Sunday, March 17, 2019

Well Aware of the Delaware

At left from the Metropolitan Museum of Art: the Emanuel Leutze image of Washington crossing the Delaware River ... which we all know is a complete fabrication.

Oh, George crossed the river on the way to a devastating victory over the Hessians.

George was in a deep funk over the coming battle and certainly wasn't standing the breeze. Some of his troops died of exposure -- and probably pneumonia -- on the ensuing march from the far bank into town.  The winter was brutal. Accounts of the time reveal the whole affair to have been a miserable, horrid endeavor which resulted in an early victory the American revolution desperately needed.

My spring trip is to the Delaware -- east and west branches -- the Beaverkill, and the Neversink.  I just signed up for the trip this week. I said "yes" formally only yesterday.

I'm hoping for better weather than ol' George endured.

My arsenal will be better than his as I'll take a battery of rods for two-handed trout streamers, light-line spring creek brookies, and the usual suspects for four and five weight spring hatches. I'm going for the famed Hendrickson blizzard but will be equally prepared for the disappointment of BWOs (Ha!) or the more traditional spring experience: PTN and Hare's Ear flymphs vacuuming the river bottom as I re-develop my short-line nymphing feel.

It's been a long winter and the ice is off the meadow here. We're due another good snow or two before true spring -- and maybe one in the spring -- but the worst is past.

I've been hiding from my vise only tying socially in Monday night sessions at the Beer Grotto in Dexter. There's nothing remarkable to say of those sessions as I'm just replenishing my soft-hackle inventory.

I've been heads down at the day job cleaning up a couple major projects and discovering that I'm in the wrong band. I'm watching the unchanging momentum of the same ineffectual effort driving disappointing results. Alas, the needed change can only be wrought by broken bones and hurt feelings and that is not the manner in which our little tribe operates.

So, trout.

The trout, the trout, the trout.

I'm interested in the dry-fly pilgrimage to the Catskills more for a hike into the Neversink Unique Area than for the photo-op at the Junction Pool or Mr. Hendrickson's Pool. I will however fish the upper east and west Delaware, the Beaverkill, and trek into the gorge of the Unique Area for a little Neversink brook trout fun.

I haven't been on the water since October.

I'm working up some brook trout plans on the Black River here for the April opener in Michigan.

I'm researching a self-guided trip to  the U.P. featuring the Ontanogon River in the Porcupine Mountains for September after the "deerflies of summer have gone" -- to borrow from Mr. Henley.

It's been a long winter requiring me to get smarter (that hurts a little these days). I've spent a lot of time at the gym trying to run faster and farther because some of my desired fishing excursions are going to require a greater degree of fitness than I've enjoyed these past few years.

RMNP gassed me last year.

There are too many wonderful places that require more than a couple hours' hike to reach. Those are places I want to fish. I'm working on it. There is a series of 5K runs starting here in April through Thanksgiving. They'll put in in good stead for more serious conditioning in 2020.

Alaska, Scotland, B.C., and the golden trout of high altitude pocket lakes are on my list. I'm determined to not be the backcountry coronary guy.  Better endurance for me means more fun.

Hope the fish in your pool start looking up soon.



  1. Thanks for the report. Good roll there. Relieved. ~A Fan

  2. Gumpy bear emerges from cave. Looks around. Where the trout at ?

    Working on a better attitude. Sunshine helps.