Monday, July 16, 2012

Spey Nation V and Oinks

This has to be one of my favorite events to attend.....Spey Nation that is.  This year marks the fifth year and what an event it was.  Moving from it's usual June slot to a July slot was not a pleasing point for me, but judging by the masses it worked for many others.  The drawing of the masses may have been in part by the big names as well, Topher Brown, Simon Gawesworth, Rick Kustich, and Tim Rajeff just to name a few.  Did I mention free food too? Sponsored by Nick and the boyz at Oak Orchard Fly Shop.  Absent was the free beer, but hey we all know how to pack a cooler ourselves. One of the best parts for me is connecting with new and re-connecting with old friends. I get a lot out of this event by being a spectator!

 This is the time to test drive a rod...only you miss the presentation.
 Frank Swarner III and Mike Nutto talking shop.
 What an un-manned Hardy booth?.....Walt's gonna be pissed.
 Every Hippie's fantasy!!!!! Do I smell patchouli oil?
 The mastermind behind the Nation
 T&T on display and ready to swing.
The morning started like all the other Spey Nations for me, up as early as possible, meet up with my buddy Martin for some fishing and laughing before test driving a few rods at the Nation.  There were a few willing takers in the smallmouth bass department, many falling victim to Hagrid's Dragon sculpin pattern.  To add to the story, I will mention that there was an epic battle and a fish weighing in the pound rather than inches ranges was lost before eyes could be laid upon it.  I had to depart by Noon due a previous engangement of a pig roasting nature.

  It wouldn't be a trip with out a stop at Malinda's Fly Shop. 
 Can't wait til next year! Thanks to all those who put forth the effort to pull this event is greatly appreciated.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

When shadows come into focus.

When shadows come into focus:
I had heard of the term "chasing shadows" in reference to fishing for Atlantic salmon on some of the Great Lakes tributaries before.  I think there is no mystery that some Atlantic salmon due exists in some of these streams and rivers, and finding them is possible.  The belief is that they run during the summer andmspawn in the very early fall.  I have no first hand knowledge of this and am going by what I have heard.  In my quest to fish with a switch or spey rod as much as possible, I have been allocating more time to fishing the bodies of water I would normally only fish from fall through spring.  When the hankering gives, I tend to put a little effort into chasing shadows.  Recently I spent a few hours in pursuit of these said shadows......half heartedly to say the least.  A couple of brief small trout tugs and nothing very impressive had resulted.  When I reached a well oxygenated pool in the early morning hours, I drifted a few flies through to no avail, but then there was a splash from a fish, a large fish chasing after an emerging caddis.  There are very few possibilities to what it could have been.  Then a few minutes later it happened again.  I tried in vain to entice this monster from beneath, but there would be no such luck.  I soon headed down river to chase some warmer water species and explore new areas.  I eased into the water and made my way upstream to explore  some new-to-me water.  I found a nice riffle area that was partly shaded on the opposite bank.  I made my way out into the the mid-shin deep water when I noticed directly in front of lie a fish of six to eight pounds barely caring that I was there. There was little doubt that it was an Atlantic.  It then swam half annoyed at my presence upstream.  Still in shock I backed out of the water and moved further upstream.  I had lost sight of this unicorn and was cautiously working my fly through the water, when once again a shadow came into focus.  I had spotted the same fish again and was comfortable that I hadn't spooked it.  For the next fifteen minutes I carefully presented a handful of flies to this mystical fish, but to no avail.  I drank in the moment of solitude on the river and an encounter that this time favored the fish.  I left the fish to be at peace and respected our brief encounter.  I fished cautiously the rest of the morning, taking a few fallfish and a smallmouth bass.  I danced with a couple of watersnakes, much to my displeasure. A morning that I truly enjoyed and relished.  The photo is blurry, but the shadows do come into focus....only my memory is crystal clear.