Sunday, January 30, 2011

Bear tracks, boy scouts, and skunks

Yep, that picture above is supposed to be a waterfall. It's more like a ski slope. We got up this morning and hit the road at 7:30am to fish the Bushkill up at Resica Falls Boy Scout Reservation. We got a tip from someone that it might be good right now. Little did we know, it was about 70% frozen. There was also about 15 inches of fresh snow on the ground.

We gave a donation, filled out an accident waiver, and started the hike. Getting down the hill to the stream wasn't a problem. But, you know when your grandfather used to say "You kids don't know how good you have it. When I was your age, I used to walk to school uphill both ways, barefoot, and in the snow"? He should have changed barefoot to felt wading boots with about a foot of hard packed snow stuck to them. Then it would have been really awful.

One thing we noticed right away were bear tracks. I'm not talking some tracks with drifted-over snow where a bear might have walked. These were fresh bear tracks, probably made about an hour before we got there. I saw three sets of them and luckily, I didn't see a bear.

Finding open water wasn't too difficult, the first mile below the falls had sections of open water that were anywhere from 5 to 20 feet wide. The problem was finding open water you could safely cast through. There was about 10 feet of ice protruding out over the water on both sides. We wound up slowly going out on our hands and knees to distribute the weight, and for the most part, staying on our knees to fish.

As for the fishing, yeah, that's where the skunk came in. We were fishing on giant icebergs, so I didn't expect much, but we did connect to fish. I had a few strikes on midges, as did Nick. Jack fought one that took a midge but the fish ran him behind some floating ice and he lost it. I also fought and lost a small rainbow on a woolly bugger about half as big as him.

Did we catch fish? No. Did I have fun and find a stretch of water that will be awesome once the ice is gone? Absolutely. Nick also got this awesome shot of some ice over top of the water.


  1. Nice photos... Looks like you had a good time despite the skunk. I managed to avoid two skunks myself yesterday... one on the river, and the other on the way home. It was warm in my part of the world yesterday and everybody decided to go hammer the trout. I caught zero at our first stop (my girlfriend Kelly caught one... I always get out-fished by her), but I managed to get a few at the second locale on a "caddis pupa" that I tied... literally some gray yarn and a bead head on a size 12 hook. I had to swerve to miss a skunk in the road at about 65 mph on the highway. Two skunks avoided in one day... awesome.

  2. Who cares about the skunk, looks like you had a great time with those scouts, and at least you had some on, so it wasn't a completely lost cause.. FYI I also tagged you in my blog today..

  3. Way to get out and give it a go. Way to much snow for my short legs to be trudging through.

    I linked to your blog from a recent post on my blog.

    Thanks for sharing.