Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Old acquaintances, familiar waters, and old friends

This past Christmas was nice.  The new families members all got together and played like all children do that are under the age of two!  It was nice to be home, but I could not stop thinking about how wonderful it will be to go fish some of the Lake Erie tributaries on the Monday after the holiday.  I kissed my wife good bye and she headed home.  I got all my stuff together.  On this outing I took my TFO 11’ 8wt (rated for 400-600 grains) to the river.  I would string up the large arbor Battenkill number five with the Scientific Angler Supra Skagit 500 grains.  This line has a head of 27 feet.  I ran a 5’9” section of T14. This set up for the flows I was dealing with today would be the sweet spot in my humble opinion.  The total grain weight of this exact set up is 580.50 grains.  I would wade down to the lowest possible area at day break to swing for any steelhead that might be hanging out.  I swung my Sculpinzilla.  The pattern looks awesome wet better than I had planned for it.  It’s defiantly made for sinking! I did not have any takers.  The T14 tip was good for the flows all day.  The area has had no snow, and everything I saw did not have any frost on it.  The ground is saturated with water.  I waded out from my first section, and proceeded to watch an angler walk right across the river.  He never said “hey do you mind if I cross here” or anything.  I reeled up my line and proceeded to choke him with it “allegedly”.   No, I did not do anything I just walked on by him praying someday he would lose his stupidity.  I don’t like fishing around people I don’t know and that one be just another reason I hate fishing around people.  So I got a call from a friend and he said they would be at access X on the river.  I thought cool I will go swing some flies laugh and see him.  I walked up stream and saw him, and said “hey is this where the cool kids hang out”?  He laughed and said how you been?  I said the holidays have been great but it’s good to see you.  He had a young lad with him Mario from all indications for being only 14 I believe can swing a mean switch rod.   I proceeded to walk up stream with my friend to yet another gentleman he was fishing with.   I watched the accomplished fly fisherman cast with an effortless stroke.  That’s what I enjoy about two hander fishing.  The less effort you put into it the better your cast is.  He later offered some great advice to help me with my casting stroke.  I took it all in and he was right jus ta little tweek made my cast go from 35 feet to 45 feet!  I thanked him cause I have never had a reel idea what I'm doing, and have never been critiqued.  I shook my friends hand and he went on fishing.  I walked up about 400 yards and began to swing through some nice pockets, runs and riffles.  I would lose quite a few flies here!  I did not tie on my Sculpinzilla.  I fished intruders purple over black, blue over black, and black over purple.  Not one grabs or nibbles.  I did not care I was on vacation up here for three days of this so I was bound to at least hook up once or so I thought.   We fished along the same stretch of water for about an hour.  They left before me and proceeded up stream.  I went to knock on a door of an old friend and ask him if I could fish behind in house in the valley.  He granted me access and seemed to be really happy I still ask after all these years.  I walked down into the 300 foot gorge.   I saw no traces of anyone else being here.  That’s one thing about this place it’s a haul to get in and out.  I saw remnants of the Bald Eagle nests.  I was surprised not to see them this year.  I normally see one of them when I snap a branch of two on purpose.  They normally peek out of their nests and look at me!  Well no fish where hooked in this section but once again it was all about being alone with hopes of possibly hooking a fish. Well enjoy the pictures!