Bad luck and brookie flies

So I get rear ended last night in West Philly.  Luckily, everybody involved was OK, but dealing with (and waiting for) roadside service was a hassle to say the least.  And about an hour after the accident, I realize that the night before was the ONE TIME I left my fly rod in the trunk.  Needless to say, I’m in a slight panic.  Thankfully the rod is in its hard case; but the trunk of the car was twisted up, and I won’t be able to get into it until after Memorial Day.  As for my trusty Fenwick…my fingers are crossed.

Luckily, our trip to the Poconos tomorrow is still possible.  I was planning on chasing some bass on the fly this weekend; but since that’s now out of the question, I have an excuse to try out the Eagle Claw Featherweight I picked up on Craigslist last month. Where I’ll be staying, there are a number of wild trout streams nearby, and after my first experience fishing for wild brookies, I’ve been dying to do it again.  So I spent the morning at the vise, and I’m ready to toss some of these tomorrow.

Stimulator

Olive Bugger

Hotspot Micro-Bugger

CDC and Deer Caddis

Parachute Adams

The Arsenal

Lower water…kind of

Made a quick trip to the Wissahickon after work yesterday.  The stream-flow data claimed the water levels were closer to normal (and fishable), but I was praying that the creek didn’t look like what it did on Saturday…

Anyway it was still on the high side, but it had cleared up considerably; so I waded around the bridge and upstream for a bit, and managed a few young smallies and a few of these guys.

And after seeing (being surprised by) two of the biggest water snakes I’ve come across in a long time, I’ll admit my wading was the opposite of stealthy on this particular trip.  Sadly, I spooked the only two trout I had an honest chance at before I could even make a cast.

It wasn’t the best of trips, but it did make me appreciate the fight these little panfish can put up.  Reminded me of learning to fish when I was little, and that they really are still fun to catch.

PaFlyFish Sulphur Swap

While I’m still anxiously awaiting the arrival of the assortment of flies from the PaFlyFish sulphur swap, one of the other participants was cool enough to snap some pics of each tier’s work.  The full album with each fly is on his Flickr page.

My fly was a pretty basic sulphur para-dun pattern.

Recipe:

Hook: #16 dry
Thread: UNI 8/0 Light Cahill
Tail: Off-White Hackle Fibers
Body: Sulphur-Orange superfine dubbing
Post: White Poly-Yarn
Hackle: Light Dun

Post-Storm Streamer Session

Since getting skunked at Valley Creek last Thursday, I’ve had the itch to get back out on the water and turn my luck around.  I made a quick trip to the Wissahickon after work today and was greeted by high, muddy water.  I had already forgotten about the downpour on Saturday night; and consequently, my confidence dropped before I even rigged up my leader.

The bug activity was surprising.  I saw a ton of midges, some black caddis on the surface, and I even spotted a few sulphurs hatching in the slower pools.  Not bad for being 15 minutes from my apartment in Philly.  Yet despite this abundance of fish food, I didn’t notice a single rise on the surface. So I came to the only logical conclusion I could think of…chuck the biggest, gnarliest, meatiest streamers in my fly box, and cover as much water as I could.

After about an hour with nothing to show but a couple missed strikes from what I’m almost positive were panfish or rock bass,  I returned to a spot near the parking area.  I was tossing a white Boogieman around a bridge piling and nearby log for a few minutes until my line suddenly went tight.  I had snagged the bottom a few times today already; but before I could even react, my snag began thrashing around and pulling back.  After a respectable fight, I landed the brown trout below.  It was my first trout from the Wissahickon Creek and really got my confidence back as far as the streamer-chucking game goes.

Here’s the fly he went after.  Pretty mangled and sparse looking, but I don’t have a before pic to compare (The link above is what the fly SHOULD look like).  Oh well, it did the trick tonight!

Weekend Project

With some inspiration from a fishing buddy, I decided to undertake a small do-it-yourself project this past weekend.

This funky-looking device is a leader jig.  By wrapping tying thread or mono around each of the pegs in a certain pattern, the fisherman can make his or her own furled leaders.  In addition, it gives the angler complete control over the length, thickness, and material of the handmade leaders.

These furled leaders can be fished underwater or on the surface; and the nature of their construction nearly eliminates the drag associated with mono leaders.  My first attempt while using the jig turned out OK at best.  But once I had a chance at a second attempt, I think I got it just about right.

The leader above was made with 3/0 UNI thread and measures just under 8′ in length.   Without a doubt, I’ll be experimenting with different thicknesses, lengths, and colors once I can stock up on more thread.  I’ll keep you all posted once I can try them out on the water.

Laziness

Let’s call this my retroactive post, on part of my recent laziness regarding the blog.  And considering the time I’ve spent away from here, I should have more pictures than I do…my apologies.

Anyway,  two weekends ago I opted for a change of scenery from the Philadelphia skyline.  I ventured north to Hickory Run State Park, in search of trout with my friend Steve.  The area was scenic, the weather was almost perfect, and we each managed a few gorgeous, wild fish.

Hawk Falls.

Upper end of the deep pool in Mud Run.  Caught my only brown trout here as the bugs began to show up.

Lower end of the same pool plus some cool scenery.