a guy like you it's nothing more than time spent on the water. You fish a bunch of days past noon time and you won't have any issue with the numbers you put up LOL. Unless the fishing is absolutely outrageous I normally need to fish until at least 1 p.m. to do that. This past weekend was a little better and I had it done at 12:45 when it was time to leave.
I got a pair of the bar boot soles for my Korkers, but haven’t tried them yet.
One thing I try to do with my bar boots because they are expensive and work best the newer they are is try not to walk great distances in them when not fishing. If I had a pair of Korker bars I would probably carry my regular rubber soles with me and when I was done fishing I would just put on the regular Vibram soles to walk back on. While the bar boots are exceptional Traction in the Stream they are a little bit less hike worthy than straight rubber on dry land (better than felt) because they are parallel on your boots so if you are walking on a slope sometimes they want to act like skis on dirt. Walking up a hill they are superb but walking across a hill they can get a little sketchy at times.
Other than that I just like to try and keep them as new as possible. Mine are now approaching three-quarters of a trout season so I would say that the durability is pretty good. I will probably have to replace them once a year which to me is worth it for the improve traction equal to or greater than felt so far.