Photo of the Month: Backcountry Brook Trout

Photo of the Month: Backcountry Brook Trout
Showing posts with label Copperhead. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Copperhead. Show all posts

Monday, June 02, 2014

Dangerous Critters

Fishing is dangerous.  Many people think of fishing as something where you sit in a lawn chair and watch a bobber with a worm under it.  While that is a perfectly good way to fish, people don't realize that many of the more adventuresome types are scrambling along rugged shorelines or through remote canyons in an effort to reach less-pressured water.  There is good reason for that of course.  Most people are lazy and a bit of effort can put you on water where the fish rarely if ever see a fisherman.

On yesterday's smallmouth trip, we started to see significantly more action as we got farther and farther from the road.  Several times over the course of the trip, I almost commented to the guy I was guiding about how I have never seen any poisonous snakes in that particular area even though they are rumored to be there in good numbers.  Something kept nagging at the back of my mind though, and I kept my mouth shut.  It turns out that just thinking about it is enough to jinx a person.

While scrambling over rocks and through brush stream side, I suddenly froze like a bird dog coming to a point.  In a small crevice right under the rock we had come over on the way down was a nice big copperhead just waiting for an unsuspecting fisherman meal.  I've climbed over those rocks many times, often while only wearing sandals.  After I found my way back down to earth from the upper atmosphere where I had involuntarily jumped to, I realized the snake was still a good 6-8 feet away and got out my camera while keeping one eye checking the area for its mate.


In the end, it was actually interesting to see a copperhead.  It was the first I've run into since returning home from Colorado.  If I see a few more I might just have to move back, but in the meantime the fishing is good enough to keep me coming back to those smallie streams.  I guess I learned why no one fishes them too...

Sunday, June 10, 2007

More From Oklahoma

Oklahoma can get pretty interesting once the sun goes down. For starters, the sunsets can be spectacular. We didn't get to witness any particularly interesting ones but they were quite nice still.

As the darkness deepens over the landscape, the creepy crawly critters come out to play. I've always been intrigued by snakes despite a rather healthy respect for them. This has led to the enjoyment of slowly driving back roads at night after the sun has gone down looking for new and interesting snakes to photograph. My goal is generally to find a rattlesnake but usually the best I can come up with is a copperhead. This night was no different from the norm except that the copperhead I found had a serious attitude problem. The little guy wanted to chase me around. After getting back in the car and letting the snake cool down a bit, I cautiously got out again and this time it stayed still for some decent pictures.

Getting chased around the dark Oklahoma countryside is tiring business and shortly thereafter I retired for the night. The next day would bring slower fishing but I did manage the best bass of the trip, albeit not very large.


A stroll down a country road allowed me to check on the local bovines. They all seemed to be doing rather well but were very curious. I decided maybe they just wanted their pictures taken and obliged with a few shots.

I'm always glad when the cows are behind a good solid fence. There were a few frightening experiences I had earlier in life involving free-ranging cattle hanging out on roads I was travelling. The funniest was when I was headed south back to Arizona from Moab, Utah. I was rolling through the Navajo reservation when suddenly, ghostly colored forms appeared to be floating all around me. Probably the sheep and cows were more frightened than I was but you probably won't be able to actually convince me of the fact. Whatever the case, ever since I've believed that the place for such creatures is behind a fence, or at least, not wandering the highways in search of some poor traveler to terrorize.

Scheduled for the fourth day of the vacation was a trip to the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve near Pawhuska. Normally we slowly drive the roads through the preserve, viewing plenty of bison in addition to the wide array of local birds. This particular day the bison were not cooperative. The nearest we came was probably a solid half a mile away. The scenery was still nice though and well worth our time.

I decided ahead of time that the last day would be dedicated to the long rod. By mid afternoon I finally got away down to the creek and started fishing. Right away I had a nice fish on the popper but then things slowed down. Finally I settled on the popper with a simi seal leech dropper and this seemed to be the best solution. The gar never did come around much so I didn't really get any good shots at it. The panfish were more than cooperative though and made the afternoon enjoyable.

As always, it was a great trip to Oklahoma. Hopefully I'll be able to return again in the not too distant future. I'm usually doing pretty good if I can make it out there every couple of years so we'll see. In the meantime, I'll be trying to figure out what exactly gar eat and how you go about catching them...