Saturday, May 11, 2013

Love The One You're With

The long-awaited angler's reprieve that is the month of May is already sliding away at an alarming rate, and it seems like I haven't slept in weeks. Fishing on the road, fishing at home, fishing before work, fishing after work, fishing for work. What can I say? It's a tough job, but somebody's got to do it.

I'll try to bring you up to speed but spare you some of the blow by blow. This is the time of the year when the ardent angler can suffer from a near-crippling case off ADD. As just about every citizen of the animal kingdom embarks on their annual courtship, the number of options can be downright overwhelming. Pike? Bass? Trout? Steelhead? Carp? Turkey? It's a win-win proposition if you ask me.

Last weekend I had the privilege of hosting friend and colleague @waderguy, chief architect of Orvis waders, boots, angler packs (and more) and certified carp maniac. He shared my indecisiveness when it came time to choose a target quarry, so we opted to pursue as many of them as possible between sun-up and sun-down. A final weigh-in I think we'd tallied 7 species to hand on the fly, including an Oncorhynchus specimen that put on one of the best aerial displays of the season.

As the day wore on though our mutual affinity for rough fish got the better of us, so we broke out the cruisers and cast to tailers until we could no longer see them. 

On Monday night Alex and I loaded up the truck and headed East in search of a trout fix. We arrived at our destination with just enough daylight in reserve to string up the toy rods and cast to some unsuspecting native trout.

We rose early the next day to the smell of dew on the pines and the gurgle of an Appalachian blue line, steeped in anticipation. After a scenic commute we met our host, Brian Minich of Whitetail Country Sports World and hunt-fish-guide, and set out to explore two of the Keystone State's better kept "secrets." Brian was a great host and our sample, per usual, was substantive enough to have us concocting a return trip. 20-inch browns and blanket caddis hatches will do that to a fella'.

Off the water with time to spare and in possession of a stellar lake run smallmouth report, we hustled back across the border to use what little daylight remained casting to chunky bronzebacks. 

One of those casts was intercepted by a spunky late-run steelhead, thereby producing this week's waderfunk moment. Let's just say that, ahem, no names please, was ill-prepared for such an altercation.

We were home for roughly 16 hours before the carp bug struck again. This one smoked a streamer with uncharacteristic vigor and flashed some dorsal for the hero shot. Sign me up for a summer full of that!

Finally, a few last minute plugs: I just locked in dates for a fall trip to the Northwoods in search of muskellunge on the fly! I'll be working with Kip Vieth of Wildwood Float Trips, and I'm recruiting five hardcore anglers interested in tangoing with the most badass fish that swims in freshwater. This is your BEST bet for taking a muskie on the fly and having a damn good time in the process. The trip includes 4 nights lodging, 3 days of guided fishing form a drift boat, and ALL meals. All you have to do is get to Minneapolis, and I'll take care of the rest. Fishing October 8, 9 and 10. If you're interested in throwing big flies for big fish and squashing a few cold ones with yours truly this fall, shoot me an email ASAP!

I'm also cooking up a similar arrangement with our friends at West Branch Angler on the Upper Delaware. Big, wild trout on dry flies, good company and good stories. Did I mention cold beers with your truly? July 7th through the 10th, tentatively. Again, let me know ASAP if you're interested!

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