Fishing with Dean Ween

Dean Ween, the guitarist for the band the Ween recently started a fishing charter business. A friend and I signed up and spent an afternoon fishing for smallmouth bass with him on the Delaware River.

Trout on the Battenkill

I just finished a weekend of fishing at the Battenkill an hour north of Albany. We managed to catch 15 trout or so in all, and had a couple of good fish feasts. At one spot, I couldn't find any fish, but I came across some chicken mushroom growing in the woods to supplement the trout feast. Yum!

A DEC worker stopped by and asked me a few questions, and he showed me how you can tell which fish were stocked. They clip a fin off the fish, and for each season they clip a different fin so that they can tell which season it was stocked. He said that they stock lots of 9 inch trout, and a smaller number of 15 inch trout. You can tell that a fish was stocked if one of it's fins is either missing, or noticeably smaller than it should be.

I also caught a fish that had some unpleasant redness around it's eyes and mouth. I emailed the picture to the DEC, and got a quick response explaining that this is "very typical hook wounding with damage around the mouth and eyes" after a previous "bad run in with a hook".

Trout in West Sand Lake

I fished the tiny Wynantskill in West Sand Lake this evening, and I caught a beautiful 15 inch trout on a small Rapala lure in a deep pool underneath a small waterfall:

This fish was very darkly colored. I wonder if this is a wild trout? They say that because of the diet of a stocked trout, it doesn't develop the same brilliant color as a wild trout.

Barometric Pressure

This was an awesome day of fishing during a time when the barometric pressure was consistently flat for several days in a row.

Related Entries

* Tiger Trout on the Wynantskill
* Trout on the Wynantskill

Related Links

* Wynantskill Public Fishing Rights

Knotts Island Fishing

I've been visiting friends on Knotts Island, NC this week. We fished all day on the nearby causeway bridge, and caught some nice striped bass (which are currently out of season here), flounder, and 48 keeper crabs!

Tiger Trout on the Wynantskill

I had a blast fishing the Wynantskill this morning. I caught several small brown trout while walking up and down the river.

There is an awesome water wheel behind a house along the creek. It looks like it is capable of powering a bunch of tools in the yard.

I caught a nice 13-inch trout.

2011 comments: I didn't know what it was when I caught it. I was new to trout fishing, so it seemed normal that I had trouble identifying which type of trout it was. A year or so later after I had learned to identify trout, I looked back at this picture and realized that this was not a typical trout. I sent the picture to the NYS DEC and this was their response:

"It looks like a tiger trout, that is a cross between a brook and brown trout. To the best of my knowledge, no one is stocking them, so it is probably a naturally produced hybrid."

Hybrid or no, it made for a great dinner.

Barometric Pressure

This was an excellent day of fishing during a flat period of barometric pressure.

Related Entries

* Trout in West Sand Lake
* Trout on the Wynantskill

Related Links

* Tiger Trout on Wikipedia
* Wynantskill Public Fishing Rights

Okacroke Flounder

We are on vacation on the Outer Banks in North Carolina! We're camping out at the remote Ocracoke island. I caught a nice flounder in the surf next to our campsite at around noon on a pink metal hunk that the guys at the local tackle shop recommended. We grilled up this delicious fish for lunch:

Ultralight Backpacking in VT

As I sit atop Mount Abraham, I am in awe. From where I sit, I can look in any direction and see forever. To the South, I see a long ridge pointing over the top of many crests - hundreds of them. I see the ridge that I followed to reach this point to the East, I see The Great Adirondack Mountains - a silhouette looming over Lake Champlain - the blinding light of the sun reflecting off the water as it falls towards the horizon. There is a mountain pass that I look through to see the fields of a thousand farms. I can follow the lake North to Canada and in the South it disappears in a pile of hills. To the North, I see the mountains that I plan to head towards today - A ridge to follow that will take me through the 3 tallest of the Green Mountains. To the West I see very distant mountains that I can only assume lie in New Hampshire.

From this point, I can see more than just 4 directions. In between each of these, there are more and more huge natural wonders to look at. It's incredible, the number of peaks I can see from right here.

Just hit Little Abe @ 3900ft. Some Ski Hill. Nancy Hanks Peak 3812.

So now I'm up at the top of Sugarbush somewhere, by the fire, after a hearty meal of nasty spaghetti. I only brought 1 liter of water and that's almost gone so I'll be hurting in the morning. I'm in the upper-pine part of the mountain, so firewood is scarce. There's enough of it though, that I can stay warm in an emergency.

I found a spot with a somewhat soft place to lay with a dead tree making a good spot for my shelter: |\. I laid down pine bows and put my space blanket over the log - it's pretty good but it's not to the ground on one side so heat will escape. If I get cold at all, I'll have to fix that.

I don't know what I'm doing. This is stupid. This is going to suck! It's just going to be a long, miserable night of being cold and uncomfortable, I'm sure. We'll see. It might not be so bad.

Here is everything I brought with me:

- space blanket
- fleece blanket
- machete
- sweat shirt
- t-shirt
- xtra socks
- hat (winter)
- water tablets, knife, cord, compass
- 1 liter of water
- silver wear, mess kit
- a little Oats 'n More, pasta, tomato sauce, soup
- flashlight
- I'm wearing a t, undies, wool socks + pants.

Light's dimming.

It's now the middle of the night sometime - I don't have any idea when. I woke up a little cold. The fire was totally out - not embers left in the fire, but there was a small amount of heat. This is the only indication I have of time - it's been a while. I'd guess it's around 2:00am, but you're entitled to your own opinion.

I threw a large pile of birch bark into the fire, and re-lit the old logs. I'm cooking up some soup to get me through the rest of the night. I took down the tent so I can wrap myself in the space blanket. It's a good thing I brought a winter hat!

I woke up in the middle of the night again last night (now I'm at home, warm, many sleeping + waking hours after my return) to the sound of wind blowing it's way up the side of the mountain. "The winds of change". I knew from the sound of the wind that trouble may be brewing - wind comes from changes in fronts, and collisions of fronts cause rain to fall. Shortly after the wind picked up, rain started sprinkling down. At the time, I was bundled up in the space blanket and the warm blanket. I quickly laid the space blanket over me to act as a sort of tent: (Here there is a drawing of the space blanket lying flat over a stick figure) and wrapped up in the blanket. My heart was racing with fear. I did not want to panic, but this could quickly get very out of hand! I had checked out the weather forecast in the paper, and had foolishly counted on there not being any rain! I was cold, shelterless, and without much to keep me warm, and no hope if I got wet!

Through my panicked mind, I decided that I had to make an emergency plan NOW. When hypothermia strikes, the mind is one of the things that leave you. I don't know if making a plan ahead of time would do any good, but it sure couldn't hurt. Would I get firewood and try to stay warm and wet? Would I break into a shelter, where I'd spend the night wet? Would I go down the mountain to find help that way? I think I gave up thinking about it. "I'll cross that bridge when I come to it." I was staying dry, for the moment, and that's all I cared about. Thinking of an emergency plan boggled my mind because each possibility seemed hopeless - 1) There wasn't much wood to be found, even when it was light out. It was all wet, too. Plus I'd still be sitting in the freezing cold rain, left to walk for miles and miles, soaking wet, back to the car. The plan wasn't foolproof, either - I didn't think I had much batter life left in my flashlight. 2) I didn't think of that last night - it was a crappy plan. 3) I had limited flashlight, no money (not even 25 cents for the phone! I'm an idiot) and besides, who would be available at Sugarbush at that hour? Who would be driving around willing to give me a ride anywhere @ 4:00 in the morning? My only hope would have been to call the operator and to beg for help. That's probably what would have ended up happening.

Luckily, though, I did not have to resort to any of this. A few hours later, I lifted the suffocating cover I had, to expose the dull gray light of the sun struggling to penetrate the thick cover of clouds that loomed above me. I was psyched. I packed up my things, put some cereal in my pocket, and raced home. I had a garbage bag, and I put it over me - it was very small, and was like a wife-beater, but keeping my midsection dry was very important.

Soon after I began walking, my body warmed up. I felt tired and battered, and each climbing step was another small struggle. At the top of Sugarbush, I could look down and see a thick layer of clouds. By the time I reached the top of Mt. Abraham, I could see nothing but gray all around me. Small swirls of clouds flew past me and through me at very high speeds.

The final stretch to my car was very long. A few miles from my campsite to Abraham, then 3 miles to my car from there. The rain got worse and worse, but by that time I was in a t-shirt. A little cold, but I wanted to keep my sweatshirt dry.

So I made it back with not even a scratch. A little less sane than I was, but that should go away.

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