Wednesday, November 18, 2009

What Was I Thinking?

I traveled home for my little sister's 21st birthday, and made an early morning trip out to fish some small streams. I was a little hesitant at first. It is hunting season and I passed several guys on the side of the roads carrying some big ass guns. I was wondering why they needed such heavy firepower for squirrel season when I realized all I cared about was whether or not they could shoot straight. Walking in the middle of the woods, I flinched at every gunshot ringing in the distance. When I finally reached the stream, my nerves finally began to settle. I was at home.

Sick Falls, Lost A Nice Brown Here.


Deep Plunge Pool.

I made a very poor decision on this particular trip. I decided on my 7 foot 4 weight Superfine after several long minutes of thought. I was going after small wild trout in tight quarters. At the time, it seemed like a very wise choice. However, the first hole I fished easily reached depths of 10 ft. plus and happened to be situated a few hundred yards from a very large lake. A large lake run brown was a possibility this time of year. After landing some smaller fish I tied on a size 10 tungsten bead golden stone with non toxic wire on the shank. It was heavy as shit, and I intended to probe the depths of this beautiful run.

Beautiful Run.

Jutting Rock Face & A Drop Off To Emerald Water.

Failed To Produce.

On my first cast with the golden stone, my indicator plunged under and I set the hook as best I could. A very large brown doubled my rod over and started peeling line off my reel. The full flex Superfine struggled under the trouts weight. I adjusted the drag accordingly and began worrying about my ability to keep such a heavy fly pinned in the corner of a large male browns mouth. After a struggle of no more than thirty seconds he made a very audacious move in the current and the fly shook free. What was I thinking bringing the Superfine? Better yet, what was I thinking tying on such a heavy fly when I was using my Superfine? I sat stunned for awhile thinking of the large male brown break dancing in the depths of the green water. His large palm sized fins were all I kept thinking about. He was born in this small stream and made his way out to the depths of the lake to feed and grow large. He survived countless seasons, every year returning to where he was born. I very much would have liked to hold him for a second or two before returning him back to the depths.

Pennsylvania Brook Trout.

Gorgeous Brown Decked Out In Fall Colors.

At a later destination, I meandered through the woods listening to the roaring water rushing through a deep ravine on my left. Getting down into the mini canyon I stepped out into a very shallow fast run. About halfway across the stream, I saw a neon glow out of the corner of my eye. I took a glance before diving for cover. A large palomino was chilling in the current no more than twenty yards downstream. I sat contemplating this fish for a minute or two watching his every move in the current. He wasn't moving far at all for his food. I thought about how he got here. According to the PA Fish and Boat Commission website, this particular stream is not stocked. He was either introduced here by some proud fisherman or he sought thermal refuge in it's cold waters in the heat of the summer. He probably came from the lake as well.

The Ravine.

Working my way into position, I was careful not to spook the thick fish. Palomino are usually super skittish and they have to be. They have no where to hide. I tied on a size 16 flashback soft hackled pheasant tail on 6x and made a few casts. I made the cast, the one that looks perfect as soon as you make it, and got my game face on right before the fish slowly moved to his left and inhaled my pattern. I set the hook and once again, thoughts of my Superfine mistake came to my mind. The rod once again bent to the cork and the fish could not be controlled. For several minutes he worked me real good in the current. The high point coming when he literally bull dogged his way into some rhododendron protruding into the stream. My heart sunk when he made the move, but to my surprise he popped out the other side. The end came fifty yards downstream. He was even thicker than I thought. My largest palomino to date, and my most memorable for sure.

One Healthy, Thick, & Perfect Finned Palomino.

The Superfine Did Mad Work.

Next time, I will be thinking long and hard before grabbing the Superfine to go tangle with a possible lake run November brown.


Adam said...

Nice man, why don't you post your pics with the capability of enlargement? I need detail. haha.

Wade Rivers said...

Man I love this blog. Makes me proud to see the future of Pennsylvania fly fishing in such good hands.

Kick it hard, dudes!

Mark said...

Thanks for the kind words! Likewise on the blog!