Sunday, April 28, 2013

Quill Gordon Summit

The Quill Gordon Summit is a small get together that some of us from the paflyfish forum put together for fishing in Potter County PA. Potter County is one of the most beautiful areas in the state, and offers some excellent fishing, but even better scenery. They call it god's country, and with the beauty of this area, it's hard to argue.

When I got there on Thursday there was snow on the ground from the night before, and that should have given us an indication on how the fishing would be that morning. It was slow, but we fished a few beautiful streams, streams that I have wanted to fish for a while now. Fish were caught by all of us, and there can be no complaints about that, just not in the numbers that we had hoped.

That night, more guys showed up, and it was decided that the next day some would head to a smaller stream while I decide to go with my friend Dave (wetfly01) to fish Pine Creek. I tend to have pretty good luck on Pine Creek, and I was excited to hit the big water and punch out long casts without worrying about my back cast being caught in the trees. I mean who doesn't love to cast to rising fish, while testing the limits of your cast.

When we first got to the stream we found the water level to be at a perfect level, with a slight green tint. The first hour and a half neither of us moved a fish. So we decided to move down the stream slightly. Another half hour had gone by and no fish. I was begining to worry. Then, it was like someone turned on a switch, well I actually think it was the Caddis coming through the water column, and the fact that I switched to wetfly following Dave's lead. Within an hour I had landed more fish than I could keep track of.

Things started to slow down just a bit, so we decided to break for lunch around 3:00. As we're eating lunch and drinking a beer, the action was heating up again. This time it was Hendrickson's that were popping, and unlike earlier the fish were starting to rise.

The Hendrickson hatch was fairly strong at times and the fish rose to take both the wet, and dry fly the whole time. This alone would have made for an epic day, but the action still wasn't over....

Last year, when we put this trip together, the thinking was that we would be able to fish the elusive Quill Gordon hatch. This fly seems to be disappearing from all but the northern streams. Look, I'm not an entemologist and most times I just match size and color. But this is different, it's what we named the trip after. So when this fly started to show itself on a day that was already amazing without it, it was almost to good to be true. It was as though it were meant to be.

This hatch was not as strong as the Hendrickson hatch, and that proved to be a good thing, making the rising fish easier to target. Giving my fly less competition for fish that were still hungry, or maybe just too greedy to pass up a tender morsel of a meal made for a great finish to the day.

I don't count fish. I tend to lose track too easily. I think because I become so engaged in the moment that it all just blends together, but I know on this day I caught over 30 fish. Dave out fished me, so I'm assuming that together we caught over 80 fish. That is a good day, no, a great day. One that I will remember for quite some time.

That night, we drove back to the cabin where we were all staying. We ate well, drank beer, and told stories of the day, and more of other days. This, moreso than the fishing, is why I enjoy these get togethers. It's the camaraderie of our hobby that causes us to gather, but the quality of the people that makes us do it again and again.

The next day we went back to Pine expecting a good day, and we recieved the exact opposite. There were plenty of bugs but the fishing was tough. I only managed two, and both of those came from nymphing the same riffle. I only saw one rising fish throughout the day, and it wasn't until almost dark that I saw others. I did get  to see some good sights, and got a good sunburn.

I expect that I'll be back again next year, although not for the fishing, but for the people. People are much more interesting than fish.

This week I turn my focus to brewing, so stayed tuned.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

A Hidden Gem

No signs of anyone ever fishing it. Hardly a sign of people ever visiting it. These streams hold a special place for me.

Although I live in an area that has, arguably, some of the best streams in the state, and even the country. But it's the ones that no one fishes that hold the most intrigue, for me. I always have people ask me how I find these streams that hold such big and beautiful brookies. Well, I think a lot of it has to do with the area I live in. Browns just do not thrive in this immediate area, and I believe that because of the lack of browns this leaves the bookies uncontested, and allows them to grow to a larger size. The other thing is these streams that I'm fishing are small, but they aren't really what most would consider brookie streams. The size of the stream that I fished yesterday is similar to spruce creek. It has no where near the ecosystem that spruce creek has but with a stream that size you are going to get some decent sized fish. You are also going to get some small ones in the process.


Something that I noticed about the fish in this stream, is that the yellow spots seem to be more pronounced than the fish from other streams in my area.

The water was extremely cold yesterday and I still did pretty well, but I can't wait to get back to this stream in the summer, when the fish are more active, and I can take some on top. I tried to do that yesterday but after no hits, and my feet going numb, I knew this was the wrong approach. There are some real large fish in this stream, I know because I spooked one. I'll be itching to get back to this one, and the great thing is that I know when I go back I'll be alone unless I take someone with me.