Monday, August 22, 2011

Crazy Leg Hopper Tute

hook; #10-#14 2xL or 3xL straight or curved shank hook
thread; tan #6
tail; red feather fibers from pheasant pelt
rib; barred brown stiff saddle hackle feather
body; PMD or yellow dry fly dubbing
underwing; olive swiss straw. (i unravel the straw and cut in half length wise. than i fold it and tie it teepee style.
overwing; deer hair
legs; barred olive, barred green or barred yellow
neck hackle; barred brown
head; deer hair pulled back bullet style

1.tail; make thread base over hook shank and tie in short tail.

2.rib; tie in stiff barred brown saddle hackle feather

3.body; bring thread towards eye and dub body towards tail than beack towards eye leaving about 1/4 the way from eye of hook. this gives the body more bulk.

4.rib; palmer hackle forward leaving plenty of room between winds. trim hackle close to stem leaving nubs

5.underwing; tie in swiss straw. i unraval the swiss straw and cut it length wise. than fold it and tie it in teepee style. round end with scissors.

6. overwing and bullet head; tie in deer hair with tips over hook eye. trim butts.
fold tips back over underwing and tie down creating a neck and bullet head as shown.

7.legs; tie in legs at neck of bullet head on each side. pinch part of leg downward and add head cement at bend to keep from straightening when wet.

8.neck hackle; tie in barred brown hackle and wind around neck twice. tie off.

what the trout see beneath

he'll look good at the next terrestrial club meeting  
beetle, flying ant, letort cricket, barking spider and june bug.


Friday, August 19, 2011

Illusion of a Fly Fisherman

Illusion of a Fly Fisherman

The illusion of tranquility lies
within the mind of the beholder
To some it is being engrossed in a telling novel
Others it’s just daydreaming of peaceful adventures

This is my illusion

Cold creek water flowing around hip boots
Forested pines shadowing over a mountain stream
Its waters glistening from the early sunrise
that finds its way through openings of boughs and needles
Crystal clear water deflects off sturdy boulders than,
into ‘Boiling falls’, it voices subtle anguish
before settling quietly in a tail out

The sweet sound of riffling water
when I listen closely
The ease of contentment
when I stop and realize my surroundings
I’m engulfed in its beauty
but still something is missing
Something unseen with the naked eye
Something hidden within the waters
I continue my quest
Searching for something
with the mystique of a fly rod
Than it happens
A gentle take
and I force the initiative
The fly rod comes alive
like the churning water before me
I think as if the ‘unseen’ relinquishes in trust
I calmly bring the ’missing something’ to hand
Though defeated it displays beauty with pride
I release it,
trust must be acknowledged!
The rainbow disappears into tranquil waters
like a rainbow into a soft blue evening sky
I continue my pursuit
knowing it only takes one
to make my adventure exceptional
Tranquility settles in

It wasn’t an illusion after all


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

In Pursuit of Happiness

In Pursuit of Happiness

 During the past week I was told I wasn’t getting a monetary raise this year. So this past weekend I decided to go off alone and go fishing and forget about the depressing news. On the way to camp, Friday night, I hit a deer. I guess when a deer wants to commit suicide they decide to jump in front of a vehicle being they can’t put a gun to their head. I suppose jumping off a cliff they might change their mind and find out it’s too late. Besides no one will ever know or care. I’m sure just falling prey to coyotes would be too much suffering.
 I wondered how long it hid in the bushes before I drove down the road on that full moon lit night. Yeah, that’s right; she wasn’t just standing waiting for me in the middle of the road where I could have jammed on the brakes, possibly able to avoid her. She didn’t casually walk in front of me seeing if I was paying attention. No, she jumped out of the bushes, missing my right front fender, and met with my hood, grill, bumper and destroyed my front right headlight assembly.
 To save you from the harsh details she did die quickly on the other side of the road, a few yards beyond where I stopped. There was no need to track her or wonder how long she may have suffered. Meeting my van, at about 35mph, and than the road done her in pretty quick.
 So after the accident I picked up a few headlight parts and, hearing and seeing my van was mechanically able to run ok, I went on my way to find somewhere to pull over for the night.

Around 6:15am I awoke in silence. The sky was overcast and a bit on the chilly side. I changed out of my sweats and went out to look at the damages in daylight. After securing what was left of my headlight with duct tape, I decided to at least end the outdoor outing in a positive note. I deflated the air mattress, grabbed a bottle of cold coffee and opened up a pack of doughnuts. After the cold breakfast I headed to the river.
 I arrived at the entry of a dirt lane in Portland Mills about 30 minutes later. As I started down the slight grade there was a crater of a hole I couldn’t avoid preventing me to reach the river where I wanted to fish. By now I was tired of thinking and decided to fish somewhere I had before without too much problems. I headed to the Heath Pump Station.
 I was surprised that no one else was parking in the parking area when I arrived. It had to be nearing 8:00am by now and usually there are a few vehicles left by canoeists, kayakers or fishermen. In the parking lot I grabbed enough fly boxes to fish for trout and smallmouth. Deciding to wet wade the river, I put on wading boots and grabbed my 5wt Scott rod.
 After about an hour of no fish I decided to concentrate more on smallmouth, and with the chilly air, went back to the van to get my 6wt Vapor rod and put on a t-shirt under my long sleeve Columbia button down. Back in the river I slowly fished my way across the river. On the other side I lit a H. Upmann Vintage Cameroon Pequenos. I knew it was a bit early and regardless that I hadn’t caught a darn thing yet; I decided to light one up for the enjoyment anyhow.
 By now the sun was starting to peek out between the small white puffy clouds in the blue sky. The water was flowing cool and clear. There were a few birds around chirping and every once in a while a cool breeze filtered by that brought with it a pinch of forest pines mixed with a touch of chimney wood aroma. It almost felt like fall. For the next hour or so I tried to encourage a strike. I worked woolly buggers, Zonkers and Triple Threats in deep pockets and within the riffles. I cast out poppers along the shore and between partially submerged boulders that stood just out from the banks. I even tried Humpy’s, hoppers and Wulff dries without success. After finding myself down river a ways I decided to head back up. It didn’t look as though I was going to catch anything and go away fishless. Though relaxing it felt like a frustrating mindful morning.
 Back up at the riffles I decided to give it another hour. Maybe the fish moved up in the riffles looking for food. From above the river riffles I slowly waded across and cast out into the waves. I worked a streamer through the current and into a few slow moving pockets. When I got to the other side I took a few steps downstream from the beginning of the riffles and cast out into the choppy water. Letting the Triple Threat sink I watched it swing being pulled by the fly line within the current. As the fly line slowed behind a partially submerged boulder I looked for any noticeable quick change in the fly line tip that might be caused by a striking fish. The fly line continued on and about the time I figured the Triple Threat entered the slower water I again kept good watch on the fly line tip. The line pulled with a jerk and I jerked back with a sidearm tug holding the fly line tight between my fingers. I felt the fish on and it felt good!
 He pulled away at first and than caught the undercurrent, of the riffling water, and swam with it downriver. I let line slip through my fingers until my reel started to click. With tension on my line, I let the fish fight a bit. It felt like a decent size smallie so I didn’t want to coax it too much through the faster moving under current. When I got it reeled in to the boulder it came top side and I seen it wasn’t too bad for a river bass. A little more coaxing and I got it near my legs. It wouldn’t let me lip him so I grabbed him by the side and lifted him so I could undo the hook. Happiness returned for the moment and I didn’t even realize it until I released the fish and stood straight up in accomplishment.

I caught one more smallmouth, a small one, in the next half hour and decided to call it quits and deal with my vehicle problem. Back at the van I put on driving clothes and took out a Fuente Curly Head to smoke on the way home. When I lit it up I noticed I wasn’t getting much of a tobacco draw and looked down to see a thin line crack in the outer leaf. Evidently, upon bending over in the river, I must have bent the cigar enough, in my vest pocket, to cause the open crease. I couldn’t let this upset me too so I reached into the side back compartment of the van and pulled out the duct tape. I sliced a nice thin strip off the tape and delicately stuck it to the cracked outer leaf of the Fuente.

On the way home I felt a little happiness in the nicely caught smallmouth and a little comical relief in the duct taped cigar.


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Largemouth on the 7

Largemouth on the 7

When I awoke, from my nap, my thigh muscles as well as my calves were sore. When I stood up I felt a weakness in my knees and there was a tinch of cigar aroma on my moustache. When I reached to open the bedroom door I felt soreness in the front of my right shoulder. I realized what from and smiled, it was well worth it.

For the past week I’ve been tying flies for bass fishing. I tied long deep fishing streamers as well as small baitfish patterns I could swim along the shoreline. I tied a few hopper patterns should the sun come out in the afternoon and of course some more poppers. My mind had been on fishing for largemouth bass on Sunday. I kept an eye on the weather. Early in the week it started out clear, than possible thunder showers and the night before the weather people said 30% chance of isolated rain. As long as there were no signs of thunder storms I was going.

I arrived at the parking area near 7:00am. I already had my 3 in 1 backpack loaded with my float tube, air pump, wading shoes, fishing gear and the like. I fitted the 9 ½ foot Clearwater 7 weight rod in the one side pocket and put a good size bottle of water in the other. I rolled my neoprene chest waders in a semi-tight bundle and attached my mid-arbor reel to the strap I used to keep the bundle tight. Looking up, there was a heavy fog just above the tree line and it looked like it might rain. Instead of my straw hat I donned the Omni-shade thin cap my eldest son gave me for Fathers Day. I went over the gear I had packed in my mind again and, satisfied, I lifted the weighty back pack to my shoulders and clipped it in place. I grabbed a couple of cigars before locking the doors and then headed down the gated trail.
 Within minutes my sleeveless shirt was soaked with sweat from the humidity of the 72 degree morning. About half way, of the hour long hike, I took a break and quenched my thirst. Walking along the trail alone I kept my thoughts positive hoping to catch some big largemouth. ¾ of the way I came within vision of the so called swamp. There was a lazy haze that settled above the pond almost looking haunting in its appearance. As I was getting nearer I heard a rain shower slowly moving towards me through the trees. There was hardly any cover to keep from the down pour. I made my way beneath the tree covered forest but there was no stopping the pelting rain shower from soaking me. Now my shirt was drenched in wetness from the rain. Any sun block that I had put on, just in case the sun should shine, washed away as well did the insecticide I sprayed on before my hike. After the heavy shower died down to a sprinkle I continued on towards the dam. Within a few yards I could feel the dampness in my socks from the now wet hiking boots I was wearing. I was wet from head to toe; I wished it could have waited until I got my chest waders on.

Upon the dam work I dropped the pack and gazed over the pond. There was a dead calm, not a breeze to be had. The old gray tree trunks stood feeble looking from a distance as there mirror image reflected on the motionless still water. The haze thickens beyond as if the pond went on forever into a sea of endless water.

I actually thought that if it stayed this way it would be much better than to have the sun beating down. Out on a float tube in the middle of the pond the only shade will be the cap on my head.
 I changed into dry socks and put on a pair of shorts before putting on the chest waders. After pumping up the float tube, and arranging my gear in it, I carried it to the water to begin my expedition. ‘Alone on the pond, No worries, no unpleasant thoughts, just me and the fish’ I thought. Now to go and find them.

I fished deep with a streamer as I finned my way near the right shoreline. From there I tied on a frog popper and worked my way towards a small island. Casting into and around the forming lily pads I picked off a couple of small largemouth and had a couple of blue gill mouth the feathered tail. I was fishing big poppers with #2 and #4 hooks.

 It was nice that there was no wind to contend with. This made it easy to throw long casts without spooking the fish of my whereabouts. There was enough current beneath that gradually moved me towards the dam. With plenty of room between the island and the shoreline I decided to come in from the backside. I finned my way around the island in the open water. I cast out and trolled a couple of streamers without any hits before getting to the far side of the island ready to slowly drift into the channel.
 I made a few casts in front of me in the open water before casting among the lily pads. I directed the one cast and dropped the popper in a calm clear opening among the lily pads. The popper landed like a frog jumping from a pad to the water. I let the popper lay for only a second and than with two short quick strokes it gurgled up some water. I immediately started to swim it towards me when WHAM! The water erupted like an underwater mine went off. I yanked back and the rod bent setting the hook. I felt my arm muscles tighten as the bass fought beneath with aggressive yanks and tugs. I got him coming towards me as he stayed deep entering the lily pad’s vine like stems. I kept the rod tip high and wrist locked trying to keep him at bay. He fought through the vines and I got him swimming erratically before my tube. Not bad as I lipped him and brought him to the apron. ‘They’re getting bigger’ I thought.

In time I caught one smaller bass and missed one but I’m sure he wasn’t a biggie either. The blue gills kept me attentive as they would sink my popper occasionally by grabbing the tail feathers. The popper would sink momentarily but they weren’t heavy enough to keep the popper down for more than a second. After an hour I decided to fin my way to the other side of the pond, left of the dam. Again I tried a streamer on my way across the deeper section without even a tap.

 By now the sky was brightening in areas with a mix of dark gray clouds converging from different directions. The sun still wasn’t visible as the smoky gray haze laid suspended among the cloud cover. A slight breeze started to be felt which rippled the water in the middle of the pond. The shoreline, as much as 6 feet out, still appeared glassy. When I got within casting range I switched back over to the popper and began casting near the shoreline.
 This side of the pond had very little lily pad cover but a lot more half submerged branches and log debris. I slowly finned my way away from the earth dam casting in the direction towards the left bank. I caught one small bass and again a few pecks from blue gill that would sink the popper momentarily but the big hook was too enlarged for their small mouths. The whole while I had my eyes glancing further up, on a crooked branch that stuck out of the water with strands of moss hanging from it. It had the bassy look to it and I was almost sure there was one waiting.
 I decided to tie on a fish looking popper with a big feather tail on it. By the time I got within casting distance to the branch it started to sprinkle as the dark clouds drew closer and threw a shadow over the pond water around me.
 I false cast a couple of times to get more line out and heaved the popper into the slight breeze. The popper fell inches from the hanging moss and I hurriedly took in slack line atop the water. One gurgle and the glassy water was shattered by an underwater explosion. The bass came half out of the water within full view as he took the popper on the rise. Water flew to the sides and I quickly yanked back and set the hook on the surprised catch. He sank like a rock as the angle of line pulled the rod tip down and into the middle section. I had a fight on my hands! Within the dark shadows of the eerie cloud cover I followed his jolts moving my flexed rod towards his location. My arm muscles tightened keeping the lower section pointed up towards the sky letting the bass fight the rod. In discuss he unexpectedly exploded out of the water. His white belly towards me and gill plates flared in anger, he tried to shake free from my popper in mid air. After he plopped back into the water I gave him line not knowing what to expect next. He pulled to my right and my float tube spun towards him with his thrusts. I palmed the reel to slow him down in which he gave in sooner than what I expected. He swam towards me and I took line in through guides of the bent rod. He swayed to and fro until he seen the tube. He pulled to my left to swim around me. I had the rod held high and kept a good amount of pressure on him from behind. He tried to dive deeper but as the rod tip tilted further the force was too much and he rose within sight. I cranked in some line and had him begging for mercy as he came nearer. I lifted him to the apron, what a dandy!
 I could hear the heavy rain drops falling upon the water coming towards me with a stronger breeze. A hurried picture and I released the largemouth and than I put the camera back into the zip lock baggie and into the float tube zippered pocket.

The rain shower passed quickly. I continued to fish as the sun found a break in the clouds from beyond and I felt its warmth through my soaked sleeveless shirt.
Continuing up the shoreline I hooked into another big largemouth near a snag pile of intertwined tree branches and fallen logs. Just after this fish I pulled out one of the stogies I brought along and lit up.

With a relaxing and rewarding smoke I decided to fish around the decrepit looking tree trunks that were scattered within the middle of the pond. I changed poppers often but the fish didn’t seem to want my offerings. I decided to stick with the fish looking popper and work it with a little more aggressiveness. There were patches of lily pads that had sprouted up near the far peninsula of land. Also a few patches of young lily pads were about the weathered trunks. In one such vicinity I worked the popper like I learned to work a Rapala on conventional gear years back in a lake where I first started seriously fishing for largemouth.

 I cast the popper towards the distant lily pads and let it rest for a second or two. I twitched it a couple of times to a gurgle and than quickly short stripped it in in a motion like it was trying to escape danger. I watched as it gurgled and splashed about towards me. I seen the wake behind the popper just before the bass surfaced to inhale it. With a big splashing gulp he nailed it with enough force his momentum continued forward towards me. I held the line taught and reared back the rod with my other hand trying to get enough tension on the line to set the hook. The last I seen of him was when his tail fin whipped water about before he disappeared beneath the surface. At least that’s what I thought!! All of a sudden I felt the rod tip shake and than line peeled off my reel as that annoying but cheerful clicking sang out. He turned and headed straight through the small young lily pad stems. I dipped my flipper down and managed to feel some loose but heavy enough muck to keep the float tube steady. Again I kept the rod high and my line was able to clear the small lily pads without getting hung up. He fought beneath a second or two after I slowed the reel down and the rod bent towards him with more resistance. I clicked one or two heavier drag setting and grabbed the rod with both hand. It felt like he was tumbling about as I kept the rod steady and occasionally pulled against his intensions. He surfaced enough to show his face briefly than headed for the more open water. I clicked the drag looser and let him take some line on his eager swim. I kept a good bend in the rod figuring he’d soon tier out. He turned enough to show me weakness and I pulled back on the rod. As he reluctantly came towards me and I cranked in line. He surfaced with not much of a fight left and I got him to the float tube safely lipping him to the apron.

For the next couple of hours I roamed the water about only catching a couple more smaller bass. One wasn’t too bad that grabbed a frog popper along the thick lily pad cover I fished in the morning. In the afternoon the dark cloud cover cleared and the sun cast down its hot rays. The wind picked up big time and it got strenuous finning about against the wind let alone the extra force it took to cast the fly rod. I figured it was about only 1:30pm or so but the extra effort it took to keep on keep’n on wasn’t worth it. I let the wind blow me to shore as I leaned back against the air bladder head rest.

 On shore it was now the process of packing it all in. I wasn’t in a hurry and took my time letting some of my clothes dry a bit more beneath the hot sun. I took one more picture of the pond before I left, a far different scenario than when I arrived.

I happen to catch a glimpse of a brown animal figure swimming amongst the uneven waves. Sure enough a beaver came out to cool off under the heat for a swim. I stooped down and watched him for awhile swimming about. He finally came to shore and started to munch on some greenery. I whistled to get his attention for a mug shot but he paid me no mind. Not wanting to disturb him I put on the pack and went on my way.

 Though the pack felt heavier it wasn’t overbearing. Somewhere along the trail my packable wading shoes decided they didn’t like the way they were packed, scrunched up against the pump beneath the corded bands attached to the pack. I felt a slight bump against the back of my one leg and turned to see both wading shoes lying along the trail. I dropped the pack from my back and this time tied the laces to the corded bands. After a drink of the warm water in my bottle I decided it was a good time for a cigar.
 I took out the Bahia Churchill for such the occasion. After the initial light up I tasted the seemingly cedar aged tobacco. After I put the pack back on and started heading up the trail, I was concentrating on the smoke. The Sumatra wrapper and inner tobacco gave an earthy mild taste. I thought it wasn’t a bad cigar for less than two bucks.

Back at the van I enjoyed a cold Straub green bottle as I put my gear away. It was time for some grub and there was no better place up in these parts of the ANF than a couple of cold brews and a half dozen of The Kelly Hotel wings!!!


Monday, August 1, 2011

A Hopper Kinda Day

A Hopper Kinda Day

 After parking in the small parking area the first thing I did was to walk down to the river and check the water temperature. On down the lane butterflies rose up and fluttered about from my presence. Down at the river the water was moving with good flow. They evidently were letting enough water out of the bottom release dam keeping the river at good height for the fish, fishermen and other water sports. The clear blue sky showed signs that the heat wave would continue today but for now the green forest trees were blocking the rising morning sunshine leaving a nice shadow over the clear water. The water felt cool to touch and after dipping the thermometer in a gradual flow, it read 59 degrees. It feels like good water temps to do some trout fishing.

 Since I came back from fishing the Shenandoah, and because of the heat wave, I’ve been concentrating on smallmouth fishing in these warmer conditions. During the week I was getting the itch to trout fish and needed some relief. With the hot weather and lack of rain fall I was looking for some cool water and enough water to trout fish in without causing them too much stress. I’m sure a trickle of a mountain creek might have served me well but I wasn’t in the mood for the tight quarters or frustrations that sometimes go with it. I had talked with Jim and we agreed to meet along the river up north. Saturday morning I ate a good breakfast and headed north east for a day of trout fishing.

 After seeing the water was a balmy 59 degrees I went back to the van to gear up. I decided my 3mm neoprene hip waders would ward off the cool water temps. I added a few items to my trout vest from the vest I had been using for smallmouth. I decided the SAS Scott rod would do well today. With its medium-fast action I should be able to cast streamers and dries with good distance as well as extending my arm over choppy water if I desire to nymph fish. I selected on a weight forward floating line figuring long easy casts would be made more often than roll casts. Being the first on the water I was hoping to get a few trout to rise but it all depends on their mood. I grabbed a couple of stogies and a lighter and was ready for the river.
 Once in the river I checked out the clarity of the water. Looking down in the foot or so of water, I was standing in, the fish no doubt would have the advantage of seeing me within short distance. Once the sun reaches over the trees I’m sure my tippet, leader and fly line will become a factor of my presence. The deeper water looked a bit cloudy beneath but I was sure the fish would be able to see any passing dry if they were in a feeding mood.
 I decided to add on a foot or so of 5x tippet and to this another foot or so of 6x. This gave me a total of around 9 ½ to 10 ½ feet of overall leader/tippet. This should give me enough distance from upstream looking trout not to notice me.
 I decided a buggy looking hopper pattern might attract some attention in the wavy to riffling current. I noticed lots of grasshoppers behind the shop recently, and though it’s still morning, a trout might decide on a big breakfast. I started with short casts upon the wavy shadowy water near the far bank. It wasn’t long before a trout slapped at the passing hopper and I was quick enough to get a hook hold on him. The brook trout scurried about as I brought him to hand. A nice way to start off the morning. As a reward I took out a long National Churchill and lit the smooth blend of tobacco. I figured it would make the morning a little more relaxing and keep me from moving too quickly downriver.
 After a few more casts I soon found out that the big hopper pattern was a bit too much for my 6X tippet. It spun the 6x into a long twisting knot. I clipped off the 6x and tied on a foot or so of 5x fluorocarbon. After a few casts I found this corrected the problem and I continued on my way.

It was slow going as I cast out under branches and against the far bank where I was able to reach without getting tree branch caught. Within a half hour I found myself a few feet out from the shoreline with a good deeper flow of water, in front of me, downriver from the thick overhanging pine boughs. With trees along the shoreline I had to side arm a cast to keep from hitting the branches directly behind me. With a smooth sweeping sidearm cast I let the rod tip move upstream as my fly line followed in a big arc. I dropped the rod tip and the line fell to the water with plenty of upstream arc. This gave a drag free drift to the hopper that plopped just this side of the overhanging pine boughs. I took in some line and lifted the rod enough so I didn’t have too much slack not to be able to get a good hook set. I watched the floating, buggy looking hopper roll with the small waves within the shadows of the trees. From beneath, a long glimmering fish rose and nonchalantly sucked it in. I was already waiting when I first seen him rise so I had no trouble timing his bite. He darted beneath on the hook set and put on a half decent fight in the semi-fast current. I got him around a subsurface big boulder and he twisted a bit, in resistance, before I got a handle on him.

 With watching the way the rainbow took the hopper, in his nonchalant way, I figured he knew it couldn’t just fly away like a mayfly. It looked clear enough to me these trout have seen hoppers and knew once the hopper was on the water they had all the time they needed to feast on one. After one more rainbow, under the limbs and a couple of misses, a couple of the top feeders, in the slower current, weren’t attracted to my big pattern. I noticed a few caddis appearing now and then and decided to give one a try. One of the risers wasn’t more than 20 feet from me upriver a bit. Because of the deep water I wasn’t able to see him but knew where he was. I tied on a caddis and cast upriver. Pulling in line, to keep slack from occurring, and holding the rod high I was able to present the top feeding trout with a drag free drift. He rose quickly but I was able to see him way before he took the caddis. A quick rod tip jerk and I had myself another trout on the other end.

 Jim was supposed to meet me around 11:30 so I didn’t want to go too far downriver. I knew it was getting around that time, with the sun now above me, so I figured I’d give him another half hour before moving out of sight. I was switching different patterns with the sun above now. I tried a bugger and even a couple of nymphs with no results. I seen a trout rising under the pines now and then so I tied on a beetle and got a good first cast towards his whereabouts. He came up after it sooner than what I expected and I missed out on the perfect, first time, presentation. Sticking with the beetle I managed hooking a big rainbow that got off as I tried to hand net him. A few casts after that I did manage a half decent ‘bow’ on the hopper pattern that I switched over to.

 By now I figured Jim wasn’t showing up. He must have had more honey-do chores than what he figured on. I slowly started wading and fishing my way downriver to the faster, narrower part of the river. I caught a glimpse of two big trout holding near a snag pile but they wanting nothing to do with my offerings. Near an overhanging leaning pine I cast deep towards the shoreline. It was a long, extra effort, cast getting the beetle into the shade provided by the tall pine tree. I was rewarded with a sipper that had no idea I was waiting!! After a scurry I brought him to hand.

Just after the catch there was a conglomerate of kayaks, canoes and float tubers that happen to appear. I let the string of floaters go by before starting fishing the narrower water.

 From here on it would be mostly wavy, rippled water for a while. Shade was had nearer the far bank just deep enough to hold a wild brookie or two. The nearer bank, which would be the most common entry and exit from the roadside, was deeper and channeled water beneath branchy brush now and than. The middle part of the river was deep but still able to be waded in most areas. It also was in full view of the hot sun so I decided to wade the center as much as possible while casting to each bank. I lit an Oba Robust Maduro and continued my fishing outing.
 Now and again I would cast downstream with a lot of slack letting my hopper drift drag free. I came across pools of deep water as well as nice water falls creating back eddies I could cast into from down stream. The going was slow paced and enjoyable. I covered the water around me practically foot by foot giving any fish around a good eyeful of my hopper pattern. In shallow riffles that most fishermen would skip over I caught wild brook trout that slapped at the faster moving hopper pattern. In the slower deeper sections or brief slow pools that appeared within the wavy current, rainbows would rise in an easier manner and take my offering. With the cigar between my lips, the sun was bearing down but the cool air rising from the 59 degrees water kept me content. It was peaceful, serene and picturesque. Like the cloud above me, I had not a care in the world. Besides that I was catching trout on a very visible hopper pattern!!

I was getting weary as the day wore on. The heat was bringing sweat to the brow and my casting arm needed a break. Every time I wanted to call it quits and returns to the van I would look downstream and see another bank-side or shady area looking fishy enough to hold trout. Continuing on I came to a full length falls.  I cast the hopper upstream upon the wavy water. The hopper floated upon the waves finally settling at the tail out. I watched as it continued to drift towards the falls when a I saw the glimmer of a fish turn and rise to the hopper. It took it with a splash making sure it didn't get away. I set the hook and was happy to see a nice brown trout which completed the trifecta.

 Down below the falls I cast upriver into the gradual flow, towards me, picking off one small rainbow. I was pretty hungry by now and out of cigars, it was time to walk back.
 I made my way to the dirt roadway and back to the van. Jim’s truck was parked right next to my van. I wasn’t sure what time he got here but I didn’t see him on the water. After a quick bite and beer I grabbed the rod and began at a quicker pace down the trail to look for him. When I got to where I came out earlier I never come across him. He evidently fished beyond this spot.

Back up river I stopped to get a drink before spending hour fishing upriver from where I started in the morn. I was able to hook up to two more brookies on the hopper before calling it quits for good.

 When I got to the bank-side trail leading up to the vehicles I heard splashing coming from downriver. I waited to see and there was Jim easing his way back. He told me he got there a little later than planned. He caught trout throughout the river also, on nymphs and on Triple threats. I told him about the trout I caught all on top with the hoppers, beetles and caddis. He was kinda surprised I caught trout on top being he said he only seen a couple of rises the whole day. (I say kinda surprised because he knows I try dry flies more often than most. He also knows that if I catch or even feel that I can make a trout rise, I’ll stick with the top water stuff than to keep switching to fish beneath)
 By then it was near 6:00pm. We quenched our thirst at the vehicles and decided to call it quits and head home. It turned out to be a more successful day, in the heat, than I ever expected. No doubt one of the best days on this section of river.

Somewhere, outside of Brockway, I saved one more cigar to take me the way home. I charred the outside rim of the Punch Rothchild for a more even burn. I lit the rare Corojo tobacco and smoke engulfed the front windshield. I hurriedly cracked opened the window to clear the smoke for better visibility. The dark oily tobacco was a robust flavor but smooth drawing cigar.