Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Another Good Day

For some time now I've wanted to fish a small stream in my area that produces native trout, yet is stocked. Honestly, I believe that if they didn't stock it it would be on the class A list. But they do stock it, and in some ways I understand why. The pressure from the people who have camps along this stream would be immense, and the average fish size in the stream would almost certainly be small compared to the stocked fish. This is a debate for another day and another place. I did catch a mix of stocked and native fish and they all eagerly took a dry fly.That makes for a great day of fishing.

The gradient on this stream was perfect, drop, pool, drop, pool. People who fish bigger water would be surprised at where you can pull fish from. Small current seams along rocks are always candidates for trout habitat in these small streams. Fish in these streams also attack your fly with a ferocity that is seldom seem on the larger streams.  

I only spent a few hours here but I could most certainly spend much more time exploring this water and the waters that feed this stream.Within three hours I was well over double digits. A little below where I was fishing there is a class A brook trout stream that converges with this one. I wanted to fish that stream while I was there also but there was just not enough time. That will have to be left for another day, and another adventure.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

A Trip North

The northern counties of Pennsylvania offer some of the best wilderness in the state. As a matter of fact I would argue that it is the best wilderness in the state. I love going to this area, and I’ve been traveling up here for years. Every time, I see something new that has me in awe and thankful that I’m within close driving range of this majestic area. So, when someone mentioned taking a long weekend to journey there for some fishing, I jumped at the chance. 

The trip started with a friend and I fishing in the Quehanna wild area. The Idea was to hit a secret spot that someone had informed me of, to catch “huge” brookies(well huge for mountain brookies anyways). When we got to the spot the water was low and gin clear. We did see a few fish rising but couldn’t get a take. Moving up stream, we got into a few dinks, so that part of the trip wasn’t a complete bust. 

We arrived to the campground and decided that we were just going to get camp set up and hang out the rest of the evening. The cabin was nice but small. I don’t think you would really want to spend much time in there and we didn’t. 

The next morning we met up with a few guys and we were off to a small stream in the area that had a brook trout enhancement project. I’ve never heard of this before but it doesn’t surprise me that it exists. Brook trout are a beautiful fish and should be protected. It was rough fishing, due to the blue bird skies and gin clear water. I was also still trying to recover from the night before. As we reached the stream my discomfort grew, and I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to fish at all, but once I got my rod out and strung it up the fog in my head began to lift. It took awhile but walking around the stream, sweating, and focusing on fish helped me feel better.  I got the skunk, as did most of my fishing partners.

After being thoroughly humbled on that small stream we packed up and headed back to camp. Getting back, we devoured a sandwich, and tried to come up with a plan for the evening. As we did so, another one of the guys showed up and got his camp set up while we remained indecisive. Most of the stream in this area are small and could only handle so many people at a time. We made a decision on a stream, went to the stream changed our minds, then went to another. 

The stream we picked looked promising enough, but again the blue skies and the clear water kept the skunk smell on me, and it was beginning to grow stronger. I don’t get skunked very often, and driving a good distance with the expectance of catching “piles” of fish and then catching nothing can be infuriating. Luckily I had good company, and amazing scenery to lighten the burden of my fishing incompetence.
That night the decision was made that we not only needed bigger water to fish, but we needed some fish that were willing to take what we were offering, and although you can’t always predict this, fishing for stocked fish can certainly help. At this point our party had grown to seven and the smaller streams of the North Country could no longer handle our group of rambunctious and eager fly fishers. It was off to Pine Creek for  the next day with hopes of cloudy skies and rising fish. 

It didn’t take very long the next morning to realize that part of our wish had come true, as we awoke to cloudy skies, and by the time we hit the water, it was raining. If you fish you know this is a good thing. The rain eases the minds of weary trout, and breaks up the surface of the water so we are not as easily seen. Pine Creek is a gem of a stream, and if not for the water warming in the summer, it could be one of the best streams on the east coast. It has ample food, good structure, and is just the right size to throw out those long casts that everyone dreams of.  We made the right choice.

After the morning session of fishing, we all met back at the parking lot for lunch. At this point the pressure was off because everyone had landed a fish. We moved further downstream as the rain continued and that’s when the March Browns started to show. Fishing on top was good for the next couple of hours and I managed to pick up quite a few good sized fish. I also did something that I have never done before…. I hit the trifecta (brook, brown, and rainbow) and not only did it in same day but from the same stream. The evening was not as productive because the rain had picked up and the temperature dropped pretty rapidly. At that point though, it didn’t matter. We got our good day of fishing in, and everyone could now relax a little easier. 

That night we hung out indoors, there was good conversation, good beer, and excellent food. It’s amazing how much better a weekend can seem if you get just one good day of fishing in. The weekend would have been good regardless, but it sure did help.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Close To Home

It seems as though I don't have the time to update this the way I want, so I'm gonna do it a little different. A picture is worth a thousand words right? Well, that's the way I'm gonna do this for now, until I can get caught up, or have more time to post. On another note, I'm posting this from my iPad so the format sucks. Sorry. I hit two streams and the river in two days and had a blast. Not one of these bodies of water are more than 5 miles from my house. That makes it even better.
I really like this stream, and I think the further into the summer we get, the more I'll fish it. It stays cold all summer long.
The next morning, I hit the river and immediately got into some fish. I wasn't there long, the water was high, and the air was chilly, but man I love the way those smallies fight.
I had a couple of hours later in the day and decided to explore a stream I hadn't really fished much. I'm glad I did because I got into some native brookies and some nice browns. This stream is only about 10 feet across at it's widest but the fertility seemed to be pretty good. There were some little yellow sallies hatching the whole time I was there but I stuck with the wolf. I use a wolf first on most small streams and usually don't take it off unless I lose it. This happens more than I'd like to admit. I was doing some real bush wacking on this stream so when I got out of the woods I thought I better do a quick tick check. Found 5 on me. When I got home had the wife do a quick check, she found one on me and had to pull one out.
Now for a beer review. I'm a huge fan of IPA's, and it's rare that I run into one that I dont like...... Well I'm not saying I don't like the Harpoon IPA, but it's not my favorite. As a matter of fact, I don't think I'll ever drink this again. The beer had a nice color and good aroma but it finished very malty. Too malty for an IPA in my opinion. Score 5 out of 10.