A late spring day along Cedar Run presented the old familiar challenge– lucky to catch and release a single trout in tough conditions. There was beauty, though, reflected from each small waterfall, each pool and riffle, from the deep green foliage of the rugged slopes– and for that we could be grateful.

Bob and I passed the mountain camp called “Whippoorwill,” and we discussed the various dynamics of the goatsucker species and its current rarity in places such as western New York. We settled on the Pine Creek flats where tributaries cooled the water and allowed continued brown trout fishing till the summer heat eventually shuts it down.

Cruising fish ignored our self-tied artificials through the late afternoon. Only the approach of darkness (and the residues of hotel food and drink) could smooth the edges of frustration. Vanishing light was like a poem that’s listened to– its music more than just a literary ornament.

The night simply opened with the rhythmic calling of a whip-poor-will at dusk along the Pine. It opened with the spread wings of a luna moth floating through the headlights on the homeward drive. Like the best of poetry, it spoke with a minimum of words but resonated through a distant range of wonder.


[The following photos, taken experimentally with a new Nikon camera, are from various locations visited this past Spring. I hope you enjoy the backward glance, as Summer beckons to us all…]

a wild buddy, Greenwood, NY…
fishing the Rapidan (VA) in April…
former home of golden eagles…
in the Whites…
at Franconia Notch, NH…
Battenkill, Vermont…
White Mountain rambler…
Blue Ridge rambler…
fox pup, Owl Farm…

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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19 Responses to Openings

  1. Brent says:

    When that camera gets the right light, it results in vivid and sharp images. I find that light is the biggest challenge with any quality camera, including (especially?) the basic ones on my phone. The fox pup pictures are incredible, and very cute.

    Also, a shout-out to Bob: Hello!

  2. alex55manta says:

    Wholeheartedly agree about the light and getting a sharp image from a camera! It’s such a challenge to get a good shot as the light dims into dusk of anything I seem to catch at those times of days. Fox pup – great shot and just amazing! Nice shot of the trib up Cedar if I’m not mistaken (and not trying to overtly identify)… ;). Harry is finding Cedar to be a challenge to get any results this year also. He’s hoping it’ll pick up this summer but he’s unsure that it will. And then there’s your hiking pictures. Great views! Thanks for sharing the images RTR! UB

    • Thanks, UB! I think you’re right about the Cedar trib. As for the main stem, it continues to be a challenge, with the most productive stretch (for me) being one that is “atypical” for the stream (think food availability).

  3. mary says:

    Some really great pictures there! Love the close ups.

  4. Oh my goodness, the fox pup is too cute!

  5. JZ says:

    That last paragraph was nicely written Walt. I’m here to tell you, your stories are magic. Also, I’ll be in those foothills soon and cant wait.

  6. Is that a pond in Franconia Notch? Part of a river? Whatever it is, I’d like to be there right now.

  7. plaidcamper says:

    Wily foxes young and old(ish) here – great to see them in their preferred habitats! Thanks, Walt!

  8. Bob Stanton says:

    The call of the whip-poor-will sanctioned our outing, even though the piscatorial spirits were less than benevolent. A large rainbow, on a dry fly, in more than challenging circumstances is testament to the fact that fisherman are often happy with the seemingly meager offerings of the natural world, counterpoint to a global milieu that celebrates excess. Flowing water, high hills, camaraderie and a few beers was all the balm that we needed for our souls on this particular day. And a near trophy fallfish.

  9. loydtruss says:

    This post brings back childhood memories of living in the country and hearing the Whip-per-will at dusk sitting on our back porch.
    Wouldn’t it be wonderful if some devoted fly trier could tie a fly pattern that would attract the attention of those cruising trout you mention in this post?
    I think you’ve found the camera to compliment your post now. The covered bridge reminds me of all the covered bridges we saw in Vermont a couple of years ago. A beautifully written post—–thanks for sharing

    • Glad your whip-poor-wills came to mind, Bill, and I thank you for the kind response. I may have found the complementary camera but, alas, the complementary fly pattern for those fussy eaters will probably be outside of my grasp forever.

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