Archive for the ‘Fishing’ Category

Fishing and Hiking


Longnose Gar

Since Laurie and I have returned from our Colorado trip I have been doing some hiking and fishing.  I have been having much success with fishing. I have caught many Smallmouth Bass; several nice catfish, a Walleye, Carp and a longnose Gar.  I had a Muskellunge follow my hook to shore before grabbing it. I didn’t have the fish on for long for the sharp teeth cut the line.



I have been fishing along the Allegheny River and a local pond. The pond is a little over an acre I suppose and yields Carp and catfish. I enjoy the fight of a muscle-bound carp so I tend to either use light tackle or a flyrod to catch these beauties. The plus to fishing this pond is a hike of about a mile to arrive on site. There is always something to see while walking.


Smallmouth Bass





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The view overlooking Paige Run and Red Run

After a rather rough night for sleep I had the tent packed and was on the road prior to sunrise. The eastern sky was illuminated and a nice day was to be reality.

Red Run

I stopped along the Quehanna Highway and walked back through the woods to, hopefully, hear some gobbling. I didn’t hear any turkey talk at all. I didn’t allow a lot of time to listen, for a had an agenda to follow. I wanted to be overlooking some deep hollows early to take advantage of the morning sun casting deep shadows. This should give up a few nice photo opportunities.

One of many deer sightings.

I walked along a trail to a huge rock where I could see a great distances. The sun was doing what I had hoped and I took a number of photos.

I followed this trail down over a steep and rocky hill until I could see, and hear, Paige Run. (Paige Run meets up with Red Run.) What a beautiful stream with fast waters cascading over many rocks. Rhododendrons added a much needed color contrast with the deep and lush greens. I climbed the hollow and eventually crossed the stream to head up the other side. I reached the top and noticed the sounds of the fast water were almost absent. Suddenly I heard it…a gobble way off! I listened until I knew the direction and you guessed it… the bird was across the big hollow I had just come out of. Off I went in reverse to see if I could locate this turkey.

 I heard the turkey once more as I entered the ridgeline from where the gobbling had occurred. I listened for a time and decided I should get to fishing. The first morning of trout season was already well on the way. I was to fish Red Run for native Brook Trout. There was one catch. (No pun intended.) I would not be fishing if the stream was crowded. I pulled over along the road to NO VEHICLES.  I was elated. The time was 9:30 in the morning.


Native Brook Trout

Action was fast. I began catching, and loosing, and missing Brook Trout immediately. I spent over two and a half  hours along the waters. I released all the trout. Native Brook trout never achieve and size in such streams, but that was fine with me for I was alone. Only two vehicles traveled the road during that time.

Wykoff Run

I was going to fish Jack Dent Run as I headed towards home only to find a lot of pressure on that stream. Apparently, the Pennsylvania Fish Commission had stocked these waters. I decided to travel slow on state forest roads to see what I could see and move on into Parker Dam to fish.

I arrived at Parker Dam and continued on. The people were everywhere fishing. I did some sketching for the upcoming painting before moving on towards home earlier than previously planned.







Reasons why my legs hurt!

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Native Brook Trout








Lick Island Run

I continued heading towards my destination of the First Fork of the Sinnemahoning Creek of Cameron and Potter Counties, Pennsylvania. Immediately as I first glimpsed the Sinnemahoning I could see the waters were swift and high. very heavy rains occurred recently across much of the state.I knew I wouldn’t be fishing these waters. I pondered how fast and what the tributaries would be.

Upon reaching the George B. Stevenson Dam I stopped to walk along the top of the dam. Here one can see far up the watershed hollow surrounded by  high, steep majestic hills and deep hollows. This is very peaceful scene to reflect. The dam was releasing water.

I ventured upstream of a creek named Lick Island Run to search out some native Brook Trout. The waters of this stream were running fast and hill, too. The water was over most of the rocks embedded in the stream. I knew fishing would be tough under these circumstances. I did catch native trout, but I had to find rocks that were not covered with water. The run  under the lee side of the rocks was a sheltered spot yielding trout. However, these conditions needed to be sought out. I walked over a mile upstream enjoying an occasional trout and the natural beauty. Later, I would fish Brooks Run in the same manner. I caught some beautiful trout on this stream, as well.

Brooks Run



Pumpkinseed Sunfish with mesh

I stopped by an area of back waters of the dam. The water was high, but not as fast as the Sinnemahoning. This was water being held back. Normally, this  is a section of the watercourse considered  great as a warm water fishery. I walked along the mouth of Brooks Run and noticed a two and half inch

George B. Stevenson Dam

Pumpkinseed Sunfish near the water line.  It’s colors were vivid so I knew whatever happened to this little fish was very recent. Upon touching the little feller I noticed movement. The sunfish was alive! I immediately realized what the issue was. Recently, workers used a very fine green mesh to help stabilize the creek’s bank due to construction. This sunfish became entangled in the mesh when the creek was higher. I used a knife and cut the mesh and placed the sunfish in the water. It swam away! I wondered just how long it had survived in that situation. I am a hero!

In this area I saw a flock of mergansers and a Bald eagle. The next day I would spend time here again as a bird-watcher.

The rains began prior to noon. A few snowflakes fell, as well. The rain continued until about three-thirty, however, mostly the rain was light.

I erected the tent just as the rain was abating.  I had gathered firewood and now had my home secured.  By four o’clock I had a roaring fire going well. I might need this fire since the temperature was to drop into the lower twenties.  Hoping for a good night to sleep.


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I guess I spoke words similar to those in the title upon seeing the nice Muskie leap totally out of the water two times!  At least, that is what my friend, Frank “Muskie” Maus told me afterwards. We entered the waters of the Allegheny River about seven this morning fishing for the elusive Muskellunge.

The early time on the river was covered with fog. However, the sun would quickly eliminate all traces of any fog in short time.   

We spent some time trying to entice the fish through surface casting and later deep water casting. I would see one Bald eagle and a hen Wood Duck in the morning hours.



Notice the trail of the mussel.

Suddenly sometime after ten I the morning I felt the strike and set the hook! Wow! The big Muskie started the fight. The sight was beautiful as the fish leapt completely out of the water two times.  I worked the fish finally getting the ‘ski to the side of the boat. Frank has a stick he uses to try to get accurate measurements, but it is not easy getting the fish to cooperate. I don’t know how he manages when fishing by himself. The Muskie was around 40-41 inches in length. We quickly remove the lure and release without bringing the fish onto the boat. this helps ensure the survival of such a grand fish.          


Wood Duck hen

Later, we began trolling. An interesting fishing adventure was to take place during our trolling time. Frank said something was happening with my rod wondering if weeds gathered on the lure.  the tip of the rod wasn’t appearing right. Normally, while trolling the action of the lure causes the rod tip to be bent and jerking. There was a distinct slack as Frank yelled fish. I heard the reel hum and reached for the rod . I felt weight and then nothing. The Muskie had spit the lure out of the mouth. Frank said that fish had the lure and was swimming at the same speed of the boat hence the lack of action upon the rod tip.  He had never experienced that fact before.

Beautiful morning


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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.



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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