Sunday, July 24, 2011

A Fishing Trip and a Rant

First lets get the rant out of the way. As I walked around the Back 40 the other day I came to this apple tree. The signs show that a small bear climbed up into the tree and broke off a branch. Why I don't know as there were no apples on this tree.

As I walked out to the pear orchard things got worse. This is an 8 year old pear tree. Just starting to produce fruit this year it was broken off at the base. This was a 12-15 foot tree.

The last of the damage. One of three tree protectors that the bear had bent over. Two of the apple trees were undamaged but the third was broken off about half way up its trunk. Being a young tree it will probably sprout up next spring from whats left if its trunk. I've had bears climb some of my bigger apple trees after the fruit but this is the first time they have done any random damage.

On to better things. Here's a pretty stretch of creek that is fairly isolated and usually produces a couple of fish.

As I was fishing the sounds of wings overhead made me look up. I thought I would see a Blue Heron but it was a very large dark colored raptor. Too large for a Redtail Hawk, and not the right coloring it may have been an immature Eagle. Sadly it was out of sight before I could get my camera out.

Fish on. The first fish of the morning.

A nice smallie about a foot long that put up a good battle.

The shallows of this section of creek were polluted with young crayfish. The smallies won't go hungry this summer.

Another smallie to match the first one.

After about an hour of fishing this section of stream I moved downstream to try a piece that was new to me.

I fished for about 2 hours on some nice looking water but could only catch a couple of small smallies. I hope to return to this stretch before summers over and try again.

As always I look for nature shots along the stream. Here's a Joe Pye weed blossom telling me summers moving right along.

Another woods turtle meandering along.

This Fox squirrel decided it was too hot to run from me and chose instead to pose for some pics.

So ends another wonderful day afield with some fish caught and some interesting animal sightings.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Monday morning I slipped out to a little stretch of creek that I've never taken anyone else to. It doesn't hold alot of fish but it's isolated and beautiful, two things that I seek when I'm fishing or hunting.

Just like a movie script, on the first cast I caught this beautiful 13 inch Smallie.

Soon after releasing this fish I happened to glance behind me.

They couldn't figure out what I was, but they knew I shouldn't be there so they quietly slipped away.

Here are some random pics of the creek showing you why I love this stretch so much. I fished for 3 hours and never hear any noise from the civilized world.

I caught this feisty 12 incher on the far side of the little island in the background.

As always I keep my eye open for what ever wildlife presents itself. This time a raccoon appeared feeding probably on crayfish.

A few minutes later I realized she wasn't alone.

This area is a haven for turtles. Here's one I saw cooling off along the creek.

This one was really getting ready for the heat wave.

On the long walk back to the truck I spotted this woods turtle feeding on grass. By the mud on his shell he too had been cooling off in the creek.

So ended my trip to my isolated little spot. With limited time and so many places to fish, I only fish here once a year, but I'll be looking forward to my trip next year.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A Morning with Russell

My friend Russell came up Sunday for a morning of fishing. Last year we had enjoyed a nice evening along this stretch of creek so I thought we would try it again. We weren't to be disappointed.

1st cast and a fish on.

A feisty smallie in the 10 inch range. A whole lot of fun on light tackle.

We found some nice Rock Bass living there too.

The old guy mugging for the camera.

Russell read a story about a guy who had caught a bass which had just ate a water moccasin. When the guy lipped the fish the snake bit him. No water moccasins along this creek but Russell isn't taking any chances :).

The rocks along the creek make for some challenging walking.

We fished further downstream than I had ever went and came to this potential hole. It looked like it just had to hold a nice fish.

Fish on. By the bend in Russell's rod it had to be a nice one.

It's nice to be right once in a while

The catch of the day. 14 1/2 inches of battling smallmouth photographed and slipped back into it's home water to grow bigger for next years fishing trip.

So ended another enjoyable trip with Russell. We caught enough fish to make us both happy, had some great conversations, and planned to do it all again before summer gives way to hunting season.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Elin's New Look

I just got Elin, my 1914 Model 51 Husqvarna hammergun, back from Mark Larson. Mark turned the prince of wales grip, which proved to be too small for my hand to comfortably carry and shoot, in to a straight grip. He also inletted a longer trigger tang in to it and recheckered it. So here's a before of Elin and......

here's the final results.

I'm very pleased with the results. Mark also fixed a crack in the head of the stock that he found when he took the stock off the action. Took it for a walk around the Back 40 and loved the way it carried and handled. I hope to spend alot of time with Elin wandering through my Allegheny Mountain grouse coverts this fall.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Independence Day on the River

I got to the river shortly after 6:00 this morning. As I walked down a small foot trail something across the river caught my eye.I only got one shot and was pushing the zoom all the way on the little point and shoot camera, but you can see what it was. This river is the main water source for Lake Raystown, the largest lake to Pa. Recently eagles have begun to nest there and they sometimes travel up the river in search of food.

The action started soon after I entered the river.

A nice smallie about a foot long.

This stretch of river was home to 3 nice smallies, 2 of which I was able to land.

One of the hardest birds for me to get a pic of, this Great Blue Heron stayed just at the far reaches of my zoom.

Caught some nice Rock Bass also. Here's a nicely colored one that fell to a plastic worm.

A couple more stretches that gave me several nice fish.

After landing a fish I happened to glance downriver and this is what I saw.

At least 4 bucks and a couple of does feeding on a small island. They kept an eye on me but weren't too concerned.

A couple of these boys are going to be wall hangers by fall.

After 4 1/2 hours my back and stomach told me it was time to head back to the truck. During the long wade back I looked for something to take pics of and found these.

So ended a wonderful morning on the river. I caught at least a dozen smallies between 10-13 inches, all nice chucky, healthy looking bass of the same year class. Some nice Rock Bass too, but am a little concerned because I didn't catch any small bass. Possibly meaning that the spawn from the last couple of years didn't survive, at least in this section of the river. Those 5-6 inch smallies can be a nuisance, but they in turn become the nice bass that you catch on future trips.