We decided to write this blog as a way of sharing some of our stories from past experiences fishing, tying flies, guiding, and traveling. Most of which are completely 100% true except for the names of people, some stories are slightly embellished and some are mostly made up. It's really for you to figure it out and for us to have some fun writing down some of the truly good memories we have had while immersed in fly fishing.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Spruce Creek Hogs!


video

Today I spent an afternoon hooking into some good fish using Pheasant Tail nymphs, Rusty Spinners, and a variety of Sulphur dry fly patterns.  The Sulphur's hatched around 2:30PM and lasted 5:30PM.  

It was an absolutely gorgeous day filled with a lot of fish.  I lost track of the total number of fish I landed but the last fish of the afternoon made my day one to remember.  



I had switched to from the Yellow Parachute Sulphur when I came to a nice deep hole where I hoped a good fish was lurking.  Just my luck, after my first cast into the run I hooked into a good fish and I didn't realize how big it was until the line went screaming by me downstream.  Then I saw the bright pink hue and silhouette of a massive female trout.  I knew I had to play it carefully because I was fishing 5X tippet with the low water conditions and I successfully landed this beautiful Rainbow! 





Sunday, April 29, 2012

Fly Spotlight

GT Sulphur Emerger



This little guy hammered fish for me on Spring Creek the last few trips out. One single fly landed all the fish pictured below and many many more. It's a great pattern because while the hatch is sparse you can fish it subsurface by only Ginking the parachute. After they are on thick you simply apply your floatant to the entire body versus just the parachute and fish it like an adult! It's the best of both worlds. Emerger for the beginning of the hatch dun for the evening bite. It's been lights out! I suggest tying some up and hitting the stream! 

Recipe:
Hook: TMC 2487 #14
Thread: Yellow 6/0 Uni Thread
Body: East Coast Dubbing, Sulphur Yellow
Wing: Parapost wing white with a couple of parachute hackle wraps, I use light dun. 
Tail: Microfibbets light dun, tied into the parachute so they lay parallel with the hackle wraps, not off the bend of the hook. 


Use these pictures as proof that it does work. Sorry about the clarity, still working out some kinks with the camera. It wants to take macros when I don't want it to. I'll fix that glitch soon enough but until then... Enjoy!








Saturday, April 28, 2012

Sulphur Emergers!

Tonight was action packed and turned out to be a stellar for insect activity.  Below are a sample of the 20+ fish that I caught on a variety of Sulphur patterns.  I started the night off with a Sulphur Emerger and then I went to an orange parachute, sparkle dun and finished the night with a yellow parachute.  One of the things that was extremely successful for me was once my dry fly became waterlogged I would cast it out and slightly twitch my rod back upstream to pull the fly back to the top of the surface.  This strategy will simulate an emerging insect and had multiple trout smack into one another trying to eat my fly.      


Each night that I spend on the stream I am seeing more and more Light Cahill.  The hatches remain three to four weeks ahead of schedule and I'm anxious to see how Spruce Creek and the Little Juniata fish this Sunday!

The rain forecasted for today does not look as serious as initially thought (shocking, I know) and Sunday has a high of 59 degrees.  Either way get out on the streams and have some fun!
Sulphur Emerger


Pretty sure that I caught this fish twice (Look at the 1st picture)!

Sparkle Dun

Parachute Sulphur

Friday, April 27, 2012

Spring Creek Conditions

This week provided Central Pennsylvania with much needed precipitation, but we still need a lot more to make up for lack of rainfall/snow melt runoff.  With the temperatures dropping significantly, the hatches took a few days off but started back up on Wednesday!  I had the chance to go fishing twice this week for a few hours before dusk and had some luck using Pheasant Tail nymphs, Tan Caddis (size 14) and a variety of Sulphur dry fly patterns.

Originally the weather this weekend was to be in the high 60s but has since been changed to a forecast of Friday, sunny with a high of 56, Saturday, rainy (.56 inches estimated) and cold with a high of 46, and Sunday, sunny with a high of 56.   The weather outlook isn't the best for this weekend but you should be able to hook into a couple trout!  

Have fun! 

Pheasant Tail enticed this beauty!



Jeff Scipione with a nice brown trout!
Brown caught on a Sulphur.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Spring Creek Monsters!

 Like all of us Eric Norman has secret spots and this one is no different. Eric decided it was in the fishes best interest not to disclose the location of these monsters! However, he did say the one he's holding was caught on the surface! Talk about a hell of a Pennsylvania brown! Where is he hiding Eric? I want to give him a try! I've been hammering dinks all season, I'd trade them all for a shot at that pig! Can you tell I'm jealous?? Well at any rate we appreciate the pics Eric! Keep giving those fish sore lips.


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

"Treat" of the Week



The "Treat" this week is fresh in my memory bank. This week I haven't had a lot of time to get fishing and when I hop out and get to the stream with only a few hours to of fishing left, I expect a number of things. The most important being some space to myself to go and just fish. I'm not asking for a lot of room maybe like 100 yards of river, 50 at least. That's not a lot when you think about it.. I'm basically hoping that I get one run, from top to bottom, to fish through. 


That said last weekend I went to one of my favorite spots on Spring Creek for a little after work action because I had heard the sulphurs were really starting to turn on.  I got to the water and there were a few people there but they were fishing down through and by the time I got on the water they were out of sight and I had about 150 yards clear of other anglers. I step in and immediately pick up a couple fish on a pheasant tail. I start seeing fish swirling all around me to emergers and nymphs so I throw on a couple of wet flies and start swinging them through the tail end of the run. About the same time I pick up a fish in the tail out of the run I see a spin fisherman rigging up his ugly stick on the bank behind me. He's about 10 feet down stream of me standing on the bank. I'm thinking to myself, there is no way this guy is going to just walk in right next to me... Then I see him pull out a jar of power bait and that's when I know I'm screwed. Bait fisherman = douche about 90% of the time. They have no ethics about them when it comes to fishing, and you better not start catching fish near them or they will be in your back pocket in no time. It amazes me how little respect for water and proximity bait fisherman have, and then I saw opening day of trout season and saw all of these jagaloons standing asshole to elbow drifting meal worms for stocked trout, and that's when I realized that it's ingrained in their mind to stay close to someone who is catching fish. Because stocked trout get dumped out of a bucket into the river and all stay in the first hole they run into. 


Well bait turd on Spring Creek there are 5,000 fish per square mile. Leave me alone! Please stop throwing your giant orange cork bobbers up into my run. And for future reference, when fish are chowing down sulphurs and caddisflies your power bait isn't going to work. You should stick to the Little Bald Eagle River or Canoe Creek, there are plenty of stocked fish you can kill there... 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Patience...

This story of patience comes to us from Patrick Williams. The man with many adventures and great stories that go with it! Thanks again Pat!




So here’s another fish caught this past Friday on Penns Creek with a sulpher dry pattern, right at the last light of dusk. I had not been to Penns in two weeks, and decided to go after I heard Thursday produced fabulous fishing with march browns, caddis flies, crane flies, and hendrickson spinners. Friends said the fishing started to pick up in the afternoon hours and really got good right at dusk. The next day I got there around noon to see what was going on, and maybe fox guard a good hole (an unfortunate necessity this time of year) while I waited for the bevy of late afternoon dry fly opportunities.

When I arrived at the parking lot it was 20 vehicles full, and a few groups were having lunch and mini-tailgates around their cars. The report I got from others in the parking lot was it was totally dead. Penns (often referred to as “the great equalizer”) and its fish always have the potential to be very uncooperative with anglers, and this happened to be one of those days. At least for me…

Walking down and surveying what was going on, many good holes were already occupied with one or more anglers. One productive upstream hole was free, but I wanted to chase a fish in a pool downstream, and decided to see if it was open. Watching others fish as I walked, I noticed lots of sitting, staring, and not catching anything. There were also not many bugs around, at least compared to what it was like the last several times I had been there. I got to my honey hole and it was getting ganged up pretty viciously by 4 others, though no one was having any luck.

I went to a side channel where I saw one aggressive rise, followed by silence. The infrequent rises I saw from noon – 8 pm were like lightning bolts. They were huge bursts of energy when they occurred, but never struck the same place twice. I threw some dry-droppers with both attractors and nymphs/emergers/duns of what was sporadically hatching (or going to hatch) but nothing was interested. I went back to see if the good spot I saw coming in was still open, while unsuccessfully hitting a couple small holes on the way.

Got to the spot at 3 pm and found it unattended. I spent the next two and a half hours lying down on the bank, sleeping, eating, listening to Geese bitch at each other, and playing hide and go seek with a turtle. I also watched other anglers in the productive areas above and below me, but no one was having any luck. I then stood on the bank and surveyed the increasing activity of caddis and crane flies, with occasional march browns, sulphers, and Hendrickson spinners in the air. I decided to prospect with dries and nymphs trying not to blow up the hole, but got nothing.

I let the pool sit for another hour while watching the water. It was getting later, and while bug activity picked up, nothing was responding. As the sun went behind the mountain I covered the hole again, tried new flies/tactics, but still was without a strike. The sun was setting, all anglers around me drudged back to their cars, and I was without a fish in 8 hours on the water. Maybe the hole got blown up in the morning, maybe I should not have spent so much idle time on the bank, maybe I didn’t fish it the right way, or maybe I should have moved locations instead of guarding the same hole. Whatever the reason, the smell of skunk was becoming pungent in the fading light.

I left the hole to search for something rising in the last 20-25 minutes before dark. I arrived at a flat water stretch a few hundred yards downstream and after about a minute saw one little dimple. There were many march brown spinners in the air now, with a decent amount of sulphers, march brown duns, and a bunch of stuff I could not make out in the low light. I waded into place, and noticed a guy had started fishing in the riffle above me as I was tying on a march brown with a rusty spinner trailing. I saw his hook set followed by a fish flopping into his net. In over 8 hours on the water, this was the first fish I had seen caught. More dimples now surrounding the first, but none want what I’m throwing. I switched to a sulpher and finally made contact. Many other fish followed in a short amount of time, including the one in the picture. When I released him there were still a few fish slurping, and Venus was bright in the sky.

The rest of the fishing would be in about 20 more minutes of darkness and setting the hook on audio cues. Afterwards, walking back through the woods dimly illuminated by my headlamp, I paid my respects to the Penns Creek gods and thanked them for their mercy.

Tight lines,

Patrick

Monday, April 23, 2012

Another Great Photo Submission from:

Patrick Williams



This brown was caught last week from Fishing Creek. I've actually caught this one several times because he's always under the same tree root structure, and always eats a woven stonefly. It looks like he spends too much time in the tanning booth during fall, resulting in a permanent Jersey-orange hue.


Thanks again Pat! Yet another contribution to the fish porn you have already submitted! We appreciate it!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Identifying “The Hatch” Fish are Eating





This past week Brian and I have been lucky enough to enjoy being treated to multiple hatches through the course of an evening of fishing. As you can see in our stream report, most of the local streams have an abundance of aquatic insects hatching throughout the day/evening. Take for instance on Spring Creek the evening started out with me fishing a size 16 Tan Caddis pattern because the trout were feeding methodically around fallen trees, eddies, and other seams in the main channel.
Then I noticed other fish that were working were not attacking the caddis flies that were traveling downstream. At this moment after watching numerous caddis go untouched through the “feeding zones,” I looked down at the water in front of me. I think that anglers tend to keep their eye on the trout that they are casting towards and sometimes lose sight of what is going on in their immediate surroundings. It happens all too often. A fisherman gets so in tuned to the bug they've caught a few fish on that they miss a blue-winged olive or a black caddis hatch.

How do you miss it? The larger sulphur or caddis fly hatches are much more evident than crane flies or spinner falls that we miss an opportunity to continue quality dry fly fishing into the later hours of the evening. To stay in touch with the variety of bugs that will frequent the streams is to be observant! Look for subtle changes in rise forms, did the fish sip a dry fly, chase an emerging insect, or did they aggressively attack a nymph from underneath and splash the waters surface? These are all things to think about and offer a lot of information about what the trout are doing from the bottom all the way to going airborne for a fluttering caddis.

Another theory held by the generalist is that it's simply all about a crisp drag free presentation with an attractor pattern that will raise the interest of a feeding trout. Whatever your basic beliefs are as an angler it is important to be aware of your surroundings. Have an idea of the potential insects that you could see on the water (Have your fly boxes stocked!). Take calculated steps to approach each cast with the thought that each new cast may bring the fish of a lifetime.



Enjoy!



Saturday, April 21, 2012

Weekly Fishing Report

For everyone out there who is curious to what is exactly going on these rivers well here is the update you have been waiting for! EVERY river continues to fish well.


Kirk nymphing a good stretch on Spring Creek


Little Juniata River:


Hatches: Sulphurs!! Tan and Olive Caddis.
Patterns:(Dry) GT Sulphur emerger #14, Sparkle Dun #14, Elk Hair Caddis Tan and Olive #16
(Nymph) Pheasant Tail #14-16, Bird of Prey Caddis #16, Zebra Midge Red or Brown #20
Techniques: If they aren't boiling on top look for the channels and the plunge pools and bounce some nymphs off the bottom.. But seriously the water is boiling with trout. No need to nymph.


Spring Creek:


Hatches: Sulphurs, BWO's, Tan Caddis, and Midges oh my!
Patterns: (Dry) Sparkle Dun Sulphur #14/ BWO #18, X-Caddis Tan #16-18
(Nymph) Pheasant tail #16, Trina's angel case sulphur #16-18, Williams Cress Bug #16, Olive scud #18
Techniques: Look to mix and match dries, the fish are changing what they are feeding on depending on the bugs. I caught fish on BWO's sulphurs and tan caddisflies on thursday.


Penns Creek:


Hatches: March Browns, Sulphurs are starting; Hendricksons, Quill Gordons, and grannoms are about done.
Patterns: (Dry) Sparkle Dun March Brown #10, Rusty Spinner #14
(Nymph/wet) March brown wet #12, Pheasant Tail #14-16, Hares Ear #14, Walt's Worm #14-16
Techniques: Blind cast some March Browns to dead falls and structure. You may be able to tease a couple of fish to the surface. Swing some wet flies and bounce those nymphs on the bottom. The fish are hungry and gearing up for some of the bigger hatches!


Hendrickson on Fishing Creek
Fishing Creek:


Hatches: Tan and Green Caddisflies, Some Blue quills and hendricksons remain.
Patterns: (Dry) X-Caddis Tan #16, Green #14, Blue Quill Spinner #16
(Nymph) Green Weenie #14, Golden Stone #10, Pheasant Tail #14-16
Techniques: Focus on nymphing now. The water is super low and the fish aren't as active as they were during the grannoms. Seek the big deep runs and go deep with golden stones and weenies. Look late for some Blue Quill spinners.




Brown Trout taken with a Flashback Pheasant Tail Nymph









Thursday, April 19, 2012

Fly Spotlight

Bead Head Flashback Pheasant Tail 

This pattern is the fly of the week because it's going to be the supreme sulphur nymph imitation for the next few weeks. This pheasant tail pattern has been by far the best sulphur nymph imitation for me for the last I don't know how many years. Check out the site I got the pictures off of for more tying inspiration! http://www.kyndoutdoors.com/fly-fishing/fly-tying-patterns-details.cfm?id=200

By: Chris Turner 
Hook: 10-18 TMC 2488 or 3761 depending on if you want the fly body curved or not.
 Thread: black 8/0
Abdomen: pheasant tail fibers
Thorax: peacock herl or peacock dubbing
Tail: pheasant tail ends
Rib: gold or copper wire
Head: bead, and shell back or flashabou is flashback material








The Sulphur Hatch has Arrived on Spring Creek

Tonight Brian and I got a chance to fish to multiple hatches on Spring Creek with some success.  We wet our lines around 5:45PM and took several finicky fish on Tan Caddis patterns.  There were a lot of caddis on the water and I started noticing sulphur's above us in the air, crane flies hovering, and a moderate amount of blue-winged olives on the water.  After the caddis slowed down I switched to a size 18 Blue-Winged Olive and took a fair amount of fish but nothing of note on the measuring tape.  Following that, I switched to a Sulphur Dun pattern and took an additional 6-8 fish.  Most of the fish that we caught were medium sized Brown Trout but hey it's still fun catching healthy, well-fed fish.  









My uncle and father reported that they had great days on Penns Creek using a variety of Woven Stoneflies, March Brown, Grannom Caddis, Hendrickson, Red Quill and Sulphur patterns.  In other words, get out there and give it a try!  The season is young and moving in fast forward!  

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

"Treat" of the Week



Lately I have been missing Alaska a little bit, being stuck here in State College, PA and then I thought about this little "treat." That's when I realized.. hell it won't be all that bad to not be up there for the entire season. 


What people don't know about a seasonal operation is that each season there is an extensive ordeal when it comes to setting up and breaking down the lodge for the season. The breakdown is hands down the worst end of the deal. Just think about it, as a guide you have just spent 120-150 straight days on the water and now you literally have to break down the entire operation and winterize it. I always tried to sneak out of there early so I wouldn't have to do it, but one way or the other I would get sucked into completing all of the following tasks:

  • Winterizing all of the motors: 2 30 hp jet units, 5 various speed propellor powered motors
  • Hauling all the boats up and securing them down (There are a total of 7 boats of different shapes and sizes)
  • Breaking down two canvas tents and storing all 4,000 lbs of shit that we have stored in them
    • all welding torches, rubber boats, oars, good wood, styrofoam insulation, concrete, etc... 
  • Boarding up the windows
  • Antifreezing the pipes
  • Breakdown and storing the dock
  • Loading and chain locking the 4 wheelers

I'm sure there are plenty of things I left out, but to be honest that's the worst of it. It may not seem like a lot right now, but the only thing on your mind at that time is getting home, beating the weather, having a nice cold cocktail on the plane ride home, and finally getting to sleep in your own bed again. 




Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Elk Hair Caddis

I was looking online for a great presentation of how to tie an Elk Hair Caddis and I came across Rob W. of Lakestream Outfitters video.  It's a high definition how-to video that will aid you in brushing up on your caddis tying skills.  Of course you can change the color of the dubbing and hackle to meet the needs of whatever Caddis pattern you need to replicate.  


Brian and I have spent some time on Spring Creek the last couple days and have had some fun fishing the Tan Caddis hatch that has been happening the last few weeks.  Some fish you'll catch with a good drag free cast and others have been very particular on feeding on a moving fly.  As you watch the "real" caddis on the water it is interesting to watch how selective some trout can be.  Brian and I will give the rod a twitch, or even strip a few inches of the line in to mimic that realistic flutter that you see to the subsequent take of the trout.  Here are a few pictures that Brian and I have documented while out on the streams at various parts of Spring Creek.