Saturday, December 31, 2011

Erie Tribs

After two days of fishing Spring Creek in State College PA, I had a single day to move out of my apartment before another two days of fishing. The second trip was up to Erie, PA for the steelhead. A place that is home to tributaries that bring lake run stealhead up from the lake starting in late fall and running trough the winter. It's a place that see's a lot of angler pressure but has enough fish to make the days fun.

We started out at a hole that produced fish a few weeks back.

With limited success at this location we decided to get into the truck and drive downstream a few miles. Once at the parking lot there was the decision to be made as to upstream or downstream. Gesus picked downstream and it turned out to be a great choice.

When we made it down to a fishy looking location the weather really started to get worse. The winds picked up and a rainy/snow mix began. This event drove a lot of people from the stream and left us with great water and solitude.

Gesus began to fish a hole that would end up holding enough fish to keep us busy until dark. The top producing fly was one that his dad had given to him. It was a brown stonefly nymph in a size 16.

 The day grew dark and there was a good hike back up to the truck, so we had to call it quiets. There were only three cars left in the lot. A far cry from the nearly two dozen when we started. Spirits were high as we hit the highway for a hot shower, cold beer and a good meal. Our lodgings we too nice for two bums fresh from fishing.

After getting settled in the room it would have been easy to crash- out with room service and cable. Fortunately I had a little trick up my sleeve that gave me a second wind.

I have never been a fan of Samuel Adams for the reason that it was originally brewed in Pittsburgh but is popular for being from Boston. I have gotten over this feeling in the past few years and a case of it for Christmas made it easier to drink. This Coffee Stout is good. It has it's time and place to be drank (like most beer types). After a beer and shower we stayed in the hotel for food. good food.

The beers came first. Magic Hat Howl. A decent winter brew that has a touch of all the classics. Full roasted taste with hints of bread and coffee. A smoky after taste that adds to the aroma of rich malts.

Not overly impressive but a good paring with the meal.

We ended with some good conversation with the waitress, Liz. She wished us the best for tomorrows fishing and brought out two Erie Ol' Red Cease and Desist. A beer the Liz informed us was limited to two per customer because of it's high abv at 10.1%. It had a robust warming element that was probably produced by the intense malt flavor that helped hide the high abv.


We headed up to the room and opened up a PBR before deciding it a good idea to go swimming.

The next day was slow. Not many fish being caught by anyone. Yet a mild day for the end of December and a great way to end up the 2011 fishing season.


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Spring Creek Christmas

On Christmas Evening I went up to the cabin with a few buddies. Topics of conversation included environmental law, trout, evolution of anxiety, and beer while we played games. It was a great evening and the cabin's location allowed us to fish a favorite stream the next day.

With a few hours of sleep we met up with Jaon at the Benner parking lot. With two vehicles we decided it best to spot them in a way that would allow for a lenghty hike. With the newly opened section of the canyon it was a no brainer to focus are attention there. Less than a mile stretch had recently been opened that bridged the gap between Benner Spring and Fishermans Paradise. We would be able to legally fish this section.

As we hiked upstream from the paradise it became evident why the four of us were there. It was a crisp late December day with a stream flow that bordered on perfect. The water was cold (maybe too cold) but the outside temperature was holding in the high thirties. The  fishing was great, the catching not so much. But we shared laughes and insight as the walked upstream through the forest.

We all noticed that the recently opened canyon was seeing an increase in non-angler traffic. This had to do with the massive parking lot that was located on the bank of the creek at Benner Spring. With the traffic came trash, dogs, noise, and a feeling of being watched.

As we drove back to the cabin to pack up for home I decided it would be nice to spend another day fishing. So I would stay another night and fish alone. The forecast looked great with a 10% chance of rain and low 40's. The weather man was wrong and it rained all day.
After a few hours of fishing in the rain it was time to make the drive home. I had four days to move out of my apartment and a feeling that I would be fishing again before the end of the year. The drive was brutal with heavy fog and rains. A single can of beer was a welcomed sight when I arrived back home.


Friday, December 23, 2011

Foam Flies Part II

I went out to International Angler today to pick up some hooks and legs for Montana Hoppers. The rest of the evening was spent working out patterns.

Sitting at the bench
Materials ready
I tied grasshoppers

Step One: Tie in foam with two wraps
Step Two: Segment body
Step Three: Add wing and legs
Step Four: Create head and add indicator foam


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Trout Art

Samuel A. Kilbourne was a mid-seventeenth century painter from Maine. He was highly skilled in landscape paintings that were combined with his love of fishes. Before his death in 1881 he completed a series of illustrations for a book on Game Fish of the United States.

I was fortunate enough to pick up a print done in the 70's by Orvis at a yart sale for $5.00. In classic Ovris form it has a proper English feel to it. Certainly it is a good fit for my apartment.


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Foam Flies

The past few nights have me sitting at the vise learning how to tie terrestrials with 2mm foam. It's been a blast.
@ the vise

There have been a few key points I have learned during this process. Cute girls shop at craft stores. 3M Spray Mount should be used in a well-ventilated area. Good razor blades are crucial. Always have a beer.
small hopper

foam beetles and small hoppers

Thursday, December 1, 2011


I purchased a decent waterproof point&shoot camera a few months ago. Here are a few of my favorite photos (click one for best results)