Monday, July 23, 2012

Fishing, Fossils, and Friends

I always seem to find cool turtles on my travels around camp

I really needed to get a post written before BOTH my loyal followers leave this wretched blog and do something more beneficial with their time - something like, um , watch the grass grow, watch the paint dry, ...

This is a 3 part post and spans the past 3 weeks.  First up - the fishing.

Yes, I actually got a chance to fly fish for 1 day in a creek I actually know, and in a place I actually felt comfortable fishing.  I got to spend a day with my Dad, brother, and few other friends at the camp in PA I have been fortunate enough to use (when I've had the time) for the past 30 years.  The camp, owned by my best friend, sits on the banks of Kettle Creek in Potter Co., PA.  It is a rustic log cabin with no running water and, to my way of thinking, is about the best place on earth.  The truly wonderful thing about this camp, and the part that pushes it into the stratospheric realm of legendary camps, is that here is absolutely NO CELL SIGNAL within 15 miles of the camp.  It truly is heaven on earth.

The view from the camp porch of Kettle Creek

The fishing on Kettle Creek and its many tributaries gives a trout fisherman all the possibilities he could ask for.  The main creek is primarily a put-and-take stocked trout fishery.  All the tributaries are class A Wild trout streams and harbor lots of small native brook trout.  A few of the larger tribs have some stocked fish in them, too.  And, the creek is dammed by Alvin Bush dam, so the option is here for lake fishermen, too.

I usually spend my limited time here walking into the rtibs and fishing for natives, but this trip I decided to fish with my Dad and brother and stay on the main stem and bigger tribs.  Remember - I had 1 day to fish.  It took me 6 hours to drive there Wed. nite, and another 6 drive home on Friday, so everything happened on one day - Thursday.  I woke up early and my brother and I drove up to Cross Fork creek to check it out.  This stream is one of the larger tribs and gets stocked as well as supports a wild trout fishery - both browns and brookies.  The lower section is crossed by a snowmobile bridge and is a good observation deck for the creek.  We stoped there and saw some nice fish in the main run.  I gave Pat and Brian that section, and drove upstream a few miles on a dirt road to fish a nice little stretch that often contains wild brookies.  Ended up getting a rainbow and a brookie that morning.

                                                                                                               A Cross Fork Creek rainbow

We met back at the cabin for lunch.  Pat had gotten a few of the rainbows in the lower stretch on dries and had a lot of refusals.  A good morning, overall.  I decided to try that stretch in the afternoon.  Luckily, no one was fishing it when I arrived around 3 pm.  I set up and decided that, with limited time, I wanted to rack up a body count and see how many fish I could catch in an hour and a half.  That meant stowing the dry flies - no apparent hatches going on - and going with "rainbow candy" - a tung bead red San Juan Worm.  It was, quite simply, a slaughter.  I landed / lost / missed enough trout that I actually took the worm off and put on a tandem nymph combo just to see if the action would be as fast.  It wasn't , but I still picked up a few more fish.  Total afternoon tally - landed 13, missed a LOT, broke off one big fish.  All 'bows.  Biggest went 17".

The evening meant an anticipated sulphur hatch on the main stem.  I went along with 2 of the guys from the camp and proceeded to land four browns.  I left early and went back to camp, very satisfied with my day.  Actually got a Kettle Creek Slam - brookie, rainbow, and brown in the same day.  Whhoo Hoo!

I got back to camp, made a fire, and had a couple of my favorite adult beverages - a Stone Ruination double IPA, and a glass of Blanton's bourbon.  Life did not suck that evening.

                                                                                          Camp, Stone Ruination, and Blanton's

PART 2 - More Sharks Teeth

The Shark Tooth hobby has firmly established itself in our routine and is definitely not just a passing fancy.  My wife and I go out every opportunity we have and walk the beach.  We really only find small teeth, but just really enjoy getting out there.  And, we know if we put in our time, eventually we'll find some good teeth.  Here are a few of the recent hauls:

                                                                                                      This was a 2 hour haul. 

 Most of the teeth are small, but the second picture shows a few of the better teeth - a Cow Shark tooth (the one with the multiple teeth on one enamel) and Hemipristis with a broken enamel.  The other piece is a Vertebrae - pretty cool.  Only the 3rd one we've found so far, and the largest so far.
The following batch came from yesterday.  It was a pretty tough day of beachcombing, but once again my wife found all the good stuff.  The larger teeth in the center are all Tiger Shark teeth she found.  The round white pieces on the lower right are pieces of fossilized sand dollars.  The large piece in the center with the lines running through it are a nice piece of sand dollar - the smaller pieces are the individual segments from a larger piece such as this.   I found pretty much nothing.

Finally, we come to the part about friends.  Many blog posts have been written about hte friendships we all develop - usually unexpectedly - via our blogs.  One of the folks I really wanted to meet up with has been Howard Levett - the author of Wind Knots and Tangled Lines.  Well, the stars aligned and we got to share a dinner and a LOT of conversation on Thursday night.  The one thing both of us agreed on was htat we WILL do this again, and it will involve a stream somewhere.  We enjoyed a buffalo steak and a never ending supply of stories throughout the night.  Howard is as genuine a person as I expected him to be, and he compliments my "Life List" of bloggers that I've met perfectly.  That list began with Rebeca Garlock, includes the now retired (?) Kari Murray, Mike Agneta, and Howard.  An "A" list of bloggers if there ever was one!

Beer and Buffalo steaks!

Wow - a real post!  I might have to do this more often!