November 17, 2000: Fished the
Heritage Section of the Little Lehigh this morning from 07:30-10:30. You know you're off
to a good start when you hook fish on the first 2 casts. The fish were quite cooperative
for the first 1.5 hours then slowed down. I landed about 20 fish mostly on a brown midge
emerger #24 and a small mayfly emerger #22. Also a couple on an orange eggfly.
November 6, 2000: Without the invitation that
I have had to a privately stocked stream on my last several visits to the Poconos I was
forced to enterprise on a weekend trip to the Poconos. My brother and I stopped into the
Evening Hatch Fly Shop on 940 just off exit 35 of the Turnpike for information. They gave
us several options but, after checking into the house we stumbled upon the Delayed Harvest
Section of the Tobyhanna.
The small stream was only five miles from where we were
staying (off 423 in Tobyhanna) and was productive enough for a Friday evening. We each got
3-4 small browns in the holes upstream from 423 on bead heads droppers. After some Friday
night map research we elected to take the advice from the fly shop boys on Saturday. They
had suggested Mud Run in Hickory State Park about ten miles from exit 35 in the opposite
direction of Tobyhanna. I had read about Mud in Meck's book and couldn't wait to witness
the scenes he described... "What a fantastic, spectacular sight Mud Run in all
its magnificent hurrying splendor! A high, roaring waterfall above us fell into a deep,
rock-filled pool below... You'll enjoy spectacular scenery on this stream, and if you
don't mind hiking in, you'll love Mud Run."
After driving to the extreme side of Hickory Run State
Park (home to the infamous Pocono boulder field) the fly fishing only section is a mile
hike through a heavily hunted section of giant rhododendrons. Instead of going downstream
to the waterfall Meck describes we walked up to a nice pool created by a beaver damn where
we witnessed lots of good sized cruisers darting around. The was some erratic hatching
happening and after attempting dry fly suggestions from Meck (Red Quill and Hendrickson)
and the Evening Hatch (bwo) we started nymphing hard, kneeling on either side of multiple
pools throughout the entire stretch. We fished for five hours straight and landed twenty
or so trout between us. The largest was 14" brown my brother got on a red
After exploring the waterfall area and swearing to return
soon to fish the bottom stretch we hiked back out at dark, cold, hungry and tired but more
than satisfied. You can get to Mud Run in an hour and a half from Chester County and camp
sites are plentiful at the trail head that leads to the stream. I'm more than interested
in a return day trip sometime when the risers are as abundant as the natural beauty of
this spot. As Meck says in his review of this stream, it's a tough wade and most of the
fish are stream bred but "there's more to fly fishing than casting and catching
August 23, 2000: Went back to my hometown of
Batavia, New York for a few days, and before returning to PA, had a chance to fish an ol'
stompin' ground of mine where I began my fly fishing career, Spring Brook, in Caledonia,
NY. The stream which originates from artesian wells bubbling out of the ground in the area
runs a couple of miles before it empties into Oatka Creek, a fine brown trout stream.
Spring Brook is the home of one of NY State's fish hatcheries started many years ago (late
1800s?) by the father of fish culture, Seth Green. There are public access sections above
and below the hatchery.
I went to the lower section know as the "900"
meaning there's only about 900 linear feet of stream to fish. My fishing buddy Jack was
unable to join me, but gave me 4 flies of pattern that was catching a lot of fish for him.
A midge pattern tied with a dark natural turkey feather. I wasn't there 3 casts before I
landed the first brown. I continued to have action from 10am until I left at 2pm. All but
3 of the fish were caught on the turkey midge. I hooked 21 fish but only landed 12, all in
the 10-11" class.
This chance to fish one of my "home water"
streams made the ride back to PA much nicer.
July 17,2000: Just returned from a week's fishing
in western Montana and it was awesome. Fished the Blackfoot, Bitterroot, Clark's Fork,
Rock Creek and did great on all of them. Our guides from the Blackfoot River Outfitters were the
best I've ever seen, constantly putting us into fish and keeping us in the river until
sundown, which was about 10:30PM in that part of the country.
Most fish caught were in the 15-17 inch range and strong
fighters. What surprised me most was how hard the (Westslope) cutthroats in this part of
the country fought in comparison to their counterpart (Yellowstone cutthroat) in the
Yellowstone area. Also managed to bring in a rare (but small) bull trout.
July 14,2000: Fished the Heritage section of the
Little Lehigh from 7-11am this morning and had a great time. There were a couple of
downpours and the stream became cloudy, cleared and got cloudy again but the fish were
cooperative. Caught a lot of fish before the trout began to take the tricos on the
surface. Got them on a #24 brown midge emerger and #16 brown nymph, just about 50/50 split
on the 2 flies. Then I switched over to a 24 trico and picked up a few more before I
headed home. Landed 24 and missed a bunch.
July 12, 2000: An unscheduled business trip to San
Francisco allowed me a few extra days to visit my brother who lives in Truckee, California
on Lake Tahoe. We fished the Yuba, Truckee and Little Truckee for three solid days
experiencing the intense changes that can occur in a Northern California river between
morning, afternoon and evening. Even more dynamic are the differences in habitats on those
same rivers between strong headwaters, peaceful pockets and swift rapids.
I caught most of my fish nymphing in rapids although
there were some extremely healthy caddis hatches everynight. The most interesting part of
the trip was when we got into a slew of 8"-10" silver rainbows, pulling out a
small warrior on every cast for a good while. Anyone traveling to Northern Cali who wants
a guide or fishing partner can contact my brother through me. There's lots of diverse
opportunity within an hour's drive from Lake Tahoe.
June 27,2000: I just got back from ten days
in Telluride, Colorado and boy is my 5 weight tired... On the trip from Denver to
Telluride we fished the so-called hot spots along the Arkansas, Taylor and North Fork of
Gunnison outside Leadville, Tin Cup and Crested Butte but really got into some fish when
we hit Gunnison proper just north of Gunnison, Colorado. We camped along the Gunnison
Reservoir (Morrow) for two nights then hit the San Miguel River south of Telluride always
trying what the local fly shop suggested first, then switching to big (8, 10) elk hair
The first water we got in was in Leadville after a lengthy conversation with the Orvis
dealer in town. He had said that, using golden stone nymphs, he was catching alot of fish,
though none of any size...between 12 and 14! The state's definition of big is definitely
different than ours but he was truthful as we caught a lot of nice trout but no monsters
and mostly all on caddis. All of the water was very cold and very fast with few huge holes
for growing hogs.
In addition we also hit the Animas and Boulder Creek on our return. We have a fall trip
planned to Montana but it'll be hard to beat Colorado.
This was a fishing trip of a lifetime and the scenery
wasn't bad either.
June 1, 2000: Went to the Tulpehocken today.
Amazing caddis hatch all day. Caught 23 super feisty rainbows and browns. Mostly on elk
hair caddis but a few on bivisibles and emerger patterns. Lost two big ones (14-inches) as
they jumped about 5 times and threw the barbless hook. Incredible. I saw 9 other
fisherman. Not a lot of pressure. A little warm from an air temp standpoint but the water
temp was 64. First day on the Tullie this year. Also, caught carp (boy do they fight),
smallmouth, and rockbass on a dry fly. The Tullie Grand Slam. What a blast!!!!
May 7, 2000: I took off Friday (May 5, 2000) for
my first real day of fishing this season and headed to the Bushkill at Ressica Falls. It
was a hot, sunny and clear day (with a suprising late day heavy sun shower). I was fishing
by noon but had marginal luck fishing nymphs for the first few hours, struggling to catch
three fish on a pheasant tail and prince.
After an extended break I fished above the "Little
Falls" on Firestone Road and got into trout fast and furious. Can't really tell what
changed. The sun was still high and all was warm. Same nymphs. I think the area where I
fished was much better suited to my nymphing style. It was good pocket water that I could
criss cross and pick out distinct holding areas. I don't know how many I got that
afternoon but certainly double digits. It never hurts the ego to have this blazing success
witnessed by friends who, like me, were struggling all day for anything at all. Also saw a
black bear come down to the stream for an afternoon drink. I did no temperature
measurements but I did think the stream is lower than normal for this time of year. I hope
that's not a sign of things to come.
MAY 5, 2000: After a month of competing for holes
with the throngs in Chester County I was lucky enough to be invited to fish a private club
on the Bright which flows into the Broadhead near Skytop, PA. This wide and clear
freestone stream is aptly named as you can easily see big browns hugging the bottom in six
feet of water. We got a late start the first day but got into some decent Brooks in some
really beautiful stretches of water. There were several hatches with very little top
action. I caught four and John Murray (Pottstown) caught several as well and we took em
all on beadhead hare's ears and muddlers. We had to cut our trip short but if you ever get
the opportunity to fish Bright Creek, take it. You'll enjoy it.
April 24, 2000: Jim Younker, Joe Vasile and I float stocked the DHFFO area on
French Creek today with about 300-350 trout supplied by the PFBC. The fish were very
healthy and there were some big guys. We had about 12 hours notice so a big thanks go out
to Joe and Jim for responding quickly. We have a lot of dedicated volunteers in our
organization who are providing lots of hours of support. We thank all of them. These
volunteers make our club strong.
April 15, 2000: Ron Settle and I made our way to
Clarks Creek for a scheduled club trip. We originally were going to go to the Gunpowder
but water flows were still at minimum level. Flows in Clarks Creek were perfect and even
threatened bad weather held off most of the day. What I didn't expect was the abundance of
fishermen. If we saw one fisherman we saw three dozen. There were guys and gals
everywhere. It was hard to find a spot that hadn't been fished or walked through.
I caught a few in the morning and a few in the afternoon,
mostly on green weenies. There were big green caddis larva everywhere. Around 2:00 PM,
Hendricksons started coming off. The hatch lasted about 45 minutes and Ron caught a few
rising fish on a parachute pattern. We left around 5:00 PM with a dozen nice trout,
including a 14-inch brookie, between the two of us. On our way out I passed three more
fishermen coming in. What a day!
April 8-10, 2000: Joe King and I joined League
members Scott Ziegenfuss and Brad Boucher on the banks of the Little Juniata at Jenny
Springs Camp. We left early in the morning and were in the water by 900 AM on Saturday.
Conditions at first were excellent but quickly degraded to a windy, rainy day. All of us
managed to catch a bunch of nice brown trout, with Joe and Scott well into the double
digits. Prince nymphs and brown serendipity midge pupae worked the best.
On Sunday morning an inch of snow blanketed the ground
when we awoke. None of us were anxious to start they day as a cold wind was also howling.
Scott and Brad decided to head to Spring Creek about an hour away. Joe and I hung in at
the Little J. It was a tough day because the wind never relented and the water was higher
and off-color. Nevertheless, we managed to catch a few trout. Scott had better luck up on
Spring Creek where there was a good hatch of blue wing olives.
Monday was still windy but a little warmer. Water
temperatures had dropped about 6 degrees from when we arrived on Saturday, so the fish
were moving slow. The same flies continued to work and we managed to land a few more trout
before leaving in mid-afternoon. The highlight of the trip for me a brief encounter with a
very strong 17-inch brown trout who broke my midge dropper off in a short, flashy fight.
Joe's biggest was a 16-inch brown.
The Little J. has become one of our favorite streams.
There is a lot of good water to fish and the wild browns are strong and feisty. The area
we fish is within a 14-mile All Tackle Trophy Trout section. This means that after opening
day you can keep two fish over 14-inches.
February 6, 2000: New member Todd Palmer and Mick
Ferry tested out some freshly tied winter nymphs in the delayed harvest stretch of West
Valley. Snow was melting lowering water temps and the day was absolutely spectacular. We
fished from the FFO boundary and about a mile upstream. The stream was clear so we started
throwing #18 olive soft hackles and back down to larger and larger nymphs testing #16 zug
bugs, #14 attractors and then some meaty wooly buggers. We each missed one in the first
deep hole but neither saw or felt any other trout the rest of the day.