A very happy 4th of July to all! That picture above, folks, is what Freestone is all about. We had a fabulous couple days, and we couldn't have asked for a better group of guys. Happy Birthday, D.J. and best of luck with the nuptials!
Let's fire off the fishing report first. Water levels were even lower than last weekend, which is saying something. Our friends at Hudson Valley Weather were reporting drought conditions late in the week. Creek temperatures in the areas we were fishing were in the mid to upper 50's though, which is pretty ideal for the brookies, and the crew definitely got into them. D.J. is reporting that he got somewhere north of 30 fish, and that doesn't seem like too much of a stretch. Jeff got his first fish on a dry fly and 4 more after that, which is a pretty good showing, given that he'd never held a fly rod in his hand before Friday. Great job Jeff!
We're getting this post up later than usual, and we have had reports of some strong thundershowers since we got back, so hopefully the streams are now a little higher. We'll be upstate again this weekend, so please come back for a full report.
Greg took the lead on the trail, and paid the price in spiderwebs to the face. It certainly hadn't seen use in a while. This was a pretty easy hike by Freestone standards, only about 2.5 miles and without too much change in elevation. Without a lot of water options, we're a little more limited in our hiking choices. This is a beautiful walk in the woods though, with plenty of wild edibles and old growth hemlocks along the way. Greg also managed to get a side bushwhack in with Brett and Ben to the hidden pond off the trail. There were plenty of frogs up there, and Greg offered to catch some for a frog leg dinner appetizer, but the boys wanted to relax in the hammocks back at our riverside campsite. Streamside camping makes the guides' lives a whole lot easier for water purification, and it's always awesome to fall asleep in your tent or hammock to the sound of running water.
We all had a great time around the campfire, the boys had some celebratory birthday s'mores, and Ben had us cracking up all night. That guy is one funny dude.
Time for the critter update! Not necessarily in this order, and with some seen in the car on the drive up: Wild turkeys, 2 pairs of mama deer and fawn (one fawn was super tiny, couldn't have been more than a few weeks old), a pair of foxes, more woodchucks, maybe 3? There was a fresh bear print spotted as well, so while we haven't seen one, we know they're out there.
Happy guides, happy clients, another beautiful summer weekend in the books. Thanks again fellas!