Sunday, June 21, 2009


Heading west This River is Wild stopped at the Savage River and after two days of fishing, I think it is safe to say I have a new favorite place to fish. If I had to sum up the Savage River in one word it would be nirvana. It has three of my favorite things: scenery, beautiful wild fish, and some of the best pocket water. Combine that with easy access and relatively few anglers and you have the makings for a memorable outing. After we left the Savage, I kept thinking about it and the fish that reside there. I cannot wait to go back and get some more browns and brookies.

A River Runs Through Matt.

Glorious Brook Trout.


Until We Meet Again.

First Nice Brown Out of First Nice Hole.

Contemplating The Approach.

Arriving at the campsite, we geared up and headed to the nearest water to fish until darkness. I initially had a nymphing rig geared up and ready to go. Upon seeing the amount of mayflies on the water and the pocketwater, I promptly switched to a dry dropper. I went to old reliable, my favorite dry fly, the Letort Hopper and put a Gold Bead Flashback Soft Hackled Hares Ear about three feet below. Little did I know, that this would be my setup for most of the trip and it would be the most productive setup at the Savage. I immediately found success with the rig and caught several nice browns and brookies.

Love Brookies.

Soft Hackle Slays.

More Brook Trout Love.

Another Nice Brown.

Close Up Release.

At night, we settled in to fish the PHD pool. We had no idea the name of the hole, but it looked nice. There were hardly any risers until around 9:30 p.m. when night was falling on the Savage. I took a high position and waited for a riser. There were only two consistent fish rising in the pool and both were relatively small. I waited some more. As my eyes adjusted to the darkness I became extra aware of my surroundings. I noticed a dark shape ascend from the depths of the hole and hover precariously below the surface slowly moving back and forth picking off small mayflies. My eyesight strained to tie on a size 18 flashback pheasant tail on 6x but I finally managed and on my 3rd cast the dry took a slight dip and the large brown was on the end of my line. As with several other browns I caught, this one had an extra large head and mouth when compared to the rest of its body. Next year, hopefully they grow into those megamouths.

PHD Pool Brown.

Our Patagonia Ad.

Adam Working A Pool in the Early Hours.

Finding Success.

Brown With Sweet Scar on the Gill Plate.

We spent the night right along the river at the designated campgrounds. Our first fire of the year struggled to get its act together. The firewood picked up from the nearby town was a little waterlogged and would not catch. Once it did we carved our hot dog sticks and roasted some dogs on the open fire. Nothing beats a hot dog over and open fire slowly roasted on a branch of maple. We ate our dogs and preceded to tie flies by headlamp. We assembled our arsenals for the following day, making small tweaks to the days most effective patterns with the hopes that they would be even better the following day on the water.

Thousands of Midges Laying Their Strands of Eggs.

Walking Through the Swarm.

Only Bow on the Savage.

Typical Savage Brown.

Green Brownie.

Our efforts proved effective, on the following day we were all sporting dry droppers based off my patterns the earlier day. We left no hole untouched and hammered browns and brooks all day with a decent rainbow coming to hand on the upper reaches. I also landed the prettiest brown I have ever caught with perfect color, spots, and fins.

Ah, the Power of Angles.

Spots Galore.

Massive Fins.

Savage Highlights:

-Our Neighbors in the Campground Loved Their Country, Horseshoes, and Beer into the early morning
-The Sprained Wrists & Ankles, Sore Shoulders,Knees, & Hips From the Treacherous Wading
-Falling & Breaking Two Fly Boxes in Half & Shattering Two Spools of Tippet (Waistpack Broke My Fall, But My Shoulder Wasn't Spared)
-Matt Battling the Flu & Falling Into the Frigid Water @ 9:30 p.m. All Before Our Mile Long Bushwack Trying to Find Some Random Fire Road To Take Us Back To Camp
-How Much Fun It Is Disinfecting Waders and Boots Between Rivers (Totally Worth It Though)

Memorable Adam Quote While Catching A Brown
"Look At That Shark"


Wade Rivers said...

A-W-E-S-O-M-E! Looks like the Savage River has been very kind to us "Pennsylvania Boys" lately. Nice post along with a beautiful series of images taken in a very beautiful place. Too bad we didn't cross trax while we were there.

JMP said...

We should get together next time you fish the savage....We guide on it and fish it quite often...