Originally posted by: turnip on 10/4/2007 5:32:54 AM
My journal is complete for this meet. I hope you enjoy the read as much as I enjoyed the remembering!
The Pa Inaugural Raystown Member Meet
5:00 am - I am awakened by a gentle breeze coming in my bedroom window. I am a little uneasy, I've never planed a member meet before...Woowee! My wife gets up with me this time and it doesn't take long for the smell of freshly brewed coffee to reach my nose! Karen speaks gently to me as I finish packing. This schedule has been a little tough on her...
9:15 am - I am a little late getting away but there isn't a schedule to maintain. So I take my time, staying within the speed limits (Ed wouldn't believe this). The traffic moves smoothly for a change. I can actually enjoy the drive...
Noon - I arrive at Raystown Lake Seven Points Campground. At check in, I am supprised at how crowded it is. There are only two sites along the lake that are open! The weather has been so warm that many folks are still camping. I wound up with site #154, on the waters edge. It is hotter than a cat on a tin roof! Putting the tent up and fixing up the site was not as much fun as it could have been!
The water looks great, real clear with a weedline about 25' from shore. By the map there is a 25' to 100' drop on the other side! Lots of rock and small stones on the bottom. Looks good for fishing right here!
4:00 pm - As I wait for a fresh cup of coffee to perk, clouds start to blow in. Is that thunder I hear in the distance? I don't detect any lightning yet...Si I hook up a "super fluke" and start tossing! I make several casts to the weed edge, bouncing it off the bottom. FISH ON! I reel in a 10" largemouth bass! Now this is a good start since I am still learning how to use these baits...I continue to toss the bait in between sips of coffee. The wind is starting to pick up along with the volume of the thunder! FISH ON! I pick another small largemouth bass. I can't get over how good the water looks. From shoreline to weed edge is 25' of open water, small stones for the bottom. A 20' wide weed edge and then the deep drop-off...I see a point just up from me and decide to check it out tomorrow!
I would like to try surface baits tonight. The fish are jumping all over. Still, the distant thunder...
5:00 pm - And then it rained! Thunder, lightning, high winds that flattened my tent, hail and more rain! I waited the storm out in my truck. I watched as my neighbors awning went sailing away...They are still looking for all the pieces. I would learn tomorrow that several awnings were lost in this storm.
7:00 pm - It is a very light rain for now. If I would have had an easy up table cover it would have blown away! So I guess I'll have supper tomorrow! I managed to get the tent back up, after the wind stopped. Lucky for me there was no rain in the tent! I do believe next time I'll find a more sheltered area to pitch my tent...
10:30 pm - My neighbors attempt to start a campfire but they had no dry kindling or paper to start one. So I took some of each from my truck and gave it to them. Once the fire was going, we talked for a couple of hours. Now it's bed time for this boy!
7:15 am - I wake to the sound of a boat motor right outside my tent flap. A fisherman in a boat working the outside weed edge. Good morning! He is suprised by this greeting but responds with a weak, "hi"...The wind is blowing strong and I find myself having difficullty lighting my camp stove. So I jump in the truck, in search of a hot cup of coffee. When I return I walk to the shore line, hypnotized by the sound of the waves and the shear beauty...I remember how my grand father used to do this. And as a child I never understood why, totally lost in thought and not aware of others that may be around him. I think I do now! The lake is full of white caps, surrounded by beautiful green mountains. This campground is beautiful but I think next time I will pick a site that is more protected from the winds. I realize that I would not have been able to hold a troll.
9:30 am - The sun finally makes it over the top of the mountains. I pray that the wind drops off now...I start to wonder when Baldy will arrive!
10:30 am - My prayers have been answered for now. The winds have dropped off considerably. I grab my my fishing gear and start to work the weed edge. I am using a jitterbug and I can't imagine a fish not wanting to take a bite of this seductive bait! But as time passes, my arm grows weary, and so I decided I would have better luck trying to make a pot of coffee! It's not long before the aroma of freshly brewed coffee reaches my nose...
11:45 am - Well, I guess I spoke to soon. 30 mph winds again! The tent is flattened on one side as gusts of 40 to 50 mph make it impossable for me to keep the tent up.
If I would have been out on the water with the "Bushwacker" I would have had to look for a sheltered cove, like at lake Champlain or lake George.
6:00 pm - I make a campfire so that I can have supper. It is to windy to use the camp stove!
7:30 pm - Baldy and his friend George are here. Their site is just above mine. As they prepare their meal, we jabber away...Getting to know one another. I leave them and return to my site. Strong winds prevale...Not sure how I will sleep tonight! It will be midnight before I can righten the tent and hit the sack.
7:15 am - Ran into Ken at the men's shower house. He said that Art (Pa walleye hunter) and his brother in-law, Kevin, are also here! Because the campground is so crowded, we are spread out some. But I know we'll get together for pictures and laughs. When I get back to camp, it doesn't take lone for me to get a pot of coffee brewing. While I am waiting a pair of Osprey start working the water in front of me! The leafs have just started to change from their summer colors, to what will be fall splendor...
8:30 am - Art stops in for a cup of coffee! This is just great, club members getting together. We talk and talk, getting to know each other. We watch as Tony (Baldy) and George take their boat out for a little fishin' fun! Ken and Kevin were out fishing as well! Art and I talked about the problems we had with our boats...Both of us wanted to troll while we were here. But hey, we were here and having fun! By the time Art and I finish gabbin it is 11:00 am! I am actually ready to cook my own lunch.
6:00 pm - I started a nice fire for cooking. The guys all showed up and we did the group picture!
Shortly after the group picture, Tony and George took off for some night time cat fishing! Ken, Art, Kevin and I sat around the fire talking about what we can do to improve this member meet. We talk of other meets and how well this park fits our needs. We laugh and gab until after nine sometime...
9:30 pm - Alone, I kept the fire going into the wee hours. I reflect on how we agreed to keeping in touch on the B.B., posting suggestions and encouraging others to attend. This is yet another good example of the kind of folks that make this club so great! There is no doubt in my mind that this will be another great meet. Like the others, it will take time!
7:00 am - I wake to find the lake is "socked in" with fog!
And of course Ken is out there giving it one last try! Offering a hearty good morning as he releases a fiesty bluegill back into the lake...What a way to greet the day!
It reminds me of some prehistoric movie I watched...The boat traffic picks up, lots of fishermen out there! It is difficult for me to shift my thoughts from previous events of this year. I have been fortunate to be able to attend so many member meets and enjoy special side trips as well. I have made many new friends and I miss them greatly. I will have a tough decision to make next year as I try to plan around a budget crunch that was caused by a major engine break down...Art and Kevin stop in to say their good byes.
One by one we pack up and head for home. It has been fun and I look forward to being here again next year...See ya around the fishing hole! <!--graemlin::D-->