Header image disclaimer: That is a DIFFERENT fish than the one featured in the 5-19-2021 post… seriously!
The Tiadaghton State Forestry Manager’s wish was granted – the switch to summer was flipped, the air temperatures have warmed considerably, and the water temperatures have followed. The water temperatures rising might have stimulated the fish a little (in Pine Creek) over the past few days as I’ve observed additional fish rising (not great numbers but more than before the warmup). The fly of choice will still be Grey Foxes or maybe an occasional March Brown. Sizes 12-14 and maybe even a 10 might be spotted at any particular time. The fishing did not immediately turn on like the temperatures did, but there was improvement – even though it may have been for only a brief while. (of course as I’m writing this, Sunday, May 23, I haven’t seen a fish rise for about 36 hours)
Friday morning I heard a murder of crows raising a ruckus. I have come to recognize that when more than a couple of crows are squawking, they are displaying agitated behavior usually directed toward what they consider a predator. Here along Pine Creek that means an eagle to me. I saw several crows, a few days prior to Friday morning’s episode, within a couple feet of an eagle perched in a tree across Pine Creek. They persisted in swooping closely to the eagle all the while vocalizing with intensity.
From a coupe of days ago…
Could only manage two fish the next day, one up the runs and one in Pine.
And then on 5-21 – a couple of evenings ago…
Actually, I started to mow the yard around 4pm. It needed it and I like to keep it cut low enough so when I walk out in the morning due, I don’t get my feet so wet. Got around the yard a few times when the battery died – yes it’s an electric mower. Having forgot to put the second battery into the charger the night before meant down time. Perching myself at the crest of the bank overlooking Pine I noticed a fish rising. I’ve seen fish rising before but not like this – it was rising every few seconds seemingly in the same spot. It was amazing! I could not believe my eyes! Well, what does any respectable Fly Fishing person do? You stop mowing, go get the appropriate attire on, and go fishing! I waded out to inspect this unusual phenomena. I forget if I caught that particular fish but there were fish rising in several places which seemed a bit more intense that it had been the past week.
I caught a couple that didn’t get their picture taken and they were more like the PA ‘planters’ sort of fish (stocked). One might have been taken on a Sparkle Dun but the rest were on a Grey Fox emerger – size 12.
The last fish, featured on the bottom two pictures of the image gallery above, has a little bit of a story with it. There were 4 boaters coming down on my location when this fish struck. Almost immediately one of the men shouts “LETS SEE IT!” I either couldn’t think of something snappy to say or, I exhibited an enormous amount of restraint . I just said someone calmly that I didn’t think I would be able to show them this fish as it felt particularly good (as in size). I play the fish for several minutes and the boats drift by slowly. They aren’t too far downstream of my position when I net it. They shout over ‘Nice job!’. I thank them and that’s that. I don’t particularly like to fish with an audience but you really don’t have a choice out on Pine – it happens.
It’s been a little rough lately – the fishing turning for the better has helped. Friends help too. Slate Run Sportsman’s Walt F. and a friend of his Dr. Jim stopped in yesterday. They fished Slate Run and had a tough go of it from their accounts. They did catch some fish out in the area of the campground in Cedar Run though. It was nice to meet you Jim and to have you stop in Walt – thanks!
One last note, if anyone is curious why there hasn’t been more fly pictures this spring so far, well, I just have not had those visitors that I had like last year! I haven’t seen the numbers of flies like a year ago. Maybe there’s a connection to the observation of lack of rising fish and this ‘not seeing’ many flies? If I get some fly visitors I’ll see if I can persuade them for a picture or two. Time will tell.
Till we see each other again… reporting from Slate Run… UB