Friday, February 25, 2011

Bad Fishing and Galactic

I love snow but hate when it melts. When the cold weather breaks and that snow begins to rapidly melt I think about leaky roofs and cold high streams. I do not like to patch drywall on ceilings from water damage. I do not like when trout get lethargic due to snow melt water leeching into streams. But I fish whenever I can and get lucky at work.

Brian and I decided that a day chasing brook trout in the Laurel Highland Mountains was a good way to spend a Sunday. I did not investigate the local conditions because I already knew that the recent warm weather would spell trouble for the fishing. We decided the fish an old haunt of ours, Jones Mill Run. The hike into the small stream was beautiful with the sight of bare earth and tall trees. We cut off the trail once we spotted water and proceeded to set up rods and talk strategy. The water was gin clear but flowing rapidly and I could only guess it was icy cold. I picked out a slow section and thought it would be my only chance at landing a trout on a dry fly that day. I did not catch a trout in that section. I did not catch a trout all day. We halfheartedly fish up stream a mile until I found a nice log and cracked my beer.

We both knew that catching trout would be a difficult task for the day. We hiked back and had lunch at the truck before moving to Laurel Hill Creek. We noticed a few spin fisherman lined on the bank of the stream as it flows into the lake. Laurel Hill is much larger than Jones Mill and was proving that by the severe flow of water. We opted out from fishing and decided to explore the wonders of nature.

The drive home went quick because it was filled with the excitement of the evenings upcoming concert of Galactic.



Thursday, February 17, 2011

Thoughts of Spring

Don't get excited. This nice weather will end and more snow will fall. It's Febuary, a time for heartbreak and realization. But, today the bubbly thought of spring dictated a few of the days activities.

1) HulaHoop

2) Bluegrass (all day)

3) Elk Hair Caddis


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Birthday Beer

I was under the impression that Victory Brewing Co. was based out of New York, NY. I never purchased it based on my misunderstanding. It is based out of Downingtown, PA.

It was a badass logo and a sickass name.
"The mythical HopDevil resides in the lore of farmers. Our HopDevil is the real deal. Bold, spicy and menacingly delicious. He's the product of distinctive American hops and meticulous craftsmanship. Arising from the heady wilds of our Hopback and gently tamed with time, this Devil makes a great companion!" ~reads the bottle

Beer is a great companion for me because I trust it. This beer is tasty with hops and 6.7%.

I need to make it to International Angler soon and get tying materials for spring time dry flies.


Monday, February 14, 2011

Spring Creek, Centre County, 2/13/11

Managed a two-night trip north to Dubois, PA. Spent Sunday 2/13/11 on Centre Co.’s famous Spring Creek. The forecasted weather showed a high temp. Near 40 with overcast skies. I just thought about snowmelt and how it might affect the water. I thought it best to get in some fishing before the day started to warm, so I managed to get up early and haul east. The truck rang nicely with the tunes of Greensky Bluegrass as I sped east across I-80. That drive always grants me the opportunity to slug coffee and eat oat bars. It also gives me the time to focus on the task of fishing. Where to start? What flies to use? Do I need beer? I’m going to be hungry again soon? Will there be an asshole in my spot? Do I need beer?

I decided on Deer Creek Lane as the first fishing spot for the day. Brian, George and I all got into fish early back in December on this stretch of water. I was fishing alone and had the stretch to myself for several hours. I lost a little rainbow within the first few minute of fishing. I quickly damned the heavens for the lost fish but was quick to smile and breath deep. I promptly landed a few hungry brown trout in the riffles on sz 18 flashback d-rib BWO nymphs.

I walked the bank of the stretch, through a foot of hard snow pack, for the next few hours. I was grinning wildly with the excitement of being back on Spring Creek. I began sight nymph but had little luck finding trout. The fish seemed to be holding tight to the bank. I guess I landed 6 trout in a few hours of fishing. It started getting warm, and I could feel the once hard snow getting sloppy.

My fix of trout was resolved with the mornings fishing. I wanted to change scenery and moved downstream to the “toothbrush hole”. The parking lot had a few cars. I got out and glanced around while munching an apple. A fellow angler appeared in the lot and I decided it was time again to fish. He wanted the lowdown on the days fishing and I gave him a smile with some weird fishing logic. I went downstream and he went up. I found a grove of evergreen trees and decided to just sit in the snow on the banks of the creek amongst the pines and trout. This meditation wore of I was wanted to get another trout in hand before turning home. I feel on my back, gave the sky a look, and got up to fish. I landed one little brown trout before heading back to Dubois for a hot shower and a beer.


Monday, February 7, 2011

Prehistoric Art and Trout Unlimited

"Prehistoric art is thus no more than a remembered impression barely supported by a few hundres finds, the tiny remnant of a vanished whole, which happen to have come down to us because these objects were less perishable than the rest."
                        Andre Leroi-Gourham,
               The Art of Prehistoric Man in Western Europe

I believe that I have always been drawn towards Art but I swear that I am not an Artist. My gratitude for art is displayed in several forms. Most of these forms are highly philosophic and more apt to be considered artistic only by myself. Yet, I work at an art center.

I had my go

Also, I signed my check for my Trout Unlimited membership dues today.
Trout Unlimited


Missed Chance

Sometimes in my life there are moments that define the outcome of the day. I should have gone fishing today. Upper thirties and overcast with slight rain pushing around. Snow and ice should flush out of some of the mountain free stone streams of Western PA. The bigger rivers have seen a pretty good jump gage height. The small streams of the Laurel Highlands would have been a good target for my fishing. But, I just needed the sleep.

I'm sure many other Western PA'ers needed sleep today but for a different reason than I. They drank too many beers and got mad when the Steelers lost the Super Bowl. I found the game to be rather poor but the entire season to be a special one. I'm going to blame Jerry Jones. Good thing Pittsburgh has a great hockey club.

I'm throwing in the towel for the day and having a beer in the shower. I promise a fishing report in next weekend. Its a half-full kinda day.


Friday, February 4, 2011

Beer & Boxes

I ran home to pick up a box of new items that I had shipped to my parents house. New jeans in the trendy dark denim along with a few other loose ends that can be had on the highly addictive Sierra Trading Post. On the way home I added another box to the truck. Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale.

"A clean, well-hopped browe ale with aromatic barley, caramelized brown sugar and whole-leaf Liberty & Golding hops."

Good thing I am well aware of it 7.2% Alc. by Vol. because I can suck these suckers down like soda pop on a summers day. This has become one of my favorite winter beers while fishing. It is a great companion on the stream and adds a nice nightcap at the end of the day.

Sierra Trading Post is the worst. They send me crazy emails and I find crazy deals on things that I actually need. I've spent a few hundred dollars over the years from their site and feel good about my purchases. I never purchase large fly fishing goods from STP because I like to support my local fly shop International Angler. I did however add two bottle of RIO's Poo Goo dry fly floatant to my order. So that box had something related to fly fishing.



Thursday, February 3, 2011

Everbody Must Get Stoned

Just into the month of February and there are reports of hatched little back stoneflies on southwestern PA trout streams in the Laurel Highlands. These flies are really interesting, but tiny in the winter (size of a dime).

(The larger of the three bugs is the Capnidae the other two are midges)

These guys stick out like a sore thumb against the snow and ice.

Well I can't take off and fish just yet. So, I did the next best thing possible for old beertrout and tied a few flies. No many patterns emerged from an internet search, so I started creating my own. I ended up looking at actual photos and thinking an all black ausable skunk type fly would fish well. So I set off creating what is know known to me as the "MIO Skunk".

The Au Sable Skunk is a well known pattern in Michigan
I had to deviate slightly from the traditional pattern due to material constraints.

MIO Skunk

Hook: sz 16 TMC 100

Thread: 8/0 Black Uni

Tail: black moose mane hairs

Body: black dub

Wing: Hi-Viz Ant Body
            black swiss straw

Legs: black rubber
(add hackle is you got it)

I am hopeful that soon enough I can venture out and try the MIO Skunk on some PA trout.