Sunday, June 19, 2022

Brookies In the Wilds


Brookies In the Wilds



 My son Giddeon wanted to dry fly fish for native brook trout in the Allegheny National Forest. He didn’t have to ask me twice.

  It was a chilly misty morning. I waited outside with my gear ready to put in his Yukon when he arrives. Besides being chilly, in the 40° range, it was a little breezy also. As with me, if my son has a plan on trout fishing, it would have to be outrageous weather to stop us. He pulled onto the driveway, I loaded my gear, and we were off to the Allegheny National Forest to dry fly fish for native brook trout. Neither of us had fished the creek we were going to visit so it was going to be a new adventure for both of us.

  We arrived at a place to park around 9:30am. The misty rain had stopped but there was still a chill in the air. I assembled my 4 section 7’ 2 weight fly rod while Giddeon pieced together his 7’ 3 weight. We put on warm clothes, got our gear and headed down the path to the creek. 


 Around 3 tenth of a mile, I’d say, we came to a water falls. Water gushed over ledges of rock shelves and boulders plunging into a pool creating turbulent water below. From there it tumbled and flowed over more boulders and then narrowing downstream through the tranquil forest over rocks, down timber and under fallen branches till somewhere it emptied into Tionesta Creek miles down to the mouth. Near the falls the sound of the tumbling water was deafening. Away from the falls the water continued to flow over ledges but with a more pleasant sound as it meandered through the serene forest of hardwoods, ferns and grassy brush.

  I’m not sure you can call fishing this creek real technical but to fish it you had to be pretty precise in casting both back casts and forward casts to avoid the stream side hazards. You also had to position yourself at the right angle to cast your dry fly in hard to reach places at times, against downed lumber, along the creek banks and up against the outcropping of bank side boulders where the trout were sure to be hiding. 


 With the clear water conditions your approach had to be slow and inconspicuous. It wasn’t always accessible to approach the longer pools from behind but when there was room to cast into them upstream the better chance of fooling the wild trout without seeing you. 


  If you were quick enough when the trout strikes your dry fly you were rewarded with a colorful specimen of a native brook trout that scurried about flexing the light weight fly rod. 



  We didn’t follow each other closely as we fished downstream. Giddeon moved along more quickly than I. When we did catch up with each other he had hooked up more often than I had. It was fun watching his approach to different pools and his slingshot casts from the bank were uncanny and most of the time precise.


  When the sun cleared the mountain tops and filtered through the leafy trees it warmed and brightened up the forest to incomparable beauty. 


  After fishing downstream for hours we weren’t finished yet. We traveled above the falls and fished the creek as it narrowed the higher we went on. We continued to catch these wild brookies making them rise to our dry fly selections.


  After the long hours we spent hiking and fishing it had to come to an end. We had our fun, father and son, enjoying what we love to do in our free time.

  Though the path leading us out was all uphill, and kind of demanding, it was still scenic and turned out to be a gratifying day with my #2 son! 















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