a old gift from an friend

I found this. Jay wanted to keep it but I said "no, get a book from your own friend".

Season closing soon.

Got a text from Matthew Awalt that the salmon season in YangYang will close on Oct11th. Got to head east pretty soon. Save some good spots for me Matt.

Paid trout ponds...

Winter will arrive soon and the catch ponds have already started their winter trout business. (fall & winter is trout, other months are native carp). While most of the trout ponds run a pretty basic business, some (YuJung, JangKwang) have new ownership and are more active improving their conditions. They are all catch and release (barbless only, no fish handling) and with recent season openings, the trout are reported to be very active. I've never been a big fan of paid trout ponds, and I find myself pretty bored after first 1-2 trout. The ponds are usually pretty crowded with people and there's a lot of chit chat with people you meet there (which is reason why some people go). Still in the deep winters I'll go a few times, just to remember what it feels like to have a fish at the end of the line. It's also relatively close to the city so it's perfect for a afternoon drive. I wonder if other countries have such paid ponds, other than Japan which I know has it. I've recently heard of salt water ponds similar to this and that sounds a little more interesting to me. To be clear, I don't dislike the ponds for any grand philosophical reasons, I just get bored easily. I wished there were paid ponds which looked a little more closer to a natural setting, but I'm sure that won't make enough return on investment for the owners.  Right about now is when I start to miss the small spring creeks in WI.

See you at the paid trout ponds... or not. Oh hell I don't know.



1 hour...

I've been on the road in Asia, recently spending a lot of time visiting factories in China. As productive as these trips are, they keep me away from the autumn creeks, and I miss it very much. This recent trip wasn't so bad because I spent some time in WuJhang (near Shanghai) where I got to see the canals that sprawl throughout the old neighborhoods.  The water seemed surprisingly clean, considering that it ran through neighborhoods...or that's what it seemed like driving past it from some distance.  It's only been a night since I've arrived back in Seoul, but when I woke up this morning ... I knew I was going fishing.  It took some maneuvering this morning to get out of the house, as the family had a bunch of things piled up for me to take care of.  Still by 9am I broke free and was on the road. 

It was too late to head to the stream in Kangwon, and so I headed toward the secret creek that's supposed to be an hour from Seoul.  Even among the fishing friends (Soboro in particular) it took some prying to get info on this stream.  I've also been told this creek holds no fish, or very little.  When you hear info like that, you have to wonder - is it a smoke bomb to keep people away or does it mean that people fished the shit out of it, so there's nothing left... whatever the case, I was going to go stand in this creek today, mind made up.  The creek really is just over an hour away at normal speeds.  I think I can do it in 45min if I push the pedal a little harder.  I went through the normal first time procedures on the new spot... parking the car in few different places, wondering if I am at the right entry point....changing flies every other cast because I'm not sure what takes here ... and even forcing conversations with farmers who were too busy to stand around for a chat.  There are plenty of hikers going up and down the mountain and so you have to become used to being watched.  I get a little self conscious when there is group of ajumas standing around watching.  I swear I thought I heard one of them say - "aw- see - he needs to casting side arm and do a better job at mending that line". 

At some point, I stood there and rated the stream ... "it's a great spot considering it's such short distance away from Seoul, but I wouldn't call it a prime creek.  It's only big enough for two anglers max and this creek doesn't have enough large pools".  But then almost instantly I thought - "what the hell am I saying?  I am standing in a creek, chasing fish, and only an hour away from the city!" I remembered a picture of a sign I saw somewhere... If you're lucky enough to be at the beach, you're lucky enough.

I was lucky enough to fish today.


A Grayling from River Dove.

Joh Spilsbury of the Salford Friendly Angling Society sent us photo of a beautiful grayling. An excerpt from his elegant email...

"Not my first grayling by a long chalk, but rather special, because the River Dove was much beloved by Isacc Walton, considered by many to be the father of angling, after writing his very famous book "The Complete Angler" way back in about 1650. I thus consider myself very privileged to have caught a grayling from Isaac's River. The river is still, to this day, much revered by trout and grayling anglers. The fish is the species commonly found in Europe (Thymallus thymallus). Not the same as the North American grayling, but very closely related. The fish is a male, 1 pound 11 ounces, and absolutely gorgeous"

John, thank you for the photo and the history. I hope that I will find one of these magnificent fins at the end of my line.