Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Crowds Galore

Sparsely Spotted Wild Brown

The bugs are hatching and the crowds are out. Add in the extremely low water and you have yourself a circus on the regulated waters in our state. I ventured up to a favorite limestoner this past weekend and was taken back by the number of fisherman that were out. Oh well, you can either deal with it or explore other waterways, I chose to do a little of both.

The water felt extremely warm for this time of year, add in the low water and 80 degree temperatures and I felt like I was fishing in July. We still caught fish but not in the numbers that we had hoped for. The bugs were solid, especially at night. March Browns, March Brown Spinners, Sulphurs and Tan Caddis were present in good enough numbers that we expected some decent dry fly action. That wasn't the case. Only a few small fish rose throughout the evening......disappointing to say the least.

We are in the midst of a cool spell right now, wish I was able to fish this entire week. I'm hoping the cool nights stick around as long as possible, we have a big trip planned for the end of the month.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Heat Wave

My best fish of the trip 

Taking a page out of the Troutbitten handbook.....Grobe Anglers Gay Double Selfie

Yep, that's what I call it. HEAT WAVE.  It's very abnormal to have  4 straight days of high 80's in the early part of May, but that's what us PA fisherman have been dealing with lately. I think Mother Nature decided to just skip out on spring all together this year. It feels like only yesterday when I was complaining about low water and frozen streams. Then runoff set in and our flows were very high for a few weeks. Now we rushed into the dog days of summer and stream temperatures are WAY above normal. I took took the temperature of a famous limestoner today and it read 64 degrees at 8 am this morning. We need some cooler night time temperatures badly.
Seeking out those shallow riffles

Even though the elements haven't been ideal, my family and I still managed to get out on some waterways the past few days. My local favorite has been fishing extremely slow to start of the year so there's not much to report there. I've put in a few decent day's and don't have much to show for it.
Caddis Larva Taking Fish Regularly On This Trip 
Andy getting it done in the pocket water 

 We hit up a few limestoners that fished pretty well even in the sun and heat. The tan caddis came off in solid numbers but the fish still seem to be ignoring this surface meal. Everyone's favorite hatch, The Sulphur, has started but also hasn't provided much action mid-day. I haven't been around for the spinner fall but I got some reports of good fishing at dusk.
Rising fish fell victim to a PT 
Close up

Most of our luck is still coming under the surface with various may fly nymph's and Caddis imitations. Making sure your flies "Tick" off the bottom has been and continues to be essential if you want to score some good numbers. The trout seem to really be congregating in shallow riffles for an easy meal, at least those are the trout willing to eat on a daily basis. The classic runs that we all love haven't produced very well for me lately. Hopefully this weather will stabilize a little bit in the next few weeks. We have a 9 day fishing vacation planned for the end of the month......keeping our fingers crossed conditions don't deteriorate on us.
Good size of fish for today's outing

Monday, May 4, 2015

Loyalhanna Fishing Report 5-3-15

Decided to hit some bait water today, had to get out and enjoy the sun this weekend. Hit the water above Ligonier, and was surprised to do very well. Picked up about a dozen. Not sure who, but some organization has really done some great work above the 711 bridge, adding tons of structures that should hold fish through the summer. Not much happening on top, but saw the first few March Browns of the season hatching. Prince Nymphs and Green Weenies were the ticket this afternoon. Looking forward to some night hatches up here in a week or two.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Exploring New Water

Billy's Birthday Present

My brother, dad and I went exploring on some new water this past weekend. The usual destinations still had too much water in them for our liking. This presented the perfect chance for us to get out of our comfort zone and explore some less visited waterways. Our first stop was a 15-20 foot wide ditch. This area consisted of tight casting quarters but good holding water and feisty wild brown trout. The water was high and just a touch off color, I think this benefited us though as we were able to get very close to the fish without spooking them. Nymphing the deeper runs proved to be ticket as trout came to hand frequently enough to make the time go by quickly. It's tough for 3 guys to fish such small water, but we made the best of it and will return in the future.
Fishing In God's Country

Not A Bad Idea.......

Small Feeder Provided Fun Fishing
The next stop was another smaller stream, but slightly bigger then the first. The water was the same but we got some bugs this time. Grannoms, black stones and blue quills came off in decent numbers. The fish didn't take notice but once again the fishing for small wild brown trout under the surface proved to be successful. After a brief preview of this stream we traveled to the headwaters of a more famous river system. This water rarely gets talked about, and doesn't see much pressure after the first few weeks of trout season. But it holds it's own and represents the headwaters of this famous stream very well. A mix bag of stockies and wild browns fell victim to our nymphing techniques. The day wasn't a huge numbers day but we managed to uncover a few real gems that will provide opportunites for us in the future.
A Solid Fish After Many Mini's 

Our next stop was a very famous freestone river. We had our sights set on the Hendrickson hatch but that never materialized. I think the recent cold spell really put these fish on the bottom. So we stuck to our nymph's and managed to get into some fish, but nothing to brag about. In the late afternoon we visited another small freestoner that was a big disappointment. The state started stocking fish in this stream and it has really put a hurting on it's wild trout population....what a shame.
Feisty Wild Brown

Sorting Out Wild Fish From Stocked Fish
Our last destination for the trip proved to fish very similar to everything else this trip. Sporadic bugs, a few fish and nymph fishing. We did manage to bag a few good ones though, which was nice after the plethora of smaller fish we got the day's prior. I think this week will be really good all across the state. Flows are finally getting to normal and bugs should be popping off heavily. If you are lucky enough to be on the water this week it should bring you great fishing. Tight Lines......

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

There's Always Somewhere To Fish

There are certain things that annoy me in life. Other people, the Ravens, the Flyers, Spin Fisherman, Bait Fisherman...yep....all annoying. But nothing annoys me more then when my plans get screwed up because of weather. I'm an optimistic person, but I battle with my optimism when stream flows aren't somewhat manageable. The days leading up to my excursion on the water were filled with thoughts of big fish and high numbers. The drive down was no different, but as I rounded the turn and the stream came into sight, my eternal optimism got sucker punched by Mother Nature.......
Class IV White Water 

While rigging up I tried to push the annoyance away. Mentally, I started rehearsing the game plan for the day. High Stick the calm water breaks near the bank, and if you can....midstream structure. That's where fish will be in these high flows. My optimism punched back and I was ready to show Mother Nature a Latrobian doesn't back down from challenges. Eager and willing to get my ass beat by the raging water, I got to work. The first section of water produced a few fish in the likely holding lies. A few on the bank, and a few behind big boulders. It took me about an hour and a half to properly fish the section of water that was only a few hundred yards long. My optimistic outlook was paying off. Then.....the flows went up. I notice right away while fishing the next section. The pocket water turned into class IV whitewater. Mother Nature had another round in her. And the eternal optimist backed down and walked away feeling defeated.
There's Always Somewhere To Fish

I could of called it quits for the day, but a small feeder stream popped into the corner of my eye and I decided to give it a try.  What would seem to be a small trickle in the summer months now resembled a decent size freestone stream. A quick walk up the trail and I stumbled across a nice plunge pool. I crouched down and threw my nymph's to the top of the run. Wham! It wasn't a 20 inch wild brown trout, but the small native brookie that came to hand felt just as rewarding. A few more fish were taken with nymph's, but that wasn't what today was about. Today was about staying ahead of Mother Nature and not letting her knock you out. No matter how hard it rains, or how muddy the streams get.......there's always somewhere to fish.
Mountain Stream Native

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

High Water Continues

Mike battling with the high water

I've been out a few times the past week in the high water that continues to plague our state's waterways. Fish are still there to be caught, but you have to be willing to battle the strong currents and fish in places you might not typically consider this time of year. I did see some surface activity on a reliable limestoner in the central part of the state....but not enough to switch to dries. BWO's, Brown Caddis and maybe a few Grannoms were flying around, but the water conditions weren't favorable to get the fish looking up to often.
One of the few places I found solitude....

Most of my luck lately has been nymphing the shallowest of riffles, it seems like the fish willing to eat have been concentrated in these areas.
Browns eager to eat in shallow water 

The crowds have been out in full force as of late.....I can't wait till Saturday hits so it gives us more options to seek solitude. The weather forecast doesn't look to promising, but that is Spring here in PA....have to make the best of what mother nature delivers us I guess.

Native Brookie 

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Hendrickson Klinkhammer Emerger

Hendricksons, Ephemerella Subvaria, are hopefully just around the corner this spring, so I'd thought I tie an emerger pattern for that hatch. Certainly not a secret, the Klinkhammer family of emergers has proven very popular and more importantly effective. The style of pattern gets the fisherman into two "separate" levels on the stream, sub aquatic and top water - throw in some excellent visibility - and heck - it is easy to see why people like this pattern. I think that emergers are mostly more effective in most hatch situations anyhow, so get busy - this fly works for just about any mayfly hatch you can think of.

Hendrickson Klinkhammer Emerger from William Grobe on Vimeo.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The Hatch

All you can eat egg buffet

I was able to spend the last few days on the water. I decided to target wild browns and my travels took me a few hours from home. Day 1 was hit or miss. There were times when the bite was great, pods of 8-12 fish came to the net willingly, then I would go an extended amount of time with only a few fish. Finding shallow riffles was key, the fish seemed to be really stacked up in them. The other hot spot was the calm eddies near the bank. The Little Black Stones were coming off pretty well and I think the trout were trying to intercept them near the bank. The water was still pushing making Tight Lining hard at times, but it was still very productive.
Bloated after an all day buffet

Another solid egg eater 

I decided to return to the same stream on Day #2, opting out of my local watering holes. I was very fortunate to hit the Hatches of all Hatches. THE SUCKER SPAWN. Yep, that's right, my new favorite hatch of the year. Hundreds of these fish were finding refuge in shallow water and doing their thing to reproduce. The trout were GORGING themselves on fresh sucker spawn. If you could locate the areas where the Suckers were congregating, you could find dozens of willing trout to inhale your fly. I must say I never hit the spawn like this, the fishing was fantastic. The trout were big and bloated.....looked like they went to Denny's for an all day all you can eat buffet. Some sections fished better then others. I found pods of suckers and no trout, other pods of suckers that attracted the majority of the trout in an area. When you located these areas, it was a slaughter. The sucker spawn happens at different times each year, this year it's later then usual. So if you have a favorite stream and it supports's the time to go out and find where they are spawning, you won't be disappointed in your journey.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Rainbow With Some Attitude

Fat And Healthy After A Long Winter 

Spent a few hours on the water today, and the fishing was extremely slow. Add in the 20-30 mph wind gusts and you have yourself a challenging day on the water. I tried to cover as much water as I could hoping to run into 1 feeding fish. Right when I was going to call it quits I scored one of my best bows to date. He had some attitude and didn't like sitting in my net. I admired him for awhile and watched him swim into the depths. Great rush.....

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Good Fish Are Awakening From Their Winter Slumber

Taking Advantage Of High Water On A Highly Visited Limestoner

A Butter Brown Located In Shallower Water

This winter has been a tough one, and it keeps hanging on. One day it will feel like spring, the next snow blankets my front yard. This back and forth between the two has thrown the fish into a weird feeding pattern as well. It's either been real good or real bad depending on the day. 

Finding Skinny Water Produced At High Flows

Pat's Meat Eater.......Troutbitten Style

A very detailed approach to your favorite fishing spot could pay off though. When the fish are off, they don't seem to be move well for a fly. When they are on, violent strikes are what you will encounter. I recently went to one of my favorite big fish spots and worked a spot for a very long time. I made sure to cover every inch of water and I was surprised at how successful  the right drift, at just the right depth was. If I was off by a few inches they wouldn't react, but when I covered a fish and ran the flies right past their mouths, they would eat. Depending on how big your waters are....this could be very challenging but keep this in the back of your head if you go out in the next few days.

What Happened To The Background??? Yep Can't Give Up Our Secret Spot :)
Another Good Fish After Working A Run For A Long Time

The streamer bite has also been very good if you can time it right. Pat Burke and I ( took advantage of high water and floated a highly visited limestoner recently. Casting streamers to the bank paid off in a big way throughout the float.
You Know Your Having A Good Day When Your Getting Into These Regularly 
Wild Brown With Some Attitude 
One Memorable Streamer Eater 

We can't control what Mother Nature has in store for us the next few weeks, but we can control how we approach the water given to us when we have time to go out. Make a plan, stick too it, and if you will get into a few fish. Persistence is key.

You Know Your Having A Good Day When This Is Considered Small

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Yong Special Midge

This pattern was invented by an outstanding fisherman named Andy Kim, whom I lucked into fishing with some fifteen odd years ago on a snowy December day at Navajo Dam on the San Juan River. Mr. Kim at the time was very secretive about his patterns, and actually tied this fly onto my leader without showing me the pattern and proceeded to coach me up with some expert nymph fishing advice. It turned a slow day into a banner day, and I picked up a bunch of fatty rainbows behind the dam while fishing with him. We returned to the parking lot, and I realized that Andy was living out of his truck cap, peddling these flies for a living. Unfortunately for Mr. Kim, I could barely afford gas to get to the Juan!!!!!! Several years later, he let the secret out for all of us in a Fly Fisherman article. I don't know were Andy is now - but I hope he is still out there being a trout bum somewhere. The secret to this flies' success is that it is an exact imitation of the thousands of midge pupa that inhabit most waters across the world. Combine that with some good drifts, and BAM - he created a fantastic pattern. Tie these fellas up in olive, tan, red, yellow, etc. - they all have there moments! Get a seine, or stomach pump and commence tying up some hatch matchers.

Yong Special Midge from William Grobe on Vimeo.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Low Water And Shelf Ice

Dad scoring an awesome brown 

Usually this time of year we are dealing with High Water. Not so much in 2015. The majority of the state's rivers and streams are extremely low. Add in the coldest February on record and most of our streams are frozen.

This guy took my streamer hard

There are still a few places to fish, and my dad and I tried our luck at two of them the past few days. We had to deal with constant shelf ice, 20-30 mph winds and picky eaters. We did manage to score some fish, but had to work extremely hard for them. Rotating through flies and tactics didn't seem to matter much. You just had to get lucky and cover a fish that was in the mood to eat.

Early Morning Eater 

It's currently pouring outside, WE NEED IT.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Ready For Spring

I got to spend the day with my dad who turned 65 today, Happy Birthday Dad! We ventured out in the negative temperatures in hopes to get him a birthday brown. Well this stream didn't disappoint, and within the first hour he managed to score his present.

Dad's 65th Birthday Present 
Overall the fishing was slow. We caught some fish, but had to work hard to get them. The crazy part was how much ice the stream is starting to accumulate. Who's ready for spring?????

Frozen River 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Golden Stonefly Nymph

This pattern represents various yellow/brown stonefly species found east and west. I had very high success with this pattern on heavily fished streams in Pennsylvania and Maryland. The brown wire really enhances the segmentation with a lifelike color scheme. While a little on the time consuming side to tie, if you break it down to a body, then thorax step tie, then things really pick up steam. Enjoy!

Golden Stonefly Nymph from William Grobe on Vimeo.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Polar Winter 2015

Winter Meat Eater

   I think we should all consider taking up ice fishing so we have some options to fish in the next few weeks! I have scene way too many pictures of iced up rivers the last few days. Pat sent me a picture of Spring Creek and it is getting iced over! I don't ever remember there being a time when Spring Creek got icy. Oh well, if you look hard, there are still a few places to fish. I ventured out today in search of some wild browns and was rewarded with a good day on the water.
Tight Lining the soft seams

   The water was up, but focusing on the soft seams helped produced quite a few fish Tight-Lining. The weather was bright and sunny, but the streamer bite was solid too. I got more chases and bumps today then I have all winter long. Flows were high, temperatures were frigid but trout were still eating. A wise man once said if you get the chance to! (Thanks Dom)
Another One Bites The Dust 

Friday, February 13, 2015

Mutant Ninja Stonefly Nymph

I pieced this "semi" realistic stonefly pattern together from several popular patterns to come up with a different take on a stonefly imitation. The pattern is a little complicated, but not overly time consuming once you tie a few. The Nymph Stretch Skin body provides great segmentation and I like the soft feel it has when a trout would bite down on it. You can change the colors and materials to match any stonefly imaginable.

Mutant Ninja Stonefly Nymph from William Grobe on Vimeo.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

2015 Stock The Yough

After last year's great turnout we are once again doing the Stock The Yough Fundraiser on March 29th, 2015 at Nemacolin's Field Club. We were able to stock 6,500 yearling trout into the Trophy Trout water last year because of everyone's efforts. This year for the event we are bringing in George Daniel to speak at 2pm. Even if you don't have the cash to shoot, you can still buy 50/50 tickets and all that money will go straight to stocking fish, and you can hang out, listen to George speak and talk fly fishing with people that frequent the area. So please pass this information along and we hope to see you there!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Another Bad Idea

   I came across this today while browsing Pa Fly Fish. It really irritated me. Why the state wants to allow this is beyond reasoning. The sport fisherman in our state that enjoy catching fish in Delayed Harvest Areas should feel the need to write a letter to John Arway himself and express your frustration with this proposed plan. A similar proposition was voted down 8-0 in 2004, but only because enough people wrote letters voicing their concerns. We are at that crossroads again, so please, it doesn't have to be anything special but take the time to write John a might save your favorite Delayed Harvest Area from being ruined.  

PFBC Proposes Changes to Delayed Harvest Streams

Published by Dave Kile [dkile] on 01/28/2015 (1142 reads)
The Pennsylvania Board of Fish and Boat (PFBC) Commissioners proposed major changes to the existing delayed-harvest-artificial-lures-only (DHALO) stream sections when they met on January 21-22. Anglers who enjoy the special regulation waters will find trout harvested earlier and be sharing these streams with some who will be able to fish live bait year round if these changes go through January 1, 2016.

First Fork Sinnemahoning CreekThe current regulations for DHALO waters provide year-round trout fishing opportunities using only flies and artificial lures such as spinners. No bait is allowed. Anglers may harvest fish between June 15 and Labor Day with a limit of three fish a day greater than 9". Less than 96 miles of water and 55 streams make up the DHALO regulations that include stream sections on West Valley Creek, Oil Creek, Neshannock Creek, Black Moshannon Creek, First Fork Sinnemahoning Creek, Pine Creek, Quittapahilla Creek, Laurel Hill Creek and Tulpehocken Creek.

The newly proposed rule changes by board members take the special regulation program in a very different direction. Changes for the DHALO move up the start of the delayed harvest period three weeks to the Saturday before Memorial Day. The daily limit would be set to three fish greater than 7". Bait fishing would be permitted during the new harvest period for all anglers. Finally, anglers 16 and younger would be able to fish with bait year-round.

The PFBC hopes to provide more opportunities for anglers and enhance the fishing experience with these changes. “By expanding the harvest period and allowing the use of bait, we can increase angler success while improving the use of the trout before they are lost to natural mortality in the warmer summer months,” said PFBC Executive Director John Arway.

Pennsylvania contains over 85,000 miles of streams and rivers. The PFBC and cooperative nurseries stock over 4,100,000 trout in approximately 735 streams and numerous lakes across the state. The DHALO projects are made up of 55 streams that on average cover about 1.6 miles of water. All DHALO streams are subsections of approved trout waters open to public fishing and stocked for all anglers in the Commonwealth.

Back in 2004 then Commissioner President Samuel M. Concilla of Erie County shared his views at a board meeting about the DHALO regulations as they are established today, "I think Delayed Harvest is one of the best programs developed by the commission. It offers a lot of angling opportunities."

Over ten years later many anglers still agree and are not in favor of the proposed changes. "The new proposal is not the right approach and I don't see how harvesting more fish sooner will make fishing a better experience on these streams" shared Ron Kolman of Indiana County, Pennsylvania.

Many of the DHALO streams contain hold-over trout during the summer and are available for another fishing opportunity by anglers in the fall. This is important to anglers with most fall stockings having been eliminated. Anglers fishing in DHALO streams with flies and artificial lures are able to catch and release a trout multiple times. Early harvesting and bait fishing clean out a project much more quickly.

"Bait fishing mortality is greater than the use of artificial lures. Even in the Delayed Harvest period, anglers with bait will likely be killing trout through their intent to catch and release further reducing the angling opportunities for those willing to abide by the original regulation," offers Maurice Chioda of York County.

In addition, Trout Unlimited worked hard with the PFBC to establish and encourage landowners to provide access for anglers to these special project waters based on the current regulations. Will these landowners still provide the same access if the regulations are changed?

Memorial Day weekend is considered by many anglers as the top weekend for fly fishing and continues for several weeks afterwards. Pennsylvania offers some of the most premier fly fishing destinations on the east coast, which includes many of these special regulation streams. Tourists travel to the state to enjoy these unique (fly fishing) waters through the late spring and summer. With limited budgets, will tourist still want to come to streams already harvested or go to other more appealing destinations in the west or north?

Thoughts and comments can be shared in the Paflyfish forum. Directing comments to state officials is even more important.

The proposed changes will be published as a notice of proposed rulemaking in the PA Bulletin for a 60-day public comment period. If adopted on a final rulemaking, the amendments would take effect on January 1, 2016.

Interested persons are encouraged to submit written comments, objections or suggestions about the proposed rulemaking to the PFBC Executive Director John Arway, Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, P.O. Box 67000, Harrisburg, PA 17106-7000.

Anglers are encouraged to contact their Pennsylvania State Representatives. Written letters are best and Representatives can be found at the Pennsylvania House of Representatives website.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Loyalhanna Fishing Report - Winter Hogs

Headed out to the Loyalhanna today to take advantage of the warm weather. The water was at a great level, and there weren't any other people out surprisingly. Worked several holes with nymphs and streamers, only getting one swipe at a minnow pattern for most of the day. Right before I was going to wrap it up, I scored on this huge, beautifully colored 20" rainbow. Today it was quality, not quantity in the 724! First Hog of 2015 for me.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Royal Gorgeous Caddis - Tying Instructions

This is a neat little fish catcher that I picked up out in Colorado that fishes equally well back east. The pattern mimics the ubiquitous green rock worm caddis that are so prevalent on many streams. The pattern has weight to get it down to the fish's eye level, sparkle to attract attention, and the small rubber legs in the dubbing provide some all important extra movement. I also tie this pattern in yellow, brown/white, and straight pale olive.

Royal Gorgeous Caddis from William Grobe on Vimeo.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015


A nymph eater in the pocket water

   Man did I luck out with the weather today! I had all day to fish and couldn't of planned it better. When I arrived at the stream it was in the teens but by day's end I was shedding layers because it got up to 47 degrees! It felt really good to tight-line without gloves on.

This guy had some neat red spots 

  The fishing was pretty good in some sections, and slow in others. I ended up drop shoting most of the day because the gunk at the bottom of the stream is starting to get bad. I believe this is the most effective way to combat this, but your flies don't always ride where they need to be. So you either catch the fish that are very eager to eat and bypass the ones feeding smack dab on the bottom. At least you don't have to clean  your flies as much.
Early Morning Eater

   Because of the warm weather a small black midge started to hatch in the afternoon bringing up a few heads in the slower pools. I decided to mimic the midge with an underwater pattern and it produced a few fish here and there. Fishing the pocket water still seemed to produce the most fish, but covering water is a must if you want to get numbers.
Brown Town 

   The warmth reminded me things are headed for a change in the near future, I only hope mother nature gives us some much needed snow/rain in the meantime, our rivers and streams are too low for my liking!