Saturday, November 27, 2010

Caught on Thanksgiving

Caught on Thanksgiving
(From 2009)

 I told her, Thanksgiving morning, I was going to sight the rifles in and then go scouting for deer in the big woods.

 This year my 12 year old grandson will be hunting with me and my son is coming up from Florida to hunt also. This was a good excuse to get out of the house while she’s preparing Thanksgiving dinner for 5:00. Who could argue with my excuse to get out of the house?
 After sighting in the two rifles I returned and we had blueberry muffins and bacon for breakfast before I ventured out again.

The first place I checked out had posted signs all the way to the dirt road that I turned down to on the right. From there the posted signs went on forever, further than where I was willing to drive. I than headed towards Marienville up rte. 899 to where my son and I have hunted in the past. After parking I got some warm cloths on and I took the 22 along just in case I seen a squirrel. Roaming the woods for a couple of hours I came across used game trails and found deer tracks in the soft dirt along a small mountain stream that flowed between the pines. I left the area around 12:00 and headed east of Sigel towards Clear Creek State Forest. I traveled down dirt roads here and there checking out the area.

 One dirt road, through the forest, took me across a small brook stream. Stopping along the road I couldn’t resist on checking out the water. Standing along shore I watched the pure easy rippling water flow over and around shiny smooth rocks, under green leafed laurel and drop over wooden barriers. My trout minded brain was already pointing out nice brook trout hiding areas. I got back in the van and headed toward the main black top road. The digital clock radio showed 2:45. I was about an hour away from home!
 Before the main road I pulled off into a gravel parking area for hikers, bird watchers and other nature lovers. I walked down to the flowing water and a trout darted from my side of the bank across stream. I couldn’t resist!!
 At the van I hurriedly put on my hip boots, fly vest and c&r net just in case. I pieced together my 3 wt. Diamondglass rod and tied on a foot and a half of 7x tippet and to this a black foam beetle, all the time reminding myself I had about 1 hour to fish. Oh, and I brought a clip on watch with me.
 I casted beneath bare branched limbs and overhanging green laurel leaves. Nothing wanted the beetle. I tried another dry fly and a latex caddis but still nothing. Time was ticking away with nothing interested in my offerings. ‘Just one’ I thought.
 I checked the time at 3:45. I tied on my last imitation for the last 15 minutes of fishing. Below a water falling deep pool I looped the small orange egg pattern across and let it sink. The surface current pushed my dry fly line down towards the end of the pool. I mended upstream letting the egg pattern drop even deeper as again my fly line drifted to my right. The tip started to sink without drifting and I wrist set the hook. I felt the little guy tussle all the way through the line between my thumb and forefinger. The tip of the fiberglass rod wiggled with the small trout’s every movement. After a picture on a wet rock I released the brookie back into the deep pool.

 Not wanting to look at the watch I quickly tried for another but failed. I walked down stream and drifted the egg under some laurel but nothing wanted to bite. Relentlessly I walked to the van and placed the rod and vest on the floor. 4:05, I had to hurry to get back by 5:00.

 I pulled onto the exit ramp, off the interstate, and turned towards Clarion. Checking I had enough time to get back into my hunting cloths so as to not let her know I was late because I was fishing. I pulled off the side of the road and changed back into my hunting boots, dismantled my rod and cased it. I hung up my fishing vest and hip boots on the back cloths rail.
 I pulled into the drive at 4:58. As I opened the side door the smell of roasted turkey and biscuits aroused my sense of smell and hungry stomach.

“It sure smells good in here” I said with a smile as I entered the kitchen.
Whipping up the potatoes and without looking at me she asked “did you see any deer?”
I told her the few places I had scouted out and was satisfied with the results.
As I turned to leave the kitchen she asked me
“Why are you wearing your fishing net?”


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