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, experience and now a memory.