Sunday, May 4, 2014

Taking A Swim

I got out this morning to one of my favorite stretches of water.
All the rain recently had the river running higher than normal. I still thought the fishing would be great. None of the the usual flies seemed to work and I didn't see as many fish as I expected. In one fast riffle I managed my first fish. It was a chub and I think it was showing spawning colors. I've never seen one with red fins like this.
The water was pretty chilly and turtles were lining logs and rocks to sun themselves. It always seems like I see one or two of these guys.
I've observed water snakes hunting before and after doing so I'm glad they are harmless to humans. They are ferocious predators and seem to get any fish they go after. With the flow of the river I found it hard to figure out just what the fish wanted. I decided to try a fly that sank but didn't go all they way to the bottom. This proved to be the best tactic for me. In an eddy under a tree I got a nice surprise.
I don't catch catfish very often and it's always a treat when I get one on the line. This fish fought really hard and took awhile for me to get it to the surface. It was really the highlight of the trip for me. I spent the rest of the day enjoying the sites.
I only saw this in one section of the trail. I believe it's wild azalea. I wanted to try some but I'm a little paranoid about eating plants that I'm not sure of. I've heard some interesting stories about how people ate one thing they thought was something else and spent the rest of the day in the bathroom.
There was one pool just off the trail that looked amazing. There wasn't any easy way to get to it and the best looking access was this sketchy bank that basically was a muddy cliff. I found a spot that looked decent and I held onto a tree while I tried to work down the bank slowly. I went to put my foot down figuring that it was solid only to find I sank in about 2ft of mud. At the same time I lost grip of the tree and started to fall backwards. I kept waiting to feel the water and when I did I was surprised at the velocity I gained. I basically did a backflop into the water and it wasn't just a spash it was like KER-PLUUUGE! It wasn't that deep but I basically laid down in the water and soaked everything but my head. I let out a shudder kind of like when you get hit with a cold shower because you forgot to turn the dial. I was surprised no one heard or saw me. I was embarrassed and luckily only my ego was damaged.

19 comments:

  1. Catfish are a blast on the fly rod. Also thanks for the beautiful photos you took, really good stuff.

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    1. Catfish are awesome. Thank you for the comment Atlas.

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  2. Hi, Kevin. That is a pretty looking stream with all the trees and surroundings. Good to see you get into a Catfish, even if your were not necessarily fishing for them. They are tough on the end of a fly rod. Your fall down sent a rush down my spine. I used to do that a time or two. Don't wade as much anymore, I guess at my age you know why!

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    1. If I knew how to catch catfish consistently I'd target them. I usually don't fall down that much but today I made up for it.

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  3. That is an amazing stream! Very pretty area as well. Don't worry about falling in the water. It makes for a good entertaining post!

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    1. The stream is a treasure I hope it stays that way for years to come.

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  4. Very nice post. You should feel proud and brave for everything that happened after seeing the snake. I would have headed in after that. I am kind of sarcastic, but I would have given it plenty of berth.

    Falling in. The question is who has not fallen in? I've flipped canoes, kayaks, tripped wading, fallen off elevated banks, and probably other variations, too.

    I think the more mishaps we have, the better stories we have to share. Mishaps are just more fun reading than, "went out for a few hours, caught fifteen fish, and here are the pics." Keep on posting.

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    1. Thank for the comment ddkfishin. Fortunately most of the fish around here are non-venomous. I haven't fallen in the way I did today in years. It was weird. I'm not immune to it but it's rare. I agree that the mishaps make better stories.

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  5. I hate when that happens, but if there had been anyone around we know you meant to take that little dip. Just like the time I slipped down the side of Red Lake and was catapulted into the lake. No one around, thank God.

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    1. Catapulted into a lake? I'm sure that would have been a site to see. I'm glad you're ok after that. I'm sure during the experience you were probably terrified.

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  6. That's awesome! I always get kick when I read about guys hooking up with catfish with their fly rod. Looking forward to the day I do. Beautiful pictures!

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    1. Thanks Justin, I'm sure you'll hook up with a cat soon enough.

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  7. Kevin
    Impressive foliage, on an excellent stream to wade or even to float. Catfish on the fly is always fun, I would think there would have to be some redeye lurking here too. Thanks for sharing

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    1. Bill, it's a great stream for sure.

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  8. If all that happened was you got wet... and you didn't break your rod... then I'd call that a victory. I'm so glad you pointed out to your readers that the snake is a harmless non-venomous water snake. There are too many people out there who think every snake in the water is a moccasin... out to get them. Kudos to you for spreading some sensibility in regard to snakes.

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    1. You're totally right Jay. If a snake is in or right near the water 9/10 it's a water snake and not a copperhead. I actually have never seen a copperhead yet and I fish in prime copperhead habitat all the time. To be honest though I'm not searching them out.

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    2. What I hate is when people assume that copperheads are evil and must all be killed, I leave them alone unless they are near my goldfish pond or chicken coop.

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  9. Nice report on a good trip. I like your tell'n style, feel right there beside you - even falling...

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  10. Beautiful pictures. Looks like an awesome stretch of water. I really want to get my first catfish on a fly rod.

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