Monday, August 29, 2011

Tricos, Trout, and Tornado Warnings

Well, we've had an earthquake and a hurricane and I'm still standing. Sorry for the lack of updates, but it's been a pretty long week.

With the imminent danger of the hurricane, I decided to sneak in some fishing on Saturday morning. I got to the stream at 8am and there was barely any action. I found a few rising trout, but the bugs on the water and the in the air were extremely scarce. I also noticed that now that it's later in the season, the trout are more sketchy about trico patterns. The same flouro-fiber pattern that was killing them a few weeks back was no longer working. They'd constantly rise and refuse. After about 45 minutes of skunkville, I switched it up from a female with flouro wings to a male with white antron and sparkle organza wings. That did the trick. I brought two trout to hand in a matter of minutes. One was a beautiful little wild brown that put up a heck of a fight. The other was a slab stocked bow which pretty much gave up fighting as soon as he was hooked.

As soon as the second fish was landed, the rises just stopped. I think the trout got the memo about the incoming storm and got lockjaw. Or it could have just been the wind that was picking up. I tried for another half hour and then packed it in. I wanted to get home before mother nature started trying to destroy us all. I hadn't caught a trout in a few weeks so it felt good to go out and hit a few on some dry flies. I do feel bad for those trout. When I left the stream, it was running around 85 CFS, just slightly high. It crested at 8000 yesterday.

By the time I got home the weather started to get worse. Winds picked up. I spent the day like everyone else; glued to the TV and switching back and forth between the Weather Channel and the local news. By 8pm, the rain was coming down and the trees were bent sideways. I knew it would be a long night.

My wife and son went to bed around 11 and then the tornado warnings started. We had 3 or 4 of them from 11 until about 1:30 in the morning. I kept hanging by the windows and door, listening for a freight train approaching, ready to pull my family out of bed. Luckily, it didn't happen. It was definitely scary though. I dozed off around 2 and woke up at 4 to check the basement for flooding. Bone dry! Go sump pump. Luckily, we were one of the few I know that didn't lose power once for the entire storm. I couldnt sleep so I wound up just sitting there again, watching the news until they woke up around 7am.

Once 8am rolled around, the rain had tapered off to a drizzle, and the winds were only around 20mph. We had cabin fever so we decided to drive up the street to a diner for breakfast and to check out some of the damage. I noticed the creek behind our house had swelled up out of the woods and into the corn fields behind our neighbor's farm. After breakfast, I dropped off the wife and my son and drove to a few spots on the creek to get some video and pics. Here's some first hand images of the Irene carnage. Keep in mind that the normal size of this creek is 18-20 feet wide at the most in the areas where I took pictures.

I drove over it today and I was pretty amazed at how much the water receded. It might actually be fishable tomorrow. Now whether or not there's any fish left, who knows.

The skies cleared more and more throughout the day, and by 6pm the strong winds were almost gone and it actually turned sunny. Irene did say goodbye with one hell of a sunset.


  1. it seems like the east branch is going to be a completely different stream once we can get back on it. I had to drive to work on Sunday and every stream I tried to cross I had to turn around due to flooding. Im glad you made it through dry and safe.

  2. Hope nobody was in the "john" when it fell over.

  3. Wow....glad you guys are all ok! The root structure on that fallen tree is amazing!

  4. Glad everyone is ok! hopefully you guys can get back to normal soon.

    ....nice fish though :-)