18ish lbs dry.
3days, 2nights out.

the list:
tyvek ground cloth.
single wall, single pole tent
Thermarest prolite
Marmot 50^ Pounder bag.
Wool sweater.
Wool base.
Capilene Bottoms.
Capilene boxers.
Wool socks.
Ski cap.
Rain jacket.
Alcohol stove.
Fuel & measuring cup
Ti kettle.
tiny coffee press
tiny mug.
salt n old bay shaker
leatherman skeletool
fire starter sticks.
head lamp.
water filter.
empty nalgene for camp.
full water bottle on outside.
flip flops
pen & paper.
(3) off the shelf dehydratd meals
(3) packs oatmeal
(3) packs of PopTarts
(1) dehydrated breakfast

fiishin' bag on outside w/
(2) flyboxes
(3) spools of tippet,
spare leader
line grease

rod, 7'3" 3pc, 4wt.

+whatever additional snacks
I can fit in the top pouch.

hike/fish kit is a new
fishin' shirt with big up
front pockets for fly boxes,
so no bag needed.
pants w/ zip off legs,
cargo pockets.
shoes are Merrel sticky soled
water shoes, wool socks under
knee high 2mm neoprene for
comfy wading...

fish and hike thru the day,
set camp, towards eve
and let the day unwind,
see some sights, explore,
catch some wild trouts...
then probaly daytrip it to
some other streams in the
area, mix in some railtrail
spinnin' maybe...

the road calls.



we alll make cchoices.
they are waht they are,
don't judge them,
they brought you here.

here to the
and now.

on the way ti finishing college,
I could've interviewed
with a small general
aviation manufacturer
based in Mississippi.

where would I be now?

probably not in Carlisle, PA.
which is a truely beautiful
place...it is.


but, where would
those other choices have

taken me. ?

every time I read
about th Gulf.

it sickens me.


fuck us, for allowing
it to happen.

it's an addiction
we must break.

so Monday I will

north to 'take a break'
from it all.

it's all kinda fucked up.



that about
sums it up.

bag as it sits
now is 15ish lb,
it'll probably tickle
twenty once those
unchecked loose
ends are tied on.


'til the flip side.


fishing lessons..

the Letort, any home
stream probably, can
become an addictive
puzzle. so much so
that it's easy to get
sucked into fishing
the same beat.

other night I decided
to look elsewhere,
and sat and scoped
out the meadow section
below the confluence,
saw a few fish working
the light sulphur hatch.

went back last night,
the rabbit hole entry
didn't look at all worn,
there is an established
path though along the
stream. This stream
gets worked over pretty

Sneak out to that spot
and can't see a fish
working, moving, fleeing.
Creep along, see one rise
a good bit upstream, and
keep noticing a milky cloud
in the under foot current.

it's right up to the mouth
of the left branch...
something's going on
up in the cress farm,
flushing. the trouts
are probably not too
happy about that.

so head further upstream,
have looked around up here,
never really fished here though.
avoid the fisherman's path,
lightly treading a wide berth.
then the typical slow old man
crouched approach, using
those couple of trees for
cover, try to blend in.

change up flies, and then again
with a fresh tippet now, mark a
few risers in the process, note
the personalities. target this one
in close off the end of that
submerged tree, nice deep
channel, undercut weedbeds
and an exuberant riser,
slashing at the random
fluttering sulphur...

change flies once again after
that and settle in, find that
casting rythmn, note the
obstacles and throw a
couple short casts, work
that seam just a bit further
out and up each time.

flog a cast into that turbled
water and see a little streak
of trout lightning zing out
from under the tree...gotchya!
not skunked tonight! just a
little parr marked brookie
sized brown, teach 'em young
and they'll grow big..

while that was going on,
I did notice a more subtle
rise upstream just a bit.
so change flies once more
and creep on up for a looksy.

well. look at that!

a big old pothole with a
current buffering weedbed
marking the back edge,
waist deep? and a very nice
looking, healthy sized, trout
parked in that cress induced
updraft, with about three
serious currents feeding him a
buggy smorgasboard buffet.

stop and watch.


don't forget to breath.
don't forget to breath.

watch some more.

watch as he rises for the
random stroogling sulphurs
that come his way. cool,
he's looking up.

intentionally went with a
smaller sized fly, #16, just
to try it out, figure it out.
start working out the line,
beautiful casting lane out
behind me, and shoot the
line for the final five or eight
feet.....short. damn, I always
underestimate the distance.

His feeding spot is right
on my limit in the here
and now, 45', maybe 50?
Throw a couple sweet
tailing loops trying to
get that extra 5' of distance,
and decide to sneak up a
bit closer....

something else I mis-
guesstimate, is how close
can I get. I see it with brookies
in pools of gin all the time.
they're fanning the current,
leisurely coasting with it, on
the feed...then you take that
one extra step, and they'll
flinch, you can see tension in
'em. And since you're really
not a yoga guru ninja, your
foot will shift in the gravel as
you catch exhale balance.

and that flinch was flight or FLEEE!
impulse for Mr. Trout. He's on edge
now, hears you exhaling thru crunchy
streambed, and he. is. gone.

but come on, you can take two more
steps, may as well, gonna spook
him with an even more fucked up
cast than the last anyways...


one step.

two step.


ahh, still on the feed, now
just watch. settle for a few
breaths, then start working
out the line. damn, this
is a muuuuch nicer spot.


get the distance dialed, then
finally throw a nice right hook,
dropping a big loop of leader
out around his window, line
landing behind him, fly above
and a big soft loop out beyond
to soak up the goofy blending

ok, now what? drift drift, ooo,
he's tipping up, he's on it, looking,



go again, couple of non-spooking
not perfect casts, then a repeat of
that one...tipping, tipping......damn.

ok, he's looked twice, change flies.
go up a size, darker wing color.
while tying knots, watch him take
two naturals. bam. bam.

knots clipped, stop, breath, observe.
see a flitting natural trying to take
flight. Mr Trout keys on it, tips,
drifts, flit, flit, drifts.....rejection,
flit. flit.

damn, this one rejects naturals...

breath. hatch picks up just a bit.
work out some line, work out
the line, accelerate and slowstop
the back cast, load the rod, wait..
now bring it fwd, pop...drop the
elbow and those sexy S curves of
line alight the waters surface.

fly drops just oh, so.

trout keys, tips, short drift...slurp.

whuuuttt! did he just fucking take
that! wait that half twitch, then set
into him...oh, he's on! and he's pissed!
see him shakin' his head and feel
that this fish has got some weight!


then he's off, heading for weed
sanctuary, get him turned, then
into the air, all the while trying
to get him onto the reel.
he turns and comes ripping
downstream, keep him out of
these weeds, stripping and reeling
and tangling and fuck! this is fun!

blink and he puts his head down
and charges straight down into the
weeds, buried. wtf?!?! side pressure,
back pressure, nothing budging,
do finally get the slack onto the reel.

whew. got tension, but nothing
budges. all different angles I can
get, nothing budges. did he tangle
me, just waiting to break me off? or
is this 4wt rod just not enough to work
him loose?

can't stand like this forever, so into
the water it is, get in close and grab
the leader, give it a tug, and suddenly
it's alive! swirling mud churning tail,
back him out of the rabbit hole and
he's off again upstream and down,
let the reel do the work.

and finally get him to hand,
a very healthy 14-15" wild
Letort brown...who hopefully
learned a bit and will grow
to 20+ before coming out to
play again...damn that was fun,
I really need to put a bottle
opener in my fishin' pack,
it was a walk back the SPD's.

and yeah, just so you know,
don't rest your rod across
your arm after you've sprayed
down with DEET infused OFF!...
it will fuck with that pretty
varnish on your bamboo rod,
oops. now I know, but it's
really just cosmetics, and
now it's really mine..

..."oh yeah, yeah, heh, I
fucked up that rod that
night I caught that really
nice brown on the Letort,
damn, that sure was a
nice fish..."


2000 cu in.

it's such an easier
gear shuffle for a
walkabout, then it
is for a bikeabout.

2000 cu in.
will easily hold
all of my needs
for 2 nights out.

rod & shoes on
the outside, tackle
bag on the chest
if need be, pantry
ain't full yet...

should be pretty
mobile, fish on the
go and do some
explorin', push that
horizon another
few steps further.

maybe eventually
see some of ya'll
towards the end
of that stage race
dilly that's happening
next week....maybe.



well, I've got some time
off scheduled. Originally
was helping with that Trans
PeeYay race dilly...but the
tired knee and a desire to
avoid total mental burnout
pulled the plug on that.

The vacation time is on the
books though, gotta use it.
How? Well, the knee is coming
around, slowly. Couple of
acheless mornings recently,
the ez around town spinning
and knot loosening massage
is helping. Not anywhere
near ready for 'real riding'
yet though...gotta have

So, looking at the maps,
looking at the gear bin
that's full of uber light
overnight gear...turns out
that the 50^ bag/pad/shelter/
cook kit easily fits into the mid
size Marmot pack, with enough
room for warm layers & food
for a night or two.

Add in a couple fly boxes &
spools of tippet, strap a
rod & wading shoes to the
outside...and the question
simply becomes, where?

It's gotta be someplace new,
someplace to explore...Hammersly
Fork, Cedar Run, Slate Run,
headwaters of Kettle Creek...
use Ole Bull for a base camp?

Can't imagine there'll be too
many folks out during mid week,
but it is a holiday-ish time
frame...would be reallly cool
to explore some stately quiet
old growth, catch a wild trout
or two...ahhhh, choices.


different direction

usually at this spot, I begin
fishing directly upstream.
this time, went down then
worked back up, familiar
place, new perspective

hiking down thru the forest...

found crazy fungal orangeness

looks like a good spot to
start heading back upstream
(and it's Posted
directly behind
me :( )

is this where the phrase
'Gin Clear' comes from?

or 'spooky'? was a bit
surprised when this
stretch appeared..

ahhh, the fabled Adams hatch...

beautiful little brook trout


3 for 3.

Back to the Letort.
If you believed what is
written about this stream,
you'd think it's pretty much
impossible to catch a trout
there, unless you possess
some form of ninja fly fishing

I mean, they're just trout, right?
They are finicky, but no more
so than any other wild trouts.

You gotta be quiet,
cuz they're spooky.

You gotta have a good
'presentation' of the fly,
cuz they demand perfection.

But I've seen just as many
denials from little mtn brookies
as I have from Letort browns.

Wild fish are as wild fish is,
no matter where you're at.

Simple as that.

(in other news, might be
on the upswing with the
knee thing...got a looksy
by the Doc, now working
out a kink or two to relieve
some imbalanced tension,
diggin' the results...time
will tell.)


fishing lesson...

it all happens below the surface.
I prefer the dry fly, I prefer to fish
for trouts that are rising, trouts
that are willing to make that risk
to come out and play.

or something.

I'm not a fan of fishing subsurface,
partially cuz I'm not that good at
it. And also because it feels like
an invasion of their world at times.
(there's a good essay by Lee Wulff
about 'trout sanctuary' out there
that I recently found out about...)

But, if you're jonesin' to feel that
spirited fight at the of the line,
it's sometimes the way to go.

Nyphin' is hard, flows of water are
three dimensional. On the surface
you're basically working on a 2D plane.
And you can see what's going on,
dealing w/ eddies, seams, upwelling
swells and such to put that fly in just
the right spot with just enough puddled
tippet to get a drag free drift across
your quarry's lie. It's such an addictive,
intricate challenge.

But go under the surface and it gets
even tougher. The density of the water
refracts your sightline, top surface
currents flow faster than those below.
Your fly line interacts with the surface
and affects the natural tumbling along
of the nymph down below.

You also just don't know if you're
presenting the fly in the correct lane
since you really can't see shit. At least
until you hook that fish...

So that's my little Friday
evening treatise on the
challenge of flowing water.

Now, think about this catastrophe we've
created down in the Gulf. I just read more
about the oil that is erupting out the seabed.
They say it's like a cone, one mile tall and
two miles in diameter. Really?


There is no fucking way in hell that thing
is a homogenously contained cone shaped
spill. Go Here: The Great Beyond
read about the Plume. The ocean is not
some simple standing body of water,
where the oil will just float up through
this magical public relations cone. It's
three dimensional, just like a stream.

They think there's oil 'settling' in a layer
2-300 meters above the floor of the sea.
They're also finding this other 'plume'
what, 1000m below the surface? And
who knows what the fuck is happening
in between? That nice tidy cone that they
want you to envision is being ripped
apart by those deep currents, shears &
seams, down & upwellings.

HUDGE volumes of oil won't, can't, make it
immediately to the surface. That's just plain
common sense. And those 'dispersents,'
does anybody really know anything about
that shit? So, it's being injected at the source,
which makes it easier to disperse throughout
all of those sub currents?


The question is what path will it take?
How many ecosystems will it destroy
along the way? Will we still be finding
upwellings of oil from this for years
to come in the most unthought of
places? Could we have just totally
fucked the entire Atlantic, if not beyond?

Oil is death. It is because of massive
death that it exists. It's only logical
that by unleashing those energies,
we've fucked ourselves, all of that
ugliness was buried so deep for a
reason. Mother Earth will heal, I have
faith in that, but I doubt anything
that we consider 'human' will be
around to see it. She's probably
had about enough of our shit by now..


back for more.

screw it. I promised myself
no pedaling for two weeks,
see how this cantankerous
knee responds to a quality
rest...well, I made it 10 days,
and the knee isn't really
feeling much better, not
much worse either, I'm
sure not happy with this
status quo.

But, it's just plain stoopid
to drive to the stream when
it's right. across. town.

So, load the pack, secure
the rod tube & spin on out
the path. Sit on a log, gear
up, soak it in hanging out
with Woody, then look for
some active trout.

There's a mild sulphur
hatch going on, not really
cranking yet, just enough
to have the trouts looking
to the sky.

Stand and observe, wait...


Where was that?


hmmm, that's in close,
holding tight to the near
bank. See the rise, mark
the spot, creep into a
good position and nail the
25' cast, money.

drift, drift, drift...getting
ready to pick up for a
second drift when the
water erupts in an orange
tinted SLASH!

Set the hook and feel
a bit of weight, yeah.
Figured on a smaller fish
from the way he took the
fly, not this 14" beauty...

boy, I've sure missed this.


the Letort.

It's been a long time coming.
Back onto hallowed ground,
this time actually rigging up
the rod. Finally willing to wet
a line and probably go home
skunked, frustrated & wondering
why I even bother trying to catch
these fish.

Sit quietly with momma deer,
resting the water and moving
even more quietly cautious
up the bank. Fishing tenderly
in rhythm with that gentle
limestone flow.

Observe, observe & read
the water and hope those
that passed thru earlier didn't
put all the fish down. Wait,
ponder, contemplate and
eventually, eventually, you
might put that fly into the
right seam of current at just
the right time....and maybe,
maybe, Mr. Trout will come
out to play.

man, it's been a while,
I love this stream.



I've explored new areas
sometimes more on foot
than on two wheels.

Slows down the pace,
ya know. A portion of
Michaux, Tuscarrora,
Slate & Ceder Runs up
north when I first moved

Crawled all through the
bulk those areas with
a fly rod long before I
ever pedaled thru them.

So, while taking this
break from the bike
to let things mend.

Gonna take advantage
of some maps I rec'd
from DCNR.

The Bald Eagle State
Forest sure is a neat
place. feels out there,
up there.


where it's at.

how it be.
toodle doodle
lah dee.

ya see, it's time.
it's about that time
to do something,
have a chat,
with a pro.

secondary winter
mantra, " next time
you see it locally
like this...you be
60 maybe."

"push on thru,

you know
you're due
at some point,
I'm due, been
hearing those
in the joint when
it's morning quiet.


feel that
'dirt in the bearing'

long time since
a real recovery.
how many seasons
of back to back with
no break, but that

offered by workday
office chair?

one seasonal
to the next.
bike ski bike ski
bike ski bike...?

I've got me a
cranky knee

and it's time
to take a step back,
see what it takes

to make this
rusty hinge feel
good again.

still have ways to
keep loose...fresh

my casting gets
pretty ugly out
around 40'...

practice, practice.
like everything, eh?


pics are up,
on the Smug.


ahh, retirement!

I really like where I live.

there's all of this cold
clean flowing water.

which gives home to these
beautiful vibrant creatures

and all of that is interlaced
with an incredible primitive
network of paths, which we
ride bicycles on.

and sometimes, it can be
kinda pretty out there.

(now, if only this last winter
wasn't an anomaly. ..)


man, I love Michaux.

Catch wild brookies in
solitary silence thru
the morning before the
event madness winds up.

Out in the saddle for
an afternoon of stapling
arrows to trees. Eat, drink,
be merry. Up and at it again
w/ the sun. Coffee commuting
back to the venue for social
pregame, then out to take pics,
work the chutes & hoot, heckle
and holler, sure is a good
time, eh?

Always, always, always
great to visit with the
travelling circus family
and see that ya'll are
doing well, ya freaks!

hope ya'll had fun ripping
around my backyard loop.

snapped the shutter a bunch
of times, will get the results
up on the Smug in the evening.