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

September 19, 2011

Jail Break!

Hurricane Irene did a lot of damage a few weeks ago.  High winds, ridiculous amounts of rain, caused well documented catastrophes all over the East Coast.  Even after Irene, remnants from Tropical Storm Lee came through and made what was already wet even wetter, which led to high water all over the place, flooding, and even more damage.  But you all know this already, right?

What is left of a water gauge
Downed trees everywhere
A pair, totally uprooted

Well...what if I told you that it also caused a Pennsylvania trout nursery to overflow, allowing the majority of its late summer fingerlings to escape from their pens and make a run for it in the stream located beside?  An unannounced & unintended late summer stocking thanks to Irene & Lee?...well two of my friends (Spurky and Swattie) gave me the "hint-hint" about this late last week, so this past Saturday I hopped into the car and made the couple hour drive to help play Sheriff...or at least Deputy.  I'm typically not a stocked trout chaser, (you know me and Valley's native browns), but someone had to make sure the ex-prisoners were behaving themselves...

Who needs a gun and handcuffs...don't hate...this isn't a fly fishing only blog...

So yeah, we fished...

Spurky working beneath a bridge
First fish of the day
Swattie brought the fly rod

And fished...

Spurky fishing some newly created cover
Swattie working a run close by

And the closer we got to the top of the hill...the more ridiculous it got.  Bring your spinner through a pool, 7 or 8 fish swarmed to follow.  It was almost like fishing for bluegill or sunfish.  Every cast...slam...another feisty little 6 to 7 inch rainbow or brookie on the hook.  How many did we catch?  A lot.  That's all I'll say, I'm not a "numbers" guy.

There were two memorable fish of the lot that I will specifically mention.  The first was a 12"+ rainbow that surprised me.  After catching all the small guys all day, this one made the loose drag on the spinning reel sing.  Wasn't expecting to find this one.  Must have been a holdover from the Spring stocking.

The second was a small native brown.  It was the only brown I caught all day, plucked from beside some smaller rocks within a swift and narrow current.  It clearly wasn't from the nursery, which was nice.  I just wonder how he and his fellow natives will fare this Fall & Winter with the influx of all of these hungry jailbirds during the brown's prime spawning season?  So back he went, hopefully to get a little bit bigger.

We ended the day with Swattie catching a pretty brookie at the top of the hill.  The bright sun that was hidden most of the morning brought out the distinctive markings on this fish.

August 25, 2011

Guest Post - Spurky on "Numbers"

Spurky is back today with another guest post.  Today's topic is numbers.  No, he's not a mathematician or a bad CBS drama, he's actually talking about the number of fish caught.  To some they mean everything, to others they're inconsequential. 

What is it about the fetish with numbers when talking about fishing, especially on computer chat rooms & forums?

I catch more fish than you do

Now I am a fair trout fisherman, and do okay on the multi-species front, so why would I care about someone who continually claims up to 100 fish a day?

I even admit zero fish days, which is death on forum boards, but if you've got zero and not triple digits in some forums you stink.  I guess ego is what some need to survive in the fishing room behind the computer screen.

I know of a few posters who always seems to claim mega amounts of fish caught in a single day, some on just a single lure - but gee no pictures, or 10 pics of the same fish at different angles.

Some of us live in populated areas with heavy fishing pressure and water sports during spring through fall, so cut me/us a break. It seems that most of these number whores fish alone (hmmmm), and when asked where or if anyone can come along, they get all selfish and say,"no, that's my secret fishing hole".

Silly me, I take anyone who wants to tag along with, I like to fish with friends to learn new things - amazing how many ways you can snag a tree  :)

Maybe I am an old fuddy-duddy, but fishing to me is not a numbers game to prove one's stature, but rather an escape from the real world, and at times a battle of wits (so to speak) in hard-fished waters.

I guess it is just a ego thing that I have to learn to put up with.


What are your thoughts on numbers...or heck...even fishing forums? 

Is catching a ton of fish essential to a fun day on the water?  
Do you think less of the angler that meets the skunk, or the one quick to highlight his or her awesomeness?
Is an 8 inch fish the equal of an 18 inch fish?  

Your thoughts are welcomed in the comments below.

August 18, 2011

Guest Post - Spurky on "Magic Lures"

Spurky sent me another guest post this morning, and I really like where he is going with this. I know when I pick up my fly or tackle box, my fingers subconsciously go to certain patterns first, regardless of conditions. Spurky explores this a bit, then gives his own personal example:

We all have a favorite go to lure, the one we drag out when fishing gets tough. Some of us even tend to get disheartened when even it does not produce.

 Last year found a "magic lure" so to speak. I had been having amazing success with a blue over chartreuse crank bait. I decided to search for a minnow hard bait in that color, which turned out to be almost impossible. I found something close that caught my eye at Bass Pro Shops and grabbed it. A floating Rapala in the color called Cold Steel.

I took it out on my next wading trip,and gosh have mercy on my soul, it was a killer! I mean everything from sunfish to juvenile muskies - they all just beat that poor thing up. Then I lost it on a sunken tree and got that disheartened little boy feeling. I did well on the crank, but it was not the same.

This year that new poor lure has been beaten up so bad by smallies and pickerel the hooks broke and had to be replaced. I do not do number games, but many a trip I switched lures to get a rest!

One question/oddity about this lure is that a lot of times it gets throttled sitting on the surface right after a cast. I got to the point of waiting 5 or 10 seconds before bringing it in, and all but 2 or 3 times the "hammer" has been smallies!

It is amazing that 1 thing can bring so much joy, fun, excitement, and smiles to an already great day on the water.

That is my "magic" lure, what is yours? Why?  
Feel free to share in the comments below.

July 31, 2011

The Worst Fly Fishing Guide On Earth

Yeah, that honor has got to go to me.  Or at least the title of worst "amateur" guide on Valley Creek.  Yeah, that Valley Creek...the one where I always catch those little wild brown trout that regularly grace the e-pages of this blog.  Unfortunately, every time I try to show someone where to catch 'em, it hardly goes as planned.

First, my friend Spurky.  He got the skunk two winters ago.  Not sure if he's been back since.

Next my friend "Swattie" from the PAanglers forum.  I never wrote a blog post about it, but at least he caught one that day.  Luckily I do have the pics to prove it...
Swattie bringing fish to hand...!

Yesterday, it was Matt, (aka Functioning Fishaholics guy) who fell victim to my jinxed guiding ways.

We met around 7AM in one of the main parking areas.  I brought some extra gear like tenkara rods, but we decided we were going to fish with the fly rods...Matt had his fiberglass Cortland (which is a really cool retro rod BTW), I had my Redington CT.  The weather was warm, the water really low and gin clear, and the sun bright in the blue sky.  In the back of my mind I knew the conditions were going to make this a difficult day of fishing, but we pushed on regardless.
See where Matt is standing?  Yeah, the water would normally be ankle to calf deep

I showed Matt a few of my favorite stretches of water to start...showed him where to put the fly & let him fish all of the best runs first...nothing.  It wasn't until we hit the third section that either of us got any action - I got a take drifting a nymph - but wasn't able to get a firm hookset.  F-bombs quickly followed.

To his credit, Matt pushed on and kept fishing despite the general ineptitude of his guide.  We hit a few more riffles and holes but still produced pretty much nothing after about 3 and a half hours of fishing.  I was impressed with Matt's fishing, especially since he's a relative newcomer to fly fishing.  He had some issues keeping the line out of the canopy and tall grass to start, but quickly found his groove in the somewhat tight quarters that define Valley in the summer.
That bridge looks familar
That pointed rock at 4 o'clock...that's usually submerged

We did a little bit more fishing, again to no avail except for another failed hookset on a rise to a dry fly by yours truly (& more F-bombs) when things really started to degenerate.  Matt decided he wanted to use his fly rod to go "jigging" off the side of bridge for the pod of suckers directly below.  He actually got some of the suckers to take a look, I think even one took a swipe, but no hookups.  Whatever it takes, right?
That would be the jig cast...

After that bit of nonsense, little more trout fishing took place about a hundred yards upstream, but again, nothing....before Matt decided wanted to take one more shot at the suckers from water level.  So I stood up above on the bridge and directed his casts..."a little to the left....I mean right...I mean your left"....that kind of stuff, until he finally got his first take by a sucker.  As with my fish earlier, the sucker was either just mouthing the fly or found a way to kick the hook and it never got to hand.

Fortunately, that little distraction, coupled with watching a nice 12"+ brown trout go apeshit after a watersnake slithered beneath the rock it was holding against, were at least entertaining ways to kill about a half hour.
No, I meant my left, not your left...

At that point we had been fishing for the better part of 5 hours, had no fish to hand, and at least I was starting to get hungry.  (Did the guide pack a box lunch...heck no...see what I mean when I say shitty guide?)  So we took the opportunity to call it quits, accept the skunks, and talked fishing, blogging, and the combination of the two on the hike back to the cars.

Matt's a real good guy to go fishing with, an even better sport to put up our unfortunate fish count, and someone I look forward to fishing with again...perhaps on his home turf the next time, targeting smallies either on the fly or *gasp* with the spinning rods.

So there it is.  Anybody who wants to fish with me on Valley, consider yourself forewarned.  I will happily meet you there and give you the lay of the land, but it will likely be in your best interest to go our separate ways following....especially if your plan is to catch fish.

Post Script:
Matt also wrote his account of yesterday's debacle on Valley on his Functioning Fishaholics blog found HERE.  If interested, Matt's also quite active in the social scene, you can check him out on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.  I also think he does that StumbleUpon thing...but I still have no idea how that works...

July 8, 2011

Trout Fishing Lebanon County, PA With Spurky

I played hooky from work yesterday to go fishing with Spurky.  It had been a little over a year since we last fished, and in light of recent events I just needed a day to clear my thoughts.

Spurky lives about an hour and a half West from me, near Hershey, PA.  He offered to be a "guide," and show me around some of the local creeks & streams in his area.  Our game plan was to hit the Quittapahilla Creek (The Quittie) first, shoot over to Indiantown Run (IR), and finish up at Trout Run. (I think I got those names right).

Let me say in advance, Spurky makes for a great guide, exercising great patience while I repeatedly & inaccurately casted toward endless treefish, stickfish, and rockfish throughout the morning. He certainly earned his guide card yesterday.
Quittie Creek PA

We started the morning hitting a 3 sections of the Quittie. It was a warm morning, with temperatures in the high 80s (it would top out in the low 90s later in the afternoon). Water levels seemed low and mostly clear, but nice and cool. We both had spinning gear in tow, and I was tossing a Mepps Agila (it had worked well for me last year) and Spurky was working a BPS Spoon of some design.
Spurky Trout Fishing

Fishing was hit or miss on the Quittie, with several stretches giving us a the skunk, but one section that ran behind a cow pasture was extremely productive. In retrospect, it ended up being the most action we'd see on the day, but what we lacked in quantity, we made up for in quality, as evidenced by these pretty 'bows.
Quittie Creek PA Rainbow Trout
 Quittie Creek PA Rainbow Trout
 Quittie Creek PA Rainbow Trout
 Quittie Creek PA Rainbow Trout

Just as we were going to hit the last hole, it happened.  It?  Yeah, it.  Spurky got into a pig.  I was fishing a riffle when I noticed Spurky with a nice bend in his rod...he motioned for me to come over quickly, not just to see the fish he was fighting, but he needed a net man.  And let me tell you, this fish was a bruiser.  I scampered down the bank into the water and tried to net the fish - but it was too big for my 20" net!  We didn't have a tape measure, but this fish ran at least a thick 24"...the largest Spurky claims to have pulled from the Quittie to date!
Quittie Creek PA Moby Dick 24 Inch Rainbow Trout

On the way out, I decided I wanted to fish out that hole, just to see if that whale had any younger brothers or sisters.  Wouldn't you know on my last cast, a sibling obliged with a swift rising strike from the depths.
Quittie Creek PA Rainbow Trout

After that, we moved on to Indiantown, but Spurky wasn't impressed with the water levels.  He let me fish two quick holes near the road - I caught a small creek chub and a tiny native trout (still with its parr marks) - but I didn't really think to take any pics.  Since the water was low we hopped back in Spurky's Hybrid truck (fancy right?) and he entertained me with the story of the Moonshine Church & the Blue-Eyed Six during the drive over to Trout Run.  The're ghosts up in thar hills!

Our time on Trout Run didn't end up yielding much either, so I won't write too much about it.  We only spent 20 or 30 minutes fishing it, and most of it was the hike/wade in.  This is small, tight quarters fishing.  Tenkara rods need not apply.  Net result...Spurky got a smallie, I got a rock bass.  Interesting harvest for a place called "Trout" Run, right?
Spurky on Trout Run PA

After that we called it a day.  I had a bit of a drive home in front of me, and I think we were both a little drenched under our hippers (if you know what I mean) from the heat.

I can't thank Spurky enough for dragging me around yesterday.  Despite the tough fishing, I couldn't have had a better time.  I mean it was mostly new (to me) water, we ended up with some memorable fish at the end of our lines, it was a day away from the office (always a plus), and truthfully, it was simply just the kind of medicine this angler needed this week.

June 23, 2011

Congratulations Are In Order

Occasional Troutrageous! guest poster "Spurky" dropped me a note yesterday to let me know he's been added to the YakDaddy Pro Staff.  You might remember (or not) that his first guest post was an informal review of the YakDaddy, so I guess in a way this is coming full circle.

Image from

You'll notice in the pic pulled from the YakDaddy website above, Spurky was selected because he was the first customer to use the product in an Emotion Fisherman Pro, and helped develop the compatible mounting hardware.  Pretty cool to see a manufacturer using actual everyday customers as testers.

If there's anyone who is more deserving of this honor, I don't know 'em.  Spurky is a genuine good guy and I'm sure will be a great ambassador for YakDaddy.  Who knows...maybe he might even have time to drop in here every now and then...

Congrats & good luck Spurky!

May 8, 2011

Guest Post - Spurky on Taking Kids Fishing

Over at the OBN, there's a contest this week (when isn't there one) sponsored by Take Me Fishing.  This isn't an entry into that contest, because it goes down a little bit of a different path, but with the weather warming across the country, I thought it was a good time to spread the wisdom of "Spurky" yet again.

A few weeks back he sent me over this short post on ways to make a kids' fishing outing more enjoyable. I figure if even one reader follows up and takes a kid fishing after reading this, it was well worth the copy & paste.

As you all know, I have been fishing with my daughter Sam (Bubba) since she was old enough to hold a rod. Taking a child out fishing no matter what the age can be trying and hard, but also very fun and rewarding for all involved. I just want to offer some advice and experience to help others who take children out, or want to take them along. 
The first tip is to usually find a place with a lot fish. Any kind of fish will do. Action is important to kids that have short attention spans.

I have been blessed with a wonderful daughter who is still a Daddy's girl. Just doing something with Daddy was awesome to her. She has won awards which help keep interest, but she loves the outdoors, partially from discussing the outdoors to her early, and showing the wonders in it.
When bringing in fish, a lot of kids wanna do it themselves, but sometimes cannot reel it in. I used to have Sam walk away from the water to help pull fish in. Later, when she would let me, I would hold the rod mid shaft so she could focus totally on reeling, then graduated up to helping reel then by herself when she got bigger. 
If your child wants to leave do not force them to stay, just pack up and go. Sam used to be afraid that I would be mad if she was ready to leave before I was. It took a while to "train" her that Daddy won't be mad,and the trip is and was about her enjoyment and not be afraid to let me know she wanted to go no matter what the reason. 
The second tip is to watch the weather, a non-cold or rainy day is a must for some.
Weather for her can be rough, especially the cold so layered her, and used heating bags to help. Add that the truck was near to heat her up (I ran truck till hot, and turned off engine before she got in).
Bathroom breaks were another obstacle. A lot of times we were near the truck which I put a small portable potty chair and paper for her to use; or we had a blow up one, and a small space blanket and made a tent she could use to go. 
The final tip is to create diversions for slow time. 
One important thing I did was add a diversion when she was younger. My pop bought Sam a kinda big fishing bag that had a big compartment on front which I loaded with books she loved and a small magnifying glass. She could read or look at bugs, plants and such with the glass. When she got tired of reading she went back to fishing. We also carried a small net to catch bugs. She also played with the live bait, even to point of naming them. 
Wading is for later years but it adds enjoyment for the child. I used to put a life jacket on her just in case, but always tried to keep her within arms reach even if it meant I did not fish to add the safety factor. 
These worked for me, and hope they help you when you take a child out, however these are just suggestions. Different things can and should be tried.

So I hope you enjoyed Spurky's tips and take some of them with you the next time you take a kid on the water. A lot of them are simply common sense, but in today's times, that can unfortunately be in short supply

February 20, 2011

Guest Post - Spurky on Lake Ontario & Redline Sport Charters

Spurky seems to enjoy writing these guest posts.  I may have created a monster.  They keep piling up in my Facebook inbox.  So I guess I'll let him back.  In this installment, he gives some tips on maximizing a trip to Lake Ontario.
17 times over last 25 years, I have gone fishing out on Lake Ontario.  I prefer Lake Ontario better than Lake Erie for a few reasons - the locals are friendlier, it's easier to get to, and I've never had a bad time there.  I drive 6 miles to I-81 North, and stay on it for 4.5 hours, turn left at Exit 36 Pulaski, and drive until the road ends at Walla, Port Ontario.  The majority of the trip on I-81 is through the countryside with great scenery.
For 15 years, I went with the same guide, but during a hiatus when Samantha was young he retired.  2007 was my first trip back up in years, this time with Samantha, going after browns.  We had a fine trip, with a surprise steelhead for Sammy. 
In 2009 we went back up together.  Samantha loves the beach, so we went to Sandy Island Beach Park, which was fun, but got Sam nervous due to the height of the waves.  After the beach we hit Brandy's Sunrise Restaurant.  Brandy's has great food, personal service, and cheap, cheap prices.  We stayed at Costello's Cabins, because Sam loved them the last time, but Port Lodge is also just down the road.  Woody's Tackle Shop is right on corner, they have everything and ALWAYS give great fishing advice. 
We went out on Lake Ontario with Redline Sport Charters, (Patrick Thayer on Facebook). Samantha is super shy and quiet - well Patrick got her out of her shell and we had a great time!  
Fishing was down due to a nasty front that went through 2 days prior but we ended up with 4 nice kings, including Sam's first salmon.  It hit a dipsy diver 350 feet out.  By the time we got it stopped it was 475 feet out and then pulled 3 awesome runs!  It never gave up, diving 200 feet straight down when it got to the boat.
If you ever wanna go to Lake Ontario and do some fishing or hunting, look up Patrick Thayer on Facebook.  The man is an awesome guide!
Thanks again to Spurky for helping out by supplementing my recent lack of content.  Things should be more or less back to normal this week, but Spurky is always welcome, so you never know when or where he'll pop up again.

I've never been to Lake Ontario. That said, I trust Spurky's judgment and opinions of places & folks so I have no problem posting this endorsement of their operations. As with all guest posts on Troutrageous! the opinions expressed are solely those of the guest author as I'm generally too lazy to come up with opinions of my own.

February 15, 2011

Guest Post - Spurky on Blue Mountain Outfitters

Spurky is back with another guest post.  This time he professes love for Blue Mountain Outfitters, a canoe & kayak retailer just outside of Harrisburg, PA.

BMO is a outstanding full service paddle sports store, well actually train the business is located in the old train station in Marysville, PA. If ya like paddling and trains thats your place, especially considering one set of train tracks is 3 feet from building!!!
BMO - Pot o' Gold at the end of the (double) rainbow!
They carry every conceivable item you would need for paddling, kayak, canoes, etc... The whole staff is well versed in the business and are super friendly, non pushy types! Hard to find now a days.

They carry both new and used equipment, so finding something in your budget should not be too hard. Float trips can also be scheduled with the staff, and rentals are available.

So if ya get the time check them out, and enjoy the wide open showrooms & good company. You will not regret it!

On that note, I thank Spurky for another guest post and once again picking up my slack.

I've never stepped foot in Blue Mountain Outfitters. That said, I trust Spurky's judgment and opinions of folks so I have no problem posting this endorsement of their operations. As with all guest posts on Troutrageous! the opinions expressed are solely those of the guest author as I'm generally too lazy to come up with opinions of my own.

February 3, 2011

A Guest Post? The YakDaddy Slider

Today brings something new to Troutrageous!  A guest post of sorts, from a fisherfriend I met on the forum and have had the pleasure of sharing some time on the water with.

Jim, aka "Spurky" is one heck of a multi-species angler...not to mention the dude speaks whatever language trout when he recommends something I listen.  He sent me a message on Facebook the other night asking me to write a post about a product he's fond of...

"...this product I just got from YakDaddy and it is an awesome set up for sit on top kayaks. Holds a lot, real convenient, and is well designed and put together. Would you post it on your T1 blog?"

Liking the idea, but not owning a kayak myself (so no context), I asked him to elaborate a bit and said I'd happily post it here. One less post I actually have to write myself, you know? So here's a guest product review, a la Spurky.

"The Slider is a fishing system for use on sit on top kayaks. Basically it comes in a complete package. I watched video and thought it would be a better idea than having rod mounts in set positions. I now can troll with ease, just by sliding it forward and setting the rod angles. Pulling it back I can still fish with everything right at my finger tips, no reaching around behind me for my tackle box or drink (drink holder was added by me,it has pre-drilled holes for extras). The tacklebox included is a fantastic one with lots of storage. I think anyone who fishes alot with a SOT, this would be a great addition!"

(For more on the Slider, visit the YakDaddy website HERE)

I know there's some 'yak anglers out there reading this blog. What do you think of the Slider? You got one? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.

I've never touched the YakDaddy Slider featured in this product review. I assume Spurky currently holds no association with YakDaddy whatsoever and bought this with his own hard-earned money. If he was secretly a salesman for YakDaddy, he'd probably tell me, as anyone who knows Spurky knows he ain't shy. As with all independent gear reviews at Troutrageous!, I try my best to keep my opinions honest and unbiased, even when I don't write them myself.

May 23, 2010 Get-Together

Yesterday was finally the day for the long awaited "unofficial" get-together.  That's what we've been calling it since early this year anyway - "unofficial" simply because it was just to be some folks getting together to go fishing, no set agenda, activities, etc...

Member "Spurky" was our "unofficial" host, and a handful of us all met up at the Lickdale Campground in Jonestown, PA early on Saturday morning.
L to R:  tmiriverrat, Swattie87, kevin07, me
Photo Credit: DRY
Spurky61 & Bubba
Photo Credit: DRY

There was to be two parallel outings to take place - some of the group was going to float & fish a section of the Swatara Creek, while another group was going to wade some tributaries for trout.  I was in the latter group, and while the other guys were off with their canoe & kayak, member "Swattie" took me up to Trout Run, in search of some brookies.

I have to admit, fishing Trout Run was very different from any trout fishing I was used to.  In many stretches it was very confined & overgrown, and only required a short 2 or 3 foot cast into what I'd call a "micro pool" formed by a downed log, rock, or root ball.  Swattie fishes this water quite a bit with Spurky, so he was my guide for the day.
A sippy cup found in its natural environment

We all got into some fish on Trout Run (Spurky & Bubba caught up with us later), my highlight being a nice 7 or 8 inch brookie.  In addition to the trout, we also caught our fair share of fallfish & chub on our wade downstream.
Swattie with fallfish

Spurky with trout

After a quick trip back to the campground for some lunch (& to see if the floaters had returned yet - they hadn't), Swattie and I headed out to Indiantown to target some feisty little sunfish.  We fished this stretch for about 2 and a half hours, and although Swattie said the action was a lot slower than normal, between the two of us, we did land quite a few fish.  The most memorable for me being a pig of a red breasted sunfish, as well as a larger sized fallfish.



After that, it was time to pack it in.  Everyone convened back at the campground to show off some pictures and tell fish tales from their respective adventures before going our separate ways.  The guys on the float did well too - getting into bass, fallfish, even a native brook trout!  Spurky was an excellent "unofficial" host, and Swattie did a great job as guide.  It was one of those experiences where it truly was nice to finally put some faces to names of some really good fishermen.