Friday, March 16, 2012

The Hatch

The Big Fish Of The Day
Most days on the stream are good, ahhhhh what am I talking about all days on the stream are good. It's just that some days are better, and when one of those days comes along it's hard to put the excitement in words. I'm gonna try anyway, because well, that's what I do here.

The early spring can sometimes be the best fishing of the whole year. It can also be the worst, and you can get skunked too. Every outing you're hoping to hit one of those memorable BWO hatches. You know which one I'm talking about, the one where you can't even believe that there are that many fish in the stream when they start rising. The other problem in this type of hatch is that it is really hard to focus on one fish. A good problem to have. There's just something about BWO's that trout love. So this is what you're always hoping for, but how often does it really happen? Seem like it rarely happens. Well..... on Friday, it happened....

Earlier in the week a friend called and asked if I could play "hookey" from work (his exact words). With vacation time left, and more coming at the end of the month, I jumped at the chance. The plan was to go to Big Fishing Creek, which was good with me because I had already been to Spring Creek a few times this year. Everything was set, we were going to meet at the stream at 9:00-9:30. Awesome! I can sleep in a little bit get something to eat, some coffee, and then I'll be on the road. Right? Wrong.... I just happened to wake up at 6:30 on my own and checked my phone to see what time it was. Oh man, there's a text saying that one of his friends had talked him out of BFC and he was headed to Spring Creek, and that he would be there by 7:00-7:30. So I rushed around freaking out. Luckily I didn't forget anything. I get to the stream about 8:00, I think, send him a text when I pull in and he comes to the car to meet me. Smiling ear to ear, has already landed quite a few fish. It was good to see him because he is such a nice guy, and really helped me out when I was up in Erie steelhead fishing.

I rigged up and we hit the water nypmhing, because it was early and there no surface activity. He proceeds to catch two more fish right in front of me. Meanwhile I am not getting any action at all, and that's ok, I was just happy to be fishing because it had been a couple weeks since my last outing. After a while we moved on, and he seemed concerned that I hadn't caught any fish yet. So, the next run we hit, he insisted that I take the best spot. I told him not to worry about it but being the nice guy he is he insisted. I immediately hooked into a nice brown, maybe 14", but beautiful spots and colors.

A Beautiful Fish Taken Underneath
After that it got cold, windy, and started snowing. The fish shut off and we were getting hungry, so we figured we would head off to get something to eat. As we were leaving, we started to notice a few smaller fish rising, which got us both pretty excited.

After going to one of my favorite places to eat, and having a couple of beers (they had Victory Headwaters on tap, woot!) we went to a different section of the stream. As we were pulling in we could see the fish rising everywhere, and I do mean everywhere. This makes it extremely difficult to get your stuff together. There's just too much excitement. So, after fumbling around with my stuff for awhile I was finally ready to get back on the water. Well, with fish rising right in front of us, it made it hard to walk by, so we decided to just hit the water right in front of where we parked. We wound up not leaving that spot for the rest of the day, which is very strange for me because I am usually on the move, but it was worth it. 

First Fish On The Dry For The Day
It took all of about two minutes for me to hook up with my fist fish a 12" brown.
Another Beauty
At this point I could hardly contain my excitement. Couple of casts later, bam, hookup again, then again. My friend on the other had wasn't seeming to have much luck. That would soon change. I ushered him up to join me in the area that I was fishing. It didn't take long and he had one on, then another. At this point he was catching fish and I wasn't, so I jokingly told him he could leave my area now. We continued like this for a while then he did move down about 20'. This was probably his best decision all day because while working the edge he hooked in to a BIG fish. I couldn't tell how big, but I knew it was big. I immediately set down my rod and asked him if he needed help landing it, I could tell he did, and he said yes. You could just hear the excitement in his voice. I waded over to land the fish and did so with little trouble. Wow, what a bruiser it turned out to be, about 18-1/2" inches, just a beautiful fish. After that we both hooked into a some decent sized fish.

 And then, like someone turned off a light switch, they were done rising. We had a great day, with good food, great fishing, and even better company. These are the days you remember, you remember them, and even inflate them a bit. But that's ok, that's what it's all about. Creating memories, friendships, and good times.

On a side note I was in Pittsburgh and stopped at a bar to have a "few more" beers, I saw that they had Bells Two Hearted Ale on tap. I have always heard good things about Bell Brewing so I thought I would give it a try. Wow!!!! I am impressed it's a very smooth beer that has an excellent mix of hops and malt. It really is balanced very well, and I was surprised at how drinkable this beer was. I would highly recommend you try this beer, even if you're not a hop head. I know I can't keep doing this but I'm gonna give this beer a 9/10 also. Give it a try. I look forward to trying other Bells beers.