Monday, November 18, 2013

Trout Tails - November 18, 2013

I have spent most of the fall bird hunting due to the low water and poor fishing conditions in my favorite fall brown trout locations.  The pheasant hunting has been good, but I was itching to do some fishing.  Brad and I decided to head up to Erie to check out the tribs for a couple days.  It always amazes me how good of a time you can have, even when the trip doesn't turn out as planned. 

Day one started out with cold air and water temps.  Broke a rod before even leaving the parking lot!  Not off to a good start.  Despite good color, the cold water really had the fish sluggish.  We did manage a few the first two days, but did not light the world on fire by any stretch. 

The last two days gave way to warmer air and water temps, which definitely had the fish more active, but the water had cleared substantially.  They were spooky, but if you could manage not to spook them, they were willing to eat.  At some point in the last ten minutes of the trip, and I guess it was good it was the last ten minutes, I managed to drop my fly box in the drink somewhere....there goes 300 flies.  Thankfully it was mainly glo-bugs and spawn and in about 2 hours last night I already replaced half of them.  All in all though a good trip.  Hope to get back up this winter at some point.  Honestly it felt a little odd steelhead fishing in the mid 50's the last two days. 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

LECAL Program

For those fishing the PA Erie tribs this year and interested in helping out, contact Mike Hosack at PFBC (see announcement below):

Hello, for those who have never met me my name is Mike Hosack and I am a fisheries biologist working out of the Lake Erie Research Unit office in Fairview. We have recently reestablished our Lake Erie Cooperative Angler Logbook (LECAL) program and are in the process of recruiting volunteers. To qualify, and individual needs to intend to fish for Steelhead Trout or Brown Trout in the Lake Erie watershed this season (one trip is sufficient). Data collected from the LECAL program will be used to measure and track fishery performance and to evaluate management actions.  Additionally, the logbook contains optional entries for recording personal observations and field notes and can serve as a fishing diary.  If you (and/or your family/friends/acquaintances)  wish to participate, I will mail a logbook, instructions, and a stamped, self-addressed return envelope to your office or to a supplied address for each volunteer.  After all data has been entered and analyzed, your logbook will be returned with a report containing individual and combined fishery statistics, along with a new logbook and a self-addressed stamped envelope for the following season if you indicate on this season’s logbook that you are willing to continue to participate in the LECAL program.  Your participation in the LECAL program will help improve Steelhead Trout and Brown Trout fishery management in the Lake Erie watershed and for those willing to participate, we thank you for your cooperation.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Trout Tails - September 22, 2013

Brad and I headed out for our annual Yellowstone trip last week.  The flight out was pretty smooth, we arrived in Bozeman around 10:30pm, picked up our bags, and some supplies before heading to Gardiner.  Rolled into Gardiner about 1:30 am and caught a few hours of sleep before hitting the Yellowstone bright and early. Most of the trip this year focused on the Cutthroat waters (Yellowstone, Lamar, Soda Butte, etc.).  They are having a low water year this year, and many of our hotspots for bigger browns and rainbows were too low to fish.

I messed up my ankle pretty bad the second day, and had to make a trip back to Bozeman to get a new pair of boots from Simms.  Not sure why, but the ones I had gave me one hell of a bone bruise to where I could barely walk.  As expected, Simms took care of me.  Even though the damage was done, the new boots and several Advil each morning, allowed me to finish out the week.  Since we were outside the park that day, we decided to fish the Boulder above Big Timber.  While public access can be a little tricky on this stream, you couldn't ask for much better scenery. 

Overall, fishing was pretty good.  Hoppers, hoppers, and more hoppers.  Even took a couple cuts on mice patterns.  A cold front with some rain moved in the last two days, and slowed the hopper fishing, but we still had spurts of good fishing.  The trip home was fraught with mechanical delays, cancellations, lost luggage, and overall lack of customer service from US and United.  It would take pages to describe all the issues we had to deal with.  I guess at least it happened on the way home instead of the way out.

We did shoot a bunch of video, but it will take some time to go through.  Hopefully I will get it up sometime soon.

Yellowstone Cut

One of the few Browns from the Gardiner.  Water was low and we decided to pretty much leave it alone this trip.

Lamar Cut

Double Rainbow on Soda Butte

Soda Butte

Even Cuts like Mice

Simms New Building

Boulder River

Black Canyon of the Yellowstone.  Treacherous Fishing, but worth it.

Upper Soda Butte

Monday, September 2, 2013

Trout Tails - September 2, 2013

Don't get me wrong, I love to fish (no kidding, right), but sometimes it is more about just getting away and hanging out with old friends, and making some new ones.  My buddy Todd Bowersox just opened his new shop (Allegheny River FlyFishing Company) in Warren PA, and the long weekend made it a perfect time to go up and check it out and decompress.  Anyone looking to fish the Allegheny definitely needs to give him a call!!!  Not too many people know the river or the town better than him. 

So Friday, I loaded the dog and all the gear up and headed west to meet up with Todd and his friend Mike for a little cast and blast weekend.  Early Saturday, we hit the river.  Fishing was good early, but the sun and warmer temps seem to put the fish down towards the afternoon.  Had good action most of the morning including one pretty nice smallmouth.  About mid float, had a monster  absolutely crush the fly, but he rolled hard on it and you could have heard the snap a mile down stream.  Finished the day with a few cold beverages downtown before calling it a night. 


Todd had clients Sunday morning, so Mike and I ran shuttles for him and just hung out/explored town.  In the afternoon we headed over to the range to shoot a little trap, then back to town for some drinks and pool. 

Woke up early Monday and took a nice drive through the Allegheny National Forest on the way home.  All in all, an awesome weekend.  Now it is time to get stuff packed up for Yellowstone.  T-4 days....I hear some cutthroats and browns calling my name!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Trout Tails - July 14, 2013

Brad and I have been trying to get to the Schuylkill the last couple weeks, but all the thunderstorms have kept the waters high and off color.  Friday, we finally got our chance.  Left "bright" and early and were on the water by around 830.  The Schuylkill is a river that has historically been abused, but has made a great comeback.  We pounded fish all day...easily each caught at least 50 fish each!  Smallmouth, decent sized fall fish, rock bass, a couple sunnies, even a brown and a rainbow.  We caught just about everything except a toothy critter.  Also saw some some monster catfish and carp, but couldn't get them to eat.  It seemed like we had a fish on about every 5th cast, it was unreal.  Brad had one monster of a fish on early, that pulled the boat across the stream, but it ran him under a down tree along the bank, made one monster splash, and it was over.  All we saw was a big white belly.  Steady rain all afternoon kept the photos at a minimum, but didn't effect the fishing at all. 

The way to fish this is definitely to float it, and no one knows the water better than Jake Villwock at TCO Reading.  If you are looking to fish here, I highly recommend you give him a call (610-678-1899) and book a float!!!  Check out Jake's blog for some photos from a few of his trips.  Here are some shots I got from ours before the rain made me hide the camera for the day.