Well, the northern Appalachians are no less beautiful than their southern cousins, and their waters boast some of the most famous trout fishing in all of Creation. After a fantastic stay in Pennsylvania, I made for the Green Mountains of Southern Vermont and the American Museum of Fly Fishing in Manchester. The research revealed that perhaps the clergy of the American nineteenth century were thwarted from conservation/nature talk because of the current backlash against natural theology (apparently a trend since the days of St. Thomas Aquinas). Nevertheless, a host of names were revealed, and I plan to peruse sermons of the masters of the rod and pulpit, to explore what their ideas of nature and God were, as revealed to them through their fishing exploits. (I can’t believe angling is serious scholarship, but hey, its a niche.)
On to the fishing, err field research! I camped on the Battenkill (yes, that Battenkill) the home waters of Mr. Charles Orvis himself, the first two nights. Unfortunately, I left my Battenkill model Orvis reel in the AK (would have been like having a Sam Adams with Sam Adams), but proceeded anyways. I caught a nice 10 inch (disregard the word nice if you’re fishing Alaska this season) brook trout and a few small browns. The river, the locals say, is on its way “back” because of a recent catch-and-release mandate, and to bring in even a handful of fish, particularly for an outsider, should be counted a success. Didn’t fish much throughout the week, but Friday, at the insistence of some real nice folks at the Orvis shoppe, I hiked a couple of miles to Little Rock Pond. Of course, my camera jacked up just as I was loading my tent, but that is perhaps the very reason that I did well fishing. I found a kayak stashed in the woods and as the night descended and the winds died, I chased little native brookies all over the lake. Landed about 7 or 8 on the Royal Wulff, and slept like a king. First time doing some real camping in a while, and although Ging and Bougaloo weren’t there, I was thinking about them and had a great sleep. Woke the next day to some hot sunshine, and a couple more Brookies on the fly. I have to leave, though reluctantly, this afternoon. Kind of felt a little like Thoreau must have this week, not exactly Transcendental, but Romantic at the very worst.
American Museum of Fly Fishing, Manchester, VT
Battenkill River, near the New York border