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Archive for the ‘Fishing’ Category

Glade Run Trout

Glade Run

Glade Run

The weather with temperatures in the low seventies and sun shining on the colored leaves made for a decision to “hit the stream” for some trout fishing. The water of Armstrong County’s, Glade Run was clear as can be as I approached to a waterfall hoping for a trout or two.

Rainbow Trout

Rainbow Trout

 

I had gathered a little bait to enjoy a few hours on such a beautiful day. My casts into the rapid area produced a solid hit and a rainbow trout proved to be the specie on line. The vivid colors on this fish reminded me of past autumn trout fishing ventures. I played the fish and released the sixteen inch beauty.

DSC_0005  I continued fishing, but caught many chubs ranging  several inches to about nine inches. I walked and fished about a quarter of a mile stretch, but failed to locate any additional trout. However, I was quite content to have caught the rainbow trout.

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River Time

DSC_0001The Allegheny River was beautiful as Frank “Muskie” Maus and I entered the boat for a day of muskie fishing. The Allegheny River was shrouded in a fog early, but the rapidly rising sun quickly dissipated the mist.

Frank Maus, notice the muskie decal.

Frank Maus, notice the muskie decal.

Within moments we were busy casting for the elusive muskie.  I was telling Laurie I was going to not going to quit fishing until I landed a six-footer! Needless to say, that feat didn’t occur. I think the world’s record is around five feet in length so catching  72 inches of fish was doubtful in reality.

DSC_0002  We traveled and trolled for the fish as well, but my jinxing abilities  won out over any good luck I may have had in the past. I  did, however, catch a nice smallmouth bass, but the fish threw the hook prior to any landing attempt.                                                 DSC_0009

While in the boat we saw two ospreys. One osprey dove into the waters attempting to land a fish. That was quite a sight. I saw a red-tailed hawk, geese and waterfowl and a pie-billed grebe too. The grebe swam about occasionally diving for morsels to eat.

Frankie has caught 250 muskies as of date.

I saw three deer and a small flock of turkeys while traveling on the road.

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Crooked Creek

Crooked Creek

This morning I went to crooked Crick (Western Pennsylvania pronunciation of “Creek”.) I thought I would enjoy some fishing and nature snooping. I saw two flocks of turkeys while traveling to the back waters of Crooked Creek Lake near the long-ago vanished village of Cochran’s Mill. This community was removed to build the dam many years ago.

Hellebore: a plant found in wetland areas.

Hellebore: a plant found in wetland areas.

I was surprised to have only a few “bites” this morning. I failed to see any bass or bluegills. I always see these fish swimming around. I did see a few carp. The water was a little colored more than normal. Also, a massive Caddis Fly hatch was ongoing. They were landing on me. Possible, the fish had filled up on these insects!

Jack-In-the-Pulpit

Jack-In-the-Pulpit

Singing toad. Note eggs at rock's base.

Singing toad. Note eggs at rock’s base.

Other interests I observed today were mergansers; a wood duck;  kingfishers and a water snake swimming the waters.

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Joe-Pye

Joe-Pye

This week was different from the past few. The temperatures have been becoming much more pleasant. I have walked three different mornings this week to enjoy the greatness of nature.

Butterfly Weed (Flower)

Butterfly Weed (Flower)

Last Monday, however, I went Lock 8 on the Allegheny River to try my luck at some fishing. I failed to catch any fish during the couple of hours attempting to do so. I became snagged with the very first cast and that event seemed to set the mode for the rest of this trip. I was snagged many times and lost my riggings up to eight times. I missed one fish and hooked another but the size and, possibly, the specie either broke or bit the line. I saw three deer and a heron this morning.

Filtered light along Cowanshannock Creek

Filtered light along Cowanshannock Creek

I was to visit my sister on Wednesday morning, so I planned a walk along Red Mill Run and the mouth of Cowanshannock since she lives near this area. The cool comfortable early hour was great for walking. I saw four buck at one time. I failed to capture any with photos. There was lots of foliage around the four deer and the photos I managed to take were of little value.. A stray cat followed me around for a little time. I always hate to see dogs and cats dropped off to fend for themselves.

Thursday morning I walked a couple of miles near my homestead prior to visiting my family. The early time was cool enough that I was forced to roll my sleeves down. Later, I saw a buck walking the creek bottom. I managed a couple of pics.   IMG_1106

Friday morning I walked along Buffalo Creek in the Yellow Dog area  of Armstrong County. This was, mostly a road walk. I saw a great blue heron a few times and two wood ducks around the water source. I, also, saw a few decent sized carp within the slow-moving creek.  I debated whether to go carp fishing.

Buffalo Creek

Buffalo Creek

 

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A hint of blue sky!

A hint of blue sky!

The temperatures and humidity are to be leaning way towards the hot end of the spectrum all of this week. I decided late last evening that I needed to get out and catch a few fish early in the morning prior to these conditions being met.

Same view after the fog!

Same view after the fog!

I was on the road towards Lock Number 8 on the Allegheny River shortly after 6 A.M. I had a lot of worms that wanted to be fished with. I obliged them all!

A nice doe crossed the road just prior to the dam’s entrance. I slowed down watching for any small spotted offspring that may be following her.

The river was engulfed in fog until the sun lifted high enough to cause evaporation of the water molecules. I witnessed a great blue heron soaring low across the river in the fog. The long-legged bird landed down river from my fishing site.

Bee-Balm!

Bee-Balm!

Along the river’s shoreline are millions of minnows or shiners. The fish chased them continually until about 8:30 A.M. The little two-inch long fish would leap out of the water upon being chased by larger predatory fish. They appeared to be bass.  I hoped I wasn’t seeing those Asiatic (Flying) carp taking hold in these waters. All morning long I would see fish jumping in the waters. I saw carp and a muskie. I saw a large fish that I believed to be a gar. The scales indicated such a fish for sure. The fast-moving water clouded with murkiness made a positive ID difficult. However, later I saw the fish in its entirety. It was, indeed, a gar and the length was around the forty inch mark! I had some other gar sightings too, but these were in the 28 to 32 inch length category.

Phylox

Phylox

I was blessed with catching four smallmouth bass. The lengths ranged from about eleven inches to fifteen inches. These all supplied some fighting abilities on light tackle. I lost several and missed several too.

The time reached 9:15 and the heat was becoming prominent. I decided the time to head home was nigh. I have paintings and recordings to work on!

 

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The Hunt For Carp

A slight fog at 6:30 A.M.

A slight fog at 6:30 A.M.

At least once a year I enjoy the mile long hike into State Game Lands 247 to pursue some carp hunting. I am not actually using a firearm to hunt this specie of fish but my tactics may be similar to hunting. A more correct word might be stalking since I creep around the sedges and wetland grasses attempting to locate a carp by sight.

The early morning walk was comfortably cool, but I knew walking out wouldn’t feel so fine. The temperatures were scheduled to rise as was the humidity. I saw two deer sneaking among the woodland trees. I hoped to see a hen and her poults, but tat hope didn’t happen this day.

As I came into the vicinity of the pond I began searching and peeking to see if any other critter might be drinking or swimming. Later, I would see a great blue heron circling  the pond. The awkwardly gracious bird wanted to feed on the little bluegills of the pond. Many tracks could be viewed in the water’s muddy areas.

I immediately began seeing some carp slurping in the shallows and among the vegetation. All attempts for me failed. the fish just were not interested in the bait I was casting around them. Since the fish were mostly less than fifteen feet from shore I did not have any weight to aid in distant castings. many of the carp would be observed within ten feet. I would cast around them and the carp simply ignored the bait. I was believing I just might go home “skunked” when my line took a rapid heading of the pond’s center. I set the hook and held on for a few minutes until I could reach into the water and subdue the beast.

The Carp!

The Carp!

The carp was between sixteen and eighteen inches. I released the golden fish back into waters.

I continued fishing for another ten minutes before packing up to begin a hike out. I chose a different direction to exit the game lands.

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Morning Fishing

Friends of mine have been fishing  “their site” north of Kittanning, Pennsylvania along the Allegheny River for years. An open invite was given to me and this morning I elected to hit the river for some fishing adventures. One of these friends arrived after 9:00. She caught a very nice bullhead catfish and lost a carp while I was there.

DSC_0022  Early a heavy fog covered the waters and surrounding hills. The waters were muddy and high and swift due to heavy rains in northern Pennsylvania. I hurdled in close to some structure and found a lull in the turbidity. I found much action in the following several hours. I missed several and lost several fish including a fighter. However, I caught a couple of nice fish too.

One of the missed opportunities was when an eagle flew through the fog. I looked up for a better look and WHAM!  I pulled back and missed!

Other species of interest this morning were some mallards and a few young ducklings and  a wood duck hen. She almost landed directly in front of me in the fog. I saw a water snake fighting the currents and a soft-shelled turtle on a couple of occasions.                                                                           DSC_0023

The first fish I caught fought hard and long. The channel cat was around eighteen inches maybe reaching twenty inches in length. A carp may have reached eighteen inches fell to my skills. This fish ran line far out into the waters before I finally landed it. I was using a rod and reel equipped for trout fishing including six pound test line.

The fish felt heavy and fought very hard. I actually followed along the river’s shore around two hundred yards or so. I couldn’t turn this fish north. I saw brief images occasionally and several times a glimpse of the entire body. A carp! And a big one! The big guy may have reached the thirty inches of power category. I believe I would have landed this fish too if the critter had not become entangled in a fallen tree.  I tried everything to dislodge the fish including giving the big feller plenty of slack line. Nothing worked so I ended up allowing my trophy to go.

I had two other eagle sightings prior to packing up for home with an ever-increasing heat and humid day arriving in force.

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Beautiful Crooked Creek

Beautiful Crooked Creek

The dam over Crooked Creek in Armstrong County, Pennsylvania was erected during the 1930 time frame. This dam and others on tributaries of the Allegheny River were erected as a flood control measure. They hold water back during times of extreme rains or snow melt.

White Violets

White Violets

I was told, a 50 caliber machine gun was installed  on the dam during World War Two. This measure was done to thwart any attempts of enemy aircraft getting through to bomb the dam. Of course, we know the enemies of that era never made any attempts on the dam, but had the war gone differently one never knows.

DSC_0009 Friday morning, I elected to fish the waters of Crooked Creek where the overflow area is. This is where the water of the dam is controlled and let out as needed. The site has always allowed me to catch fish. I have caught many species over the years here. This morning I caught a number of bluegill and pumpkinseed sunfish. Had I other types of bait more species may have had been landed. While fishing I watched a deer downstream playing in the water. I, also, watched a Canada Goose and gosling swim about.   DSC_0017

I, as usually the case, fished a couple of hours and began hiking some of the park’s trails. During my walk, I saw five wood ducks; more geese and two deer. I watched around for signs of fawns, but I failed to see any. I saw a lot of squirrels and chipmunks too. I, occasionally, looked over the creek openings for eagle and osprey flights.

Later in the evening, Laurie and I went to Evangel Heights Church to watch the high school musical, “Esther”. This is a Bible story of a young Jewish maiden who, eventually married the King of Persia. She later used her influence to save the lives of her people the Jews. Of course, I saw a gobbler strutting around 6:00 P.M. while in route to the play.

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Collision course!

Collision course!

This morning, since I still had some worms, I headed for the Allegheny River at Kittanning. Pennsylvania to see if the fish were biting. I decided I should just feed the fish since I failed to catch any. Subtle bites occurred, but they were never hard enough for me to strike. I suspect the Eastern Sand Darter or small yellow perch may have been the lucky fish. My size six hook were too large to effectively catch them.

A hook in the bottom of my shoe.....

A hook in the bottom of my shoe…..

Freshwater Mussel shells

Freshwater Mussel shells

However, wildlife was abundant  to watch. The river yielded the usual Canada geese and mergansers. I, also saw a few mallards swimming about. A most interesting specie was observed. I was blessed to see a loon all morning. The bird would swim about with its head underwater seeking food and, at times the loon would dive completely under only to reappear twenty or thirty feet away.

A loon!

A loon!

Directly behind my fishing spot are large rocks. Swallows had their nests in these rocks. The swallows, up to twenty of them, would continually flutter around. Occasionally, one would enter the rocks to visit their nests.

DSC_0012

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DSC_0112   I needed a change of pace this day and a morning at the back waters of Crooked Creek was to fulfill the need.  I love Crooked Creek. As a boy, the waters ran orange due to mind drainage from mining sites near Ernest, Pennsylvania in Indiana County. I have been so elated since these waters have been cleaned up. Crooked Creek today is a most beautiful section of waterways in Armstrong County.                                                                                                                                                  DSC_0099

I fished an area once known as Cochran’s Mills due to a mill built here long ago. A small community was erected here too. The well-known journalist of the past, Nellie Bly was a Cochran from Cochran’s Mill, Pennsylvania. All that is left today are remnants of stone foundations here and there among the vegetation.

 

An old farm along the way to Crooked Creek. (Recognize it Randy?)

An old farm along the way to Crooked Creek. (Recognize it Randy?)

While fishing some old memories came flooding back to my thoughts. I remembered, my dad and I would come to these waters and wade around to catch crayfish for bass fishing. The quest for these “crabs” was as much fun as the bass fishing. This was an enjoyable sport for us!

Whammm!!! The first fish I caught didn’t bite all that hard, but man did it fight!  I could see narrow golden-brown flashes before the twenty-two to twenty-four inches of fish threw the hook! I can not say with any certainty what specie of fish it was.

Baby catfish

Baby catfish

As the morning progressed, other species fell to the champion fisherman. I caught bluegill and pumpkinseed sunfish and smallmouth bass.

As what always happens to me when fishing is the quest to explore. I began walking upstream to see what tidbits of nature would show themselves to me. I could hear toads doing their mating sounds. Kingfishers flew by occasionally as did a pair of mergansers. I discovered a small school of very young catfish. I remember as a boy swooping up a can full of these little cats and raising them in an aquarium. Once they grew to four inches I would restock them back into the waters.                                                                                                                     DSC_0105

Upon gazing about a saw a water snake with a chub in its mouth. The little fish was alive and I thought of trying to catch the snake and giving the fish freedom. The fish, I decided, may have not survived anyway and snakes “gotta” eat too.

DSC_0102

As my fishing trip turned into a nature hike I saw many jack-in-the-pulpits; false hellebore; skunk cabbage galore; trilliums…. I wondered how many people would walk along here and never see these beautiful species of wild spring growth.

Jack-in-the-Pulpit

Jack-in-the-Pulpit

Mother’s day is coming up and eventually I left the beauty of Crooked Creek to head home for some mowing. Rain is being forecasted and I wanted to get the yard mowed before Sunday as family is coming in to the house.                                                                               DSC_0107

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I was planning with a couple of hours of carp fishing anyway, so when my sister Ruthie Wolfe and I were talking I asked her if she wanted to go for a walk and take some photos as I fished. As promised, we were only there for a couple of hours. We wanted to beat the heat.

Ruthie holding one of my catches.

We went to a local state game lands. To fish in the pond one needs to walk about one mile. The game lands road has an issue that I didn’t think of. Poison Ivy! I do not give the three-leaf plant any thought, but my sister is highly allergic to it. Years ago she had blisters as big as silver dollars. She had a rough ordeal. We did are best to avoid the more vegetated road sites and we managed to stay clear of the plant. However, she had to be careful at a few sites.     

The pond was muddy due to the carp activity in the waters. Amazingly, the inflow stream was barely allowing for clean water entry. I guess we have been more dry than I realized.

The back of a carp.

I began to stalk for carp. Ripples could be seen near the edge of the pond. Often the fish would be tight along the pond’s edge among the high grasses. Occasionally, one could actually see the backs of carp in the shallow water.

I managed to catch only two carp. However, I missed several. They were not taking the bait very readily. Normally, I fish here earlier in the morning.The carp is a proven fighter pulling hard once hooked. The fish is very capable of breaking fishing line whenever they make one of the power surges they are famous for.

The Legend!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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