Not long ago, Greg and I decided to make a road trip to the famed limestone region of Pennsylvania. We have guides on staff who live there, grew up there, and know the streams like the back of their hands....they know where to find butter by the pounds....why wouldn't we make the trip. I think it would be absolute insanity if we didn't. So, after a little coordination of schedules, down I-80 we went.
HEADING DOWN THE ROAD IN PENNSYLVANIA
Now, one thing you need to understand about Greg and I is that there is always an undercurrent between us on a fishing trip. You know, you can't see it, but it's there. You need to understand it, or when you aren't expecting it, you just might get Erie shuffled in the name of friendly competition.
The funny thing is that we weren't there to just fish, we were there to shoot video. But understand this....that camera didn't even think of coming out of the case until the first fish was landed....guaranteed.
The first stream we hit in the two day gig was Penns. We had hoped to hit some Green Drakes(Coffin Flies) on the back side of the hatch and unfortunately the overcast, rainy weather kept the spinner fall from happening that evening in enough force to bring fish up....much to my dismay as that is the pinnacle of fly fishing for me.
ANGLERS WET A LINE ON PENNS CREEK
So, after a less than desirable evening on Penns (Oh, by the way, I caught the only fish that evening....just for the story sake), we called it quits. Next it was off to get some small town pizza at a local Italian joint. I can honestly say that it was nearly the pinnacle of the evening.
The next day was another day.....and a day at Spring Creek at that. I think the photo below captures the feeling of these two buckeye state residents at the sight of the amazing fish we found in this stream. They were large and very plentiful and willing to play. Just what we like! Oh, and I caught the first fish here too....he, he, he.....ha, ha, ha......
GREG AT THE SIGHT OF QUALITY SPRING CREEK TROUT.
The fish were no easy game by any stretch of the imagination. They kept us guessing and working on our presentations all day long. Regardless, we prevailed on these finicky fish and below are some pictures to back up our story. Yes, I know fisherman are known for telling stories......but really, ours are true......check out the photos below.
SPRING CREEK BROWN FALLS
OF COURSE, THIS IS THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY
(AND THAT IS THE TRUTH OF THE STORY)
A NICE BOW BRINGS A CHANGE UP TO THE MIX
A MOST GENEROUS SLAB OF BUTTER
THE ONE AND ONLY TROUT FROM PENNS
THE NIGHT BEFORE
PATRICK BAGS A BEAUTIFULLY SPOTTED UP BROWN
JOEL BAGS A NICE BROWN OF HIS OWN
CAN I OFFER YOU SOME TOAST WITH THAT BUTTER?
While we were on the stream, we couldn't help but poke around these highly fertile waters to see what kind of macro invertebrates we might stumble upon....really more like stumble over :) These streams are alive with bugs and it is not surprising to see how fat and colored the fish are as a result.
A SELECTION OF NYMPHS ALONGSIDE A FLY BOX
A COUPLE OF DIFFERENT NYMPHS
(TWO STENONEMA'S & ONE STENACRON - CAHILL TYPE NYMPHS)
I WILL LEAVE IT TO JOHN OUR RESIDENT BUG GUY TO SET ME STRAIGHT IF NEEDED.
In addition to the nymphs, we tried to get some quick photos of some of the duns in the air while on the water. The photos aren't the highest quality, but they will do for now. If you want good bug photos, I will post some of John Miller's stuff.....it is totally off the hook.
BLUE WINGED OLIVE
GREEN DRAKE DUN SHUCK SHOWS THAT THE SPINNERS ARE AROUND
As we had hoped for the second evening, the spinner fall finally happened. It was most beautiful.....a whole lot of sulpher in the air and smiles to go around. As I said earlier, I live to fish hatches and spinner falls! Nothing amazes me more than to see a river come alive and then see the fish respond.
Below is a short sequence of what transpired numerous times.
A CAST IS DELIVERED AND THE DRIFT ENSUES
THE FISH RISES AND THE ROD BENDS
AND THE FISH COMES TO HAND
Now the end of the story. Yes, I got the first fish on both streams....yes, I was the guy who landed the most fish for the day.....no double of triple digits, but I did get the highest number of fish. Don't worry, I'm building myself up here so that it doesn't hurt so bad when I jump :)
But, what makes us such a good team here at SAO is that we can't stand to watch a brother go through prolonged agony! So, when I realized Greg was struggling in the hole he had found, I invited him to my hole...I think that is how it went.....I don't think he shuffled me....Did you Greg, did you shuffle me? No, I think I willingly gave up my hole and yes I paid the ultimate price. Greg took the prize for the day with the biggest fish award. One thing is for sure, I would trade numbers for size any day and Greg's fish was sizable and watching him fight it was part of the memory of this trip. Congrats Greg on pulling out the big one! The good side is that I was able to shoot some photos and video, so it will be forever recorded for us to reminisce.
GREG BAGS THE BIG FISH OF THE TRIP
THIS IS WHAT WE ALL LONG FOR....LOOK AT THAT SMILE
A CLOSER SHOT OF THE HOG
HERE'S TO YOU JOEL....THANKS FOR SHOWING US YOUR
HONEY HOLES. WE CAN'T WAIT TO DO IT AGAIN SOON!
So with more than enough fish to hand and enough energy in the smiles to last a few days, we made a late night jaunt back to the land of buckeyes, babies, and beds.
The time was more than worth it and the trip will forever be burned in the banks of our fishing fortune. If you want to fish central Pennsylvania streams, we have two guys who can show you more in a day than you can imagine.
Until next time, tight lines...and may the spinners always fall on your watch!
Patrick "Flybum" Robinson
Steelhead Alley Outfitters