My last two outings have been unusual in that it has been more fishing than catching, a lot more. While fishing is much more than about catching, I for one love to photograph the the beautiful creatures that I'm after. Lately, things haven't worked out in that regard, but it has provided other opportunities. Here are a few of those opportunities from my last two outings.
A good D loop
Ready to launch
Gaining wisdom from an elder
Fish on but no pics, it broke the leader before we could get a picture
Technically it's a fish, but not what I was after.
Last weekend found my wife and I taking our son for a hike. His teenage enthusiasm was let us just say, less than stellar. When he realized that we were not budging, he pretty much surrendered to the inevitable. Lucky for us, it was a perfect fall day. The sun was warm, but not hot. There was a little bite in the air at 10 am when we started out and bluebird skies. The vista from the top did not disappoint. For me, seeing my son appreciating what I hold dear, filled me with gratitude and love. He's not ready or excited to go on an overnight backpacking trip anytime soon but there is now a
foundation to build upon in terms of more exposure to mother nature.
Getting ready to head out
Light on the trail.
The beginning of the transformation. Note the headphones.
Apparently I came down with a case of Muskie fever. I had a day to fish and this time of year offers an adventuring angler numerous quality options, maybe too many. Several of these options held my attention, but the ghosts of those huge tigers pulled me away from the salt, fall trout, or salmon etc. The only problem was that no one told the tigers to show up. I fished hard for 10 of the 11 hours I was on the water. I worked the structure, fished cover, fished near bait all for chance to entice a tiger to eat my fly.
The disheartening part of the day was that I never saw any signs of them. The prior week there were boils, a couple of fish jumping and even a two swimming on the surface with their heads out of the water. None of this was evident on this day.
I did manage to take some shots of me casting. Casting large 7-8" flies even with an 9 or 11 wt all day means one really needs to be spot on with one's gear and technique. In terms of gear one needs to have properly lined rods in order to throw half chickens out there with any kind of distance. Technique wise you better know how to double haul and not be sloppy in your casting or else one will quickly burn out and not be able to put in the time that maybe necessary to land a fish.
Two years ago, my bud Matt and I did two days of muskie fishing. For each of us it was our first attempt at Esox masquinongy aka Muskie. Well we were hoping for a return trip to the salt this past weekend, but high winds and seas negated that as an option. While we were in search of an outing we decided to try to fish for Tiger Muskie aka norlungel, a sterile cross between a Muskie and a northern pike that inhabits several bodies of water in upstate NY. Research was done flies were tied and many casts were made. Our novice butts managed to each land one tiger and we had several other follows including one that was the size of my leg, a true knee knocker.
Gearing up before launching the boat.
Early in the game Matt hooked this beast of a largemouth, the biggest one I've ever seen.
My little tiger, with great colors
Matt admiring his tiger. He was ready to pack it in, until he had a follow that had him make a few more casts. He was rewarded for his efforts. They are some cool looking fish, I wish they lived a little closer to home. Now they live in my dreams.
For 6-10 weeks most falls, False Albacore visit the coast from Cape Cod to NJ and beyond. Some years and as well as days are better than others. That being said, the last couple of falls have not coincided with lots of hard tails being hooked in my boat. However, a recent trip to the coast reversed this trend as we managed to pick away most of the day and ended up with a solid number of fish being landed. many of the takes took place close to the boat which made for some great visual images that were captured by my brain, but not my camera. I find it so hard to put down the rod when there are fish nearby. Here are some pics when I managed to put the rod down.
The other day found me plying the tree of my backyard with my camera all set up. Lucky for me a Pileated woodpecker suddenly appeared on the tree that I was looking at. These regal birds are one of my favorite birds in our woods. In all the years I've been tramping around in the woods this is the second closest I've ever been to one and to have the camera all set and ready to go made it special.