Tag Archives: trout

Clarks Creek and the $10.00 Rod

The Beater Rod

The October 22nd weekend was already a hearty one that included a hunting trip, some yard work and watching some football when I decided to put a nice cap on it by going down to the creek after lunch on Sunday in pursuit of a trout or two.

The Clarks Creek in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania runs the length of a narrow valley that is likewise named after this gentleman named Clark. The valley for the most part is heavily forested, which means shade and a lot of cool, clear water. The water was a little high but was running nice and clear, as I could see as I headed down the path. Leaves tinted by the season were floating by, some red and some yellow or brown.

I had with me what I call my ten dollar rod. It is a beater set-up that I use when I am mainly using fishing as an excuse for drinking a couple of cans of beer. I also use the beater when I take the beagle fishing with me. Bogie tugs at the leash as you are heading down the path, and I don’t mind slashing through the branches and brush so much with this rod as he yanks me around. The set-up consists of a one-piece 5 foot South Bend fiberglass spinning rod that Walt McCabe gave me in Wurtsboro, in 1974. The reel is a Silstar “tiny” spinning reel that I picked up new for about ten bucks. I use 4 lb test mono on the reel. This rod and reel combo is great for tossing a bit of worm into the water and waiting, which is an exceptional thing for such equipment if one wants to drink more than fish. Because of the sentimental value placed on the rod, too, I would still be a little pissed at the dog if he got me tangled up in his leash and caused me to take a spill as we headed down the steep path to the creek.

And so I arrived at the creek with dog, rod, some worms and my little canvas creel within which I had packed my small pocket tackle box and two cans of beverage. If you root around in that creel long enough you can also find several rusty hooks, an equally oxidized tape measure, a jar of glo-mallows, some bug repellant containing DDT and a throw-away camera with several images from a 2005 family vacation.

I tied Bogie off to a nearby sapling and he immediately set about chewing on his sack and licking dirt off his paws, which translated into him leaving me alone as I walked out onto a large hemlock trunk that had fallen across the creek and was more or less stuck there half in and half out. This made for a nice little fishing dock. There was a smaller tree that had fallen alongside of this, and by bending one of its limbs just slightly I made a handy little rod holder.

I flicked out a bit of worm on a size 10 hook, which I had tied on beneath two tiny split shots, opened a John Barleycorn and waited. It did not take long and the rod tip bent down sharply toward the water. I gave her a slight hook setting motion upward and—nothing. Suddenly the requirement was to put the can down and put a little more concentration into the fishing. I cast out again with fresh bait and let this offering catch the center of the stream a little more. Bam…there was tightness and then I could see a trout working side to side as I carefully brought it in. A nice little bend in the old fiberglass. I reached down and carefully plucked it up out of the water—a 13 inch brown trout. I caught it right on the corner of the mouth, so it was easily unhooked and released.

I worked bits of worm a little more, with no results. I then tied on a Thomas Rough Rider, gave it a pitch upstream, and worked it back down toward me with just enough speed to let it flirt with the rocky bottom. About halfway home something hit. Again there was the back and forth action but this one was on its way downstream, so there was not as much fun. It did make a nice little run when I had it up to the log, where it shot out into the deeper water but I easily turned it around and brought it in—a 10 inch brookie. The fact that this fish hammered a decent sized lure like the Rough Rider speaks volumes with regard to the aggressiveness of a brook trout.

A couple of fish being caught (and released) and the beer being gone, Bogie and I headed back to the house and both took a nap. It was a good, fall weekend.


Green River October 2011

Sometimes you catch the fish, other times the fish catches you.  That was the mighty Green River this past weekend.  Like always, I have wanted to get back to the Green since the second we pulled the boat of the water.  Storms blow in fast in the fall and the weather is always unpredictable.  However, we’ve been having an Indian summer out in Utah lately and when Wednesday came around and the weather was looking prime for the weekend we decided to make it happen.

When Saturday morning came around, I heard a knock on my window just before 4.  Fuck, that’s when we were supposed to leave.  Seven minutes later I was dressed and in the drivers seat of the Toaster with the drift boat behind me.  We even managed to arrive at Trout Creek Flies ahead of schedule.  Good thing I forgot to procrastinate this time around and packed the boat the night before.

Sun up on the C

The B and C sections of the Green are my favorite for the lack of people and the size of the fish so naturally that is what we floated.  I was thinking that we would be fishing streamers since the browns are gearing up for the spawn, but the fish were still taking down terrestrials aggressively so that is what we stuck to.  Fat rainbows on the B, probably from eating all those hoppers throughout the summer.

There aren’t any pictures to go along with this story because my dog ate my camera a few months ago and you don’t stack paper when you only work two days a week and fish the other five.  Kyle had a camera when we launched the boat, but waded a little bit too deep without one of those waterproof ones.  Strike one.

Speaking of shit hitting the fan, my dog saw Ted’s dog swimming in the water and decided to take a dive in to say hello. In the process snapped the 7 weight Ted was kind enough to let me borrow since I’ve been getting real good at breaking rods this summer.  Strike two.

The second day was a slow start for me thanks to a little bit too much booze cruisin’ the day before.  I started out hucking some meat with the Sex Dungeon and a Sasquatch.  A couple of fish tried to roll it, but none were willing to take the bait.  I switched back to a cinnamon ant and a rainbow warrior dropper that seemed to be working rather well the day before and instantly felt the tug of a small brown.  Next cast, the rude boys started acting up.  Soon after Kyle and I were switching between oarsman and fisherman and I threw my bag of flies on the front seat and managed to snap my second fly rod of the trip that was not mine.  Strike three. Shit.  Good thing I have a boat, otherwise I probably wouldn’t have any more fishing buddies.

Luckily, these rods come with warranties and I was packing a spare for Kyle to use.  I kept on fishing with the seven weight with a broken tip, but it is what it is.  Like usual, Swallow Canyon boat ramp came up too soon.  After two days on the Green you just want more.  Hopefully, there will be at least one more trip out there this year.  Oh yea, the ride home went down smooth, without any fuck ups on my part.

Upper Andro Part 1

Less than four weeks ago I was absentmindedly-perusing Wikipedia articles about the 50 states and noticed an entry about Maine Guides. Fishing has been lacking in New Jersey and I have been itching to feel the tug. I telephoned Cross Current Guide Services and booked a float trip on the Upper Androscogin in the Bethel Maine area. Fellow shredders already know this locale as the home to Sunday River Ski Resort.

The first thing a weary traveler perceives about Maine as they cross the back roads out of New Hampshire is how awesomely desolate the state is. We arrived around 9PM and couldn’t see much of anything except for the moonlight-silhouetted mountaintops.
Fast forward a few hours, dad and I are meeting our guide Kate Farnham down a short dirt road to Newt’s Landing. Mary our shuttle driver gives us and the Boulder Boat Works drift boat a lift up to the put in.

I was stoked on fishing my new Kelly Galloup 7WT Bankrobber with Streamer Express Sinking line. This time of year in Maine the trout love streamers; there is very little surface hatch activity and nymphs can be wielded with only marginal success. Kate quickly tied on a Green Flash Back Wooly Bugger with a trailing brown stonefly on 3X tippet. The stonefly had these ungainly rubber arms that apparently get the Brown Trout all hot and bothered. Our strategy was as follows; Dad was set up with a floating line and a Muddler Minnow to aggressively pound the shallow bank waters while I used the full sinking line in the trough.

Right off the bat there was major fish activity, several trout rose to slurp midges off the surface film. We both had some intense fights but no fish in the boat. A few more casts and varying up the retrieves and I landed a healthy Brown, the Bankrobber was no longer a virgin. I followed this up with two more, one on the aforementioned rig and a third on the Muddler Minnow.

We continued to pound the water until fish activity ceased. A cold front was pushing through along with a light drizzle and the fish went down. We set off down the river testing various patterns in a near fruitless attempt to get the trout feeding again. Dad on the other hand was able to pull in a sizable Rainbow as we slowly meandered down the river (Story to be recounted in another entry).

Part 2: Lunch, Dad’s ‘Bow and some late day action