Monday, October 26, 2015

Chilly October

Chilly October

 When I woke up and looked out the French doors there was snow covering the back deck. I had planned on meeting a friend on Oil Creek around 9:00am. If it wasn’t for that I might have stayed home but I’m pretty reliable. At 8:00am I gave him a call to make sure that he was still planning to go fishing. He was just eating breakfast and said he’d be there in an hour. I had already eaten breakfast and the van was packed. I headed out, brushed the snow off the van and headed west alone the back roads.

Jeff had been up archery and squirrel hunting for the weekend. He lives in Pittsburgh and his plan was to fish Oil Creek before heading home. We’ve fished in some inclement weather before but not that I remember cold and snow in October.
 There wasn’t as much snow about when I got closer to the state park but there was enough in the higher elevations to question my sanity.
I mean we are only fishing for trout and I’m sure there will be warmer days ahead. The leaves weren’t even off the trees yet.

 When I got to the park I of course was the only vehicle in the parking lot. The snow feel in small wet clumps rather than the fine flakes of winter. It was cold, very cold.

 I walked down to the creek to check out the water conditions. The water had risen some since Tuesday but was still low. There weren’t as many rocks showing in the riffling water though. The water was a tinch stained but nothing drastic. It appeared to me to be in perfect condition.
 When I got back to the van Jeff was pulling in. after a brief conversation, mentioning the weather, we got our extra warm clothes on and waders.
 I selected my all purpose SAS Scott rod in these kinds of wet conditions. Not that my more expensive rods couldn’t handle it but the SAS does everything well whether I’m casting nymphs or streamers. It is a medium fast action and a little on the stiffer side. It does take a little more effort to get a long cast out but it doesn’t look like I’ll be doing any dry fly long distance fishing.
 We put our tossle caps on and headed down to the water. As soon as I got to the bank I knotted on a dry caddis anyhow. Even though it was cold, cold and the sun was behind the blue/grayish clouds, I thought just maybe. Believe it or not I did make a trout rise but it was just a swirl without a take. The wind picked up so I switched to a bugger. For about an hour Jeff and I couldn’t get a hit. I moved up in the shallower riffling water. It had some decent flow and there were some deeper runs about mid stream. Jeff was up creek some so I kept some distance between us and worked it over.
 I knotted on a San Juan worm to attract attention and a Hares Ear as my dropper. Within three casts I managed a take and a frisky rainbow fought through the riffles towards me.


 That one broke the ice. I stuck with the Hares Ear dropper and picked up a few more trout but there were long dry intervals between the catches.

 The air stayed cold throughout the day and there were times I thought about quitting. The cold wind was fierce and blew through my whiskers like wind through a lace veil. At times there were snowflakes that fell from the sky as well as small frozen raindrops. I was catching trout though and Jeff wasn’t giving up so I stuck it out. Occasionally the sun peeked through the cloud cover but not for very long. It was like when your mom would spy on you just long enough, because everything got too quiet, and make sure you weren’t getting into trouble. There was no warmth in the sun but it did feel good as the day brightened at the time. When the wind blew hard enough it was interesting to watch the water surface, from one side of the creek to the other, wrinkle like a shimmering cloth being unrolled on a table top.   

 This dropped leaves upon the water surface. There weren’t as many as the past Tuesday but it made casting between the leaves a little more precise. Every so often a trout would grab the imitation nymph and I’d forget about the cold, wind and snow fall.

   Getting late after noon the coldness was taking its toll on us. We weren’t catching a whole lot of trout and the day was wearing thin. Jeff finally suggested he was ready to quit and head back towards Pittsburgh. After a few more casts I decided to join him and we headed to the vehicles.
 We drank a beer and discussed next weekend plans while changing out of our waders. It was good getting together again on these rare occasions and I always look forward to sharing a drift or a hunt with Jeff. 


1 comment:

  1. Old man winter getting a head start on things I see. You can keep that stuff up there for the time being!
    I will say though, there's nothing much prettier than a stream bank covered in fresh snow.