Peder and I had been talking about meeting up to fish and we finally got our calendar’s together and hit some water in Massachusetts.
It comes as no big surprise that our host likes Tenkara , likes to fish, and is generous with information, but I was also very impressed with his skill level. The river tells no lies. Peder definitely inspired me with his skill level. I am both humbled and educated. He gave me a ton of pointers. Some stuff I have heard and read before, but discussing topics and context on stream is a different experience. Some other aspects we discussed delved deeper into his experience as a fly angler. Stuff that I have never heard or been exposed to. We both caught fish, but he was able to coax the bigger and a larger quantity. He also lost fewer flies. Both aspects are motivating. I have to improve both my casting and understanding of what I am doing. Great…Great…Stuff.
Thanks for your very kind words @Gressak; though, you may be exaggerating. Had a great time, despite the weather being mildly uncooperative.
Gressak is very generous with his time and equipment, letting me see and test rods I’ve only ever seen online. He also brought with two beautiful handmade tamo from Japan. I barely wanted to hold them, let alone fish with them for fear I’d damage them. They were definitely pieces of art. I was humbled by Gressak’s enthusiasm, persistence, and positive attitude despite many lost flies and tangles with unforgiving hemlock, fir, and beech trees.
We played a friendly game of leap frog; each taking turns jumping five or six pools ahead of the other so the one had enough to keep them busy while the other explored a new stretch of water.
As I shared with Gressak, this is only the third time in about 12 years that I’ve fished with another person. It was loads of fun being able to do so with someone who knew what they were doing and could participate in conversation.
Thanks Gressak, maybe we can hit the water again.
Peder is just being polite.
Peder was kind enough to give me a lesson in casting and in fly selection. Hahaha…my barbarian ways motivated an intervention.
I must admit that i have not given either a ton of thought…so i wanted to note it is not wasted effort. The wheels are turning behind my beedie eyes.
You’re right. I didn’t believe you when you messaged me that they are beedie. Ohh, but they were, they were. Hahahaha!
Mirror mirror on the walll…
Who has the beediest eyes of them all…
“But of course…Gressak…is the beediest” says the mirror.
We may need a collusion investigation.
As they like to write in the local bird cage liner products - A good time was had by all.
So I have been meditating on this trip a bit. One thing I neglected to note is the condition of the first brook we hit as noted in the photos. There was no path along its bank. There was no flyline dangling from limbs/ There was no litter. There were no foot prints.
It reminds me of the time I was living in NYC. I had been on my eighth year as an urban creature and I met some friends as a bar on the westside of manhattan. It was one of those hipster bars with the big garage doors that opened up to the hudson river. We all stood there and watched the sun set over New Jersey. Then it dawned on me. I could not remember the last time I saw a sun set on the horizon. hahahhahaha. So strange to have that natural occurence missing for years. The sun disappears every afternoon behind buildings but there is still 4-7 hours of light.
So this trip was like that. Hmmm…a clean natural brook. Hmmmm…no signs of man. Hmmmm…it is loaded with trout and every pool I cast into a trout tries to get on my hook. Hmmmmmm. My usual fishing is not like this.
My river is littered. My river has a path worn into its banks. There is not a bend that does not have the touch of man. My river has trout stacked up in the locations they were stocked. My river does not have trout in every pool.
It sort of reminded me of this 70s ad.
Unfortunately, often places are beautiful, except where the people are.
The irony of that old 1970s anti-littering ad, is that he was really the Crying Italian.
(or, the Crying American of Italian ancestry)
I didnt know that. Its ok for italians to cry about litter too.
He had some nice deerskin duds.
Round two, same river… same characters…just about 8 months later.
Rivers haunt me…This one in particular seems to have no sign of man even though there is a road running along it and is smack in the middle of a state forest. In this outing, we did see footprints,but suspect they may be hunters as they did not linger around the water.
We definitely road the edge of how long this brook may be fishable. This is a pic of the upper section. Lots of shelf ice on the edges and only small windows to cast into. There were larger runs still fishable but most had some challenging consideration. This is a case where having an accurate cast is critical. A skill I have yet to work on. For those who do not fish ice. Snow and ice are instant snags. My poor casting quickly brought my need to move on to find open water.
Peder working a small pool.
we only caught a few fish. Although they were obviously hungry…
I had one fish hit my fly a half dozen times before it lost interest.I could clearly see the fish dart to my fly as it hit the water and actually had it on a couple times. I always find the hookset challenging with these smaller trout. Too aggresive and I launch them in the woods…tool light and they shake the hook. The range of our fish were 3-10 inches. I continued with my light sets and dropped fish, figuring it would be better than digging for one of those poor 3 inch fish out of a snow bank.
This one hammered it to save me a hookset.
I did the dark colors on some of these wild fish. Cave dwelling beasts!!!
I find these places to be like a magical fantasy world. A land that continues on when we are not there. A world ruled by brook trout doing their brook trout thing. The woods in the winter seems lifeless, but the river most certainly is not. The air temp was close to 40 degrees and we saw at least 4 different insects flying around. It was a real joy lifting these fish out of the water and see them nail our offerings.
While out fishing, I came upon a mythical creature peering into the depths of the dark grey, tannin stained winter pools. I couldn’t tell if it was looking for food or just perplexed by it’s own reflection or what it was doing.
Then I realized it was just @Gressak trying to get his kebari unstuck from some shelf ice that he’d snagged.
It was a lovely day to be out for a few hours. Gressak was even nice enough to bring a small grill and we had some hot food and whiskey in the forest.
By far my biggest of the day and such brilliant colors. The others were brook trout similar to what he posted. All in all, a great day.
Very nice. Looks fishy.
I do find you come across quite a few strange people looking into rivers. Mind you if they bring whisky and a grill they can’t be that strange!
Like any creatures we stumble upon in the wild. Use caution. Sometimes we have to judge if an direct encounter is worth the risk. Sometimes its best to quietly back away…hahaha. When in doubt offerings of bourbon and burgers can tame even the most wild of characters.