Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Crazy Wild Stuff

I fished a lot yesterday but the first portion of the day, though I caught a handful of good trout, did not yield much post-worthy materiel. Not interesting fishing, no big fish or wild fish or interesting species, and not really the most interesting photography. Later in the day, however, I had a very interesting outing!

I go out onto my favorite tidal freshwater river, hunting for sea run trout, pike, walleye, and giant perch. I found none of those. But very early in the outing I did catch something and it was a but of a surprise.

A little stocked brownie, many miles from where it must have been stocked, in tidal waters? That's bizarre, awesome and just the odd luck I enjoy experiencing. This fish might even be headed towards salt waters, though it hasn't been there already and isn't one of the ones the state has been stocking (no clipped pectoral fins). 

A likely spot for when the water warms up.

Now here is why I am one of the few people who fish this stretch from the shore:

It is a long, difficult hike to get into many spots, access is spotty, and it is really not the easiest fishing. But that's why I love it.

The wildlife was out in force today. When I wasn't being menaced by mute swans I could hear wood ducks and black ducks. Neither species allowed me to approach them, carefully as I tried. Turkeys were calling from the opposite shore. As I walked out of my final spot at twilight I saw a something swimming and I momentarily thought it was a beaver and considered just continuing on my way. I'm glad I took a closer look because it was actually an otter. 

Up the hill and away from the river I had come out of the tree line when I heard a bird call that I had never heard in person before. I recognized the distinct call immediately, the unseen caller was an American woodcock. I pulled out the camera, and with what little battery I had left I was able to record it calling and then taking off for one of it's short looping dance flights. 

I wish I had more battery life because that was by far one of the coolest things I've every seen on a fishing trip. The sound these birds make on their way back down from their flight just by manipulating their wings is absolutely wild. At the same time a couple deer were coming down into the field I could hear them come down the hill and along the tree line. I never moved, but a light breeze came up behind me and they caught my scent and began huffing and stomping before busting back into the forest. To make it just that tiny bit cooler two bard owls were calling back and forth on the adjacent ridge, and spring peepers and wood frogs were enjoying the warm evening rather loudly in the swamp. What a night. 


  1. Awesome, evening in the woods near water, when nature comes to life. I can't wait to hear the peepers this year. 18 here this morning, uuuuuuuuuugh!
    A two hander line thrower,YES!
    Tie, fish, write and photo on...

    1. We've had a mild winter, it is really hard to complain about a few last cold nights!

  2. Love seeing woodcock and hearing them. Such cool birds - often flying like a knuckle ball through the forest! Awesome that you had some around... they have not returned yet up here - but given the proximity I bet they are here in a week or two... Glad you had fun out there!

    1. This is honestly the first time I knew what I was hearing. It was so so cool.