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Black Friday and the Great Outdoors


New member
Good Morning ladies and gentlemen,

On Monday night I departed beautiful Massachusetts enroute to New Jersey to see the family for the holiday.
Well, really, to fish and hunt, but we’ll keep the REAL MO down low ;).

It was great to be home, see the family, the dogs, and old friends from high school I rarely get to see anymore. Tuesday came, and so did the rain. JESUS! The pond in the backyard kept coming up and up, while the gauges on USGS sky rocketed with no end in sight. Even the little creeks were running high and off color.
I woke up Wednesday morning at 430 to hopefully sit in the deer stand for a little, but with rain coming down like cats and dogs, my bed then began to call my name. OK, so I can't hunt. I jump on the computer with pops to see which rivers are fishable. HOLY SHIT, gorge is up to 3k, Flat brook river well over 600, and the Paulenskill is over a grand and most likely muddier than anything. So that quickly dampened any morning plans we had in mind. Instead, we took the bows downstairs in the house, set up the deer target and shot a few dozen arrows. Was nice to get the dustoff and see I didn't have must rust to scrap away either ;).

SO Wednesday night came and went, (from what I can remember) and Turkey day was upon on us. We headed up to the club for our annual Turkey Day pheasant/chucker/Hungarian partridge hunt. It was a great time filled with laughs, stories, and a few dead birds ready to be skinned for the fly tying bench and the meat smoked.
So we got home, and I helped my mom in the kitchen prepare the final touches on the Turkey Day meal. Dinner was served, I ate like a cow, cleaned up, and then I went to bed. DAM TURKEY!

Black Friday came and I was in the deer stand at 5am, while all the clowns were getting trampled at the local stores.
Deer were coming by all morning; however none of them met my criteria. It still was a great morning to be in the stands, watching the squirrels collect food in preparation for winter and the few pheasants that were roaming around the woods, clueless...

So my dad and I had lunch and were determined to fish. I jumped back on the computer and while the rivers were quickly receding, almost ALL of them were still unfishable. We said, screw it! Were going fishing.
So, our club has the paulenskill river that runs through it (rusty knows our club) as well as 3 sloughs perfect for duck hunting. So our plan was to fish for a few hours then sit in the duck blinds for the remaining few hours of light in hopes of coaxing in some curious quackers to the deeks.

We pack the truck with all the necessary fishing and hunting gear and we departed, with a quick stop at cumbies for (2) large black coffees...We get to the river and begin suiting up. All of a sudden, I hear my dad yell from the back of the truck, "SON OF A BITCH!" For some reason, I had a feeling he forgot something. Sure enough, he forgot his wading boots. We were both kind of down at first, however I go, "Dad, this is prob going to be the most perfect day out there. For some reason when equipment of such necessity is forgotten, it’s usually an epic day on the water."
So, we laughed, and he slips his waders into his loafers. HAHA. Hey, got to make do with what ya have.

So we make our way down to the river and its absolutely CRANKING...Rollers in the middle of the river where it’s normally calm as can be. The water is chocolate brown and a chilyyyyy 44 degrees. My dad already had a miniature matuka on from fishing a smaller stream a few days prior, so he left that on. I tied up an ausable ugly with a GLO ROE BEAD above it, practicing some "steak and eggs" fishing.

I see my dad roll out his first cast, quickly mending until the line swung back
into the slack side of the seam, right next to the bank..strip strip, BANG! FISH ON! I see itgo airborne soI quickly reel in and go help him land it. An ABSOLUTE SLOB of a rainbow...We were pumped, and if EVERYTHING went wrong from here on out, it wouldn't even matter, thisexperience/fish just made both of our days.

So the next 2 hours consisted of a few fish and quite a few short strikes. There was really only one slot we could fish on this particular area of the river, so I sat on the bench while my dad swung a few casts, then we switched, all while bullshitting and just having a great time.
The sun was high, the air was warm, and the company was great. After a few more times of hoot'n and hollering, the land owner came down, coldgold in hand to check out the excitement. He too sat on the bench with us that afternoon, telling stories and just having a great time.

SO the sun began setting behind the tree tops, which was our cue to pack the fly rods, and take out the guns. We walked back up to the truck, packed away the fishing gear and drove up to the other side of the property where we put our camo on and made our way to the river.
With my dad still being in his waders and LOAFERS, haha, I took the deeks and arranged them in the slough. I also put our newest and more favorite deek to date, the MOJO duck..This is a duck MAGNET.

I make my way up the bank a bit where I sit down in the blind, while my dad mans the area near the deeks... The sun is setting, the air is getting chillier, and my dad starts calling.
and calling. and calling. Not a duck in sight, or earshot. Not even any geese to be seen. The sun slowly set below the horizon, the safety on both of our guns never clicked off, andI can just barely see the spinning wings of the mojo duck. I hear, "YO, ADRIAN." That was my cue to unload the gun; it’s time to pack it in.

I head down to where my dad is and pick up the deeks, where again we were
finding ourselves laughing and telling stories about past hunting and fishing adventures...

Today was a very special day. Today was a day where conditions were absolute ATROCIOUS for both fishing and duck hunting.
My dad forgot one of the most important pieces of gearand we didn't even see a duck. However, it was probably one of the most successful days I have ever had on the water or in the blind. It trumped my 60 fish days on the Ausable, or huge, dime bright chromers on the Salmon River. It walked all over that last day of duck season where we limited out, or the crisp morning in the deer stand when I dropped that 8 pointer. There is nothing more special in the world than spending the day on the waterwith your favorite fishing and hunting partner, which is my dad. Mydad is the guy who taught me (it did take a while to sink in, but it finally did) thatcalling a day successful doesn't mean that you caught a ton of fish, or you coaxed inyour limitof woodiesto the deeks. It doesn't even mean did you chose the right fly or set the spread up right. Being successful means enjoying your time in the outdoors and spending it with someonethat is special to you. Every timea story was told or a joke was cracked Friday, a smile came across both of our faces. AsIsat in the blind and listened to my dad call for ducks, it was so peaceful. I didn't even care if 100 ducks folded up over the spread; I think it would have been hard for me to even pick up the gun. The day was already such a success; I didn't need the eyes crossed on a duck to further that feeling.

The ride home was silent. I looked over every once in a while on our way home.
Every time I glanced over, my dad had a smile on his face. The way home was our time to play today's outing over and over in our heads, realizing how successfulthis afternoonwasand how much more our relationshipgrew.

We got back
and unloaded the truck. My dad looked at me and said, "Today will be hard to top, but nI can't wait to do this again when you’re back for Christmas break."

I hope you all got to wet a line with someone special this past holiday/weekend!