Last weekend Lisa and I headed to Pulaski, NY for the Spey Nation Spey Clave. We also wanted to take the time to explore some parts of the river in anticipation of the upcoming steelhead season (which, personally can't get here soon enough for me!)
The water is pretty low - 240cfs and very, very warm at 75F. Since the water was so warm it didn't really cool us off from the 90F temps for those couple of days. But....since the tug is the drug and steelie are such a blast the two of us decided to use the non-fishing time checking things out.
Friday we headed out and decided to wet wade while checking out the river at one particular spot that I wanted to show Lisa; I fished there with a guide a couple of years ago and wanted to go back ever since.
Down the embankment we went, following first one trail that ended up in a bunch of brush and then turning around to try again. The second trail we followed wasn't too bad; it actually looked well worn. Eventually that trail turned into a deer trail. Okay, no big deal. The last time I was there it was winter and easy to go through except for the snow and ice.....but now there was all this green leafy crap in our way.
Not only was there green leafy crap but the ground started to get a tad on the soggy side.
We kept on going since we figured if it was good enough for the deer and they were probably heading to the river for a drink, then it was good enough for us as well.
The trail got narrower and narrower and the ground started getting a bit soggy.
Then the ground got soggier enough so that one would call it a bog. The definition of a bog is:
Water flowing out of bogs has a characteristic brown colour, which comes from dissolved peat tannins. In general the low fertility and cool climate results in relatively slow plant growth, but decay is even slower owing to the saturated soil. Hence peat accumulates. Large areas of landscape can be covered many meters deep in peat.
The brown color is important, so remember that. I tried to get the text color above to match the brown but it doesn't do it justice. Oh, and the part of it being meters deep? Yeah, important mental note there as well.
But back to the river exploration which should, by now, be a bog exploration.
We are talking about our upcoming trips (yeah, plural since one trip just doesn't cut it) and joking about what the look on Lisa's face is going to be when she lands her first steelie (so hoping I can video that!) when I say, "Where did the deer trail end??"
We looked around and sure enough the trail we had been so faitfully following had disappeared. But we knew where the river was and even though we couldn't see it we were not about to turn back. Now we were bushwacking.
The ground is getting softer and softer until I took that one step and that was when, according to Lisa, she just watched me melt into the BOG. Yup, the left foot went down and kept on going until it was just over my knee. So there I am, sunk up above my knee and the right foot just starting to go as well. I turned around to look at Lisa and said, "Look at me! I'm a midget!!"
We laughed like hell. If anyone had been watching it was quite a show, for sure.
Lisa darted around me and was pleased to say, "Look. I didn't sink!"
Then she took one step and sunk down as well. Holy crap, she tried to grab a branch to pull herself up only to have the branch break on her and she plopped backwards. By that time I had yanked my leg out by grabbing anything I could for leverage (and thank God there was no poison ivy!!). I was so stuck that at one time I felt my wading boot getting pulled off and there was no way I was going to stick my hand down there to fish it out either! Luckily both boot and leg made it up but it was only a temporary situation.
We took another couple of steps and I sunk again only this time it was my right leg.
So there we are, not looking too pretty. Sweat pouring down our faces, thorns stuck into our wading pants and both of us are covered in mud.
BROWN BOG MUD
At this point we could see the river was close so we had two choices, keep on going or turn around and go back.
We kept on.
When I looked down I could not tell what color my wading boots were. My wading pants were just as disgusting with BROWN BOG MUD.
When we got to the river Lisa actually sat down in it trying to get the BROWN BOG MUD off her wading pants. It didn't really work since there was a permanent brown stain left behind when she stood up and mine are still stained despite having gone through the wash when I got home.
We looked around to make sure there were no witnesses, even deer, and then proceeded to check out the river like we had planned.
The only problem was how the hell were we going to get back? I jokingly told Lisa that we could go right back the same way we went becuase going uphill was easier. Not sure why but she didn't buy that.
So we ended up finding and then following another trail along the river and luckily there wasn't a bog in sight!