slowfloat

by | Jan 5, 2015 | 0 comments

Good thing we don’t just go fishing to catch fish, because there wasn’t a whole lot of that going on yesterday.

Burke and I teamed up for a Sunday float, and we tried to make the Steelers’ playoff loss quickly drift away into a fading memory by rowing through some cold water and quiet forest.

 

Rule number one for a good float — Get an early start.  Done.  But it was about an hour later than planned because I had to turn around and go back for the grill I’d forgotten.  That’s part of the next rule …

Rule number two — bring a grill. This proved to be the most important element of the day, as lunch gave us a look-forward-to throughout the slow morning of fishing, and it changed our spirits for the afternoon.

Here is an important secondary rule concerning stream-side grilling: NO frills.  This isn’t mom’s kitchen table; it’s a river. “Do you have any plates?” No, use your hands. “Excuse, me. Do you have a fork?” No, use your hands. “Hey, do you have grill tongs for…”  No, use your hands!  Better yet, use your fishing forceps; just rinse ’em in the creek afterward. “And, did you bring mustard?” Hell NO, we didn’t bring the mustard. Meat and bread. That’s Troutbitten. With that said, there’s no reason why you can’t get fancy with the meat. Pat brought brats and ribs again. Damn good lunch.

wpid-wp-1420468426635.jpeg

So, the food (and legal adult beverages) picked us up a bit; and as it started to rain, we got back in the boat with renewed vigor and optimism.  Burke even found himself a fish and finally removed his skunk.

Pat Burke — it just took you half a day to finally hook up, but hey — good fish, buddy.  Truth is, I’d already piled up my huge fish count to 3 or 4, and I was feeling a little sorry for Pat;  so I rowed him into a spot that even he couldn’t screw up. Blind squirrels, nuts and all that.

wpid-wp-1420466682351.jpeg
There really is nothing finer than floating a river with a friend. We only stopped once to get out and wade fish an island because sunlight is scarce these days, and we prefer to be at the take-out before dark.

wpid-wp-1420466687052.jpeg

One final rule for a good float — leave with a lasting memory. We fish a lot, and the single events of anything that you do repeatedly can smear together into a blurry collage if you don’t find at least one good moment and make it stick. Here’s the image of the day …

rfOoEjkZh6oXxYY2oWh-d9Z8C5p8zfbmuBn2iN9lIkqM=w846-h677-no

I hooked a tree limb on an otherwise perfect casting day (-right-). And like any skilled oarsman, Burke rowed me into position to retrieve my fly from the branches. I got my fly back, but as we drifted away, I felt something lift the hat from my head. What the . . . ?  Look closely, and you’ll see that some other bastard wasn’t lucky enough to retrieve his streamer. Hmmph, and I thought we were the only ones who ever fished this river . . .

Memory made.

Share This Article . . .

Since 2014 and 600 articles deep
Troutbitten is a free resource for all anglers
Your support is greatly appreciated

– Explore These Post Tags –

Domenick Swentosky

Central Pennsylvania

Hi. I’m a father of two young boys, a husband, author, fly fishing guide and a musician. I fish for wild brown trout in the cool limestone waters of Central Pennsylvania year round. This is my home, and I love it. Friends. Family. And the river.

More from this Category

Aiden’s First Brown Trout

Aiden’s First Brown Trout

Hundreds of times Aiden has snagged the bottom, pulled the rod back, and either asked me if that was a fish or has told me flatly, “I think that was a fish.”  This time, he finally experienced the certainty that a couple of good head shakes from a trout will give you . . .

Waves and Water

Waves and Water

. . . But when all of that dries up, when the travel seems too long, when dawn comes too early and when chasing a bunch of foot-long trout seems like something you’ve already done, then what’s left — always — is the river . . .

The Foundation

The Foundation

There is tranquility and stillness here — a place to do nothing but think. And that alone is valuable. Because there aren’t many places like this left in the world . . .

Dog Days

Dog Days

Fishing the summer months is a protracted game of hide and seek, where more often, the angler loses. Every condition favors the trout.

It’s August, and we need rain again. The rivers have taken on a familiar, thirsty look — deep in the heart of summer. Water trickles through the pockets. It sinks into dry rocks like a sponge. We see the skeleton of an ecosystem. And the distilled, clear flow is low enough to reveal the watershed’s deepest secrets. Wading these wet trails requires composure and patience . . .

Lost Fishing Friends

Lost Fishing Friends

The lost friendship transforms a river bend — the one with the ancient and hollowed-out sycamore — into an active tombstone. The towering tree with the undercut bank becomes a place to remember shared moments of casting into cool waters, where the ghosts of laughter and fond companionship persists.

Seven Days

Seven Days

For those who fish daily, the routine resonates. We are part of the pattern, not mere observers of the design.

We have time to learn and grow, to breathe deep and sigh with satisfaction. We’ve the time to stand tall, to rise from the constant crouch and the intensity of a fisherman, to take in the surroundings, not once, but regularly. It’s the ferns, the sun and the rain, the trout in the water and the birds on the wind. It’s everything . . .

What do you think?

Be part of the Troutbitten community of ideas.
Be helpful. And be nice.

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Articles

Domenick Swentosky

Central Pennsylvania

Hi. I’m a father of two young boys, a husband, author, fly fishing guide and a musician. I fish for wild brown trout in the cool limestone waters of Central Pennsylvania year round. This is my home, and I love it. Friends. Family. And the river.

Pin It on Pinterest