Thursday, May 27, 2010

Cool Spring with the Demon

Cool Spring with the Demon

 After my grandson’s soccer game on Sunday I decided to take the new Hardy Demon rod for a walk on Cool Spring Creek in Mercer. It was near 70 degrees with the sun fully exposed shining down on this years fresh spring green leaves giving off a summer sun-shining day. The delayed harvest area was sure to be a good challenge to get to know the rod. With brushy bank-sides, narrow riffles and some wide sections for good casting distance I should know weather the rod is what I was looking for.
 I had used the new Demon rod briefly at a local stream up in Clarion and caught trout but the only 3wt line I had available was the doubletaper Sylk line I use for my Diamondglass rod. The Sylk line is a very soft limp line that works great with the fiberglass rod but was too wimpy for the graphite Demon. I got the 7’ Demon for the small narrow brushy creeks here in PA. I don’t know why but it seems most small rod manufacturer’s are geared to western streams or open forest casting without rearward hazards. Full flexed rods need a full forearm movement casting stroke and roll casting a weighted bugger with them isn’t easy or fun. I wanted a medium to medium/action rod with a quick recovery tip. One I can quick wrist cast but still have enough stiffness to roll cast a heavier bugger or nymph. The Demon seemed to fit the rod profile I was looking for but now I needed to get the right line for it.
 After talking to a couple of small rod owners they suggested on over-lining the 3wt with a 4wt line. This should give a little extra weight to flex the tip for quick, short wrist casts. Who am I to argue? I was about to give it a try with the Cortland 444 Fdt4 line I already owned.

 Standing in the creek, at the ‘Glory Hole’, the wide flat section of surface water reflects the full sunshine above. Bubbles, from the riffling water up creek, slowly flows with the slow surface current. I knot on a nymph to the end of the 7 ½’ tapered leader and roll cast it out towards the middle of the creek. After a few casts I tie on a dry fly and give it a whirl. I sidearm a beetle under the overhanging pine branches and finally flip out a bugger. The rod performs well enough, now it’s time to go upstream and catch some fish.

Cool Spring Creek has many downed tree trunks and branches for the trout to hide in and around. The creek has its deep holes but mostly runs shallow and narrow. Rainbows are the most dominate fish in the water, that I recall, and I figure the riffles, in this hot weather, are where to find them. The local Trout Unlimited has strategically placed stream diversions to keep the creek well oxygenated and good pools for the trout to hold over during the warmer months.

 I dip into the creek, down a muddy bank, up-creek from a nice flow of riffling water. Tying on an olive woolly bugger and casting out, I let it swing below and hang in the riffling current as I put a quid of tobacco in my lower left cheek. I bring in the line and add a strip of lead about 8” from the bugger. I slowly work my way downstream getting a feel for the rod with each cast. Across creek I spot a low hanging branch that covers its bank and shoreline. A limb is partly submerged and water threads its way through the thin branches and green leaves.
“A perfect place for a trout to hang out” I figure.

 I sidearm backhand the bugger towards the shallow far bank-side. I keep the rod tip up, not wanting to let the belly of the fly line to swing just yet. The bugger slides along the pebbles about 3 feet upstream from the branchy looking hideout. I watch the bugger as it starts to sink in the deeper slower moving water. I drop the rod tip and let the faster current start swinging the fly line and in turn the bugger begins to drift towards the branchy cover. As the bugger, beneath, starts to swing towards the faster current, following the belly of the fly line, I watch the line tighten and feel the tug. I side arm set the hook and the trout slices through the swift shallower water, downstream, towards my side of the creek. The Demon bends towards the middle from the fish’s struggle through the swifter current. Just below me the rainbow leaps and upon returning to the water darts towards the far bank. I lift the rod to keep the fish from entering the branchy snag. The pressure forces the fish to skim the far bank upstream. The rod tip flexes up and down as I play the rainbow to my net.

 I see down below the riffles it empties into a deeper pool along my side of the bank. I cross the creek and begin to work the longer stretch of deeper water along the bank. As the bugger drifts through I can feel hits but not a full take. Another swing through and I feel the light bump and set the hook. I handle the bugger caught perch for a picture. Another species on the fly rod for the PA. contest a few of us have going.

 I continue fishing my way down creek. After each bend of the creek, it opens to a new configuration of challenging narrow water. I pick off a few more rainbows hidden under bank-side debris on smack dab in the middle of a riffled run.

Around one bend I surprise two mallards swimming together. They quack a warning and take flight leaving a disturbed watery surface below. I catch movement from the corner of my eye. I turn and see a rabbit, sneak hopping through the underbrush. In the distance I hear training beagles start to yap breaking the silence of the otherwise quietness of the running creek.
 Around the last bend before the ‘Glory Hole’ the water looks to be running deep mid stream. Riffles start along the far bank and empties into the deeper running waves of water. This cross current causes a push of water to slap up against a partially submerged tree trunk that parallels the bank below me. I can see the bottom of the pebbled section of creek and stay close to the submerged tree trunk in knee deep water. I roll cast the bugger just below the shallow run and mend upstream. The bugger slows its drift until the fly line swings the bugger through the middle section of faster water. I let the bugger swing below me along the downed tree trunk but the water is too fast and the bugger rides higher in the current than my liking. I bring in the line and decide to tie on a white bunny leech for better visibility. I add an extra split shot to the 6x tippet I have knotted to the 5x tapered leader and roll cast out again. I let more line out, on the swing, to let it drift further down stream. After each swing I let the white leech hold up in the current, aside the trunk, before stripping the leech in. I cautiously move along the downed trunk casting out as before as I feel the water bouncing around my hip boots just above my knees.
 Heavy branches extend out of the water at the end of the main trunk of tree. A good amount of water channels between the middle section of the stream and the extended trunk branches. I cast outward and down and guide the leech into the channel of water. I let it hang there than start to slowly strip it in along the downed trunk. I feel a hard strike, the Demon rod arcs beyond mid-point and the fight is on.
 I hold the short 7’ rod to my left trying to get the trout away from the tree trunk and out of the faster current. The rod isn’t long enough to pull the trout more from its side than from straight on. He’s got the advantage and fights with vengeance beneath the strong current. My rod flexes with the fighting fish until the trout finally surfaces. His long maroon lateral line catches my eyes briefly before he rolls back beneath the wavering water.
 I know I have to keep him from going beneath the tree trunk but the rod just doesn’t have enough length to fight the fish towards the other side of the creek. I cautiously but hurriedly move into the deeper water towards the middle of the creek. I can feel the cool water rise above my knees and travel up my thighs through the light weight hip boots. With the fish still angrily fighting in the current below, I keep the rod tip up as not to put any more pressure on the knotted tippet due to the strong current. Still moving to my left the fish refuses to swim out into the slower water flow. He rises again, I suspect he is tiring under the rod pressure. Instead he surges beneath flexing the rod deep towards the butt. His intentions are for one last lunge beneath the tree trunk. I decide not to give him any more line for fear that if he goes beneath the trunk he’ll tangle me up for sure in any unseen branches.
 I hold onto the rod with two hands and angle the rod towards the far bank trying to subdue his rage. His will, his weight and the force of the current is too much for my 6x knotted tippet. The line snaps and the fish’s fight is no longer pulling on the end of my line. I reel in the line and find my lead strip is still attached but the split shot and the rest of my tippet is gone.
“That’s fishing” I shrug.
 I continue on towards the ‘Glory Hole’ in hopes of catching a few risers in the last hour of daylight. Two fellows have already taken a stance in the flat wide pool before I get there. I don’t notice any risers to any of the small midges flying around or dropping to the water. After a few tosses and strips of the bunny leech I call it quits and head for the van.

 I Turn off of  route 19 South onto the ramp leading up to I80 East. I get the van up to interstate speed and pull out a 5 ¾ X 50 Celebramos Macanudo. The mild tobacco should be a relaxing smoke for the rest of the drive home. I lite the end with my new double torch lighter that came in the 6 pack of cigars rippinlip had sent me.

Ya, I think, the Demon is just what I was searching for. It’s a keeper! A fine, brushy creek, short Eastern rod at that!!!


Thursday, May 20, 2010

I Felt the Demon Today

 I Felt the Demon Today

I sit in the dentist chair, helpless, like a fish out of water.
Like a fish’s fins to it’s body,
my elbows are clinched tight against my sides,
not able to reach the dentists neck!
Though the left side of my face is numb
I feel the pulling and tugging on my #19 molar
as if being the lure trying to be dislodged
from a sunken log attached to 30lb test line!
He wrestles the tooth like an amateur
trying to release a treble hook from a smallmouth,
his hand gripped tightly on the silvery instrument pliers!
I felt the demon today and cursed him!

I try sitting still not wanting him to lose grip
and rip my lip with an errant slip.
My eyes tear up as my buttocks tightens,
I swear my butt raises off the seat with the last upward tug!
I felt the demon today and prayed to God let it be over!

The ordeal ends and I am released to go.
Gauze fills my numb cheek
like a gob of red power bait in a trout’s mouth
too big to swallow.
I walk through the waiting room
trying not to wince in pain or show weakness,
like a trout released back into the pool with his buddies
trying not to look embarrassed
for getting caught in the first place.

I pull into the drive and there’s a triangular package
up against the side door, I try to grin
but feel no facial expression on my numb face!
I slide the green cylinder rod tube out of the cardboard box.
I slip out the rod sock and untie it.
Delicately, I lay down the four pieces.
There it sets, right from Hardy & Greys Limited.
I gently piece together the 7 foot Demon rod 
and grip the 3 weight in my hand.
(I may have slobbered unknowingly)
With no pain, I felt the Demon today,
I thanked God!


The dentist said no strenuous activity for the rest of the day so i went fishing with the new rod.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Fishing in Jupiter

Fishing in Jupiter
May 10th, 2010

 Well, I was down in West Palm last weekend attending, my son, Giddeon‘s wedding. It wasn’t much of a fishing trip nor a streamside tale of caught fish but an enjoyable weekend none the less.

The Sunday wedding was upon the beach sand of the Florida coast with the reception in an open air pavilion up the stairs from the wedding sight overlooking the ocean. There was a cool ocean breeze, Sunday, which kept the pure sunshine rays from being scorching hot. The waves rolled in upon the beach and against some sandstone rock formations just up from the wedding sight. The wedding was wonderful and the beach and ocean setting made for an event to always remember.

 I did, no doubt, want to fish the ocean with my son but being with the wedding and all I wasn’t sure it would happen or be proper. Everyone else was leaving Florida on Monday to go back home but I elected to leave not until Tuesday in hopes of fishing some. I found out that Giddeon’s friend Adam, who drove up from Chattanooga, also wanted to do some ocean fishing.

 After the Pen’s game Monday, with the new wife’s permission, Giddeon called Adam and told him where to meet us for an evening of fishing.

 It was dark as we entered the Jupiter Park parking area. From the parking area I wheeled a cooler of refreshments and carried the short ocean rod I was to use. Giddeon filled a back pack with a small tackle box and a few other needed gear along with long sleeve shirts. He grabbed the longer surf rod in the back of his truck and we waited for Adam to collect his gear and the small cooler of bait. I noticed his ocean rod was a bit thicker and longer than Giddeon’s. From the parking area we proceeded out along the cement pier walkway away from the beach. The railed wall to our left separated the pier from the man made inlet channel that connected the intercoastal waterway to the ocean. This is a wide deep thoroughfare for yachts and boats to maneuver easily to the ocean from their inner coastal docks.
 Out at the end of the pier I found the ocean wind was to be a constant forceful unkind bit of company through our late night dark evening. The dark cloud cover was only noticeable by a thin outline of dim light of the hidden moon. Looking out into the ocean white bubbly waves would rise, tumble and disappear before ever reaching us at the end of the pier. Nearer we would watch the undercurrent create a new set of waves that roared and crashed against the huge boulders that sat between the full body ocean and the end of the cement pier.
‘Even if we did catch fish,’ I thought, ‘it would be a challenge to get the fish up out of the darkness and over or between those huge boulders.’ I guess we still had to catch the fish first though before worrying about the outcome.
 I stood holding the shortest ocean rod as my son prepared the offering. He made a loop in the 30lb test line and connected a double eyed swivel to this. In the light of his headlamp I could see he was having trouble with this with his big stubby thumbs.
“I could do that with my eyes closed” I razzed him a bit.
 To this he attached a leader and then a combination duel hook. The hook shank of one of the big hooks was through the eye of the other hook of the same size. He reached into a plastic bag and pulled out a 6” to 8” long frozen sardine.
 There I stood watching, educationally, holding the rod while he baited my hook. It was if the roles were now reversed from his first days of fishing with me in his youth. He was now showing me what he had learned and now teaching me how it’s done. It brought back memories, that’s for sure!

 With a heavy round weighted sinker, I reared back the thick rod and stepped into my forward cast, letting go of the line. Line peeled off the spinning reel and through the large rod eyes. Somewhere in the darkness, upon the ocean, I heard a kerplunk. I waited a second or two before closing the spool and than reeled in some line until I felt the heavy weight upon the bottom of the ocean floor.
 “This is boring fishing” Giddeon commented as he sat upon one of the huge boulder tops against the pier. He knows well that I am a stream fisherman, liking the movement of ‘search and find’ that he even grew accustomed too in our trout fishing journeys together.

 The evening drew on as I watched the white waves appear and disappear in the distant sea. Waves rolled into and along the inlet channel constantly with no rhythm or pattern. Occasionally a big wave would crash against the huge boulders and a rush of water would rise into the air. The ocean wind would catch this rising water and spray a salty mist upon the pier.
 Other waves would tumble and roll shoreward causing a constant rumble to be heard. They would break just before the shoreline emptying their waters up against the sand bubbling and foaming. The final push of water skimmed upon the sandy beach then receded back into another small wave of water.

I’d watch my 28 year old son heave the heavy rod towards the ocean time and again. I watched when he baited his hooks with either sardines or shrimp. I eventually baited my own hooks when I needed to. I’d light up a Macanudo Maduro leaf Ascot from time to time and drink a beer as the time passed by.
 I either sat upon the wall rail or stood upon the cement pier on the ocean side of the rail keeping hold of my rod. Giddeon and Adam would maneuver around the pier and atop the boulders casting out and than relaxing waiting anxiously for a bite. Adam finally hooked into something big but it broke his line shortly after he tried to reel it in. Just after that Giddeon had hooked into a fish also. He had first thought he had a snag as he tried dislodging the sunken hook. The line all of a sudden went slack. He started reeling in the line when the line all of a sudden tightened and the rod bent and line shot out of the reel and rod eyes into the darkness. The line finally broke with the suddenness of it all. When he got the rest of the line in he could feel the abrasions upon the line and figured the snag he thought he had at first could have been a shark.
 My own fishing consisted of reeling in my bait where the sardine’s stomach was eaten out or I was just left with the sardines head on the end of the hook and no fish to show for it. I was told there were crabs in the water and most likely were feeding on my offering.

 We fished into the night until about 1:00am. The wind got stronger and the waves bigger. I looked at my son now and then wondering when he and Adam were ready to call it quits.

 I sit here now remembering watching my son Giddeon sit there upon the boulder, his baseball cap on backwards, as he looked out into the ocean. I remember watching his muscular frame and broad shoulders each time he would cast the heavy thick ocean rod. It brings me back, recalling, when I would watch his small boyish broad shoulder frame casting and sitting along the bank of a small trout stream here in Pennsylvania.

The time spent with him that evening wasn’t just about fishing at all!


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Forecast: 100%Fishing

Forecast: 100% Fishing

 I awoke as the morning light found its way between the partitions in the curtains covering the rear van window. I lay in silence recalling the night before. I vaguely remember relieving myself as I watched bats flying around below the bright moon.

There was a chilling breeze in the air of the uncommon warm night for the last day in April. The sky was starless and the forest seemed too quiet, it gave an eerie expression of my surroundings. For some reason I remember setting a partially opened jar of pickled garlic on the van roof and laying three #5 silver shot shells next to my turkey twelve gauge before crawling onto the van bed. I clutched a whittled wooden stake beneath my pillow and must have fallen into a deep sleep from then on. It could have been from the combination of Advil, a Penicillin tablet and a few beers.

 My #19 molar had been aching and the dentist said I’ll need a root canal and a crown atop it. I spent two thousand dollars on my #30 molar last year saving it and wasn’t about to spend another 2 grand for this one. So I’ve been nursing the tooth until I get it pulled on Wednesday.

 The sun moved directly behind my window and its sharp light ray penetrated through my closed eye lids. I began to feel a dull soreness in my molar and decided I should rise and get ready. I released my grasp on my Scott rod tube and swung out from under the blanket. I opened the side door quietly and gave a few yelps with my turkey diaphragm call. I listened for a few minutes and gave out another yelp after I stepped onto the dirt ground. Not hearing a reply I turned and noticed my jar of peperoncinis sitting on the van roof. I took it down and placed it into my cooler. I unzipped the shotgun case and placed it on the bed with three turkey loads beside it. I figured, while I’m fishing, I’d call now and then and if I hear a gobbler I’ll just return to the van and go after him.

 I was outside the doors getting my gear together when a truck pulled up beside my van. Two guys got out and hurriedly put on chest waders. they put on their vests and the one grabbed both spinning rods and they raced down through the woods to the creek. It’s about 7:10am now and no one else is around. The camps near by are vacant and I hadn’t heard a car go by while I laid in bed. “What’s the hurry” I thought?

 I was stringing up my 4 wt. fly rod when a white SUV pulled up next to my drivers side. A little after the SUV doors slammed I heard the sound of death chains rattling. It reminded me of the chains on Paul Newman in that prison movie down south. If someone would have said “yes boss” I would have lost it right there. I heard them rustling around in the back, the whole while the chain links rattled, until a rear door slammed. A fellow and his woman walked around my van towards the path that led to the creek. They said hello as I replied good morning. They kept their pace and disappeared through the woods.

 After washing down a soft oatmeal cookie, a Penicillin tablet and two Advil with a cup of Sunny-D I headed down to the creek. I was actually trying to waste time waiting for Jim to show up but because of the hurriedness of the four fisherpersons, I figured I better get a move on so I don’t miss all the excitement.

 I looked upstream of the long deep hole. The two spin guys were whipping spinners or such from the far grassy land into the pool. The fellow and his woman were directly across from them, sitting on the bank as if carp fishing, gazing into the water. I looked into the four feet of water before me, from above, and not seeing any fish walked down the path a little further. I dropped down the bank and tied on a latex caddis and started fishing. Within a half hour I turned upstream and seen Jim working his way towards me.
"Those four people still crowding the deep water above?” I asked
“There’s six now” he replied.
“Let’s get out of here and fish down below where I heard they stocked some breeders” I suggested.

 From early morning until noon we waded the creek trying to locate the big fish that would bite on our nymphs, buggers and dry flies. The water was cold as usual for this time of year and the fish weren’t that active to take our offerings. We didn't come across any breeders that we could see but I did manage two rainbows beneath and hooked onto one on a dry caddis but he got off somehow before I got him to the net. After a long walk we figured we spent enough time fishing the creek and decided to walk back to the vehicles, eat lunch and visit the Tionesta.

After lunch we hit a couple of spots on Tionesta Creek along the devil’s highway, rte.666. I managed three rainbows at the first stop with an elk hair caddis. We didn’t get any hits at the second stop so I took Jim to another, supposedly good spot, for us to spend the rest of the day.

 We noticed a few fish were rising as soon as we got to the water. A few grannoms and tan caddis were flying around so Jim and I both tied on dry patterns. I’d catch a trout now and then but very few in my opinion. In time a swarm of grannoms moved upstream along with what looked to be tan caddis and maybe a few stoneflies mixed in. we tried every pattern possible trying to find that magical fly that would get the trout to take consistently. Time and time again a swarm of flies would move upstream as we tried to match the hatch with dries, nymphs or wet flies but nothing was consistently taking fish. Standing on a flat rock for the past few hours began to make my lower back sore and I was getting thirsty and restless.
“I’m going to try one more pattern, grab a beer, sit on the bank and watch you try to figure out what the heck these fish want” I commented to Jim.
 I tied on an emerger that I must have tied some time ago. I casted it out about 20 feet in front of me and wham a trout rose like a dolphin and sucked it in.
"Got’m” I called out as Jim looked on.
 For the next hour or so, before dark, I continued to cast out that pattern and hooked up regularly. I’d dance the thing across the water or just let it drift on its own. Other times I’d pull on the line, after casting it out, making it submerge briefly before it would rise again, on its own, due to the poly top wing. Fish would hit it aggressively enough that a splash could be heard, or other times I’d watch them rise, mouth it and see them pull in anger at being hooked.

“What are you using” I recall Jim asking
“It’s got a pheasant tail body, a white poly down wing and a big dubbed gray head” I replied.
 I wasn’t really sure if I tied it sometime ago or if I got it in a fly swap. All I know it was the right fly at the time!
 Jim was trying his best to get a taker but they wouldn’t bite. I would have given him one but I had no more in my fly boxes. Jim’s a good sport, though he wasn’t hooking up, he continued to fling away and try different flies to get a hook up. Finally, as the sun sank below the hills and the light drew dimmer, Jim finally got one to take his dry. He ended hooking into a few more before it was too dark to see the fly. We ended the evening bidding each other farewell. He headed home and I headed to the Kelly for a burger.

 Sunday morning I awoke to an overcast sky. I looked out the windshield, down towards the creek, and already four guys stood fishing in the same place Jim and I fished the evening before. It wasn’t even 7 AM yet but they were out there casting their spinning rods. I got dressed and washed down a blueberry muffin, a Penicillin tablet and two more Advil with a cup of French Vanilla Cappuccino I had bought the night before.
By the time I got down to the creek one guy had left and there was plenty of room for me to fish between two of the others. They all were casting and drifting bait in the same area we fished the evening before. I asked one of the fellows if they seen any fish rise. “No“, he replied.
 Having an elk hair caddis on the end of my 6x tippet I casted out a few times in hoping to make one rise. Within five minutes a fish took my fly and I made sure the bait casters knew I had one. I netted a fine looking brown trout.

 Within 10 more minutes I hooked into a rainbow after a long cast beneath the far bank tree on an elk hair caddis. A few more later on and by 10:00am I was standing alone fly fishing. I took my position on a flat submerged rock I stood on the night before and casted my new WF5F line within the area before me. I’d shoot the line out and feel the thin running line pass through my fingers on long casts towards rising trout. Besides catching a few more on dries I found a few hungry for a yellow sucker spawn and even an aggressive rainbow took a triple threat.

 By noon 6 fishermen came splashing downstream to fish my area. They were polite enough to give me room and I obliged by not long casting into their casting range in front of them. In a half hour, with only one hook up, the six dispersed for lunch. I continued to fish till about 2’oclock and headed to the Kelly for wings and to watch the Pen’s play.

 It was about 5’oclock when I left the bar. With plenty of daylight left, though my body was tired and relaxed, I wanted to try for some wild brookies in a small creek I haven’t fished for many years.

 I took a drive up the long hard dirt road and found a single parking space for my van on the high bank from the creek. Down below I could see a couple of slow deep pools but it was the faster running water I was interested in. This is where the native brookies would hide, away from any stocked trout that happen to make its way up this far.

 I assembled the 7’ Diamondglass and put on a pair of hip boots. I don’t know why I put my fishing vest back on when I could have simply taken two small dry fly boxes, my lanyard of tippet and clippers, but I did anyhow. I was relaxed and calm as I walked downstream a bit to begin my journey fishing upstream.
 Fishing brook waters is something you have to prepare yourself for. It’s not for the impatient or one that gets frustrated easily. The going has to be slow and cautious. You try to be mentally aware of the overhangs and brush around you. You cast with preciseness and are always ready for the quick rise and strike of a wild bred brook trout.
 Slowly I cast the limp Sylk line up creek in tail-outs and around boulders. The tall hardwoods and high hemlocks block a lot of the light. Even so, the light that is upon the water is still frustrating in trying to follow the fly as it bounces and floats among the baffling glare the erratic moving waves create. The heat of the evening fogs up my polarized shades that they render them more troublesome than without them. I let them hang from my neck and squint my eyes in locating the fly. An underneath quick movement in a tail-out of a pool and I set the hook in time to hook my first rising brookie. It flexes the slow progressive action fiberglass rod into the middle as the tip dances with the brookies wild fight. I cradle the fish delicately in my hand for a quick shoot and release. It skitters off and disappears almost instantly.
 Continuing on I slowly move after each cast, side-arming, making looping casts, around jutting out bank boulders or straight shooting the fly and letting it fall into a small rapid force of water. High-sticking, to keep as much line off the back current as possible, and taking in line or backing the rod up, to keep the most amount of tension between me and the fly.
 A flash between two side currents coming together catches my eye. As long as the trout doesn’t turn to see me or any unnatural splash of the fly or line atop the surface gives me another chance at him. I’m prepared and cast the fly again, this time right in the center of the slower moving current. Another streak of reflection and I set the hook on the little guy. He doesn’t flex the rod as much as the first native brook but still fights like a mad Chihuahua at the end of a rope.
 I catch one more wild brookie on the elk hair caddis before my fine tippet and leader become entangled in a mess. I had my fun and caught enough trout to be satisfied with my results. I clip the tangled mess and put the knotted twisted tippet into my empty cigar butt pocket. I glance once more to my surroundings and bow out gracefully.

 Opening the side doors of the van I’m met with an unpleasant odor. The stench of wet socks, damp waders and sweaty clothes turns my nose and almost makes my eyes water. Evidently the two days of constant fishing and sweating in the cool mornings changing into heated afternoons, in the same clothes, has taken its toll. Even with the windows open during my fishing time has not filtered the smell but contained it in the confines of my ‘cabin on wheels.’ I take time to pack my worn clothes and socks into my two satchels. I put away my Diamondglass and Quest reel. I take a long drink of the left over, cooler cold, Mountain Dew and get into the drivers seat.

 Popping the top, off the test tube, I slide the Garcia Y Vega Crystal out of its glass protector. I’m sure the dark Maduro wrapped cigar will eliminate all discouraging odors within the confines of the van. I light the end with the cigar lighter and let it burn….