Spared heavy rain the previous two days, my son, his friend Anderson and his father, and I fished Spruce Run yesterday at Van Syckles Road. The isolated rain cloud we had spotted driving north on Route 31 dropped a light shower which a strong wind out of the southwest drove at an angle. Considerably milder temperatures than last week seemed to make little difference; although we had some action just after sunset, nothing like the business we've had in the past when the wind dies had alerted us to play.
I had not known that pickerel exist in Spruce Run, but I do now since I caught one of about 18 inches just after sundown. Live lining a shiner on six-pound test (I use 15-pound test fluorocarbon leaders for pike and pickerel, abrasion resistant against those teeth and nearly invisible), I happened to set my rod down and let the shiner swim on its own for about five minutes; weighted by a small barrel swivel, line, and hook through its lips, it probably wiggled in place near the bottom. Done eating my sub, or whatever it was, when I lifted my rod I noticed tight line and commenced to reeling in what soon seemed in the water to be a pike with too light of a green coloration--no, a pickerel.
Another party fishing the Van Syckles area caught a small pike of perhaps 22 inches, and a brown trout of about 14 inches, both on bobber fished shiners.
Bird sighting had not been so interesting as last week. We saw mergansers, and a pied billed grebe attacked my son's shiner under a bobber. I was relieved that the bird wasn't hooked. Although yesterday we had seen no more than Canada geese, shortly after sunset I caught sight of a great horned owl in flght over the reservoir, gliding into the trees. First I had actually seen in many years.
Conversation made up for slow fishing. Will people read books in the future, or will the written word be completely electronic? I argued for books and won some consent. And I really do believe people will not let paper print go. To hold a book in your hands that you have owned for decades is integral to what reading is all about. For example, a long-owned book, a physical object of unique specificity and value for the owner, will serve as a context for memory that gives a base to the book's content in relation to the owner of that book. Ever see the Star Trek episode about the Borg? That society of mindless unity. People won't give up reading books because books are more personal than electronic media. No one wants to be "assimilated," not if it means losing the mind.
Kids read books. I don't believe theirs is a total electronics generation either.