Open Roads in the Prairie Schooner

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Obie
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Re: Open Roads in the Prairie Schooner

Post by Obie » Thu Aug 10, 2017 10:12 pm

Absolutely top shelf, fellas. Thanks for sharing!

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Lando
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Re: Open Roads in the Prairie Schooner

Post by Lando » Thu Aug 10, 2017 11:50 pm

:Roll Eyes

Nice shots, Kareem.
If my tombstone reads, "He never ate sushi." it won't be a lie, and I'll be OK with that.

~Average Joe

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Ginseng Sullivan
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Re: Open Roads in the Prairie Schooner

Post by Ginseng Sullivan » Fri Aug 11, 2017 8:01 am

Any chance AJ can tell the rest of the tale?

Even with advanced ADD this is some TR.

Fun adventure for sure and Sak takes a nice photo.

You should just clear coat that entire rig as is. You know, to NY proof it.

:cool

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ironman
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Re: Open Roads in the Prairie Schooner

Post by ironman » Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:58 am



Day 3

We wake up a little foggy, get things together, and wander down towards the river. Took some pics for FlyChucker.
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Wayne is getting gear rigged up, so we take the occasion to get the Prairie Schooner readied for travel. We are off to breakfast, then to set up camp somewhere on the McCloud.
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Was it something I said?
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As Saks said, our beloved Delaware rainbows were brought from the McCloud. Legend has it, the train broke down on its way to NYC. The brakeman, being an avid trouter, knew the fish would die, so instead of allowing them to perish, he released them into the Delaware River. They are remarkable fish, and we were really excited to experience the McCloud.

Mt Shasta is a part of most views, and is becoming a familiar friend. NorCal is quite remarkable. I could easily live in the Great State of Jefferson.
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The McCloud is a morning river and evening river, Wayne tells us. We’ve missed the morning (shocking, right?, CE, Timber, and Lando!), but will hit it properly tomorrow. Upon arrival at our campsite, we discover there is some sort of trout gathering of what you'd expect. Complete with the Supercharged Range Rover, and finely dressed sporting men and women. There is even an outfitter or two hosting trips. McCrowded is now starting to make sense. No matter. This is storied water for us, so we set up camp, and piled into Wayne’s truck to go fishing.

We stop at the first pull off, and Wayne is talking about a rope descent to the river. I’m thinking to myself – fuk that. And am glad to hear Saks say he isn’t crazy about carrying all his camera equipment down a very steep river entry involving ropes. Wayne agrees, and we move a little further down the road and find a set of stairs. How cosmopolitan.
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Get to the bottom, and climb around on the rocks. We’ve been warned about rattlesnakes and poison oak, repeatedly. Wayne moves first, and is banging his wading staff anywhere there could be a snake.

Finally, we get to the fishing. The Fly Shop had stated that Mud Creek was flowing, and making the McCloud the McCloudy. Mud Creek is created by a melting glacier.

The river had a really cool color to it. I took this picture after catching my first fish, having a beer with AJ. This was the most beautiful place I’ve ever been in my life. The air was hot and dry, and carried a fragrance I can still smell but couldn’t describe. The water was stinging cold, and countered the air perfectly. It was wonderful place.
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The fishing was good enough to hold our interest, but we really didn’t see risers until the evening. The takes were quick. Really quick. You had to be on point. Wayne is easily the best nymph fisherman I’ve ever seen, and he wades with the grace of a gazelle. Made the whole affair look effortless. I regret we didn’t take more fish pictures.

Wayne, our guide, doesn’t like having his picture taken.
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Neither does Saks.
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AJ doing AJ.
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The real photogs.
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Pals.
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When laying out this part of our trip, AJ wouldn’t allow us to share in the expenses of camping, guides, food, beverages, with one exception. We were to bring food for lunch and dinner on Sunday. Steak, specifically, as it is Wayne’s favorite, and his wife doesn’t cook it for him. Easy. Picked out 4 very nice ribeye steaks, complete with mushrooms and onions, camp potatoes, and whiskey. Our lunch was rather unremarkable – sub sannies with Cajun turkey, muenster cheese, with hot mustard, potato chips, and pickles. The pickles resembled vegetables, and are still packed in the Prairie Schooner.

Prior to the trip, I’ve been eyeing a FireDisk Cooker. Easy to transport, runs on 1# propane cylinders, cleans up with water, and has ample space to cook different things. Essentially, a more portable version of the plow disc wok I made at home.

Thing works great. This was the first cook.
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Don't designate the photographer to be your sous chef. Things get cut in the wrong direction.
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As Saks said, our new friend Loree joined us for dinner and drinks. Pretty badass that she had been hiking the PCT since June 24th, solo, without bear spray, a bear bell, or a pistol. Bummer she got injured. We carried on late that night, and that giant deer couldn’t have been happier.
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Beginning of Day 4.

Breakfarts.
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Broke camp, and went fishing. The asshats were gone, it was just us. I got my shit together and hit the water.
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One of the items I bought for this trip was a Platypus water purifier. Not only was the McCloud gorgeous, it was quite tasty too. Especially out of an advertising bottle for an American Co., manufactured by another American Co. in Californiar.
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We fished until mid-day, and headed out for the Pit.
Last edited by ironman on Tue Aug 29, 2017 10:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
"if you don't understand the perfect logic of this, then you may as well fuck right off Teh Suk" - Fatman

"I took a Japanese whaling approach to panfishing as a kid." - Boomin

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Greenback
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Re: Open Roads in the Prairie Schooner

Post by Greenback » Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:59 am

Like this bigly. :cool

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Sakonnet
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Re: Open Roads in the Prairie Schooner

Post by Sakonnet » Fri Aug 11, 2017 12:19 pm



So we roll into a gas station in the town of McCloud to fuel up, get some ice and something cool to soothe my blistering sore throat. Right off the bat we saw two guys nearly come to blows; one guy threatening to shoot the other guy dead. Seems as if the one guy was messing around with the other guy's old lady.

I go inside the store and see this article in the local paper. This don't compute for someone who lives 3 blocks from the southern New England coastline.

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We drove through some national forest and saw more and more burned out forest land. Again, not something you really ever see in New England.

About this time I'm starting to notice the driver's side windshield wiper's in pretty rough shape but no worries, we're practically in a desert (in my book at least). "Fuck those wipers!", I thought. We hadn't seen a cloud since Golden Gate.

Jose turns off the main drag down into a valley and along a reservoir. We pull over and walk across a dam. We get our first view of the Pit River.

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Iron and I heard all kinds of talk about the Pit being this incredibly tough river to wade. As we drove down the river valley it didn't look too bad; nothing much worse than the fast sections of the Esopus back home.

Jose pulled into the campground and found us a good site right next to the head.

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Iron and I started to rig the Schooner for its overnight mooring site. While Iron and I are unloading shit, Jose walks over and says, " You guys wanna see a scorpion?" Iron and I looked at each other then looked at Jose and simultaneously said, "No!" After our manhood was called into question we walked over to a piece of fire log where Jose proceeded to up end said log. "There you go" he said. I'm like, "Where is it, I don't see it?" "Me neither" responded Iron. Joe sticks his finger practically on top of this little creature, "His bite will rot your flesh off where he sticks you." For us, that ended any thought of wet wading that evening. I didn't think it was picture worthy.

I took my time getting ready. By now this cold was beginning to really make itself felt and slowing me down somewhat. When I got down to the river I could see Iron was a few hundred yards downstream casting away. As soon as I walked into the water I realized my earlier estimate of this river not looking so tough was off. Way off.

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Even with the help of a wading staff I was grabbing onto roots, rocks, tree limbs, anything so I wouldn't fall head first into this river. I'm not quite sure how but I was able to climb up onto a flat rock not far off the bank. I stood up, surveyed the scene and decided I wasn't leaving this rock, ever. I looked back down river to see if Iron was having as much difficulty as I was. He didn't appear to be having any trouble.

The water was deep in front of me and was slow, by this river's standards; not slow by my standards based on what I'm used to back home. I tied on a hopper with a two fly dropper; this giant black rubber leg girdle bug thing and a black size 18 bead head Joe told me to buy back in Redding. Couple of casts in and the big foam hopper goes down. I set the hook and feel a good fish on. I actually have to play him off the reel. Fuck yes! I'm the worst nymph fisherman on the planet; I mean I fucking despise fishing sub-surface for trout. Nothing pisses me off more than hearing everyone and their grandmother yelling at me to MEND! In my mind I'm thinking, "Fuck Youse All!" I finally got a decent fish on the nymph. I get my first look at him and it looks like a good brown. I rip my net off, lead the fish upstream and slide the bag underneath him.

"What the hell is this thing?" I mumbled to myself.

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I kept catching them if I cast the rig into this certain slot and they kept grabbing that giant girdle bug. At this point, I'm a pretty happy camper. I'm standing on a flat surface, I'm dry, I'm catching a decent size fish the species of which I've never caught before; fuck this trout thing. Just like back home; a 20" fallfish is still a 20" fish. I can live with that.

As the light's starting to fade I look downstream to check on Iron but I don't see him. "Iron's a mover, a better trout fisherman and not as lazy as I am" I say to myself. Now understand at about this point I'm fighting a cold and for some reason both my ears are clogged up real bad and my hearing's noticeably diminished but I could swear I heard Iron yell "FUCK!!!" "Must've lost a good fish" I mused. Not long after that I caught glimpse of him walking along the bank toward camp. I slid my ass off my sanctuary rock and the few feet back onto the bank and followed him back for dinner.

When I met up with him back at camp he was pretty hot. "FUCKING CUNT! FUCK THIS RIVER!" I'm like, "Whoa, easy killer. What happened?" "Motherfucker, I fell like six times down there. I think I put a hole in these new waders." I didn't even want to know at that point how the fishing was for him; I just let him be. I think he skipped the beer and went straight for the brown water.

Jose stayed at camp prepping dinner for us. He had brought along some frozen supermarket wings for appetizers. While cooking them up I think I saw him pull out what looked like a magic wand and wave it over the oven. "Must be this fever" I thought. 10 minutes later I had some of the best crispy wings ever. It was picture worthy. I ate them all before I could get a shot though. Then Jose continued working on the main course.

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Jose was just finishing up the pizzar when I showed him a picture of the fish I was catching.
JZ: "Joe, WTF is thing?"
AJ: "It's a squaw fish."
JZ: "A what?"
AJ: "A squaw fish, you know, a pike minnow."
JZ: "Pike minner?"
AJ: "Yeah. You get him in slow water?"
JZ: "Um, as a matter of fact it was slower water."
AJ: "Hmm, figured as much. You catch any trout?"
JZ: "No."
AJ: "Hmm, kinda figured that."

Fair enough, I guess.

I felt a little a dirty after that, but the feeling passed quickly. We ate some damn fine pizzar, drank some beers and shots and I retired earlier than boys due to my cold. I think I remember them busting my balls about something. I was pretty ill at this point from the cold. Off to my rack. We had to get up early to meet Tom at 7am in Fall River Mills.
Send me my fucking flies. Now. Overnight fucking Saturday Priority fucking delivery. Please? - Mr. Don

You know what they say about revenge? Dig three graves. - Porno Mike

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yard4sale
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Re: Open Roads in the Prairie Schooner

Post by yard4sale » Fri Aug 11, 2017 12:51 pm

The Pit is why I went with the Yardsale moniker... buddies busting my balls while hanging my waders in the trees to dry after yet another spill.

My 2 favorite trout rivers right there. Good guiding AJ!
You can't go back and you can't stand still
If the thunder don't get you then the lightning will

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D-nymph
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Re: Open Roads in the Prairie Schooner

Post by D-nymph » Fri Aug 11, 2017 1:00 pm

Meh, looks boring.
"The devil's pourin drinks and his daughter needs a ride" - III

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blitzbound
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Re: Open Roads in the Prairie Schooner

Post by blitzbound » Fri Aug 11, 2017 1:13 pm

can't get enough of this... Take off work for next week and finish it...

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ironman
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Re: Open Roads in the Prairie Schooner

Post by ironman » Fri Aug 11, 2017 2:51 pm

2nd half of Day 4

Got to the dam on the Pit. Pretty cool looking river from a few feet above. Saks is shooting pics, so AJ and I have a beer in the shade.

Time to head off to the campground – did I read that sign right? 14 miles? FMR. Now at this point, we’ve driven this old rig almost 200 miles. Still, that’s a long way on a gravel road (by Eastern standards). Okay then.

Wildlife
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Regarding the scorpion, I said, "Fuk yes I want to see that!" And I took a pic.
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It’s out there, so I’ll be honest. It really kicked my ass. I stuck one fish that was on for a second, and got one other grab. To say it was treacherous, is an understatement. I fell a half dozen times, ground up my shins, damn near busted my rod, and will find out this fall, how my fancy new waders fared. I did cover a fair amount of water in a short time.

Joe told us that people are afraid of it, and I have no doubt why. Besides having giant rocks, they are slick as cat shit. The last fall was a dusey, and wedged my foot between 2 boulders. That was enough. I’m out.

Joe had stayed back at camp to make dinner. He made a good call.

What a setup. Color me impressed.

Pizza oven.
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Wangs.
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Homemade pizza.
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CAESAR SALAD!
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I medicated with tequila, which provided ample relief for my bruised ego and shins. The foldy chair was extra comfy, as I watched a master work on a fine meal. Joe was enjoying his retirement gift.
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Saks downloaded pics off cards, and sorted them.
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“Wheels up at 6:00 am boys – I want to be in Fall River Mills by 7:00 am to meet Tom for breakfast.” We did as much packing up as we could in the last light of the day.

The plague was almost in full effect, so Saks called it an early night. AJ and I carried the fuk on, our convo almost as good as the meal.
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Morning came fukkin early.
"if you don't understand the perfect logic of this, then you may as well fuck right off Teh Suk" - Fatman

"I took a Japanese whaling approach to panfishing as a kid." - Boomin

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Rich Farino
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Re: Open Roads in the Prairie Schooner

Post by Rich Farino » Fri Aug 11, 2017 3:38 pm

This report is killer. Aside from one of you needing to pitch a hat in the trash, this is pure gold.

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Bigguy
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Re: Open Roads in the Prairie Schooner

Post by Bigguy » Fri Aug 11, 2017 6:35 pm

Needs more fish! Otherwise, pretty great!

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