Finally got a little rain and decided to head up some of my favorite small streams for a few hours today.
Tuesday, June 29, 2021
Spent Sunday at TCO Boiling Springs, PA for the first of a few book signing events with Jake Villwock (Relentless Fly Fishing) and Eric Naguski (Riseforms Fly Fishing). Jake has released his book "Smallmouth Bass Flies, Top to Bottom" and Eric has released "Favorite Flies for Pennsylvania, 50 Essential Patterns from Local Experts". Both books are extremely well done and will make nice additions to your angling library. I am honored to have called these two friends for many years and highly recommend both of their books. They put a lot of work into these books, and it shows! If you missed the event, TCO will be holding several more at their shops in August (list below) and they can also be purchased online.
Tuesday, June 22, 2021
It was like something out of The Matrix, except apparently, I am not “The One”. I saw the rock coming at my forehead in slow motion but there was nothing I could do to stop it. I had been fishing one of my favorite brookie streams in the middle of nowhere northcentral Pennsylvania. Perched upon a rock about 3 feet above the water, I decided I could span the gap and downed trees below me and make it to the rock on the other side. As my right foot touched down, the moss on the rock let loose, and my forward momentum, which was now being aided by 30lbs of camera gear on my back, propelled me face first into the rock. It was like watching a speeding train coming at you through a tunnel. Thankfully, the point of the rock hit directly on the bridge of my Costas (still not sure how they did not snap in two). While I was drenched and my face was covered in mud, moss, and blood, some minor cuts and a bruised nose was all I received from my acrobatics. Instinctively, I had lifted the rod in the air, so even that survived pretty much unscathed.
I have taken tumbles before, we all have, but this was by far the most serious I had ever experienced. I was about an inch away from a completely different outcome. We like to think these things will never happen to us, but they probably will. If nothing else, we may be around when they happen to someone else. Ironically enough, just last weekend, I was parked at the mouth of the same stream when a guy in his early 20s appeared out of nowhere. He had come down what can only be described as a goat path at best and was bleeding pretty bad from his knee. He was training for some type of trail run and had taken a spill and sustained a fairly good gash across the top of his knee. Thankfully, a little cleaning of the wound and some dressing was all it required.
Doing what we do, chasing wild trout, typically puts us in rugged areas with limited cell coverage and/or substantial travel times to get assistance. Some of the places I go to in southern Chile would require a satellite phone and a helicopter extraction to get help. Being a licensed guide requires that I maintain First Aid and CPR certifications, something I recommend everyone do, but the recent incidents detailed above also demonstrate the importance of something else I think we should all do……carry a properly stocked First Aid Kit. First Aid Kits vary substantially in size and contents from the glorified band aid kits sold in stores to high end kits from companies like My Medic or personalized kits like mine. The kit you carry really depends on what training you have, the situations you expect or want to be prepared for, and the space available. Obviously, the kit I carry in the boat is much larger than the one I carry if I am exploring a brookie stream where weight and volume is a concern. While it would be nice to have a full kit, realistically this is not always possible. Sometimes having just some minor supplies like tape and gauze may be sufficient, or sufficient enough until you get back to your vehicle where your full kit is stored. Whether you opt for a premade kit or piece together your own, what really matters is that you have one and one that contains a useful assortment of supplies.
At the risk of starting a major debate, I thought I would share what I carry in my main First Aid Kit. I by no means am suggesting that your kit needs to contain all of what I carry or that what I carry may be enough for your needs. My goal here is to just get you to plan ahead and be prepared for when inevitably something does happen. Hopefully that something is as simple as needing a Band Aid or Advil, but if it does require more serious attention, you have a kit that can minimize the damage until professional medical care can be administered. After all, that is what First Aid is really intended to accomplish, it is in the name. I hope you find this useful, and I would be interested in suggestions on items people think would be useful that may not be included in my kit.
|My basic kit, fairly compact for easy transport in the truck or boat.|
|Top mesh pocket contains gloves and back pouch contains First Aid manuals and splints. |
|Front pouch contains "equipment": Knife, lighter, tape, various tweezers, flash light, safety pins and sewing needles, tick removers, hand sanitizer, a sharpie for marking times for snake bites, etc., and a pair of shears. I like the Leatherman Raptors for their durability, ability to fold down, and multiple features, but any medical shears will do.|
|Left side contains cold packs, emergency blankets, and plastic bags for medical waste.|
|The main compartment contains a variety of items as detailed in the next image, but I wanted to show that a tourniquet is on top. If you were to ever need it, you do not want to be digging for it!|
Sunday, May 9, 2021
Spent a few days fishing sulphurs on the Little J. with Brad and Aaron. Aaron recently purchased a property right on the river and is renting it out through VRBO if anyone is interested (Little Juniata River House). Absolutely stunning house with great access to the creek! If anyone is looking for a nice getaway, check it out at the link above.
Despite the cold and wet weather, the fishing was great when the bugs were going. Caught a ton of fish, could have caught even more if we had nymphed at all, but they were eating dries pretty consistently all day....so why nymph? Even the barn swallows were gorging themselves.
|Little Juniata River House|
Tuesday, May 4, 2021
Monday, April 26, 2021
Spent the weekend camped with some friends chasing wild fish. We really better get some rain soon, it looks like early summer flows and it isn't even May yet! Everyone had a great time and it is always an adventure. Had some additional excitement with a downed tree and falling off a rock and faceplanting directly into a rock. Still have no idea how the Costas survived, but they did. Little dirt, little blood, little bruising, and a little wet, but mostly unscathed. 35lbs of camera gear on your back does a great job of propelling you forward when you slip.
|Even though we knew better, we tried.......DCNR had it sawed up and actually placed the pieces in the adjacent creek for fish structure within 24hrs!|
|Just a reminder to pick up your trash, and do the lazy people a favor and pick up theirs too.|
|The Trillium is in full bloom|
|More Quills this weekend|
|Just a friendly reminder to filter your drinking water, no matter how small the stream or how clear it looks. This was far upstream in a small brook trout stream.|