Wednesday, October 17, 2007

out damn skunk!

There are so many things I want to post here, Pennsylvania's performance at the Great American Beer Festival, the recent bear attacks in Pennsylvania, other ways in which Pennsylvania is the best state etc.

But I went fishing tonight instead.

And caught a fish.

Lord have mercy. I cried. Loudly. Last week. With Michael. When I caught no Steelhead, when I caught no Chinook, no Coho on Trail Creek. Fourteen hours of fishing effort. Slogging up and down the muddy creek bank boulevards. Casting and casting. Driving and Driving. And Mike had to drive back to Missouri on Sunday.

Despite the fact that no fish were caught, over all I'd say the trip was a success. Further scouting of the creeks, familiarizing myself with the highways and byways of Porter County. Eating chicken and butter and ham and potatoes and butter and onions cooked in tin foil on the coals with Mike Pell and bottles of Marzenbier and Wild Turkey Rye around the fire? Good times.

Despite loud people in the next campsite.


I start awake with mad face. Sneering in my dreams. Alcohol is prohibited in the National Lakeshore buddy, I'll call the goddamn security presence down on your ass unless you shut your fucking trap. Piece of shit.

"Who you callin' piece of shit? Piece of shit."

"I'm callin' you a piece a shit. It's 3:30 in the am and we have to wake up in less than three hours to catch the salmon. I mean, dude, cut us some slack."

"Um, yeah, sorry about dat dude. Wer gonna, ah, go on over ta da, ta my buddies site, ova dare by da, by da thing, the dumpsta."



Here's Mike above a really good hole on Trail Creek were the river narrow and deepens and all the fish have to come through here. We saw somebody hook up with a fish in this hole on Saturday, and saw several large fish move through and hold there, we put everything we had right over their noses. Several times. Nothing. But this creepy picture. Click for bigger.

Saw these guy's fish flopping in the water and I yelled at Pell, "I see a fish! It's freakin' out!" They claimed to have hooked these fish on spoons. Big spoons. They had incredible Chicagoland accents. Really incredible accents. I can't even begin to come up with a homonym. The one guy said "spoons" in a very cool way. I'll just put it like that. Click for bigger. (note purple plastic sled in background)

After we passed these guys we came upon an older couple fishing the absolute hell out of a hole much like the one we were at earlier. The dude had like three rods out, supported by sticks, and one in his hand. His wife was standing at the head of the run flingin' spinners into the hole, methodically. Again and again and again. These people accused those damn kids of snaggin' them fish. "You don't catch two like that one right after the other. They snagged 'em in the face." I really don't know. The fish weren't cut and battered looking. Looked Quite clean actually.

And the Pell again. Click for bigger.

So we got skunked. We had a good time though. However I was a little concerned that some of Mike Pell's skunk streak wore off on me. It came up a few times. "Skunk streak this, skunk streak that. Put a glow stick in a bottle and shot it with a pellet gun, skunk streak, skunk streak." Like that it came up. It was weird. You're right.

But no matter, for I have caught a fine bass tonight! And I think I'll be ok until next week.

I decided to try a new spot because all I hear about Indiana is that it has great bass fishing. I've caught a few decent fish down at Clear Creek, but there are other rivers around that are known to be better smallmouth fisheries, like Sugar Creek, Blue River, and the West Fork of the White River, which happens to be the closest to me.

Thirty minutes past five and I've arrived. Gosport. Public Access. This river is large. I thrash about the brush trying to hike up the far side which is more clearly not somebody's property. But the fishing sucks there. Way too deep. Can't wade out in it. So I grow a set and walk back across the old bridge and down through more jaggers and out into a rocky section only one to two feet deep. Eight or ten huge carp stacked up about twenty feet out, I could see them from the bridge. They created quite a wake, hoovering the silt and slim off the rocks. Really quite active. Black and pink and shiny from above like some elegant mahogany koi. Much paler down here. And bigger.

I cast at them for while with nothing to show for it. I caught a carp this summer on a Clouser in New Mexico, so maybe. But no. I tied on a popper and cast it about, slurp, slurp. Slurp, slurp. Missed one fished. Couldn't tell how big it was. Cast it about some more. Nothing.

Tie on the small Clouser again. These are Clousers. I tied a shit ton of them for Wipers about a month ago. But then I never went fishing for Wipers. Click for bigger.

This time I pick up two small bass on two consecutive casts. These were quite small, about five inches. But things were picking up I could tell. It was getting fairly dark and the clouds to the west and north were menacing. Possibly tornadoes tomorrow. Nobody comes to class when there's a tornado warning.

But I start to notice more fish feeding on the surface. Probably a hatch of some sort, but all my dry flies are back in the car so I tie on the popper again but get no looks for ten minutes. It's pretty much dark now, low glow orange hum on the horizon. So I tie the little Clouser back on, begin false casting and strip gobs of line off at a time until the cast is difficult to handle, maybe sixty feet for me. I haul on the back cast and haul on the forward cast and shoot the last few feet of line out, just into the deeper water at ten o'clock. I strip the line in fairly fast and regularly so as not to hang up on the rocks. About half way back and a strong bass made a big take pulled line from my reel for five minutes before I grabbed his lip and held him up for this picture. Click for bigger.

And this one. Which I call, "Fat Pink Hand with fish." Click for bigger.

Well look at that? An all "click for bigger" post. Astounding. I don't know how he does it.

Also, I think you should check out this website, er, magazine. It's called This is Fly. I'm not so keen on the beer reviews, but read this article. It's pretty good. A great website. Smart, easy, aesthetically appealing with the great Flash (?) turn-the-pages thing. Incredible photography. Perhaps a bit too hip in general, but they do have an eye for design.

It's raining hard now. It's supposed to continue for some time. Several days perhaps. Flush out Trail Creek, waft the scent of home to Steelhead in the lake. I'll be back. Hopefully in ten days.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I've gotten over my skunking... kind of. On Sunday I caught two large mouth. But that's to say I caught one five-inch fish and one eight-inch fish. D$ caught a catfish that stretched from the gound to my knee. Dredged in cornmeal, fried, of course, and served with grits and collard greens it made a hell of a meal.
Monica King