Monday, December 26, 2011

After Christmas surprises

Taking advantage of the sunny weather, I headed to a couple of nearby brooks that have native brookies in them.  Since I pass by this barn quite often, and always say to myself that I'd like a picture of it, I finally stopped.  In some light it's quite beautiful.

I hiked back to the brook and found it running clear and cool.  Unfortunately, as I worked my way upstream I was repeatedly skunked, even at the pools that I normally get at least a strike.  At one point I looked up from the water and noticed what appeared to be a headstone standing by itself fifty or so feet from the brook.  I crossed the brook and went over to see if my eyes were playing tricks on me, and darned if it wasn't a headstone standing in a pile of stones.  I figured that if it were truly a burial site, then surely it couldn't be for a human, but more likely a pet.  However, the epitaph read:
"A Friend, A Fisherman, A Legend, Louis D'Antonio, 1966  2005".  I'm amazed that I never saw it before, considering it's proximity to the brook.  A quick search on Google lead to a few articles about him and his murder.  Apparently he was from East Hampton and was an avid outdoorsman (camper, fisherman, hunter, clammer) and it was the last activity that lead to his death.  Crazy and sad story.

Finally, in a nice pool that has never been particularly productive for me a fish attacked the Gartside sparrow nymph I was using.  After a very brief tussle it was off.  Undeterred, I cast a few more times into the pool and it struck again.  This time I landed it and took some photos.  The question I have is what is it?  If you look at the mouth (maxillary) you'll see that it does not extend past the eye.  You'll also see that the adipose fin is devoid of spots and the spots on the body are without halos.  These are a few of the characterstics of salmon, in contrast to brown trout.  So is this a small salmon or brown trout?

A natural headstone with a moss epitaph standing at side of the brook and a group of mushrooms clinging to the side of a tree also caught my eye this time.

My second stop was a small brook, which is generally a pain in the neck to fish due to the small trees that run right up the edge.  At least I was rewarded for fishing it one more time.  A beautiful little brookie fell for the sparrow nymph.  It was the only taker on this brook today.  I can't complain.

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