Showing posts with label West Branch Tioughnioga River. Show all posts
Showing posts with label West Branch Tioughnioga River. Show all posts

November 20, 2012

Escape To Central New York - The 2012 Edition

As previously mentioned, the family & I just concluded a long weekend's worth of vacation up central New York.  It was very brief, but well worth the trip and pending traffic fines (but more on that later).

Our getaway started on Friday afternoon...I had taken off work and with the car properly packed and the dog dropped off for boarding, we headed from our home outside of Philadelphia, up to Ithaca, NY.  We weren't staying in Ithaca, but wanted to do something before we checked into our hotel in nearby we went waterfalling.  (Is that a verb?)

First stop was Robert H. Treman State Park...where there are several waterfalls and hippies camping.  We hiked in about 3 or so miles from the one parking area.  We saw a few falls on the way, but never quite made it to Lucifer Falls, which was a little further in.  It was getting late and we felt it time to backtrack to the car before it got too dark.

After that, we made a quick stop at Buttermilk Falls.  This one was an easy stop, it's literally 50 yards off the road, practically a roadside attraction and very little walking necessary!

After that we literally went across the street and made pigs of ourselves ate dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings.  It happens.  From there, over to the hotel...

Our accomodations were at the Hope Lake Lodge at Greek Peak.  It's a really nice hotel, quite fancy with all new everything and even little kitchens in each room.  It was the same place we stayed and enjoyed last year.  The plan for Saturday was to sleep in a bit, and then I was going to go fishing in the late morning while K.C. & Lilly went to the indoor waterpark at the convene around 3PM to clean up and then head to town for dinner.

So on Saturday while they did this...

I headed over to the West Branch of the Tioughnioga River and did this...

Fishing was an absolute blast.  The river runs right through town and alongside a shopping center that houses the Cortland Line factory store so I didn't only fish, but I also stopped in and picked up some trinkets before heading back to the hotel.  A nice close to a perfect afternoon on the water.

Once reassembled and showered at the hotel, we piled back into the car and went to have dinner at one of our favorite places, the Hollywood Restaurant (a joint that knows how to feed you)...

With full bellies, we closed out the night, and effectively our little vacation back at the hotel.  K.C. goofed around on the internet, Lilly stayed up way past her bedtime, and I watched both Kansas State & Oregon lose their respective football games.  Notre Dame #1...really?

Sunday was the end.  We had breakfast at the hotel, packed up our stuff and headed back to Pennsylvania.  The drive back was comfortable enough...until I got busted for speeding somewhere around Binghamton, NY.  Oh well, I guess the out of state plates and a rear window full of fly fishing stickers will make you an easy target, just ask The River Damsel.  While unhappy to get a ticket, I do gratefully thank the officer for not putting the total screws to he kindly rounded down on the MPH...if you know what I mean.

Anyway, it was a very successful (albeit brief) mission to central New York.  With two years in a row under our belts, this just might become an annual thing.  Well, as long as Groupon keeps on sending discount hotel fares our way.  That said, if we do decide to head North again, K.C. is definitely doing the driving.

November 19, 2012

Tioughnioga Tarpon

Didn't have a blog post in me last night.

Just thought I'd throw up some random pictures from the weekend...with a real post tomorrow.

October 16, 2011

Escape To Central New York - The Conclusion

Did I do a good enough tease at the end of the first post to make you want to come back for more?  No?  Well what are you doing here then?

So picking up where I left off, I had just finished fishing and was going to make another fishing-related stop.

Back in the car, I headed over to the Cortland Line Factory Outlet Store.  Let me tell you something, if you're ever in Cortland, NY, this is a must stop.  It's basically your normal fly shop, except all the products come from one manufacturer...and I do regret not taking any pictures inside the place...for no other reason than to observe the wall of fly line.  It's like walking into Foot Locker and looking at sneakers...but they are all different flavors of fly line.

Pic lifted from their Facebook page

They had all the premium lines, and then had a whole rack of what I believe were factory seconds starting at $15.  In addition, they had a ton of leaders, tippet, rods (including Diamondback Glass), reels, flies from Turral and Riverborn, all that good stuff.  The only thing I didn't see were hats.  I would have bought a hat...especially if it said Climax (their leader brand) on it...because...well...that would have been too good to pass up.  I did buy some flies...just because.

The guys inside were pretty friendly too...I chatted them up for a little bit to find out what I should be tossing the next time I come up.  One thing I need to make note of; bring the 6-weight for the West Branch of the Tioughnioga.  While the fish on the 3-weight that I really brought to fish Factory Brook was fun...they grow 'em up to 30+ inches in the WBT.  When I told one of the guys I was fishing the river with a 3-weight, his immediate response was, "does that rod have a warranty?"  HA!

The rest of the trip really didn't have much of a fishing theme to it.  After I headed back to the hotel to meet up with K.C. & Lilly, we all got cleaned up (them de-chlorinated, me de-stinkafied) and headed out for an afternoon of exploring.

First we drove about 45 minutes to a vineyard/winery.  They were having a tasting event and K.C. loves her some wine.  They also had live music, BBQ, and ice cream to keep Lilly & I busy while Mom got her drank on.

After that, we headed toward Ithaca.  We really didn't know anything about it other than it was at the bottom of Cayuga Lake (one of the Finger Lakes) and is where Cornell University is located.

Passing through we were stopped dead in our tracks at Ithaca Falls.  Hopping out of the car we went streamside to get a closer look (and of course skip some stones).  Could these falls be any more beautiful?

Lilly none too impressed

There was also a gentleman fly fishing at the foot of the falls.  He was dead drifting something and did catch a fish in the 10 or so minutes I was jealously watching from the shoreline.  I'd have asked him what he was tossing, but the falls were so loud, he'd have never heard me.  I want to will go back and fish those falls.

After the falls and a quick cruise through downtown Ithaca, it was getting a bit late, so we headed back toward Cortland for a quick round of...

Random, I know...

Saving the best for last was dinner.  We were totally winging it, but as we drove through Cortland we saw a lot of people lined up outside a place called the Hollywood Restaurant.  Figured if there was a bunch of folks congregating outside, it couldn't be bad, right?

That hunch was spot on.  The restaurant was themed old Hollywood, with lots of movie posters and memorabilia on the walls.  The menu was largely Italian, but there was a little bit of something for everyone.  They had me when they didn't bring out just a basket of rolls with dinner, but a whole freakin' loaf of bread.  My last name starts and ends in a vowel, me and my people are fond of bread.

Note large Marilyn Monroe statue in center of restaurant.  So cool.

After that, honestly we were all wiped.  We headed back to the hotel, K.C. & I had a few drinks on our patio, then we all called it a night.  

We'd drive home after checking out the following morning, knowing we'd be back to the area again in the future.  After all, my new NY State fishing license has a whole year's worth of fishing still needing to be used.  Wonder if that was intentional...

October 14, 2011

Escape To Central New York - Part One

Last weekend the family headed up to central New York State to spend a rather agenda-free weekend away from everything.  See, a few months back, K.C. saw a deal on an inexpensive room rate offered by an out of season ski lodge on a "Groupon"-like site called RueLaLa.  Hope Lake Lodge was advertised virtually brand new, and had all of the amenities one could want, including an indoor waterpark for the kids.  However being a fisherman, the one thing I fixated on was the location...Cortland, NY.  You Cortland, New York.  The credit card came out of my wallet...

I took Friday off from work and a three and a half hour drive found us at our destination.  Hope Lake Lodge was as nice as advertised.  Beautiful building, wood beams throughout.  Our room had a rustic theme, but modern amenities sucha as a flat screen TV and fully stocked kitchen even with marble countertops.  Fancy, fancy.

Kinda looks like a Cabela's, right?
The room...beyond that door is a small patio overlooking Hope Lake
The lake, which was "closed"

However the place was also pretty empty...hence the nice weekend rate.  I have a feeling it isn't quite as quiet when there's snow on the slopes.  We took it easy that first night, got a lay of the land, grabbed a quick bite to eat, and then went to bed.  I did watch a little baseball on TV before I went to bed that night, however I refuse to acknowledge the result.

Saturday morning was going to be my chance to fish a little bit.  The "deal" was I would go exploring some recommended fishing spots for about 4 or 5 hours in the AM while K.C. took Lilly to the indoor waterpark.  We'd basically just all meet back up at the room at lunch and do a family adventure in the afternoon.

My first stop was Factory Brook, a very small stream, in the neighboring Village of Homer.  Factory Brook is a really beautiful stretch of small water, no more than 15 feet wide, and according to my research, home to wild brown & brook trout.

Note I said "research" in the prior paragraph because I unfortunately didn't have much luck at Factory Brook.  Limited by time, and wanting to check out another stream, I only fished there for about an hour.  No, I didn't catch anything, but I want to go back.  The beauty of this pool haunts my dreams.

I'll be back...

The next stop was the West Branch of the Tioughnioga River.  I think it's pronounced "Tee-off-knee-oga" for those following along at home.  Compared to Factory Brook, the section I fished was downright urban.  It actually flows right through the city of Cortland, so right behind the trees that give the river a bit of shelter are people's backyards and businesses.  I dropped in next to an apartment complex and fished downstream to about 3 or 4 city blocks.

I also happened to catch my only fish of the trip here.  This brown, who crushed a small woolly bugger, and overwhelmed my 3-weight and click n' pawl reel.  What a blast to bring this fish on such light tackle!

Looking at my watch, and totally satisfied that the "skunk" was gone, I realized it was a little after 11:00 AM, so I stopped fishing, & headed back to the car.  I had one more stop to make before heading back to the hotel.  It was a fishing-related stop, but I wouldn't be getting a line wet where I was going.

To be continued...