Showing posts with label Spurky. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Spurky. Show all posts

May 28, 2022

Deep Creekin' with Spurky

It's been a few years since I've seen my old Pennsylvania fishing buddy Spurky. We had been loosely planning a reunion for a little while, and we were finally able to coordinate schedules and meet up a few weekends ago at Deep Creek Campground in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

I had spend a few days at Deep Creek a few weeks before, as it hosted TenkaraCamp, a get together of tenkara anglers for a long weekend of fishing, clinics, and good times. It was helpful to set the stage for the trip with Spurky, as I was able to get the lay of the land (& streams), scout a good campsite, and feel positive that we'd have a good time.

It was really good to see Spurky again. (And not just because he was wearing a T! Party t-shirt). We were both a bit older and grayer, but the man still has a passion for fishing, so I was happy to play somewhat of host and guide and find some waters that fit his style of spinner and spoon fishing.


Not arriving at camp until after 4PM, it didn't leave a ton of time for fishing. So after pitching my tent, Spurky & I headed down the trail to go fish a few spots that I recalled looked promising. We didn't hike in too far, but we each found some pretty water and some really nice fish, including a solid brown I pulled from a riffle with the Tenkara USA Sato.


Friday was supposed to bring a little weather, but we lucked out and it was relatively sunny and gorgeous the whole day. We hopped in the car and drove over to Cherokee to fish on this morning. I wanted to take Spurky to a stream that I enjoy visiting, as it has a good mix of broken up pocket water for me to fish with my tenkara rod, while also being easily accessible off the trail and several deep, slow pools for him.

We spent a good part of the morning and early afternoon exploring the waterway, with us both having some luck with the resident rainbows. I found myself having a great time as they were eager to hit up top, so switching over futsu kebari as well as more familiar dry fly patterns seemed to do the trick.

Toward the end of the day we returned to Deep Creek and fished a bit more locally. Feeling the itch, I shelved the Oni Type III tenkara rod I was using earlier in the day and switched to my Orvis Superfine 3-weight fly rod just to get a few casts in. I caught a few small rainbows while Spurky ended up catching a really nice brown beside one of the bridges with spinners.

Before we turned in for the night, I did a little waterfall chasing (there are 3 somewhat close to the trailhead in camp), and I wanted to check each of them out.


Saturday, our last day to fish, was perhaps a bit bittersweet. Spurky was feeling quite a bit under the weather and not totally up for much of anything, much less fishing. So after checking in on him, he told me to go out alone. I visited another favorite stream not that far away and found the fishing to be good. Unfortunately, the weather turned around lunchtime, chasing me off the water.

Returning to camp and finding not only much nicer weather, but Spurky in better spirits, I followed him down to Deep Creek and just watched him for a little bit and snapped some photos. A bit of decompression for myself after a busy past few days.


Sunday was departure day, and the end of our weekend of fishing. We both had long drives ahead of us, so the camps were packed up and vehicles headed in separate directions before you knew it. It was certainly nice to see Spurky again. I hope despite that last day hiccup, he'll look back on the trip fondly. I mean what else can you ask for? We found good fishing, stellar conversation, and beautiful scenery. The Great Smoky Mountains certainly do not disappoint!


I also wrote a bit more about our trip from a slightly different perspective over at Tenkara Angler. That article was far less about the fishing, and more about just slowing one's pace to take in all that a fishing trip has to offer. 

Read "Taking it Slow" at Tenkara Angler

October 6, 2017

Guiding Ain't Easy

We don't do guest posts on Troutrageous! all that often, but I received an email from my buddy Spurky yesterday and he wanted to file a fishing report. Spurky & I go back quite a few years, and I'll never tell him no. So please enjoy this tale of a recent "guided" adventure... 

Guiding ain't easy they say.

I have taken T! aka Mike out a few times in my area and have done pretty well, alas last time was 6 LONG YEARS AGO!! Hint Hint!!

I met a great group of guys this early summer while camping up-state by Trout Run, PA. They were a few sites above me along the creek. What caught my eye when fishing was that Kip was using a tenkara set up. We made friends and fished together along the trout stream full of small fish who did not want our wood, steel, or feathers - just live bait.

We got talking and I invited them down to fish in my stomping grounds. As the set date was getting near I was hoping for decent weather as summer forgot to show up, and Seattle style weather was the norm.

I went out 1 week before our trip to scout and did very well, then went out the Wednesday before, but took hooks off to see how active the fish were. I was excited at all the strikes and fish I saw.

The day came and once they were settled in the HONEY HOLE, the gang and I headed out. The water had dropped at least 6" and all the fish would swipe at the lures, but there were few takers. Seems the only person who was catching and bringing to hand was the.... gasp.... fly fisherman of the group! I was happy that we caught a lot of tiny brook trout with great colors, (they were still in the same area as early September) with the smallest being about 1" tall and 4" long.

The next day we hit the Swatara Creek for anything. The water was low and clear but cold. We hit a few in the beginning until we got to the middle of the trip, and Mike found a route through the deep channel where we could wade.

Usually, it's a smallmouth bonanza, but figuring the water as cold as it was, it turned into a large pickerel catching zone. Bob with the fly rod caught the largest, with another biting through my 8" test line. Mike caught a beauty, though regretfully probably won't make it as it swallowed totally a large spinner...

I do not know who I made mad, but little later I lost the felt of my wading shoes, both of my favorite lures, and took a nose dive in a deep hole! Now soaked, my phone went nuts, the screen turned white, the word emergency in red started flashing and it started dialing 911! However, it would not let me talk or shut it down, and we were an hour from the camper. Eventually got the cover off and disconnected the battery and called the 911 center to explain. Luckily, I knew the dispatcher and he understood, though they were trying to trace the spotty signal. The phone eventually survived, but the camera is dead.

We gathered a few more fish before we returned and the party started. A couple of guys, Kip, and Shawn went out to pickerel central and got another one Sunday morning.

To me, I was disappointed in lack of fish, but the company was great along with the stories. It was brought up about future day trips, so we will see what happens...

December 7, 2015

Guest Post - Spurky On Kids & Fishing

I don't really do guest posts on the blog that much anymore, but whenever my buddy Spurky wants to write something, the floor is his. Spurky is a top-notch angler who taught me a ton about spin-fishing for trout when I lived in Pennsylvania. He's shown me around a ton of Central PA creeks while always being the kind guide & host. I figure this is the least I can do to return the favor.

Today Spurky takes aim on video games, parenting, and teaching kids to fish...

They say that children are the future of fishing. Actually, children are the future of everything.
Back to fishing, kids now have so many distractions, and of course, the phones. Video games of fishing are all over, and when kids play these games, and then - gasp-gasp - go outside and actually go fishing, you hear that it is too hot/cold, too muddy, too dusty, and so on and on. Then if they do get a fish, well it is too small, too slimy, etc, etc. They want to go back to the video game for the trophy fish. 
I am guilty, I have a few of these games that my wife bought me. Well, I get my butt kicked on them. After all, they are pre-programmed by a person in a studio. I have a game where I could basically match the water I fish during the summer, it even had my favorite lure. So I went fishing on the game, I got a few, but took a long time to get a "decent" amount of fish. In real life in about the same time, my arm would be getting tired from catching fish of all kinds and sizes. 
Parents today, because of computers in my opinion, do not take the time to raise their kids or take them on bonding trips like fishing. At the campground, I have a seasonal site right by the waterway that I wade for hours at a time, usually 4 to 5. I see parents taking kids out fishing on the creek, seeing sights that make me cringe and sorry for the kids. 
 I have seen rods - from 12' surf rods to rods that look like ice fishing rigs. Add to that lures ranging from saltwater size to little plastic worm bits, and most have floats (bobbers) attached to the line. Mind you this is along a creek at a campground with little slow moving water. Most currents carry the float from the center of the creek to the shore in about 10 seconds, so useless.  
Numerous times I have tried to explain what to do in set up and where to fish so the kids will catch fish, but 99% of the time I get treated like a leper, so have given up trying to help other peoples' kids out. This past year I tried to help, and again the leper routine be a well, ass, I went to where I told them to go, and caught fish about every cast, including 2 smallmouth over 16". Then I hear the father saying it was luck and I was a show off. I even asked if they wanted to try and offered extras of the lure I was using, and I got, "he just wants our spot, we will stay here." Oh well. 
I was very lucky, I have a daughter who was an extreme daddy's girl who went fishing with me all the time. It made me sad to lie to her so I could go out alone for me-time and to find new spots. She won a local tourney and was a state fishing champion. She picked up everything fast and was very competitive about fishing. She went with me on trips to Lake Ontario and to the large water at Raystown. 
 Alas, when she hit 16 it dropped off to no more fishing. She would bring friends out to the camper and get very upset that I was helping her friends catch fish instead of them being with her.  
I recently started taking other kids out fishing; I love teaching kids and actually loathe going out with adult learners. Our first trips out I scouted areas to take them, and we got a lot of fish, including the first trout for the one. I am not really big into numbers, but as young adults their first trip yielded 73 fish of all species, and the second trip with a second young adult yielded even more fish, including bass over 3lbs! 
This season I got to take another young man out for trout fishing. It was not my best trip, but we did get his first trout. 
Another trip was planned with another young adult, the weather and water conditions were far from good, but they wanted to go. We hit 8 different areas with only one sunny caught. I could tell he was bored and did my best to explain why this trip was not like the others. 
I really hope the youth of America can be taught to enjoy the slow, quiet, simple things like fishing, but with all the instant gratifications on phones and computer games and such it is going to be hard. I have not given up teaching, I am going to try again next spring/summer.

June 7, 2015

Guest Post - Angler Eye Safety

My buddy Spurky from central PA decided to send over a guest post the other day. I always enjoy a guest post from Spurky because he's a top notch spin fisherman...and my lure fishing Sensei. Posts from him change things up around here every now and then and take you from hooks and feathers to spinners and spoons.

In this post he explores safety on the water, particularly eye safety, something anglers probably take for granted until it's too late.

Please enjoy.

Safety while fishing, do we really think about it?

Nowadays, parents have kids basically in bubble wrap to do anything. Sorry, but I grew up in an era without child seats, riding in bed of pick ups, etc... Back to the point in hand, I tend to go fishing a lot, and picked up a few things.

The safety aspect I believe is most important to fishing is eye safety. I work as a mechanic so I have to wear safety glasses all day. My glasses have prescription lenses, so I basically wear safety glasses all the time, paid for by work.  :)

Spurky doing what he does best

When out fishing, the glasses have prevented me from getting branches in the eye when following someone, or from injuring myself when not paying attention. Now the reason I am so thankful so wearing them...

I was fishing for trout on the local over-sized hill which was no cell signal area. I would have to cross the stream twice to get back to my truck due to terrain. (I am lucky, my truck has OnStar if there's no cell coverage in an emergency). My lure got snagged, a 1/4 oz spoon, and I had 8-lb test on. Pulling to free the lure was not working so prepped myself to snap the line, as lure was in a deep hole 30 feet upstream.

Pulling to break it, I heard the line "singing," then it happened. The lure broke free and in a millisecond the spoon hit my glasses dead center in the left lens, knocking my glasses up my nose and off my head and laying me out on the ground. When got my senses back, I had blood all over from cuts on my nose. I found my glasses and saw a small chip in lens, it was dead center.

Not THE glasses, image used for effect

If I did not have my glasses on, my doctor said I most definitely would have lost my eye. I had the lens replaced and the eye doctor had the lens manufacturer check the lens. They estimated the impact at approximately 45 mph!!!

With the wide range of safety glasses out there, there is no excuse not to wear them while fishing. Whether it is a dry fly or a large metal bait, remember your sight is important and you need to protect it.

May 16, 2014

Guest Post - What's To A Bag?

My buddy Spurky from central PA decided to send over a guest post the other day.  I always enjoy a guest post from Spurky because he's a top notch spin fisherman.  Posts from him change things up around here every now and then and take you from hooks and feathers to spinners and spoons.

In this post he explores the perfect fishing bag for the wading spin-fisherman...and takes a shot at his trout fishing nemesis.  Probably an inside joke, but maybe some fellow Pennsylvanians may have heard the legend of Spurky's adversary.

Please enjoy.

I go fishing a lot.  When I go I almost always go wading from ankle deep to chest deep, so I cannot carry a box for obvious reasons.  For years, decades actually, I have used a fishing bag.  Actually a Bass Pro Shops crappie management bag that I bought over 25 years ago.

This bag has been through it all, weather wise and fishing wise.  It was snowed, iced, rained, and submerged.  It was the bag I used to take my daughter fishing with for over 14 years.  It was big enough to hold live bait when she went with, which was 90% of time :-).  Though small enough to carry around wading, carrying everything I needed, even soda cans.

Last couple years she (the bag) started to die, so to speak, and I have been looking for a replacement, but nothing out there comes close to its size or shape.  I spent a lot of money and time trying to find a suitable replacement.  I found one that was perfect, but during a spring cleaning it disappeared. The bags that are close are for fly fisherman, so it is not really set up for a steel/plastic chuckers.

Not long ago on a fishing site, a friend said he accidentally thought he bought a bag, but his wife said no, it was a purse.  So I looked at the local second hand store and for 1/1000 of the price of what is now called a fishing bag, I got a bag to use with tons of storage, and at low cost, easily replaced.  It sounds funny, but when a design works for you and you cannot find what you want or need, you've got to adapt and use what is available.  In fact no one knows it is a purse unless I tell them.  The best is the price; my last one I bought was .75 cents, and I used it for 2 wading seasons.

The bags in the picture, the top row costs over 75 dollars, bottom row $2.25!   I just wish someone would cater to the non boat/kayak fishermen who wade/shore fish a lot, I mean really why not?  Are we second class people?

Ya well, I love to wade.  It makes fishing (to me) more fun, and closer to nature.  The best thing is in clear water you're lower in the skyline so harder for them to see, and a lot of time I get to watch the fish chase, hit, and run.  Plus if they do not hit, watching them chase is a lesson into how to use lure, and if maybe I need another color to use....whoops COLOR...color does not mean anything just ask the "super trout man" Mr. F. Nale....:-).......anywho, what in a bag?

September 3, 2012

Huzzah for BBQ Burgers, Bass, & Child Punishment

On paper, Saturday was going to be quite the mission.  Fishing, bookended by pure gluttony.

The plan was to take the hour and change hike out to Lebanon, PA...we were going to hit a Hardee's for lunch - to eat the Memphis BBQ Thickburger - as that's seriously the closest Hardee's to where I live.  We like food, so we do stuff like that.  

Burger, pulled pork, BBQ sauce, cheese, onion straws

After that, my wife was going to drop me off over at Spurky's know, my occasional fishing buddy Spurky...and we'd fish while she and Lilly spent the next 4 hours or so going to fabric stores and other crap that I have no interest in.  

To cap it off, she'd pick me up afterwards and we'd eat dinner at Golden Corral.  Lilly has a fascination for "chocolate fountains" right now...I'm not sure why...and while I doubt the hygiene involved there, you only live once.  Germs are good to build a kid's immune system, right?  Also, much like Hardee's, the closest one happens to be in the Lebanon area.  So we were going to kill two birds with one stone.  

My wife also likes wine you can only get at the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire...well actually right outside the gates.  You don't have to go inside.  Sounds odd, and honestly is, but that was on the agenda too as that was also only a few minutes South.

What actually happened wasn't exactly what was planned, but worked out okay in the end.  

See, on Friday night Lilly decided to pretty much pull a temper tantrum at dinner.  She didn't want to eat her food and was kind of spazzing out and crying about it.  She's six, and she knows that's unacceptable.  Yeah, it's not always puppies and rainbows out of Lilly.  

If she's bad she typically "goes on red" (as in red light) meaning no TV, no video games, no playing with friends outside, and usually no something else she likes for at least 24 hours.  So we pulled the "chocolate fountain" offer for the following night off the table as well (even though K.C. & I still kinda wanted to go).  

With that bit of agenda shattering discipline now in place, there really was no reason to be out in the middle of nowhere for an extended time after lunch.  K.C. still wanted to go fabric shopping, but now didn't need to spend a ton of time at each store.  That shrunk my fishing window in about half, so it really wasn't worth meeting up with Spurky and doing the whole wet wading thing for less that two hours of action.

So we did hit Hardee's for lunch.  Two thumbs up on the Memphis BBQ Thickburger.  I need another twelve of those...

The best burger since my Crown Burger in Salt Lake.

K.C. did go fabric shopping, and she dropped me off at Stoever's Dam Park which was somewhat near one of the stores.  It's basically a smallish lake.  It's probably best fished by a small boat, but there was ample room for shore fishing.  

Crystal clear water
Is that a challenge?

I caught some small bass and assorted other panfish tossing an olive woolly bugger.

Almost two hours later, K.C. came back to pick me up, but keeping true to our ballbusting disciplinarian ways, no stop at Golden Corral for us (even though we drove right past it), just the Renaissance Faire winery for a very quick stop to pick up a couple bottles of some wine K.C. likes but I don't drink.  

Lilly & I just stood outside of the store (or should I say Shoppe) and people-watched far too many adults dressed up in either Hobbit or Jack Sparrow or Harry Potter costumes get out of their Toyota Camrys and walk toward the entrance of the Faire.  Of course with replica medieval swords and empty goblets in tow...but that's a given, right?

After that, back in the car and home.

Was it the day we all hoped it'd be?  No.  But K.C. got some fabric, I got in some fishing, and Lilly largely behaved herself, partially redeeming the prior night's hi-jinks.  I'll mark that one in the win column.

January 9, 2012

Spin Fishing Valley Creek with Troutnspoons

I had the pleasure of fishing with Spurky (aka troutnspoons) this past Saturday.  When not posting pictures of bikini clad fishing women to my Facebook wall, he had been persistently texting & facebooking me about fishing Valley Creek again, and last week he basically told me, "Valley on Saturday.  Be there at 7 AM.  What exit do I take again?"  I guess he was telling, not asking, so I didn't have a choice...not that I'd say no anyway...

Meeting in one of the larger parking lots we geared up and headed down to the stream, walking in a bit before starting to fish at around 7:20 AM.  And let me tell was freezing.  Literally.  You know, frozen guides type of fishing.  We both started the morning fishing spinning tackle and managed a couple follows and "love taps" from the resident trout, but no hookups.  In addition to the cold, the water was on the low side and very clear.  I always like Valley a little high and dirty (just like my wome....ah, forget it).

Catching up on all kinds of things, it was a pretty enjoyable morning despite not catching anything to that point. Spurky likes to talk, and is a pretty good storyteller, so I was entertained by all kinds of dirt on the locals (local to him - I don't know these people), and time flew as the sun finally decided come out to warm us up a bit.  

As we doubled back to where we parked the cars, I wanted to stop for two reasons.  The first was to switch out my spinning rod for a tenkara rod.  Spurky had never seen me use it, and asked if I'd give it a whirl.  The second was to find a freakin' band aid in the car.  I had acquired a nice slice in my left pointer finger from the fishing line...don't ask how, it just sort of appeared...and even though it didn't hurt, it was bleeding like a S.O.B. and wouldn't stop.  I usually keep band aids in my pack, but Lilly knows this little bit of information and gets into them and sticks them all on her stuffed animals.  Anyway, bloodletting crisis avoided, we moved on.

Well, the smell of blood must have been in the air because as we settled into fish the next section of water, out of nowhere, I got buzzed by a bat like 3 times.  Spurky had moved upstream a bit, so he wasn't there to see it, but it freaked me out a bit.  It wasn't a big bat or anything but I don't like anything flying around my dome.  After it calmed down and took a break on a nearby tree, I snapped a picture of it.  The zoom on my camera sucks, so this picture does too.

We fished a little bit more, but by now we started to run into some legit creek traffic.  It was now 10ish and it seems that all the late risers decided to show up at once, so we had to play leapfrog a bit to get to some of the better water.  While I played around with tenkara wet flies in the shallows, Spurky hit some deeper water about 30 yards ahead of me.  It was in that spot where he finally brought in a fish, his first at Valley, mercifully putting our fishless morning to an end.  I wish I had a picture (he was supposed to send one to me that he took on his cell phone, but I never got it), so we'll put this in it's place for now.

I wish I could say the floodgates opened from there, but they didn't.  We both ended up going fishless the rest of the morning as we continued to weave in and out of other anglers, before packing it up and calling it quits around noon.  Spurky had a two-ish hour drive ahead of him and there was no sense sticking around for this nonsense.  Even without catching our limits, fishing with Spurky is always a good time, I look forward to heading up his way for brookies the next go round.

December 7, 2011

Wednesday Nibbles - The "Why Not" Edition

Hey, hadn't written one of these in a figured why not today.  It's the holiday season after all.  Yeah, I realize the holidays have nothing to do with the Wednesday Nibbles, but what does that matter?  This is the internet, you're allowed to make stuff up...


Stumped for a holiday gift?  Want to add to your t-shirt collection?  No, I didn't say T! shirt...I said t-shirt.  Well, if you are, check out "friend of Troutrageous" The Freshwater Fly, who is selling t-shirts in the name of Project Healing Waters.  Makes a great gift for yourself or a friend while sending some cash to a good cause.  But act quick, you only have until December 9th to get in on this action!

I take a size XL...

HOLYCRAPDIDYOUSEESILVERANDGOLD?!?!?!?!  Based on the reaction in the comments over on Fly Fishilicious and YGF, Ivan's latest short is going over well.  Very well.  I think the Le Mouching clan is digging it too, although I never have any idea what they're saying.  I personally think Owl Jones put it best on the Google+ machine...

If you haven't seen YGF's latest yet, do yourself a favor and click play below.  Especially if you're at work right now...I guarantee that it's much more gratifying than practicing mad VLOOKUP skillz on your Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.

Hey...anyone notice yesterday's OBN's Quick Fire interview?  If you missed it, it was with yours truly.  (That means me).  Seriously, of all the days for the OBN to get all ambitious on us and decide to write TWO posts (like who does that?), it was yesterday, so my day in the sun was immediately eclipsed by a "Wild Places" writing prompt.  F#ckers.

Must be karma getting me back for Sunday's "first-impressions" post.  Sorry Fishpond, I suck.  Oh, and Rebecca, I'm only partially kidding about the posting thing.  :P

Anyway, to keep to the theme of "quick fire" I tried to the answers very short and to the point, as if I was playing $25,000 (or perhaps $100,000 with inflation) Pyramid or something.  I did enough blabbering over at EMBT a month or so ago, so wanted to keep this one tight.  If you didn't read it, enjoy.

Now for some blog love...and although I teased it on Facebook about a month back, I don't ever think I gave occasional Troutrageous! guest poster Spurky any love over here.  Yeah, Spurky's spread his wings and is writing his own blog called troutnspoons.

When it comes to fishing for small stream trout with lures, Spurky is my Mr. Miyagi, so check out his blog when you get a chance.  Oh, and Spurky...if you're reading this...cut out the fishing for a bit and rest up man.  No more mini-strokes on the stream, okay?  Deal.

To close, I'm off on another business trip later today.  Last week was Miami, FL & South Beach, which has to be home to the most tattoo parlors and hookah shops within a 10 block radius in the world.

This week, my travels take me to beautiful Phenix City, Alabama....a city so awesome they left out the "o."  Actually, it's my first time going there, so it could very well be gorgeous and in no need of any stinkin' os.  I'll let you know when I get back (or if you're lucky, in real time on Twitter).  Later all....