Monday, August 19, 2019

The Hour of the Mouse


"...this past weekend, Mark and I met to float the West Branch of the Delaware river, one of the only rivers around with consistent cold water and reliable hatches. Last August we had an excellent weekend of dry fly action in much higher flows. This weekend the water was very low. We planned to do a night float, our first, throwing streamers and mouse patterns for nocturnal browns.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Spring Smallmouth


Visual Eats...

Spring smallmouth bass in the Mid-Atlantic region is a hotly anticipated event that must be taken advantage of. For a few short weeks, the bass put on the feed bag as they prepare for the spawn. This short period produces some absolutely bonkers fly fishing. On one particular day this Spring, we simply stopped taking pictures as cookie cutter 16 inch bass kept coming to the boat on seemingly every cast. If you didn't hook one, you at least had an interaction. It was an adrenaline filled day as bass after bass visually attacked streamers from 4-8 inches. These experiences are often best shared with friends and family and I will fondly look back on these moments for the rest of my days. 

Monday, February 25, 2019

Scrantonicity


Urban Angling

On a cold winter Sunday, Ryan invited me to check out his local haunt. Nursing a fractured wrist, I rigged up a switch rod for some two handed fun and drove north. Any jaunt with Ryan into the electric city always produces some memorable moments. Besides the large wild and holdover trout that call this river home, one can always expect to be reminded of the urban center through which the river flows. On a typical outing, you will be dodging hobo encampments, drug deals, and losing flies into a wide variety of junk that the river collects. On this day, my favorite scene was the Christmas tree decorations of plastic sheeting, tarps, blankets, and other debris that were hanging from the river's trees from the last high water event. They added an additional obstacle for any errant backcast. No longer a secret, the river is chock full of anglers that are willing to put up with the scenery to catch gold. Try and be the first person to fish your favorite stretch in order to take advantage of the relatively eager trout. That, or try and mix up techniques/flies to show the trout a different look. It is urban angling at its finest. 

Monday, February 18, 2019

Winter Jawns


For a split moment, my competitive nature returned, as I launched myself at full speed into the air to block a disc during an indoor Ultimate match. I wrote off the ensuing injury to my casting wrist as a simple sprain. The pain never really left. So, I finally went to the doctor to reveal a slight fracture. After a few weeks in a brace and cabin fever setting in, I decided to go fly fishing. The plan was to fish left handed and ply my trade on some small streams. In reality, I think I needed the fresh air, the crunch of snow under my feet, and the sound of rushing water between my legs. As always, the wild browns of eastern Pennsylvania were an added bonus whenever I managed to make a decent presentation...

Friday, January 4, 2019

When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Lemonade


Swing it like you mean it...

"When life gives you lemons, make lemonade". On each five hour drive north this winter, that proverbial phrase popped into my head. It was triggered whenever I looked at the weather or flow forecast. I realized that the chances of catching some nice steelhead on the swing were greatly diminished and that it was going to take a lot more effort than usual to bring some nice ones to hand. If your three trips of the year coincide with 2000+ cfs flows, you are in for a difficult task, especially when your steelhead philosophy is that of "swing or go home". When it is combined with rapid drops in air/water temperatures, days of downpours, or large increases of the flow a few hours before you arrive, you try and make best of the situation. Our persistence and positive attitudes paid off with two relatively good trips that flanked a steelhead skunking. The big pulls and nice casts will always bring us back, no matter the conditions and no matter the shenanigans that one may encounter on a highly pressured Great Lakes tributary. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Circles


Early October on the Home Water

There was a time when our forefathers would take us fishing and have to withstand an onslaught of tangled lines, broken equipment, and overall impatience. In addition to the hilarity that was fishing in our youth, my father would occasionally rent canoes or rafts. In almost every instance, my brother, sister, and me always had difficulty rowing in a straight line. Our father always passed it off as our fault and my brother earned the nickname, "Matthew goes around in circles".  How times have changed. In recent years, I am the one taking the old man out and having to tie all his knots, row him perfectly down the river, hold him up while wading, and catch him when he loses his balance on the boat. When it comes to rowing, I've realized that it never was the fault of my brother, sister, or I for the watercraft going in circles. It was my father. Recent excursions have only reinforced my new conclusions. Fishing in our family has finally come full circle...

Friday, October 19, 2018

October Float


Potential

On a cool and gray day in October high flows ferried my brother and I through mist and drizzle as we pounded the banks of our home river with gigantic streamers. The off color current dragged on the yellowing leaves of overhanging branches and vegetal flotsam lay draped and folded over every sweeping and submerged limb. We were counting on the overcast dankness loosening the inhibitions of this river's increasingly abundant big beautiful brown trout and we were not disappointed.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Forty


Rudder...

It was late August and I hadn't gone tidal fly fishing in 2018. Weighing on my carpin conscious was the fact that that school year was starting in a few days and I'd probably be waiting until 2019 if I didn't get out. I found myself checking the weather and found a window of opportunity that I couldn't pass up. Despite a decent wind, I embarked to a favorable eastern shore marsh to try my luck. It was slow. With the hot summer sun beating down and a flooded marsh, I had a hard time finding any activity, let alone spotting a carp. Around midday, I found myself paddling around during a high tide checking out sparse activity in the choppy water. I had a few opportunities during down periods in wind and was able to land a few small carp. However, I had my sights set on something much larger.