So Far Away, Losing Focus & the Apple Butter Festival

I’ve been back in Slate Run for several days but have only been out fishing twice. The wife and family are visiting and the various activities have kept me hopping. One event we visited and enjoyed was the Apple Butter Festival in Waterville on October 8th and 9th. But I’m going to describe the fishing, limited as it was, first.

I have seen a large caddis which landed on our place a few days ago (when I first starting writing this I hadn’t gotten a specimen to photograph which all changed when we were out looking at the creek today, October 10). This large caddis is around an inch long from head to tip of wing! The body size, similar to most caddis, was about 2/3 of the overall size of the fly. It wasn’t the only caddis I saw this morning but it certainly was the largest one! The other caddis seen a few days ago and this morning I didn’t get a close view of. However as viewed fluttering in the air they appeared to be about a size 14-16 and more of a grey-ish variety.

I tied up three samples of this larger caddis (maybe it is an October Caddis?) later in the day to try & fool the few trout I’ve seen rise out in Pine. I tied up my offerings on a size 12 TMC 101 hook but I could see using a size 10 also. Body color was similar to the light brown/orange color of the wing. If you’ve seen packaged dubbing marked ‘cinnamon caddis’ I think you’ll get the idea of the color (and I think that’s what I had on hand and used). The wings were somewhat mottled and similarly colored to the body with darker splotches performing the mottling job. I’ve seen a couple of these now while we’ve been here and the mottling varies from fly to fly.

I palmered light ginger hackle through that cimmamon caddis dubbing, trimmed off the top of the hackle so that wing would lay down a little flatter – attached the wing and bingo… it was done. I had relatively recently bought something called ‘Hemingway Realistic Caddis Wings’ and used them on this tie. These are a plastic sort of a material with the appearance of an actual caddis wing printed on them. They come ‘pre-cut’ and disconnect from the sheet relatively easily.

When I got on to Pine I didn’t see any large caddis on the water or in the air but saw the smaller one as previously described. This didn’t stop me from fishing the large version I had just tied up the hour before. I heard a fish rise above where I was fishing – but didn’t see exactly where it was located. So I cast up from the suspect spot about 3 to 5 feet to give it a go. It was either the first or second cast a fish subtly took and I was into it… for a few seconds before the knot came loose. Ok, no big deal, remain calm, do no get upset… I’ll go back to the seam I was originally casting to.

I see a brown trout come completely out of the water (unusual for this time of year for me). This acrobatic performance happened to be exactly where my fly was drifting down through…. and I was on to it! A few members of my family are on the deck and I work my way down stream with the fish. I should either be saying that I was working my way downstream with the fish in tow – or I was ‘in tow’ with the fish leading the way. You get the idea. It ended up not a great sized fish but a nice specimen all the same. My sister took some pictures. One of them made the editing floor cut (the third picture below).

We went to the Apple Butter Festival in Waterville on Saturday. I met Sara S. from the Northcentral PA Conservancy as they had a table there. SRS have been donating to this organization for as many years as I’ve been involved with our club (and undoubtedly for more years than I’ve been active with SRS).

Sara S. from the Northcentral PA Conservancy at the 2022 Waterville Apple Butter Festival

I introduced myself as being from Slate Run Sportsmen and Sara thanked me (SRS) for our contributions over the years. We had a great chat about the local area and the protection that it needs.

It’s good to see area organizations out participating at these events. All such organizations need to ‘show some face’ and make sure that the threats to the Pine Creek Valley are communicated with it’s donors, members, subscribers & visitors. Threats to the Pine Creek Valley will not go unnoticed or unchallenged as long as there are viable organizations willing to protect it. I think the Northcentral PA Conservancy plays a significant part in this protection. If you are considering trying to help protect this valley, the Northcentral PA Conservancy is a worthy organization to consider donating to. Thanks Sara for ‘manning’ the station and spreading the word.

In addition to the Northcentral PA Conservancy the Apple Butter Festival had a couple of chainsaw carvers and many crafty sort of vendors selling their things like last year. They were raffling off at least one gun and selling apple butter and apple dumplings. We had to get a few of the later and we can attest that they are as good a quality as ever! The upper level had the access to the dumpling and butter sales along with the kettles over the log fires boiling away to make apple butter – the lower level had the rest of the vendors. Thankfully it was great weather this year for the event. It was great to visit there this year (or any year for that matter).

There are area events to go to this Fall and there’s even an ‘odd’ fish to rise on occasion if one is willing to wait them out. So go out and enjoy the area for what is out there – it won’t be long before… (I cant even finish it).

Live and reporting from Slate Run & till we see each other again… I’m an ‘Unintentional’ Blogger.

4 thoughts on “So Far Away, Losing Focus & the Apple Butter Festival

  1. Thanks, UB, for another good post from the Pine Creek Valley. Yeah, it’s the caddis season on many of our local waters. Glad you found some interesting activity. I’ve been out a few times in the last week or so and found only mildly interesting moments. A few caddis flies here & there, a brown trout or two to rise for a dry imitation. Streams remain very low, and the rivers don’t look very healthy. That will change for the better, hopefully sooner than later. Meanwhile, the air feels good & the colors of the foliage are inspirational.


    • The temperatures and the color certainly look like the seasonal change is taking place. Looks like Pine had two significant events that shifted the temperature trend over the past month and none too soon I think. Hopefully when I come back for the SRS Board meeting I”ll be able to get out a bit more. I think most of my chores around the place are done for the season so we will see. Thanks for the comment RTR! UB


  2. So glad that you were able to put a face with Northcentral Pennsylvania Conservancy. They not only protected Pine Creek but they’ve provided many public accesses to the creek for fisherman, kayakers ,canoeists and anybody interested in water sports. In addition many of the parking places that are public were provided through NPC. UB


    • We (SRS) have been sending some support to North-central Conservancy over the years and I’m glad they are around for certain. My wife was with me when I talked with Sara and she (the wife) asked about if the Conservancy bought properties to which Sara explained how they did indeed do this. To me it’s an integral part of the protection game here in the area – an organization such as North-central PA Conservancy. I’m taking my sisters back home tomorrow followed with a day of clean-up here and then the travel day back home the next day. I’m planning on coming back the last week of October – maybe I can catch you… there down the road from Slate Run (your place) that trip. Thanks for the comment George!


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