It has been a weird summer here in the northeast, and I'm not just talking about the weather (more on that later). Our spring was pretty dry, but summer has consisted of strong thunderstorms dumping inches of rain at a clip. It seems like just about the time the rivers get into shape, boom, flood stage. That being said, we have been able to float some streams that normally this time of year are out of the question, and the brook trout streams have been fishing awesome.
Now to the other weird part....lets talk fishing etiquette, or lack of. I'm the type that doesn't even like to see someone else when I'm fishing. Sometimes this isn't possible, especially on some of the more popular rivers, but you can usually keep enough space to be comfortable and respectful of other anglers. Unfortunately, not everyone abides by this, especially in Pennsylvania. In the last week however, some of my faith has been restored. Maybe it is because at this point in the season, only the serious guys seem to be out, and they tend to have a little more etiquette, as they would expect you to do the same for them.
Last week my dad and I were on a freestoner in the northcentral part of the state. Most of the spring creeks were blown due to rain, so we decided to disappear into the mountains where we knew the water, despite being up, would be clear. We had plans to fish the main stream for an hour or two for browns, then head up one of the tribs to chase some brookies. We no sooner pull in, and a guy pulls up next to us. I couldn't freaking believe it. I was thinking, here we go, but we are going to disappear up the trib soon that almost no one fishes, so I can deal with it for an hour or two.
I roll my window down and he asks, "you fishing here or one of the tribs". Well, just him asking that, I knew he was going exactly where I wanted to go later. I told him our plans for the day, and was shocked at his response. He told us he was also going up the same trib we were later, but he would only fish up to the "second cabin" and leave the rest for us. I couldn't believe it! About two hours later, I see his truck go down the road, so we headed back to the vehicle to take our turn on the trib. On my windshield is a note detailing how far up he fished, that they were eating anything that floats (typical for brookies), and to enjoy. Eric, you have restored my faith! If by some miracle you read this, thank you! My dad had a blast catching some nice brookies on the zero weight!
Then this weekend, I went back up to explore some more. Again, pull in, guy pulls in right next to me. But he proceeds to ask where I am fishing, and says he will fish the big water if I'm going up the trib. After talking to him for a few minutes, I find out he primarily fishes dries, but doesn't do any tying. So I handed him a few flies, and we went our separate ways. Again, another great day on the water. Just wish I had run into him at the end of the day to see how he did, but he was gone by the time I reemerged from the canyon. So thanks to the two guys I didn't want to see, but glad I did.
Below are some photos from the last week of floating for smallmouth and chasing brookies.