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. 


Monday, May 9, 2016

Against the Wind

Against the Wind

 I guess I’m still like a kid with a new toy; I can’t wait to try it out. I’m definitely a trout bum but occasionally I target bass during the warmer months. Since I got a kayak last year I did a little more largemouth bass fishing than usual.  With that said I felt a bass rod was needed. Checking out cost and reputation in bass rods I selected the tournament legal MoJo bass fly rod and couldn’t wait to use it.
 On Saturday I actually forfeited trout fishing and washed, waxed and changed oil in the Harley. I got other chores done that had been needing attention while my thoughts were on taking the new rod out bass fishing. The weather was to be better Sunday so I set my sights on Sunday.
 It’s early May and I always felt it was still too early to be thinking about bass during prime trout season. I’ve been doing very well the past few weeks catching mostly stocked trout but getting the new bass rod changed my outlook. I even washed the kayak and got all my fly bass gear ready. Come rain or high water I was going bass fishing Sunday.
 Sunday morning it was 41 degrees but the weathermen said it was to reach 61 degrees. I put the kayak in the van and headed north. The sun was on the rise as big white and gray clouds moved slowly below the blue sky. I kept a watch on the tree limbs on my way and there was no breeze that I could tell.
 In the parking area I noticed the only thing I forgot was a sponge to soak up and water that happens in the kayak. I was getting warm, getting my gear together, but decided to leave my medium weight polypropylene shirt on for the trek through the forest. I put a sweatshirt in the dry bag for assurance should it get colder. I assembled the 7 weight 7’ 11” MoJo rod and attached a mid-arbor reel with what I had, a WF7F trout taper fly line with a 12lb 9’ bass tapered leader. I grabbed a few stogies, a water bottle and put the rest of the gear in the kayak. Out of the parking area I began rolling the kayak on my approximately 2 mile journey down the grown up lane through the national forest. It is mostly flat land and with my homemade dolly isn’t much of a task.
 At waters edge the large swamp was much higher than I ever seen it. This was a good thing as I didn’t have to step in swamp muck to launch the kayak. Looking out towards the swamp I could see ripples on the surface. The sun shown down, reflecting bright light like looking into stage lights without the warmth. I felt a cool breeze blow by and decided to put the sweatshirt on.
 Out on the open water was a complete different experience. The wind blew constantly and sometimes ferociously throughout the day. White caps appeared on the wavy current at times and smacked against the exposed stumps and standing timber out in the swamp. The sound was as if two long boards being slapped together. Paddling the kayak got to be strenuous when moving against the wind. The waves would hit the bow like an exploding water balloon splashing water into and aside the kayak.
 I use a wooden handle claw hammer as an anchor. Normally the claw was all I needed to keep me from moving once it took hold of the lily roots and bottom moss. With the wind it was a constant drift unless the hammer caught hold of an underneath limb. At times I would just wedge the hammer in an exposed stump or limb to keep from being blown away. Trying to anchor in the deeper water would have been impossible so I didn’t even try.
 Forgetting my Zippo, trying to light a stogie got to be a challenge. By the end of the day I figured my thumb would feel like emery cloth constantly trying to keep the butane lighter lit.
 Most of the time I tried to fish the calmer water at the backside of land away from the wind. There wasn’t much of this calmer water available. Also there was a more concentration of the small lily pads which caused more hang ups. 

 As far as catching went I felt it went fairly well considering the conditions. I cast hard and soft homemade foam poppers against the wind, across the wind and with the wind. The short MoJo rod had little trouble in the windy conditions. I’ve used my 7 weight 9’ and 9’ ½” fly rods, I use for steelhead, and I must say the short rod is definitely the better choice for ponds, lakes and swamp waters. With the short rod the popper isn’t in the air as long. If you think about this the popper doesn’t rise off the water as high as a longer rod. The action is quicker and the rod tip isn’t as soft. This all makes for quick casts and less wind resistance. There isn’t a need to make real long casts as if you were river fishing in deep water you can't wade through. I also felt i had more control of my casts.
 With the lily shoots sprouting upward from the bottom fishing beneath was out of the question. I stayed with poppers and made quite a few bass rise. I didn’t catch any big bass. I figured they may have been in deeper water and there was no chance of trying for them in these conditions.

 As far as how the rod handles after the hook up I can't say I could give a fair assessment as of yet. Knowing I had 12lb leader and didn't catch any lunkers the small largemouth bass I caught were no problem getting them to the kayak. I had more resistance trying to unhook my poppers hung up on a bunch of lily pads. 
 About 2:30 I had enough of the weather and wind. My face felt cold and chapped like riding the cycle in cold conditions against the wind for 2 hours straight. My shoulders were getting sore from paddling in the windy conditions and besides that I ran out of cigars. Paddling against the wind, to my exit point, was the last challenge of the day. Again wavy water splashed against the kayak creating sprays of wetness upon me. The cold gusts of wind chilled my cheeks and chapped my lips. My ears felt tender from the all day windy conditions.
 Once aground I dragged the kayak over the bumpy field up to the lane. There I positioned the kayak on the cart and strapped it down. I took my time making my way towards the parking area. A cold beer was a quenching relief as I put my gear away and changed into dry clothes.
 So much for my May bass fishing. I think that with a bass taper fly line the casting would take less effort, more distance and most likely better control especially in windy conditions. I’ll wait till warmer weather, or at least till the end of June, before my next largemouth bass excursion in the National Forest.


Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Brook Trout 'N Glass

Brook Trout ‘N Glass

  After stop and go fishing the Tionesta Creek, staying downstream from the mud line from the rain, I decided to brook trout fish in the ANF before heading home. I took a dirt road through the Allegheny National Forest and parked along side the narrow creek that flowed between the bare forest trees. I decided to have some fun and I put together the 2 piece ‘Custom Pro’ Wonderod and attached the Martin Classic MC78 reel, with Cortland Sylk line, to the down locking reel seat. As I pulled line out of the reel, lining the rod, it made me chuckle listening to the audible ratcheting clicks of the old Martin reel.
 The gray rain clouds had now passed and the day brightened leaving white puffy clouds lingering above. The white clouds reflected the sun's rays down upon the forest. Looking around, the forest glistened with reflections of light off the wet blades of grass and the raindrop left on the few tree leaves on the branches of small saplings. Pine bows twinkled, from the wetness also, like small Christmas tree lights when the soft wind blew through the forest.
 I found the creek had a chalkiness color to it, in the riffles, and good flow from the recent rainfall. This broadened the mountain stream and should get the brook trout out from their low water hiding places and into the main flow. With the chalky water I won’t have to make long casts, to keep from being seen, and can avoid the bank side branches and overhanging twigs on my casts.
 I started wading the creek casting a Woolly Bugger to get a feel for the short fiberglass rod. I made looping roll casts most of the time but would overhand longer casts where I was able to. I caught one brook trout on a brown bugger but felt I should have had more strikes for the area I had just covered. I know very well brook trout love minnows and I had a variety of bait fish imitations to show off. Once I started the DT Triple Threat fashion show the entertainment started to pick up. I lit a cigar, relaxed a bit and continued on.
 I changed colors often with or without the bling depending on the situation from dark shadows along the banks to out in the middle of the creek. In the riffles I used flashier colors to draw more attention. I had to shorten up the minnow imitations some because of the short strikes of the smaller brook trout compared to the rainbow trout I had caught in the Tionesta Creek. With each catch the brook trout darted about within the riffling water and the glass rod flexed and danced with each tug and pull.
 There were a few other anglers fishing bait along the stream also. I simply went around them and continued down creek finding a trout or two here and there. They were spread out looking for a meal as I expected.
 By the time my cigar went out I had caught quite a few brook trout and decided to call it a day. 

  Back at the van I drank a Great Lakes Porter. The cold dark beer went down easily and was a good beer to finish the day.