NANFA-- A pre-ice fishing quick trip...

Crail, Todd (
Mon, 2 Dec 2002 15:42:50 -0500

Greetings NANFAns,

Well Friday I decided to burn off some of that turkey and pumpkin pie and get
my rear outside and in the water before I headed over to Mom and Dad's for
Glutony Part III. That's a bit chilly adventure in these parts, as snow was
threatening, I had to watch for ice on the bed rock, etc. Nonetheless,
greenside darters were calling for introduction in the Office... So I loaded
up on apparel and dawned the blaze orange to avoid getting shot at by any
"Drunk in Progress" confused that they were true participants in the great
American sport of Hunting.

I first stopped by a new rapid. It may be prime seining in the summer, as
it's *all* shallow flat bedrock which seems to really hold the cyprinids and
suckers in this river (I'd imagine they're grazing on the algae that grows
from it). However, 40 degree water, with rubber soles, a blowing wind, and
recently browned out gooey algae, I quickly decided this wasn't the safest
place to be. And it certainly wasn't worth it at the current river level
considering that in 20 slip-sliding minutes, I'd seen all of two Spotfin
Shiners. It was either very shallow or moving way too fast and all of it was
slicker than a cat's.... ;)

Time to move on...

I headed on down to my usual rapid. It's composed mainly of large rocks and
tiny gravel, and never sediments as the water rushes thru during the peak
sedimentation times due to about a 6' elevation drop within a mile of stream.
Oh but the waters were scarry. It was not a very nice level... Too high to
get to the good habitat and not high enough to push everything to the sides.
And again, saftey first and being by myself, I was very cautious, esp since
I'd misplaced my wader belt. So I kicked around with a dipnet in the shallows
for about 45 minutes. Worked out well. I quickly captured the two Greensides
I was looking for, and a bonus little Logperch. Usually the Logperch found
here are too big for a 30 gal, but I feel I'll be dealing this guy a fair stay
between now and when the 75 is setup at home.

I also ran across a lil' cutie of a rockbass, some bluntnose and spotfin
shiners, and then the real treat of the trip, either a Golden or Black
Redhorse. I wish it'd been a bit more decent weather so I could have had my
camera to photograph the mouth. I guess we'll just have to do that next
spring during high water when they're very plentiful near shore. It was kinda
nice to be able to discern, for once, between the White Sucker and the be able
to get the Redhorse complex down to two species. More homework on mouths for
me. Hopefully, I can create an online gallery of mouth photographs by
season's end next year :)

The new arrivals were well received in the office this morning. The logperch
seemed to generate more intrest among the devleopment staff. For such a
monotously colored critter (in comparison to some of their cousins), their
stripe pattern is just too darned cool. The greensides suffered an image
problem, I think, from getting compared to the rainbow darters... We'll just
have to get them in some better condition :)

Now hopefully the river will drop a bit before it really ices up and I'll get
a couple more times out before the ice flowes begin to crash and pommel each
other. But the way this fall has been going, all I have is hope, and most
likely, a long wait until spring :)

I hope you know that this will go down on your permanent record.
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