Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Snow in April? You Betcha!

For the first time (that I can remember at least) I fished while it was snowing in April.  Jake, Jared and myself woke up early on Monday with the intentions of fishing the West Branch of the Delaware.  We had been hit by a ton of rain, but with the reservoir so far below capacity, we didn't think they would open it up.  We were wrong.  Right after I picked Jared up in Bryn Mawr, Jared (thankfully!) got a call from Steve from the Bryn Mawr shop and told us they were blowing out the West Branch, with water levels well over 1000 CFS.  We hadn't even thought to check, so I immediately called Jake and told him what was going on.  We checked a few other gauges and reports and after weighing our options, we decided to head to State College to fish the Little Juniata.  We got on the highway and headed to Reading.  Once we met up with Jake, we were on our way to State.  We knew it would be raining, but as we got closer to the J, we were met with a surprise... it was snowing.  As we climbed in elevation, there was even some significant accumulation.  We got to the creek, got rigged up and started fishing.  With cooler water temps and flows climbing steadily throughout the day, the fishing was kinda slow, but we all managed to catch quite a few fish on nymph rigs and streamers.  The funniest part about it all was at the end of the day, there was a pretty solid Sulphur hatch and fish up and eating them here and there.  We were all so cold and tired that we didn't even bother trying to re-rig and fish for them, but it was quite a sight to see.  A Sulphur hatch in April is odd enough, but to see fish rising to Sulphurs in a wintry mix of snow and rain was pretty wild.  Overall, it was a great day of fishing with two great guys.  Let's do it again soon fellas.

                 My first of the day.  Note the snow on the mountains. 


Jared with a solid Little J fish caught on a streamer

The Flyin' Hawaiian with the release.

My favorite fish of the day.  Solid, spunky and beautiful. 

Going back home.

Jared with another beauty. 

Close up.

Jake with a real spunky fish.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Welcome to the Delaware

This past Monday, Jared, Steve, Jim and I all headed North to fish the Delaware River system.  Heavy winds were forecasted, but we decided that there were bugs and rising fish, so we were going, wind or no wind.  I am no expert when it comes to the Catskills in any way, shape or form, but I decided to show Jared what I know about the great fishery that is the Delaware.  Jim was already at his cabin up there, and Steve left early Monday morning to meet Jimmy.  I met Jared at the shop in Bryn Mawr around 7 when he got off the train and we hit the road.  After the three or so hour car ride, we got rigged up and headed to the water.  When we arrived, the wind was absolutely brutal with gusts over 40mph.  We decided, however, that in a few hours there would be bugs and rising fish.  We were right.  Over the next two hours, Hendricksons and Paraleps began hatching everywhere, but the wind made the fishing incredibly difficult.  Whenever the wind died down a bit, the fishing was fast and furious, as fish were up and gorging themselves on bugs.  As soon as the wind picked up again, however, the fish were sent back down and just ate nymphs and emergers below the surface.
Crazy Hawaiian

The West Branch of the Delaware


Since this was Jared’s first time on the D, I was really hoping he would have fun.  Not only did he have fun, Jared hooked and landed his first two Delaware fish!  During a brief break in the wind, Jared hooked up with a solid fish.  After a great fight with some powerful runs, I slipped the fish into the net and Jared was greeted with his first ever Delaware fish, a beautiful silvery brown.  Great job man!

Jared's first look at his fish

Nice one man!

A little while later, I hooked a really good fish, but lost him when he ran right at me and I just couldn’t get tight.  You win some, you lose some.  Shortly thereafter, I decided to walk upstream and see what I could do above Jared.  Just as I got back into the water, I glanced down at Jared just in time to see him come tight to a really good fish.  I rushed down and after an incredible fight with quite a few close calls, we netted the fish, which was Jared’s largest trout ever by far.  He was super stoked and so was I.  We fished for a little while longer, but the sun began to dip behind the mountains and as the temperature dropped, the bugs stopped hatching.  We packed up and headed to Wendy’s, where we then gorged ourselves like the fish and headed home.  It was a rough day, but overall, it was a blast.  Nice job braddah!


This was a super fat fish

"I'm ready for my close-up."

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Well That Didn't Work

Well I had planned quite a few trips over the last few days, but for one reason or another they either fell through or the fishing sucked.  For instance, I drove to the Lehigh Valley and floated the Lehigh River with my buddy Tom on his boat.  There were bugs, there were some rising fish and there were unbelievably powerful winds that totally jacked us up.  I missed one fish on a BWO emerger because the wind put so much slack in my line that I just couldn't get tight.  It got really cold on the water and overall the fishing sucked.  Then I was supposed to head to State College with my friend Shane, but life got in the way and I had to do some stuff around here.  Of course, they dominated fish and had a blast.  Crap.  So me, I've just been fishing Valley almost everyday and having a good time doing it.  I've been catching a lot of fish over there.  Just gotta be willing to walk and get away from other anglers.  I haven't been taking any fish pictures since I figured you guys are getting bored of seeing the "Valley brown in my hand" picture over and over.  I am, however, going to the Catskills tomorrow in search of hatching bugs and rising fish, so hopefully I'll have some more pictures like the one below to post.  I just hope the predicted 20-30 mph winds die down at least a little bit.  Two trips in one week ruined by wind would really make me mad, but I'm gonna stay positive about all this... for now. 

West Branch Beauty 

Monday, April 2, 2012

Small Water and Lots of Fish

On Saturday, I spent the day working at TCO Reading with Jake.  When we closed the shop at 6, we headed to a small local wild trout stream.  The temperature had dropped significantly and the wind had picked up, so the fishing was a little slower than usual, but we each managed to land some fish and enjoy this little creek.  Neither of us remembered to get a fish picture, but I did snap a few pics of the creek and what not.
Jacob through the trees


Today was my first day of my Spring break and I planned to head North for some big water and big fish, but unfortunately my car was out of commission as I waited to the last minute to get it inspected and they couldn't get it done until late today. (Smacks face.)  So when I retrieved my vehicle, I headed to Valley and I was certainly glad I did.  I arrived to find caddis buzzing around and lots of fish eating up top.  I caught a bunch of fish just slowly working upstream blind casting and fishing to the occasional steady riser.  When the caddis hatch began to slow down around 5 or so, the fish started eating midges and olives.  And eat they did.  I caught a ton of fish on a small olive in any piece of flat water.  I fished until I couldn't see the rises anymore as I played the "general area" game when it started getting too dark to see my fly.  I got a couple fish pictures early in the day, but then my phone died.  I also saw about 20 deer and I had a great time messing with them trying to sneak up real close.  I got a crappy picture of a few of them right before my phone died.  Enjoy.  I'm headed to the Lehigh Valley tomorrow, State College later this week and the Catskills next Monday, so stay tuned for lots of pictures and maybe some exciting stories too. 

Fishy number 1

Number 2

Number 3

Silly Deer