a bit past 4:00

took me almost
seven hours.

to cover less than
a mile of stream.

exploring, learning.


Letort Report

It's happening, seasons are changing. The sulphur hatch is dwindling, can still manage to fool a fish or two with 'em, but they're getting progressively smaller as the days pass by. Which means if you wanna catch 'em on top, it's all but a terrestrial game now. Ants, ants, ants. I've lost more ants due to snags in the last few outings...gotta fish 'em in tight to the shrubbery, which means teacup accuracy. And I'm only ever able to achieve on about every 4th cast. Breaking out the 7'3" 4wt for a change of pace might not have been the best idea, but how else do you learn? The summertime grasses are getting tall, standing stream side in anywhere from ankle to knee deep marshiness, and this is what's at eye level...better keep that backcast UP!

SO, with the shorter rod, a newish to me stretch of water and really annoyingly tall grass and shrubberies, there might just be a skunk in the building. Yeah, it finally happened, I got skunked last night. Didn't bring a single fish to hand, the Letort finally shut me down. The first one I missed on an aggressive take of the ant. Meh, no worries, it was early. Then the second one I broke off on the take and left him with a fly in the lip tied to a bit of dangling tippet....I apologized for my clumsiness, and hope that that fish is doing ok, I hate doing that.

Then I hopped uptream just a bit to check out a lie where I've seen a nicer sized fish working. Sneak up into the spot and there he is, active. Sweeeet, a beautiful 18"+ brownie. The light was getting weird, flipping from overcast, to pre-sunset brightness, an odd angle at that hour and I lost track of him trying to get a fresh fly tied on. Finally get rigged up and roll a cast into that spot, second drift, and there's a take! Gun shy after popping off that previous one, and not sure if this is indeed the big one, I set lightly, then watch a 12 incher make a run downstream. Didn't really set into him, so he overruns my line, gets a bit of slack and spits the hook. Damn. damn, damn, damn. Finish the night by burying a hook into my finger trying to untangle from the grass....leave the stream in the not best of moods. grrrrrr.

Tonight. TOnight I sat down for a short bit and tied up some flies. Tinkering with a recipe that I hope will match whatever tiny little thing they're taking out of the surface film, couple of 18's and 20's, then tie up a couple backup sulphurs too. Take my time getting out there, it's been blue bird white puffy clouds all day, those trouts will be under cover at least until the sun comes off the water. Park the bike in a new spot and work out thru the marsh, snapping turtles on my mind. Make a few blind casts to find the rhythm then start stalking, scanning. One slow step at a time.

Still bright out, not much at all happening, then a dimple here. And then out there again. No clue what they're taking, it's gotta be small cuz I don't see shit on the water. Try to peer thru that goofy angled sun glare, can't even see where they're lying. Here we go again, smelling another skunk....fish a small stretch, then back off of it, and move upstream, trying to find the mood of the stream. Get back on the water, and observe. And then see a goose or two upstream from me. Shit. Gotta get above those fuckers, or they'lll flush and ruin the entire stretch. Back off and move up around another portion, getting to the water I really wanted to concentrate on anyway.

Stalk, and observe. Be quiet enough, and then out of nowhere a fish dimples the water within 15' of me. But the glare on the water has him hidden. Risk spooking him with a stupid cast? Risk him alerting the entire pool? Uhhmmm, no. Couple of fish start dimpling elsewhere, cast to them and keep the eyes & ears open. Try not to disturb that upstream spot....slow and low, that is the tempo. Eyes on the water and a golden brown subsurface flash catches my eye. No. Shit. A decent looking fish has come out to play. He's working the weeds hard, nosing down, rolling and backing up to eat whatever he broke loose. Not just working a lane, he's got a small territorial area claimed. Nice.

Breath deep, clip off the dry fly, tie on a scud. Breath deep, breath deep and make a cast. Damn, that was way off to the right. Nice work, chump. Then just as the line alights onto the water, Mr Trout slides back and to the right. Hmmm, ok...leave that bad cast in the water and follow where you think the fly might be. Drifting...drifting....the trout looks, flinches. Did he? Did he just???? bring in some tension....feel the weight, set and fuck yeah!!! IT"S ON!!!!

He turns and runs straight downstream, and runs and runs and even takes some line with him, heh, that's cool. Uh oh, he's running for that drowned tree snarl, I get him turned back upstream, and he immediatley burrows down into the weeds. Again? Man, this is getting old. Well, I guess it's time to get in the water, which I'm not a fan off on this stream, I don't like to intrude, ya know? But it's either that, or break him off, and that's really kinda rude. Cautiously wade in, and yeah, it's deep, quickly in over my waist, knee deep in the weeds trying not to trip & take a swim. Finally make it that 30ish feet downstream, grab the leader direct and tug. Woah! yep, he's still hooked. Back him out, back him out and he turns to run, taking another nice length of line. Finally get him to hand after one more close call w/ that tangled tree. Standing out there midstream, managed to get him to pose for a picture, boy that flash really brings out the colors. Make a mental note referencing the freckles on my arm, and the tale of the tape at home shows not quite 16 inches, nice...if memory serves, that's the second biggest fish I've caught on the mighty Letort. What a way to make up for last evening.

oh, yeah, I actually rode a bike thru the woods last wknd, and that was fun too. It had gears on it, and they weren't quite as annoying as I'd remembered....


the shallow end...

yeah, I've registered in a
freakin' fly fishing forum....

somebody asked about silk lines,
I read a post or two, couldn't help
myself, and registered an account.

here're the postings (droppings?)

him referencing a bamboo & silk experience:

......When we got back to the car, Josh says "WTF? That thing sucked and weighed a ton. How can anyone fish with something like that?

yeah sight-nymph....and I bet that old fella would probably have the same thing to say about that lifeless high modulus super graphite rod your bud was using.

I got turned on to silk lines this year and love 'em, wouldn't fish with anything else given the choice...and yeah I also fish bamboo pretty much exclusively. If you're really interested, visit Jim & Jonas at the Feathered Hook in Coburn, they'll probably loan you a silk to try out on the water. I was hooked after just a short session of lawn casting outside the shop...

more info? here's a blurb about the 're-discovery' of silk fly lines: http://www.overmywaders.com/index.php?silk

Well, I don’t dress in a civil war uniform, use a sickle to cut my lawn, drive a 74 AMC Town & Country wagon to the stream or use a vintage bamboo with a centerpin reel. I certainly won’t use silk line but thanks for the info. Too much of a hassle. I think the advances in fishing technology are wonderful. I don’t get to fish much anymore so I want to maximize / enjoy what little time I do get on the water. To each their own I guess. I’m not much of a vintage kind of guy. Not sure that my fly box has seen a mickey finn, adams, hares ear or any ‘traditional’ patterns in 15+ yrs. If you want to use bamboo and silk, knock yourself out.

"knock myself out"????

whut? like bamboo & silk is a fucking handicap??

Let me ask you this....

Is newer, er, 'modern', always better?

Does anybody out there actually think
that trout have evolved all that much
in the last 100ish years?

yeah, well, I think ya'll know where my opinion lies...

does 'easier' always have to mean 'better.'

well, sure, I guess....

If you're a lazy fucking fuck!

what ever happened to 'earning it.'?
this gotta have it society we've
created, it really gets on my nerves.

Why I fish silk lines...

They're better, period.


They simply fish & cast better.
They are the standard for comparison.
(sorta like a cherry steel bike frame....)

they're natural,
not a modern factory
petroleum based PVC
corporate product.

Silk lines are handmade by some dude
with amazing skillz and time to do it right.

Mine came from a fella in Italy, also the home
of beautiful handmade bicycles, coincidence?

And did I mention that they're a
natural product....seen the Gulf lately?

yeah, whatever....


Dr's orders

heh, when it comes to riding
bikes on dirt, it's just like 20+
years ago....going from 1 to 18.

maybe see ya out on
the local trails soon...

ya know...

I wonder.

Was last year 'it'?

Was that phenomenal ski season
the last natural one I'll really get
to harvest? Once every 20 puts
me up there for really shralppin'

so thankful I got to take
advantage, cuz, what happens
when the weather really makes
a mess of things in the Gulf?

Where do our big storms originate?

Where does all of that gnarly
moisture come from?

What happens when that broken
up dispersed oil is picked up
into the clouds as they feed off
of that moist Gulf energy?

How deep inland will the
hurricanes take it?

When it hits the Gulf Stream
and appears in our neck of
the woods, how will that
affect our rain, our NorEasters?

What will it do to that clean
mountain water? Is the scaled
volume such that it can be
absorbed? will the ppm be

There's always hope I guess...

But remembering those glory
years of acid rain, which
has been fixed...right? What
sort of toxic mess do we have
brewing down there now?

it's all connected, and we've
really fucked the pooch on
this one..


last week

I hit the daily trifecta!

One wee little wild
rainbow from Big Spring

Then a nicer sized
wild brookie from
a bit further upstream:

Went home for lunch
& chores, then to the
Letort for a wild brown,
a bit camera shy though..

Also during the week
I saw a brilliant orange
Oriole bird along the
Letort. Crossed paths
with a spry fox during
the commute to a mtn
stream, and also hung
out with this prehistoric
reminder to watch where
you step while out along
the trout stream..


went north

checked out a new area.
Hammersly Wild Area.
up in the middle of
bumfuck PeeEh.

30,000ish acres of
roadless area, Meeshow
is 85,000 I think, with
lots and lots of roads.

Did some research,
no special regs on
the drainage, interweb
chatter makes it sound
like it gets abused some
down below, ez to poach
up in a good ways on a

That means easier
access for the middle
of the bell curve...the
empty bait canister litter
I found where I camped
verified this. Just don't
expect too many decent
sized fish down low...

Further up though,
make a little effort to
get upstream beyond
camp, and you'll find
fish in just about every
fishy looking spot.

Some of the biggest native
brookies I've ever caught, a
handful in the 10-12" range,
lots of smaller fish, showing
different age classes...

And super colorful!

well, enough words,
here're pics...

the jumping off point.

rainy hiking sights


leavin' no trace.

spot the brookie?


these fuckers are
tearing up the place.
Huge areas of canopy
devastated, feels
winterlike, unsettling...

mmmm, hot slug
on gypsy action.

different angle on
the way out

this is on down-
stream a good ways


best made plans.

home already, uber qwik
turnaround, unblinking
commute home.

start out hiking
into a thunderstorm.

soaked. getitng dark.
overshoot the spot,
backtrak, make camp in
a popular abused spot,
trash in the fire ring..

shoulda pushed further,
as usual...gotta go past that
85th percentile turnaround
spot, then you'll be where
you need to be.

rough night of pitter
patt drops on shelter
toss and turn slumber
fitfullness until 6:20am.

fuck it, it looks light out.
get up and get moving.
damn these fucking
little no see 'em bugs,
damnit!....little fuckers.
spritz, spray.....
fruitlessly hang rain
drenched fishing kit
to dry, then dick around
leisurely waiting for the
sun to burn it off. come on,
burn it off, come on...

ehh, fuck it. finish coffee,
consider a second batch,
try to eat some nasty
dehydro eggs, mmmm
pop tarts..much better.

pack up wet gear, the
damp gear, the untouched
kinda dry gear, filter water
into the empty bottles, finally
rig up for some fishin' and
head up stream, 9:30ish.

If I was in a harvesting
mood, a streamside fire
w/ a foil wrap, lemon and
Old Bay on those three
10-12" wild brookies
woulda made for an
incredible lunch...I was
lucky to barely get
decent pictures, maybe,
we'll see in a bit.

one fish had these
mesmerizing spots,
not just brookie vibrant
red, but these flouro-ira-
descent blue haloed
glowing spots...

not sure if the picture gizmo
captured it, it was a damp,
rough outing for the old Canon.

The packin' setup worked
great, probably enough
food for 3days ez, could
be taxing to fish with it
on full time. It sure was
for just a steady half day's

Feet and shoulders got
worked early. New shoe
break in, weak feet factor
didn't help, but figure that
stashing the 25ish lb pack
at a known campsite around
lunch time, then explore/fish
up, down, around, without
the load would be ideal....the
area is also open to bikes
from what I've read...

so, yeah, there's more to
it than that.....I'll get pics
loaded and sorted. And
now I have all week to
really explore the Letort,
and probably mix in a
more regionalish day trip
and maybe build up a
geared rehab pedal bike
thingy and maybe dig into
tearing down some wall
paper..hmmmm, colors...

never really took
a vacation like this