2019 Camp Fortunate Trip

Well another Drifter Camp Fortunate trip is in the books. It began with the trail dog and I closing the shop at noon and heading north to Tionesta. It rained the entire way to camp and the yard was nothing but mud. Wasn’t the nicest of days for sure, but at least I was in the woods.

Pulled in to my camp around 1:30 pm and got settled in by setting up the tying bench and unloading the Subaru. The plan was to open up camp, get the heat going and relax until Dad and his wife showed up later on.

I tied some flies, listened to some tunes and drank a few beers. Glacier napped so I took the cue and did the same on the couch until I heard the truck door shut outside — they had arrived. I helped them unpack and we sat around and listened to music a bit. The weather still wasn’t cooperating very much. Cold and rainy.

I eventually decided to go for a ride to get some cell reception and see what the plan was for the next day. Pete and Todd were heading to Camp Fortunate early Friday to fish, and I was to meet them on Saturday. As I pulled into town, texts were exchanged and the plan was to meet them at 9 am at the visitor’s center then go explore some new water. I was pumped. I headed back to camp to read up on some of the spots mentioned and had a couple beers as I chatted with Dad.

I turned in pretty early and awoke around 7 am. I packed my gear and headed out around 8:15 am and stopped at the Bear Claw Cafe. I said hello to Dawn the manager and ponied up to the bar area. One egg, extra crispy bacon, toast and home fries hit the spot. Highly recommend this place if you are in the area. And very reasonably priced too.

Lep and Pete showed up in Pete’s jeep around 9 am and we headed out. We traveled some back roads, had a few diversions due to road closings but found the spot we had researched. Looked like pretty good water and we were ready to fish! The weather was still pretty cool, but no rain so that was promising.

We met the landowner, Mark who graciously provided information on access areas, etc. And we were off to scout some water and toss some flies.

We moved upstream and Lep hooked into a nice rainbow right away near a large rock that shielded the fast current. A perfect spot to house a trout. Pete walked up further and I tossed a few downstream from Todd to no avail.

Eventually Todd hooked into another nice one, and Pete did the same. Then Pete hooked another a little bit later. I was at zero unfortunately, but happy to be in the woods again. You learn as you get older that it definitely isn’t about catching fish all the time. Just hanging with your buddies makes it all worth it.

Things really slowed down.

From that point on, as the sun came out and the day got warmer — I did see a few grannoms. But not much happened, other than more fishermen began appearing along the banks. I moved back downstream, listening to my stomach churn and wishing I had that sandwich I had packed in my Yeti. Todd and Pete worked back down toward me and we hiked out around 3:30 pm.

We headed back to Camp Fortunate and fired up the grill. Chef Pete and Chef Lep put together a great steak dinner with mashed potatoes and asparagus. I sipped a few I.C. Lights and we gathered around the fireplace — talking and laughing at lots of stories. I was definitely beat and ready to hit the hay.

Then Brad pulled in to camp. He had an even longer day than us, but came prepared with beer and food. He settled in and ate his meal and relayed the day’s events. I hit the hay after a while and he, Todd and Pete stayed up laughing until midnight or so. I drifted off to la la land.

I heard Pete’s alarm go off early and he ground some coffee. I got up and gathered my gear to pack in the Subi. It had rained the night before and it was again cold and everything was wet. Not a great day to be in the water — at least — most of us weren’t interested in only a half day of fishing. Pete had to be back home relatively early, so we all decided to just call it a weekend.

We sat around the kitchen table and planned more adventures. We cleaned up camp and packed our vehicles. Then said our goodbyes until next time. All in all, despite the weather — which always seems to plague us on this trip — we had a blast. We got out on the water, explored some new places, laughed, and did what Drifters do.

I headed back to my camp as the rest headed for home. Dad and Kathy were packing up to head home as well. I helped them load the truck and had planned to stay another day and head back in the morning. They pulled out and I headed for the couch for a little nap. When I awoke, I cleaned up camp and packed up the car and decided to just head home too.

As I pulled out, the sun peeked behind the clouds. It was like a little sign that better weekends and fishing days are just around the corner. Glacier curled up as my co-pilot and I said goodbye to Tionesta for the time being.

Looking forward to those better days on the water. ~Drifter07