Saturday, March 16, 2019

Three B's on Glass

Three B’s on Glass

  The temperature read 50 degrees when I pulled along the creek. It was a bit chillier when I stepped outside than what it looked like through the truck window. The shade of the trees and the colder breeze let me know there was still a bit of winter in the air. As I put together the 7’ two piece Wonderod I listened to the riffling of water in the distant creek. I also glanced and heard the lifeless leaves skitter and rustle across the ground with the gusts of wind and sounding like the crinkling of closing a brown bag lunch. I attached the old Classic Martin reel to the rear locking reel seat of the rod and threaded the mustard color Cortland Sylk line through the small eyes on the blank. Having fished this small creek before streamers have been the most effective. With the shallow areas, stony bottom and conflicting current there is less chance of snags with a streamer. Besides that, brook trout love a moving object and a streamer is a lot more active in the water than a drifting nymph. I knot on a fast-snap so I can change streamers quickly and to this I clip on a white Woolly Bugger.
 At the waters edge I observe the creek. The water flows with a greenish gray tint in deeper section not more than about 6” below the surface. The sun and clouds play tricks upon the water surface. The water surface turns from a sparkling reflection from the sun rays, as diamond facets under light, to a shaded semi-opaque dull color when the clouds move beneath the sun. I look up towards the sky and tall branched tree limbs stretch uneasy as if inked upon an artists canvas of a precarious sky. 
  I look back into the riffling water and even through my polarized shades I can’t distinguish any holding fish from the creek bed in the shallows.
 I step easy like into the water not wanting to stir up a cloud of silt to be washed down stream with the undercurrent. With effort I try to cast the heavy streamer with the wimpy Fiberglass rod. The line makes an awkward loop, best as I can describe it, and the bugger plops into the water like an acorn. It takes me a few more casts to get used to the slow action of the flexible ‘glass’ rod but I get a much better feel and start placing the weighted bugger about where I want it to fall. I slowly wade down creek making long cast when possible. I keep the rod tip and exposed line in vision at all times watching for any sudden twitch of either.
The rod tip arcs slightly and, with my fingers pinched on the fly line, I forcefully wrist back the rod to set the hook. The fiberglass rod arcs towards the midsection and than eases up and flexes erratically with the playful brookie. I keep a firm grip on the cork while the brook trout scurries about and than bring it to the net.
After catching another in the same manner it’s time to award myself with a cigar.
 The dark brown wrapper of the Maduro fuma looks bold. With a break in the wind I light the stogie and after a few puffs a glow forms at the foot. The aroma fills the air around me as the smoke dissipates in thin air.
  I continue to cautiously wade and fish my way down creek casting Woolly Buggers. I add or remove shot from my leader depending on the water condition. A surge of water flows against down tree trunks half submerged against the steep bank. I cast the bugger into the wavy current and watch as the current guides my offering into the slower water on the opposite side on the log jam. I slowly strip in the bugger without a strike. My next cast puts the bugger back into the wavy current. This time, as the bugger drifts with the current, I mend my fly line onto the wavy current. The bugger drifts towards the slower water but with my fly line in the wavy current, pulls my bugger towards the log jam. I twitch the rod tip as I stretch the short rod out in front of me. The take is a jolting tug and I rear back the rod and set the hook. The ‘glass’ rod arcs into the midsection and the trout tussles with the hook striving to get free. Line slips through my fingers with pressure as I try to slow the aggressiveness of the fish down. It makes a move towards the log jam but I’m already backing up on land putting pressure on the trout to come towards me and out of harms way. I can feel the pressure of my hand on the cork ease up and I start to reel in line as the trout swims towards me. Near the bank it squirms a bit but I’m able to net it safely. I’m kind of surprised it’s a nice looking rainbow.

 Being that the deep water along the log jam looks like it will hold quite a few fish I proceed with the same tactic. After my third drift under the log the line straightening tug catches my attention. This time there was some slack line flowing with the slower current. I quickly pull fly line in with my left hand and pull the rod over my left shoulder to take up all slack and hope for a hook set. The line straightens right up to the rod tip and the rod arcs towards the log jam. The trout tugs and pulls staying well in the deep water. After a couple of tugging head shakes it swims into the slower current. I raise the rod and it does a couple laps without much shenanigans. I net a brown trout. Pretty cool I thought, the three B’s of Pennsylvania trout. Brookies, bows and browns all in one day in the same creek.
 As time goes on I keep moving and casting Woolly Buggers about. I catch a brookie now and then and miss a couple with glancing swipes.

  I come to a deep pool section I have fished many times in the past. It usually holds quite a few fish. Making tricky casts outward between pine bows and letting the weighted bugger drift into the deeper water doesn’t account for any strikes. I try again with different colors and methods but still nothing. I move around the overhanging pine boughs and situate myself facing the deepest part of the pool. I make a couple cast down and away but nothing appears to be hungry, if any, in the tail end. I try my next trick, cast the bugger upstream and seeing if I can get a trout to take the bugger as it flows ahead of me downstream. I sidearm cast the weighted bugger as far as I could up stream and mid stream. The bugger plops in the water and I try to take up the slack as the bugger drops deep and drifts ahead of my rod. I watch the portion of my fly line floating atop the surface. The end of the line sinks just enough and straightens a bit that I either touched bottom or a trout took the bugger drifting with the current. I bet on the latter and pull line and rod down creek. The ‘glass’ rods bows towards the front of the pool as a trout dart against the current with line in tow. He battles in the large deep pool of water but there’s no escape and no hazards for his benefit. As long as I keep good tension on the barbless hook I'm sure to bring him in.
 I cover the pool pretty thoroughly adding weight. I leave a little more slack in the line at times to get the bugger down deeper. I also get some good casts under the heavy tree trunk, against the far side, that extends over the creek in which I’m standing under. I catch a handful of trout. One trout I watch swipe at my white Woolly Bugger, like a kitten swiping its paw at a teasing feather, near the bank just down creek from me. I miss him twice before I’m able to set the hook at the right second the trout mouthed my offering.

  My mind is made up that I had enough fun for the day and it’s time to call it quits. I take the time to light up another stogie for the walk back through the forest towards my truck.

  At my truck I listen to the creek murmur in the background as I put my gear away. The sun is in full view now and brightens up the surroundings. A few leaves skitter across the ground with the gentle breeze as smoke gently swirls and vanishes in mid air.


Sunday, March 3, 2019

In Like a Lion

In Like a Lion
March 1st & March 2nd

  It was 28 degrees when I left home at 8:45 Friday morning. It was still 28 degrees when I parked along Elk Creek at around 10:00 am. I had already greased up the rod guides, line and leader with lip balm before I left home. All I had to do was put on my gear, grab some smokes and my coat and be off. Joe said he’d meet me around 11 so that would give me time to explore and maybe see some steelhead holdings.

  Stepping out of the warm truck I met outdoor winter reality. Though there wasn’t any breeze to speak of, the cold definitely didn’t have me too thrilled to be out.

 People have asked me whether I ice fish. I simply tell them no, that it’s too cold for me to ice fish. I just couldn’t picture myself sitting in an ice shanty only as big as a two seater outhouse huddled over a hole drilled through the ice. I do picture a few of my friends ice fishing in their propane heated ice shanty’s though. A bottle of bourbon chilling on a small snow mound and smoking a fat stogie biding their time. That sounds good if I’m looking for solitude in cramped quarters out in the wilderness but I’m not sure I can sit in one place hour after hour drinking bourbon and still be able to find myself towards land afterwards. In the meantime I’m not sure breaking ice to find steelhead in the open freezing weather is much of a better way to practice fishing during the winter.

 Snow covered the forest floor like fallen leaves after a late Autumn day wind storm. Ice shelves jutted out from the bank sides not telling the depth beneath. The faster, choppy current flowed between the ice shelves and between narrow channels. As the temperature rose to just above freezing, when the sun came out, chunks of ice and slush flowed with the current making getting your offering down and indicator floating somewhat difficult. 
 I followed the stream glancing out into the open water looking for any sign of fish. The first area I figured was a good holding place but I couldn’t see any movement below the water flow or above the creek floor. That’s not saying there weren’t any fish below but I was hoping to see some before fishing for possibilities. I continued downstream walking the waters edge, wading through the shallows and crossing on snow covered ice shelves into the more forested area. The big deep pool was nearly covered with ice near shore and I wasn’t about to take my chance walking over it to where I could see through flowing water. I was the first tracks down this far so I figured I would have time to search the stream for steelhead pretty good before anyone happens along.

  Down creek I caught sight of a couple of tails extending beyond an ice shelf on the far side of the creek. There was a good flow of current entering the area from a shallow riffle upstream. It channeled the water between the banks making for a deep pocket of water. I couldn’t see any fish out into the open water but I at least know there were a couple under the ice shelf. I laid my sling pack on the snowy pebbles and took off my gloves. I already had a tandem rig of sucker spawn knotted on to my leader. I pulled a length of line out and casted into the riffling water notating in my mind how the current is going to take my indicator. I got a few good casts into the slower water that swirled just ahead of the far ice shelf. While high sticking the rod the indicator slowly made its way towards the ice shelf. I took in a bit of line as the indicator bumped up against the ice edge. By the way the current flowed I figured my offerings just might be pushed under the ice to where the fish were holding. The indicator went under and I reared back with a side setting yank. The line tightened, the rod bowed and a steelhead darted out from under the shelf like a kid unexpectedly coming out of hiding and sprinting for the home base to be free of being caught in an outdoor hide and seek game. I held the rod up as the length of rod arced towards the fighting fish. When the steelhead went back under the shelf I had to angle the rod practically horizontal with the surface water to keep from the leader scraping against the ice edge. As I was fighting the fish a couple more steelhead swam out from under the ice shelf getting clear of all the commotion. I had a tight grip on the cork handle and all thoughts of the cold weather never came to mind. The stronger current in front of me would be tough getting the steelhead to shore so I coaxed the fish downstream as I walked the shore line. It wasn’t long before I landed my first March steelhead and it was a doozy.

  Using the same technique I hooked into another fish from under the shelf. It took off up creek through the faster current. Line peeled off the reel as I palmed the spool to slow it down. It tugged and jolted still trying to escape up creek until the hook let loose and came flying backward. My guess, the way the fish took off and acted, it might have been a foul hook anyway.

  I took a look at the hooks and none were bent and the sucker spawn wasn’t tore up. I looked up creek and still didn’t notice anyone around. Looking over to the far bank I figured why not? I crossed the creek through the shallow riffles upstream and walked the stony bank back to the ice shelf. Slowly and carefully I broke up the ice shelf exposing most of the water beneath. The ice sections slowly floated into the swifter current and bobbled and spun their way down creek. I saw a couple steelhead swim from beneath into the faster run. Some of the ice shelf was too thick that I couldn’t break up and didn’t want to take a chance of walking too far out on it. I returned to the side of the creek I came from and proceeded to try for another.

  It took some time and a different offering to get another strike. I had knotted on a Woolly Bugger and was drifting it near the ice shelf I wasn’t able to break off. I let it dangle beneath a few seconds at the end of the drift. It was if a hungry fish swam out from underneath the ice and swiped at the bugger. The line pulled downstream and, holding the line in one hand, I jerked the rod upstream for the hook set. This steelhead was a frisky one like a freshman college student heading his way to his first college dorm room party. It was like no stopping it where it was headed. The steelhead had enough energy, this late in the season, to give me a brief skyward acrobatic air show. It splashed down and immediately continued its underwater antics. I walked down the shoreline again coaxing him towards me and landed a nice looking chromer.

 Well, that deserved a reward and I lit up a Maduro Fuma.

 I looked up creek and I saw Joe checking out the big pool of water I had looked over earlier. He took his time coming down towards me. We talked a bit and I told him about the fish I had caught and I still believe there are a few more beneath the ice. While he rigged up I decided to cross the creek again and fish from the other side. In the meantime, as the sun shined down upon us, rocks and pebbles gradually started to slide down the dirt cliff, gathering up more stone and small rocks, and fall upon the far side in which I was headed. Some of the rocks took to bouncing and rolling far enough to reach and plop into the water. I knew I had to be careful but I figured I might be far enough from the cliff not to have rocks bounce off my head. It would definitely be considered a hard hat area.

  I was getting good drifts along the ice ledge but couldn’t get another strike. While Joe was fishing I decided to explore a little more. I followed the creek downstream but didn’t see anything to my liking. I went back upstream to the big pool area and decided to try and break up some of the ice as the day was warming up some.

  Cautiously I took my time of breaking up sections of ice. Now and again I saw fish scatter about. I saw a couple of nice size brown trout also in the mix. As some of the bigger slabs slowly drifted towards the faster current some of the steelhead swam and kept beneath the slabs as if they didn’t want to see the sunlight. I watched as the sections of ice slabs slowly floated and made there way downstream like puzzle pieces sliding off a tilted table top back into the box.

  Drifting sucker spawn, it wasn’t long before I hooked into another steelhead. It had a bigger area to give me a battle and I let him tire himself out before I got him landed.

 I lost another before Joe finally made his way up. He went to the head of the pool and was fishing a bugger in the oncoming current. I happen to look his way and his fly rod was bent good, arced and wobbling like he had a good fish. He called down that he had a nice brown trout. I grabbed the net and went up to where he was. He got the brown close enough I was able to net him. The brown sported a nice hooked jaw and beautiful side markings.

 Later on I went back downstream. I have to admit I hooked into and lost two big males before Joe walked down and told me he was taking off. I wasn’t far behind him when it started to get colder. The eyes of my rod started to freeze up and the freezing water was finally bothersome on my feet that I had to start moving. Up creek I just had to try for another steelhead in a run I’ve caught fish earlier in the season. I surprisingly hooked into a steelhead I fought well. The only thing was I hadn’t broke the shore line ice shelf near me and the fish went beneath and was holding. I waded in to my knees and, with the rod angled out towards mid creek, coaxed him from underneath. I tried to lift him upon the ice shelf but with the pressure on the line and hook, the hook came undone from its mouth and he got away.

I caught another and practically the same circumstance happened. One more and I changed tactics and finally landed my last fish of the day.

 Back at the truck I got out of my waders and put away my gear. I had an hour or so drive to my daughters house and what better way to enjoy the ride than with a A. Fuente Gran Reserva.


Teasing Them with Triple Threats

Saturday March 2nd

  Saturdays weather seemed to be a bit colder and never did warm up much. I returned to the same area as the day before and there already were a few people fishing. I tried my best offering the steelhead all different colors of sucker spawn and streamers but they weren’t being fooled. I didn’t see or hear any of the other fishermen that passed by say they caught anything either. When the three fellows upstream moved I decided to move in and see what I could do.

  The water of the big pool was pretty clear and I could make out a couple of small pods of steelhead in the distance on this side of the wavy current. They were just sitting there in the slower current looking like they were just enjoying the peacefulness. I tried drifting sucker spawn to them but there wasn’t much current flow to get my offering to drift towards them. I guess I could have dropped my cast on top of their heads but I’m sure that wasn’t going to produce anything but spook angry fish. I came up with anther solution.

  I knotted on a Triple Threat streamer with a couple split shots up the leader to help get the streamer on their level. My idea was to over throw my cast into the faster moving current and let the Triple Threat swing and drift near the pod of fish. After three casts my line finally quit drifting and started to straighten. I quickly yanked back for the hook set and a wild and frisky steelhead put on a battle that made the slow water erupt in commotion. I held the rod up high and watched as the steelhead made its run around. Floating ice bumped up against the leader as the fish raced upstream. After a couple of initial runs I put a little more resistance on the fish and brought it to the bank. 

 I missed one more on my Ghost Pattern and after not getting any more strikes changed colors. After the same teasing I got another to hit a black and gray Triple Threat. It too gave me a run for my time spent and I enjoyed every second of the tugging and forcefulness of the fighter.

 I lit up a stogie and continued on teasing the steelhead.

 When they quit hitting I changed tactics. This time I knotted on a Golden Triple. The first three casts I quickly stripped it in when it got near the pod like a fleeing minnow. I just figured being as lethargic as they were they weren’t going to put up much effort to chase down a fleeing minnow. My last cast I let the Triple Threat drift right into the pod as well as I could tell. I twitched the streamer for just a little more action and a steelhead grabbed the streamer with just enough force I seen the line twitch. I yanked back and had another on the end of the line. The steelhead battled hard and even came to the surface a couple of times trying to shake the hook loose. I held the rod grip as tight as I could within my cold hands and clinched my teeth on the stogie. I got it near the shallow water a couple of times but she pulled away with a little more force and quickness that I really didn’t expect. I finally got it close enough to bank it and kind of chuckled when I seen the golden streamer partially hanging out of the steelheads jaw.

 Well, it wasn’t much after that that the guides started to freeze up. I decided to head upstream and fish the last hole before heading cross creek to the truck.

  There were three gents fishing the deeper run that had good flow. I thought I seen one of the guys hook into a fish but lost it before I got close to them. When I got to the hole I fished the riffling fast current while the others fished the tail out. No one was catching anything and eventually two of the guys left. The other guy and I continued to fish the hole but weren’t getting anything to bite. The lines were freezing up and it felt like casting a semi-stiff rope. The iced line would hit the surface like a branch falling into the water. With the ice on the end of the tip top made the rod feel heavy. It wasn’t long before both of us gave up and I called it a day.

At the truck I leisurely changed clothes while sipping on an appropriate ice beer. And what a way to end a two day steelhead trip but to enjoy a fat barber pole Cohiba stogie for the long drive home.


Monday, February 4, 2019

Grannoms and Friends

Grannoms and Friends
April 2015
 I met up with Rippinlip in the fly shop. He said that he could only fish a couple of hours because he had some work back home to catch up on. After we got our gear on, out in the parking lot, he headed to the falls and I figured I'd start off with a bunny leech right in front of the shop, being there weren't many others around yet. I knew Troutslammer was down stream somewhere so I didn't spend much time drifting the leech pattern. I didn't notice anyone getting strikes using indicators but what I did notice was that there were a few slight rises on the flat water before me. The rises were near other fly guys so I didn't get the chance to try for them but it did have me think'n. I finally waded out and headed down a bit.

 The sun was up high shining its rays upon us warming the chilly morning up. The water of the Big N ran clear in the shallows but enough color in the deeper parts to keep us from seeing fish. The crowds weren’t upon us yet but I figured once things warmed up a bit, fishermen would be showing up maybe to wet a line on this sunny early April day.

 I caught a couple of nice browns on dry flies before Mikastorm showed up along shore. After a greeting I handed him a container of flies and showed him what I was doing to make trout rise. He was apprehensive at first about tying on a dry, since none were rising, but I convinced him to give it a try. He tied on a dark elk hair caddis to represent the grannoms and cast it into the flowing wavy run. It didn’t take long for a fish to rise to his fly but he wasn’t ready for it. The next rise he was able to hook the fish and played him to shore.
 I let Mikastorm have the run to himself and started down creek where Troutslammer was teasing and catching selective trout. He was whooping and hollering with each one he caught on his dry imitation. I squatted in between two nymph fishermen and lamely tossed my caddis out into the flow of water. I missed the first couple of sippers. I wasn’t sure if I was trying to set the hook before they took the fly, being I was able to see them rise to the surface, or they were just playing. I finally let one take it under and with a quick two count a small rainbow succumbed to the rod pressure. We started to razz each other a bit but I could tell the guys I waded between didn't appreciate our fun. I finally went to the bank and waded downstream behind them.

Out, mid-stream, Nymphus and her husband were trying their luck also. I waded over to Nymphus and handed her a couple of the grannoms I’ve been using. I was going to wade over to her husband but he was doing just fine as I watched him bring in a frisky rainbow.

 Looking downstream the water ran vacant of any fishermen as if they ’knew’ there would be very few fish, if any, in the long stretch of clear, semi-shallow water. Further downstream, past an outcropping of visible rocks, one fisherman was casting his line towards the far shady bank. Beyond him I could see a group of guys fishing the bend. I was in the mood for some solitary dry fly fishing and didn’t care to walk very far to find another vacant area.

  I started near the bank and cast out towards the middle of the stream before wading in any further. Slowly I made my way about 1/3 across the creek and there I stopped and made a stand.
 At first I didn’t notice the subtle swirls in the foot or so of water near the far bank. After studying the water flow, current shifts and slow eddies I discovered the risers. With accurate long casts and upstream mends a few of my dry fly drifts fooled a couple of them there rainbows.
 I believe it was about 1:30pm when I started to feel the suns warmth and in turn it must have warmed the water a bit. This was when, at intervals mind you; swarms of grannoms rose and fluttered around in small clouds about the water. At times a calm breeze would blow upstream carrying with it more clouds of congested flying Grannoms. Needles to say I was having a field day in catching trout on the dry. I soon figured out a system of producing more trout with less casting. When a full cloud of grannoms blew in, even with trout rising around me, I concentrated on the fish rising near the far bank where only a few grannoms veered from the main body. It is no doubt harder to get a trout to rise to your foolproof imitation when so many other naturals are upon the water, therefore I cast to fish that have less of a selection. As soon as the grannoms moved upstream I concentrated on rising trout mid-stream. With less competition on the surface my imitation was as good as gold to the trout that were still hungry. I only had to retie a new dry on when the former one would get so tore up that the wing was down to only a few strands of elk hair.

 While I was enjoying myself I heard a fisherman wading towards me from the upstream bank. I turned and was surprised to see Rapala coming to visit me. We chatted a bit and I showed him a few casting pointers and drag free drifts. He handed me a fat stogie before going on his way. I remember him mentioning that he was fishing with Razzmatazz earlier behind the shop. I never met Razz before but would find out later that we both were fishing the same waters at the same time. Maybe some day we’ll meet up!
 After Rapala left me alone I continued with my dry fly fishing and catching.

 The later on it got the more I would see fishermen walking the trail up creek and assumed they were calling it a day. I looked upstream and noticed the gathering of fellows around Troutslammer had thinned out so I decided to join him.
 I found the fish he was catching weren’t all that selective with a good drift. We continued to harass each other loudly, as others looked on, like we were over confident fly fishing slobs. It was all in good fun as we commented on how much bigger our own fish was than the others. (Of course I caught the biggest one though I’m sure Troutslammer wouldn’t admit it!)

 It wasn’t long after that when we were practically the only ones on the creek beneath the descending sun. In the parking lot, under the night glow, we packed our gear and headed out towards home.
 It was another day of being at the right place at the right time and being able to match the hatch. It also was nice to see some familiar faces on the water that April weekend.


 Sometime after this I told someone about the Grannom hatch on the Big N. They told me that there wasn't any Grannom hatch on the Big N. They told me it was probably a Black Caddis hatch. I guess the trout that day didn't know the difference because I was catching them on my Grannom imitations regularly as were others. Oh well, If  it wasn't a Grannom hatch I had one of my best dry fly catching days on mistaken identity!

Friday, February 1, 2019

Kentucky Rainbows

Kentucky Rainbows

 While Jack was talking to a couple in the bourbon distillery lobby, I was talking with the tour guide. She asked me how I met jack and how long we were friends. I told her we chatted on a forum on line on a fish Erie fishing sight. We are both from Pennsylvania and love fishing for trout. We ended up meeting during a steelhead fishing event and became friends some 15 years ago. I was just visiting him since I had time off. In return he agreed to take me on a Kentucky Bourbon tour and trout fishing.

 The road to the trout stream was a bout a 2 hour drive. During the long country road travel to the creek I learned a lot about Kentucky History. We passed by Abe Lincolns birth place and a couple of civil war battle grounds. Seen bunches of cattle farms, low land flood areas, and found out why horse fences are curved around the corners instead of at right angles here in Kentucky. Supposedly the race horses would run into the fence if it was squared off. They even put fences around the lone trees in the horse fields. There were quite a few small creeks along the way but Jack told me they all dry up and get too warm to hold trout.
 There aren't many trout streams in Kentucky that are handicapped excessable and the only one nearby is about 2 hours away. The stream begins from a pipe that extends below the earth work dam above. The cold water flows through a channel a 100 yards or so before tumbling over a man made water falls and entering the forest beyond. From there, Jack says,  it weaves it's way through the forest and empties into the Cumberland River. Big browns and rainbows head upstream in the creek making this a world class trout fishing creek, besides the stocked trout, so the Kentucky Fish commission say.

 At the handicapped parking area Jack got in his motorized wheelchair and was ready to fish in no time at all while I was still getting my gear together. He hasn't fished for the past year and a half, since being wheelchair bound, and I think he was as excited as I was.
 When I got to the water I found Jack was right about the stream. Water gushed with full force into the channel from the pipe. A cement walkway was made along the channel with easy accessibility to fish the water. I felt like I was fishing in a culvert in the channel that I was told was 6' to 8' deep. There were rocks placed in sections where riffles broke up the slower pools of water. Where the cement walk way ended gravel lined the bank but walking along the gravel you had to be careful of the exposed rocks protruding upward. In this section all bait and tackle goes including keeping your catch. Down below a large waterfall it was all catch and release.
 The sky was overcast but occasionally the sun would peer out brightening up the day. When I got to the creek there were already plenty of fish rising to what looked like midges in size #22 or #20. I looked in my make shift vest and found BWO's that should of matched the size but wasn't sure the body color was right. With a stiff breeze it was hard getting my dry fly imitation out upon the water to the feeding trout. Not having to cast very far there wasn't hardly any of my weight forward line getting out of the rod tip to get any distance of the 5x tippet and #20 dry fly. I would have been better with double taper line and a shorter rod but this was the only rod I brought at the time being. Besides that the breeze was forceful at times and made placement practically impossible. I had a few look sees as the smaller trout rose to investigate but evidently something wasn't right.
 After determining that these fish weren't going to take any small dries I attempted to offer them I decided to continue on down stream. As I passed the few sippers I got behind them and again tried to get at least one to take an offering. It took some forceful casts into the wind but I finally got a midge dry up in the current that lead to the sipping trout. I watched intently as my dry fly drifted just near the far bank. I watch a trout gingerly swim upward towards my dry fly offering when in a split second another rose and grabbed my dry like a kid taking a free handout ticket for a circus ride before his buddy who the ticket was intended to. I yanked back on the 4 weight and the trout turned and darted back towards me. I backed up a few steps and raised the rod higher while pulling in line trying to keep tension line on the trout. It whirled around in the back part of the slow pool and than tried to make a run up creek. The rod tip bowed a little but the small trout was no match for the rod strength resistance. I guided the small trout towards the bank. After catching him I decided to venture downstream and enjoy my Kentucky fishing outing.

 Down below the earth work dam water spilled into a deep pool that brought bubbles and tumbling water like the aftermath of a cannon ball splash. The far side had a nice flow, away from the turbulent water, and wide enough that it looked like a good area that trout could be holding away from the tumbling on coming water. I slowly made my way down the steep bank and had to position myself downstream a bit from the waterfall. I knotted on a weighted Woolly Bugger and plopped it in the tumbling water.The first take was a hard felt downward grab. I lifted quick for a hook set and the trout took the tight line down towards the tail out before turning and fighting in the deep pool trying to shake the hook. I played him well and got him near the bank where I knelt down to retrieve the fat Kentucky rainbow.

 The next take, within the bubbly, was a subtle pull towards the back of the pool. I yanked upstream for the hook set and that started a trout tugging, head shaking trout fighting ruckus. It too became another landed Kentucky rainbow.
 I tossed the Bugger into the oncoming current along the far bank. The bugger didn't sink as quick as in the bubbling water so I was able to watch it slowly drift and sink with the current. An oblong figure dashed out from under the turbulent bubbles and I watched him swipe at the drifting Woolly Bugger. I pulled up for the hook set and another rainbow fought below the falls and eventually came to rest in my hand.

 Just down form the falls I came to a section where a flow of slow water entered into the main stream. I seen a few dimples of trout sippers and tied on a dry midge. I tried my best to get one to take but they either were line shy or my Pennsylvania dry midges I offered weren't to these Kentucky rainbows liking. I knotted on a bugger and eventually one fell for the PA. bugger.. 

 I followed the stream and entered the forest where the stream split and branched out in different directions like a map of the soldiers escape out of Gettysburg . Even though the water was clear it looked pretty deep and I wasn't sure of the bottom so I didn't try crossing the stream. It was hard casting with a fly rod with the trees and brush along the water. In some areas there were downed logs and branches beneath the surface that would be a sure hang up. I came to a section of shallow water that fish were rising all over. There were some exposed branches but I found areas and positioned myself to where I could drop a dry fly. Like the fish upstream these trout wanting nothing to do with my selection of imitations. I gave up and followed the stream till it flowed under a dirt road through a big tubular pipe.

 Upon returning above the falls I seen Jack's nephew had showed up and was fishing the riffles along the stony area I was fishing earlier.
 Upstream for him Jack was watching a few youngsters and their parents fishing the calmer water. When I reached Jack he told me some of the kids were catching a few trout in the deeper channel. The kids were using bait and bobbers but weren't much interested in the catching part. At times a bobber would jerk quickly but it appeared that no kid seamed to notice. There was enough room upstream from the kids so I figured I'd try to coax a trout to hit. I started to drift a nymph near the bottom of the channel and sure enough I got a take. I shared the fly rod with one of the younger kids, with parents approval, and told the little girl just to real him in. I knew the trout wasn't very big and the little girl could handle the trout. The smile on the little girls face made the day complete! I caught a couple more trout in the channel before Jack was ready to leave and so was I.

 The next day I left Jacks house and was on my way to Asheville North Carolina to visit with my two sons and their families. I'm not sure if I ever told Jack but I kinda went a little out of my way and returned to the Kentucky waters we fished earlier. I caught a few more trout before heading to North Carolina.
A Buffalo Trace Stogie for a souvenir.

One for the road!