Tuesday, May 17, 2011

POWell, Gotcha, Suckerrrr!

Powell, Gotcha, Sucker!

 I crawled out of the van, parked along the Tionesta Creek, early in the morn. Jeff and I had fished the Tionesta some the night before and caddis were pretty much all over the creek. There weren't any risers, figuring because of the high water, but I was hoping there would be some this morning or maybe later on. Looking over the foggy covered creek I didn't notice any risers or dimples upon the water surface. I decided to fish another creek up that way.
 I parked along the dirt lane that led down to a couple of vacant cabins that overlooked Spring Creek in the ANF. The fog had lifted and the birds were out chirping in the early morn. I took out the Powell 4wt., got my gear on, grabbed a few cigars and headed down to the big swimming hole.
 I followed the trail along the creek and seen it was higher than normal this time of year. The rainfall in Pa. has hurt the ability to fish in normal levels and better conditions lately. I cast out a few times with a Woolly Bugger along the way but being the water was high and cold, didn't expect any good grabs. I got to the swimming hole and was all alone. The pool looked deeper on the other side along the fallen tree but i was sure trout would be hanging out anywhere they can find food when they were looking for it. I threw out a bugger and also a triple threat just to see if any trout would follow but none showed. I resorted to nymph fishing.

 The water flowed into the big pool faster along the mid section and far bank. It riffled up against the fallen bank side tree and slowed some down further on the far side before flowing along the tail out and than over the rocky shallower wide riffles. The mid section pooled with slow current flow just enough to keep a drifting nymph or such moving without much weight. The problem would be to find the right amount of weight to get the nymphs down deep to the bottom yet not too much to snag or stop below. It took awhile to figure the right adjustments and that's when the fishing with catching got good.
 Being that rainbows inhabit the waters I decided to use a pink scud pattern I tied and used up on the Bighorn. I had a lot left and figured maybe the rainbows would like them round here also. I tied a Picket pin as the top fly and went from there. I'd cast into the flow of current that entered the slow pool with a big upstream mend. This would let my nymphs drop deep as it entered the deeper pool. On a couple occasions I lifted up the line to cast again and found that a trout had the nymph without ever pulling away. I decided to use a drifting indicator to detect these strikes. I was catching trout now and then as the hours past by. It was boring with the constant up creek cast, following the indicator with my rod tip and waiting some before lifting and doing the routine all over again but I was catching fish.
 On one drift my slow moving indicator stopped without dipping below. I figured I might of had a bottom stick or rock and let it stay there a moment before tugging on it to continue its drift.When i lifted the rod with a sharp tug I felt resistance and you would have thought I had a hold of a small submarine. My line tightened as the 4wt. rod bent into the butt section. I pulled slack line out to help release some of the pressure on the rod as the fish turned away and headed towards the far end. When it would go no further I turned the fish with pressure and he circled towards me finally giving me a tugging fight below the surface. He swam to the head of the pool as I was still unable to turn him towards me again. After getting into the quicker current upstream he turned towards me than and I had him coming in. I began to laugh at what I caught but he evidently didn't think it was too funny. He thrashed around a bit before I was able to get my mitt on him. The fat sucker took the pink scud. I unhooked it from his bubble lip and just had to take a picture of the fish before releasing him.

 Later on a guy and his two sons, it appeared, joined in fishing the big swimming hole. I decided to let them have the hole to themselves and ventured on down creek.
 I found only one other guy fishing the mile or so creek I waded and fished through. What a day catching and releasing browns, brooks and rainbows off and on throughout my journey.
"Oh", and enjoying a few good cigars!!


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