Saturday, October 27, 2012

Going Back To My Roots

I really like tenkara fishing (either method or with the equipment).  In fact, I would say that 99% of my fresh water fishing is exclusively tenkara related.  However, today I decided to go "old school", at least for me.  I first learned to fish when I was about 5 or 6 when my Dad taught me. Back then fishing meant going to a local lake for pickerel, perch, bass, catfish or panfish.  It also meant using a worm or a good 'ole Mepps spinner.

I have fond memories when I look back on those days.  I can distinctly remember after my Dad coming home from work quickly finishing dinner and heading down to this one old guys house to pick up a big Styrofoam cup full of night crawlers and then heading off to Chadwick Lake. Today....I just felt like using some worms, catching some trout and spending some time outdoors (before Sandy gets here).  By the end of the trip I had my trout and felt like I was a kid again.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Filling A Need

Shawangunk Ridge  
Humans have many needs.  First and foremost we need to fill our basic needs such as water, food, clothing and shelter. Once the essential needs are met I believe the next most important things that most of us feel we need to fulfill are that of making sure that our children and loved ones are safe and healthy.  The list of needs that must be met can go on and on.

A woods road on an autumn day
I strongly believe that each and everyone of us live in two worlds.  In order for us to function in either world we must address the needs that are specific to each.  The first world is that of the human world or civilization...what ever you may wish to call it.  This is the world of deadlines, tax collectors, mortgages, bad relationships etc. (although this is not always as bad as I just made it sound). I firmly believe this is the greatest source of stress in our lives.  Sometimes trying to meet the ever demanding needs of this world can seriously run an individual down. The second world is what I like to call "the real world".  This is everything else from which we draw resources to survive and gain inspiration....or Nature for short.  The second world is neither for us or against simply....just is.  The other creatures who share this place with us generally don't give a hoot whether we are there or not.  Their lives will continue one way or another.

The Peterskill above Awosting Falls
Lately, I have found myself needing to fulfill a very specific need.  This need being a stronger connection with the second world.  It seems that the first world has been taking precedence lately.  I love fishing, hiking, camping, kayaking, hunting and generally anything that has to do with being outdoors or learning about Nature.  These activities are not just fun little past times.  The connections to the real world that I begin to feel when doing any of these things serves to help me slow down and to forget the stresses of the first world. Most importantly they remind me of my significance and place in the world....the important things.

A golden crowned kinglet 
I find that a simple hike in the woods once in a while is just what I need to reset my mental clock and pull me out of any funk. A recent trip to the Shawangunks (in the Hudson Valley of NY) was just what the Dr. ordered.  The smells of the woods, the sights and the sounds of places I'm so familiar with is all that was needed to feel better.

"Chatter marks" left by a glacier from 10,000 years ago can definitely give someone a deep sense of time. 
I guess the main message of this post is the matter how overwhelming the obligations and needs may seem from the first world there are very few needs (other than the a fore mentioned basic needs for survival) that would supersede that of establishing a deeper connection with Nature and sharing that experience with others.  It's making this connection which can keep you sane in this modern world and inform you as to your place within it.

Awosting Falls, Minnewaska State Park Preserve

Monday, October 15, 2012

Last Call For.....

At this time of year, the completion to the title of this post could be any one of a number of things.  For instance, anyone with a botanical background will not want to miss the last of any flowers that might be in bloom or the brevity of the autumn colors.  Or the anyone with a particular interest in our feathered friends will want to catch the final glimpses of any birds on their way to warmer climates.  For those of in New means last call for trout fishing across most of the state.  I haven't had a whole lot of opportunities to fish in the last few weeks and this past weekend I decided that the season wouldn't slip by with out one more quick trip to a favorite place.

My first catch of the day
This past weekend the family and I went home (...the Hudson Valley where I grew up) to visit my parents and do a few fall-like things like hayrides and a visit to the orchard for cider donuts and apples.  I also wanted to do some hiking and fishing.  Based on the picture above you might think I intended to do some microfishing.....that was not the intent but this little guy definitely qualifies.   Fortunately,  he was not the only brookie of the day.

All of these brookies were caught on a #10 Killer Bug (including the little guy...which was pretty ambitious if you ask me). This was not the most memorable or productive trip I have ever had but I got my last "fishing fix" on a wild trout stream for the season.  Bottom line, it was good to get out and leave the stress of the week behind and spend time with my family.  In the end that's what matters most.

The girls enjoying a cider donut