Sunday, July 28, 2013

An Evening along Dickey Mountain

Enjoyed a lovely evening fish in Licking Creek where it runs along the base of Dickey Mountain.

A black-blue flake crawfish fooled several smallies and a long-eared sunfish.

Although not near as colorful as a native brook trout, these stream-bred smallmouth are, to me, a beautiful fish.

As I neared the end of the first long pool with no nice fish caught I thought the water too shallow to hold any more fish. This 13 incher proved me wrong.

A colorful fungi I spotted growing along the stream.

As the evening wore on I fished farther downstream than I usually do and came to a very deep hole.

I knew a lunker had to live in it's deep waters and I fished with renewed vigor, but couldn't tease any strikes. Finally as I was about to quit for the evening I felt a tug on the line and set the hook. The fish stayed deep as it fought for its freedom but I soon landed a chunky foot long smallie.

Although this pool could still hold a bigger fish I decided to call it a night. I had enjoyed a quiet evening along a beautiful piece of water and was well satisfied with the outcome.

Monday, July 22, 2013

An Evening with Russell

Met up with my friend Russell for an evening on the river. We fished the Deerfield section of the river. A long walk through hay and weed fields brings us to some nicely secluded water. The bite was slow until I lucked into this nice 15 inch smallie.
About a half hour later I hooked a really big smallie. I got a good look at her and think she was close to the 20 inch mark, but suddenly my line went slack. I feared that she had broke free but when I reeled in I saw that the hook was still tied to the end of my line, and I felt a little better knowing that I didn't leave a hook in her.

Russell caught a good number of fish, but none of any size. He still seemed to have a good time.
As darkness closed in we left the river, knowing that there is at least one lunker waiting for us when we venture back to this beautiful piece of water.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Summer Doldrums

The heat and humidity that has gripped the country has affected everyone here at the homestead.

Copper taking it easy in the yard.

The chipmunks are safe from Emma during this heatwave.

Simba, aka FurBall trying to cool off in the gravel.

Too hot in the hive, a lot of our bees are hanging outside.
Storms are passing through now hopefully they won't muddy up the streams too bad and I can get some fishing trips in. 

Friday, July 5, 2013

The Highs and Lows of this Mornings Fishing

This morning I fished a section of Licking Creek I named the Crippled Turtle stretch after finding a box turtle here last year that had a broken shell perhaps from an encounter with a bear. As I waded into the stream movement at the top of the ridge across the stream turned into a doe with a fawn, a nice way to start the morning. After catching several small Smallmouths I decided to change lures. As I was doing this I noticed a reflection in the water and looked up in time to see an Osprey fly over me at treetop level then just behind it came a Great Blue Heron. Both out looking for breakfast.

The fishing was slow but the smallies I caught were nice, healthy looking fish.

The low point of the day was losing two nice fish probably in the 15 inch class.  Not bragging but usually when I hook a fish I land it but not today. Don't know whether the fish weren't striking the bait hard enough or what but the first one I lost was hooked long enough to make the drag scream twice as it fought me from the bottom before the hook came out. The second one made one nice jump and threw the lure back to me. It is nice to know that there are some nice fish in this section of the creek. Last year I only caught small bass in this water.

The high point of the day came as I was fishing just below a large sycamore tree with branches that almost touched the stream. As I as watching my line on the retrieve I heard the beat of wings and looked up to see a Bald Eagle fly past me no more than 15 or 20 feet away. It had been flying down the stream looking for a meal no doubt and the sycamore tree had shielded me from it's view. The last few years I've been lucky enough to see an eagle or two each summer but never this close. It's a sight that continues to thrill me.

I ran into these two fishermen as I worked my way upstream. I watched them for awhile but when I moved closer they decided that there wasn't room enough in the stream for all of us.

After about 3 hours of fishing the temperature started to climb into the uncomfortable zone and my back told me it was time to head back to the truck. It was a very enjoyable morning on some beautiful water.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

A Couple of Mornings on the Streams

Monday morning found me at first light hiking through several old hayfields and a cornfield to reach the Buckhorn section of Licking Creek. Saw a number of deer on the walk in but they hi-tailed it for the woods before I could take a pic. This fellow was more obliging.
 Licking Creek varies from a mud bottom to a rocky bottom and runs through farmlands for part of its journey. The recent rains made the water slightly muddy but fishable and I soon had a nice foot long smallie by the lip.

As I worked my way upstream I caught a few smallies both in the 10 to 12 inch range and in the 6 to 8 inch range telling me that the spawn had been successful the last couple of years.  About half way through the section I had planned to fish that morning I hit paydirt. As soon as I set the hook I knew that I had a nice one on and after a good battle I landed a nice 14 incher.

My next two fish felt like they were in the same size class, but I didn't get a good hookset on either of them and lost them. A few casts later I had yet another strike and made good on the hookset. After a nice fight I had another 14 incher, a carbon copy to the first one I caught.

A couple of pics of the stream. The shallows were teeming with tiny crawfish, too fast for me to get a pic of, but a nice sign of a healthy stream.

A sunfish that tried to eat a plastic worm that was about as long as he was. From a cold water stream they have to be one of the most beautiful fish there are. It's a shame they can't grow to be 8 or 10 inches long instead of the usual 4 or 5.

Tuesday morning found me making the long walk up Wills Creek to the Enchanted Pool. For a number of years after I "found" this pool, it yielded several nice fish each year but last year Caleb and I fished it with little success and I feared it had been discovered by "meat" fishermen and had been fished out. A fire ring made from stones and a rusty lawnchair on the far bank at the head of the pool gave me a sick feeling , at least there were no forked sticks by the waters edge and the fire ring had weeds growing up in the center telling me that no one had used it yet this year. As I started to fish the tail of the pool I had a heavy strike and knew I had a good one on. After a stubborn battle along the bottom of the pool I slipped a nice one into the shallows. As I checked it's length on my rod it showed it as a 16 incher and I was glad that at least one nice one still survived here.

The rest of the pool gave me only a couple of small rockbass so I climbed the bank and headed upstream to fish the Eagle pool, so named  because it is where I saw my first Bald Eagle on Wills Creek.

As I waded into the pool something caught my attention in the water in front of me. A huge Snapping Turtle.

From the tip of it's nose to the tip of it's tail it looked well over 2 feet long and I gave it a wide berth.

I caught several Smallies in the 8 to 10 inch range and some pot-bellied RockBass.

After about 3 hours of fishing the ache in my back told me it was time for the long walk back to the truck, but I was satisfied with my two good mornings of fishing on some delightful waters and the thought that there was a lot of summer left and a lot of water to visit.