Troutbirder II

Troutbirder II
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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Troutbirder

It was to be the first outing of the trout fishing season. My new "birding" hobby had somewhat detracted from a lifelong love of troutfishing the previous summer. This year, I was determined to find a reasonable compromise between the two interests. I would do the fishing thing on cloudy days, when the fish were more active and go birding on those bright sunny days, when the birds were busy and me and Baron, my GSD, could tromp the woodland trails, binoculars and camera in hand.
The day seemed perfect. Mid sixties in temp, with a heavy overcast and little or no wind. I headed off to the Root River, east of Forestville State Park. It was one of my favorite "home waters." A place where I could usually count on success. Sometimes great success. Mr. Baron was left behind that day, as his love of romping in the water was bound to scare my off my prey. Parked along the gravel road, I headed across a plowed corn field towards the stream. It was in the tree line about a quarter of a mile away.
Watching my footing on the uneven ground, something caught my attention. I looked up and a mature Bald Eagle was heading straight for me. Startled, I raised my hand in protection but the seemingly huge bird soared over me by maybe thirty feet. Relieved, I watched it gain altitude and it turned behind me and headed off to some cottonwoods lining the river bank. It was then that I saw the new nest. A new pair of Eagles had made a home right above my favorite fishing hole. I circled away from the nest after taking a picture with my little "fishing camera" and settled down on the bank to rest and see what was going on. This is the moment when a trout fisherman takes stock. Are there any hatches going on? Are the fishing rising? What kind of rises? How clear is the water after the recent rains? Actually what caught my attention was a large number of small birds, mostly warblers, flitting among the shrubs and trees on the opposite bank. I strained to identify them, but they were just a little too far away. I couldn’t see the details. Where were my binoculars when I really needed them???
A flyfisherman carries all his stuff with him. Pants pockets and a vest are filled with a myriad of vital items to meet all contingencies, ranging from hooks, flies, and Vaselene floatant to tippets and a snakebite kit. No room for birding field guides and binoculars though. Darn!!!
It was some time before I noticed the trout rising upstream below a riffle in the river. Looking downstream the eagle pair were looking quite settled and domestic. One stood guard, the other on the nest. Perhaps they had finished their fishing for the day. Time for me to start......

18 comments:

  1. it would be amazing to see eagles flying....the only way i see an eagle is at the zoo...your lucky...

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  2. What a great story! You definitely have the best of both worlds.

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  3. I loved this post.........thanks for sharing this adventure. Beautifully articulated.
    And I must tell you that every time I pull up your blog I want to dive headfirst into the screen and bury my face in Baron's gorgeous fur.
    Whattaguy!

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  4. That's quite a nest they've built there. It will be interesting to go back and try to get a glimpse of the babies when they hatch.
    Marnie

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  5. Although I've seen a number of eagles in the last 15 years, even from my window, I've never seen one on a nest. Wow.

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  6. Great story! I felt I was watching it all unfold right there with you.

    Looks like Baron is sneaking over to grab a fish!

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  7. Wow! This was quite a story and THAT is some nest! Ya never know what Ma Nature is going to share with you..life is what happens in between your plans. So does this mess up your plans of birding on sunny days and fishing on cloudy..seems to me you can do both on any day you want!!

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  8. LOL!! I love your storie TB!! So now you need two kitbags and some kind of cart on wheels then you can have all your gear for both hobbies with you. LOL!!

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  9. Oh, to be able to come across a scene like that! I'd be trembling with excitement such that all my photos would be blurry. :c)

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  10. It's tough to give up the birding even when you're intent on the fishing. It looks like you found the perfect balance between the two on this outing.

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  11. warblers, eh? Sounds like I'd better schedule a birding trip to Fillmore County in my weekend itinerary.

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  12. What a great post, TB! You are an excellent storyteller (something to develop in case you need a third hobby :>), and both this account and your entertaining gardening retirement story in the previous post are well-written and fun to read. Fantastic to see the eagle's nest--when you weren't even looking! We see a fair number of eagles here in coastal North Florida, but I have not been fortunate enough to spot a nest.

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  13. Your retirement sounds ideal. I love your nesting eagle photo! I saw a white egret fishing today and regretted not having my camera with me.

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  14. Kia ora TB,
    What a great day. I enjoyed coming along for the walk and hunt even if virtually. Seeing the eagles would have brought tears to my eyes. Wish I was there for a non-virtual lunch! Well done.
    Cheers,
    Robb

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  15. Kind of a mixed blessing, having eagles nest on your favorite reach! Looks like they left you a few, though.

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  16. Oh goodness it could be disasterous to mix it up with a mature bald eagle. So glad no harm done. They are beautiful!

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  17. How I enjoyed this! Trout, birds, quietude...who could ask for more?

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  18. I love your bald eagle picture. What a majestic bird. I see them (in pairs) frequently flying the shoreline on Drummond Island. It always stops me in my tracks when I see them.

    Thanks for sharing

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