Sunday, February 25, 2018

The Stream Along The "Stone Wall"

The stream along the stone wall
Back in the mid seventies I was told about a lovely little roadside picnic area. The area was part of a state forest with a parking area for a couple of cars. The facilities were minimal, out house, a few picnic tables each having a stone fire pit. There were stands of pine and hemlock with a border of mountain laurel, all of this located on a parcel of flat land. Jeanette and I along with my daughter who was 9 or so and my son who was 4 visited this area many times.

I would set up the the little portable charcoal grill, the inexpensive ones you could purchase at K-Mart. The cooler held hot dogs and maybe a 1st cut chuck steak. Some stuff for a salad and of course potato chips. Jeanette would have the kids busy playing badminton, or perhaps looking for flowers. Most times we had the area to ourselves and the kids could really burn up some energy.

Running through the picnic area was a beautiful little stream. It was pretty much free flowing and had open banks. A short stretch had been built up with stone to prevent the bank from erosion. The stream was stocked with trout back then, probably a 100 fish for the year. The first two weeks of the season saw that number pushed back to about 10. The fishing pressure was evident just by looking at the ground. Worm containers, empty hook packages, lost chain stringers. I had just started fly fishing, a convert who still bought a dozen crawlers in case. My fly selection consisted of a few flies from a shop but most were from K-Mart. After lunch the kids would nap and I would head over to the stream and fish. Usually in an hour or so I would catch a couple of trout that survived the opening day onslaught. Those were good days my friends.

Well after all those years I continue to fish that stream. The tables and fire pits are gone, the little bridge that crossed the brook is gone. The wall though is still intact. The stream now is no longer stocked but has wild trout in it, for that I'm thankful.
Earlier this month I paid a visit to the stream. It was up and running strong. It was going to be difficult to slow down the swing of the fly to allow for a trout to take. A few soft spots here and there were the targets. After many casts I was able to get the fly in a sweet spot. The line tightened and I felt weight. The fish was strong and knew how to use the current to his advantage. I managed to subdue him and soon had him at hand.


The years have been primarily good to me and my family, the picnic area with the little stream was a part of our young lives. And on this day it continued to be so.






24 comments:

  1. Alan
    Gorgeous colored browns. I love your story about the younger days, great post. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. TROUT1
      Thanks
      Pete those were special times. We didn't have much but we enjoyed everything to the fullest.

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  2. Neat little spot, love the wall area... Family picnicking and camping memories are the best.

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    1. Doug Korn, Fly Tyer
      Thanks
      Doug that wall is pretty much the same as it was back when we first laid eyes on it. Fond thoughts remain.

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  3. I have always called those fish a gift. Because along with that one fish, came so many memories carried forward. Memories that if not lost, at the very least are brought back into focus for a bit..

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    1. Ralph Long
      Thanks
      Ralph your so right. When that fish took that fly I was holding my new Cortland glass rod and Medalist reel, it all came back.

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  4. I can relate to all that, those small streams you fish are just beautiful and I'm looking forward to seeing the change as spring develops. The big springtime memory for me is walking through beds of ramsons, or wild garlic, and the smell of the crushed leaves mixing with the smell of the water and the woods. Memories you can describe them but they're all yours. Thanks for that post. John

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    1. The Two Terriers
      Thanks
      John as spring brings rebirth, the woodlands come alive with those wonderful smells of nature. One of my favorite smells is that of a rain storm in the forest.

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  5. Alan
    You've just described what most of us who fish would love to revisit in our lives. I'm glad this stream is producing wild trout instead of the stock version. Great post,thanks for sharing

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    1. Bill Trussell
      Thanks
      Bill they say if left alone a stream will heal the wounds of man. Stocking has it's place, and so does wild.

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  6. Forgot to mention----BLOWN AWAY BY NINE STREAMER PATTERNS!!!

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    1. Bill thank you...it's quite a group.

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  7. Actually, we had a great deal back then. Things money cannot buy. Are we showing our age Alan? Its ok.

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    1. John Dornik
      Thanks
      John when we look back it's so very true that we did have it all. Age buddy is but a number.

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  8. Some really pretty browns. Nice to see that spot that was special to you and your family continue to create (slightly different) memories even today.

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    1. Michael Agneta
      Thanks
      Mike it has changed physically but it will always remain like it was in our minds and hearts.

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  9. Great memories of time spent with your young family at the time, Alan. It does not seem like it on a daily basis, but the years truly tick away quickly.

    That is a beautiful stream which I bet is better than it was 40 years ago being the state stopped stocking it and wild browns took hold. My gosh, what colors on the brown in the picture. Kudos to whomever built that stone wall there. It is holding up quite well after so many years.

    Best,
    Sam

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    1. Parachute Adams
      Thanks
      Sam time is a sneaky fellow.
      I love what that stream has done to itself, and I know some others who feel the same. Like old homes the folks who put that wall together knew how to make it stand.

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  10. What a great memory! I've seen a few streams with the rock retaining wall and it sure makes it special to me and so pretty. Thanks for this one Alan.

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    1. Howard Levett
      Thanks
      Howard I love those walls. Some of the ones I come across have them made of field stone. So pretty!

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  11. Alan - how wonderful it is to see that after so many years there are now wild trout holding on in that stream!

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    1. Mark Wittman
      Thanks
      Mark you are very familiar with the upper portion of this stream. The lower portion can be a fun place to fish.

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  12. They sound like wonderfull memories Alan.
    I have similar memories, but with my dad.......
    My parents had a caravan in Tees-dale and my dad would take me and my brother fishing for the trout and grayling in the river that ran past the site where we camped almost every weekend from spring until autumn (fall).
    I still return to those spots a couple of times a year both on my own and with my two boys, although they both hate fishing, fortunately they enjoy being on the river.
    Alistair

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    1. Anonymous
      Thanks
      Alistair I think most of can relate to a special place from our younger days. Being able to go back to those places gives us that warm feeling inside.

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