Hey Jack (JAB)...
I'm normally not too concerned with the bears, but this one surprised me at a close distance (my fault), which is enough to give you a jolt of adrenaline. That compounded with the fact that the bear reports have skyrocketed recently as I get e-mails everyday from the park service to this effect, and that I was carrying 4 smelly trout with me
This was the first bear I have ever seen in the area. Go to Greenbrier up "bear alley" if you want to have a run in with them, or Laurel Falls is almost a sure bet
Yeah reminds me of a trip last june to jake's creek, I was sitting on a rock looking downstream (just finished releasing a trout) when a small yearling came charging out of the woods, into the stream 10 yards away from from where I was, turned and run splashing all the way upstream. He followed a few seconds later by a really pissed large adult male who I guess was running the yearling out of his territory. Neither one saw me, probably because I was behind a big boulder from their POV and they too focused on chasing and running away to pay much attention to me, but was a big surprise for sure!
I'm glad you had a good trip. Thats a fine creek, and a perfect example of how a brook trout restoration project can be a success. There are lots of bears this year, and with a poor overall berry production season, they are really moving, looking for food.
A couple of things I wanted to ask you about that nobody else commented on was regarding these statements.
Bugg also if you check out duckypaddlers pics in the link he put on this post you will see how he came to the conclusion that at least some of the specks were spawning and why he took males from that point on
Hey Jack (JAB)...
He would mention only taking males from that point on because he's trying to be a good ward of the resource and not take egg laden females. However, other than his conscience, it probably wouldnt matter. People get on their high horse and harp on catch and release, but these small streams arent productive enough for the large amounts of fish they hold, and thats why the fish tend to be so small. If anything taking a few helps the overall population. A bad stretch of weather could cause high water and wipe out an entire year class of fry, so 5 fish wont hurt anything. Even when a whole class is lost, the fish keep surviving, and get bigger.
I went up in the same area a couple of weeks ago and noticed all the brush bent down on the sides of the creek. Must have been a real gullywasher! I picked up one brookie that was probably in the 9 inch range that had more girth than anyone that I had seen. In retrospect, could have been one of those egg-laden females.
I almost missed a crossing coming back out and had to do some back-tracking. Sometimes the trail seems more of a suggestion of prior traffic. But if you persevere long enough (I walked for about an hour from the parking lot before even starting fishing) it really pays off. Don't know what you were using DP but they were all over a yellow EHC when I was there. Tried a green weenie and a beetle without a single sign of a fish and then tied the EHC back on and they started rising out of that same pool. No more switching for me that day.
His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me.
I'm in no way an expert, but if I liked caviar, I would have had a treat.
And Jay B - I agree it is most likely just making me feel better, but I would rather error on the safe side
Thanks for all your responses, and I'll try to get my 47 report up soon