Sunday, March 31, 2013

It Was Wet on Both Sides of The Thin Line Today

After a late morning brunch with family and friends, I headed out on my annual Easter Sunday fishing excursion.  I started this traditional with my oldest daughter Megan sixteen years ago, when she was 10, and I've made it out every year since.  Although my kids no longer join me, they are always with me in spirit when I fish.  That first year, Vinnie and I took Megan to a trout filled lake on a warm, windless Easter after an early dinner that made she and I restless.  She landed 8 trout while Vinnie and I coached her through the process.  I still remember the day like it was yesterday; her ear-to-ear, dimple-cheeked smile as she held up each trout by the leader just after she fought and landed it.  We released each of the fish, much to her delight. Megan was so happy they were going to live....and that she didn't have to touch them.

And today I continued the tradition by heading out to a PA limestone creek for a few hours.  When I arrived I was surprised to see no one else on the stream.  Trout rose freely up and down the river to the tiny, gray-winged Blue-winged Olive duns floating on the steely surface. The chilly, gray skies were spitting, and a fairly good breeze blew the hatching flies at will once they became airborne.  This was perfect weather for Olives; they abhor bright sunlight, preferring conditions many anglers avoid, thus many fishers miss out on good fishing days like today.      

(Click on photos to enlarge)
The fishing was good, and it improved as the rains become steadier and the air temperature dropped.  Before the hatch fizzled out around five, I landed about a dozen wild brown trout.  All of them came to a simple pheasant tail snowshoe rabbit emerger, size #18, fished on a 12 foot leader tapered to 7x.  I started with 6x tippet, but these fish have seen it all and a perfect, drag-free drift, is a requirement on many days when the flies are small and the water is as clear as the vodka that went into my Bloody Mary at brunch this morning.

And finally, here's the fly pattern that brought all of my fish to hand today.  It's a simple fly, and I believe that is part of what makes it so attractive to the trout.  On these creeks the trout see every manner and style of fly, and I think because of this, they soon learn to avoid overdressed facsimiles.  Less is often more, particularly on heavily fished waters.  I used two flies today, the first one I lost early on to a heavy-handed hook set, and this one.  A hook and two materials - the perfect fly most often is the simplest.

Hope you all enjoyed your holidays.    


Anonymous said...

How was this fished? Fishing tiny emergers always has been a mystery to me, so I usually just swing soft hackles.

Matt Grobert said...

Anon - The fly is fished just as you would any emerger, right in the surface film and drag-free. The hair suspends the body just under the film. I usually fish them up and across or down and across, depending on the situation. Matt

Mr. Q said...

I think you did so well, because your stomach was filled with delicious brunch from the best restaurant in the state....has nothing to do i=with that simple fly ;)

Anonymous said...

Your the man Matt, thanks for all the awesome info