Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Fun, Fish and Fur..... Man I love Fall! :)

If you are an outdoorsman, Fall has it all...... For those who love to fish and hunt, this time of year is often jam-packed with choices. And if you are like me--as I'm sure most of you are--there is a good chance that you also have to deal with a limited time schedule. Family, work, and other commitments often take priority over our outdoor pursuits (as they should). For me, the result is often a juggling match of balancing my limited free time, and trying to pick and choose the right activities and budget the necessary time for the ones that I feel will be the most productive (and enjoyable).

Fortunately, things have been working out quite well as of late, as this has proved to be a wonderful fall so far...... If you've been spending much time fishin around central PA lately, I am sure you've noticed that the flows on our local waterways have been receding for a while now. I love dropping flows on our local rivers, and we have been blessed with some awesome conditions to fish. Likewise, the weather has been pretty mild (minus one nasty snow storm) and it seems like a lot of local hunters have been enjoying a great fall in the woods as well.
My Dad was one of those lucky hunters this past week. On Tuesday morning I got a call while I was on my way home from work... On the other end of the phone I heard my Dad whispering to me: "I'm looking at a bloody arrow"... Needless to say we were both pretty excited! A few hours later, after a surprisingly long blood trail, Dad and I finally stumbled upon his beautiful (and very dead) buck--a nice 8 pointer. Way to go Dad! This is two years in a row that he has killed a nice buck with the bow.

We have also been pretty fortunate to experience some wonderful fishing lately... Dad has spent a lot of time along the river bank, and it seems like every day I get another text message with a picture of a large smallmouth in it. Personally I haven't been able to fish as much as I would have liked to lately, but I have been able to spend a couple (very successful) days on the river with my Dad. I also had the privilege to fish with my friend Jeremy one evening as well, and it has been fun to find a few nice smallmouth biting during my daily commute home from work also. I will spare you all of the details from our trips, but hopefully you will enjoy the pics... The musky pics are extra special to me, as they are from an awesome afternoon outing with my Dad... He caught his "ski" first (a 41 incher) and about 20 minutes later I landed mine (a 37). Woops, I guess I said I'd spare you the details, ha ha! Anyway, I hope you enjoy them.... And best of luck to you guys and gals in your own outdoor pursuits this fall! :)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Some Erie steel....... :)

Believe it or not, this past week I was lucky enough to have a couple of days off work in the middle of the week. And you know what that means--- GONE FISHIN' ---Lol!

Dad and I loaded up the Pathfinder on Tuesday around noon, and by 5 PM we had our waders on and were waste deep (Okay, maybe ankle deep) in Elk Creek. My Dad and I have been making steelhead fishing road trips to the great lakes region for nearly 20 years now... So every year when the heat of summer begins to fade into the longer, cooler nights of fall, it is a pretty sure bet that both of us are starting to think (at least in part) about steelhead.

Fortunately, on this trip, we were able to encounter a good number of those steelhead that we had been thinking so much about... The trib conditions weren't perfect, in fact they were very low and clear--which actually equates to being pretty tough. Still, there were good numbers of fish in the creeks, and the numbers of fishermen didn't seem that bad honestly (considering we were fishing Erie in the fall).

Given the low/clear conditions, getting a proper presentation is of the utmost importance if you want to get bit... So we both spent our entire time float fishing, which tends to produce the best (IMO) when things get tough. As far as bait and terminal tackle goes, we had to fish very light leaders (like 4 lb, flouro) to get a decent number of bites, and you had to use very small hooks, small shot, and you needed to have the right bait for the type of water you were fishing.As far as the fish go, it seemed that there was a pretty good mix of fresh (chrome colored) fish and dark battle worn veterans in the creeks... And with the weather being on a warming trend during our stay, the fish were fighting pretty hard as water temps rose throughout the day. We encountered a lot of great jumpers on this trip... In fact, my best fish of the trip (a nice 30" hen) put up an awesome fight--twisting and turning and launching itself into the air probably 5 or 6 times. I was probably lucky to land that fish on 4 pound leader.

This was probably the only trip we'll be able to make to Erie this fall... And lucky for us the fish cooperated well enough to keep both of us looking forward to making another trip again come late winter or early spring, if all goes well.

I guess that is all for now... As always, I wish you all the best of luck in your outdoor pursuits, and thanks again for stopping by and reading. I hope you enjoy the pics! :)