Wednesday, October 12, 2016

October Fun with 'Glass'

October Fun with ‘Glass’

  I saw a fish roll in the shallow riffle, behind a boulder, as my Woolly Bugger swiftly passed through. My second attempt the line straightened and I pulled back on the “Custom Pro” glass rod. The rod bowed in an arc into the butt section. I gripped the cork handle tightly waiting for a long rambling ride like a kid gripping the lap bar on a scary roller coaster ride.
 He swam downstream tugging as he went. The fiberglass rod quickly flexed with each jolt. The old Martin reel clicked rapidly as I palmed the spool to slow the fish down. Far enough, he turned up creek into deeper water. I stripped line back towards me trying to keep tension on the big fish. Up creek he tugged more and with his wide tail shot across creek causing splashed water to the surface. Tiring him out I kept the fly line pinched between the cork grip and my finger as I wound in line, the reel stuttered with each revolution.
 With the rod held high I reached for my net as the rod flexed with each escape attempt. He swirled in front of me and it took a little calculation and patience to get him in the net. His yellowish burnt belly and dark body told me the big rainbow had been around for a while and wasn’t one of the freshly stocked trout from a week ago.

 Upstream, in a shallow run, I spotted a few trout lingering. I let the cream color sucker spawn pass by. The fish swam over and checked out the spawn but didn’t take. With an indicator I casted up creek and watched as the sucker spawn bounced off the bottom toward the trout. One dipped its nose to the rock bottom and sucked it in. With a good hook set he took off upstream with force. The glass rod instantly flexed into the mid section. The trout swam towards the far end of the creek before heading down creek with the current. I raised the rod and followed the trout. We battled a bit before I was able to get him to the net. After the release I tried for the other. He too sucked the bottom bouncing sucker spawn and again a battle ensued.

  Slowly stripping a Woolly Bugger through the slow deep pool, with short strips, the line pulled away. A quick pull of the line, with a hardy pull of the rod, hooked another trout. He went air born trying to release the hook. His white underbody and pink side shown brightly beneath the sun before splashing down. His second aerial display was more aggressive with a twist or two before reentering the water. The glass rod arced deeply as he continued deep before taking off near the far shore. He tussled beneath, tiring, before I was able to get him near enough to net yet another nice rainbow.

 As my indicator drifted slowly towards the tail end of the deeper water it suddenly swooped beneath. I yanked back on the rod, taking up all slack, and the line tightened on yet another trout. This one stayed deep and swam around, within the deep pool, not in any hurry to draw near. With a little more force I pulled in line and he reluctantly drew near. Once within vision he turned with power. The glass rod felt heavy and I let tensioned line run through my fingers. After a short skirmish, with the trout, he succumbed to the pressure and swam nearer to me. Another fine hold over rainbow came to the net. 

  After a beer break I was back on the water trying to entice other tout under the sunshine.

  Drifting a Brown Hares Ear, at the head of the deep pool, I casted again and again trying to find a hungry trout. Sure enough the indicator sunk and I lifted the rod tip with a quick yank. The glass rod flexed deep as the line tightened and pulled away with the audible clicking of the Martin reel. He struggled beneath trying to release the hook. I played him out and eventually won over.

  I lit up my last stogie before continuing on.

  My indicator bobbled upon the surface before I was aware the nymph wasn’t just hung up on the bottom. With a wrist set, the line tightened and, a frisky fish began to fight with quick maneuvers but was no match for the 5 weight. With each twist and turn the rod tip danced as I brought in line bringing the trout towards me. To my surprise I had caught a brook trout.

  As the light faded I attached the hook to the hook guide and made my way towards the parking lot.
 Another fine day on a trout stream.


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Monday Afternoon Footballs

Monday Afternoon Footballs

 I always considered September the slow month for trout fishing. The smaller streams are low and the bigger streams the water is warm. The trout, if you find them, aren’t very active and I don’t care to over exert their energy in such warm water conditions. The local river is also warm. The past couple of weekends I waded for bass and trout but to tell you the truth I smoked more cigars on the water than I caught fish.
 I had a long weekend and Monday morning I was undecided where I wanted to fish. My PT Cruiser was all ready loaded with trout gear, bass gear and steelhead rods. Checking the internet my friend, Dano, assured me that the depth and flow of a tail out river would be fishable. It didn’t take any time at all to take my cup of coffee to the Cruiser and head North West for some cool water trout fishing.
 After about an hour drive through the morning fog I met up with Dano along the dead end road next to the river. I got my gear together and seeing that there wasn’t any wind to speak of I pulled out my Scott G2 5 weight for this occasion. Fitted with weight forward line I was ready for some smooth long casts on the wide open river.

  At the river Dano made a game plan. He headed out into the mid river while I concentrated along the banks and outskirts. I lit up my first stogie and started swinger a streamer. Dano scored first and when I turned, when he called my name, I seen a flexing rod pointing downstream with fly line peeling off his reel. By the arc in the rod and his posture I was sure he had a good lively strong fish. The swift undercurrent wasn’t making it any easier for him to get the trout close to him. Slowly and cautiously he waded his way to the bank downstream from me. After he landed the big rainbow a spin fishermen met him at the bank and captured a picture of Dano and his rainbow.

  There were a few caddis and a few small mayflies about all morning. In the afternoon a few more caddis were about and when I seen a couple of risers it took me no time to knot on a dry caddis.
 The rises were sporadic and very seldom the same trout rose in the same spot. It was if the trout were swimming about looking for a surface meal. I changed caddis wing and body color often trying to show them something that matched what they were after. I seen a couple of trout rise to just below my imitation but didn’t like the offering after all. It wasn’t long before it was my turn to score
 There were a few trout within casting distance that would rise occasionally. I knotted on an egg layer caddis with a nice green egg sack. A short cast put my fly across stream and, with some slack, drifted downstream without a wake. A mouth surfaced with a subtle splash and I was quick with a hook set. A surface irruption happened before the trout disappeared beneath. There were no quick headshakes, no underwater shenanigans, just with swimming force he headed out to midstream. Keeping a firm grip on the cork handle I palmed the reel for sufficient resistance till the trout gave me a chance to tighten the drag. He got out some distance before he stopped and gave the line a few tugs. I tightened the drag knob some but kept it loose enough not to snap the 5x tippet. When he started an upstream run I reeled line in keeping side pressure on the tout. Nearer to me the water was only knee deep and I didn’t want him to surface yet so I kept the rod tip low and tried to force the trout within distance of netting him. Close enough it took a bit longer to have him calm down enough to net him.

 By 2:00 Dano said he was heading back to New York. I didn’t have much else to do later on so I lit another stogie and went downstream to where I saw trout rise earlier.
 With the sun lowering on the other side of the river it put a blinding glare on the surface water. Trying to follow my fly across the glare was useless so I started to cast upstream. A couple of big splashes caught my attention and I concentrated in those areas to score again.

  The caddis imitation fell about 50 feet upstream. I was bringing in line to keep the line as straight as possible to the fly. Within 15’ a nose pocked through the surface and I quickly lifted the rod with force. The surface splash sprayed water of a bigger fish than I expected. The line tightened as he went under and the rod flexed with line shooting through the guides. Like the other brown trout, it made a round-a-bout run midstream and turned downstream with the current. It held a few yards from the bank but refused to come nearer. I slowly waded downstream, reeling in line, until I seen him, mid depth, and realized what had happened. My line had got caught under a bigger rock and left the trout struggling with a taut line. I swung the line away from the rock which dislodged and freed the line. The trout didn’t have much energy left and was easily netted.

 After releasing the trout I waded back up where I had caught him and dried off the caddis imitation. I was just blind casting out-and about when a big splash surfaced where my imitation was last seen. I pulled buck on my rod and I felt the heavy resistance on the hook set. This trout stayed deep and took off with more force than the past two. He was heading out in the river current like a running back heading towards the end zone. Mid-stream he turned with the current and kept on keeping on. I palmed the reel rim as line peeled off the reel. When I seen the white backing line shoot through the tip top I put a little more pressure on the reel but the trout wasn’t giving up that easy. Over 30 yards out I saw a surface disturbance as if he evidently came to the surface. The long length of line stretched through the air from the rod tip top to the surface out yonder like a guy wire on a radio tower.  My fingers were gripped tightly in the cork as I felt him struggling to break free. The current was putting a lot of stress on the leader and tippet. He wasn’t coming towards me and used the current to his advantage. I decided to slowly wade downstream as I wound in line shortening the distance between us. It was as if he was resting, facing the current. When I felt I was just upstream and across from him I put a little more side pressure on him by dropping the rod tip some and pulling it towards the bank. He shot upriver and I quickly raised the rod up keeping as much line out of the water as possible to cut down the resistance. Water sprayed off the line as it shot out of the water with the running trout. The pressure was obviously too much and he turned downstream again and started coming towards me. I slowly backed up toward the bank in ankle deep water. I had him reluctantly coming towards me as he tugged now and than like a big dog on a long leash not wanting to come my way. In the knee deep water I saw his wide girth. I let my net fall in the water, attached to my belt, so it would be ready when I needed it. I reeled in more line till I got him closer. With my wrist locked, trying to hold the rod up and steady, I grabbed the net handle. He swirled a few times and I finally managed to scoop up the big brown. He tussled in the net as I carried him towards the bank.
 The belly of the brown shown he was well fed. His dark spots were sprayed about his darkened body with a nice dark belly.

  I unhooked the caddis and released the trout successfully back into the river water. I let him rest peacefully in the slow current until I grabbed his tail and gently pushed him back into the knee deep water. He swam away with a healthy tail swat back into the deeper current.
 The caddis dry was well damaged during the skirmish so I clipped it off.
 I looked out over the water and all surface activity appeared to come to a halt. A few small midges were flying about but the caddis had all but disappeared. I thought ‘maybe the trout were tired of the small #14 and #16 caddis.’  These are big trout I am catching and maybe there is one out there that wants some meat! For the heck of it I knotted on a #10 1x long Gray Wulff pattern and decided to fish this as I waded upstream to where I wanted to exit the river. The Wulff pattern was easy to see and slowly drifted with the wavy current.
 A fish exploded out of the water, at the Gray Wulff, and I was Jerry on the spot with the hook set. This trout was a lot livelier beneath the surface with quick turns and spurts like a running back dodging tacklers for yardage. I had a feeling this wasn’t a brown trout and acted more like a wild rainbow. It surfaced a few times but never came completely out of the water. He put on a good wrestling match as I played him towards me and finally netted him successfully. At the bank I untangled the leader that was wrapped around his body. Once I located the Wulff pattern, in his mouth, I took ease and dislodged it. The beauty of the rainbow finished my day of fishing in fine fashion.

 I nipped off the water logged pattern and found another in my fly box. I only casted it out a few times before calling it a day.
 I hooked the Wulff pattern in the hook keeper and stood and looked out across the river. I lit my last Brickhouse Fuma and waded up along the bank.

The Scott rod did a fine job with the big fish and graceful casting of the dry flies. Another exceptional dry fly day in the books. 





Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Green Man and a Sun Grown

Green Man and a Sun Grown

 The cool tailwater flowed around my hip waders keeping my body temperature comfortable in the humid August 80+ degree weather. Fog lay upon the cool flowing water surface like pond water in the early morning during sunrise. When a breeze stirred the fog rolled off the surface water and ascended, between the banks, skyward as the sun appeared between the overcast cloud cover. It’s just before 12, it’s peaceful and the murmur of rippling water brings a quaint charm to the river. I don’t see any surface activity but spent time trying to make a trout rise to my assortment of dry terrestrials and caddis. After a piece I try nymph fishing but the rhythmic boredom soon takes its toll and I return to casting dries.
 I see the first caddis drifting down stream dazedly fluttering trying to get air born in the direct sunlight. A fish rises suddenly and sucks it down. I search my caddis imitations trying to match the size and wing color. Being August I select a light ginger body caddis and knot this onto my 6x tippet. 
   Maybe it was my 4th cast that I got a trout to raise to it. Maybe I was a little early on the hook set, upon seeing the trout rise, or maybe he was just suspicious of the body color, but I missed him leaving a surface bubble in its place.
 I spent another 15 minutes fishing dries without success before the gray clouds moved in with a gusher of a shower. I hid beneath the pines till it let up and walked downstream to try another section of water.
 The banks were dense with cover and overhanging pine boughs. I used terrestrial patterns more often but couldn’t get a trout to rise. I worked buggers and streamers below the falls in the faster current but still no takers. The gray clouds moved in again bringing with it another rainfall that splashed the surface water. I waded out towards cover hoping the rain would soon pass.
 Upstream I stepped off the bank and stood in the drizzling rain. I noticed a few more caddis about the water which got a few trout actively rising for the food source. I knotted on a caddis and went for them.
 A bullet head deer wing caddis drifted upon the surface behind a big boulder half submerged from the bank. The current was a bit faster and I seen a trout rise and swim downstream to intercept my imitation. This time I watched the trout suck it in and set the hook sweeping my rod tip downstream and up towards the heavens. The trout splashed upon the surface and then quickly disappeared beneath with the tightened line. A frisky rainbow gave me my first round about fight and, with confidence, I played and netted my first rainbow. 

  A few more caddis imitations made a couple more trout rise for a look see but there was something evidently wrong and they didn’t take. After seeing a thin grayish mayfly rise from the water I knotted on a #14 Hendrickson and attempted to catch another rainbow. I had him with, what I thought was a good hook set, but during the struggle he came undone. I went back to an up-wing caddis and produced another rise and another struggling rainbow on a tight line.

 Time ticked away as it rained off and on but it didn’t seem to bother the rising trout. A couple more took the caddis and I released them into the cool water.

 After that all surface activity stopped. I was willing to give up and headed back to my PT Cruiser soak and wet.
 At the vehicle I quenched my thirst with a Green Man amber ale while I undressed, dried off and changed into dry clothes. I took out a Don Tomas sun grown for the ride.
  The dark tobacco wrapper burnt evenly and the long leaf tobacco inside was an extra tasty smoke during the drive back to camp.

 After a hot meal and another beer I headed to the tent for some sleep. As I lay on the air mattress a drizzling rain fell upon the tent cover sounding like hot oil sizzling in a frying pan. From the leaves above, rainwater puddled and than fell in bigger drops upon the tent sounding like popcorn kernels popping in a covered pot. With my eyes closed I fell into a somber sleep.


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Smallmouth Intentions

Smallmouth Intentions

 My intentions, July 4th, was to fish the Clarion River for smallmouth bass. I had a bunch of poppers and I wanted to see if I could get some smallies to rise for them. Being a trout bum I always take along some dry flies for river fishing which consists of Wulff patterns and Humpy patterns.

  I strapped on my fanny pack, filled with boxes of poppers and Clouser Minnows and of course I found room for my Woolly Bugger box including Hellgrammites. I put my big dry fly box in my shirt pocket with my cigars and grabbed the 6 weight Winston. I decided to wet wade the river and headed down to greet the Clarion.
 The fog rose up from the warmer river water into the chilly air. The sun was rising also above the tree line through the cotton white clouds that slowly moved beneath the blue sky. Branches full of glossy green leaves overhung the banks in places from the tall trees that lined the river. Birds were chirping, hidden in the forest, and the distant riffling of water made for a beautiful morning to be on the water. Yet untouched by watercraft and swimmers I had the peaceful river to myself.

 I stepped into the river and the cool water let me know that the river wasn’t as warm as I would have thought. I waded out a bit in the shin deep shallows before I stripped out line from the reel and cast the purple/gray bug popper out into the river. The past few years it hasn’t been that great popper fishing for bass but after fishing for trout all day, the day before, would be a relaxing change of pace.
 In the riffles I used a couple of different color poppers as well as heavy buggers and Hellgrammites. Along the far bank I tossed poppers trying to get a resting bass to rise. The water was deeper in spots so I had to find my way to get close enough to shoot a long line towards the far bank. At times I was in deep to my waist in water as I waded looking for a submerged boulder to perch on to make a few casts to cover an area. I suppose it was an hour that passed by before I got to the far side of the river were a nice cove of slow current swirled away from the main stem of the river.
 The water was shallow but there was always a chance a bass might be lurking along the bank or against some of the large boulders. The few assorted colored poppers didn’t produce any rises so I turned to the faster current and tried swimming the popper in the soft spots.
 While I was fishing a fish rose down stream well within my casting range. Though I knew there were trout in the river, which came from the mountain stocked creeks, the rise still surprised me. There wasn’t a cooler mountain creek anywhere around so I wasn’t expecting any to be here. I wasted no time and knotted on a big Adams Wulff dry to the 3x tippet I was using. I doubt the trout was line shy and I figure its eyes would be on the big meal than to see what’s attached to it in the moving water. I don’t see many fly fishermen on the river so I think the trout wouldn’t be too spooky and I might just fool him.
 The gray body should be easy to see, from the fish point of view, in contrast with the above blue sky. I didn’t bring any dry fly paste so I knew I wouldn’t have many casts before the pattern gets soaked in the swift current. With the natural muskrat body, deer hair wing and tail and stiff hackle it should last longer than some of my other patterns.
 It’s hard to tell which way the current flows in a softer area between split faster current and behind subsurface obstructions. I was standing on a flat rock, only shin deep, so I was well above the quick current right in front of me. I studied the flow, leading to the rise, and started my back cast. I stopped my fly sharply in air so as to have slack in the fly line as it fell. The dry fell just this side of the faster stream of water, mid river, and drifted into the soft water as I intended. I kept the fly rod tip high over the stream of water in front of me and watched the Adams Wulff slowly drift its way in the soft water. Near the end of the soft water the Wulff picked up a little speed and started to drift to the far side of the fast stream of water that flowed in front of me, down river. Standing high above the water I had a perfect view of what transpired.
 As the Wulff pattern swung near the faster run a flash of the trout porpoised at the fly coming towards it. I yanked back on the rod and the long length of line instantly tightened as the rod arced. After two good head shakes the trout shot towards the faster stream of water mid river. I was above the water so there was hardly any line drag putting undo force during the run of the trout. He scurried about beneath as if looking for a place to hide like a kid at an underage alcohol party when the police arrive. From above I seen his long body rush upriver in front of me and this is when I stepped off the boulder getting ready to net him. It wasn’t easy getting him in the net within the swift knee deep water but I managed. In the net he still had lots of fight in him as if ready for a second round. After a quick picture I tipped the net and he darted off.

 The Adams Wulff fur body was drenched. Trying drying it off with my handkerchief was useless. Grandpa always said that where there’s one there are two. I was in trout mode and knotted on a Montana Wulff pattern. After that I tried a yellow Humpy and a Royal Wulff but they got soaked quickly in the tumbling water. I knotted on an Ausable Wulff pattern. I was careful keeping it out of the swifter current as not to let it get washed under. It wasn’t long after knotting on the Wulff pattern that a trout broke surface with aggression to nab the swift moving dry. It leaped out of the water once as if to look to see ‘who the hell was fishing imitation dries without a hatch going on.’
 This guy also fought in the swift current as I held the cork grip tightly trying to force him up stream. As he passed me I could see I had another long silver rainbow.

 I must have spent another 15 minutes trying to get another fish to rise. After soaking a few dries I resorted to buggers and pulled in one small rainbow before giving up and heading to the vehicle.

 After noon I headed down river to a likely spot I have caught both trout and smallmouth before. From the bank I lit a stogie and looked out over the water. I started at the riffles casting dries and than buggers and hellgrammite patterns without any success. Down river, beyond the riffles, was a long stretch of slow water along the far bank. Big boulders dotted the bank side landscape with little nooks and crannies between the outcropping of half submerged boulders. I found it was much deeper mid river but I kept watching for shallower spots where I could get within range of the far bank. I methodically covered the water I could reach with a popper as I carefully waded down stream. I found a submerged boulder I was able to steady myself and cover a wide range of water and also reach the far bank in many occasions. ’Just one’ I kept telling myself as I popped and fished the popper towards me.
 My cast was as far as I could get and the popper fell just shy of a big boulder stretching into the river. I let it settle and than two strips gurgled the popper as bubbles formed on the surface. I stripped line a couple more times and again the popper gurgled to life. With the popper in motion it was temporarily stopped by an audible gulp and splash. With a yank of the rod the line tightened without any give. The rod bowed towards the spoiled water surface and my grip tightened around the cork. I remembered I had knotted on 4x tippet when I was fishing dries so I didn’t want to horse the fish towards me. He swam semi circles out near the far bank as I let him tire out. He surprised me when he exploded out of the water with a full body exposure. He splashed down and forced his way down and away as outgoing line spun the spool. The rod continued to flex towards the fish as it fought with strength and energy. I always said that for its size trout is one of the best fighting fish and river smallmouth come in a close second. Scooting about the smallie stayed deep and it wasn’t easy getting him towards me. Once nearer he was pretty much tuckered out and I was able to net him quite handily. I heard a voice come from the road and turned to see a truck had stopped to watch the action. He asked “how big is it” and I lifted it out of the net.
“He put on a good fight” the driver called out.

 I fished another area but had to contend with two puppy lovers, three Amish swimmers and an assortment of canoes, kayaks and tubers before calling it a day.
 I only caught 3 trout and one smallmouth by days end but I wasn’t disappointed with my catch. Though I did get a lot of practice casting it was peaceful and relaxing for the most part. I finished with a cold Straub Hefeweizen while changing clothes before heading to the Knotty Pines for a dozen Bourbon wings!!

Monday, June 13, 2016

MOJO Bass Fly Rod Review

MOJO Bass Fly Rod Review
Bass tournament legal at 7’11”

 First, anyone that knows me knows I’m a trout bum of a fisherman. Though I do target other fish, trout is my mainstay. Also I fly fish 99% of the time and haven’t used a conventional rod in sometime. I decided to target largemouth bass more this year and decided to purchase a fly rod specifically for bass. With that being said I decided “why not get a regulation tournament legal bass rod?” Not that I’m going to participate in any bass tournaments but I figured it would be fun just to see how a short rod would handle with bass conditions.
 There are a few manufacturers that make specific tournament legal bass fly rods and I took the time to research for what I was looking for. The couple of higher priced fly rods were too expensive for my blood. I’m sure they all work well and most likely be fancy but the price was over the top from what I wanted to spend. This left me with two choices, a Heat rod, from White River or the MOJO bass fly by St. Croix. After talking with a representative from both companies, weighing my options on weight, reliability and knowledgeable in the field of both conventional rods and fly rods I went with the MOJO bass fly.
 Being that St. Croix has been in the rod business for ever and makes both conventional rods for bass fishing and fly rods I figured it would be a good bet they would be able to produce a well refined fly rod specifically for bass.
 The MOJO rod isn’t anything fancy. In fact the fanciest thing about it is the lettering on the rod shaft. There isn’t a wooden insert in the reel seat, which I would have liked, it’s just a black machined-aluminum. The dark black cherry blank isn’t anything eye catching but I don’t buy rods because of how the blank looks. It has a gracious full well cork grip with a fighting butt and the double rings on the reel seat is a plus in my book.
 When I talked with the St. Croix fly rod rep. he told me that they use a weight forward line that matches the rod. I fitted the rod with the large arbor 7 weight reel I use for steelhead and took it out for a test run.
 My first outing I used my WF7F fly line that I use for steelhead fishing and also have used it for bass fishing on my 9’ steelhead rod. It was a windy day and I was in open water in my kayak. I have to admit the rod was wonderful to cast. I was worried, because it was stated as a moderate-fast action rod for short to medium casts. I was afraid it wasn’t going to throw a foam or cork popper well with the wind. I also was concerned about distance. Though you don’t have to be too far away from the fish when targeting bass but from a kayak it’s nice to be able to cover a wide area anchored. I’ve mentioned I haven’t used a conventional rod for some time. Well the stiff butt section and finely tuned top section of the blank was no problem in the wind. I could drop the poppers with a sharp tight loop if I wanted to or let the popper drop easy like a frog jumping onto the water with little splash. The distance wasn’t bad either. It loaded well and the forward cast had no wobble in the top section.
 When I did catch a bass I had no problem steering it my way and away from the under water lily shoots. It handled nicely with more control than a flexy longer rod. I didn’t catch any large bass in my first outing but I returned with a better set up.

  Now it was time to refine the rod with a reel and a Bass taper fly line. The St. Croix rep. also said, since I was to purchase a 7 weight rod, that a 5 weight large arbor reel is all I would need. He added that bass aren’t runners so there isn’t a need for 100 yards of backing and, because of the short rod, should balance out nicely. I took his advice, and being cost conscious I went with a 5/6 Hobbs Creek large arbor reel. I figured if White River puts this reel on their own bass fly rods it can’t be all bad. Also I checked the reviews of this reel and they were positive for the price.  A friend happen to mention that Orvis sells a Bass specific fly line. With a gift card I received for my birthday I purchased a 7 weight Hydro bass line. With my line and new reel it balanced the short MOJO rod perfectly.
 I was anxious to test it out but early trout season was still upon us here in Pennsylvania. Dry fly action took off and the weather was still a bit on the chilly side. I leaned the rod up against the wall and waited for a weekend to take it out.
 My second outing I had the rod, reel and line I thought would work the best. On a Sunday I took it out but again was a windy day. I knew it would be a struggle, kayaking in the wind, but I couldn’t wait any longer to try this outfit out.
 The bass taper line gave the rod a better feel when loading and I got plenty of distance. I also was able to sidearm cast the poppers, to cut the wind resistance, without the popper dropping too far on the back cast. I also attribute this to the shorter length. This outing I caught some heavier bass and was able to maneuver the bigger bass without too much of the bass having its way with me.

 One large mouth did make a sweeping run towards me and kept on going pass me. I didn’t have the drag set very tight. As the bass took line out, from the reel, I tested the strength of both reel, rod and line by trying to slow it down. The hook let loose and the bass kept on without a glance of the big creature. I could have played it better but I was willing to sacrifice losing the bass by seeing what would happen by trying to stop it quickly.
 Overall I feel I got a good combination and if anything I may change later is getting a better reel but for now the Hobbs creek reel works just fine. I also wish the rod came in a 4 or even a 3 piece so I can take it with me on my motorcycle but for now the MOJO Bass fly only comes in a 2 piece. I have no better reason to go back to a longer rod for largemouth.
 The MOJO BASS FLY rod also comes with a 5 year warranty. You can check out the specific models on the St. Croix web sight.


Thursday, June 9, 2016

Fishing, Kayaking and more Fishing.

Fishing, Kayaking and more Fishing

 Jeff called and told me he was wanting to come North and fish till he drops over the weekend. He wanted to fish Friday after work and we planned on kayak/fishing on Saturday. Sunday was wait and see due to the possible rain. He showed up Friday evening and, though it was after 5:30pm, he wanted to get some late fishing in before dark. We headed to the Allegheny Nation Forest and deep into the forest along a hard packed dirt road that dead ended at the creek. We applied bug spray upon us and walked through the high brush to the water. 
 Our most productive offerings were woolly buggers to the rainbows, browns and brook trout while we took our time wading and fishing down creek. We also made a few trout rise with a small selection of dry flies including beetles and ants. We caught some very frisky trout before the sun went down below the tree line and walked back to the vehicle, along the dirt road, in dim light.
 It was a good quick outing ending with a pizza and beers at the Kelly Hotel before returning home.


 Saturday we were up early. I made us a bacon and egg breakfast while Jeff checked out the weather report. We were still debating where to kayak and as time went be we decided to hit the lower part of Tionesta Creek for trout. We tied down my kayak, next to his, on his truck and headed North for some more trout fishing.
 After leaving his vehicle down creek at a campground we returned to our yaks and started our journey down creek. Our fishing was mostly done stopping and wading out to trout fish. There were sections of the creek I was familiar with and other sections Jeff was more familiar with. When we found a section the looked trout fishy we stopped and gave it a shot. 
 We caught some nice broad shoulder rainbow trout throughout our journey. Some extra, high jumping, tough fighting rainbows and a few brown trout. Most were taken on streamers but we did catch a few on nymphs, wet flies and a few on dry caddis. We practically had the creek to ourselves. The only wading fisherman we seen was where we put in and came across only two canoes on our way down creek. We didn't take count but we had an awesome time pulling in trout, kayaking downstream and enjoying the warm and pleasant weather.

 We arrived at our take out location around 4:30pm. This is where I discovered my only mishap. I found a burnt hole in my shirt that was evidence that an ash from one of my cigars must of fell on to. It was a pretty big burn and I don't recall ever smelling the fire or feeling the burning.
 Once we got our Kayaks on the truck and gear inside, we returned to my vehicle up creek. By that time it was only around 5pm or so. Not feeling beat up or sore we were still in the mood to fish. Jeff got out his binoculars and glassed the surface water from our vehicles. Sure enough, he assured me, there were fish rising in the calmer water just before flowing over a row of rocks that stretched across the creek. We put on our vests and grabbed our rods and headed back out for some more trout fishing.
Let me just say it was an extra bonus of an awesome day to finish off catching surface rising trout.
 After a long day of kayaking and fishing we were pretty hungry. A venison roast and a bottle of red wine awaited us at home. 

Sunday morning was overcast and the weather was predicted to have passing showers and in the 70's. I made us a quick breakfast sandwiches and we got in our vehicles and headed North West for some cold tail water trout fishing. I guaranteed Jeff we would get into some dry fly action. 
 The water was about 58 degrees when we arrived in the morning. The sky was overcast for the first couple of hours before the rain started. Once it started to pour we both met back at the vehicles to wait it out. When it let up, with our rain gear on, we headed back out to the stream. It was mostly streamer fishing as the rain dotted the water. After noon the rain ceased and the sun came out for just a bit. With that we found a few trout rising and finished off fishing top water till Jeff decided he was wet enough and cold enough to call it a day. 
 While Jeff headed back to Pittsburgh I stopped at the Dam Inn and got a burger and a couple of Yuenglings before heading home. All in all it turned out to be a pretty good weekend of trout catching with a good friend.