Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Stress Reliever

Stress Reliever 
The past few weeks have been a whirl wind for me. After coming home from an Epic Vacation in Central PA my life turned upside down. A few crazy things happened at work and now I'm moving to Bozeman Montana in a few days. Not a bad place to end up but stressful to say the least. I needed to clear my head this morning and wet a line. Options were tough to come by, most of our waterways are high......that seems to be the theme of 2015.
Look at those markings! 

One place was flowing good even with the rains, I ventured out at 5:30 am in hopes to fool some feisty wild browns and brookies. This place didn't disappoint. The fishing was lights out for the 4 hours I was there. I always do well when flows are higher then normal here. Fishing close to the banks with my Tight-Line rig is the way to go. The best part was I had the entire stream to myself. Good Times.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Timing Things Right

Impressive Size This Year 
Timing Things Right 
Wild Brown 

Blizzard Sulphur Spinner 
Andy Scoring A Fatty 

Timing things right in the world of fly fishing can be a hard task to complete. Anglers only have so much time to dedicate to the sport, so when the opportunity presents itself to get out on the water, each and everyone of us hopes for the best conditions possible. That doesn't happen often. Too much sun, too little water, too many people or a nasty thunderstorm can ruin your day quickly.
Dad Working On His Drift 

Well the Grobe Family had an 8 day fishing excursion planned recently and let me tell you......we timed it RIGHT! Cool temperatures, overcast skies and low water created an epic scene that will go down as one of the best fishing vacations of our lives.
Found This Guy Right Off A Log 

From snakes to 20+ inch trout, the days were filled with so much excitement I didn't know where the time went. All 8 days feel like a jumbled blur now. All I can tell you is the fish rose to mayflies and ate subsurface so frequently that our numbers were downright silly at times. Add in the impressive browns that were netted and we got everything you could ask for.
My Favorite Catch Of The Trip 

The Slate Drakes and #14 BWO'S came off in the afternoon and had fish looking to the surface. A few extremely productive patterns under the surface racked in big numbers for us the entire trip. We tried to shy away from the crowds and that proved to be a very rewarding move.

Time to let the pictures tell the rest of the story:


Beast From The East

Early Morning Fish

Laying Near The Bank

Swift Water Score

Murky Water Helped The Fishing

Can't Get Enough Of These Wild Browns

Epic For Sure! 

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