Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A Lull in January


A Lull in January

I received Christmas cigars in the mail from my son in North Carolina and was anxious to smoke a couple, especially the ones from the Carolina Cigar Company. There was a break in the weather so I headed out Sunday for a little fish & cigar smoking activity in the Allegheny National Forest.
  It was late in the afternoon when I arrived at the parking area. I assembled my 4 piece 3 weight, put on my vest, grabbed a few stogies and headed up the ‘no winter maintenance’ road that followed along the creek. What is usually a small brook that meanders quietly through the forest pines and laurel was now a swollen mountain stream rumbling noisily from the snow run off. The last few days had been in the 50’s and the 12” to 15” of snow had began to melt and emptied into the creek.
  There was a lifting fog that rose from the moisture of evaporating snow, which lay in shady areas along the dirt road, creek banks and under the pines, into the warmer air temperature. A few bats darted in quickness in open areas along the road and firs. The sun shown above and its rays sparkled upon the water surface while penetrating and exposing the colorful stones and rocks that lay upon the swollen creek bed. The wind was a bit nippy as it whistled down from the mountain tops. Flimsy pine boughs genuflected nimbly with the passing of each gusty breeze.
  I couldn’t wait any longer to get my lips on the toothy Colorado Red wrapped cigar and enjoy the tobacco within. I walked to the creek side and glanced over the long stretch of normally calm water that now billowed hurriedly down stream. I lit the foot of the red wrapped cigar and smoke developed from the glowing embers of the burning inner tobacco. The medium body smoke was very tasteful and full of smooth tobacco flavor. I walked back to the dirt road and continued further up creek.

 From the bridge I weaved my way down to the stream and examined the quick wavy current. It was than I realized that catching wouldn’t be easy. In fact I didn’t expect to catch any because of the water conditions. Any stocked trout that escaped the onslaught of fishermen throughout the year had to also survive the low warm water like drought conditions of summer. Any that may have survived were most likely down creek in the dammed up small pond. The native trout would still be around but most likely hiding, out of the current, under creek side banks or under thick overhanging mountain laurel. Maybe a few would be out and about in a swirling back eddy where I could keep my offering deep enough and long enough for something to see and grab hold of.

 The wavy fast moving water appeared too quick for drifting a nymph or egg pattern. I felt the only offering that may get deep and visible would be a well weighted small streamer. In this way I could hold it in the strong current, down creek, with a long weighted leader. I took another puff of my stogie and started my 2 hour expedition.

My last casts ended trying to find a hungry trout above the dam under the moonlight.

 Outside the window snowflakes now fall softly from the star lit night’s sky. The thermometer reads 9 degrees on this wintry January evening. I sit at my desk, in front of my computer, reminiscing about that outing a couple of weeks ago. Even if I wouldn’t have caught any trout it was a nice time spent in the forest, in solitude, fishing and relaxing with a fine cigar.

  I end this story hoping for another break in the weather with better water conditions. As I puff on a hand made Cabinet Selection, from the Carolina Cigar Company, I leave you one last photo that I think nicely compliments this streamside tale.




  1. Outings on mountain streams in winter can be tough fishing but still fulfilling in their own unique way.

    1. So true. My oldest son gave me a birthday card years back. the Front of the card had a picture of a forest with a touch of fog about. Inside he wrote: "Somewhere out there we find it everytime."