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Old 09-02-2011, 10:15 AM   #16
HamboneSlim OP
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Thanks a lot, glad you're enjoying the report!
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Old 09-02-2011, 01:50 PM   #17
allonsye
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The adventures of an individual who's refused to embrace the hedonic treadmill. There's minimalistic simplicity here and an excellent eye for the stupendous beauty most are unable to see occupying every present moment. Excellent!
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Old 09-02-2011, 01:56 PM   #18
BeezaBoy
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You've got me in stitches

Great writing, great photos, great fun!
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Old 09-03-2011, 07:10 AM   #19
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Thank you for the lovely comments!
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Old 09-03-2011, 07:48 AM   #20
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Caution: Fish stories ahead. Expect lies.

Small brushy streams can be challenging to fish in the best of conditions, and the recent storm has left conditions far from ideal. But that's no excuse to not catch a fish; I'm a Fisherman, and I can come up with far better excuses than that!



Moving along the stream edge and casting to an undercut bank, I get a strike! Feels like a nice one, and the fish quickly spits out the fly. Beneath an overhanging branch, another strike, in a deep pocket, another!

I know, you're thinking, "What? Something's foul with this fly! Three strikes and no fish? Get Outta Heeeaaaah!!"

It's like this my friends. It's said that the career of a dedicated fisherman goes through 4 stages.
 
Stage I: He wants to catch as many fish as possible. I graduated from this level by catching a dozen fish with one cast.
No, seriously, I’m tellin’ ya - a dozen with one cast - would a Fisherman stretch the truth?
It was at Ressica Falls, a beautiful and well stocked stretch of the Buskill owned by the Boy Scouts. My good fishin’ dog Rusty and I arrived midday, and I parked my old pickup amongst the Mercedes and Lexus and BMWs. Seemed liked there were a lot of nice cars in the lot. Grabbed my gear, and we walked down the path along the creek. I was surprised as we came to the first pool of the stream to find a dozen Sports all in that one pool. These fellows must have had tens of thousands of dollars worth of the finest tackle, clothing, and acoutrements amongst them, looking like an outing of fine fishing catalog models. They were all fishing at the head of the pool, right on top of one another. They gave a casual glance at me with my crumpled and dirty felt hat, pack rod with visible repairs, waders just an old pair of workboots with carpet scraps carefully cut and glued to the soles, scruffy dog by my side. We were quickly dismissed with a few smirks and rolls of the eyes. There are miles of excellent and beautiful water here, all filled with lively fat fish; it made no senseat all for all these fellows to be fishing the exact same spot, crossing one another’s lines, raising each other’s ire - and nobody catching anything anyway. Naturally, I walked into the pool. Rusty followed, waded to the geographic center of the pool, and gave a mighty shake and spray, that was his style. I always loved when Rusty did this; it was such an expression of his joy. The Sports got wet. They were not feeling Rusty’s joy. Heaven forbid a man standing in a stream should get wet! The Sports seemed not to be having much luck fishing the head of the pool, so I turned towards the tail of the pool, tied the biggest flashiest streamer fly I had onto my tippet - a Spruce Creek - and cast it to the side of the pool, beneath some overhanging hemlock branches, let it float and drift to the tail of the pool, and as it became wet and started to sink, I ripped it along the edge of the pool as if it were some desperate little creature trying it’s tiny best not to go over the edge into the swift water. Whack! A big rainbow took advantage and hit it hard! Rainbows are natural jumpers, and I encouraged this fellow jump as much as he liked, his sides flashing pink and orange and silver in the bright noonday sun, while I provided a running comentary for Rusty concerning what a fine specimen this particular fish was. Twice I let the fish run just past the legs of the Sports, certain that they also would enjoy a view of such a fine fish. Finally, after much fanfare, I brought the fish to hand, displayed it to Rusty who gave it a big kiss, then gently let the fish back into the water, where it quickly swam away. Hooking the fly into the handle of the fly rod, I turned to Rusty and exclaimed, "Let’s go upstream, Rusty. They’re too easy to catch here."
And that’s how I caught a dozen fish with one cast!
 
Stage II: The consuming desire to catch the biggest fish ever. Tarpon, great whites, night-feeding deep pool browns, it's all the same mania. For me it was Muskelounge. I finally hooked one on a December day, on a ho-made plug , in the Delaware River. As I reeled it ever closer to shore those pointy fish teeth just kept getting bigger and bigger, and that evil lemon fish eye was looking nastier and nastier. As I hauled the mighty aquatic beast to the river bank, and was begining to wonder just what the heck I was gonna do now, my trusty angling dog companion at the time, Zig, jumped into the water and on top the big fish, and in the ensuing fray the Musky managed to shake off the lure, to my great relief, and fish and dog returned to their respective elements unharmed and ready to fight another day. What the hell did I think I was gonna do with that big fish??
 
Stage III: The attempt to catch the most unusual or exotic fish - artic grayling, paddlefish, coelacanth, whatever. For me it was mudpuppies. This stage is designed to make the Fisherman appear a complete fool, even more so than the previous stages. He will either reform and take up golf, or he will accept his status as Laughing Stock of Polite Society, tilt his disreputable hat at a jaunty angle, and proceed to the next level.
 
Stage IV: Catching the most difficult fish. For some this will be in the form of long delicate casts to wary bonefish on the flats, for me it was pursuing native brook trout in brushy, near-inaccessable little mountain streams. Here is where the final polish of the angler's craft takes place. He must become one with the environment, every breeze, every branch, every ripple in the water; the placement of the rocks, the hides that other anlgers would miss, revealed only by a slight change in the movement of the water; stalking the fish in his element, undetected; threading the line through branches and brush, to have it land just so and at just the right spot, with just enough slack for a natural drift past a waiting trout. At this stage our fisherman is at one with nature, not a casual visitor to nature, or observor of some abstract concept of nature, but as much a part of her as is the leaf floating on the surface. For a while now, he has been mashing down the barbs of his hooks, so the fish can shake off easier, and so a fish brought to hand can be more quickly released. Having mastered this stage, he is now written off by his loved ones as a liar and a fool. He has become a True Fisherman.
Me, I just want to fish, and I don’t want the fish to bother me while I’m doing it. Pulling a fish through the water, removing the hook, releasing the fish, such bluster and bother, who needs it? All I want is that simple reassurance that, if nothing else, I can still outwit a creature with a brain the size of a pea. Mashing down the barbs is no longer sufficient. I cut the hook off entirely. The fish can strike, but they can’t get get hooked.



Ho-made glass bead nymph. No hook, no fish were harmed in the making of this ride report.



The Brook Trout are the sacred keepers of the mountain stream Tao. What I can describe with my words, isn't it. The Brook Trout are far more eloquent on this subject than I.

It's time to go. I pack up the Honda.



Fly lonely rider
No dreams can posess you
No voices can blame you
For sun on your wings
My gentle relations
Have names they must call me
For loving the freedom
Of all flying things

Next: backroads
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Goddamn, well I declare,
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Their walls are built of cannonballs,
Their motto is, "Don't tread on me."
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Old 09-03-2011, 08:15 AM   #21
Whyswoman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HamboneSlim View Post

Fly lonely rider
No dreams can posess you
No voices can blame you
For sun on your wings
My gentle relations
Have names they must call me
For loving the freedom
Of all flying things

Next: backroads

Hambone, you had me hooked from the beginning to the end - likely because you mashed down all the barbs on your hook...this last poem is a fine release. I will look forward to more...
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Old 09-03-2011, 08:47 AM   #22
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Thanks! The poem is a lightly modified Song to a Seagull from Joni's first album.
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Old 09-03-2011, 04:02 PM   #23
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This is most excellent!
I am well and truly hooked.



Believe it or not, I have a friend who also fishes with no hooks. I wonder- does one still need a fishing liscence??
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Old 09-03-2011, 04:19 PM   #24
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Glad you're enjoying it!

I believe one does need a license, regardless of hooks.

In Pennsylvania some streams can only be fished with barbless hooks, and only catch and release.
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Old 09-03-2011, 04:59 PM   #25
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I spent the rest of the morning riding like a reckless fool down various forest roads, and didn't fall off at all!



Some of the roads were gravel, some dirt, and one was large cobble that was especially exciting to ride.

Saw a pair of turkey hens with their broods gobbling mulberrys by the road side, but they were far into the woods by time the camera was out.

Saw a buck with a nice velvet rack, but he also was shy about having his picture taken.



My high school guidance counselor is haunting me!




Checked some other streams for fishability, but they were all moving too much water right now. This area got whacked pretty hard by the storm.
I'm reminded of Hurricane Agnes in '72. There was extensive flooding and damge in Wilkes-Barre, and my Civil Air Patrol squadron was called to to assist. I would've been ... let's see it was '72, I was born in '57, need to subtract the ... carry something ... add in the divisor decimal places ... I was ... I was pretty young.
I was called on to do a lot of kid stuff - relaying messages by hand between the control center and the makeshift search and rescue helicopter landing pad, searching wooded areas for barrels of toxic chemicals that had drifted in on the flood, the usual. At one point I was deployed at a bridge across the raging Susquehanna River, with orders that No One except official emergency vehicles were permitted to cross the bridge, as there were trailers and storage containers riding the flood and heading for the bridge.
It occurs to me now that resources were stretched so thin then, that they couldn't spare a National Guardsman or a LEO, not even a freakin safety cone, all they had to muster to keep people intent on reaching their homes and loved ones off the only bridge they could've possibly used, was one boy in army-navy store fatiques and an orange cap. I executed my orders and no civilians crossed that bridge that day. Time was, we would call on young people and expect them to an adult's job. I think these experiences build character. And just what we need are more characters.
Looks like we are better prepared this time.
Passed water distribution stations, folks filling buckets with stream water for flushing, portable generators hooked up to little transformer substations, and lots of crews cutting downed trees off of powerlines. Seems like folks were pretty well prepared and are getting through it OK.

Decided to find a snack somewhere...

This place looks like it might be A OK...



Bought a breakfast samwish, stowed it in the bag, and went looking for a nice spot for a picnic.

A picnic? Man, you are too square. I'll have to straighten you out. Now, listen, you don't go any one special place. That's cornball style. You just go.



Weathered barn, vintage Oliver tractor, trailer made from an old pickup bed; only thing missing is the Kodak Picture Spot sign.




A nice spot to enjoy a sausage egg and cheese samwish. Good!




If you hate small twisty hilly roads with little traffic, you won't like Pennsylvania.




Pastoral, ennit.




Blue Mountain, not sure why they call it that.




Cherry Valley Methodists. The Star of David window is a nice homage.



It was closed; I would've liked to see the view from the steeple porch.




Speed bump sign.




The elderly? I see an Oliver and a Ford, not sure who that is hiding behind the tree.




Well, now, that's just about exceedes my Quaint Tolerance Level threshold. I'm tired of being on an Adventure. Time to head home.


Next: Homeward Bound
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Goddamn, well I declare,
Have you seen the like?
Their walls are built of cannonballs,
Their motto is, "Don't tread on me."

HamboneSlim screwed with this post 09-04-2011 at 06:39 AM
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Old 09-04-2011, 06:52 AM   #26
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I miss the gravel road over Blue Mountain that I wanted to take, and end up on the state highway through Wind Gap, Bath, and into Bethlehem. Lot's of traffic, so I just ride.



Passed another cement factory.



Close to home, I stopped and got some jellies and jams for a thank you for my Dad for taking care of Spooner while I was away.

Best part of being on an Adventure?

Coming home to your best friends...



...and familiar routines...




Thanks for coming along for the ride!
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Goddamn, well I declare,
Have you seen the like?
Their walls are built of cannonballs,
Their motto is, "Don't tread on me."
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Old 09-04-2011, 07:10 AM   #27
Reverend12
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Great ride report, I enjoyed it
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Old 09-04-2011, 07:34 AM   #28
Whyswoman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HamboneSlim View Post
Best part of being on an Adventure?

Coming home to your best friends...



...and familiar routines...




Thanks for coming along for the ride!
Lovely, Hambone...please be sure to let me know when we are heading off on another adventure...I will be sure to settle in, extra-comfy like, into my LaZWench recliner

...Oh, Oh, are we gonna fly, down in the easy chair...
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Old 09-04-2011, 02:01 PM   #29
woodschip
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Hambones Dung Ball Report

Thanks just a whole bunch for sharing your adventures with us. Your sensible,low-tech approach to matters leaves me refreshed and a bit envious. Good on you,friend!
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Old 09-04-2011, 02:56 PM   #30
OldDreamer
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Enjoy

I really enjoyed your ride report. You kept it interesting and a large variety of pictures to keep mee looking for more.

Thaknks,

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