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Van Halen’s ‘Jump’ Had Nothing on this Fish!
First, this story appears with a date-stamp outside the season in which it occurred, spring – I know! I thought I’d share it anyway because it happened in May a few years ago.
In 2016 I was back visiting Slate Run and had a notable fish experience. I’ll save you folks from deception as it did not turn out to be a lunker by any stretch of the imagination, but then again… it deserves mention.
Before I get to this story allow me to share some pictures from hiking around the area.
I notice things when I’m out and about. More than just what flies are hatching or what moon phase might be occurring. We certainly can get consumed by our stalk for trout that we can, at times, be obsessed with the act of catching more than the ride there. I think as I’ve gotten older, the ride there has become almost as fun a the acts – almost.
I’ve heard from many fishers of the fly talk about how the beaver can ruin, in their minds, a stream. They certainly can back up water, its what they do for a living. This may be more of a regional issue as I hear it from those out in the mid-west more than I’ve heard it from those in the east. But I’ve also seen on some documentaries that the beaver benefit the overall ecosystem in so many ways that having a thermal impact in the immediate locale might be a sacrifice that is worthwhile, maybe. Then there’s the beaver ponds of New England where fishers have fond memories of catching significant trout in such an impoundment.
I’ve seen a few such excavations along Slate Run in the past and the water backed up behind those that I’ve witnessed are old institutions where immediately upstream the pond has allowed the siltation of the surface of everything in the pond. I remember catching a little brookie in such a pond. But I must admit, I thought the water looked pretty sterile in this environment.
New excavations seem to be present up Slate though.
The other picture, well, the answer is, YES!
Back to the subject of title. I was fishing Pine in the early evening when a couple decided to come down and fish next to me. You know the situation – the whole creek is open as we’re the only people there and they decide to fish right next to you (your casts would have touched, as ours would have)!
We churn up the water with our casting as we attempt to fool a big Brown Trout Club (BTC) lunker but do not have any success. I finally hook-up but, it wasn’t a BTC fish, it was ‘just’ a state stocked Rainbow. The thing was though, this fish did NOT want to have ANYTHING to do with being caught – and it knew how to display it’s displeasure! The missile launch must have been scheduled, at least in the fish’s mind, for immediate execution, if any sudden change of direction occurred deviating from the will of the trout. The female’s head, of the couple that fishes beside me, snaps to and locks eyes with the trout. The fellow on the other end of the line with the missile smiles a little and thinks he’s some sort of fisherman since he can control a fish out of water and now has an audience to witness such skill. The trout launches again. The female, again, sees the launch. The fisher with the ‘missile on’ notices, again, that the female saw the launch. This controller of airborne launches starts to feel pretty good about himself.
Here (if not anywhere along this entry) is where the story might phase between fiction and fact. My recollection was that the female saw 6 launhes and the picture had 10 associated with its title when I found it saved in a folder dated 2016. No matter, the rainbow clearly had so much energy that it just did not want to have anything to do with being caught. I believe I vaguely remember some of the jumps were in succession with 2 or 3 or 4 having occurred in a very short time. When I got the fish to net, the female’s associate had worked down to her and I could here her relay what just occurred.
Events like these tend to boost the ego a bit too much in my opinion. It did to mine I’m sure. I need to remind myself, we’re never as bad as they say, and never as good was we think.
We chatted a little while after the event. They were nice people even if they got a little close for fishing comfort. Heck, I might not have had such a good audience if they hadn’t been (note: I nor many fishers that I know of appreciate such close intrusion normally – but then again I have not fished Polaski).
It looks like a typical PA stocked Rainbow, but it provided such a show that I now share with you, the Jumping Rainbow of 2016. It was quite a fish and experience.
My June Trip to the Cabin
It has taken me a while to get back here to the website – many apologies. There’s something about gaining a ‘Certificate of Occupancy’ that just seemed to preoccupy me and as a result – I simply have not been adding content. I am still seeking content from our members and this plea has been responded to in a somewhat mild manner. Don’t get me wrong, a few have forwarded pictures and I’ve diligently posted them as we got them – and I’ll continue to do so as they become available to share.
But this entry is about a trip I had back there in Slate Run – running from June 3rd through the 16th. The ‘Certificate of Occupancy’ bit kept me pretty busy but I managed to get out and fish Pine Creek a few times. The results…
The top two fish are the same specimen – one in net and one in hand. The one in hand isn’t the greatest picture but gives you an idea of the girth of the fish – a Brown Trout Club participant. The net picture truly does not do the fish justice (both net pictures actually just don’t reflect the scale of the subjects properly).
Both fish were handfuls! On the rod or in the hand, they were pretty much all I could handle on the 4 weight rod. I know the top fish pushed 25 inches as I held it up to the rod (and measured later) before I release it. The second one kind of slipped outta my hand as I attempted to do the same with him.
I say ‘him’ as I think the jaw was just starting to ‘hook’ a bit – if you look closely. He was every bit as much of a contestant in the ‘I Don’t Wanna Come To Your Net’ contest as the first one though as I distinctly remember not being able to fully encircle his girth with my hand too!
First fish caught on the 7th at 1 PM in slightly veiled sun on a Mahogany/Slate Drake/Isonychia Bi-color sort of fly (I think the tie is in the tying section in this website). The second on the 12th at 6:18 PM in the shadow of the mountain across Pine on a BWO.
Both fish were similar as I had a tussle with them both for a little longer than I’m accustomed to. They were both a little larger them I’m accustomed to also!
I caught other fish during my stay there. But these two were most noteworthy – and they probably were the best Brown Trout Club fish I’ve caught there on Pine to date. The same afternoon I caught the first one, a man from Canada fished across the creek from me and caught his ‘… best fish caught from Pine Creek in 32 years!’. I believe it was close in stature to the one I had brought to net a little earlier that day. I spotted a fish for his partner to fish to and he got a cast to it, the fish struck – but no hook-up was to be had. We had a chuckle about it later.
They’ll be congregating soon at the mouths of the feeders. I’ll leave them alone on Pine and start heading up the runs soon.
Till next time…. UB
This GREAT picture comes to us via SRS member Walt Nicholson – of a fellow SRS member David Craig fishing Slate Run some time during Spring 2019. It looks like the water was ripping so who knows – it could have been almost any time this Spring with as much water that has been dumped on Slate Run!
Just a GREAT picture Walt. Thank you for send us a copy!
Spring Has Sprung Right?!
We woke up this morning and it was somewhat ‘white’ around here. Yes, hopefully the LAST reminder that Winter occurred this past season – happened again last night. Yep, it snowed! At least it was just a trace of the white stuff that blanketed the ground. The driveway must have been too warm as it was clear. The grass was still poking through… but covered. I only consider this a ‘significant’ event as this has just got to be the last snow event of the season. We’re all pretty much ready for real Spring around here.
I’ve run out of suet for the birds and wonder if I should go buy some more. I’ll have to ‘google’ when to stop feeding them – making them go fend for themselves again. I credit them with keeping the insect population in check around here.
Last week I saw 3 Red-Headed Woodpeckers here feeding at once. I thought I was fortunate in seeing 2 here together a couple of months ago. One was distinctly a juvenile, one an adult (or at least in full color). I hope I get to see them this Summer.
I’ve managed to not scare them away from the suet block #2 location and used a longer lens in these, the last pictures I’ll take of birds for this season. I need to get out on the stream – soon!
Dan Helm sends us the following picture and story! Thanks a lot Dan!
What Am I Doing Wrong?!?!
How many of us have been in this situation? It’s late afternoon and the air is starting to cool. The wind has died down and the sun is slowly sinking in the western sky. You’ve got the stream to yourself – except for one guy who is in the very spot that you covet. Oh well, there’s got to be fish down here, too. You take a few minutes to assess the situation. No surface activity. What’s this! The guy that is in your spot just hooked a nice fish. You watch out of the corner of your eye as he releases the fish. Now, where was I? Before you can gather your thoughts and decide on a fly and the proper presentation he’s hooked another! No sense in being coy any longer. You turn and watch as he releases the fish. By this time, you have made multiple casts with nothing to show for your effort, but you keep casting and watching as the intruder catches and releases still another fish! This time you home in on exactly what he is doing. No strike indicator so he’s not nymphing. There it is! He’s making short casts and stripping the “fly” across the current. “Streamer,” you say to yourself. That’s it! Now you rummage through all of the fly boxes you’ve stuffed in your vest only to find that the one box that you want is probably at home – three hours away! While you do the slow burn and beat yourself up for having forgotten that one box, you notice that suddenly the mystery fisherman is leaving. What great luck! There’s still enough time to move in to this “honey hole” and try to duplicate what he did. You move into position and go through the one small box of streamers that you find in your vest. You tie on a Woolly Bugger. Ah, good choice. After numerous casts you have yet to have one strike. Hurriedly you change flies again and again. What am I doing wrong? Then if finally comes together. There it is in the bottom of the box. Old reliable! A heavily weighted Mickey Finn. You tie the best knot that you know and you make a cast. Suddenly there is that long awaited strike. Good fish! Heavy fish! After several minutes you carefully unhook and release a nice 16” German Brown. Several casts later there is another solid strike and another heavy brown trout. You smile to yourself. You’ve finally figured out what you were doing wrong and what it takes to catch fish at least for this moment in time. Tomorrow could be entirely different.