Micro Fishing & Foraging Trip

Discussion in 'Outings, Trips & Expeditions' started by Gruxxx, Aug 23, 2019.

  1. Gruxxx

    Gruxxx NRA Endowment Life Member Bushclass I

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    Weathermen... After a heat wave in the 90's, every forecast (just yesterday) called for cloudy skies with highs in the upper 70's today. That forecast was all I needed to decide to take a day off work to hit the woods. When I woke up this morning, however, my Super Doppler Window indicated the "real-time" forecast was actually a torrential downpour. Seriously? They can't predict 16 hours in advance? I waited a couple of hours, but no end seemed in sight, not even on radar. After 2 cups of coffee while surfing BCUSA, I decided I wasn't going to waste a day to rain and tossed my mountain bike into the bed of my truck to head out. I brought two Tenkara rods ready for micro fishing action. By luck, the rain trickled off as I pulled into the trailhead.

    This natural sand spring lies about 2 miles from the trailhead. The last time I was here, I noticed fish were moving around, with a couple of relatively big ones. The water was lower this time, and I only spotted small chubs. They were VERY spooky and would not take a fly.
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    The spring drains through a TINY stream to a somewhat larger tributary. I can only guess that fish ended up in the spring by following the tiny stream during a flood event. I explored the tributary, but couldn't find any fish.
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    While exploring, I ran into this guy.
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    And then I ran into a colony of red spotted newts. There must have been 2 dozen+ within a square yard, probably totaling the number that I've seen in my entire life. I've always viewed these guys as good luck signs. Now more than ever, I believe they are indeed.
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    After 3.5 miles, I reached the stream I wanted to fish. I've posted about this stream before. It's polluted from acid mine drainage from 19th century mining. About 30 years ago, a local chapter of Trout Unlimited installed diversion wells to treat the acidic water. In a nutshell, a portion of the upstream flow is piped by gravity into two concrete structures that are kept filled with crushed limestone. As the acidic water filters up through the limestone, it is neutralized and spills back into the creek. Just upstream of the diversion wells, the water is too acid for fish to live. But after the diversion wells, the pH is taken from about 4 to 6, which is sustainable for native fish.
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    Within a few casts, I caught my first native brook trout. The diversion wells are in the background. This guy serves as a testimony to how well they work!
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    A few casts later, I hooked an even larger brook trout from the same small pool. I was elated! This 8-inch trout matches the largest I've ever caught in this small stream! The remnants and restoration of the 1850's RR bridge are also seen in the background.
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    I then moved just downstream of the bridge, where I caught more native brook trout, along with native chubs.
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    Last edited: Aug 24, 2019
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  2. Gruxxx

    Gruxxx NRA Endowment Life Member Bushclass I

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    The fish were spooky, which required a low profile for casting.
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    I had to laugh to myself, "I'm gonna need a bigger tank."
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    After catching well over a dozen fish at the bridge, I moved to explore downstream pools. The water was low, so some of my favorites were not viable. This one, however, was.
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    This pool also gave up several fish. A pink Killer Bug was the ticket for the day!
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    Once I'd had my fill of entertainment, I headed back to my bike.
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    I peddled slowly on the way out, looking for edible mushrooms. Every half mile or so, I'd hop off and explore the woods. I'm poorly educated on edible mushrooms, but I harvested a monster chicken of the woods last fall, which lasted us to the beginning of summer after freezing a bunch of it. I thought this might be hen of the woods, so I cut some off and tossed it into my dump pouch. After a brief bit of research, though, it clearly is not. Does anyone know what this might be?
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    On the way out, I stopped to take in a final view of the large beaver swamp in this valley. It was beautiful. Of my hours spent today, I saw not a single soul.
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    Last edited: Aug 23, 2019
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  3. rustystove2017

    rustystove2017 Guide

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    nice fish- did get the acrylic photo tank from Chris Stewart's TenkaraBum site or did you get at the Container store?
     
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  4. M.Hatfield

    M.Hatfield Midnight Joker #42 Lifetime Supporter

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    Been seeing lots of fishermen out west here in Montana. Glad you had a successful day out!
     
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  5. gdwigg

    gdwigg Old Guy Supporter

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    That certainly beats a day at work. Looks like a great place for recreational therapy. Thanks for taking us along.
     
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  6. CivilizationDropout

    CivilizationDropout -MOA #17- Supporter Bushclass I

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    That's terrific!! I need to get after some brookies..
     
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  7. central joe

    central joe Wait For Me!! Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Thanks fer tha post young fellar, I liked it. joe
     
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  8. Gruxxx

    Gruxxx NRA Endowment Life Member Bushclass I

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  9. Jonah L. Archer

    Jonah L. Archer ~Roughian #21~ Supporter Bushclass II

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    Looks like good fishing!
     
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  10. Hunt4lyf

    Hunt4lyf Guide Bushclass I

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    Great looking trip!
     
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  11. Paulyseggs

    Paulyseggs Supporter Supporter

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    Thats a great trip! I gotta get workin on my bike!
     
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  12. quack

    quack Scout

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    Great trip sir
     
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  13. Primordial

    Primordial MOA #40 Supporter

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    Fantastic trip report! I really enjoyed that!

    I found that limestone filter setup pretty clever! I never heard of anything like that!

    Is that really what that little box is for?? Sticking fish in it to look at them???!

    Thanks for sharing your day!
     
  14. MrFixIt

    MrFixIt Old Jarhead LB#42 Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    Awesome day out.
     
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  15. kelpie13

    kelpie13 Scout

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    Thanks for sharing. Great photos.
     
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