Sunday, September 29, 2013

A Little Walk With God

View from top of WV
To quote Herbert Hoover: " Next to prayer, fishing is the most personal relationship of man."  Sometimes in life we need to immerse ourselves in the amazing creations that we so greatly have been blessed to share while we are on this earth.  Tony Blake said, "Some go to church and think about fishing, others go fishing and think about God."  Living in West Virginia we are blessed with so many great places where we can go and allow our souls to be renewed and refreshed.  Some people need a church to go to so they can pray and think about God but we are blessed with so many awe-inspiring places that you can not help but go to God in prayer.  For me the Seneca Creek back country is one of those places where when I go deep into those woods with no one around and the sound of the rushing waters allows me to go to such a spiritual place.  Things with our family has been a little chaotic lately with some major decisions we have had to make with our future unfortunately, so on this day my wife gave me a much needed day off to fish these extraordinary waters.  I started off taking the view in from the top of WV as the sun awakened another magnificent day.  I reached the trail head knowing a

long hike awaited me but full of excitement for what was ahead and what this great day had in store.  Being out of shape this year a 9 mile hike I wasn't sure about but I had hoped the fishing would make up for those aching legs after the hike.  After a long hike I finally reached the Upper Seneca Creek Falls and strung up my rod for action, which I was really eager to try out Redington's new Butter Stick in a 2wt version, the new fiberglass rod they offer.  The stream flow was a little low and clear but the falls was still flowing good and allowed for that first moment of prayer with God its amazing how a place like this can truly help a persons spirit.  Well the rod was strung up with a faithful stimulator as I seen a trout hovering just below the surface.  In no time a nice wild rainbow trout was the first fish for the day, it was amazing to see such great colors wild fish truly are special creatures and do not get enough praise at times and protection.  After a few casts on top at the falls with no real activity I figured I would try and dredge up something from the deep depths of the pool and what better place to go then a
good old olive woolybugger.  The butter stick doesn't seem to throw bigger or weighted flies with as good as accuracy as you would like but on a small stream you can get by with this at times.  And after a few casts I got by with it indeed as I hooked into a picturesque brookie in his full falls colors.  I hung around the pool for a while and soaked up all its pure beauty and charm.  I headed off up stream and the rainbows were eager to eat the stimulator as well as some brookies.  It seemed on this day the rainbows were a little more willing to take the fly for me as the brookies were a little more skiddish in those crystal clear waters, but when trout are this vibrant its hard to complain what type they are!  Sometimes the fish is truly a bonus on a trip on this trip in particular the fish were an extra special bonus as just being in some of God's great country was the true bonus.  The day allowed me to pray a lot about life and just reflect and know that no matter what he will always be there to help and a rising trout makes life always seem so much better!  Yes sometimes its about more than the fish and sometimes a walk with God is on a trout stream and sometimes those streams really do heal us!


Friday, September 20, 2013

Serving Fruit Cocktails

Eating the Fruit Cocktail
Fall is a awesome time of year.  Cooler mornings but the water temps are still great for some wading and flows aren't to bad so you can cover some good ground fast.  Today started with some overcast and was followed up with a nice long shower.  I figured it would be a good day to go searching for some smallies.  It was dad and Annie May day today and grandma had not seen her for a while so that gave me a good excuse to run off the hill and find some fish.  I love throwing poppers to smallies the aggressive take and explosion on top water is awesome then you get some great jumps to follow!  I broke out the fruit cocktail deer hair popper and started the day off where I had fished not long ago and did decent.  And before you knew it the popper had been inhaled and a good smallie was leaping from the depths.  The flows weren't great but the fish were still holding good in the weed beds and were aggressively taking top water.  Didn't take much longer and another good fish was on but after a few good jumps he was swimming back to the depths and the hook was thrown.  After another missed take the next two fish went much smoother good hook sets and good jumps and we had another two good smallies in hand.  Dry flies and streamers are fun but to me there is a big rush when you get something that blows up and absolutely handles a popper!  A quick trip on Fishing Creek and three solid smallies all on the popper not a bad way to spend a day!
Nice smallie on top water

Thursday, September 5, 2013

A Good Labor Day

Well Labor Day started with my wife and Annie May heading to a friends to hang out with her and her kids for a little while.  I was told to drop her off and go fishing...hmm I haven't been a husband that long and dad way less but when the wife says go fishing I do  not blink at the chance I head to find some water as quick as I can.  This year has been a rough year on some local waters its been a wet year and when it rains well its usually chocolate milk and tough fishing for a while and this summer its been that way a lot.  Labor Day marked something else some fairly good conditions on the local creek so instead of heading to the ponds I pulled off in wide spot after a bridge where there is some good weed beds and strung up the 7wt with a nice sized popper.  Started off fairly slow, the water had a good flow but I seemed to be turning nothing then all a sudden right off a weed back whack first smallie fish on but not long enough after a few jumps away he went back into the depths.  I pressed onward and upstream still some better water was ahead and I had hopes of making this a good day when all a sudden a nice boil behind the popper and we have another solid hook up.  This fish was not like the others however he was solid the immediate bend in the 7wt was a good sign of things to follow.  The fish inhaled the popper so the hook set was good and after several water clearing jumps that was probably a good thing.  After a nice battle the smallie was at my feet and to my surprise a very good one! After a few pictures and a quick release we were back at it running the popper past weed beds.  Another decent smallie and it was a good day on the water, but then again any day on the water seems like a good day!

A Crappie Day Fishing

Sometimes a crappie day fishing can turn into a good day.  Today it was just dad and Annie May kinda day.  I had to run out to the store the Heinz Ketchup supply had gotten horror story low so I figured we'd take a walk around the local farm ponds on the way.  It seemed like a cool morning with the sun not to bright yet so I figured it was a good time to get some time outside with the kiddo.  I had the 7wt already strung up with a good sized popper so I figured we would see if any largemouth were looking ready to eat something if not I figured we could downsize and maybe get lucky and pick up a few bluegills.  I was not hoping for much just happy to be outside with my baby girl.  After a few casts had a big boil behind the popper set the hook and a good rod bend I figured we had another good sized largemouth on our hands at least that's what I was hoping for but I would soon be greatly surprised.  A few fish have alluded me for some reason and a crappie was one of those fish I have yet to catch especially on a fly.  Well today that all changed.  After a good fight and some nice rod bending I had at my feet a chunk of a crappie taped out at 13 1/2 inches not bad for a public farm pond fish!  Got to spend the day with a kid, get a good walk in, and land a fish that had alluded me until this point I will take that any day of the week!!  It was the only fish of the day but at least it was a good one! Keep casting you never know what you may hook into one day.