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 Post subject: T.R. The "Winter Trip"
PostPosted: November 13th, 2017, 7:40 am 
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As has been the policy for the last 4 years, a large group of us heads to a river known to be open at this time of year- mostly for the food and drink, but also to put a nail in the season. As this was a 3 days weekend, things were expected to be epic----at least in the drink area.

In the end, 10 men arrived at various times to camp---well within the 18 bed maximum...and as Gussa and I arrived, we could see some of ours out plying their trade...to some significant success.

This was the night BEFORE the "Great Wind"...which came with it's smaller friend the "Not Quite Great COLD". After a night of fine food, deep and confusing discussions, staggering theft, unquestioned excess by the Orvis rep in generosity, and a simply terrible music compilation brought to you by 3 screaming idiots on the box...we rested.

Then up to find 3" of snow, and a mild wind of 40mph with temps in the teens. Untroubled, we dared the holocaust and dressed like we were with Peary, the lit out for the good spots. We were late. 3 Flatlander commie bastards from Mass had proven more virile had the great pool...and had it every single minute for the next 3 days--- I think they peed IN their waders to stay there...I know they hadn't frozen to death (though I did have some hopes in that direction) as I could see them move once in a while.

Anyway...with tears in our eyes, we moved on. It is important to note we were all styling orange hats...but 4 of us had them covered with even more hats for warmth- a stylish new look. Think stuffed sausages with a slight dot of orange occasionally showing if you had the angle right.

If one could have fished more than 2 hours, they would have had windshield fluid for blood-- and camp was SO warm, and full of nice food and drinks...we pounded the fish. Snot was frozen, fingers were crusted, cheeks were burned, eyes were squinted in a manly fashion, and fish were caught. Eyelets were de-iced, and nobody fell in...but 2 rods were broken (I think the de-ice system of bending rods down to frozen fingers lends to snapping terminal guide off).

Saturday was only a merkin ("a merkin is a unit of measurement in between a smidge and a schmear.") {I allow this definition for you PORN-dogs who have prurient thinking....} warmer. Fishing was decent...fly theft was getting to be epidemic...and we got POWER BACK! Which was nice.

Sunday....we all (in time-and with huge effort) ended on a fish (or 2)-- and yes, there are pictures (which I do not have).

A GREAT weekend. It is worthy to suffer for the strength it brings out- and the enjoyment of the warmth.

Now---the dead zone for the next 5 months or so-

Hutch

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PostPosted: November 13th, 2017, 9:13 am 
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I was cold just reading that. Great report.
Why didn't anyone dislodge the commie bastards from their station? Not cool. Downright cold. I have to think I would have made an attempt to clear them out if just for 20 mins.
If you're in a spot longer than two hours, we will most likely become acquainted. I can be polite and persistent at the same time. Bottom line, it's boorish behavior and needs to be checked.

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PostPosted: November 13th, 2017, 10:58 am 
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Great read Hutch. Come on down this winter, plenty of water to share.

Ron

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PostPosted: November 14th, 2017, 10:55 pm 
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3 Flatlander commie bastards from Mass had proven more virile had the great pool...and had it every single minute for the next 3 days--- I think they peed IN their waders to stay there...I know they hadn't frozen to death (though I did have some hopes in that direction) as I could see them move once in a while.

Great trip report, Hutch, except for the quote above. Over the years I've ranted here many times about similar behavior on many rivers in Maine, in Yellowstone, and at a certain pond inlet in late September. I believe that this is becoming more and more commonly accepted behavior.

It's time for a new ethic our sport where this is not considered acceptable behavior. It's public water, and that implies that it's shared. And it's not just commie flatlanders. I increasingly see this from (some) registered Maine guides.


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PostPosted: November 15th, 2017, 9:22 am 
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Jeff- while what I said was mostly a minor joke...it was also mostly true (except for the commie part-I expect)...and sharing water is a habit I try to follow. I expect MOST on this board do also... but the hunt for fish becomes so focused by some, that tunnel vision happens. I expect...

Still...I might go fish again this weekend- in the snow.

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PostPosted: November 15th, 2017, 9:56 am 
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Hutch wrote:
sharing water is a habit I try to follow. I expect MOST on this board do also... but the hunt for fish becomes so focused by some, that tunnel vision happens.

Tunnel vision is an apt description. Initially, I try to give people the benefit of that condition. Which is why I will enter the scene after observing people in the same spot for hours and try to initiate conversation. This usually ends up in an invitation to fish the pool, which I often accept, even with full knowledge that hours of pounding by the occupying angler(s) have most certainly put the fish down.
I have never had an experience where the occupiers denied access.
It's worth noting that I find far greater success working an entire stretch of water rather than focusing, defensively or not, on a particular pool or set of them. When times are good, Often as many fish can be found in the pockets, rips and runs between the most popular pools.

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PostPosted: November 15th, 2017, 11:19 pm 
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They were capitalists, or monopolists, not communists. If they were communists they would have given you late arriving slackers even time in the pool. Right?


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PostPosted: November 16th, 2017, 7:02 am 
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That is a good point...being a plutocrat myself, I was offended by my butler not awakening me at a correct time to get to that spot--I was kind, and did not have him drawn and quartered- but last I saw him (Think Napoleon returning from Moscow) he was trudging back across the Rt. 16 wastes toward Greenville.

On the other hand...the Commies from Mass. MIGHT have been commies still----if they were in leadership/heads of their comisariat. Those guys get all the chicks.

Hutch

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PostPosted: November 16th, 2017, 4:41 pm 
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It makes sense that a conservative from Maine would refer to anyone from Massachusetts as a commie bastard. Regardless of behavior. It blends well with the hyperbole of the day.
Humor is good, and I would be a sideshow to take it all literally. But early riser doesn't earn you a permanent spot in any pool. Maybe just the first spot, while the rest of us enjoy our coffee :mrgreen:
I get there early so I might cover more water; not spend more time in less of it.

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PostPosted: November 16th, 2017, 6:06 pm 
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If the gentleman that my younger brother is referring to are the same ones I ran into last year or the one before, I may be the reason for them not moving.
Two older men were fishing the pool and not doing anything and they had been at it for the whole morning. I really wanted to fish the lower area they were ignoring so I asked if they minded.
No problem they said, so I proceeded to land a few fish. They were talking about it and finally one came down to ask what I was doing different.
Rerigged them both with the correct flies showed them where to stand and cast. Still no luck for them, handing me the rod asked if I wanted to show them what I was talking about. Landed a fish on that cast.
In talking to them they fish GLS in the spring and the "river that is known to be open this time of year" in the fall. Pick a hole and camp there because they are used to crowds - they are indeed from down south of the border and are not used to moving to find new water.
Both landed fish before we were done which is why if they are the same guys they didn't move.
We don't need to talk about my total for the day but they said they wouldn't have believed it if they hadn't seen some of it.

The great Don Lynch knows the exact spot because we had an impromptu meeting there a few years ago. I had two young men to teach that day and Don graciously gave up the pool for them.


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PostPosted: November 17th, 2017, 11:31 am 
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Parker wrote:
If the gentleman that my younger brother is referring to are the same ones I ran into last year or the one before, I may be the reason for them not moving.
Two older men were fishing the pool and not doing anything and they had been at it for the whole morning. I really wanted to fish the lower area they were ignoring so I asked if they minded.
No problem they said, so I proceeded to land a few fish. They were talking about it and finally one came down to ask what I was doing different.
Rerigged them both with the correct flies showed them where to stand and cast. Still no luck for them, handing me the rod asked if I wanted to show them what I was talking about. Landed a fish on that cast.
In talking to them they fish GLS in the spring and the "river that is known to be open this time of year" in the fall. Pick a hole and camp there because they are used to crowds - they are indeed from down south of the border and are not used to moving to find new water.
Both landed fish before we were done which is why if they are the same guys they didn't move.
We don't need to talk about my total for the day but they said they wouldn't have believed it if they hadn't seen some of it.

The great Don Lynch knows the exact spot because we had an impromptu meeting there a few years ago. I had two young men to teach that day and Don graciously gave up the pool for them.



I think the key here is anglers who are "used to crowds". Once pressure gets high enough, if you give up your spot you can't find another one. Spend enough time in that environment, and you get a lot of incentive not to move once you find a decent spot. Which makes the problem worse, and so on.

At that point, we need some kind of ethic to keep people moving. Think "pool rotation" at the Penobscot salmon pools. Or enforced etiquette about slow play and crowing the party ahead of you on golf courses. Or "circle swimming" in crowded lanes at the lap pool. Or signing up for a slot on the machines during busy hours at the Y.

All the more reason to spend more time on remote waters where the crowds--and often the fish--are smaller.


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PostPosted: November 17th, 2017, 12:05 pm 
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One of the biggest reasons why I pond fish so much now. I almost never see anyone on the ponds I fish. But yes, the fish are generally smaller with a 14-15" fish being a "trophy". Works for me.


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PostPosted: November 18th, 2017, 9:33 am 
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IMO, It helps a lot to anticipate. Everyone knows the most popular fishing locations and seasons; but are you prepared for the humans? If not, it's a simple choice not to go there. If it's a go, hedge with patience and friendly demeanor, not a hell-bent flag raising mission in a particular pool. Consider it as much a social event as a fishing trip. Private space, Trophy fish and gaudy numbers are expectations that will likely end in disappointment and possibly worse.

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