Friday, May 6, 2011

A year of learning... First Stop: The Poconos

Reflecting through the past year, saved receipts of purchased gear, tippet tangled, knots learned, places, states, rivers, streams and lakes visited, and of course fish caught opened my eyes to art so unique that I don't think I'll ever master but I will always improve and learn.

Last May, Craig and I had an opportunity to go away for Memorial Weekend since my daughters were off visiting relatives in NY. We kept asking where to go, what to do...(That cycle continues to repeat and often times we are left looking at each other...Just pick something! lol)

I suggested, grab a bottle and spin it, whatever direction it lands, that is the direction we will venture off too. It landed West. (So Sake Gods thank you for your guidance!) We packed for country, city, casual, dressy...still not even thinking about fishing yet. As we drove we stopped at Wal*Mart to purchase additional gadgets so that we could charge (2) Cellphones (1) GPS (1) Radar Detector and (1) Laptop....we were now a rolling geek machine ready for anything.

Craig looking at the map knowing we really wanted to stay within a 7 hour drive time had an epiphany... "Do you want to learn how to fly fish?" I thought for a moment, initially really thinking how will this be fun for me, that second passed and I answered Yes! (Obviously...)

I crave learning things as time we have here is short, grab life and run with it!

So once we had an objective, a course was being plotted using all of the running technology and my 4 day old 2011 White Camry (You'll know why I specified that soon) we were headed to the Poconos...

Well, now what am I to do with packed heels this clearly will not work! We typed in Cabela's and like two greenhorns traveled to load ourselves up on the bare essentials.

I wasn't digging the thought of wearing these ugly as sin waders up to my chest but clearly, is there any other way? Not if I was going to keep an open mind and "try."

I have the receipt and perhaps I'll scan all of my collections of trips at a future date but we were set..

We purchased (2) Rod and Reels (Cheap-o's) by Fly fishing standards but great for someone who never held one or tried!
A bunch of flies, tippet we were off to drive another 65 miles to our hotel. Pocono Manor.

After checking into our room we took my new baby down a dirt path and towards a stream that fed off of Lake Minausin and Swiftwater Creek. Looking back, this stream was very Narrow, rocky, and lots of canopy overhead...probably not the easiest of places to learn.

I first observed Craig as he donned his Waders and then I said well time to get ugly and fat and just put the girly-ness aside...
Day 1: Looking Superfly

I watched Craig tie all the necessary knots, from the fishing line, leader, tippet completely unsure what the point of all these were and why...after sometime had passed we walked to the stream. I observed once more the motion, it was then that I really really forgot everything around me, the motion of a cast is fluent, soft, almost musical with its rhythmic counting.

Withing 45 minutes of casting, Craig was beaming with pride, he just taught me how to cast and lay that fly on the water. He was also going to be put to the test, meaning, we are both very competitive. Who was going to land a fish first....and get the final one?

I can't recall how many I took over those three days, he more than I, but I was never so happy to catch a native Brook Trout, then land Rainbow trout....the frustrating aspect was the amount of time I spent dealing with knots in my line and getting caught on logs, branches etc. I was not saavy enough to just break the line and tie on a new one, also I have steps to learn...I hadn't earned a vest at this point yet...that came in future trips. I only had one fly on me as Craig held onto the rest (Smart thinking on his end initially)

One thing I do recall is leaving that first evening and it had rained...pretty hard at times, once we were back to the car we realized this brand new car had to make it back up the windy, dirt, one land path to the top. was now mud. That had my adrenaline going as much as that first fish on my line!

There were times, I had to take a break, I was not used to standing all day, fishing upwards of 12 hours. So I did some exploring and it is really beautiful out there, and we only saw this small small section. On the last day, I decided to back the car on this path only I did not accurately judge the path I was backing into and almost 2 tires were off the ground.... WTF! Nice going, I was pissed at myself, and scared...brand new car its going to be totaled by my stupidity...

Craig came up what felt like a few hours later (probably only a matter of minutes.) He pushed from behind...nothing... then he got wise, took the "seat protector" from the bottom of my daughters booster seats and slid that under the tire...Traction alas! Whew...those same seat protectors remain in my trunk, neatly folded awaiting their next call...

I truly hope I can get back out there and explore more of what Pennsylvania and the Poconos have to offer!

Two of my Wild Brook's While small they were some of my first!

Below is a section of the Swiftwater we fished.

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