Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Mount Hope Pond, Beavers and Michelangelo, and Plastic Worming for Largemouth Bass

 Caught some photos today, but no fish. It was good to get my booted feet on wild ground and step on uneven, wet granite with the risk of broken bones that's never happened to me going on 50 years, climb steep embankments, and lift legs over trees felled by beavers since I last fished Mount Hope Pond in May or June. That's a photo I should have shot for this post, one of the beaver cuts, the flat tooth shaving grooves suggesting a sculptor's instrument.

I came home today and got into conversation with my son about my novel after I asked him to read the first paragraph. In our exchange I told him that Michelangelo said that he liberated his sculptures from chunks of stone. In a nutshell, a novel is not something "made up," but a discovery of truth that can only be conveyed fictionally.

In my experience, Mount Hope Pond has never been so close to dingy clarity as it was today. So I sifted through my lure bag for a spinnerbait, and finding that I hadn't one, tied on an eight-inch Culprit worm. One sunfish tap was all the interest it got.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park, Round Valley Reservoir, Consciousness and the Globe

Thought I would just get by and visit the Delaware and Raritan Canal despite having forgotten my rain gear, when the rain began to come down heavily enough to stay in my car. I got out and shot this photo at Manville, another at Round Valley just before it really began to pour, having adored the water quality of the canal. Recent summers it's been disgusting, especially compared to crystal clarity I have seen in the past, although usually it's of normal clarity--not dingy, not clear. Today it was as clear as I've ever seen it, like the upper Delaware River.

You can see some fall coloration coming into New Jersey trees, and this brings back memories of fishing the canal Octobers in Mercer County. We always switched to shiners from Rapalas and Rebels we cast during summer and caught many pickerel, a wonder of pursuit and reward in what looks like a very small waterway, but on foot you could walk 66 miles on the tow paths. Variations in fish habitat allow fine tuning of your game all along the shorelines.

Trout anglers fished Round Valley from shore today, but caught nothing. It's early. Fishing for bass in the rain would have been interesting. I like to loosen my consciousness through environmental beauty as I fish. I don't lose it; I loosen it just like a jogger loosens hamstrings for flexibility. Fishing's a game with a single purpose--to catch fish. But that purpose encompasses the entire globe just as water does.

Who would forget air....

Monday, October 1, 2012

Burnham Park Pond Morristown New Jersey: Where are the Fish?

 That's probably the first photograph I've featured with pond fountains, five of them in the lower Burnham Park Pond. A lot of people must like these because they have become very popular in the last decade or longer. They all look the same, identical commodities in ponds that without them look a lot more appealing to my eye anyhow. Nothing against capitalism--I've always been a firm believer in laizze faire--but the word commodity leaps off the page as a joke almost every time I come upon it in reading, as if it means com-oddity, as the prefix com, like con, means with, I suppose, since the prefix com of comradery means with. I could go refer to my etymological dictionary upstairs, but you get the message.

More evidence today that these two ponds with beautiful water quality have been raped. Not a hit, and the tantalizing action of the inset rigged Senko-type worm drew strikes from two good sized pickerel in a half hour about the same time of year, same conditions, four years ago. The law allows yield, but it is sad when virtually all the fish in a pond are taken, and in nearly 50 years of fishing, I've never before encountered the problem as--only apparently, really--it seems to be here. I won't conclude that this is the case, and I didn't last year either, skunked twice. Likely, I'll be back to try again. But I don't stick around to nurse a losing environment; I move on to more fertile experience and keep it that way.