Saturday, June 13, 2015

Old Style Fishing in Modern Times

Old Style Fishing in Modern Times

 I had just picked up a couple of Wonderods and was anxious to use them. I packed the ‘Custom Pro’ fiberglass rod in the van and went looking for a creek to fish it in.

 I parked along side of the road and walked to the bridge to check out the conditions. The water was stained some but looked to be very fishable. Trees, full of green leaves bordered the creek banks. The cloud cover was bright reflecting the hidden sun and it was a warm June day in the 70’s.
 Back at the van I assembled the two section 7’ ‘Custom Pro’ Wonderod together and went old style. I took out the old Martin Classic MC78, with Cortland Sylk WF5F line and fitted it to the rear locking reel seat. After putting on a pair of Hip Waders and wading boots I was ready for some old style fishing. I put my vest on and headed down the path.
 At the swimming hole I looked it over. The creek gets fished pretty heavy during trout season but I always seem to find a few left over trout in the pool area.
 Stepping off the bank and into the water I immediately felt the cool water around my ankles and legs. Wading out, ahead of the pool, I got away from the bank so I had plenty of room for my back cast. The water flowed into the wide circular pool from a narrower fast current flow from upstream. Mid creek the water waved with a little force and slowed to an even flow once it entered the wide pond like pool. Unexpectedly the sun found room between the floating clouds and spread sunshine down upon me.
 With the Wonderod in my hand I took notice how good it felt and checked out the balance. With the Martin Classic it appeared to balance well on my index finger. Not quite as light as the graphite rods of today but the 7’ ‘glass’ will hold it’s own in small creeks for short casts and trout catching action.

 I knotted on a Woolly Bugger and looped a cast out towards the far bank. The surface current slowly pushed the floating line down stream and the bugger followed the arc of the line. After a few more casts I got a strike and reared back on the soft rod for the hook set. The trout scurried about within the deeper water of the pool as the ‘glass’ rod flexed and bounced with the frisky trout. The first trout came within net distance and I netted my first fish of the day which put a big smile on my face.

 After a couple more casts, in the same presentation, I had another rainbow testing the flex of the vintage ‘glass’. The trout jarred and tugged trying to find a way to escape but it was no match for the Wonderod. Another rainbow came to the net.

 After getting a good feel for the rod it was time to journey downstream and see how it handles in more closed quarters.

 Where I couldn’t back cast over the brushy banks behind me I had to make roll casts. It’s not as easy roll casting a soft fiberglass rod. It is more of a looping lob with a definite push forward of the wrist. With a weighted streamer on it is a little more difficult but I managed.
 Down creek a ways I missed a strike as the bugger swept beneath a heavy current flow out from some overhanging brush. Later on I was bringing in a Woolly Bugger for my next cast. It was skimming the water surface and I seen a hold over brown trout rise out of nowhere and followed the bugger. He appeared to take a swipe at it, but not too aggressively, before returning to the bottom. I spent about 10 more minutes trying to get him in to taking one of my assorted offerings but he didn’t want anything to do with it. From there I continued on towards the next deep pool of water. By now the sun was fully exposed and it was quite warmer out.
 Along my journey I seen a few planks of wood that were wedged into the far bank. I just knew there had to be a trout or two left alone beneath. I let the bugger drift at least three times near hoping to coax a trout out from hiding. Without even a nip I calculated distance and over handed a cast towards the planks.
 The bugger dropped within an inch or two just ahead on the planks. The water didn’t look too deep so I didn’t let much slack line out not wanting to get hung up on bottom. As the bugger creased, just outside the planks of wood, I saw a flash. As soon as I seen the fly line pull I yanked back on the cork and sure enough I felt the good hook set. The taunt line and flexed rod wouldn’t let the trout return under the planks so it swam, struggling, down creek. It didn’t feel very heavy so I let him play the rod strength without giving him any line. He surfaced twice, down creek, and than came swimming towards me. Another rainbow succumbed to the Wonderod. 

Water flowed over the two downed logs that lay on the stream bed across the width of the creek. The water waved with a little more force as it entered the deeper water of the pool beyond. The wavy water was mid creek as both sides were shallower. I positioned myself three quarters of the way across the creek so I had plenty of room to cast and I felt a good position to work the bugger in the slightly faster current. I lit a stogie and took a few good puffs before proceeding.
 My first drift through I got a strike that failed to connect. There was a difference in the cross currents, from the logs, that I knew I had to adjust to. Sometimes the bugger swung pretty smoothly with a current being pulled down creek with the fly line but other times it felt it would get caught in an underneath cross current and more slack would appear on my fly line on the surface. It was pretty tricky at times but I did manage my first trout within and few more casts.
 Standing ahead of the pool I managed picking off a few trout on occasion but missed quite a few short strikes. Either way I was getting some action as the sun started to lower towards the tree tops.

 I had seen a few trout rise now and than in the slower water and tried a few dry flies without success. As the sun gradually topped the trees I called it quits and waded out to the path that lead back to the van. It had been a good outing flexing my newest Fiberglass rod with hungry rainbows.
 Back at the van I quenched my thirst with a Straub Dopplebock as I changed out of my fishing gear.

  Just before heading out I took out a Torano Dominico and lit it up for the ride home.
 Overall the Wonderod and Martin Classic didn’t disappoint. Nether did the Straub or Torano to make it a successful, relaxing and enjoyable old style fishing excursion in the Allegheny National Forest.


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