September 18, 2009
Born under a bad sign
Fall officially arrives here on Monday, but you wouldn't know that around these parts. The ash and elms are slowly hitting their stride of yellows and oranges along with the basswoods, with the maples beginning to glow behind them on the fringes. They've been on this holding pattern for the last few weeks. Unseasonably warm temperatures have been holding in the area over the past two weeks; highs have been in the 80s and lows in the mid 50s. That's warmer then it was in July and August. Fucked up. The weather man, in all his infinite wisdom, tells me that temps will soon return to normal after the weekend and drop back 15 degrees on both ends. About time. We're two and a half weeks and counting past our average first frost.
I figured on fishing seasonally, and pulled out the crustacean patterns. I had my clam digger out and dredged for some bottom feeding vermin. Of course, with my luck, I ended up catching a freshwater mussel with my zebra mussel pattern. Talk about irony. Flows are, wait for it, still above normal and above the 80th percentile for this time of year. In typical fashion, the Corps of Engineers bumped up flows upstream of me, as they always seem to do on the days I fish. All that results is higher water, increased sediment and turbidity, and dispersed fish.
If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all.
I fished clams, crawfish, zebras, san juan worms, swimming nymphs, midges, even tied on a copper john for shits and giggles. Either the carp have turned into nocturnal feeders here, or its too early for big meat. I call bullshit on the last theory, as my records from the past few seasons indicate that I've been catching fish on crustacean patterns at this same time in years past. That includes both late fall and early winter years. My guess goes towards the idea of nocturnal feeding. It makes sense, if the carp feed at night, there will be less chance of being caught on hook and line, and if they aren't as visibly active, they will not get stuck with an arrow and chucked into the bushes to die by all the faggot bowfisherman out there who don't keep what they wantonly kill. It could also explain why it's been a difficult go of catching this season, aside from the incredibly shitty flows we've been subjected to. Regardless, I hooked up with Dr. Fu Manchu right off the bat (early AM) taken on a Hot Donna, and then it was lights out.
"He lawai'a ke kai papa'u, he pokole ke aho; he lawai'a no ke kai hohonu, he loa ke aho."
- A fisherman of the shallow sea uses a short line; a fisherman of the deep sea has a long line.
"A person whose knowledge is shallow does not have much, but he whose knowledge is great, does." (Pukui)