Saturday, September 7, 2013

Buggers, Hoppers and a Gurkha

Buggers, Hoppers and a Gurkha

  The past Monday, Labor Day, I wanted to get out and do some trout fishing. I intended to go to central Pennsylvania for some wild trout fishing but the weather didn’t look promising and I didn’t want to waste the money for gas and time to have to turn around because of a thunderstorm. Instead I headed north east to some cool waters. I been wanting to try out a new grasshopper pattern and seeing hoppers in fields and around home I had a good feeling there should be some around the area of the trout stream I’d be fishing.

The new grasshopper pattern is a parachute style. I blend an olive with green dubbing together for the body. An olive shaded turkey wing feather for the down wing with an olive hackle tied parachute style around poly fibers. With a red tail and pheasant tail fibers for legs I call it the Hip-Hopper. It should land upright on every cast, float longer and hold up even after hook ups.

  I figure it was about 9:30am when I pulled off the side of the dirt roadway along the creek. I was surprised to see two vehicles with New York license plates parked along the roadway as well. I took my time gathering my equipment and making sure I had all the flies and plenty of spooled tippet before trekking off. I remembered my camera and took a few cigars. I decided to walk up the road some before entering the stream. The clouds were a mixture of white and gray that continued to intertwine together. It was hard to figure out what the weather had in store so I was glad I got out early.

 When I reached the water I checked the level and clarity. I decided to go with a woolly bugger and work my way down creek to see where the New Yorkers were. Casting into a wavy current of water I was surprised by a strike so soon. I had him coming across the undercurrent towards me when he rose and the hook shook loose from his lips. I wasn’t lackadaisical after that. When I got around the bend the two New Yorkers were fishing a slow current pool. The guy nearest me looked as if he was stripping a streamer of some sort while the guy further down was drifting nymphs under an indicator. They were in a good location for where trout hang out and I was just waiting for one of them to hook up.

My line pulled outward on the swing and I twitched the rod tip back. The fish on the other end followed the force of the pull. He fought actively in the cool water skittering across the surface as I brought him towards me. The splashing noise made the guy nearest to me look my way to see what the commotion was. I released the trout back into the cool waters

The third trout I caught on the bugger appeared to come right out of the paint shop. Its reddish lateral line and gill cover was bright and shiny like fresh paint. Its pectoral fin was brushed in crimson. The dark speckles about its body were like tiny black paint splatter from an outward shaken brush. I dislodged the olive woolly bugger from its white painted lips and let it scurry away from my open palm. 
 It was a short while later that the two men waded to the bank and walked up the trail and reentered the water upstream from me. I did notice the one guy catch a trout before I caught one where they both were fishing earlier. An hour had passed and I was getting bored with the underwater fishing. I had noticed a few risers now and again but couldn’t distinguish what they were sipping on. For the next half hour I cast a few different caddis and midges about without any takers. With the sun peering out now and then the water would surely be getting warmer and maybe the trout will get a little more active and hungry. I knotted on the woolly bugger and started to wade and fish my way down stream.
Later in the afternoon I stood just out from the bank looking over a stretch of good water. A Gurkha Centurian was clinched between my teeth and the smoke, from the burning end, rose upward and than wavered downstream with the light breeze. From upstream, around the bend, the water narrowed some and waved within the pool of water before me. The current slowed quickly as the pool widened. Across stream pine boughs extended from the far inclining bank with places just high enough to possibly, with a sidearm cast, to get a dry fly underneath. I was able to see a few submerged rocks along the far bank and being shaded I was sure a few trout would be about away from the open water and sun. The water flowed slowly before me and then picked up some speed before tumbling over a log wall that extended from both banks. The air around me was much cooler and with the sound of the water falls, downstream, had me feeling a bit more confident that the pool would hold some hungry trout. There were tree branches and brush behind me so casting might be tricky but I’ve been used to these conditions and moved myself to the best position possible.

  I knotted on the new hopper pattern and pulled line from the reel. With a short stroke and quick twitch of my wrist the hopper flew threw the air and landed near the far bank upstream from where I stood. My fly line floated upon the slow current of water towards the drifting hopper. I took up some line as needed as the fly line and hopper drifted across from me. From across stream I saw a trout scurry downstream towards my hopper. With an attacking slurp he took the hopper and I lifted the rod and set the hook. The trout continued downstream with speed with a hook in its jaw. A good fracas ensued with the trout surfacing a time or two and one leaping appearance before I corralled him in my net.

By the time I heard the thunder of a storm in the distance I caught a couple more on the hopper but it wasn’t easy to get them to rise. One was a a colorful brook trout while the other, completing my trifecta, was a young wild brown.
I walked along the brushy trail heading back upstream to where I caught the rainbows on my Woolly Bugger. The storm was still in the distance and the clouds above were moving slowly. I tried a few dry flies but couldn’t get any trout to rise. The strong wind blowing the tree limbs told me that the storm would be here soon. I made my last cast and headed for the van. By the time I got to the van sprinkles started to fall. As I changed out of my fishing wear the sky opened up and an all out rainfall fell to the ground. It was only 3:30pm but with the dark sky above it didn’t look like the storm would pass anytime soon so I started my journey back home at a leisurely pace as the windshield wipers cleared my vision.

 Overall it turned out to be a relaxing time with a few fish caught on my new pattern. I plan on being back soon; hopefully the trout will be in a hungrier mood.



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