Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Signs and Wonders

A warm afternoon and evening at Yellowwood fishing the shorelines under dogwood and redbud. Black Crappie flashing on stripped streamers. Bluegills popping a muddler variation fished high and dry. It was my go to fly for the trout in my lake in Washington; seems appropriate that the bluegill would like it here. Then the first largemouth on a dry fly this season. A skinny little fish that hit the muddler with relish. That's a milestone. To top it all off, loading up the truck in the gloaming I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me. But it was indeed what I thought I was seeing: fireflies glittering in the trees. Signs and wonders.

Friday, April 21, 2017

The FHF

An afternoon at Griffey Lake. Sebastian takes the camera and captures a parking lot not jammed with cars for a change.


We had started fishing at the other end but had nary a bite. So we go back to the dock. I get a bite first and Sebastian reels it in for me. It's good to catch a fish again.


Sebastian wields his rod in a running series of duels with some very tricky bluegills.


He gets frustrated and puts his rod down and picks up the camera. When one of those fish comes out from under the dock and hooks itself he keeps the camera while I reel it in.


That worked so well we do it again. Nice shooting, Sebastian.


We catch a few more and then decide to take a hike.


I thought he might want to head home after that--I was tired: he has a knack for finding the steepest trails--but he's still fresh and wants to fish some more. OK by me. We cross the road and try the other side of the lake. We see a big water snake curl off the rocks and pour himself into the water. That, if you don't count another little bluegill, is our big excitement here.


So it's back to the docks. We catch a few more fish. He finally hooks one himself.


Then he takes over the photographer role again and comes up with a couple of great shots.


Well done, Sebastian. We'll be doing the FHF (Fish-Hike-Fish) again real soon.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Opening Like a Bud

Spring is stepping up. The world under the intensifying sun lights up brighter each day. The lake is opening like a bud. At dusk the water calms and bluegill decide to come up and play on the surface. You are far from the take out, but you have so much fun catching bluegills on a dry that you don't get back to the truck until the sky is awash with stars. But that's OK. Jupiter watches over you all the way home.


Sunday, April 16, 2017

Fishing and Hiking With Grandma

It's a weekend so we get Grandma to go to Yellowwood with us.


It's a breezy day, so she helps keep Sebastian and the snack bags from blowing into the lake. She's also a big help as we move our base camp a couple of times looking for those elusive bluegill.


I'm checking Sebastian's bait when he steals the camera out of my pocket and takes a shot of my best side. Big laughs for him over this excellent trick on Grandpa.


After half an hour with no bites the unspoken question is voiced: "Time to hike?" We all agree it's time to hit the trail. This is Grandma's first time on this trail, so Sebastian leads the way.


The wash of green over the forestscape is deepening, and wildflowers are proliferating.


We're pleased to find a yellow trillium. There are many more trillium on the way.


We go a long way into the woods, circumventing numerous mudholes on the trail, then turn around and do it all over again on the way back out. It's a good hike.


I get Grandma and Sebastian to pose on this log for a photo, but before I can get the camera focused Sebastian is up and off again. He won't come back, explaining "I want to get back home!"


So we go down the dam embankment past some redbud which is now approaching its peak all over these Indiana woods and roadways.


We had brought two vehicles, so Kim and Sebastian head home in her car, and I drive the truck, loaded with the float tube, around to the north end of the lake. My fishing trip would continue.


It's still breezy, and will blow until dark. I kick around the mud flats and pick up a bluegill where the flats drop off. I put on the brakes and try for more, but can't find any.


As I head in toward the west shoreline an Osprey soars overhead. It's a real gift to have Osprey here. They were a constant presence on my favorite lake in Washington State, and I'm very glad that I don't have to get used to not having them here. On that subject, there are supposed to be some bald eagles nesting in this area. I think I saw one here way back on one of my first trips of the year, and I'm keeping my eyes open.


I find a bass. I always hope that one bass will bring others, but so far that hasn't happened.


I kick around past one of the several occupied goose nesting platforms. The mother goose extends her neck in a sign of stress or alertness but does not abandon her eggs.


I kick across to the other side.


Over there I get into some black crappie again, but as quick as I find them they're gone.


I work on down the shoreline as the sun settles in the west.


I come upon some bank fishers, well set up with low chairs and packs of supplies. They're fishing a narrow inlet with big floats. There is a father and a son. The son is doing most of the fishing, with occasional advice from the father. The father strikes up a conversation with me. He asks me how I'm doing, but he really wants to tell me how he's doing. They're catching catfish using shrimp in the shell for bait. He tells me they've got eleven fish on the stringer already, and they didn't get started until 4:30 or 5:00. Looks like they're in for the long haul. He's sitting comfortably in his chair in the dusk still musing about catfishing as I pass out of hearing.


I find one more bluegill in the dark, and begin trolling back to the boat ramp.


It's still breezy, but the rocking of the waves is restful. I watch the waxing moon rise behind the high overcast while off in the distance the catfishermen's light flickers on and off, on and off.