Sunday, September 18, 2011

Delaware River Fishing at Poxono Island, and Kittatiny Ridge

Wasn't as expected--we expected the cold and fog, but not high water. The Delaware flowed at least three feet above normal, although water was fairly clear. So we began fishing by struggling against the uncertainty of a possibly ruined outing. I just got myself into the rhythms of working a large topwater plug--Dying Flutter--while my son Matt seemed to do pretty well with a large Pop-R. We come here to try for muskies, since the first time we came, I spotted one over 15 pounds. What reassured us is that just like four years ago when we made the river at dawn, huge carp leapt several or more per minute in this acreage around Poxono Island, and bass broke water on occasion going after shad fry. The only difference was that four years ago shad fry were visible at the surface everywhere. 

I walked up along the bank avoiding thick mud, casting along the bank nearly hiking to the boat launch. I did manage to entice a pickerel to hit that big topwater, the pickerel no larger than the 11 incher I caught at the Delaware and Raritan Canal the other day. Then we marched back to our stuff, and began casting smaller topwaters on lighter rods for bass. I tried hard for at least a half hour, maybe 45 minutes. I could not get as far downstream as I wanted to because of the high water. This range of shoreline where current cuts close, yet leaves a drop-off edge beyond which is still water, seemed as dead as mid-winter, when it has never failed to produce bass in the past. Finally I gave in to using a shiner. Matt had already lost a bass on a nightcrawler, and had begun complaining of cold hands and feet. So I had precious minutes to fish--two shiners it turned out to be. The smallmouth photographed is an average Delaware bass of close to 12 inches.

As expected, as soon as we left the river course, the sky revealed a cloudless, blue sunshine. I don't understand how so much steam accumulates above the river overnight, but on cold September mornings--it even happens in August sometimes to lesser degree--the sky above is such a thick cloud cover you would expect it to pour. It's amazing to think about. The mountains at the Gap were all but shrouded completely.

We drove to Mohican Outdoor Center and kept Matt's snake tongs hidden in the car. We were not there to make a spectacle of ourselves. If we encountered a snake, we would photograph it best we could. At 12 years old, Matt may be on the way to the career in herpetology he anticipates, although of course everyone else concerned cannot be quite as certain as he is. I hope he does it--so long as the world travels he wishes to enjoy encompass a great deal else as well, and knowing Matt, they will.

We did see yet another walking stick, which reminds me: "Words dissemble, words be quick, words resemble walking sticks./Plant them, they will grow, watch them waver so." James Douglas Morrison (Jim Morrison).

Catfish Pond is an innappropriate name for this beautiful, very clear, spring fed glacial lake of about 25 acres. I would doubt catfish exist in it. But bass do, and I'm sure pickerel. We didn't fish today. Some other time. But we walked all about the property. I even took a photograph from the interior of the Interpretive Center. To have an unstaffed place with books on a shelf for anyone (so long as signed in at the Vistior Center) to come in and peruse is wonderful in our current American society regarded as a security state, with historically high levels of distrust, perhaps. I need to get "Timberline!" A Nature Guide! Why this sort of information instead of market stats draws my interest like a sponge involves the innocence of its context as opposed to the guilt of the other. I am not against the free market, but we do not live in a true free market society.  

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