Little Guys

For a while now, I’ve really been into tying bigger flies and chasing the fish that eat them.  But last week, I was able to dust off the trout rod and switch things up a bit.  My best friend came home to PA for a week so we drove to the Poconos to explore some water.  Our original plan was to fish the big river. But thanks high water from a dam release, we stuck to the smaller mountain streams in the area.

Thankfully, the fish were looking up; and it didn’t take long for us to hook up.

Ed testing out the fly rod.

Ed’s brownie…the pics do not do this fish justice.

Working a plunge pool…to no avail.

Gorgeous little brookie

Fish of the day…I think I caught this same brookie last year.

And from an unrelated trip to an area lake yesterday, my only fish seemed to fit in with the little guy theme:

It Happened

The blog has been collecting some dust recently, and I apologize for the lack of anything interesting to write about.

To catch up, I’ve been focusing on musky fishing and fly tying.  It started with a few big hooks.  From there, I was able to find some decent materials , and I really got into tying these big flies.  I even started experimenting with dying materials with cool aid and rit dye…

This made things even more fun and interesting, and really allowed me to get some cool color combinations…but that’s a whole other blog post in itself.  To sum things up, I started putting some time in on some local water where I knew these fish lived; but getting them to show themselves proved to be a challenge to say the least.  The next pic sums up my first few trips pretty well…

old rotten shoe

This morning started like each of the past few skunkings.  I met a buddy at a local lake, and we did some scouting.  The bait guys were catching panfish and the occasional bass, despite the cold front which pushed through the day before.  It took us some time, but we found a shallow flat where some small bluegills and perch were schooled up and biting.  I’ll admit to being the first one to get a little bored though…I suggested we check out some nearby trout water before I had to hit the road.

I walked to the shoreline for a break and out of the corner of my eye, I notice a splash nearby in the flat.  “Musky!” my friend yells.  The splash wasn’t huge, but I grabbed the big rod and rigged up a white Beauford.  First cast lands in the same area we saw the splash. I stripped only a few feet of line when suddenly the water ERUPTS beneath my fly.  I set the hook and nothing…swing and a miss.  I think my heart and my jaw dropped simultaneously.  I bring in the fly and make a few more casts to the same spot…and no shit…the fish swirls again.  But this time the musky was hooked, and pulling like a freight train.  Naturally today was the first day I left my 10wt home because my 8wt already had floating line rigged up.  It pulled hard, but I was able to get the fish close.

The fish was at my feet when the hook popped out of the its mouth.  Luckily the musky wasn’t too pissed off…I was able to grab it and lift it up for a few shots.

Once back in the water, the fish swam off.  I don’t think I stopped shaking for 15 minutes; and it was easily the coolest fishing experience I’ve had.  I was extremely fortunate today, and you can bet I’ll be spending my free time chasing more of these beasts.

Until next time…

First Trip to the Letort

With one last weekend before starting crazy hours at work, I needed to get out and fish. A friend and I decided to make the trip to the cumberland valley yesterday morning to fish the Letort.

Being my first time fishing any of PA’s famous limestoners, I was pretty excited. This didn’t help during the two hour drive. I think I was counting the mile markers out loud as I got close to my exit. Once I parked around 11:30, I was ready to hit the water.

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I only walked a few hundred yards before noticing some risers in some of the slower bends. No doubt the overcast sky was on our side; and looking back, I consider the two of us pretty lucky. I picked up my first two letort browns a few casts apart on a griffith’s gnat.

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The fish sipped midges on top for the next couple hours, and my buddy caught his first fish from the stream as well.

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We tried tossing sculpins and nymphing a bit, but nothing else produced any luck; and by 3 or so, the risers had gone deep and just about shut down. I already can’t wait to get back, and a few more trips to the area are in order for the new year.

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More Sculpins

Its cold outside and work will soon be taking over my life for a few months…amazing how some chicken feathers and thread can help pass the time and distract me from the rush.

Just a few more pics of flies to be swapped.

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Rear ends

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Tandem chubby muffins

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Progress

Steelheading…a First

My dad and I hit the road early monday morning to take a stab at some steelhead fishing on the Salmon River.  Neither of us had any experience chasing steelhead, so we really had no clue what we were up against.  The short version of the story…the trip was great and the weather was mild; but the fishing was poor.  We saw a few fish caught, but neither one of us had a hookup over our two night stay.  Our guide Jake was a great help during our float on Tuesday…we both learned a ton.

Our lack of success was a bummer, but now I want to go back…I’m determined.

Anyway, here are a few pics from the trip.  Enjoy.

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