Fireside Philosophers Gather Again

     Last weekend we celebrated our eighth annual Fireside Philosophers Event, an annual August gathering of outdoor writers at F-Troop for outdoor recreation and campfire philosophizing. Ben Moyer missed for the first time ever because of a family emergency, but he was replaced by Harry Guyer, a good writer and knowledgeable outdoorsman who is also the current president of the Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association. Brad Isles made his third appearance, and Gregg Rinkus and I continued our perfect attendance at all eight FP events.
     We enjoyed campfires and fireside chatter for three consecutive evenings, and I took charge of the kitchen, delivering a new variation of Venison Meatball Splash Friday night and our traditional Campfire Venison Sizzler Saturday night. Our main outdoors event was a seven-mile seven-hour float down Tionesta Creek.
     That day fish-catching was at the forefront of our minds. Brad tossed Rooster-tail spinners while Gregg and I cast Rapala lures, and Harry probed with crayfish imitations, but the first mile and first hour delivered zero hits and zero fish. Then we came up upon a spot where the stream split around an island and created a fast riffle running into a long slow pool. We grounded our canoes and began casting our spinning rigs with great gusto. Gregg landed two smallmouth bass, Brad caught a big rainbow trout, and our fishing day was on. Over the next six hours, we caught two very nice trout and 15 smallies, including Gregg’s 18-inch boss fish of the day. Then we headed back to camp for a campfire meal and relaxing conversation again.
     Good luck out there. And have a great week outdoors.    

~ Don Feigert, 8-31-09

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