December 01, 2018

A Tale Worth Repeating

I was early season scouting and found a new beaver dam.  Most of the beaver dam was in open water and I could see movement in the clear water.  This hole was loaded with brookies. I could see the red and white fins from a distance and a couple were big. I sometimes have a little boomerang in me and return to streams that have special places in my heart.  This dam was 100 yards below where I caught my very first trout on "Bogger Gut" as a five year old with my dad.

The bridge I was standing on had ice under it.  I saw what looked like a log through the ice until is moved. It was a huge brown just under the bridge.  My trout radar put this water on my hit list for opener.

My best fishing buddy John and I were in search of big brookies on opener. The hole looked to be maybe 40-50 inches deep.  I gave John the hole because I had caught the last fish and it was his turn.

He promptly caught a very nice brook trout.

John fooled her with this.

We caught about twenty brook trout from the hole and one brown.  It was a banner outing. It was near a bridge.  You can see the bridge railing in the reflection of the photo. I caught the brown under the bridge.  It was not the "big" I had seen through the ice.

I went back to under that bridge the minimum of 20 times that year with no luck.  I assumed the monster had moved out.

A year passed and my photo of John and his brookie caused a few of my buddies to want to try to catch the light colored female brookie.

I scouted the hole and saw the beaver dam had been knocked out by that spring's flooding.

My friend Al still wanted to take a look at where the big brookie use to live.

The hole was maybe a third as deep as before. Al wanted to try for it anyway.

Al hooked up on the second cast.

Once fooled and twice fooled. Al caught her on this.

With the beaver dam gone there was much less water that looked fishy. 

It was my turn to cast. The hole was spooked from the big brookie storming around in the hole and spooking everything else. I walked upstream and saw a shallow run under a bridge. I remembered the big brown from the year before.  I thought to myself there was zero chance it was still there with the water being so shallow. I had nothing to lose. I flicked a spinner up there and immediately got snagged. I set pretty hard on the snag thinking it was the big. It was snagged in there solid and I went to retrieve it.

I walked up to under the bridge and saw my spinner had snagged on the cement foundation on one of the bridge legs. The water depth was about 20 inches so I bent over after I rolled up my sleeve and reached in the shallow crystal clear water to unhook my spinner. My nose was nearly at water level when I saw something that sticks in my mind to this day. 

There was a slight indentation at the footer there and it slowly swam out of its home and grazed my hand as it came out and stopped literally right under my nose in 20 inches of water. It was a huge male brown that dwarfed the one pictured above not 20 inches from my nose.  It had the same markings as the other.  It had dark spots and lots of them but add eight inches.  It paused for a couple seconds.

 I could see its gills flaring as it breathed because it was so close. The head was elongated and it had a huge kype.  When it opened its mouth I could see the contrast of the white of its inner mouth to its dark head with lots of close together dark spots. 

  The long skinny ancient brown then blasted downstream in 4 inches of water with half of its body out of the water and disappeared downstream. My friend Al was seated watching the whole thing and was dumbfounded as he witnessed the huge brown blast past him in the shallow water. I returned five times to chase it and actually stuck the end of my rod under the cement footer three times after I was done to see if it had returned.  Nobody home.

November 30, 2018

Christmas Presents

Last year I gifted myself 2 new Penn Reel and 2 new Fenwick Rods.

The fenwick rods I love.  The Penn reel were functional but lacked a couple times.

This year I gifted myself 2 St. Croix Avid rods and a Daiwa Ballistic and Shimano Stradic reel.

Penns are now back ups.

November 29, 2018

They will ask you in 20 years what you were doing this day.

I was making seafood gumbo when the dominos began to fall.

I started my base at 6am.

1       heaping tablespoon chopped garlic
1.5    1.5 large diced yellow onions
60     ounce chicken broth
1       small can original rotel
8       ounces canned chicken breast
16     ounces Jimmy Dean sausage
8       ounces whole baby clams

Putting in squid and scallops at 3 pm.

Putting in shrimp and mussels in at 4pm along with okra and rice.

served at 5pm with oyster crackers.

Fishing Versus Catching

I have fished many places over the years.  Different states and even a different country.  One fact always seems to be an overriding factor in my choice of location.  It might sound cliché but "Trout Don't Live In Ugly Places."

The catching is great but the catching takes a back seat to the locations trout live in.  I would much prefer catching twenty trout in a setting that makes me lose tracking of how many I caught to a place that is nondescript and I catch one hundred trout.

“About ten years ago I made a comment to an acquaintance about trout fishing being so important to me, and he dismissed it.  He said trout fishing was the least important thing he does in life and I shouldn’t make it so important.  I wholeheartedly disagree with him.  Many people go to church to feel spiritual and be in touch with the universe.  I go into the outdoors to cleanse my soul.  All the things in life that bother me are melted away about a hundred yards from the truck.  The fish are only a bonus in the whole scheme of things.”