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Archive for the ‘Fishing’ Category

Crooked Creek

As a young fellow Crooked Creek flowed orange in color from past mining operations. Efforts were     completed and the waters normalized into a beautiful waterways moving towards the Allegheny River at Rosston, Pennsylvania. I remember seeing a greenish water in years past, however all the rocks and such were still orange. I, also, remember with these conditions showing my cousin a small group of baby Bullhead Catfish circling around the shoreline water. I said, at the time, this creek is becoming clean. And how the waters became clean! Time wasn’t long once the greens and blues became dominant and the orange acid left. the fisheries filled the waters rapid, too. Today many species of fish inhabit Crooked Creek.

I enjoy walking along the creek when I have a chance and I enjoy casting a line, too. This day, June 13th, was such a day. I fished some and I walked some.                                                                                                           

I caught a lot of Bluegills, a Hickory Sucker and a few Smallmouth Bass. Mostly I walked and took photos as a remembrance.

 

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Great Blue Heron track

 

 

My dad and I would go to this area and gather “crabs” to go bass fishing. Of course those crabs are actually crawfish, but we  always called them crabs. Gathering these critters was as much a sport as bass fishing to us.

I only saw one Great Blue Heron on this excursion, but I saw several doe and four fawns while traveling to fish and walk.

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Carp Fishing!

  I went fishing especially for Carp. After loosing three riggings in six casts while fishing the Allegheny River  I made a decision to go for Carp in a pond. The choice was a good one for me.

I stopped at the house to exchange gear. I elected to fish with a fly rod.

The walk to this particular pond is approximately a mile through fields and forests so I actually gained some hiking time, as well. As the walk progressed I noticed something unusual. I thought I was looking at a piece of rubber or something. The object just was out of place. Suddenly, I realized what I was seeing. I was seeing a Snapping Turtle. The turtle’s shell was covered with mud thus it looked very smooth until I came closer to the image and saw other details.

The approach to the pond detailed some wildlife immediately. A Great Blue Heron was standing breast-deep in the water searching for something to eat. I managed several photos. A Wood Duck escaped my presence, as well. Carp were  everywhere surfacing and splashing.

Snapping Turtle

The pond’s surface was inundated with much moss. This surprised me since we seemed to have a lot of rain. The surface looked more like it was from the August dog-days. This made fishing difficult, but the edge of the water was open along the shore.

I fished  for a time hooking two Carp. The second one really gave me a fight on the fly rod tackle.

Other sightings of the day were a doe and her fawn and three separate hen Turkeys. Two of the hens had obvious poults and the third acted as if poults were in the area. The little ones were only a day or two since hatching.

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River Time

dsc_0013  My friend, Frank Maus, and I had planned on a muskie fishing excursion. We were saddened to hear of our friend, Greg Kunkle with his passing. This passing was discussed during our fishing day. We talked of all the changes with PennDOT since we had retired nine years ago. (We would learn that evening of another passing of a friend. His name was Ike Hooks. I would learn of Laurie’s cousin passing that same day as well. So, I attended three services this week.)                               dsc_0020

Early in the morning on October 5th a very thick fog engulfed the river. Setting in a boat surface casting lures into the water surrounded with white fog can cause an eerie adventure. However, the fog was short-lived. The day would prove to be a beautiful early fall day. The temperatures were comfortable under blue skies.

dsc_0019 We casted a few hours before turning to trolling. Frank told me of a recent sighting of a Fox Squirrel swimming the river. (I received  a message this morning of Frank saving a very tired Chipmunk swimming across the river.)

We trolled until about 2:30 without any strikes or follows. Frank said the fishing is great, but the catching not so much! dsc_0001

We saw several Great Blue herons;Mallards; a large flock of Canada Geese; Red-Tailed Hawks and a Bald eagle. I saw seven deer while traveling in the morning.

Early morning glow

Early morning glow

 

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More Carp Fishing

dsc_0014   I enjoy fishing. Most people know that fact. A couple of times in recent weeks I ventured to a pond where Carp have become the most prevalent fish. Carp are not native to Pennsylvania. In fact they are not native to the United states at all. They usually cause much habitat damage to any ponds destroying egg-laying sites of native species.

My fly rod and reel!

My fly rod and reel!

However, since they have been established in almost every water locally one might as well enjoy fishing for them at times. I sure do!

My last two ventures to this pond has found me enjoying the fight by using a fly rod. Carp averaging fifteen to eighteen inches of muscle on such a fishing pole produce an action paced fight.

I have fished in the river several times during the last few weeks. I have done well with Smallmouth Bass this year.

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Deptford pink

Deptford pink

I woke up knowing I was in need of a walk. However, I wanted to fish, too.  What to do? WOW!  I decided to go for a walk, and fish for some carp. Wasn’t that a simple decision?   This occurred on July 17th.

Blue Vervain

Blue Vervain

The area I was to walk is a local Pennsylvania Game Commission Game Lands, one I often hike on due to

Black-eyed Susan

Black-eyed Susan

the close vicinity of my home.

 

Downy Skullcap

Downy Skullcap

I walked along a game lands road looking for anything of interest. I am always able to enjoy observing various things of the natural world. Those things may be wildlife; insects; wildflowers…who knows what I may find on a jaunt.            DSC_0011

The morning temperatures were tolerable, but I knew as the sun rose higher in the east those temperatures would rise higher. The deer flies walking in were not very bad. One managed to insert into my elbow region. I felt the hot, needle-like pain, and instinctively came down on the insect. I crushed the b\culprit between my fingers. I audibly stated: You may have bite me, but I got you!  I will heal, but you will not!  Awww sweet revenge!

DSC_0009    I came to a pond that was stagnant because of the lack of rain. Brown vegetation was visible on the surface. I could see a few carp sucking at the surface. Others were pushing their snouts into the mud. I tried catching a few of these carp, and they would completely ignore my enhancing baits. Later, I moved to the other side of the pond. My line showed sign of a bite. However, the string didn’t take off in a traditional carp-like bite. After some time the line became taught and a carp was on and the fight began.

Swamp Milkweed

Swamp Milkweed

The carp felt big on light tackle. The fish was eighteen inches of pure muscle. I released the European native back into the pond for another day. That carp was my only catch. they were being selective feeders today.

 

Bull Thistle

Bull Thistle

The temperatures were climbing as I began the trek back towards the jeep. The deer flies were more prevalent, too. The flew around like Messerschmitt Jet planes from the German air force. I managed to relieve some of them of their pesky lives.

I found a lot of various wildflowers to observe and photograph as I exited the woods.

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Purple Loosestrife

Purple Loosestrife

I didn’t have a lot of worms, and I was too early to purchase any minnows to fish. I decided to fish this morning. The temperatures are to reach around 90 degrees later. The decision was a good one.                                                DSC_0007

The river near Lock # 7 near Kittanning, Pennsylvania was a little higher than normal. I ended up being forced to step into the Allegheny River to wade at times due to lush vegetation on the river’s bank. The water was warm.

 

Citizen's Bridge at Kittanning, Pennsylvania.

Citizen’s Bridge at Kittanning, Pennsylvania.

DSC_0012 The first cast into the swift water ended up with a snagged , and lost, line. The second cast brought forth a 14 inch catfish.  I continued to fish having a couple of light bites, but no strong tug to force me into action.

Garden Yellow Loosestrife

Garden Yellow Loosestrife

Later, while glassing some mallards, I heard the sound of a falling fishing pole. The catfish yanked hard enough that the rod bounced down. A second, or two, later and I may have lost my gear, but I caught the 18 inch channel catfish.

Lock # 7 on the Allegheny River

Lock # 7 on the Allegheny River

I saw other ducks, gulls, and the loon again. The loon upon seeing me at over fifty yards swam to about twelve feet of my position. The bird was curious, I guess!

DSC_0017 After the third time of snagging the bottom plug of the river, I decided to head along the river, and take some wildflower photos.

The Purple Loosestrife was very common, however, it is an invasive foreign specie. Another flower was the Garden Yellow Loosestrife. This, too, is a non-native wildflower. I saw one cardinal flower just beginning to bloom. Their scarlet colors are of the deepest red imaginable.

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DSC_0005 I am burnt to a crisp as the old saying goes. Not really, but I did increase my tan quite a bit. I spent much of the day on the Allegheny River with my friend, Frank “Muskie” Maus. I always enjoy the time together as we chase around that elusive fish, the Muskellunge!

Da Man!  Frank Maus.

Da Man! Frank Maus.

Frankie had two follows, and one strike the previous day, so I had hoped the fish would be in the mood to be caught this day.

We began by casting surface lures  attempting to entice one of those big fish to attack in power.  We traveled to several points along the waterway fishing with this technique. Frank had one swirl behind the lure. I began hoping for additional action.

DSC_0011 Later, the trolling took the scene further attempting to have a fish become hungry and attack the lures in a vengeful manner. Unfortunately, we could not locate any muskies this day other than the swirl behind the lure. I jinxed the man!

DSC_0012

However, we saw a lot of wildlife during the excursion. We saw deer including two fawns at the river’s edge. A long line of Canada Geese were viewed in a single file. We saw a lot of waterfowl. One hen mallard had several baby ducklings following her movements up river. On a recent fishing trip I saw, probably, this same hen with at least eight babies. Wonder what specie devoured the other ducklings?        DSC_0023

 

Fox Squirrel running after Frank's lure hit the water near it.

Fox Squirrel running after Frank’s lure hit the water near it.

We saw a couple of softshell turtles sunning themselves on rocks. We saw a Bald Eagle!

Much of the morning was foggy or involved with cloud cover. However, after noon the sun came out with lots of heat. A stated, my tan lines darkened!

 

Lure action!

Lure action!

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