Saturday, October 3, 2015

6 Reasons to go Bass Fish

6 Reasons to go Bass Fishing

 I contemplated early Wednesday morning why it would be a miserable day to go bass fishing in the swamp. Over the weekend they called for rain Tuesday and clear Wednesday. By the time Tuesday came they called for 60% rain for Wednesday morning and 20% the rest of the day. The weather was to be in the low 60’s with wind gusts up to 15mph.
 Sure, I’ve fished in the rain before but I’m not too sure the bass would be looking for surface poppers. That and I’ll be in a Kayak in the open so I wouldn’t have any cover should it downpour. Wind isn’t a fly fishermen’s best friend. Trying to get a light foam popper cast through the wind can present real problems. Also the wind will blow the Kayak around unless I get into the lily pad beds to anchor. They weren’t calling for thunder or lightening which was good but you’ll never know. Being it’s a half hour through the forest to the pond wouldn’t be much fun in rain or a thunder storm. I go fishing to relax but if it appears it will be more of frustration I’ll wait for a better day.
  On the other hand I thought of 6 reasons that I should go fishing.
1. I got a fly rod.
2. I got bass poppers
3. I got a rain coat
4. I got a kayak
5. I got Cigars
6. I got the day off!
I went fish’n!  

 I got a late start. I had a big breakfast and after putting all my gear in the van, including my kayak, I was on my way. I was still trying to convince myself, as I drove north in the misty rain, that this wasn’t going to be a frustrating outing.
 It was near 10 am when I pulled into the empty parking area. I wasn’t as excited as I usually am about fishing the swamp. The rain had ceased but it was a dreary feeling wet morning. The overcast sky was hard to predict. I noticed the leaves were starting to change into their autumn colors. They didn’t appear to be bright and colorful like you see in pictures. The leaves and autumn scenery looked more like a drab fresh watercolor painting dripping as if still wet.
 I got the kayak on the dolly and started packing it with my gear. It wasn’t until I took out the 7 weight fly rod, as the sky was clearing up some, that I started to get a little spark in my disposition. I just had a good feeling finally that I was going to have a fun day despite the wind and weather.

 Anytime I had mentioned this swamp around Marienville I’ve heard stories of the BIG BASS that are here. I hear how they catch them. When on the water I’ve talked with fishermen and also overheard conversations of how “the last time we were here we couldn’t keep them off the line!” I’ve never had a glory day of big bass constantly being caught myself. All these folks are either bait or lure fishermen and they begin to tell me the best lure and how to work it on the bottom. I refrain from using a spinning rod and prefer my fly rod. In fact only my friend Jeff and I are the only ones I’ve ever seen fishing a fly rod. Maybe I’ll never have a bass glory day because of this but I’ve had some memorable times that I wouldn’t trade for a spinning rod.

 As I rolled the kayak down the trail, through the forest, I kept an ear for the force of the wind. The leaves tried their best to rustle up some crispy noise, as the wind blew, but being wet and all it was a soggy muffle. A deer appeared in front of me along the lane. She stood there and looked on like I shouldn’t be out on a morning such as this. I got a quick picture and continued on as it darted into the damp forest.

 When I got out from under the canopy of trees and got within sight of the swamp I was relieved. Though the sky was a cloudy grayish blue it didn’t look like any darker clouds would bring in any downpour. The wind was constant though but I was hoping it was a little calmer down on the water. I took the kayak off the dolly and drug it over the rough grassy field down to the water. 

 With the recent rain the water had risen that I was able to get the kayak into the water without stepping into the soft marshy grass. Also I didn’t have to step into the muck and silt to get my kayak into the open water through the lily pad grove.
 The wind didn’t feel any calmer at the water so I had to put in a little more effort in paddling the kayak to get it to track straight. The water wasn’t extremely choppy but the wind kept the surface a wavy puzzle of glare. I stopped, once I got out a ways, and it didn’t take the wind any time at all to spin the 10 foot kayak facing it back in the direction I came. Not sure if it was telling me something but I wasn’t giving up or letting this wind ruin my day. I had fished the swamp in the wind before and knew my best bet was to anchor in the lily pads to keep from blowing around. 

I drifted my way towards the lily pads to make my first few casts. I dropped the claw hammer anchor just shy of the lily pads hoping it would catch before the wind blew me too far into the pad grove. I already had a popper knotted on so I stripped line out as the kayak settled.

 My cast was a bit further out from the lily pads than I would have liked. I gave it a quick strip, for some noise, and let it drift with the wind and current towards the edge of the pads. As it drifted closer I started stripping it towards me. I paused for a second or two and gave a good tug and let it settle again. The bass slurped the popper with a gulp like a bigger blue gill would. I jerked back on the line and the surface swirl told me this wasn’t a big blue gill. The line drew taunt and the rod flexed towards the battling bass. I pulled the rod towards the open water trying to force the bass away from the lily pads. The bass followed the line away from the pads and with force pulled towards the open water to my right. The kayak actually pivoted with the force of the bass. It semi circled around me as I kept the rod high trying to force it to the kayak. After a bit more of a battle I got the bass near enough to the kayak to net it. I hadn’t been in the water for an hour and already had a nice bass in the yak. Maybe it wasn’t going to be that bad of a day after all. 

After I released it I dried my hands and reached in, under my rain coat, and pulled out a Short Torp Brick House. 
 I fished the lily pads along the bank but the wind kept guiding me into the pads. I decided to cross the pond and look for calmer water. Back in a cove I found some calmer water. Small fish were going after my popper so I decided to attach a smaller one on and have some fun while I enjoyed my cigar.

 I continued to fish along the lily pads fighting the wind. I couldn’t get any bass to come up so I paddled to the open water, between some lily growths that looked like a good spot to spend some extra time. I anchored in the lily pads to keep from drifted and knotted on a #1 frog popper. It was just afternoon and I was hoping the bass were coming out from hiding to find an easy meal. I looked over the wavy open pool of water and figured if I can get a clean cast, towards the far growth, I can swim the frog popper back towards me just like a frog would.

 With the wind at my back, I let line fly towards the far lily pads. The popper followed and touched down on a pad at the edge of the growth. After the line settled, a sharp twitch of the rod tip slid the popper onto the wavy water surface with a subtle splash. Two quick strips of the line made the popper gurgle and I was sure enough commotion to draw attention. I waited about two seconds and than stripped and popped the foam and feather frog aggressively towards me like a frog escaping from danger. A bass attacked it from the side with a leaping gulp. I waited just a second and than yanked back on the rod and felt the rod flex instantly and the resistance on the other end. As the bass dove deep I tightened my grip on the cork handle and tried to keep the rod sections up to keep the bass from taking me into the swamp moss below. After a quick swim towards me he turned and surged out towards my right with good weighty force that I let some tensioned line through my fingers while keeping a good firm grip on the cork. I was able to feel the kayak drift among the lily pads with the force of the pulls. We battled back and forth as I tired him out keeping him away from the lily pads. Once nearer the kayak he aggressively splashed with weighty body language until I was able to get a thumb hold in his jaw. The nice bass got my blood flowing again in anticipation of more to come.

 That’s kind of the way it went for the next couple of hours alone on the water. Aggressive stripping of the popper, with short pauses, created some aggressive takes. When things slowed I’d mess with the blue gill for fun. 

  I could tell it was getting later in the evening. The wind died down some and I found calmer water along the lily pad growth. I was getting more taps with blue gill but stuck with the #1 popper hoping for a sure bass. I wasn’t too far from my exit point knowing it was going to take time to get out of the swamp, pack up and get back to the van before dark.

 With only a cool breeze blowing now and then I kept the anchor out and let it drag along the bottom slowing me down some. The kayak would slowly drift towards the bank side lily pads but gave me enough time to get a few casts out towards them before drifting into them.

 My cast was aimed between the lily pads in a narrow stretch of open water that lead to the bank. It looked like an open path used by a muskrat. The popper fell with a plop. Within seconds a bass rose and gulped the popper before the rest of the line fell to the water. I yanked back and the slack line flew up in the air and tightened. The swirl, in between the lily pad growth, told me I had a hook into it but I wasn’t sure how deep. I pulled line in quickly, with my left hand, and gave an extra tug on the rod to make sure of a good set. The bass surfaced momentarily and swam beneath the lily pads. I pulled back on the rod and somehow got him out from the lily pad vines without tangling up. I had him in open water without the risk of losing him. After a short skirmish I got him to the kayak. 

  I cast out a few more times without a hit and decided to call it a day before it got any later. I paddled towards my exit point and got out on dry land without any problems.
 I found it easier to drag the kayak on the field grass to the lane instead of trying to keep it on the dolly over the bumpy terrain. Once at the lane I secured the kayak on the dolly and headed through the forest towards the parking area.
 At the van I took my time sorting things out and putting them away while sipping on a cold beer.

 Well, though the weather wasn’t the calmest nor warm it turned out to be a better catching day than I would have thought. I figured that this would be my last journey of the year to the bass swamp. My thoughts and preparation would now be for Lake Erie steelhead.



Monday, September 28, 2015

Swamp Bass

Swamp Bass

 The sun was still rising when I made it to the bank of the swamp. It looked like the beginning of some horror movie. Bright early sunshine and swamp lily pads lying on the surface water out from the bank. A forest of trees as far as the eyes can see without any sign of life. Even the name “Buzzard Swamp” seemed to make a good title for the movie.
 I knew it would be rough getting the kayak over the lily pads and underwater vines. I dug my paddle into the soft moss and mud beneath to get enough leverage to shimmy my way out to the open water. The paddle ridden with strands of stems and moss attaching itself with every stroke was becoming quite a mess.
 Once clear of the lily pads I rinsed off the muck on my old pair of sneakers and the paddle. I paddled out through the channel towards the main body of water before taking a break.
 A slight of a breeze was felt but not strong enough to ripple the surface water. The water surface was a dead calm except for the small waves caused by my kayak. Except for an occasional caw of a distant crow it was deathly silent. Old gray tree trunks sprouted up out of the water throughout the swamp. Entangled deadfalls lay near the banks here and there making good cover for an ambushing large mouth. I lit up my first cigar at about a quarter to 9 in the morning. I started to relax and beginning to enjoy much more of the morning after the half hour of rolling my kayak down the overgrown grassy trail through the forest to the swamp.

 I missed the first bass along a tangle of deadfalls. The bass emerged suddenly when I was swimming the popper back towards me with easy strips. I couldn’t get another to rise so I searched about for another good looking location. I had the whole place to myself so there was no hurry to get to any specific area I had found bass before.
 As I paddled the breeze picked up and brought with it a morning chill. I felt my beads of sweat on my skin turn cold, from hauling the kayak and roughing my way through the muck. The surface water, that was earlier a mirror surface and reflections had turned into printed ruffled bed sheets and distorted images.
 I let my claw hammer down, I used for an anchor, in the shallow water and stripped line out of the 7wt. fly rod to make a cast along the lily pads. Each cast was a practiced art even taken in consideration with the soft breeze. With enough applied force and timing I had the popper maneuvering through the air like a thrown marshmallow and landing on the surface water like a frog from a lily pad.
 I skipped and popped the frog imitation with a pause now and then. At first each cast I expected a strike but it took some time for a grab.

The popper fell to the edge of a peninsula of lily pads. I stripped line with short strokes and let it rest for a second. A fish shot out and up from the pads with a quick sweeping rush. I towed back on the rod handle and it felt like I got a good hook set. Right off I could feel it wasn’t a big bass but I got it to the kayak safely and that ’broke the ice’ as they say.

 The day slowly wore on and if it wasn’t for the pleasant scenery and solitude I might have left the theater. 

 Like a B horror flick there isn’t much of a plot. It drags on as you wait for some surprise and excitement. The day was going that way. It wasn’t that I expected some monster bass to chomp a chunk out of my kayak or my kayak was going to tip over and I’d be entangled in the lily pads. I was just waiting for an explosion of a bucket mouth to terrorize one of my poppers at any time.
 The wind kept up so my claw hammer anchor was only slowing the kayak down a little in the more open water. I would only get a few casts towards the lily pad before blowing out too far away or blowing smack into them. I found a calmer area on the swamp but couldn’t get a strike. I changed popper colors and shades often. Sometimes i got a blue gill to grab the trailing feather because the hook size was most likely too big to fit in their mouths. When there was an exposed stump I’d tie off to it and spend a few minutes casting about. It got to the point my best option was to get right into the lily pads and drop the anchor. It would tangle up enough in the underwater vines and moss that the wind couldn’t dislodge me. I would let enough anchor line out that would put me just at the edge and cast from there.
 It was just afternoon and I think I was on my third cigar. I came to the conclusion that nothing wanted to do with any of my shades of frog poppers. I had been changing colors and occasionally would get a blue gill to mouth the tail feathers of my brighter colors but I was after bass and refused to down size just to catch one of the gills.
 I had anchored in the lily pads and strung enough anchor line out to cast along some lily pads extending from shore. There were also a few pods of pads here and there in the shallow area within casting distance. With the wind behind me I got good distance so I stuck around the area longer than most of the other places I had visited. I watched as my popper would ride the waves like a small piece of drift wood in an ebb tide. I’d pop it now and then just for some action.

 I attached a silver and purple popper I tied up. I didn’t even have a name for it, it was just something different and wasn’t to resemble anything in particular. I cast it into a slow wind riffle of water between two lily pad groves. After popping it I let it sit and slowly drift with the wind force. The take wasn’t an explosion but a big enough gulp and water spurt that I hauled back thinking this got to be a bass. Sure enough I felt the weight of the fish as the rod flexed into the mid section. He pulled and tugged testing the rod strength as well as the drag I had set. I kept the rod out towards the open water not wanting him to take me into the lily pads. When I got him close to the kayak I reached for my net, behind me to my left, but found that the elastic cord that I had attached to a back strap wasn’t long enough to net the big bass on the right side of the kayak. I ended up tiring him out enough to get him to rise to the surface so I could lip him. My big bass and all the excitement I was waiting for ended in a matter of seconds. It felt good to land the big guy.

 After releasing him I checked the time. I had a party I was invited to so this day I had a time limit. Just like the movies, you begin to keep an eye on the clock to see when it will end and wait for the next exciting moment in the picture. I had about an hour and a half before time was up. I slowly made my way, anchoring in lily pads, casting out in front of me for another bass.

 My cast put the popper up against the edge of the lily pads that extended pretty far out from the grassy bank. I was swimming it back to me in a slow retrieve. I let it stop and set just on the other side of a few lily pads that lay upon the water in the open about 12 yards out. I tie my poppers with stiff hackle feathers behind the foam so it doesn’t add any weight or absorb water. This way when I get in this situation I can flip the rod up and the foam popper, with the stiff feathers, usually glide over the pads without getting hung up.
 “Wham”!! A bass inhaled the popper before I was able to flip it up over the pads. I was already in the motion to do so, so I just yanked a little harder and set the hook. This big boy hauled ass out into the open like a tug boat full steam ahead. With the rod flexed deep he turned and headed towards me to my left into the lily pads. I knew I was anchored too far into the lily pads that there was a good possibility I wouldn’t be able to land him if the pads were too thick. I felt the tugging and yanking as I held the rod handle up with the rod tip in a good arc. The tugging on the other end ceased but my rod was still in an arc. I tugged a few time in hopes that I could feel the fish tug back on the other end but that wasn’t the case. I was left with a mass of moss and lily pad vines.

 I took a swig of water and slowly fished my way to my exit point. I caught one smaller bass on a small frog popper before trudging my way through the muck back to land. From there I drug the kayak up through the field of grass to the lane. 

On the lane I strapped the kayak to my home made dolly and began my ½ hour journey back to the van.
 At the vehicle I opened a bottle of cooler chilled beer and quenched my thirst while I packed everything into my van. Just before leaving I lit up a Brick House Churchill for the ride home. Sure I didn’t catch many bass but it sure was a pleasant outing without any horrible encounters!

 “I’ll be back”

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Bass in a 'Yak"

Bass in a “Yak”

 This year I made my annual bass pond excursion in a Kayak. I had bought a 10’ Sundolphin Journey SS already set up for fishing. I was looking around for ideas of a cart to roll this down to the pond when I came across a golf cart dolly at a consignment shop for $10.00. A little thought and not much work I made it into a dolly to roll my kayak around to far places.
 So instead of carrying a 40 to 50lb backpack for about 45 minutes filled with a float tube, pump, flippers and fly gear I now can shorten my walk and not have that heavy pack on my back.

 I arrived Saturday morning in the gravel parking area. After assembling the dolly and securing the kayak on the dolly I consciously loaded the kayak with what I needed and proceeded to roll down the lane leading to the pond through the Allegheny National Forest.
 The last few days the weather had been in the 80’s with high humidity. Today was supposed to be the same but so far the early morning was quite cool. The sky was full of white clouds as I trekked through the forest, under the canopy of trees, towards the rising sun. A cool breeze would feather through the forest carrying with it the smell of fresh pine and moss. I felt like this was going to be a relaxing outing and hopefully a few big bucket mouths.

 The kayak was a little wobbly on the way down but this first experience taught me a few things to better position the dolly under the ‘yak’.
 When the pond came into view I was relieved that it wasn’t overgrown with lily pads. From the distance it looked like a wonderful place to spend the day searching for largemouth bass.

 Once at the pond I assembled the 9’ 7 weight fly rod and knotted on a fresh frog leg popper. I folded up the dolly and it fit nicely in the back compartment. 

 It was a little struggle scooting and paddle pushing through the bank side muck and young lily pads but I got through it without having to get out of the yak. Once in the deeper channel of water, that lead to the bigger section of the pond, I was excited and anticipating a leisurely fishing adventure.
 The pond was calm with an occasional breeze that wrinkled the surface water. There were lots of areas where lily pads covered the water surface making good cover for bass to hide.

 I was kind of enjoying the scenery as I slowly paddled looking for a good place to make my first cast.

  I spotted a tangle of uprooted trees and branches just out from the bank. Small lily pads covered the surface water nearly surrounding the area of the tangle. I dropped the hammer anchor in the water just far enough out that I could reach the tangle with a long cast.
 I unhooked the frog popper from the hook keeper and let it sit on the water as I pulled line out of the reel. With a few false casts I had a good bit of line out and enough to get the popper near the cover.
 My forward cast carried the frog popper towards the structure and the popper landed with a plop just shy of a small branch that extended beyond the small lily pads. I popped it once, with a sharp yank of the fly line, and than swam it towards me with slow even strokes.
 on my next cast I held the cork grip firmly, false cast, and pointed the rod tip towards the middle of the structure. The popper shot forward and fell onto the calm water between two thick branches that rose out of the water as if it ‘Y’d’ beneath. The water exploded without warning spraying water everywhere. In surprise, yet instinctively, I reared back on the 9’ rod to set the hook. The medium action rod flexed into the middle section and I felt the forceful tugging of a hooked bass. He drove hard out to my left in deeper water with strength and determination to get free. I kept the rod skyward not wanting the get the line tangled up in any unseen obstructions beneath though the rod tip flexed downward towards the fighting bass. We tussled with each other to get the upper hand and I won out with him finally swimming toward the kayak. I scooped him up in the net and my first bass was a doozy as far as I was concerned. 

 I only had been in the water for about 45 minutes and already had a bass in the yak. The excitement and fresh air cleared away any drowsiness or slumber from my early rise. After the long haul with the kayak I felt rejuvenated. I took out my first stogie and lit it up while looking over the water before me.

 I paddled around, anchored and fished throughout the morning. I caught a few small bass and a couple of hungry bluegill and missed a few good gulps at the poppers. I stuck with top water poppers and stick baits always anticipating a strike.

 Two canoes entered the pond a couple of hours after I got there. They also roamed the pond in search of fish.
 I came across a small cove that I was getting more action than any other location on the pond. I anchored down and took my time covering the open water almost surrounded by lily pads. I worked my way patiently towards a small channel that creased between one opening in the lily pads to where the water flowed towards me.
 It had to be just after noon. When the sun was out from the clouds it felt like it was shooting hot laser beams down upon the water. Looking closely at the water surface the heat met with the cooler water temperature and distorted the surface air in an illusion of wave like vapors. The cool breeze that occasionally swept the pond was a welcome relief though it did cause some misappropriated casts. Even so some of the bass were not hampered by the heat wave.
  I was just anchored near a short jutting stump. I made a long cast to my right near the edge of the lily pad growth. There were a few strands the floated above the water between me and the growth so I knew I had to be careful to steer the frog away from getting hung up. As I was swimming the frog  just to the side of a few lily sprouts my popper disappeared into a big gulp of water. I quickly yanked back and felt the resistance. Waiting to fill the tug of a fish never came to be, yet my rod was still flexed towards the sprouts. Bringing in the heavy line I was left with a mass of vine and heavy pond moss. I couldn’t understand how I missed the big mouth.

 I was once told that after a bass takes a top water lure you should count 2 seconds before setting the hook. It sounds reasonable enough. Bass inhales its food and I suppose if you yank too soon, while its big mouth is still open, you can miss the mouth completely. Waiting a second or two might just be long enough to have the bass close its mouth and get a hook into it. I’ve been missing some grabs so I was about to try it on the next take. I’ll admit, being a trout fisherman, it isn’t easy not to set the hook quickly on the first sign of a take.

 I wasn’t directing my cast to any target in particular and let it fly to the small riffle of water that channeled into the open water before me. The cast was long and straight and the popper fell with an audible splash. A couple of sharp tugs and I was swimming the frog popper towards me. The water erupted in a boil mid swim and I consciously waited just a second before yanking a hook set. I felt the hook strike something solid and a bass tugged and fought beneath the water surface. He felt like another nice one. He swam swiftly towards the stump on my left and had enough strength to pull the line up over the stump as he cleared the stump on the other side. I held the rod high enough over the stump not to get hung up. I had no control over the bass as he than swam towards me, deep, heading under the kayak. I took my chance and reached the rod outward trying to coax him away from under the yak. He turned from under the kayak and swam back into the open water. Getting him closer to the yak he didn’t give up too easily and dove deep enough to again flexing the fly rod into the midsection. I played him a little longer before I forcefully took the initiative and got him to the net.

 After another half hour or so things slowed down that I couldn’t get a bass to rise. It was getting near 3:00pm and my body was tiring from the early morning wake up call and day activity. I slowly paddled my way, while stopping to fish now and then, towards my exit point. I hooked up three times to small bass and missed a couple of quick snapping hits I figured were bluegills. 

 Back through the shallow pond moss I was able to get to the bank without much trouble. I figured it was easier to drag the kayak up hill, upon the bumpy field grass, than trying to push the cart over the shallow gullies and holes. Once at the lane I took my time and secured the kayak on the dolly for the ‘drive’ back to the van.
 On the way back I seen somebody’s cart didn’t quite last.

 It turned out to be a good day out on the bass pond. Not a banner day or big bucket mouths but a good outing as far as I was concerned. It sure was good to have a cold beer waiting for me at the van!!


Friday, July 24, 2015

T-Glass and Wild Trout

T-Glass and Wild Trout

 I never felt I had a need for a 2 weight fly rod. Sometimes I think a 2 weight is just something that would be fun to use but do I really need one just to say I own one and used one? I mean, how many times will I really use it? I got a Hardy Demon 7’ 3 weight for small streams. It has a quick action I can cast with just my wrist when I don’t have room behind me. For more open small creeks I have a 7’ Diamonglass 3 weight. Its action is slow as molasses but playing a trout on glass is always fun and enjoyable. Now, if someone would give me one to sample with an option to buy at a discount price, I’d take him up on the sampling but it would have to be pretty impressive for me to buy.
 A friend just so happen to hand me a demo Wright & McGill Generation II S-Curve 7’ 2 weight. He said if I like it he would sell it to me at a discount price. I had it for a few days and read the literature that was still zip tied to the rod tube cap. In short it combines what they call T-Glass with high-density graphite as the core of the blank. It is then wrapped by carbon tape and high-density graphite to eliminate cracking and to increase breaking strength. Not getting into to it any deeper it sounds like a Glass rod with carbon and graphite combined! I wasn’t sure what the action of the rod was going to feel like, either glass or graphite. I was kind of anxious to find out though.
 My plan for the day was to hit a small mountain creek. I was planning on dry fly fishing so I wouldn’t need much gear. A pair of hip boots, a small chest pack, cigars, and the rod and reel was all I needed for a few hours.
 I didn’t have 2 weight line but I did have 444dt 3 weight line on a small graphite reel I figured would work just fine. I packed my gear in the Harley saddlebags, fired up the V-twin and I was on my way.

Didn’t need much and it fit all on the Harley

 I started walking down a trail figuring I’d fish my way up creek towards my bike. A short ways down creek I met up with a fellow. He had a spinning rod in his hand and we carried on a short conversation. He had been fishing from the bridge down creek for the past hour. He said he caught quite a few stock trout and a few small wild brook trout. I asked him what he was using and he said “maggots.” After hearing that he’d been fishing along the creek I plan on fishing my excitement started to diminish some. I wasn’t going to go back to my bike and change cloth and go somewhere else. I had to face the fact that the creek had been gone over recently and the trout might not be so responsive. As I walked along the path I was just hoping there were a few wild brookies that got undisturbed and might be looking up for some food.
 I stopped at a nice looking section of water and knotted on a #16 Adam dry fly. I lit up an Ave Maria cigar to bide my time and hoped for the best.
 The sun was shining in the blue, white puffy clouded, sky. The air was cool in the shade but the sun was warm when I stepped out of the shadows. The water ran mountain stream clear, good depth and cold to touch. Deeper sections were deep enough that the bottom rocks and stones weren’t visible. Long green stemmed grass bordered the banks in open areas with occasional laurel overhanging the banks. Under the canopy of forest, trees lines the creek and there were many more hazards such as tangling branches and droopy pine boughs. It was a gorgeous summer day!

Getting into the faster riffles I felt the small Adam wasn’t the easiest to see so I changed to a humpy. I tried a beetle in slower waters near overhangs but for at least an hour I couldn’t get anything to rise. I figured the other fisherman must have done a good job catching and spooking the fish. I finally tied on a #14 parachute Adams and continued on.
 I had a lot of practice by now casting and controlling the T-glass. It wasn’t as slow or flexible as my Diamond glass. It did flex well near the middle of the rod but had a quick reflex on the forward cast. It was in no way as fast as the Hardy though. I have to say it had a good feel to it. I was able to sidearm my casts without much of a line drop as with a slow action rod. When I would cast straight up creek it had plenty of power though I didn’t need to make long up creek casts.

 I side armed a smooth cast up creek just behind some branches that tipped the water surface. I held the rod high and slowly took in line as the dry fly drifted towards the laurel. It passed beneath and I watched it as it passed by me on the far side. I was in the shadows only up to my ankles off the bank. The dry fly started to bounce a little in the current when a surface splash disturbed it. I quickly raised the rod and took in line. The wild trout darted playfully within the current trying to shake the hook out of its mouth. After an hour of nothingness my first trout came to hand. A beautiful wild brook trout. 

 I was hoping I would find more hungry trout but for another hour I didn’t manage to raise another trout. Even so, the scenery was great and I was enjoying myself in the peaceful wilderness.
 When I got back to my cycle I wasn’t ready to give up but I hated to think of breaking everything down and changing clothes just to drive down creek and reassemble and dress again.

After contemplating I broke the rod down to two sections and put it in the saddlebags. I took the small chest pack and put this in the leather tour pack. I didn’t need to drive too far to where I wanted to fish down creek so with my hip boots still on I straddled the cycle seat and fired the Harley up. Keeping my hip boots away from the mufflers I drove down creek to the big dirt/gravel parking area.

 I knew this section gets hit hard during the first couple of months of the regular trout season opener. I knew there would be a few wild trout about though and was hoping they weren’t disturbed as of yet.
 I was right; it wasn’t long before I caught a small brookie in the slower current along the far bank.

  When I came to the falls I circled around and cast my dry Adam up into the foam. Continuing casting I got a trout to rise into vision but not to the surface. After a few more casts he gave up and disappeared into the deep darkness. I cast the Adam near the far bank but didn’t get any sign of a take. I decided to switch to a beetle pattern.
 Cast after cast towards the bubbling falls I tried to get a fish from beneath to rise. My one cast was ¾ the way across stream just shy of the foam. It drifted slowly and I saw the fish rise, look and take the beetle imitation. A quick rising sweep of the rod and it flexed downward some with the hooked fish. I watched as the trout scurried about but was no match for the T-glass and soon I had him in my palm. I was surprised by the small palomino trout.

 I fished down creek a short piece before tying on the Adam dry fly again. Letting the dry drift down creek with the riffles a trout splashed at the dry and my reflexes was quick enough to get a hold on him. I could tell he was a bit more powerful and heavier than the other trout. I kept the rod angled down as I brought him up creek towards me. It looked like this stocked trout had avoided getting itself into trouble with other fishermen and finally got fooled. The slim brown trout was fine enough to end the day with.

 I had only caught 4 trout for the few hours I spent but the time out was surely enjoyable. The 2 weight far exceeded my expectations with its performance. In other words, I was adding this to my collection.