Fishing With Face

March 16th, 2013 at 1:05:05 PM permalink
Face
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Posts: 3143
Quote: 1nickelmiracle
WNY is a great place. I normally fished on Oneida Lake and miss it dearly. Fishing was the original gambling to me because I never knew what I would catch and always imagined the best imagination to be a possibility.


Indeed it is, 1nickel. That’s why I put up with the taxes and authoritarian regime, it’s just such a beautiful area and the outdoors is top notch. I can also relate to the “gambling” aspect, that’s a very interesting and apt way to put it. You never know what you’re going to get, and every outing is different. You could go for some 10lb cats and haul in a random, 40lb carp. I went in this thread for some 9” perch and landed a 3’ gar. About 6 or 7 years ago, a friend of a friend was dragging leeches for walleye out on Erie and caught a 100lb sturgeon. You just never know when a “jackpot” is around the corner. And there’s always the chance you’ll “lose your ass”, whether dumping a few hundo in the pond when your boat tips, or when you come out of the water covered in lamprey larva and not a fish to show for it. Either way, it’s a good time. Welcome to the thread =)

Quote: Fleastiff
I see you are involved these days with a better type of ecstasy.


You betcha, Flea. Just fishing is better, but to find someone as into it as me, that can learn at the drop of a hat, never gets discouraged, and is always rarin’ to go is a real prize. Trout fishing is tough, especially in the Spring, but even as a brand new fly fisherman, I would not be surprised if she landed her first one soon. In fact, I’m kind of scared she’ll get one before me =)
Be bold and risk defeat, or be cautious and encourage it.
March 22nd, 2013 at 8:12:32 PM permalink
Face
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Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 61
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DATE: 3/22/13
WEATHER: Snowy and snowier. Temps in the mid 20's. Light wind, heavy to extreme lake effect snow
TREND: M37*, Tu34*, W30*, Th31*, F27*. A sunny Monday gave way to freezing rain Tuesday. Received 6" Tuesday to Thursday with 14" Thursday night to Friday morning.

"Imagine there is a bank that every morning deposits $86,400 into your account. And every day it happens over and over again. The only catch is that you cannot save that particular deposit. The $86,400 you get in the morning is gone in the evening. You can’t use any of it in advance and you can’t pile it up. What would you do? Would you think carefully about how you’d use it every day? The thing is, we all have this account available to us—except we're given not money, we're given time. We all have 86,400 seconds to spend every day, and at the end of the day, they’re gone."

I know, corny stuff. But bear with me a moment...

I had this friend, a close friend, one who I did the majority of my drugging with. We knew each other since the way back, like Little League Baseball days. And every now and again, we'd have "a talk". It was always very introspective, and always loaded with nostalgia. In some ways, it's a lot like the "Remember When" thread on WoV. We'd sit, sometimes happy, often times sad, and wonder in our drugged out stupor what had happened and why things weren't the way they used to be. Even after we had cleaned up our respective acts, still, every now and again we'd have our little "talk". In high school, we longed for the days of middle school, before girls entered the equation and all our friends abandoned "guy time" for some strange. In post-high school job time, we longed for high school, with summers off and some baseball to play. In drug time, we longed for post-high school job time, when we didn't have all the worries of trying to score and getting caught. In post-drug time, we longed for drug time, when we didn't have a care in the world and did what we wanted. And as family time came, we worried again that what we had in post-drug time, a.k.a. having free time period, was likewise going to come to an end.

One day, in one of these talks, it all just hit me. Constantly we had these talks, through every different period we had these talks, and always, we looked in the rear view mirror. Never did we want what we had, it seemed; we always wanted what we used to have. What we "used to have" was at one point what "we had", but what did we do when we had it? We looked in the rear view, never living in the moment and enjoying where we were. We complained about never "stopping to smell the roses" of the past, all the while standing in and ignoring the rose patch of the present.

The moment I realized it was the last time I ever did it. Sure, I still put on the rose-colored glasses (Nareed may even say I occasionally live with them on ;)), but it's never without realizing the here and now. And that, my friends, explains a lot of my idiocy. That's why, no matter if I have a fever of 102* or a broken something-or-other, I still suit up for every hockey game on the schedule. Despite the fact I should have 100+ games left in my career, if I skip a game, that's a game I'll never get back. It will be gone forever. And it's also why I left the house today.

See, it's easy to go out when it's nice. Warm breezes, sunshine, low water, it's a nice day out. You can put your kid in shorts and a t-shirt, and not worry if he gets wet. You yourself don't have to worry about cold hands, wet feet, or chapped face. You just go out and enjoy.



But what about when you make a plan to fish, spend the night before consuming massive quantities of Labatt and Crown Royal at the Leafs game, watch them lose a heart breaker, and then wake up to this?



The answer is that you man up, put on your big boy pants and you get your ass out on the water. Well, first you dig your truck out of the foot and a half of snow in your driveway, but after that, you damn well better hop in your truck and go. The fact that you have some 8,000 odd more days of your life to fish is inconsequential. You miss this one, and it'll be gone forever. So get off the couch and bundle up extra tight; it's time to go fishing.

We hiked N.B. Clear Creek again, the big run this time. It's hard to measure the twisting, winding path we take, but based on the drive, I'd put it at about 3 miles. 3 miles of winding, rocky waterway, on a constant uphill grade, in knee high snow. I barely have the energy to type this out here on DT ;)

We come in under the Rt 62 overpass where the railroad bridge crosses. This thing... it always reminds me of some kind of old world gateway. It's like the starting line of some adventure into a forgotten piece of the world. Just looking at it makes one feel like something's about to happen, and once you pass it, everything's going to be different. Here, you can still hear normal life. Cars passing overhead, dogs barking at some farm house. But passed the bridge? Who knows...



We passed the first two holes with no signs. I kept the pace, blazing a trail for Ash's shorter legs to navigate, all the while rambling on and on about everything I knew about trout fishing. Why they're here, how they act and react, different places in the water you'll find them, and other places you don't even have to bother looking. I was showing her different waters and how to read them, and after rounding the third bend, I spotted the first trout of the trip.

It was sitting on the edge of a pool right where the rapids started, and right where I told her one would be. Score one for Face =) I began telling her how to cast at it, where to put it, where to absolutely not put it, and I think I scared her out of it. Being the first fish we got a chance to cast at, she wanted me to take the first whack. So I rip off some line all nonchalantly, start a few whips, fall short, go longer, fall short, then go really long and plop the thing right where I said she should absolutely not put it - right on its head. It paused for a second, almost as if to ask "really, guy?", before scooting into deeper water under a shelf of ice. Ah well, that's fishing =)

We carried on for another half mile or so, not seeing much of anything in the water. I kept up my ramblings, giving her an entry level biology course at least, and we just walked and took in the sights. Every stretch became longer and longer to complete, not because of fatigue, but because we started noticing everything around us. It got to be difficult to follow the water, it was just so beautiful out. Fortunately, I had the camera out often. Enjoy =)









There was one point where the crick took a strange hook, right in one of the few open spaces where the cliff sides sort of spread out. Here it was snowing good, and the wind kicked up into a kind of whirlwind. Snow from the fields above, coating the trees, and all the stuff on the cliff faces all started blowing down from every angle. The world took on an ethereal tone, almost like a ghost image of itself, or a dream. And in sharp contrast, an overhang that somehow was unaffected by it all. We had to take cover in it, lest our jackets became full of the stuff, and it was the strangest sort of oasis. It was almost like the entire world was a mirage, and only our little oasis was real. I had to take a pic and, unbelievably, it actually kind of conveys what we saw.



Just about the time I ran out of things to say, we came to one last lesson - crossing ice filled deep water. I gave my verbal lesson once, and before I knew it, she was pushing ice and sloughing through water who knew how deep. This girl just does not have any quit in her.



I was completely out of things to say from an educational standpoint, and we fell into silence. Shortly after, I started to falter. While she will go out and run 13-26 miles just because the day ends in "Y", I smoke a pack a day. While she is a fresh faced 25 year old, I have to use another sheet of paper when I get to the "injuries" portion of a medical history form. I was hurting, and it was getting worse by the second. But she never quit. Now she was blazing the trail, walking just slow enough that I kept within yelling distance, and we just went on like that. And I watched. I saw her come to a hole, slow down to a creep, and bob her head around, trying to see through the ripples. I saw her ignore water I had previously told her would be unproductive, and kind of slow down at random points. Sure enough, when I finally got to where she slowed, it was a place I would've slowed, recognizing it as a productive area. There was only one more spot I stopped for the rest of the hike, to show her how even the ice can give information. I began to point out how it's formation points out places a fish is likely to be, only to have her complete the rest of my rambling because it already had "clicked" for her. Once she completed my sentence, she nodded confidently, flashed a smile, turned and kept right on slogging through the rough stuff. This girl, I tell you what...



Soon after that, we came to the sign marking the restricted area, a place that doesn't open until 4/1 to protect the wild spawning steelhead. I was surprised that after the 3 hours of rigorous hike with only one fish spotted, she was disappointed that it was ending and was already asking if there were other places to go. Yeah, she's got it bad =) We finished the hike through one of my good holes, one which supplied at least a couple of the pics from earlier in this thread, and I promised her that this would be a spot we'd pick up some in a few weeks. But for now, the trip was done. Fishing was over for another week, an idea that was only accepted once I promised her we'd finish off the day shooting the Mosin and the 12gauge, a first for her (and she killed it, going off on the 12g until the extractor arm froze with the mad snowfall, rendering it inoperable)

86,400. That's all we get in a day. Between the rough night before and even rougher morning, there were a million reasons to stay on the couch. But this is a day we'd never had gotten back. This day... it changed our lives. And if you're reading, it changed yours too.

Take it now or it's gone forever. Get up. Get out.
Be bold and risk defeat, or be cautious and encourage it.
March 29th, 2013 at 9:26:36 AM permalink
Ayecarumba
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 83
Posts: 1365
Another inspirational post Face! Thanks!

Did you see the recent movie, "The Grey" with Liam Neeson? Your photos remind me alot of that film (without the man-eating wolves, fortunately).
March 29th, 2013 at 1:51:40 PM permalink
Face
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Quote: Ayecarumba
Another inspirational post Face! Thanks!

Did you see the recent movie, "The Grey" with Liam Neeson? Your photos remind me alot of that film (without the man-eating wolves, fortunately).


You’re quite welcome, Aye. Glad to see you’re still popping in now again =)

I saw bits and pieces, enough to know what you’re talking about. Thankfully the terrain isn’t as brutal, and the most likely critter to run into is a friendly farm dog, followed by an escaped cow lol.

In other news, “Fishing With Face” might be taking a break for a bit. We hope not, but I suppose for the time being we’ll be fishing for something else. Mostly hope and luck.

After the first trip of the year, Ash fell deaf in her left ear. It was sudden and random, much like the deafness I had just gotten over, which was a simple sinus/ear infection. Her’s wasn’t caused by illness. After many tests, she went to the doctor the day after this trip and was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Two, actually. We’re in the very beginning stages of this so not much is known, but the preliminary tests point to it being non-cancerous.

Ash has taken it like pretty much everything else in her life; head up and head on. She’s in good spirits and looking forward to tackling this problem and leaving it in the past. Much like my lead-off speech last post, she’s not wasting time feeling sorry for herself; all she wants to know is “what’s next” so she can power through it. I’ve no doubt that if up to her, FWF would not experience so much as a pause, even if she had to carry an IV rack out into the field with her (seriously, I’d almost lay even money that just such a pic will be in this thread this year lol)

In 10 days, we should have all the other tests completed and know where we stand. With any luck, pics of her shining face in the woods on day 11 will confirm that all will be well (and as I type this, she just yell-texted me “I WANT TO GO FISHING! =D)

Yeah… this girl’s gonna be just fine =)
Be bold and risk defeat, or be cautious and encourage it.
April 2nd, 2013 at 11:33:34 AM permalink
Ayecarumba
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 83
Posts: 1365
I feel like I got punched in the gut, Face. However, I am psyched that Ash's spirits are high, and that the preliminary tests are encouraging. Please let her know that I am praying for her and wish her a speedy and full recovery.
April 3rd, 2013 at 2:32:20 PM permalink
Face
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Quote: Ayecarumba
I feel like I got punched in the gut, Face. However, I am psyched that Ash's spirits are high, and that the preliminary tests are encouraging. Please let her know that I am praying for her and wish her a speedy and full recovery.


You and me both, Aye. My head was in free-fall when she told me, I just couldn’t believe it. I didn’t know what to do with myself. I reached out to SOOPOO and he called me immediately; definitely helped to stop the free fall and center myself. And once I got to sit and talk to her, things got much better.

She’s unstoppable. Just prior to the diagnosis, she got accepted to law school. She still got all her stuff together even while dealing with this and is prepared to accept, she’s just waiting to see what sort of treatment regiment she’ll have to do before committing to a specific course. I have a hockey tourney this weekend and she’s still rarin’ to go. Only one game Sunday, the day before the biopsy, and since I’m off, she’s demanded we go fishing. NASCAR at the end of the month, and she can’t wait. It’s business as usual, and, unless we hear otherwise, it’s just a little speed bump in this journey called life.

She sent her thanks for your well wishes, and I thank you as well =)
Be bold and risk defeat, or be cautious and encourage it.
April 5th, 2013 at 5:33:40 PM permalink
AcesAndEights
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 5
Posts: 238
Quote: Face
You and me both, Aye. My head was in free-fall when she told me, I just couldn’t believe it. I didn’t know what to do with myself. I reached out to SOOPOO and he called me immediately; definitely helped to stop the free fall and center myself. And once I got to sit and talk to her, things got much better.

She’s unstoppable. Just prior to the diagnosis, she got accepted to law school. She still got all her stuff together even while dealing with this and is prepared to accept, she’s just waiting to see what sort of treatment regiment she’ll have to do before committing to a specific course. I have a hockey tourney this weekend and she’s still rarin’ to go. Only one game Sunday, the day before the biopsy, and since I’m off, she’s demanded we go fishing. NASCAR at the end of the month, and she can’t wait. It’s business as usual, and, unless we hear otherwise, it’s just a little speed bump in this journey called life.

She sent her thanks for your well wishes, and I thank you as well =)

Wow. Puts my little knee injury in perspective.

Sending good thoughts your way for the next months as you guys navigate...
"You think I'm joking." -EvenBob
April 6th, 2013 at 4:22:33 AM permalink
odiousgambit
Member since: Oct 28, 2012
Threads: 73
Posts: 1560
Sorry to hear that Face; thank God it seems it will be alright.
The light at the end of the tunnel is often a freight train coming the other way! per Fleastiff
April 12th, 2013 at 4:37:54 PM permalink
Face
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DATE: 4/07/13
WEATHER: Partly sunny, warm, and windy. Temps peaking in the low to mid 50s
TREND: Tu35*, W34*, Th38*, F40*, Sa44*. A cold and wet midweek kept the water up and cool. A mild weekend made it a good day to get out. Too good.

As suspected, Ash demanded we get out Sunday. A quick crick check on Friday revealed a few pairs of spawning couples in the quick water, so after a brutal weekend hockey tourney, laying around and healing was not an option. What was I gonna do, complain about a black eye and some pulled muscles to her?

I managed to get up and at ‘em by 10a, which is earlier than I can usually muster. We headed straight for N. Branch Clear and it looked very good indeed. The water was about as milky as one could hope for the N Branch, and was up enough to be productive without being hard to fish. But after passing the first two holes, I noticed tracks. Most I could Identify as my own from the week of scouting, but others were definitely other people and from earlier that day. It’s rare that folks will suffer the hike to get to “my hotspots”, but I guess it’s to be expected on a warm, sunny Sunday.

We hadn’t gone far when I seen a father/son pair cutting the woods. I tipped them a wave and a nod, and soon the father approached me with typical fisherman niceties (thank god, not all approaches go so well). He said that he and his son had pulled three out from where N Branch and S Branch converge and that there were more in there. All the other holes on the way were empty. I was sort of put out; I’d never been that far, and I knew based on how far I had been, that it’d be a hike. He said it was about 600yds as the crow flies, a distance I estimated as easily 2 miles if following the meandering crick. I thanked him and wished him good luck, then decided with Ash what to do next.

With N Branch being declared dead, I decided we’d hit S Branch and hike it to the convergence. S Branch is much more silty, winding next to gravel pits and through clay beds, and is often borderline too murky even after 5 days of no rain. But it’s been years since I’ve been on it and never this far, so at least it’d be an interesting trip. Plus, based on the flow, I supposed it would be a shorter walk. A mile drive later, we stepped into its cloudy run.

Immediately, tracks were apparent. I put them at probably Friday or even Saturday, but none of them were today. I supposed that was a good sign. We skipped plenty of possibly productive holes; I just wanted to get to where we knew they were and try to set Ash on a fish. At one point, S Branch hit such a clog of trees it forced itself to split. The amount and sheer size of the lumber that had piled up was nothing short of amazing. I mean, this is a crick that 95% of the year, I’d not think twice about my son playing in with minimal supervision. It’s mostly just a slow roll to a trickle. But when it sets loose, my god. Some of the trees were easily 50’ tall and 2’ wide and it seemed there was near a hundred of them.



As soon as we passed the trees we came upon houses and I knew the rez had started. To fish the reservation, you need a separate $35 Nation license, which we didn’t have. Being Native and knowing a majority of Nation DEC and Marshals, it’s rarely a problem, but you never know. At the very first house, a woman sat on her porch and upon noticing us, went and got a male. Immediately, he began to approach us. “Here we go”, I though. But the guy just came over for a chat, and wanted to know what we had seen. He had taken his daughter out spearing earlier in the week (spearing is legal for Natives on Native land) and had only got one steelhead and a sucker. I asked him about the N/S converge. He admitted he had never been that far, but his cousin had said there were a bunch of beaver dams between here and there. Beaver dams? That could mean there’s a bunch of trout piled up behind them. I got excited, thanked him and wished him luck, and carried on.

Well, there were no beaver dams and the walk was more brutal than most. Being so silty, many steps resulted in sinking ankle deep into mud, mud that would stick and add pounds to your already several pound waders. Silt is also loose and easy to dig out, so when forced around a tree, the holes that get dug are extreme. Many trips out of the crick and climbing the not insignificant bank had to be made, and by the time we finally made the convergence some hour and change later, my back had just started to become consumed in fire.

But we had made it, and nothing kills pain faster than hooking a wild steelie. I set Ash up right in the thick of it and had a seat to watch her (and rest my aching everything) to make sure she was doing alright. Shortly after, I set up downstream of her and had some whacks of my own. After 20 or so minutes had gone by, I started to feel a little put out. I seen no signs in the water of anything here, and any hike for productive water was going to be just that much farther from the truck. I tried to keep spirits up and productivity flowing by at least teaching and explaining different casts and different ways to play the water, since we had a good teaching ground here. That kept things flowing for a while, and in the middle of my teachings, my line stopped drifting. Is it? Fish on!

Instantly, all the pain was gone. Ash’s first words were “what now?!”, and I smiled inside seeing that she was still so focused on the learning even with the excitement of the year’s first fish. I showed her how to hold the line, letting the fish take slack when it ran while simultaneously reeling in slack from the other end. But it was when I tried to let slack out that it hit me, “Something’s not right”. When I let the fish go, it didn’t really “go”, it just kind of… drifted. I got the slack on the reel and started to bring it in… and this was too small for a breeding steelie. A yearling? A stocker? Maybe… but then it rolled and I saw my catch. It was a damned sucker fish! >< “The Price is Right” zonk tune played in my head as I reeled my first fly fishing catch to shore, and I assigned myself -1 point on the year (garbage fish don’t only “not count” in the standings, you also get penalized =p)



With that fish not kicking anything else out of the hole, I declared that hole dead and decided we needed to go. At this point in any other day, I would’ve called it quits. I was completely beat. But today, I wasn’t going to quit. I dragged my aching ass back out of S Branch, eventually running into another father/son pair who were plunking into a hole we passed earlier. The father said he just had one on and lost it and I cursed myself for being so hasty and passing it up earlier, reminding myself not to step over dollars to pick up dimes in the future.

Ash decided, of course, that she wanted to try N Branch under the railroad bridge, which meant another brutal hike. But whatever, as long as she’s still rarin’, I’ll drag myself wherever she wants to go. The first hole is right at the bridge, where the crick digs a deep pocket where it hits the bridge pilons. Nothing but leaves. It’s not a good sign, but we’ve already hiked deep down to the crick bed, no sense in turning around now. We go to hole after hole, still seeing nothing, when I again notice tracks. These were but hours old, and my heart sank again. Anything further was going to either be caught out or spooked good, but we soldiered on to check one hard to get to and impossible to fish hole.



Sure enough, there were fish in it, but the criss-cross of fallen trees made any sorts of cast impossible. I tried putting in upstream and letting the current pull my fly under the mess, and of course got snagged in short order. Upon entering the water to retrieve it, 3 or 4 monsters scattered every which way, and Ash growled in frustration. Fish everywhere, and you just can’t catch them, it’s quite maddening. I told her to remind me to bring a hand saw next time, and we’ll open that hole up =)

As I’ve said before, Ash has no quit in her. So while I was ready for an opiate induced semi-coma and a soft horizontal resting place, she wasn’t done yet. I ran home for some caffeine, Vicodin and a sandwich to try to carry me the rest of the day, and took her for “one last hike”. We fished in the tunnel, we fished under a house that has been “falling any minute” since I was a kid, we fished the falls that I took Jax to last year. We fished every hole in those 2 miles of crick, well after the sun fell behind the high gorge walls. Ash kicked one out of a hole on accident, and then snagged up casting after it. Walking after her lure killed any chance of that hole, and sealed the deal for our “one last hike”.







But still, even as the sun was setting, the temps dropped, and I was dead on my feet, she wasn’t done. I took her to one last hole, the last place I had in my arsenal, the only place left. We scanned it from the bridge and seen a mammoth steelie swirl and drift downstream, and I could only hope it would wait in the hole for us to make our way down there. I sent her to the hole while I tried upstream a ways, but I noticed after she began that she was off. I joined her shortly thereafter and led her to where she needed to be, but I could see she had mentally packed in. The day was as good as over, and with her Drs’ appointment early the next day, her mind was no longer on fishing. I gave a few whacks at the hole myself as she watched, then, as the last of the day faded behind the trees, took her hand and led her back to the truck.

We trudged 12 miles if we went a foot, from 10a until almost 9p. It was by far the hardest I’ve worked on a fishing trip, and, -1 point or not, was completely worth it. Even though I still hurt today and just now got enough energy to type it out, I’d do it all over again tomorrow if I could. After whacking every single hole I’ve ever known and seeing so little, I told her no more fishing until we had a good rain. And of course, she’s been beaming all week as we’ve been getting pounded with rain. All the cricks and tribs are in flood stage, and with any luck, once they recede we’ll find the holes jam packed. Packed or not we’ll be out again, and if it’s junk, well, pond season is just about to begin =)

To those sending well wishes, again, we both appreciate it. Ash’s appointment went about as well as we could hope. Her hearing is permanently damaged and there’s a good chance the procedure to remove the tumor will completely destroy the rest, but that appears to be the worst of it and for that, we are thankful. I’m both happy and relieved to announce that she’ll be pushing me to hike further than I can handle for many years to come =D
Be bold and risk defeat, or be cautious and encourage it.
April 12th, 2013 at 9:11:08 PM permalink
Face
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Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 61
Posts: 3143
Pics are in =)
Be bold and risk defeat, or be cautious and encourage it.