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 brown...............it 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


  1. Nice post! Thanks for sharing and congrats on the Tiger!


  2. Congrats on the tiger indeed a good day when you catch a wild tiger. Cross it off the list.