Sunday, January 22, 2012

First Snow of 2012

Keith Working a Run
Picture Doesn't Do it Justice
      Sorry guys for not posting lately. I have started up college and am student teaching this semester. It has not given me the time to get out really. So, when my buddy Keith asked me on Friday night to fish on Saturday I was excited to get out. However, there was this thing called a snow storm. I mean I did not mind, but I was not sure about him. He insisted, so after a morning of playing with the kiddos it was time to get out for a little afternoon fishing.
       We arrived at the local stream around 2:00 and fished to 4:30 in that time frame we each caught double digits. It was an awesome day. Fishing in the snow is probably one of my favorite times. It is quiet and serene.
       What made it all the better, was the large bow I landed. It was easily over 16 inches and was thick. My year has started off with a bang. Between the wild tiger trout, wild bows, hammering fish on Spring Creek, fishing The Narrows, and now this large bow. I do not think I could have started the year off better.
       Unfortunately, Keith lost two fish larger then the one I landed and they all came out of the same hole. Every fish caught during the afternoon was either landed on a cream caddis imitation I tie or a little black stone fly nymph I began experimenting with.
       Next Saturday The Fly Fishing Show pulls into Sommerset NJ and I will be heading out. Look for a blog post after that. I am looking forward to meeting some friends in the industry, Pa Fly Fish Guys, and fellow Bloggers like Mike Aka Dub the Thorax.
Hmm Did not notice the Schmegma till now, but here you can see the size while Keith holds it.
Keith with the first fish of the day

Big Boy

Just Chillin At The Bottom


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Fellow Blogger Contest

      My buddy and blogger Mike Aka Dub The Thorax is having a contest. Post your best picture on his FaceBook page and get the most likes. He then is going to give the winner a dozen flies of their choice. What the heck, go get yourself a dozen flies by clicking this link........Click Me
      If you want you can like my pic of the wild tiger. I could use the flies!

Also, another fellow blogger Howard AKA Cofisher is having a contest that I am a finalist in. It involves my past Blog called "My Fishing Evolution". If you would like, I would like you to vote for my story. Just click this link.......Click Me! Then in the right hand corner just vote for my blog. It will take you less then 10 seconds seriously.

Thanks guys!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Year of The Tiger: Big Fishing Creek

      As my followers know by now, I have to travel around the state at times to meet clients. So, when my boss contacted me and asked me if I wanted to go to Jersey Shore, Pa for a claim, because no one else wanted to drive that far, I accepted. I know Jersey Shore is close to Pine Creek, but would have to travel a good bit north to fish it. I was not in the mood to drive further away from my house. I threw up a message on the PA Fly Fish message boards looking for some guidance on streams in the area. A known fly fishing "celebrity" recommended Big Fishing Creek.
      I have heard about BFC before but have never fished it. I know it is loved just like the other Central Pa majors (Spring, Penns, Little Juniata). A couple other members echoed his sentiment and the decision was made for me.
      I met with my client, grabbed some lunch, and a couple cigars and was at the stream by 12:00. I decided to fish the famous Narrows section and I could not locate it. I kinda had directions to the area, but was a little lost. I drove around a little and saw some amazing water. Just as I was about to just give up, two gentleman walking dogs stopped and asked if I was lost. I explained I was looking for the narrows section of BFG and they quickly gave me directions to where I needed to be.
       I parked, quickly got my gear on, and just stared at the riffles. Nature was all around me and I was just taking it in. I shook myself out of the daze and walked about 1/2 down stream. I knew I did not have a lot of time and wanted to work the water thoroughly, so I did not walk as far as I normally would to start. I walked up to the stream and immediately witnessed a nice brown dart away. I did not know if that was going to be a sign of good or bad things to come.
      I began using a three nymph rig with a float. My point fly was a Double Beaded Stone that I had tyed on here last year. It is a large heavy tungsten beaded fly that would help get my flies down in the fast deep pocket water of BFC. I also tied on a BHPT and a dubbing on a hook cress bug pattern. I worked the water, and constantly was changing my flies. I could not get a take. However, the environment I was fishing in made me not really care.
      Midges were all over the place, but I saw no risers. Possibly I made a mistake by not using some midge larva patterns. I got to the last set of pocket water before my car,and their were little seams everywhere. I enjoy this kind of water, because it defines where to cast. Everywhere there is a seam being caused by a large boulder or two little rocks you drift your flies through.
      One thing I do not enjoy is all the snags. I lost my third double beaded stonefly of the day and decided this water was a little two shallow for this fly. I put on my largest Prince nymph as my point fly, and first cast with it hooked up. Little dinker danced across the water. The happiness of not getting skunked crossed my mind while I tried to net it. Once in the net I looked to see if it was a brook or was neither. I stared in amazement at this 5 inch fish of a lifetime. It was what I believed to be a wild stream bred tiger trout.
      A tiger trout is born when a female brown trouts eggs are fertilized by a male brook trout. Once born they are not able to reproduce. Pennsylvania used to stock tiger trout, but since 2005 have stopped. BFC is known to have wild browns and native brook trout.
      When I first caught the fish I believed it to be a tiger, but was not 100% positive, because I had never caught one before. After posting the photo's on PAFF, I was quickly told it was in fact a wild tiger trout and that it was indeed a lucky day for me. It was the only fish of the day for me, but it was a memorable one. Big Fishing Creek now holds a special place in my heart.
Tigers love prince nymphs, they hate Powerbait

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Starting the New Year Correctly; Destination Spring Creek

      Most years you and I might cringe at fishing on New Years Day. Whether it be the nasty hangovers from the amateur night the day before, or the bone chilling weather that is expected for that time of year. It did not matter, I am at the point of my addiction that I will fish anytime and anywhere. I decided to ask my buddy Dave from Pittsburgh, who is on the exact opposite side of the state as me, to meet me halfway to fish. Two hours for him, two and a half for me. We also got our buddy Cory to join us. Lucky him lives thirty minutes away from Spring. Never did we think we would be fishing in fifty degree weather on New Years Day.
       I woke up with three hours sleep and made the drive out to State College. All the time dreaming about wild brown trout sipping on Bwo's. Even though the weather seemed perfect for that event, it never materialized.
       I arrived at The Canyons on Spring Creek around 7:45am. I drove down the stone road and was in awe of the beauty in the London fog coming off of the water. I tried to take some pictures, but I still do not have the hang of the new camera. It seems to want to focus on the fog and take out of focus pictures. Actually, I would like to apologize for the photo's in this blog entry. They did not turn out to well. Think it was because the fishing was so good and I did not take my time.
Cory Nymphing It
       Cory and Dave pulled in right after me and we proceeded to BS for a good hour. The fishing seemed to take a back seat to the laughs and great time we knew we would be having. We finally geared up and walked to the end of the new open area and proceeded to work out way back to the car. Within five minutes of spreading out and dipping our toes in the water. I landed a 6 inch brown and Dave had lost two and Cory one. The three of us slowly walked up stream and fished together. By the time we made it up a hundred yards or so, we had all landed fish and the threat of a skunking was gone. We arrived at the first deep hole of the stream. A large tree is in the water forming a nice riffle, deep hole, and slack water. If there was going to be a monster on the creek it was under that tree. We talked about fishing at night with a mouse fly and watching a kyped brown pounding a swung vermin. The three of us pounded that hole taking turns after snapping our flies off on overhung tree branches. Each of us pulling a fish from the spot.
Dave Rocking It
       I enjoy fishing WITH friends. I am not one to meet at a parking lot say hello's and then run away from whomever I decided to meet. Agreeing to meet at a certain time to grab some lunch and then splitting up from each other and fishing separately. I like to fish close to friends and be able to bust balls or take pictures of each other fish. Enjoying the day together and not just trying to catch as many fish as possible.
       This is how we fished for the day, working over each others water meticulously. Trying to catch the fish the other guy did not bring to hand. We all caught fish and we had a blast of a day. Not to taut numbers, but the three of us brought close to twenty to hand. I caught six out of my seven on dubbing on a hook and my other on Loren Williams Sexy Walts Worm. I believe Dave caught his fish on egg patterns and his cress bug pattern. Cory caught his on San Juans, cress bugs and scuds. However, Cory missed the hook set on a large brown from under a bridge with a wooly bugger, and then had a huge brown break him off. It was easily 24+ and made the splash of a bowling ball dropped from a skyscraper.
       The day ended with a trip to Champs in State college where we enjoyed more laughs, some beer and great food. I am not a beer connoisseur, but Ithacas Apricot Wheat went down like water for me. It was delicious out of the tap, and I am kicking myself for not bringing a growler of it home. Cory jokes that it is his wifes favorite beer.......
My First Fish of 2012

Dave's first of 2012

Adios 2011


Friday, December 30, 2011

Fishing Resolutions New and Old

     First, I would like to wish everybody a happy and safe new year! With the arrival of that little baby in a diaper blowing a kazoo, I would like to look back on my 2011 fishing resolutions and lay out my 2012 ones.
      I was asked last year at this time on a forum what my goals were. At that time I was fly fishing for 6 months. This is what I said:

1. Catch a trout on a dry I tied.
2. Fish 3 of the Central PA majors.
3. Land a 20 incher on the fly rod.
4. Fish 2 hatches that I never have fished, which would be every one except Sulphur, BWO, Trico
5. Make a trip to the Upper D
6. Fish the salt with the fly
7. Enjoy as much fishing with good friends as possible.
      Of those I only did not accomplish one. It was number six and I came close to it three weeks ago. I planned on making the drive to the NJ coast, but a bad storm canceled it. O well, next year. 
      #1 I had no problem accomplishing. 
      #2 I accomplished in a way. Most people think of the three major Central PA streams as; Penns, Spring, and Little J. I fished Spring and that was it. However, I did fish the Letort and Falling Springs. They are in Central PA and they are major streams. They are just not in State college area. I will be clearer for my 2012 resolutions.
      #3 I landed a salmon and a steelhead easily over 20 inches. Again, I was not real clear on my goal.
      #4 I fished Blue Quills and Isonichias. I probably fished more, but did not realize it
      #5 I fished the Upper D three times and caught my largest wild brown up there.
      #6 Obviously not
      #7 I do this on a regular basis
        This year for 2012 I am going to be a little clearer in my goals
     #1 Catch a 20 inch trout on the Upper D, it can be a rainbow or brown
     #2 Catch a Letort brown trout. Very elusive for me.
     #3 Fish a stream not in Pa, Ny, or NJ
     #4 Catch a NY steelhead. I have caught Erie chrome, but not Ny.
     #5 Tie an Intruder pattern
     #6 Fish Penns and Little J
     #7 Land a wild bow over 15 inches. I could accomplish this goal and #1 together.
     #9 Like last year....Enjoy as much time on the water with friends and my children as possible.

I look at my list and see I have nine resolutions for this year. Can one of you guys think of one for me?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

My Fishing Evolution

      I can still remember the excitement I had when I was 8 or 9 years old. It was the night before the first day of Pennsylvania trout season. Sitting in my parents kitchen with my dad concocting the secret bait. I can not remember the recipe, but I can sure remember the smell. It smelled like when you drive by the mushroom factory out towards Reading.
       This secret bag of crap was whispered down the line at my dads work, and it was going to be the holy grail for trout catching.
      I would go to sleep early, because we had to wake up before the birds to grab our spot on the Little Lehigh. The car ride to the stream was quiet as I would still be trying to wake up and wipe the sleep from my eyes. The drive from Catasauqua to Allentown took you through center city and the time linked traffic lights. Every time you think you were going to hit a red light it would miraculously change to green. I was in amazement of this at the time. Like my father was a wizard who had the power to make this feat happen (I now know you just have to drive 35mph). I was hoping he could do that to the fish.
First Day of PA Trout
      My father would lay out a blanket for me to sit on as he walked up and down the banks of the smooth flowing stream to find the sticks our spinning rods would sit on. The yells up and down the stream from other fishermen saying it was time to cast in the line reverberate through my mind still to this day. My dad would cast both rods and we would sit there and wait....and wait.....and wait. I would stare at the tip of the rod hoping for a twitch. Then it would happen, a little jiggle, then a little more. Dad would yell at me not to touch it. Slowly he would pick up the rod and wait for that twitch again. Then he would set the hook and roll on his back as if he was hooking the largest fish in his life and he really wanted that hook penetrating. Once he knew the fish was on, he would hand me the rod and I would reel it in as fast as I could. I did not know about line test and if the fish would snap off. I did not know because my dad would use 10lb test and catfish rods. so those 10 inch trout did not have a chance!
Wehr's Dam and Covered Bridge
            We did not go fishing frequently together because he worked two jobs to help support us. However, our excursions would always take place early mornings when he got home from working night shift or we would head to Jordan Creek at night to catfish or whatever would bite on his days off. Fishing memories will last forever and are something you never forget. Example,  the eels we would catch and my father trying to get the hook out only to get slimmed up and end up burning the mono with his cigarette, then kicking the eel back in the water. Or sitting along Hokendaqua Creek and the bats flying around out lantern grabbing the moths and other insects searching for light. Those eventful nights are what began to form me into the fishermen I am today.
      By the time I was 15-16 I strayed away from my fathers fishing adventures and began fishing with high school friends. My friend Ryan and his brother Aarron lived right by Wehrs Dam on Jordan Creek. Their father was a former chef and would cook all the trout we would catch those days and they were always delicious. We kept everything, because we knew know better. We watched a gentlemen catch trout after trout one day. He gave us some of his "secret bait" and we began hooking up non stop. He told us the bait was raw eggs and flour mixed together to make a Power Bait light yellow textured substance. We ran back to ryans house and cleaned his parents out of eggs. We found OUR secret hole those days. it is not much of a secret anymore, but every first day I fish that hole. I think other fishermen that frequent that creek during the first day of fishing even acknowledge it as "Shane's Hole".  This coming trout season it will be 15 years in a row fishing there. Till I was out of high school we really only fished the first couple weeks of the season and then my friends and I would do what teenagers do.
Cementon Bridge
      I graduated from high school and had some trouble in my life. I ended up losing my drivers license for 3 years and seemed like most of my friends. I could not drive and it seemed like I was an outcast. I found fishing again.
Bait Chucker
       My mom would drive me to work and pick me up and we would always drive over the Cementon bridge. This structure spans the Lehigh River and there is a dam 100 yards down stream called Northampton dam. This is where I fell in love with the "Mighty Lehigh". One day I asked my mom to drop me off at Willies Bait shop which overlooks the Lehigh at this spot. I took my dads fishing rod down below the dam with some night crawlers and immediately hooked up with a fish that pulled line out of my reel as I have never seen before. I could not stop this fish and it basically spooled me and snapped me off. I never saw it, but I think it might have been a carp. A man that ended up becoming a good friend and mentor walked over to me laughing. He could tell I did not know what was going on. We would run into each other most every off day or after work. He was referred to as fish neck by the bait shop regulars, because of his rainbow trout tattoo on his neck. He would teach me how to spin a minnow, what a butter worm was and how to properly rig a night crawler. I learned how to tie my own leaders what kind of weight to use for certain conditions and a proper drift. I became a fixture in the bait shop and would sit and hang out in there all day long, learning from the "pro's" and fishing with some great bait fishermen. Nicknames were thrown around the shop like Strappy, River Rat, and Meater. Willie even ended up finding me my current house.
My Youngest Ate One of These
      I got my license back when I was 22 and fishing began to take a back seat. I found a better job, began hanging out with friends, frequenting bars and ended up meeting my wife (not in a bar). Fishing turned into the first couple weeks of the trout season and that was about it. Maybe a bass pond with my wife's cousin every now and then.
       I still loved the Lehigh and we ended up moving in a town that bordered some of the best water to fish on it. My wife's cousin got older and we began fishing non stop. One day we decided to help stock fish on the Lehigh with a local organization called the Lehigh River Stocking Association or LRSA. I took an interest in what they were trying to do. Water quality and making the Lehigh River a better place. This is where I was truly introduced to fly fishing. I became a board member and one of the officers told me he had a three person pontoon boat and I could come out with him if I would like. He brought his fly rod and I brought my spin rod. I hammered fish throughout the day until dusk. Then the bugs came out and fish were feeding on top everywhere we looked. He began hooking fish after fish on a Sulphur dry fly and all I could do was sit back and watch. That was a year and a half ago. I have since left that organization and become a board member of the Western Pocono TU. I touch a spin rod maybe three times a year. I have become fully addicted. I fish whenever possible and in all weather. When I was a spin fishermen I focused only on the Lehigh Valley creeks. Now I travel all over the state and other states searching for new waters, new species and new friends. Fly fishing has changed me and it has caused me to evolve in the way I think about streams, conservation, and life in general.
       I have wrote this blog, because I was challenged  by Howard over at Windknots and Tangled Lines Blog. He came up with an excellent contest that made me think about how I have become what I am today. Check his blog out and enter his contest if you would like. I hope you enjoyed my ramblings and if you did not sorry I wasted the 5 minutes it took you to read it.
Fly Fishing the French Fry Hole.... Photo Taken By Dub The" New Daddy" Thorax


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Rainy Day... Lets Tie CDC Stone Fly Nymphs!

    Here in Easter Pennsylvania the weather is not cooperating. Latley, I have been addicted to CDC and saw a pattern on the Fly Fishermen site for Charlie Craven's CDC Yellow Stone. I was trying to get a picture of the pattern in the water, because the ice blue flashback make the stone glow. I could not, but trust me on it! I hope you like the pattern.

Hook- DaiRiki 12 3xl nymph
Bead- 1/8 gold bead
Lead- 15 wraps of .015
Thread- Yellow Danville 70 denier
Tail- Yellow dyed pheasant tail
Flashback- Ice blue pearl tinsel
Rib- 3x mono
1 Brown grizzle hen saddle feather
1 Brown Cdc feather
Dubbing- Jacks tackle Rainbow Worrior Rainbow Stone (Yellow)

Place bead and 15 wraps of .015 lead on hook. Push up into the bead and cover with thread.
Tie about six pheasant tail fibers, ice blue tinsel, and 3x mono. I use cheap Cabelas brand.

Dub onto your thread a healthy amount of dubbing and taper forward. Do not be afraid to use a nice amount of dubbing, because stone fly nymphs are wide and bulky.
Pull the tinsel forward and tie down. Rib the mono up the fly and tie off..You can bulk up your abdomen with thread as to match.
Tie in one brown Cdc feather by the tip and wrap like a wet fly. Pulling the fibers to the rear of the hook each wrap and tie down.
It will look like this
Before you tie in the hen feather, pull the feather fiber to the base of the stem. Tie in the feather by the tip and wrap as you just did with the Cdc feather. Pulling the hen fibers back like a wet fly collar and tie off.
it will look like this.
Dub a collar and whip finish.