October 28, 2013

When It's OK To Admit Your Fishing Trip Wasn't EPIC

Back in Pennsylvania, back in the cool weather, back at home.

I own a house in Jacksonville, but I still haven't adjusted to the "904" enough yet to call it home.  Don't get me wrong, I'm enjoying exploring my new surroundings and doing my best to embrace all that they have to offer, but my heart is still in Philadelphia.

Heck, when I was introduced to new people on a business trip to New York City earlier in the week, when asked where I was from, I immediately responded "Philadelphia," not Jacksonville.  It's just the way it's going to be for a while.

So back at home for a long weekend, I had to take the opportunity to go fishing at least one day.  

Doing the hotel & rental car thing, my wife dropped me off at the creek in the AM and took the car to run some errands and meet up with some girlfriends.  She was going to be scarce all day, so I was pretty much left alone to be a vagrant trout bum.  Although I don't look overly excited here, (blame it on the sun in my eyes), I was thrilled to be back with tenkara rods in hand, ready to get a line wet.

Eh, until I took the 100 yard hike down to the water.  Or lack of it.  Valley Creek literally had no water in it.  Only shoelaces deep in spots.  In my opinion, Valley fishes best slightly high and a bit stained, so this wasn't going to be a good day of fishing and I knew it, although I didn't want to acknowledge it.  The constant wind and leaves in the water probably wouldn't help much either.  But at least that is expected for this time of year.

The ducks knew the deal.  Those roots are usually submerged

Matt (from The Functioning Fishaholics) was going to meet me a bit later, so I thought it would be at least the right thing to do to shoot him a text to tell him it was going to be a tough go, just in case he wanted to back out.  However with a new baby at home, he had received a rare "day pass," so I suppose the prospect of poor fishing was hardly a concern.  Or he was just sleep-deprived and drained of reason.  Whatever the cause and despite the forewarning, he still showed up, ready to go.  

It's probably not that surprising to report that we didn't catch fish.  Heck, we didn't even really see any fish, other than some huddled up in the remnants of a usually a deep pool.  They were hugging the bottom, and endless nymphs couldn't get them to budge.  It was just about the polar opposite of the last time we fished together when the fish were super active and everything was working.  After not catching for a few hours, we decided to bail and warm up with some burgers and fries.

Now I'm not one of those guys that waxes poetically about how it's "just great to be outdoors."  I mean it certainly beats being at work, but if I'm going fishing I want to catch at least some fish.  It's rare to get skunked...on my "home" water...chasing my fish of choice.

Numbers aren't important;  I don't need to catch 10, 50, or 100...a simple tug or two on the line and some flash in the water is all that I need to get my fix.

That said, I can't really say that I took this particular skunking all that hard.  Yeah, it would have been that overused adjective "EPIC" to have brought some Valley brownies to hand, especially since I can't just roll out of bed and be stream-side in 15 minutes anymore.

However it was almost just as nice to need to wear a sweatshirt again, feel air that was totally devoid of humidity, chat up Matt on topics you just don't post on Google+ (he boycotts Facebook), or even dip your hand in some cool running water that wasn't coming from a faucet.  I don't get things like that in Florida, I only get them at home.


  1. that water is better than many in Australia. clearer and colder.

  2. Tough water conditions every where. Maybe the storm going through as we speak will help. Expecting 8 inches of snow at the summit. A little snow melt would be good.

  3. Really like your approach to this post. Not every day is intended to be a fishing day. Sometimes it's just........................................

  4. ...what it is. (I decided to finish Mel's thought.)

  5. I feel bad that you traveled all that way for it to suck. Ish. It seems like I have been dishing this out on a regular basis lately. Worst was when Mike Sepelak came to visit. We never caught a fish.

    1. Thanks for the empathy. If it was a "fishing" trip, I'd be pissed myself. But the way I look at it, it was a cheesesteak, hoagie, & soft pretzel eating trip, with a side trip of fishing. The former was much more successful than the latter.

  6. Meeting up with friends saved the day there. Glad you guys got together on the water anyway. And cheesesteak always helps the dimmest of fishing days!

  7. oh sure,fish at "home" and not an invite......geez louise! just wait till i get you fishing in the swatara! no mercy...LOL......if the travel gods get you up here in june-august