Brook Trout, Moose, and Loons

No, I’m sorry– no images of these iconic northern creatures in this short post. Not yet. But I’ll be looking for them soon as I break out for the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont next week and hope to find a cooler and rejuvenating atmosphere.


It’s been 80s hot here on the rivertops this past week, a humid period that, thankfully, also brought much needed rainfall via several pop-up thunderstorms. The accompanying winds were a little disconcerting for this skittish survivor of a wicked wind that toppled trees in his front yard a few weeks ago, but now a bigger concern is the drought and the heat of other regions. It’s not so bad locally, but for the planet as a whole– wow. The records just keep getting reestablished every month.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThere hasn’t been much fishing here of late, but to celebrate the onset of some wetter conditions, and for the recent completion of my new fly-fishing book (first draft only), I hit the upper Dyke Creek this morning and felt encouraged. I love to fish the Trico spinner fall early in the day, and I quickly noticed the feed activity at the surface of the long quiet pools. It was difficult to get a decent cast beneath the overhanging branches, and all I managed were a few small wild ones, but I saw a beauty of a brown trout, maybe 18 inches, in the tail of one pool, as it slowly finned upstream.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I was encouraged because it looked as though the cold-water fishes had weathered a drought-stricken summer pretty well. At least in this location. It was like viewing an attractive sunset from my backyard, watching the tops of conifer trees pointing toward a pleasant morning to come, and never threatening to blow off into chaos or destruction.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

So, anticipation for the week ahead… On Monday I’ll be giving a reading in Montour Falls, New York, and from there it’s off to the land of brook trout, moose, and laughing loons. I’ll be in the wilds near Island Pond and, later, on the upper Battenkill en route back south. I hope to have some nice trout and nature photos to share with you, and to avoid collision with the antlered giants. Lastly, if I can laugh with the loons instead of being laughed at, that will be a bonus.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


About rivertoprambles

Welcome to Rivertop Rambles. This is my blog about the headwaters country-far afield or close to home. I've been a fly-fisher, birder, and naturalist for most of my adult life. I've also written poetry and natural history books for thirty years. In Rambles I will mostly reflect on the backcountry of my Allegheny foothills in the northern tier of Pennsylvania and the southern tier of New York State. Sometimes I'll write about the wilderness in distant states, or of the wild places in the human soul. Other times I'll just reflect on the domestic life outdoors. In any case, I hope you enjoy. Let's ramble!
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25 Responses to Brook Trout, Moose, and Loons

  1. Brent says:

    So is the drought pretty well-lifted, then? The pictures are, as has become typical, stunning. I’m looking forward to the writing/photos from next week’s Vermont trip!

    • Thanks Brent! I wouldn’t say the drought is over regionally, but here things are looking pretty green. Have even gone back to mowing the lawn. But down the road a ways, say around Hornell, the fields and lawns are looking typically mid-August.

  2. Beautiful photography Walt. Maybe we’re starting to see the end of this round of drought. We finally got a humdinger of a rain and lightening storm last night. I’m really looking forward to perhaps reading some excerpts now that you’ve let the cat out of the bag. Have a great loony trip.

    • Why thank you, Howard. Excerpts, huh? I hadn’t thought of that, but yeah, a possibility some time down the road. I’m glad you guys got walloped by a rain storm recently. I’ve been concerned about the climate out your way. My wife and I even postponed a Southwestern trip this summer because of the lack of rain, among other reasons. So hopefully we’re seeing a change for the better.

  3. Bob Stanton says:

    Have fun on your trip, Walt. As for the loons, I managed to get a few pictures of a couple of them on the Androscoggin the week before last. Nice little north country moment for me.

    • Thanks Bob. Will try. Wonder if you fished the upper A. on your visit, and how the water was. And glad you got in close with the loons. These birds always figure largely in a Northeast camp-out.

      • Bob Stanton says:

        Didn’t have a chance to fish, unfortunately. We spent most of the time hiking and taking pictures. Would’ve liked to have a chance at a salmon, or make it over to Maine and hit up some of their lakes.

  4. rommel says:

    It is scorching hot and humid here in Japan too, but I can’t complain. I feel bad for the fire that happened in San Bernardino, California.
    Blazing-ly glorious clouds and sky images. Keep ’em coming. 🙂

    • Thank you, Rommel. I guess that even an island nation is not immune to the waves of wicked heat and humidity. Glad you caught the “blazing” tone in my sky images. In retrospect, I saw suggestions of heavy fire beyond those trees, although I missed it initially.

  5. Les Kish says:

    The weatherman hinted at snow in the high country for this evening. Never fear, it won’t linger, yet.

    Keep your reading glasses handy for tying on those Tricos.

  6. JZ says:

    Nice pictures Walt. I have been able to wet a line on some streams that always manage to stay cold during heated dry months. Tea Creek, Honey Creek and a few others that hold browns and brooks in there pockets. Watching the thermometer and fishing in the early and late hours has proven productive. Hope the winds that toppled your trees didn’t cause to much damage and that your sore back awhile ago has gotten stronger. Take care Walt and love reading about your excursions on and off the water…I need to order some of your books for winter readings. 🙂

    • Thanks for the fishing update, JZ. I’ve heard of those streams, and yeah it’s important at times like these to track the water temperatures or to know exactly what streams remain cold enough to ensure safe handling of the trout. The old body, as well as the tree conditions around this house, are pretty much improved, I’m glad to say. Thanks also for your supportive words, and for the possibility of getting around to the books sometime. Much appreciated, friend.

  7. boristoronto says:

    That’s a gorgeous Lil brookie. Will you book once done be in Canada also? I was up on Lake Superior on northern Ontario, what spectacular Brook trout waters they have.

    • Hey Boris, good to hear from you, and thanks for commenting here. That little guy on this post is actually a wild brown trout but I always like to think there’s a color or a pattern connection to the brooks, and it was brook trout I was talking of, as I’m hoping to get back into them very soon. I know you saw some brookies and caught one up there in Ontario. I’d love to see those streams and rivers some day. As for the book, I hope it will be available widely. I currently have two of them about travel, nature study and fly-fishing available thru Amazon Books (see my side bar). Yeah there’s nothing like getting into the North country at this time of year!

      • boristoronto says:

        Yes the streams up on Lake Superior are fantastic for them. Caught a couple of them and it was a challenge. They fall off the hook real easy. I’m gonna have to look up your stuff on Amazon once I’m on my laptop, the phone isn’t pulling it up for me.

  8. Love those pinks, purples and blues. Gorgeous.

  9. plaidcamper says:

    Beautiful sky/conifer photographs! Enjoy your trip, Walt, and I hope you laugh with the loons, spot a moose or two, and find reward in the rivers.
    Safe travels!

  10. Grandpa says:

    I may be a little late here, Walt, in responding to this post. What a gorgeous set of pictures to bring home the heart of your post. Simply amazing!

    Through the heat and aches and pains out our way, I will make every effort to be a good BlogBuddy and reader of your work. Heck, I might even get to go fishing!

  11. Joseph Hord says:

    Those pictures were beautiful. I hope you have a great trip, and I’m looking forward to reading about it!

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