Rick and I fished together this past Sunday. We got a bit of a late start and didn't arrive to our spot until late afternoon. Rick dropped me off at the upper section and he drove back around to the bottom end of the river. The plan was for Rick to fish up from the bottom end. I would start at the top and fish all the way through then we would meet up at dark. The scenery was awesome as the Autumn colors were really starting to pop.
I figured Rick would be throwing dries all day (which he did) and I would be throwing streamers. My choice this week was a new articulated fly I have been working with, Kelly Gallup 's pearl necklace. I tied these in a rainbow trout color scheme figuring this would get the browns fired up. It turns out that would be an understatement.
Just like last time it took quite a while for me to get my first take. I was actually questioning my fly choice when I landed my first fish, a nice healthy brown. My guess is when the water warmed up in the late afternoon the fish got much more active. It seemed that between 2:00 and 4:30 were definitely the most active periods. When I met up with Rick he had similar thoughts. The funny thing is even with the fish not being very active at first once they got going it seemed I couldn't strip fast enough. I would actually start stripping as soon as the fly hit the water. The fish that hit the streamer absolutely crushed it. Hitting broadside at lightning speed. This is why I love streamer fishing, especially when the water is Crystal clear like it was on Sunday.
At the end of the day Rick and I both had great days on the water. The size 16 caddis was the preferred dry and a few were landed on a copper John dropper.
Whether streamers are your preference or dry and dropper gets your nod, these next few weeks are great times to be out on the river.
The new G Loomis NRX LP has arrived in a big way. By winning the 5 wt shootout Loomis has solidified itself among the best of the best in fly rod manufactures. The LP stands for 'Light Presentation". These types of rods are making a big surge on the market this year with many manufactures jumping on the "presentation" rod bandwagon and for good reason. This is how Loomis describes their new line of LP rods: When conditions call for long, delicate casts using extremely light leaders to help you fool spooky fish, the NRX LP rods are the answer. They are smooth casting, soft tapers for managing long, whisper-thin leaders and small to medium-sized dry flies. They track true for exceptional accuracy and control, plus they are light as a feather with beautiful lines, featuring select species cork and your choice of our original, stealthy look in matte black with bright blue wraps or a more traditional Evergreen with subtle green wraps and silver trim. When the fish get finicky and the water gets low and clear you will have the answer... NRX LP!
Here is the link to the results of the 2013 5 wt shootout.
We have the NRX LP in stock now and ready to cast. Who knows, The next rod you own just may be the 2013 5 wt shootout winner.
Last week brought with it a huge rain storm on Friday into Saturday night. Cooler weather moved through after the storm and some great fishing was had later in the week. All of our local rivers are fishing well right now and the recent rain seems to have the water levels holding, at least for now. We need these rains to continue through April and May to ensure we have good water to fish through the summer.
Reports from the White Clay continue to be positive. With the Pennsylvania and Delaware sections of the river receiving fresh stockings of fish on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, all branches of the "Clay" are full of fish. Attractor patterns will work well on the fresh stockies, and the Green Weenie is hard to beat. Buggers in all colors will bring many fish to hand as well as attractor type wets and large, bright streamers. If you prefer to fish on top we have many great attractor dries, Wolfs, Stimulators and Humpys are all great choices. If you prefer to stay on the science side of things Caddis seem to be coming on strong the last week or so. As reported last time we saw a blanket Caddis hatch on the Brandywine while scouting for Shad two weeks ago. Plenty of Caddis larva are under the rocks right now and as the temps continue to rise these guys should become more and more active.
One of our good customers reported good topwater action on the east branch of the Brandywine last week. Greg said the fish were rising every night and a #14 tan Elk Hair Caddis was the ticket. Two evenings were good to Greg as he had double-digit totals both times he was out. The section at the "wall" seems to be particularly productive. Anyone who has fished this river knows about the wall. I had a great morning there a few years ago. This was the first time I purposefully fished a dry under water. I was fishing a dry and dropper rig with a Elk Hair Caddis on top and a Bead Head off of the bend. The first two fish I landed took the Caddis as it swung down stream and the drag on the line and leader submerged the dry. I clipped the dropper off, put a micro shot in front of the dry and fished it on the swing like a soft hackle. Remember, go to school on the first few fish you get and let them tell you what they want.
The west branch of the Octoraro continues to produce. Again, Caddis seem to dominate the hatch and a dry and dropper rig would be deadly on that water right now. Be sure your Caddis box is well stocked for the next two or three weeks as this should be the predominate hatch until we get to the best time of year for the Trout fisherman in our area, Sulphur time.
We are getting half a dozen calls a day asking about the Shad and if it is time yet. Through our own scouting trips, reports from the "rat squad" and our good customers are as follows; Deer Creek was barren at the end of last week into this week. We had several reports from people who had fished the river, many reports from different times of the day. All of the reports were the same. The guys at the mouth of Deer Creek and out in the river were getting some Hickories in fair numbers, but no fish had moved up into Deer Creek yet. About mid week things seemed to change a bit. Some Herring and male Hickories were moving up and had been spotted up at the pumping station. The female Shad that had been caught were still full and not spawned yet. The weather for this weekend looks promising. I just might ride down Sunday evening and check things out for myself.
These reports are changing daily. Please feel free to call the shop and get an instant, real time report. See you on the water.
The past two weeks have been a great time for local trout fisherman. The White Clay is absolutely full of fish. The main stem, both branches in Delaware and Pennsylvania as well as the delayed harvest section have all received several stockings of good fish. The "White Clay" survival pack as we have been calling it in the shop consists of the Green Weenie, The San Juan Worm and the Woolly Bugger. These have all been quite popular patterns. I spent some time on the east branch Sunday morning and found several fat Rainbows willing to eat my #16 Copper John. Switching back and forth from "tight line" and "indicator" nymphing proved to be a extremely effective way to cover the water. My new favorite rig is a #8 Walt's Worm tied with a ton of weight as a point fly and the Copper John tied as a dropper. Two weeks ago on a wild trout stream the Walt's Worm was more productive and the Copper John was not, go figure. I would think it would be the other way around. Water temp on the Clay Sunday morning was 44 degrees. I did see Midges hatching around 9:30. No fish were rising to them, but, anytime you see bugs, that is a good sign. Based on the new entries to our Picture Sharing Page I would say many other people have been having success as well.
All sections of the White Clay will continue to receive good stockings of fish until the middle of May. This should allow for good, local fishing for quite some time.
As mentioned earlier Rick and I spent last Sunday (4-7) fishing together. We had a great day fishing for wild Browns. I started with tandem nymph rig with a few fish taking the Walt's Worm. We then moved to a trib of the main river. The water level was alarmingly low (this was before the Friday storm) so I switched to a dry and dropper. After the warm days we had two weeks ago the water temp here was pushing 50 degrees and the bug action was great. We found BIG clingers in the water, as well as Caddis larva, smaller clingers and some Black Stones. I only managed 1 fish on the dropper, the red Copper John when all of a sudden the fish started to take the dry. At one point the dropper hung in a rock and I had to break it off. I didn't tie it back on and just fished with the dry. The fish were taking Stones. Rick was using his CDC Black Stone and I was fishing a Stimulator. Here are a few shots from that day.
The East Branch of the Brandywine is fishing well. Greg, one of our customers, spent a few nights up there last week and reported good top water action. Browns were rising to midges three nights in a row. CDC puffs, Sprout Midges and Griffiths Gnats are all productive patterns. Be sure to have a few Caddis imitations with you as well. We saw a blanket hatch of Caddis on the Brandywine while scouting for Shad last night.
The White Clay Fly Fishers had an outing on the West Branch of the Octoraro a week or so ago. All reports were positive about the outing and the fishing. The West branch has been fishing well for a month now. Attractor flies will work on the fresh stocked fish. As the fish are in the river for a bit they will become more acclimated to natural feeding habits. This is when you want to switch to more natural patterns. Pheasant Tails, Midge Larva, and Hares Ears are all great choices. Steve Burke wrote a great article summarizing the event, it was published in the clubs news letter that all members receive. If you are not a member you might want to check them out. They are a great organization.
As mentioned earlier we are keeping a close eye on the Shad, both Hickories and Americans. We have received a few spotty reports from Deer creek as well as the Brandywine. A scouting trip last night produced only marginal sightings of Hickories and no Americans. It was nice to knock the rust off of the two handed cast last night. Jared did manage to bring one Hickory to hand. We did see a true blanket hatch of Caddis right at dark. Believe me, nobody wants the Shad here more than me, it just isn't happening yet. We will put the word out as soon as we find them in fishable numbers.
With the Trout rivers rocking and the Shad run right around the corner these are some of the best times of the year. Get out and fish!
Well, I must say I am a little bummed as I write this because this is the last of the 6 week winter fly tying classes. The past six weeks have been a fun and informative time hopefully for everyone. I know it was for me. We will get a week break and then go right into the Smallmouth class. I am really looking forward to that as I think that class will be a blast.
The Tuesday class came full circle with the Catskills style Adams. We dressed it up a bit with the use of McFlylon for the wings. We used red to make the pattern a "high-vis" version of the original. Everyone did a great job as the results were impressive.
Lets take a look at some homework first.
I wanted to share this picture with everybody. This is Andrew's fly box. It was empty when we started the class 6 weeks ago as Andrew just started to tie. I have often said if you come to class, embrace the instruction, do your homework, and you will have a nice selection of flies to start the season with. Well, I think this picture says it all. Looks like Andrew will be ready once Trout season gets into full swing.
Here we see Terry doing the intro to the class.
Here we see the McFlylon wing being applied to the hook. We used white in the class, then Terry did another fly later with a red wing. We were really digging the red!
As we progress through the fly the body was dubbed and the hackle was wrapped. Everyone really did a great job with this fly. The Adams is not the easiest of ties and we are proud to say the guys nailed it.
And here is the final result with the red wing. Tying quality dry flies is an art form in my opinion. Terry did a great job, as always with this fly, it is a pleasure to watch a great tyer tie a clean fly.
If we had any doubts about how much the Wednesday class liked the "hatch' class we did last week all we had to do was take a look at the homework. Everyone did a great job and brought in some really nice flies. Lets take a look.
We had a few requests to do a "Weave" class again this year. That was awesome for me because I love tying woven flies and was excited to teach again. The first pattern was a Polish woven Caddis Larva. This was a repeat of a fly we did last year, I figured that would be a good way to knock the rust off. The second fly we did was a variation of a fly called the Cary Special. We used the Pheasant rump feathers, but substituted the body with a split knot weave. Lets take a look at some of the guys in action.
Terry D and Chris set up and ready to start the weave. Gotta love when 3 bobbins are hanging off of the fly!
Here are the completed flies. The Polish woven Caddis on top and the Cary special variation on the bottom. I had a blast teaching this class, Thank you for allowing me to do it.
Spoon flies were the theme for the Thursday night Saltwater class. We did two flies with two very different types of construction. The first one was the wire epoxy method. For this fly you tie a piece of wire on both sides of the hook shank at the bend. You then attach the wire at the hook eye making the shape of the spoon. The space is then filled up with epoxy. The second spoon was constructed by pressing an old metal spoon into a blob of Silly putty forming a mold. You then place the hook in the mold, fill up the space with your favorite UV resin, hit it with the UV light and you have a simple, effective fly. Lets take a look at a few pictures from the class.
The guys getting ready. Look at that plate of Zucchini bread in the middle! The Tuesday and Wednesday classes should take notice of this.
Here are the mold products Silly Putty (really, the same stuff we played with as kids) and Crazy Aaron's thinking putty. www.puttyworld.com Note the Loon UV clear in the back round.
We would like to thank all of the participants in the winter classes. We hope you had as much fun learning as we did teaching. These were some of the strongest classes we have had to date and we owe that to you, our valued customers.
Thank you all!
The Tuesday night class moved from under the water's surface to on top of it this week as we tied the Elk Hair Caddis by Pennsylvania's own Al Troth. For many in the class this was their first attempt at a dry fly and the results were outstanding. We can really see the progression and improvement by the tiers in this class. Before we get to the Caddis fly lets take a look at some homework from last week.
Cory missed a a couple of classes and came in for a few private lessons to get caught up. By the look of his block he is doing a great job of making up for lost time. For more information about private lessons click here.
I failed to get a picture of some flies Jim R tied. He did not have the pearl mylar at home so he decided to use silver tinsel for the wing case. I must say these were some of the coolest flies we have seen in a while. Good job with a material substitution Jim.
A few shots of the class intro.
Here Robbie is getting ready to wrap the hackle over his dubbed body. Good to see he is giving that new Regal vise he got for Christmas a good workout.
Here Terry is putting the stacked wing on top, the last step to finishing the fly.
A pattern that is just too versatile not to have plenty of these in your box. You can drift it like a normal dry, you can skate it, or you can even drown it with split shot and fish it under the surface. Tied in black it is a great match for our early black Stoneflies that we usually start to see in March. Just a great all around pattern, we are happy you guys now have the skill to tie it.
It was hatch night in the Wednesday night class. We have had a few requests to "tie through a hatch" so we decided to tie a 3 stage Sulphur life cycle consisting of an nymph, emerger, and a sparkle dun. The flies were received great by the class and this is something we will do more of in the future. I was really excited to see the homework from last week. Here you go.
Here are two flies tied by Terry D. I am really excited about this pattern and cant wait to get it on the Smallmouth river this spring. Ed, Paul, Jimmy T, Nelson, Brian and Chris all had GREAT homework samples. I guess they looked so good I forgot to photograph them, Sorry guys.
Biot bodies was the theme of the night as all 3 flies we tied used Turkey biots for the bodies. A Pheasant Tail is spot on representation for the Sulphur nymph. The pattern we tied was very PT like, but we added an Ice Dub thorax.
Here is the finished fly. I really like the look of biot body flies!
For the emerger we followed the same tying progression. Instead of the Pheasant fiber wing case we did a "sighter" using a dubbing ball of Ice Dub on top of the shank. A really cool technique that has a ton of possiabites for many other patterns.
The nymph is in the hackle pliers on the bottom and the emerger is in the vise on top. Two great patterns for Sulphur season.
For our third pattern of the night we followed the same tying progression as the second, we just replaced the sighter with a poly wing. This pattern could represent many different stages of a Mayfly's life; late emerger, dun, or spinner.
This class was a blast. We tied three flies and showed the guys how using similar techniques and similar materials you can tie your way through an insect hatch rather quickly. Hopefully you guys will apply this system to other flies and insects. Who knows, you all might be carrying "hatch boxes" this spring.
It was a three fly night in the salt class this week also. We tied a Schminnow, Gary's Albie fly and a Andros Bonefish fly that was showed to us by our good shop friend Andrew Neithe. All three of these flies have crossover potential and can be fished in our local waters. I have caught many a Smallmouth on the Schminnow, originally designed by Norm Ziegler as a Snook fly. The Andros Bonefish fly could be a Crayfish and I am sure a big 'ole Flounder would have no trouble trying to eat one of them. Gary's Albie fly is an all around great bait fish pattern, quick to tie and effective everywhere. Lets take a look at the class.
Looks like the Ostrich is already on the tail and Jim is getting ready to palmer the cross cut Rabbit up the hook shank.
The finished fly. K.I.S.S. method at its best here. Why is it that the most versatile, effective patterns are usually the fastest and easiest to tie?
The next series of pictures shows the guys going through the progression of the Andros bone fish fly.
Last but not least was the Schminnow. Again a simple yet extreamly effective pattern that can be tied with only 3 materials. You can make these as simple or as elaborate as you want and the color options are endless.
As a capper to a great week of fly tying Jim shared with us the plaque he won for taking first place honors in the tying contest held by the Salt Water Fly Anglers of Delaware a few weeks ago. Congratulations Jim.
Well It is good to be bringing you the first fishing report of 2013. We hope all of you had a great holiday season and that Santa brought all of the things you asked for. Now with all of the hoopla of the holidays in the rear view mirror it is time to get out and hit the streams for some winter Trout fishing. As many of you have heard me say, winter time can be some of very best fishing of the year. Cold weather means less people and lightened angling pressure. You can always dress for the cold and with a few modifications in your tactics you can have some very productive days in the dead of winter. (to read a few tips on dressing for the weather click here) Grab your midge box filled with #18 thru #24 Zebra Midges, Throw in a few CDC Puffs or Griffith Gnats for action on top and you are set. Mid day hours, 10:00 am till 4:00 pm, rule this time of year with the most productive time being the late afternoon when the temperature reaches its peak. Usually around 3:00. Get in the mental mindset of small flies, light tippet (6 or 7x) and MANY drifts and you will be on your way. Even after several hours of hard fishing 3 fish in the dead of winter is a good day, and it is not uncommon to catch the "skunk" as I did on Sunday. All of that being said any time on the river is a good time, so get out there and give it a go. I think you will be glad you did.
Terry, Rick and I headed to the Gunpowder this past Sunday. When we arrived at the steel bridge at Macemore We were greeted with an overly full parking lot, lots of fog, and 44 degree water temps. It was nice to see that a fishing trail had been dedicated to Lefty. There was a nice bronze plaque that I failed to get a picture of. If you are ever in the area you should check it out. It is a pretty cool read.
Terry and I went down stream and Rick opted to fish above the steel bridge. It was obvious the nice weather had everybody thinking the same thing. A quick look at the banks and the amount of footprints let us know we were playing "second fiddle" as the stretch had been fished hard the last few days and in the morning before we got there. I started with my favorite winter Gunpowder rig, a #16 green Copper John and a #20 black Zebra midge under an indicator. Throughout the day that evolved to a dry and dropper set up consisting of a #14 Simulator with a #22 KF flasher AND a #18 bead head PT. Having no luck with ether set up I switched to a Zoo Cougar for the last half hour with similar results.
Terry had a little better luck with two hook ups. I believe both came on a Zebra midge under a Simulator. Terry said both fish were typical wild Gunpowder browns in the 8 to 10" range. Rick had the hot hand of the day with 5 fish coming to hand. Rick was letting his nymph rig swing all the way below him and all the fish he got hit the fly on the dangle. My hat is off to you Rick, I don't think I would have figured that one out.
I must say it was a nice day to be out even without a fish landed for me. Any day on the river is a good day, especially when you can spend it with good friends.
The White Clay still holds a large number of fish. the nice weather this past week brought out the anglers. Water temps in the low 40's have the fish down and finding active fish is a must. If you see fish that look like they are stuck to the bottom with Velcro, move on. Look for fish that are off the bottom and moving up and down within the water column. These are the active, feeding fish we are looking for and these are the ones you want to fish to. Red has always been a go to color on the Clay with a preferred rig being a #16 red Copper John and a #22 red Zebra midge. Griffiths Gnats, or small dark bodied Midge imitations should work if fish are rising. Sculpin imitations or dark Buggers should bring a few fish to hand as well.
The East Branch of the Brandywine as well as the West Branch of the Octoraro should fish well during warmer periods of the day. Don't forget these great local rivers.
Schoolie Bass can be found at the local beaches and we had a report of Puppy Drum off the surf last week.
Plenty of fishing opportunities are available to us during the winter months. Dress warm and get out there.
It has been quite a busy few weeks since the last report. We Hope everybody had a happy and safe Thanksgiving. Hopefully you were able to get out on one of our local streams during the extended holiday weekend. Local Trouting remains strong and we have had good reports from the White Clay, West branch of the Octoraro, and the East Branch of the Brandywine. Realize we are getting very close to full blown winter fishing conditions. Water temps have been hovering at or around 40 degrees and the water is thin and gin clear. Now is the time to get real friendly with your micro nymph box. Zebra midges in black or red will carry most of my winter fishing duty. The deadly tandem of a KF Flasher (a Zebra midge with a Krystal flash wing) and a tungsten Zebra, black with a silver bead and rib will always produce underneath. On top CDC puffs are one of my favorite Midge drys (thanks Rick for teaching me this pattern) or a Griffiths Gnat should get the job done. Remember all of these flies are a size 20 or smaller, told ya it was winter time! Prime times to be on the water are from 10:00 am till about 2:00 pm. That is what Rick did last week. He said he had solid action on top for over 2 hours. In that time several fish came to hand including these 2 beauties. all on a CDC puff.
Terry guided Dr John last Monday for the first guide trip of the winter season. They met at the shop at 11:00 and were on the water by 11:45. They fished till dark and had a wonderful afternoon. Bug action on top was minimal so they started off drifting 2 nymphs under an indicator. They spent the day working up river switching between a tandem indicator rig and a dry and dropper. It is kind of ironic that on a day with minimal bug activity that the biggest fish of the day would come on the attractor dry they were using as an indicator...a stout, 18" brown. Several fish were landed that day including a 5" rainbow with par marks on the sides. "Definitely a wild fish" Terry says, a great sign. We haven't seen a wild fish on that particular river in over 10 years. A great day on the river was capped off by a mature Bald Eagle flying overhead at dusk. Sounds like an awesome day, I wish I had been there with you.
If you have ever met Doc you know he is one of the nicest, most genuine people you will ever meet. He was in the shop recounting his day on the river with me and you could tell he had a blast. He told me he actually went home that night and tried to write down as many of the things that Terry taught him that day as he could remember. I have the feeling this is not the last time Doc and the boss will spend a day on the river.
For more information on our guided trips check out the "Guiding" tab on the home page. Give us a call and book a day on the water, like Dr John, you will be glad you did.
WCFF Holiday Stocking
As we approach Christmas we all should be thinking about the Holiday Stocking program that the White Clay Fly Fishers do every year. Please stop by the shop and take a look at the beautiful rod that is up for raffle. Rick Daring built an awesome Gatti 5 weight and then donated it to the club to raffle off to raise money for the Holiday Stocking. 100% of the money raised will go the the purchase of fish to be stocked in the middle branch of the White Clay. Last year enough money was raised to put almost 1200 fish in the river. They were stocked right after Christmas and we had good fishing through the winter months. We have the rod on display at the shop, stop by, take a look, and get a few tickets. WCFF and A Marblehaed Flyfisher inc thank you for your support of a great cause.
Well in the almost two weeks following Hurricane Sandy have been interesting. We have seen our rivers swell to overwhelming proportions only to return very quickly to normal or below normal flows. Things at IRI are a mess with Rt 1 south being closed for several days due to sand on the roadway. If you are down that way please stop in and support out friends down south at Old Inlet Bait and Tackle. Reports were almost 20 inches of water in the shop. I am sure they could use some good business.
Rick and I did get out on Sunday the 4th. This would mark the first time this year we went to heavy socks, fleece pants, and Windstopper hats and gloves. The air temp didn't get too far into the 40's that day, water temp's were around 49. The water was high and running hard, but it was clear. Surprising as we were only a few days removed from the Hurricane. Long leaders, lots of weight. and tandem nymph rigs were the order of the day.
We started at the first productive spot and "leap frogged" each other up the river. I started with a #14 prince and a #16 Flashback PT. I believe Rick had a Copper John and a PT. We were fortunate enough to get in to fish relatively quickly, This wild brown was the first to come to hand for me.
We continued moving up stream at a snails pace being sure to cover a piece of water thoroughly before moving on. Winter conditions were in full effect as it seemed as if the drift was not absolutely perfect the fish would not take.
As we moved up river We both noticed fish striking at our indicators. I actually had a trout hit the indicator, roll down and had it pulling for a few seconds. He just would not let go. All of a sudden the line went slack. I pulled up my rig and my indicator was gone. The Trout pulled it right off of the leader. I yelled up stream to Rick to show him, then I thought "I hope he is smart enough to spit it out". We looked down stream and could see it floating away. It was one of the weirdest things I have ever seen.
After that we both switched to a Dry and Dropper set up. Rick stuck with that the rest of the day, I on the other hand, spent the afternoon switching from a tandem indicator rig to a D and D set up. I just could not decide which was better. I would fish a run with the D and D set up, then go back and come back through with the tandem rig. It was an effective way to cover the water, but I spent a lot of time tying rigs.
All in all we had a great day capped off by this beautiful rainbow Rick landed right at dark. Even though we were cold, tired and hungry when we got back to the truck, I believe it was worth every minute of it.
Reports from the White Clay, West branch of the Octoraro and the East Branch of the Brandywine have been positive. Water temps are holding in the low to mid 50's. Fish are there to be had with the most active times being the hours between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm. Caddis and Midges have been coming off with some regularity. A #16 tan body Elk Hair Caddis with a bead head Caddis larva or a Zebra Midge would be a deadly combo. A small Bugger in a size 10 swung in the current should produce fish as well. In the winter we usually tend to stay on the darker side of things and black, brown, or olive would be a good choice. If you get no action try white or chartreuse. The main thing is to cover the water thoroughly before moving on. Patience is the most important piece of equipment you can have in winter time fishing.
As mentioned earlier the storm has wreaked havoc on the IRI area. Bill O'Connor was at the inlet this past weekend. He fished the North Jetty. He said the water was still pretty cloudy and there were very few birds working. The bait folks were doing ok with the Tog, but not much in the way of Stripers. Bill did see a few small pods of bait fish, but no fish were on them.
We have some warmer weather coming up this week. That might help our salt water fishing for next weekend. In the meantime Trout fishing should hold strong through the winter.
As I drove into the shop today I was amazed at the color of the landscape and how the trees looked in full fall dress. Unfortunately if we get the storm they are saying we will get, my guess is it will all be gone by Wednesday. I will also be curious to see what the sudden burst of water will do to the fish that are already in all of our local rivers. I guess we will just have to wait and see exactly what Sandy brings us.
Terry, Rick and I did get out on Sunday and had a great afternoon. Terry and I opted to fish the upper section and Rick fished the lower reaches.
At the top Terry and I split up and he walked to the middle section and I stayed up top. Figuring it was Fall and thinking the Browns would be ready to strap on the feed bag I started fishing my favorite streamer the Zoo Cougar. I had worked my way downstream for about an hour and didn't have a take. After I saw the third fish spook off of the streamer I decided it was time to change. My only reasoning is the Gin clear water must have had something to do with the fishes rejection of my tried and true Zoo Cougar. After spending some time looking under rocks I found some SMALL clinger nymphs, probably a size 20. I rigged up a dry and dropper rig with a #16 tan Caddis on top and a #18 Pheasant Tail as the dropper. Shortly after switching I stuck my first fish, a decent Brown.
I continued working my way downstream where I met up with the boss. He was working a run quite efficiently so I just stood back, snapped a few pictures, and watched.
After meeting and talking I thought it kind of cool that we both had on basically the same rig. We had not talked since we split up some 3 hours earlier, but using what we saw on and in the water we both came to the same conclusion. I guess great minds truly do think alike.
We continued fishing back up river together and Terry landed one more good one before we came up on a pod of rising fish. "Rising" is a loose term in this case, these fish were literally coming all the way out of the water after something. We fished over these fish for about 15 minutes with no joy. We both tried several flies and presentation and just ran out of time before we could figure it out. With darkness coming and a steady 30 minute hump to get back to the truck we decided to tip our hat, admit defeat and head out. I guess that is why they call it fishing, not catching.
After getting back to the truck and gearing down we met up with Rick at the bottom section. Rick reported similar results and had the same "rising action" we had up top.
All in all it was a great day to be on the water. The weather was perfect, the fish were cooperative, and we all had a great time. It is days like this that keep us coming back for more.
Rat squadder "One Boot" Ed was in the shop on Friday. He picked up a new 8.5 foot 4 weight Sage VXP. The VXP is a great rod that offers more than the price would suggest. Ed gave the new stick a workout on the West branch of the Octoraro on Saturday. Judging by the pictures I would say he must have a new "lucky" rod.
The San Juan worm was the fly that morning. Ed says the water was 58 degrees, a bit warmer than the week before when it was around 54. Great job Ed, Hope you enjoy the new rod.
We received good reports from the White Clay, Valley, and The East Branch of the Brandywine this week also. Hopefully after the storm blows out we will have good fishing next week as well.
Keep up to date on all things flyfishing.