Before I even rigged up my rod I met some new friends.
After the deer and I parted ways I began waling water. When I'm fishing a new stream I cover a lot of water and don't always cast much. I look for riffles, deep pools, and rushing pocket water. I look for hatching insects or, in their absence, I roll stones and pull out woody debris to see what's crawling on it. If the stream is small enough I walk quickly and try to spook some fish. This stream today was not small enough for that, far too much flow. So I looked for potential habitat. I found plenty. Unfortunately the cold water ice, and slush probably prevented any feeding from whatever trout may have been there.
Despite the skunk, which I was expecting anyway, I was having a tremendous day. I covered a lot of ground and saw some really beautiful things, including this 15ft deep spring hole. If it were connected to the stream I would not be surprised if it had a bunch of brook trout in it.
While riding through a field at the end of the day, I spotted something interesting: a line of very large animal tracks. I saw them while riding at a pretty good clip. I had to whip back around to have a look, and what I found was amazing. Large track with a 3 3/4 inch width, some with splayed toes, the first three (in softer earth) with claw prints and the rest without any sign of claws.They had three lobes on the pad, signifying a feline origin... I am quite confident that these were mountain lion tracks.
|Very splayed toes|