Old Man Norland. Every time he seems to hit these magical waters things tend to go south and today was to prove no different. Having struggled for the past couple of months to secure a date to head up to the cabin we finally landed on this weekend. The conditions looked like they were coming into shape and there was a slim possibility that this could be the time. After too many cold ones the night prior we woke pre-light for a morning session on the Big River. Knowing full well that it was Saturday and the circus would be in town we settled on the couch for a couple of coffees and conversation before dragging our sorry asses to the river. The access lot was jam packed. We weighed our options and hit the trail towards the Tunk . Along the way every inch of the river was being exploited. Much to our surprise the Tunk hole was almost void of pressure with the exception of a couple of guide boats.
Norland really wanted his homo Swiss and Morel Sausage so we hit the Dublin General Store for some prepared meats. Morel Sausage, Jerky Dip and Maple Jerky was our poison and the plan for the remainder of the afternoon was to sit on the porch with a couple of cold ones and some good eats. By now the skies were clear blue and the temps we in the high 60's. The chairs on the porch were sure a welcomed relief as we cracked a cold one and dove into our treats.
Norlands first time to the Weir and first time seeing the Eagle Nest. I was certain I had seen some movement on the nest when all of a sudden a giant white head appeared out of nowhere looking down upon the river. It was nice to see they were on the nest tending to this years offspring. We spent some time admiring the Eagles and Steelhead before heading back to the cabin for the remainder of the day. On the way back we decided to do some scouting and check out Pine Lake. We had gotten a tip of extremely large Blue Gills taken this winter through the ice. Apparently Bluegills in the 13+" range are very possible on this system. The lake is virtually in my back yard so we thought we better check out the scene and get the down low on how we are gonna get the Hyde out on her for some Bluegill action on the fly later this spring. Much to my surprise the lake was a decent size and the access was excellent. Another thing for the must-do list.
The day was a gift after such a hard winter and it really was nice to reunite with Norland.
Sunday morning came way too early and was repelled by the mystical snooze button. The early morning thunderstorm left be longing for more sleep and with little ambition to face the Circus. Finally I managed to raise my weary body from bed and put a pot of coffee on. Out side there was a fairly heavy fog and as I approached the picture window to peer into the front yard I startled a large Tom and 3 hens as they foraged around in a remnant snow bank for captured seed from the feeders. This was the first time we had seen some Turkey on the property and was kinda special. My wife prides herself with the amount and selection of bird feed she has available so for her the encounter was extra special. After a lazy hour of drinking coffee and chatting we decided to make an attempt at the river. We hit Horseshoe bend in hopes of some isolation and solitude as well as easy and accessibility. We were granted both but under a torrential downpour. The river was very stained but we gave it our best only to come up empty handed. (Norland curse thing...you know!)
Not wanting to totally pack it in just yet we doubled back towards Tippy and the Tunk Hole.
Norland also had to get on the road and get home for a dinner date.
We made our way back to the cottage and parted ways. It was nice to get together with a good friend. I certainly wish the fishing conditions were better but as in life some things you cannot control.