Sunday, November 20, 2011

Day 191: Ten Miles, No Trout

Buttermilk Falls, take three.
When: Saturday, November 19th, from 9am to just after 2pm
Where: Stokes State Forest, The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, The Big Flatbrook
What: Hiking with Janel and fishing for 30 minutes
Weather: Below freezing in the morning, warmed-up to 50, SW winds to 9mph and gusting to 20
Barometric Pressure: 30.39in in the morning and dropped steadily all day
Moon: Waning, a few days after the last quarter
Water Conditions: Flatbrook was crystal clear, devoid of leaves and looked great

The focus on this outing was the hiking, not the fishing. Still, being in the vicinity of one of NJ's quintessential trout streams, The Big Flatbrook, I planned on using my 30 minutes to try and catch a brown, brookie or rainbow. Recently, I have been targeting warmwater species like bass, catfish and carp and not having much luck. Trout are coldwater species by nature and are much more willing to bite in lower temperatures.

Not today though, although once again I only gave it 30 minutes.

Janel and I headed to Stokes State Forest early Saturday morning. The drive up there is a purdy one, passing through the farmland and farmstands of Sussex County before reaching the abundant lakes and forests of its upper half. Shorty after entering the state property, we hung a Louie off 206 onto Struble Rd. and made our way to the parking area by the magnificent Buttermilk Falls.

We must have forgotten it was hunting season.

The abundance of cars parked along the road, scattered figures in orange blaze and man and 13 year-old girls alike wielding shotguns were slightly unnerving, but deterred we were not and continued onward on our 10 mile quest into Appalachia.

We began by passing Buttermik Falls on level ground and retracing the dirt road to Tillman Ravine. We then hiked the ravine and slowly made our way up to the Appalachian Trail that we utilized to summit Blue, Bird and Rattlesnake Mountains. After eight miles and 3 hours, we spent our final 60 minutes and two miles trekking the oft-perilous descent back to the falls.

Ten mile in four hours. Well done if I say.

After the hike, it was time to do my 30 minutes of fishing. Since we were so close to The Big Flatbrook, I tried to catch myself a trout with a spinner and the nightcrawlers I had left sitting on an ice pack in the car.

No luck with the trout, but a successful day on many other fronts.


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