Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Scenic Tionesta Creek

Scenic Tionesta Creek
April 25th, 26th, 2015

 To think that on the opening day of trout fishing, April 18th,  in Pennsylvania I had my Harley packed with fishing gear and took off to fish trout waters all day. The weather was beautiful and warm. This past Sunday the weatherman said it should be up in the 50’s but it never looked promising. Besides that, wading in 42 degree water wasn’t going to warm me much even if the air temperature did hit 50 degrees with sunshine.
 I met my friend Jeff on the North Fork of Redbank Creek Saturday morning. We caught a couple trout but the bait fishermen were doing a lot better with the fresh stocked fish. We decided to go over and fish Tionesta Creek in the afternoon and also on Sunday.
 Saturday I caught a couple of trout in the section we fished but the trout just weren’t too active. Sunday we tried a couple of sections and again I caught a few on nymphs but Jeff just wasn’t having a good trout catching day. We departed and went our separate ways about 2:00pm. He was headed to Oil Creek on his way back to Pittsburgh as I figure I’d still try another section of the Tionesta Creek up stream a few miles. I did a lot better hooking up, much better than I expected to, with stoneflies and Picket Pins.
 The daily weather was as unpredictable as the trout bite. Besides being overcast and maybe 50 degrees the wind would kick up and brought along with it a gust of colder air. Standing in 42 degree creek water kept my feet practically numb as my body chilled. I kept thinking about the shrimp on crushed ice at the seafood bar at a Chinese Buffet. For some reason that had to be about the same temperature I was wading in. If it wasn’t I was catching trout, so often, in the evening I would have left a couple of hours sooner than I did. I got out of the water about 4:00pm and was heading home by 5:00. I just couldn’t take the chilled water anymore and besides I was getting worn down being that I had been fishing since 7:00am.

 Here are a few of the pictures of the scenic Tionesta Creek, trout and bald eagle I happen to get photos of.

Lynch 4/25/15
A couple brook trout

Mayburg 4/26/15

 Bald Eagle at Mayburg

Tionesta Creek up from Lynch Bridge

 Tionesta Stonefly

Tionesta Picket Pin

Tionessta 'bow' with a hook already stuck in his lip

Tionesta thirst quencher 



Friday, April 3, 2015

Deadly Combination

Deadly Combination

  It’s Thursday, forecast to be near 60 degrees and sunny, at least till late afternoon. After a few morning chores I was off to the North Fork of Redbank Creek for some warmer weather trout fishing. I had plans to head north to the Erie Tribs for steelhead but the snow melt had been keeping the tribs high and cloudy so I decided to stick around my area.
 By the time I got to the creek there were already early birds casting lines in the cold catch and release trout waters. I parked in the lot and got my fly gear on and strung up the 8’6” 5wt SAS rod. The temperature had to be near 50 by now as the sun was shining down like a flood light in an open warehouse.
 I headed down creek away from the crowds for the first hour. It was more like practicing casting without ever getting a strike. I searched, with a Woolly Bugger, in the fast and slower current but maybe the water was still too cold and the fish weren’t that hungry to chase it yet. After some of the fishermen cleared out upstream I ventured upstream and found some room to wet a line.
 Of course I started combing the area with a Woolly Bugger. I got one strike and was bringing a trout in when some how he managed to unhook himself. For the next 15 minutes or so I felt I combed the area long enough and without another strike decided to resort to nymph fishing. With still a few fishermen about I wasn’t going to relinquish my spot to hope and find a better one. I only seen one other fellow catching trout and he wasn’t going to give up his lucky spot either.
 The water couldn’t be more than 45 degrees I’d say. It was running fast with wavy surface water midstream. Right in front of me there was a good seam this side of the wavy current that looked to be good depth. Closer yet was slower current that flowed towards the tail out with maybe a slight flow towards the shoreline and much shallower but deep enough to keep a trout hidden.
 I knotted on a San Juan worm and dropped a Pheasant tail below it. It took a little time adjusting my extra weight and indicator to get a reasonable depth that I felt was dragging bottom where the trout should be. I caught one brook trout on the PT within the first 15 minutes or so but I felt I could do better and proceeded to look for another combination.
 With the sun creeping up over the far bank side trees brought warmth and clarity to the water before me. I started to notice a few small black stoneflies fluttering atop the water here and there. There were also some tiny midges about also. I decided to knot on a bead head BWO emerger with a small stonefly for a dropper. On my next few casts you would have thought I added a touch of some magic dust to the combination. All of a sudden I was picking up trout like a kid at a carnival at the magnetic fishing pond booth.
 The combination I had offered was evidently too buggy looking to refuse for too long. I was catching trout on both imitations. What was interesting was I was catching the brown trout on the emerger pattern and most of the brook trout on the stonefly. I stood my ground, with numbness in my lower extremities, from the coldness of the creek water, for hours.
 One thing I learned early about fly fishing local well fished trout waters is fly fishermen don’t usually give their catching patterns too easily as if at all. If they are catching trout when no one else seems to be they don’t care to share the info. The other thing is it’s hard to give in and ask another, who is catching trout, what they are using. It’s as if it’s demoralizing to ask another for the ‘fly of the day’ unless maybe if he is leaving. This doesn’t happen so much in a wide river or creek with plenty of room to fish about away from a town or in the wilderness. In the local trout streams in a small town without much room to spread out is usually quiet as far as talk goes unless you have a few buddies along.
 Well I must have been pretty impressive cause I got asked a few times “what I was catching the trout on” or “what are they hitting on now?” It was just one of those days I was the one that knew the deadly combination and other fishermen were willing into conceding and ask me my successful patterns. I even caught an eye of a few guys watching me catching trout as they stood up on the bank. I’m not one to have my head swell and hold my head up like I’m some kind of great nymph fishermen in these situations, because I’ve been on the other side of the fence, but it is nice to have the spotlight now and then.
 It wasn’t until the rain and wind started that I knew it was time for me to depart. I did catch plenty of trout and I seen no reason to stick around and get wet. The wind was getting fierce at times and brought coldness along with it. By now the sun disappeared above the clouds and the raindrops were getting heavier. I cast out a Woolly Bugger for the last 20 minutes or so and was able to get one last trout to the net in the rain before I left at around 2:30pm. Wasn’t bad for about a 4 hour outing.


Some of my earnings for the day

The Deadly Duo