Tuesday, August 28, 2007

dearest Melissa

I went to Beer and Sweat two weekends ago with Ryan and Dar and some other local homebrewers. It was beery and sweaty and a pretty damn drunken time. Read all about it at Indianabeer.com by clicking on the picture below.

Friday, August 24, 2007

the REAL Indiana brown trout

So Ben and Britt (two of my new housemates, story at 6!) run a lot. They just go out and run ten miles every morning. Sometimes more. Ben runs marathons. I'm not sure if Britt does. Probably. She's pretty tough.

Anyway, one place they go running is the woods.

I'm not going to say which woods but let's just say there's a creek in these here woods where they run and after I took Ben fishing for the brown trout last week at Brookville he was just so durn excited about the brown trout that he convinced himself and Britt that there was brown trout in this here creek and told me about 'em says "they's this big" (held up his hands real wide) and I says to him I says well I don't think they're brown trout but let's go out and have a look and so we did and we walked and walked and it was one hundred degrees in the shade and real humid too and when I stepped up to the creek and looked at the feesh and on account of their black tails I knew pretty good they's was bass and cast a fly at 'em and I caught one and then I knew for sure they's was bucket mouths the real Indiana brown trout eight-by-ten colour glossy pictures with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one. This I knows for certain.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

tailwater's alright with me

I fished my first tailwater today. Well, that's not entirely true. I've fish rivers that have dams on them. But they were all places where trout would live regardless of the impoundment. In fact, they were all places that once had their own native populations of trout.

South central Indiana is not one of these places. Nonetheless, two hours east of my house I can enjoy some very fine angling for brown trout in the Brookville Tailwater.

Brookville is a rather quaint, small town stuck in the 1960s, stuck in the surprisingly topographically diverse valley of the East Fork of the Whitewater River. Brookville is only thirty miles or so west of Cincinnati. About 100 miles east of Bloomington. The Brookville Reservoir spills it frigid hypolimion under the dam and keeps the river around fifty degrees all year long (as long as discharges from the dam are regular). Thus where before there was a river well outside the native range of any Salmonid that regularly hit eighty degrees or higher in the summer (far too hot for a trout anyway), there is now a cushy, clean, cold stretch of river just right for cold water fishes.

Once again the ingenuity of man triumphs over nature's ramshackle hut. Pave paradise, put up a parking lot. Even us long-haired, bearded, granola (?) crunching hippy beatniks can appreciate a big concrete dam if it gives us trout. Although the real hippies (chub and sucker lovers) clash with anglers over the removal of dams (and great tailwater trout fisheries) to save native fishes that are not game fish. I'm not sure how I feel about this. If they get the San Juan in New Mexico, I get the Raystown Branch of the Juniata back. Drain Raystown you motherfuckers, and every last jet skier and pleasure boater with it. Down the tubes. Back the brookie! Back the gigantic mother fucking brook trout that fed on month long sulpher hatches in the shade of Tussey moutain for millenia before the arrival of the white man. Fuck Whitey! Err, not me. The other whiteys. The ones that damned the Raystown Branch of the Juniata.

Fun fact! Did you know that the WORLD RECORD brown trout came from a tailwater fishery in, you guessed it, ARKANSAS! Nowhere near that fish's native range. Fun, no?

Anyway, so the Central Indiana Trout Unlimited (not actually an oxymoron) has been stocking the Brookville Tailwater for some years now, along with the Indiana DNR. The DNR plants rainbows (which can be harvested) and the CITU plants brown trout, only one of which over 18" can be harvested. There is a nice population of holdover trout in that river. I don't think there is any natural reproduction, but I imagine it's a possibility. Just as long as the people who manage the dam can schedule discharges to keep the water cool all year long.

I went to fish the tailwater today for the first time because I have the fishing bug real bad like. I can't think of anything except fishing. It's pretty weird. I hope I'll be ok. But at least not until after I fish for some Indiana Steelhead soon. In Indiana. In a national park landmark. In Indifuckingana. Did I mention that I would fish for steelhead in a national park landmark in Indiana?

Anyway, Ben, one of my new housemates (story at 6!) and I went fishing there today and it was good. I caught a bunch of fish and so did Ben. Here are some pictures. Click them all (except three of them) for bigger.

It was Ben's first time fly fishing. He didn't know you're not supposed to dress like Van Gogh.

It was Ben's first time fly fishing. He didn't know you're not supposed to hold the fish like that.

It was Ben's first time fly fishing. He didn't like the knots.

It was Ben's first time fly fishing. He didn't know a giant brown trout was going to eat his head.

It was Ben's first time fly fishing. He didn't know you aren't supposed to catch three fish your first day.