3:22 PM, Wednesday November 17, 2010
I almost died today.
First it was the suicidal doe as we were making our way to 390 this morning. I swear sparks were flying off her hooves when she realized she better get moving if she didn't wanna become a hood ornament. Seriously the closest near-miss I've had with a deer.
Made it to the Salmon OK in the end. 'Course severe winds and driving rain made the short afternoon a little less than pleasant. At least it made the dunking I received crossing back over the river a little less annoying. Tell you what though, did a number on my knee and shin. First legit fall I've had and it was a good one; if the water was a little deeper, probably wouldn't be as sore now. Camera's probably out of commission for a couple days and seriously shortened the life of my brand-new Goretex waist-highs. Rod's OK though, that's all that matters.
Did have a bump today but nobody landed anything. We're headed to You Guy's to lick our wounds, drown our sorrows and, hopefully, get back in it tomorrow. Water's low (compared to last year) so I'm not sure what the game plan is.
P.S. Any idea where I packed the aspirin?
December 16, 2010
3:22 PM, Wednesday November 17, 2010
Posted by FoulHooked at 4:49 PM
December 13, 2010
9:12 PM, Tuesday November 16, 2010
"Down at Oak Orchard Fly Shop, we don't F* around!"
Hahaha. I'll never forget those words (though that's only my best effort to reconstruct from memory what was actually said).
We stopped by the shop last night. Managed to bash my brains in on the car and prompt a laugh-fest doing so, but that's another story. Anyway, we were regaled with tips, tactics and theory in bombastic fashion and no uncertain terms. Seriously, the man was cool, helpful, and entertaining. Hooked us up with some stickers too. I grabbed some sweet speys (Gold Heron, Lady C...no, not that C).
Anyway, the place we ended up today, he had "joked" about a placemarker-shop that sold "free-range bologne." Weren't sure we were on the right track this morning until we actually saw a sign for "All Natural Free Range Bologna." Ain't that some shi.
Long story short, we got into some decent fish. Had at least 6 grabs, landed 1 swinging and 1 nymphing. Baulsir lost a couple and Gordy landed a jack. Pretty fish. Ran into a few other guys, including some poker/bald-face lying lowholing pinners, most were OK though. Bout the only interesting thing Bmar did was walk a half mile onto the reservation before we were able to get ahold of him and turn him around.
Back at the car packing up, the guy from the shop drops by to "check up" on us. A proud papa he was too when we informed him we got into some...hence the exclamation above. Anyway, feeling much better about the trip now. Almost wish we weren't headed east tomorrow, but you know what I say...there's always money in the banana stand.
From across the river. Yup...that's an indicator. Swung up the one before it though, I swear.
Gordy's flawless skipper.
P.S. Took the hosts out for dinner tonight. Nothin special but it was fun. They sure seemed to enjoy it but in no way have we repaid their graciousness. Also...we are some ugly fools:
Posted by FoulHooked at 4:30 PM
December 8, 2010
Saw the Niagara for the first time ever today. Stared at Kinaideeyah for a bit. Pulled a sweet steelie. Alex said it was "doable" but there's a big difference in him saying it can be done and us being able to do it. Thousands of stairs (or at least that's what it felt like); Bmar won't stop complaining and I love it. When we got near the bottom I let him know that "I didn't want to tell you guys 'till we got down here, but there are places with easier access." At least he wasn't walking in Nate's boots of last-year. He's actually been a good sport and is willing to come back tomorrow. Gordy wants to stop in Buffalo for wings but these leftover pancakes from this morning are amazing. Baulsir got a brown today too. I think the Gordy-first-fish curse was broken 'cause I needed him to take the rod so I could jump down 6' to the water and land the fish without dying.
Today was just too cool. We may be back tomorrow but gonna stop at the shop to see what they got to say. Hey, you didn't answer again this morning when Bmar called. Oh well, check the pics:
...and that's not much better....
"And we're gonna fish this...?"
"If I hook something I'm screwed."
First fish; thanks Gordy.
2nd fish...or basically simultaneous first fish, via the Brians.
Posted by FoulHooked at 12:55 PM
December 3, 2010
5:22 PM, Sunday November 14, 2010
If Gordy doesn't catch a fish soon I'll murder him.
We seriously F'd with Karma when we designated first fish to him. Well no doubt she's gonna have the last laugh. Baulsir and I each lost 2 fish and had at least a couple more each toying with us. Meanwhile, FNG is joking that the first fish just might be the last of the trip. We'll see how funny he sounds with his throat slit. Bastard.
And what is with you not answering this morning when I called to let you know what the plan is? I mean, we're a team bro, I'm just trying to keep you apprised. What, Granny can get up at 4 to assemble a full meal but you cant even hit the speaker and let me hear you snore? WTF!?
Oh, and one more thing...guess who is bunking with Bmar this year. This trip is already falling apart. EFFF THESE BITCH ERIE STEEL, WE'RE PULLIN ALL THE STOPS TOMORROW!
7:42 PM - Addendum
Sorry I was so wound up earlier...Gramma's meatball-stuffed-shells and garlic bread really have a way of putting things in perspective. I mean, all in all, we were in an incredibly beautiful place today and actually connected with some fish. It's just frustrating, ya know? And it doesn't help sleeping next to Mr. Moan. You know what I'm talkin about. Earplugs only go so far. Well, we'll see how he likes the hike tomorrow...THE Ontario Trib. 300 vertical feet over a couple thousand; he's gonna love me, especially after today's hike:
Posted by FoulHooked at 12:38 PM
December 2, 2010
6:12 PM - Saturday November 13, 2010
Where'd all the fish go? I mean, seriously.
We got in late last night...well, a couple hours earlier than last year, but still. Bmar and I had the opportunity, nay, pleasure of stopping in at Hardy's in Delevan waiting for the rest of the party. Man, what an establishment. As Bmar noted, never seen people go so crazy for Great White's version of Once Bitten, Twice Shy before. Fantastic. They even have the old-school towel rolls in the bathroom. Don't think it's ever been cleaned (towel or the bathroom). And of course, Gramma G. had a spread of pizza and I cant even remember what else waiting when we arrived, then got up at 4 to make breakfast sandwiches before we made off to the dam. I would do this trip just for the food.
Nothin' doin' fishing-wise today. We hit everything we could find above the valley. Couldn't even see a single fish where there were dozens in the open a year ago. Reports haven't been great but I was a little more hopeful than this. It was funny watching the old man toolin' around trying to keep the few random squatter off "his bank". Oh well, we'll do the valley walk tomorrow. Bmar can cuss me out all he wants but a little hike will do him good.
I think Gordy will prove to be a good addition. We've decided he will catch the first fish. He and Bmar are gonna leave off at some point to go hunting, but at least he'll never abandon us for his job and his new wife.... Remember when you were cool?
Gotta go...word is we're having pulled pork for dinner. Lets hope it brings in the piggies tomorrow. Oh man I'm so pumped...the fish will show...just gotta put in the time.
Posted by FoulHooked at 12:13 PM
November 23, 2010
November 12, 2010
I would be remiss if I didn't give Alex at least a little flak here; I mean sure, the guy can fish, he can write, he can tie, etc., etc. But I'm seeing a little flip-flopping from Mr. "I don't need no stinking 2-hander, leave me alone all you band-wagoners!" In the end, seems like it may have been more sour grapes than anything. Musta been hard forming that D-loop with the size of the chip on your shoulder there daytripper.
And now he's playing the "This two handed business has soul" card? Baptized and confirmed? Now you're some kind of bonafide warm-and-fuzzies long-rodder (well, long-ish, it is only a switch)? Sell off your single-handers? I don't buy it and nobody else does either.
Eh, who am I to judge? Aside from the fact that I didn't try to hide my interest and admiration of the style, I guess we're in the same boat. If I were in a position to, I'd welcome you to the club. As it is, I'll be happy to stand by you on a trib any time and make your casting look even better by comparison. But not so close that you take me with you on your next spill. Sweet swinging and congrats on finding some new mojo.
And with that, I'm shortly off. Conditions don't look great but that's never stopped us before. Hopefully we'll see some wet stuff coming down while we're out.
Lock and load.
Posted by FoulHooked at 10:14 AM
November 11, 2010
November 5, 2010
I've got a box full of hairwings
And a pocket full of bantams
I know I won't be fishing every one
Because the patterns that control your mind
Those patterns take away my time
Posted by FoulHooked at 2:46 PM
October 12, 2010
-Levels have dropped on the Salmon; reports are in thick with many trout being caught. Please, if you do plan on keeping any fish, learn proper identification. There are people misidentifying trout and atlantics as pacific salmon, and as a result, keeping fish that may not be legal, simply out of ignorance.
-Only a couple days left to hit the trout waters under statewide regs. I plan on getting at least 2 afternoons and a morning between now and the close.
-If you waited to make your fall foliage trip, you might have missed it. The winds over the weekend have put all the leaves on the ground, at least in exposed areas in the Adirondacks. Deep, sheltered valleys and lee slopes still have some color.
-31.5 days until we arrive in Springville for Year II. Better get tying.
Posted by FoulHooked at 11:06 AM
September 29, 2010
It's sad but true; I got excited this morning when I saw the gages had climbed all the way to 20th percentile flows. It's been a long, dry summer but things look to be on the upswing...slightly. Should get at least an inch over the next couple days...there's actually a flood watch for the entire region. Could make for a great couple weeks to close the trout season.
In other news, EMS Club Days are coming up. Present your ADK (or other applicable organization...wonder if TU counts) mebership card (or sign up on the spot) and get 20% off. I got a pair of boots waayyy outside my price range on hold for Friday, unless I can convince myself they're not worth it...which would be tough. I guess this constitutes free, unsolicited advertising...but high retail prices aside, EMS has got to be the greatest outdoors shop on earth.
Posted by FoulHooked at 8:41 AM
September 28, 2010
Not toooo awful much fishing recently. Headed to the Pulaski Snagfest this weekend. Should be interesting.
In the meanwhile, I'll be trying to regularly update with hikes taken. Hannah and I did this one a couple weeks ago.
I like that we maxed out the steepness scale. Much more of that to come hopefully. And maybe some pics from this hike, as it's about as scenic as they come.
Posted by FoulHooked at 3:31 PM
August 31, 2010
Been a lot of talk about them recently. Clams in Lake George. Carp in the Mighty Miss (and it's surrounds). Rock Snot...well, just about everywhere. It's understandable that there would be some "backlash" to all these stories...but let's keep it in perspective. The threats are real.
Daily Finance (of all places) has 10 interesting invasive stories that have had negative effects on the US economy. It's important to remember that invasives have a real, measurable and direct cost to all of us, not just the ecosystems they can malign (though...really...these things are inseparable, which somewhere down the line we will finally be forced to face the harsh realities of...but thats another discussion altogether). Of course, if the scope of the article were a little broader, I'd be forced to point out a major offender they omitted: Humans.
And no, I don't mean just our friends to the South.
But again...another issue altogether.
Except for the whole interconnectedness thing.
Hmmm...I'd better stop now before it's too late....
Posted by FoulHooked at 4:21 PM
Posted by FoulHooked at 2:25 PM
August 2, 2010
July 26, 2010
1. Long, delicate casts to visible, actively feeding targets on sunny, sweltering days are your best bet.
2. Sixth-sense strike detection is an art that must be mastered.
3. Expect at least one, mile-long, freight-train run.
4. Once hooked, given stout enough tippet, you're unlikely to lose them.
5. Though carp are fickle, once it "clicks", they start to come much easier.
I'm sure in general 1 and 2 up your chances dramatically...but so far I can only attest to 3 and 4.
Stole 90 minutes last night as the river was "bottoming out" at a cool, extremely turbid, 5,000+ CFS. Though the weather was pleasant (other than a slightly stiff breeze out of the SW), the water didn't look to promising. With the heavy sediment load added to the fairly high flow, no way was crossing the riffles-turned-rapids gonna happen, so a quick tour of the relatively slack water yielded not even a bump from the smallmouth that I had hoped would keep things interesting.
Up at the bottom of the main riffle I figured there was at least a better-than-fair chance of some bass or maybe even a cat gorging themselves on dislodged 'daddies. The past few outings, among more respectable specimens, have yielded multiple sub-3-inch smallies. Even a few of those would be welcome.
The wind, to a "developing" LH caster, meant rolls and speys while working my way north. Hadn't gotten too awful far when the fly got smacked. And I mean smacked. Like a steelie (or here, a smallie) chasing and slamming something on the swing. There was no hookset, I raised the rod and the slack cleared immediately...followed by the rest of the fly line off the reel...followed by another 30+ feet of backing.
As I was double- and triple-checking my drag, and trying not to bust a knuckle, the throbbing suddenly stopped. The pressure was still there, and there was a little give, but that huge sinking feeling hit like a ton of bricks.
Please, please, please...don't let the fly line be caught under a rock....
150' from my quarry and there was a decision to be made. I knew (suspected...hoped) the fish (if it was still on the line) was probably wrapped in the weedbed out in the middle. I knew this weedbed was at least thigh-high in low water (1k). I knew there was an even shallower bar somewhere between me and the bed. I had no idea what else lie between us, other than some fast-moving water. I had no idea how deep the bed itself would be. I had some idea how pissed everyone would be if I drowned chasing a stupid fish.
So, refusing to lose my fly line I got thigh-deep below the riffle, gaining back my backing and a few turns of line, and tried wrenching on the rig. There was definitely still give, but no way was it coming free. Tried giving a little slack but it was all taken by the current and I gained nothing.
The walk out to the hangup revealed little to fear. Never got deeper than my belly button. Getting close it was apparent the fish was still there...somewhere...small fly, pinched barb, tangled up but still there - Alex was right about them staying on. Managed to free itself (with my help) from the tangle, but it would be another 10 minutes before I could get a good look at it.
Bulldogged in water deeper than I could have guessed, and making a few more shorter-but-just-as-powerful runs, finally overcame the reel-handle coming unpinned and got to "the island" (which was under water save the wooden platforms, one of which you see in the pic) and managed a prototypical crappy cell phone photo.
Now that there's one under the belt, things should be looking up, right? Number 5. It's supposed to get easier. But I know that's not the case. I know it was dumb luck. I know there will be a lot more work and many more sweltering fishless days before I get lucky again. I know...I'd rather be lucky than good.
So I celebrated the only way fitting; clipped the fly off the leader and went home.
Posted by FoulHooked at 12:14 PM
June 29, 2010
Last weekend's Spey Nation was pretty sweet for plenty of reasons. In addition to the event itself, it was some much needed relaxation and QT. After a short, somewhat frustrating trip to the UFZ Saturday afternoon, we stopped back on our way out of town Sunday morning.
The juvenile trout and salmon (and chubs) weren't at all put off by the sun. The only real frustration was some difficulty in hook removal. To save myself a few dozen trips up and down the bank, I handed her the hemos. With the lady distracted by dozens of hookups, the quick stop turned into over 3 hours.
Not a great angle but it's plain to see her technique is better than mine. We're still working on the wading part.
Posted by FoulHooked at 2:36 PM
June 16, 2010
Parents, sisters and young wives be in your thoughts. It will surely be a difficult father's day.
*pic stolen from photobucket
Posted by FoulHooked at 3:53 PM
June 9, 2010
May 14, 2010
I hope this doesn't put me out of the running for (another) prize out at Spey Nation next month (luck ain't my bag, baby), but...I WON SOMETHING! Well...I had some help.
My only question is...who's this "Dave" character, and why won't he leave me alone?
It's O.K. April, you'd be amazed to know the number of people that find my name confusing. Thanks for the book! Ella will love it (I hope).
As for me...guess I'll head to the lock for the rest of lunch and contemplate a name change.
Posted by FoulHooked at 12:13 PM
Phase III: Profit! (smolts and chub"bie"s)
Oh yeah...and a couple of my wild exploits from April...
Posted by FoulHooked at 11:24 AM
April 22, 2010
Seriously...I don't know that it would have even occurred to me if not for the Hatches blogs. I mean, who has time for the earth these days?
If I had thought about things beforehand a little, Alex and that other dude would have summed up my feelings better than I could anyway. I'll just add that it's a little reminder and event to celebrate all the "right" choices we make throughout the year. And that most "actions" taken on behalf of the "environment" are much like those made "for charity." In reality, they are self-serving. It makes you feel better or helps your bottom line. It means you get to enjoy the outdoors, or see smiles, or whatever, and these are your rewards. "True" altruism is a myth. Our actions are compelled by some rewards/punishment system, regardless of how conscious we are of it. Any benefit reaped by others is simply a byproduct of our self-interest. You think the earth actually cares if we make it unlivable for ourselves? But hey...that's how things get done...so keep it up, there is nothing to be ashamed of. Good deeds are still good deeds, and small steps are still worth celebrating. Whats best for my bottom line is best for everyone. Just gotta find the right perspective.
Me? I'm satisfied that people (well...at least Alex) think I "care". More significant than earth day, it's draft day, so my celebration will involve a few beers, some grilled meat, and HDTV.
Posted by FoulHooked at 10:53 AM
April 9, 2010
The wild fish shown above was not killed or otherwise permanently damaged in the making of this post. He's jus' a boih.
Posted by FoulHooked at 2:56 PM
March 19, 2010
"Some observers are now questioning whether GE is laying legal groundwork to back away from the project as ineffective."
Really? Who would they be?
EPA vows dredging even without GE
Posted by FoulHooked at 11:15 AM
March 11, 2010
"I find it interesting that "his series started in October and has included several updates on how the creation of the task force and its actions could impact recreational anglers," or the powerful advertisers that profit from fishing, but none of the articles focus on what needs to be done so my children or their children will be able to fish. If ESPN wants to play in the policy realm of fishing, better get an education and stop printing the press releases of the Washington DC lobbists. Money and hysteria is a powerful tool in today's press. Please grow up."
A comment by reader 66matt301 on ESPN's "clarification" of their boneheaded article inciting riot in the fishing community over false claims. If you haven't read it already, a quick search should find it for you. I just wanted to share this one comment. Pretty applicable across the board on "news" sources these days too.
Posted by FoulHooked at 11:53 AM
February 18, 2010
"It's like GE's numbers are from Mars and EPA's are from Venus," said one of the members of the panel, environmental scientist Timothy Thompson.
...or was it...
...EPA's description of the PCBs left in the river "were from Mars, and GE's figures were from Venus.
No matter. Point is, GE still hasn't given up on giving up. I hate to sound cynical, but the recent reports make it look like their mindset all a long has been "if we make a big enough mess of this, maybe they'll have to let us off the hook."
Big Mac is headlining the sports news with sustained contrition these days. Sure, it's more about the new jobby job than anything, but at least it's something. At least he's not still denying...er...ignoring. From where I sit, EPA looks more like Canseco every day. Sure, not too many people up there are happy with them, and nobody has really loved what they have to say, but at least they seem to be telling the truth.
"Hey GE, what about all that oil sheen over there?"
"Who said somethin 'bout oil...?"
Posted by FoulHooked at 12:49 PM
January 22, 2010
Preliminary EPA and GE independent reports on Year 1 of the Hudson River dredging project are out, and they're something to take note of. The major highlights:
-Dredging is dirty work
-There's a lot of dirty dirt
Neither of these is a real revelation, but they were two of the main arguments used by pro- and anti-dredging advocates. What are the implications?
The antis were right, dredging mucked things up pretty good. Concentrations of contaminate in air and water spiked above EPA standards. Anyone who has been following the issue at all knows that dredging activities were suspended when downstream sampling indicated elevated PCB levels over the course of the season. We're putting people and the environment at risk by dredging.
The pros were right, something needed (needs) to be done. All indications are, there's a lot more nasty stuff down there than we had hoped to see. It hasn't decayed, been buried or washed away. It's both a ticking time bomb and a slow dose of death. We'd be putting people and the environment at risk by not dredging.
Anybody know if any spoils shipments have left for Texas yet?
They've got this year off to review data, standards, procedures and tighten everything up before getting back on the water. Even with the scope expanding (another fear of the antis), the official word is still a 2015 end date. Of course, GE doesn't think they can meet both productivity standards and contamination standards simultaneously. Personally, I'd rather see them keep the contamination standards where they are, but I guess we'll see.
From the Post-Star:
Observers of the project were not shocked by the high level of contamination.
"For anyone who follows the project, it shouldn't be a great surprise to anybody," said David Carpenter, a professor of Environmental Sciences at the University at Albany.
Still, the breadth of the contamination is incredible, he said.
"It's just mind boggling," Carpenter said. "It's just mind boggling."
January 13, 2010
...or so I've been told.
I don't buy it though.
Might even go so far as to say; everyone should be so lucky.
And in truth, many are.
Find something you love, and pursue it to no end. It will bring you happiness.
Passions need not be singular, exclusive of, or competitive with one another.
For some it's a "passtime." Of course, to them, passtime does not suffice as a descriptor. Perhaps it is the love of another person, or many. Maybe it's creative, objective, subjective, active, passive...maybe it's sleep. Maybe it's god, or God...or the gods...or our study thereof. Philosphy, history...future. Babies. Babymaking. Cats. Supernova. TV. Drugs. Work. Baseball. Noun. Verb. Adjective....
Nobody shouldn't be obsessed with something. Better yet, some things. Life's sweetness is in caring.
On another, sadder, note; fare thee well Coach C. For a select, lucky group, your obsession was mentoring and interacting with us for up to and often more than 12 of our years, 30 or so of yours. Your reserved, stoic, passionate, no-B.S. attitude (puncuated by an occasional hot-temper) combined with a subtle sense of humor and genuine interest in and high expectations for those under your charge. The lessons we carry are equally subtle, genuine, and important. Thank you.
Posted by FoulHooked at 3:22 PM
January 7, 2010
SPEY NATION III IS ON THE CALENDAR!!!
Unofficially...I may have to miss it for a wedding. But don't let that stop you. Good food, nice people, great beer, fantastic presentations and demos, incredible raffle prizes...not enough superlatives to describe. Hopefully I'm just misremembering the matrimonial date because this is at least as important.
Spey Nation III only happens once in a lifetime...who knows how many times you will get married?
Posted by FoulHooked at 3:28 PM