Monday, November 24, 2014

Bear Hunter

My bud Gus (left) with his cousin Jack and Gus' first ever bear.......a 310# Bruin shot opening morning in Pennsylvania.  Their camp is over the next hill from ours so when the "bear down" call came in it only took us minutes until we had a wheeler and a truckload of guys heading up there to give him a hand.   The whole thing seemed a bit surreal at first and there were a lotta "holy shits" exchanged as we walked up to the bruin.  I realize black bears can get bigger in this state, but let me tell you this thing was big enough and impressive as hell up close.  The glazed look on Gus' face as he retold the events was perhaps the best part of it all.

Needless to say, there was quite a party at camp that night!  

With the gang.....thanks Gus for letting us share it with you!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Hi I'm Dave

Hi I'm Dave and I'm an ex-blogger.  Erik (with a "K") my brah has asked me to contribute.  I used to run The Happy Trout Chronicles but have since moved on to other projects, not to mention, blogging is oh so 2012... kidding.

So since this is a fishing blog, I will throw down some pics and words from a recent trip.  The theme of the trip was musky, as is the hottest theme in flyfishing these days anyway.  I won't ramble on on how I've been chasing "toothy critters" or "big toothies" (or any of the other "toothy" related monikers given to our old pal Esox and his slimy half breed cousins for that matter) for the last ten years, or refer to muskies as the "fish-of-ten-thousand-casts" but, hey I just did, so there.

I didn't invent this game, and I suck at as much as the next guy, his brother and everyone else who claims to know jack about this fish and getting them on flies.   However, the name of the game has been and always will be, spend time on the water, throw all day, try new retrieves, rivers, lakes and swamps, not to mention the guys throwing hardware will always outfish you.  Follow those guys around, you will learn more form them than most flyfishers in the know about musky.

But I can't lie.  I've caught a few, had loads of follows, and well, just yesterday, I got my ass handed to me and the middle fin from a pure bred 45" plus.  (No, I didn't get a chance to measure it, but I need some level of BS factor here).

Big is Big.

There is a GoPro video (so vogue with musky fishing, I might add; a must-have.) that will surface soon of my hookup, short brawl, and ultimately the loss of this intrepid beast.  Followed by a grand performance temper tantrum of child-like proportions, profanities, angry looks and gestures not commonly seen on serene hallowed fly fishing waters. I possess a life full of prideful moments.

We did not however get totally blanked.  One of our pardners, we'll call him "T-boner" plays the persistence game.  This kid is no-lie the most optimistic and positive kid I have ever met.  Even when conditions swing in the worst of favor, his line is still out there, he believes that on his next cast, it WILL happen.  And guess what, it does.  It was fun fishing with him.

Throwing musky flies, he caught a really slammer brown trout.  On the decks of the "SS Sweater Musky", where a measure stick is always present, this fish tallied up at 21".  Maybe even a smidge more, but I'll leave it there.

T-boner then proceeds to get a really nice smallmouth just before the takeout.  Everyone else committed to beers and a boat ride near the end, but not this kid.  He continued to get it done.

It was good times, I was happy to be there, with Ludwig, T-boner, Double B, getting a few more casts in before it gets nasty.  BOOM! I'm out.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Road Trip: Maine

click on photos to enlarge

Since we got our Brittany over two years ago, my sons dream has been to either take him east for grouse or west for pheasants.  So with a phone call and invitation from my good friend Greg who lives in Connecticut, plans were made last year to take a trip to Maine to sample some of the wing shooting that state is known for.  We made base in the Rangeley Lakes region of northwest Maine which is rich in sporting tradition for both bird hunting and flyfishing.

Are we almost there yet?

Numerous rivers and streams on the way up made me wonder why I didn't bring a
fly rod along.  I guess at heart, I'm just a fisherman who likes to hunt.

After the hunt--Duke on the left, Jim on the right.  Jim is seven years old and a whiz on grouse and woodcock, as well as good company around the cabin.

Each day ended with drinks and dinner, and this view out the window.  The isolated location on a long dirt road in and out (flat tire to prove it) made you feel like you had a piece of the state all to yourself.

Greg, Duke and Bryce start out a morning hunt

My son's first grouse and woodcock taken over point with Duke

Typical grouse cover

So our pup did a lot of growing up this week.  Early on he was busting more birds than pointing, but by the end of the week started to get the hang of things.  All in all it was a successful trip and we got to see parts of the country we never saw before, meet some really good people, and yes having some fresh lob-stah along the way.  We also got an unexpected surprise of a a low-level fly over by three F-16 fighter jets, with one tipping his wing to us as we stood in a large clearing on top of a hill watching them go by.  Pretty cool stuff.

Special thanks to Jeanie and Scott for their hospitality, Jim their dog for some memorable points, and Tom for taking my son along with him one afternoon and sharing his years of dog training experiences with Bryce.