Monday, April 13, 2015

Reservoir Dog (or maybe...)

I was raised on a road called Old Kensico about a half mile up the hill from the Kensico Reservoir. I fished there as a kid off shore for rock bass and other pan fish. Played there as a teen with aimless dreams and laughter.  Now I fish it by jon boat (no motors allowed, a blessing) and have been since about 2006. For years one was not allowed to get a boat out until April 1st.  They changed that a few years back so that fishing is allowed all year so long as there is no ice. I can't remember the last time ice prohibited the fishing until after April first but this was one such year.  I don't think there was clear open water until April 6th. Be that as it may, my first voyage of the year came this morning,  April 12th.  I wasn't the only one lured by warmish temps and little to no wind. Although it's possible that I was the only one to catch such a large serving of a very finicky fellow:

Oh well. It was a gorgeous early spring morning and I cannot wait to get back out there again.  The reservoir that I have called home for my entire life may skunk me once in a while but every dog has his day (eventually) and no matter what happens, I never leave The Big "K" feeling empty.

Tight lines!  I hope some of you are having better luck than me this early season!!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015


The car was iced over in a glaze at 6:30 when I went out to get her started.  Spring indeed.  A quick check of the gear and some chipping away at the windows and soon Phill arrived, hot coffee in hand.  A good friend and fishing partner, his thoughtfulness hit the spot.  As far as a fishing spot, well, that wasn't so easy.

Checking the gauges incessantly yesterday, last night, and again upon rising, it was apparent that most of our tail-waters would be "blown out".  I'm not sure why, but it seems that the people who make the decision on the state level to release water from the reservoirs enjoy fooling us fisher-folk on April 1st.  My go to stream for the day usually runs at about 100 and was up over 3 and a quarter.  Another favorite was at over 400 from it's usual 200.  And so the story goes.  Be that as it may, it was opening day and we were going to fish come hell, or more literally, high water.

A stop into The Bedford Sportsman for some needed supplies and it was onto another cup o' joe and an egg sandwich at the deli nearby.  The pace was clearly not that of a rush with frigid waters awaiting and a couple of guys that were feeling fortunate to finally have some time to "shoot the shit".  We grew up a few houses from one another, got in and out of trouble together in our youth, were each other's best men, and now we're just sitting in a car eating eggs and asking "how are the kids doing?"  Life is good. 

We started at a stream that I had only fished once and what a beautiful little river it is.  The crunch of a fresh thin layer of snowy ice (God willing the last) under our boots was a good sound on the small hike into a couple of promising looking pools.  For as many cars as were parked out at the road, finding some solitude was not that difficult.  I concentrated on these pools for the duration of our time spent here while Phill bounced around a bit more.  

A few spin fishermen strode by once in awhile, sharing equal news of a slow morning with no trout to hand.  Phill came in and out of view and each time gave the thumbs down on the luck.  The water was about 37 degrees so my guess is that the fish were too cold to breakfast.  If only they had those eggs.

We headed for another smaller stream not too far from the first and the car's heater was a nice touch for the toes.  Fishing downstream for awhile with stunning views brought nothing to hand.  The theme of the day seemed imminent but I didn't mind to tell the truth.  I haven't felt a bend in the rod since probably November or earlier as my only year round stream went as cold this winter as a kid's tongue on dry ice.  Today was about more than catching trout anyway.  Today was about the promise of a new season.  

A quick car ride upstream and we were at it again.  The day's temp was slowly climbing into the moderate 40's and I swear I even felt the sun warm my shoulders for a second.  I'll take what I can get. More fishermen with even more news of cold water and empty nets.  An elderly man "harumphed" me when I said I was just happy to be out.  I got a kick out of that.  Lord knows I've been there.

Finally, after missing a fish but seeing it flash, I had at least located a possible lie.  After a tweak of the rig and the right drift, I managed two small stocked fish and missed another two.  Phill began to have the same luck and also managed a couple.  It was time to quit while we were ahead.  Time to get back to those kids we were asking about earlier in the day.  Time to know when the promise of a new season had thrown us a bonus.  

Happy Opening Day 2015.  Hope it was as good to you as it was to me.