Saturday, June 10, 2017

The Watering Hole

The Watering Hole

 The clouds moved slowly over the valley in which I stood. I found the coals were still warm from the campfire the campers left behind giving off a charcoal woodsy aroma. The trees were full of green leaves that shook with the occasional gusts of wind. The water flowed quickly over the rock formation that ran the width of the creek. This produced unpredictable current flow. The only steady straight stream of water was two thirds cross creek where the water waved and tumbled into the big wide deeper section down stream.
 I stood knee deep contemplating the situation. I was tired of nymph fishing and I didn’t care to streamer fish as I had done earlier in the day. I didn’t really care if I caught fish or not. I bought a new fast action 5 weight and I was going to see how it performed casting dry flies for distance. It was a bit windy which may make the performance more challenging. Looking over the water the sun rays glistened the water surface when it was able to break through the clouds. With the wavy current and distance I will be casting, a white post should show up well. I knotted on a March Brown parachute and juiced it up with some dry fly lotion.
 After a few false casts, to get line out, my March Brown landed half was across the creek. The white post was easy to see as it drifted and bobbed upon the gun metal gray surface water. In the pocket water it slowed until the faster current pulled the slack in the line downstream followed by my skating March Brown.
 I heaved back on the rod for my back cast and pulled the fly line, with a short tug, to gain speed. After the line loaded the 9’ rod I cast forward and the line shot forward overhead. The long length of line looped above the water heading across creek. Just before the dry fly straightened the line I backed up the rod tip. The March Brown dropped upon the wavy current two thirds across creek onto the wavy stream. The fly line fell to the surface water in ‘S’ bends upon the cross current flow. This would give my dry offering a nice natural drift on the wavy current before the cross current pulls the line and than my fly unnaturally downstream.
 The dry didn’t drift more than a couple of inches when a trout slapped at it with a splash. I yanked back the long length of line and had a rainbow battling me and the current on a tight line. I wasn’t surprised that a trout grabbed my offering, though I hadn’t seen any risers as of yet, but I didn’t expect it to happen on my first drift through. As I was trying to net the trout the hook came loose and the rainbow swam to freedom.
 About the forth cast later, in the same current flow two thirds across creek, a trout porpoised at my dry and I had another rainbow on a tight line.

“Hmm” I thought, “This could get interesting.” I reached into my shirt pocket and pulled out a Nica Rustica rolled by Alec Bradley. The brown veined wrapper looked tempting and the light up was pleasing and sure to be a good smoke while I serve the trout.
 After releasing the last fish I made shorter casts trying to raise trout. I cast in pocket waters and cross currents mid stream without any takers. When I made another cast onto the wavy current two thirds cross creek another trout grabbed the dry and another battle ensued. 

 It was if the trout were lined along the seam and waiting to wet their whistle in turn at the just opened Watering Hole. Time and again I made trout rise to the March Brown.

  For the heck of it I tried a couple different patterns but they didn’t want anything to do with them. Back to the Para-March Brown brought them to the surface like friends sharing a bottle of cheap whiskey. One of the trout, I noticed, appeared to have been bullied before as its mouth looked like it got punched in a barroom brawl.

  Overall the rod performed well with the weight forward line making the long casts with ease. The dry fly cut through the wind well and didn’t steer too far off course in such conditions. I continued to make trout rise in the same wavy current for the last hour before the thunder and sprinkles of rain showed up.
 When I got to the truck Jeff pulled in. He said he also had a great time making trout rise to his emerger patterns a little upstream from where I was fishing. We changed out of our waders just before it started to rain harder. From there we headed to the Kelly Hotel for dinner and enjoyed some cold brews and a mess of chicken wings!

 It was just another unforgettable day on Tionesta Creek making trout rise on our own fly patterns.

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