Monday, July 2, 2012

The Backup Plan

When exploring new streams it's always good to have a backup plan. This can come in handy for numerous reasons; access, stream size, water conditions.....ect. It's rare that I use the backup plan but when it happens that you need it, it's invaluable. It can mean the difference between a good, bad, and amazing day. Especially when you're running low on time.

I left my house with a limited time to fish on this excursion, but I used some resources to come up with a good plan on where I wanted to fish. When I reached my destination I couldn't find access to the stream. I could see it, and it looked incredibly inviting, but all of the access points were posted. This was extremely disappointing because I had high hopes for this fishery. I know that there's access to this stream in certain places, but in order to get there you have to drive the whole way around the mountain. Luckily I had come prepared with a backup plan. So I decided that that was what I was going to try.

The stream that I went to is a stocked and wild/native stream within a couple of miles of the first stream I tried. I've never fished this stream before, and there isn't much written on it, but it turned out to be a real gem. I am sure, without a doubt, and I know I said this before but, this stream would be a class A stream if it were not stocked. It had good holding water, cold temperatures, and plenty of aquatic insect life.

When I arrived I saw another fisherman (spin fisherman) above me, so I had to work down stream, which I typically don't like do but in some case it works out well. Like in this case, where the sun was upstream from me and low on the horizon, making it almost impossible to see upstream, even with good sunglasses. So it worked out for the best. Something I noticed right away way the immense amount of spider webs crossing  the stream, I took this as a good indication of bug activity.

Wild Brown Surprise
Genetic Issues
Working my way down stream I picked up my first fish, and I couldn't believe it, it was a small brown, about 4 or 5 inches. I know to most of you this isn't a big deal, but in the immediate area that I live in, there doesn't seem to be that many wild browns, a lot of native streams, but very few brown trout streams. It just seems that there is a line between my house and State College that is drawn for wild browns. Once you get out of that limestone influence, and into the higher acidity water of my area, it seems to turn to all brookies. Now this stream may have a limestone influence, and I'll have to do some additional research in order to prove it.

The next fish I picked up was also a wild brown but had a strange genetic anomaly, it's whole face was missing. I wast starting to think that this was purely a brown trout stream, and whatever is being stocked in it when a small brookie attacked my offering. It was starting to get dark and I was pretty happy with the couple hours of fishing that I put in. I hopped back in my truck when there was a small amount of daylight left and decided to drive up to where I had seen a bridge, and see if I could pick up any more just below the bridge.

Stocked Bow For Trifecta
Lone Brookie
When I got close to the water below the bridge I notice a few risers. I decided to target the one closest to me. I put a good cast out and got a drag free drift and just as I  suspected the fish jumped out of the water to take the fly, but either he missed or I set to quickly. Now, usually when this happens I don't get a second chance, but I always have to try. So I laid the fly in the same spot and wham, the fish hit and I got the set right this time. To my surprise it was a rainbow and I had hit the trifecta for the second time this year, only this time two out of three were wild, where last time all three were stocked. I know this is just a matter of luck but it made me happy and keeps things interesting. I caught one more brown (the best of the day) and called it a night, because the bats were starting to swoop at my head. What a good night of fishing.

Troëgs Makes some of the best beer in the world, so when I saw the Perpetual IPA on sale I jumped allover it. I love IPA's and given the chance that's what I'll drink. When I first tried this beer, I had one as soon as I got home with the six pack, I was a little disappointed. But then when I tried it again, it really grew on me. It may have to do with the fact that I had four the next time but.... It has a great hop aroma and, the flavor has just enough floral taste to hide the 7.5% alcohol content. It's lighter than most IPA, and the head was a bit weak but I would give this beer a 7 out of 10. It's not the best score but I would certainly drink this beer again given the chance, and it may be much better coming out of the keg.