Ebb And Flow

Ebb And Flow

Whenever I close my eyes, I transport myself back to the scene of the crime.

 White sand. Gin-clear water. Big, angry animals patrolling the surf zone.

You know, that place where everything started unravelling with a fly rod in hand. The place where you knew you’d be ruined from here on out and no drug would ever equal the high.

Covered in slime and sand, heart pumping, knees shaking, hands broken from a combo of too much fly line and salt….a shit-eating grin from ear to ear and a powerful creature swimming back to where it belongs.

Yeah, that one.

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Flirting With Autumn

Flirting With Autumn

For nearly 20 years, my father and I have traveled to North Central PA for a fishing trip.  This year, our plans were postponed.  It’s a special place to us, and missing out on that late May trip was weighing a bit on me.  The air is so crisp, the mountains are distinct, and in many places, the trout are native.  The region as a whole, remains a very wild place, despite the encroachment of industry.

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When The River Wakes Up

When The River Wakes Up

In a “normal” water year, things would be cranking along on the main stem of the Delaware, also known as “the big river”.  It’s definitely not as predictable, as its West Branch, a fantastic tailwater, but it’s usually dependable for some bugs and fish faces.  Not as much this year.

 The flows haven’t been below 3000 cubic feet per second since July 2018.  Wade opportunities have been difficult and limited.  In a typical year, we go through the usual progression of bugs starting in mid-April.   

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Abaco

Abaco

It’s a rare treat in life to share great enthusiasm with your kid for many years, especially when you’ve inherited that interest, fishing in our case, from your own parent. So, re-creating a memorable fishing escapade from way back in your youth with your own spawn is an extraordinary kind of parenting and fishing fun.

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Retracing Steps

Retracing Steps

A couple years ago, my friend and I took a pretty cool extended fly fishing road trip.  I bought a 1974 Ford Highboy, a 4 wheel camper top of similar vintage, and we spent the better part of July, trout routing our way home to the East Coast at 60 mph.  That journey started in the Shasta Region of Northern California, where we picked up the rig.  After royally upending the timeline of our host for this first leg, we spent the evening sipping whiskey in failing light, as wild rainbows happily fed on the surface.  We missed fishing this river, and I’ve always wanted to get back.

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Adjusting Expectations

Adjusting Expectations

Looking back on the year, one constant has been high water. The wading boots haven’t been wet in migratory water since late Sept. Every time it looks like the better waters are coming around, BOOM, the Good Mother has alternative plans. In one sense, its quite awesome to have plenty of water for the fish to do their thing. I remember plenty of years where the tribs were dry, and we were doing the collective rain dance. This constant of blown out rivers, is plain getting old. As an alternative, I’ve been doing a lot more upland hunting. Which has been a delicious and enjoyable distraction.

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