Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Thanksgiving, Lake Effect Snow and Fish on

On Thanksgiving Rob and I headed up to Pulaski, N.Y. As usual we started to monitor the flow rate of the Salmon River as well as the weather for the Pulaski region. Earlier in the week the flow rate on the Salmon was dropped to 350cfs. which made Rob very happy.  However, the weather conditions were not as cooperative and as the week went by the predicted temperatures were getting colder and colder and then the possibility of snow flurries was also included.
Just a couple of days before we headed out the weather report had a, "Lake effect snow watch". Simply put, that means you may, or you may not, get a bit more than snow flurries in your area.
The day before we left the weather prediction had changed and was now printed in an ominous red type, "Lake effect snow warning." And then another word showed up - wind. Interesting, heavier snowfall and wind.
We got packed up and headed out early Thursday morning. The skies here in Ct. were a dark slate grey but it was still a pretty ride. As we got about 30 miles from Pulaski Rob began to notice that the trees were starting to sway in the wind.
Rob looked at me from the corner of his eye and said, "See that? That's wind." I said, "Really? Ya don't say. It doesn't look so bad," at the same time he was saying, "Swell, just swell."
Now I will have to admit that during the night the wind did start picking up. I kept looking over at Rob to see if he could hear it and I guess he still has pretty good hearing because he would simply give me this look, shake his head and mutter "Swell, just swell". Each time this happened I just tried to stifle my chuckle because I was really trying to see the humor of it all.
You need to understand why I thought it was humerous. Rob has been to Pulaski. He has been up there a couple of times. But each and every time he has mad the trip the weather has always turned south, the water in the river rises and he gets the extra special steelie treatment of wind, rain, snow or some wicked combination of all. He has not, to the best of my knowledge made the trip when the weather was good.
The next morning we were up early and getting dressed in multiple layers of fleece when Rob turned on the Weather Channel for the Local on the 8's. Man, what a mistake that was.
The satellite map for precipitation came on and all you could see over Pulaski was green. A big ol' giant glob of dark green. As you all know, the darker the green the more rain was falling.  To confirm what he just saw on the television he then proceeded to open the door to our room at Whitaker's and looked outside to see rain dripping off the porch. 
Swell, just swell.
It was about then that Rob decided he was not going to head out for the day. Now I don't blame him, the poor guy sees enough bad weather as it is because he delivers the mail. When it is raining, snowing or whatever he has no choice but to go out. But not this time. He said no to a soggy day of fishing and decided to stay in a nice and cozy room where he wrote some letters and took a nap.  On the other hand, I was on a mission. I had a new two handed rod (Deercreek 12'6", 5/6 wt. early Christmas present!!) that I was just dying to try out and I really wanted to land a steelie "on the swing" while Skagit casting.
We both walked over to the store to meet our guide, Loren Williams from Rob broke the news to Loren that he wasn't going to go and even though the rain had stopped we still couldn't get him to change his mind. So Loren took me up to S. Sandy Creek where we were pretty much sheltered from the wind. The rain never came back but we still had some brief snow flurries. It did end up being a rather pleasant day especially since I lucked out and landed three nice fish with my new toy.

That night I tried convincing Rob to come out on Saturday, our second day of adventure. I wasn't sure if he was going to comit or not until morning when he did get all geared up to go.
This time Loren took us to the Douglason Salmon Run. True, the skies were a bit grey and there was a slight breeze but it was nothing like it had been the day before or night. We were all confident that the weather was going to cooperate as well as the fish. We were set up and fishing for about half an hour when all of a sudden a wall of wind came straight up the river. It really did feel like we were getting slammed by the wind and I swear, the water was getting pushed back upriver.
We each tried a couple more casts but to no avail --duhh!!. By now Loren decided it was time to hoof it out and head to another spot where perhaps the wind wouldn't be "so bad." We left the "gale force winds" according to Rob and headed up the stairs and back to the parking lot. Along the way out we were passed by another angler who commented, "I have never fished in a wind that was strong enough to push 235 pounds off a flat rock in the river."
Think about it for a minute. That was a very accurate description of just how hard that wind was. Oh, and did I mention that it had also started to show?  Just enough to sugar coat the ground and some trees.

And Rob? Well, all he could muster up was, "Swell, just swell."
So we drove to another spot and walked down to the river. It was a relly pretty spot and true, it was sheltered from the wind. The plan was  to take turns fishing through this one section. So you would think that we were set for the rest of the day, right? Well, think again. We weren't down there for too long before it started to snow. It wasn't too bad though, until the wind found us again. Swell, just swell.
I fished a bit more because I am, from what I have been told, crazy. Rob sat on a log and was content watching me attempt some Perry Pokes and C-spey casts while Loren tried to ignite the sterno to heat up the meatballs for lunch.
All the time the wind kept-a-blowing and the snow kept-a-fallin'.

I absolutely loved every minute. Even with the wind blowing the snow sideways and packing my reel. Even with Loren telling me to cast closer to the other side of the bank to which I replied, "Sorry! I can't hear you. I have snow in my ear. And bank??!! I can't see it to cast to!"
Swell, just swell.
I can't wait for the end of December when I go back up for some more fishin' adventures. Gotta wonder, what will the weather be like?

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