Friday Night Flies Presents… Not A Hair Outta Place Fly Tying – Reporting from Slate Run!

I’m taking you on a longer journey to the flies so hang in there ‘Friday Night Flies’ folks! (I’ve discovered where I can categorize and put this post in Flies & Fly Tying AND Spring…. so….)

I arrived a week ago. First thing readily noticeable was the water level. For April, this water level is really low! As I write this, we have experienced a thunderstorm last evening and it’s raining right now, thankfully! As of the 11:15am Thursday, April 29, 2021 report from the USGS station at Cedar Run, about a half inch of precipitation has wettened the area. It’s just raining a gentle, soaking sort of precipitation right now – just what the doctor ordered. Hopefully it’ll improve the water levels.

I fished in Pine some 3-ish days ago – tug one fish. Let me explain – ‘tagging’ a fish (or the past tense ‘tug’) to me is when the fish has decided to accept the offering, it engulfs the offering, I ‘set’ the hook, the tug is felt for a second or two, and the fish promptly slips off. Tagged one yesterday too. And I went up Slate two days ago and only had the interest of one little brookie. Water temperature was 52 degrees, bright sun – bluebird day. I did have this fellow/gal land on my hand.

Little Black Stone

Was a beautiful day, like I said before, a ‘bluebird’ sort of day. Not always a good day for fishing, and who am I to challenge this notion?

Only had one little brookie interested in my fly selection this day. No picture of it as I let him go before I had taken one (wink-wink).

I did see this Red Trillium and what I think is Yellow Coltsfoot, or simply Coltsfoot.

Have to throw this in here – some slate-bedding for I’m thinking the narrow gauge railroad that used to sprawl up the mountains along Slate Run.

If my fly rod was named “Waldo” I could say: Where’s Waldo?

But my fly rod does NOT have a name so…. let it go folks! 😉 ( I know, it wasn’t THAT hard to find ‘Waldo)

Found this guy/gal right at the end of where I stopped fishing Slate…

Quill Gordon.. or hendrickson folks……. and the answer IS………………………………………… Quill GOrdon… (two tails… the identifier)

I believe it was a female… no claspers and I think the eyes are just too small as males usually have large eyes.

It is greening up in upper Slate.

I saw this on the cabin the same or day before:

It was without a leg or two as it sat upon my window screen! Anyway, the QG spinners are around but… I’ve fished a grey emerger and had one ‘tag’…. nothing to hand.

So, on to this morning (4-29-2021, approximately 9am). I wake up, I go outside, I look! Fish rising! Heart-rate increases… I think… do I go through my stretching routine or just skip it and go after these rising fish? I stretch! Its a good idea at this age… don’t ask, I’m an old fart!

I see this on the screen outside:

I stretch, and move as fast as an old fart can move, into my waders and venture out to stalk the wily trout.

It was quite misty this morning.

It was a very foggy, misty sort of morning, but at least it wasn’t raining.

One problem, I get a visit.

This guy/gal decides to perch just across Pine from me! THANKS! Schoo….. go away…. move on… get over it! It finally moved downstream a few hundred yards.

I fish, of course, a March Brown extended body that I tie – nothing happens. I switch up to an emerger and finally try a Sparkle Dun.

I was lucky enough to fool one fish. The surfacing fish started to diminish but I continued to cast to where there once were rising trout. They stopped rising. A couple from ‘The Neighbor’s’ place (I think) start fishing above me. I decide to wade back to shore. A couple of raindrops strike me. I sit on my perch down from my place and it starts to rain. It rains enough for me to call it quits. It rains in earnest during the day several times. The gauge reacts and I am tankful for the increase in height.

I tied a couple up based on the picture observations …

I caught the fish on a Sparkle Dun style tie but, I saw on my screen a dun and tied based on what I saw – dark tails, ribbed body, etc…

I started to write “I hope things improve…” but, this is Nature. It’ll do what it pleases and we’ll cope. After all, I’m trying to catch a trout for crying out loud! There are worse predicaments to be in and worse things to do.

Look, never let my observations discourage you! Please, venture forth and prove me wrong! If you feel like sharing, please shoot us an email at and share YOUR observations and experiences.

Till we see each other again….. I’m an Unintentional Blogger………..aka… UB

Addendum – I write these posts over the course of a few days usually and this is no exception. Should I say “Careful what you wish for”? No, I don’t think so. The Big Crick is brown now and the gauge peaked at 4.22 feet between 04:30 – 05:15 am this morning, Friday, 4-30-2021. So, it’ll be blown out for a few days but it’ll clear eventually. However, we really needed this to happen – the water levels were just too low for this time of year.

Till… UB

Addendum to the addendum – I really did intend to take a picture or two of Pine Creek today. That didn’t work out. It didn’t quite turn to the color of coffee with a decent amount of milk or cream in it, but it was definitely mudded-up. I visited my friend Harry and on the way back from Lowe’s and grocery shopping near Jersey Shore …

If I were back in Michigan I’d swear that we were experiencing ‘Lake Effect’ precipitation today. Showers would arrive in ‘waves’ and pass through and then you would see sunshine and clouds. It was REALLY a neat thing to see. I saw this ‘Low Bow’ as I was driving 220 North towards Jersey Shore. Gotta love weather phenomenon.

Till……………………… UB

3 thoughts on “Friday Night Flies Presents… Not A Hair Outta Place Fly Tying – Reporting from Slate Run!

  1. Nice brown, UB, and flies, both natural & artificial. Those Q.G.s look a lot prettier than the two deer ticks that I pulled off my skin yesterday (and got treated for) after an enjoyable walk in the big rain. Yeah we needed the precipitation, but here in NY we almost floated away!


    • Thanks RTR! Like I said in the email we only got about 1.2″ here over the course of 24 to 36 hours I think. Sounds like your 4″ really flushed things there? Also, like I mentioned in the email, the water in Pine is/has clearing/cleared already! Like ‘The Neighbor’ said in an email to me, Muddler time if one is inclined but the wading is very tricky so edge fishing only till it comes down a bit. We’re never satisfied are we? … ‘The water’s too low, the waters too high’…. lol Take care – UB


    • I should inquire – how did you ‘treat’ yourself for the ticks? Had they already bitten or embedded in you by the time you saw them? Were they deer or dog ticks? If deer – keep a sharp eye on them – look for the bulls-eye. UB


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