Monday, October 13, 2014

The Water Is Finally Cooling Off

Not A Steelhead :) 


I was able to float twice this week. The water temps are finally starting to cool off on the river. Action was pretty darn good both floats for fish. Float #1 had us doing really well under the bobber with various nymph's. Float #2 we experienced the same but the streamer bite was also very good. It was really exciting to see fish chase out of the boat. The lower river seems to be fishing much better then the upper. Big Golden Drakes were hatching sporadically throughout the day on Float #1 but seemed to disappear the next day. The occasional October Caddis, Slate Drake and BWO were also lingering around, and some fish were working the surface if you looked closely at the water. I think the fishing will continue to get better as long as the water temps continue to drop.

Laurel Highlands Hunting Report 10-13-14

Well the first full week of bow season has come and gone! Wow, things do move way too fast nowadays.  Well combined we only got out two mornings and two nights, and those outings amounted to about zero, zilch, nada.  So much for the first week success that has blessed us the past few years.  The deer seemed very tuned to the edge of light on both sides of the horizon, and it was does at that.  One thing is for sure - Saturday night, cool day - light wind - man it felt good to be out hunting.  I'll be checking in frequently so stay tuned.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Here and There

Fall Colors In The Air


I managed to get out a few times before and after some vacation time with the wife. Nothing spectacular to report, a few good fish but the fishing seems to have slowed down in most parts. Hopefully the fall spawn will trigger some action soon.


Great Brown Out Of A Small Stream

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Reminder: COME SUPPORT!


HARRISBURG, Pa. (Sept. 16) – The Youghiogheny River and Ohiopyle State Park in southwestern Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands region offer a treasure trove of recreational activities for outdoor enthusiasts, from whitewater rafting and kayaking, to biking along the Great Allegheny Passage trail, to fishing for world class trout.

With so many opportunities, visitors could use a little “inside advice” when it comes to planning trips to the popular area.

In conjunction with various Yough River guides and outfitters, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) will deliver “Yough Talk” on Monday, Sept. 29, from 7-9 p.m. at the Nemacolin Woodlands Shooting Academy in Markleysburg.

“The list of outdoor activities in our area is just remarkable, which has made this region a destination vacation spot for so many people,” says Boswell resident Lenny Lichvar, who serves as the PFBC District 4 Commissioner representing Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Fulton, Huntingdon, Juniata, Mifflin and Somerset counties.

“A lot of local residents know what a gem we have right here in our backyard, but they’d probably be surprised when they hear from the experts who spend the majority of their time enjoying these resources,” he added. “This is their chance to hear the ‘best of’ the Yough from the pros.”

In addition to guides and outfitters, the evening event will include a presentation from Rick Lorson, PFBC Area 8 Fisheries Manager, who will describe what fish inhabit the river and where they live and will discuss how the PFBC manages the fishery so it remains a popular fishing area.

The evening presentation is free and open to the public.

Details include:

Date: Monday, Sept. 29

Time: 7 – 9 p.m.

Location: Nemacolin Woodlands Shooting Academy, 321 Pike School Road, Markleysburg, PA 15459

Agenda:

Greeting – Dale Kotowski, Moderator

Welcome – John Arway, PFBC Executive Director

Yough Talk – Yough River Guides and Outfitters

Yough River Management Plan – Rick Lorson, PFBC Area 8 Fisheries Manager

Public Q & A – Yough River Guides and Outfitters and PFBC staff

The evening event coincides with the PFBC’s quarterly business meeting, which will be held Sept. 29-30 at the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Farmington. More information about the quarterly business meeting is available at: http://fishandboat.com/minutes.htm.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Buttery Brown

BUTTER

Got a few good ones today but overall the fishing was slow! 
18 incher with some girth 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Come Support The Youghiogheny River!

A few local organizations like Laurel Highlands Guide Service, Chestnut Ridge Trout Unlimited, Wilderness Voyagers and Nemacolin Woodlands Orvis Endorsed Lodge have worked extremely hard over the years to create some awareness about the Youghiogheny River in Maryland and PA. Everyone's combined efforts has allowed us to get the PFBC to hold a public meeting on Monday September 29th at 7pm at the Nemacolin Field Club. At this meeting the PFBC and the local Guide Services will deliver a presentation about the Yough. Everyone that lives in the area and get's to fish this river knows that the potential for a World Class Fishery is there, we just need a different management plan in place for stocking and potential regulation changes. I am asking anyone that has checked out our blog for the last few years to please attend, a good turnout will show the PFBC that the anglers in Southwestern PA don't need to travel into the center of the state anymore to find world class fishing, it's right in our backyards and with a little help from everyone we can make the Youghiogheny River one of the best rivers in the East Coast. So come out, bring a friend and watch history unfold on the 29th....should be fun! Tight Lines To All!

Monday, September 8, 2014

September Slate Drakes

Fat Brown



After a long hiatus from PA water I decided to fish early this morning. Water temps were around 64 degrees at first light. The fishing was very productive under the surface this morning. I managed to get into them pretty good using some caddis flies. The September version of the Slate Drake started hatching good around 9am. These bugs looked like a #14 to me. Some fish took notice and started rising but I had to leave. Felt good to get back on our home water.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

A Few More Pictures


Studly Colorado Brown!
Another Good Fish


As my brother stated below, we left the Arkansas and headed North for the last few days of our trip. Well I'm glad we did because we stumbled upon an amazing fishery almost by accident. This river doesn't get the hype that other streams do in this state, and for that I will keep it's name a secret for all those lucky folks that call it their home water. The upper portion gave away a good amount of 14-16 inch rainbows and a few bigger ones. The bottom portion was dominated by 14-17 inch wild browns. I also landed the biggest fish of the trip here. All I can say is WOW....huge numbers and great fish!


Fat Daddy!
Short Mouth


One For The Road



Thursday, September 4, 2014

Fly Fishing on the Arkansas River 2014



Matt and I hit the Arkansas river from Salida, Co up thru Granite, Co over a four day stretch recently.  We arrived at Buena Vista, Co and quickly found a place to camp at one of the numerous camping areas along the Arkansas river, Ruby Mountain, and got an hour or so of hurried fishing in, even landing a few on nymphs.  We pitched up the tent, rearranged the gear, and quickly fell asleep after the long flight and drive from Pa.





 Early the next morning we were greeted with 40F temps and some fantastic Colorado scenery.  We fished several access points south toward Salida over the course of the day, even getting booted off some private water that we had crossed into by mistake.  The fishing was decent and we both landed several nice wild browns in the 12" range.    After cycling through many patterns and techniques, it became clear that the Ark was not going to give up any trout on the top, and nymphing was the way to go.  Stonefly nymphs, caddis nymphs, and Copper Johns were the mainstay for this first day, and the bulk of the trip really.  We racked up many miles and access points as we didn't stop fishing til dark, Big Bend, Hecla Junction, Brown's Canyon, and Rincon access points all produced fish, with the Rincon access being the hotspot for the day.



 Day 2 had us moving up to above the Granite area into the Hayden Ranch access.  The water up here was much more wadable and smaller, with a typical western meadow character.  The fishing proved equally strong, and the catching was actually a little better once we figured out to come down a size or two on our flies.  The top water action at least had a heartbeat, as I did manage a few trout along the bank with a Deer Hair Ant pattern, and one or two on the an Olive emerger.  Overall it was still a nymphing game, and as usual Matt was scoring very well using tight line tactics.  Over the course of the day we racked up several more stops, Granite SWA, Kobe, Railroad, and Champion access points were all covered.  The fishing on the Arkansas river can be summed up easily - stay on the shore, and cast no more than ten feet off the bank, if you catch some trout - great, if not keep moving until you do.  Every fish we caught was within ten feet of the bank - no kidding.  This was the overwhelming theme of fishing this river.  Cast - Good Drift - Move, no pounding holes all day here.

Day 3 started out with a bighorn sheep sighting right as we left the campground, followed by a bald eagle fighting with some other birds - all in 10 minutes of leaving camp!


We drove down to Texas Creek and began our final day's fishing, which proved very similar to the past few days, great catching on nymphs, zero dry fly action, and walking, walking, walking along the banks to keep finding the bankside honey holes.  Many more people on this day, but really we did very well fishing, keeping up with our average of at least 50 fish per day between the two of us.  That is good catching on any stream.  Texas Creek, Cotopaxi, Lone Pine, Vallie Bridge, and Stonebridge - all accesses fished on another 12 hour day of fishing.  We decided not to huddle next to the Whisperlites for dinner and chowed down at the Eddyline Brew Pub in Buena Vista, awesome wood-fired pizzas and excellent IPA and pale ales!  The next day we were off to another Colorado freestone stream further north, but had one more stop to make for breakfast at the Evergreen Cafe, also in Buena Vista, great food, service, and prices - we should of been eating there every morning!

Summing up the Arkansas is a fine fishery, but has a character all of it's own.  I've never fished anywhere that the fishing was so edge oriented, it felt like the fishing just did not even consider finding refuge anywhere but the banks.  The bug life was limited, but it was September, so things were wrapping up from summer, and the Baetis of fall weren't full bore yet.  I was slightly disappointed that the top water bite was nil, but with wild fish and water that was above average - it fits i guess.  The nymphing was great, and the pattern choice simple, Stonefly and Caddis nymphs, all day everyday.  The fish population here is fantastic, the size in the 10" - 15" range on average - which is fun, mostly browns, with rainbows showing up more frequently toward Salida.  Hopefully someday we'll be back for a hatch or two for another insight into this good trout stream.



We spent the last couple days further north, on a fantastic, under the radar trout stream!  We decided to not reveal the stream's location to respect the locals and fine fishing that we found, and to promote the spirit of adventure that all of us need.  Go out and find this gem on your own!


This stream is a fantastic freestoner, with loads of rainbows and browns to the 16" mark, and each day showed a few even fatter than that.  The water showed great riffle to pool to riffle mentality and provided fine fishing.  The fact I could spent and hour pounding a hole was a welcome relief to the billygoat fishing the Ark required. The access was improved, with much longer sections of public water.  The overall bug life seemed in tune with the Ark and time of year, meaning not much going on for the top water fisherman, but I have a feeling this was the exception to the rule, again revealing our high water on a wild trout river = no dry fly philosophy.  The nymphing was outrageous though!  Matt had stretches that he literally caught fish on every cast - awesome.  It really was a fantastic way to round out our Colorado 2014 fishing trip.







Monday, August 18, 2014

Good Day For Big Wild Browns

Biggest Brown Of The Day....Right At 24
Love the colors on this one
23 inch beast!
Took a trip today and it was worth the drive! Nymphing was spectacular for big wild browns. It seemed like every fish on was at least 18 inches......one of those day's I won't forget!


Slab Happy
18 inch baby
Ya Buddy!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Hot and Sunny



Butter Brown!
My brother and I met up today and almost melted in the sun! Man was it a hot one. The fishing wasn't as slow as I thought it was going to be though. We managed to pick up lots of fish in the 9-14 inch class. I was also lucky enough to get my hands around 2 pretty good browns as well. Bugs were very sparse outside the mid-day Slate Drakes that brought a few fish to the surface. Not too bad for early August!

Zit on his lip


Sunday, August 3, 2014

Eluding The Rain


Fatty Brown

We dodged a bullet last night and the heavy rain that hit most of the state didn't effect our local streams. I got out early this morning and pounded a few of my favorite spots with nymph's. Action wasn't consistent but the quality was pretty good. Bugs were sparse this morning but the cloud cover should provide very good dry fly fishing tonight. Hopefully the rain is done, I have off tomorrow and plan on spending the entire day on the water! 



Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Beefcake

Spent a few hours tonight fishing and it was SLOW! I cycled through nymph's and couldn't find the meal ticket. After much trail and error I finally got into a good fish....Beefcake's his name. After landing him the evening continued to fish poorly. I only managed 2 more trout and 1 stinky bass!


Monday, July 21, 2014

Mid-Day Action In July



Can't beat a 22 inch Wild Brown!
I Met my buddy Dom for some fishing today. We were in search of  big wild browns and this stream didn't disappoint. The morning started off slowly but Mid-Day proved to be the meal ticket! The action heated up from 12:30-2....weird for this time of year. We kept nymph's on the whole time and managed to get a few good fish. Great day out for mid July!

Another view of the Brown

Landed 3-4 fish very similar to this guy....not too shabby!




Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Murky Water And Some Good Fish

Best Brown Of The Year So Far
Got out for a few hours after work tonight, water was murky but it feels like that's just what the bigger fish needed to become more active. I landed 3 good fish tonight, the best being a 23 inch brown. I'm really starting to enjoy fishing in some mud!

Hero Pose

Good Looking Bow


Monday, July 7, 2014

Finding Cold Water In July

Soft Hackle was the meal ticket



I got the chance to fish from 9:30am-5pm today. The weather was hot and sunny and because I got a late start my expectations were not very high. I started of Tight-Lining and was surprised to see some Sulphur's still hatching. A dropped a soft hackle 18 inches above my anchor fly and this was the ticket. Fish ate the fly willingly for the next few hours. Spooking fish was an issue because of the sunny skies and low water, I had to make myself wade with more caution. I moved locations and really started getting into fish. The pocket water really produced for me today.

They don't get much better looking then this guy

Pocket Water Produced


Sunday, July 6, 2014

Rocky Mountain National Park: Day 3 - The Loch/Lake of Glass

We woke up early on Friday morning to try and get ahead of the crowds and get started on a 10 mile, round trip hike out to the Lake of Glass and Sky Pond. We headed to the Glacier Gorge Trailhead only to find out that we didn't get an early enough start on the day because the parking lot was full and we had to continue to drive to Bear Lake. We lucked out at the Bear Lake parking lot and pulled in as someone was just leaving. Starting at Bear Lake added about .3 miles to our hike which wasn't bad at all. This hike was a steady climb the entire was up the mountain and I believe ended up being about 4.6 miles to the Lake of Glass which is located above the Loch Vale.
On the way up to the Loch
 The hike up was a steady climb but was a very enjoyable hike. Once we made it up to the Loch we started to hike through some snow patches on the mountain. Although there was a path through the snow, it still made the hike difficult because it was hard to hold your footing. There were tons of people on this trail and A LOT of the hikers we saw had fly rods with them. I didn't have time to fish the Loch but saw a lot of people casting their lines into the water there. I was able to fish just above the Loch in the Icy Brook which connects the Loch to the Lake of Glass. I didn't expect just how awesome the water would be in between these two lakes. The Icy Brook just above the Loch was loaded with fish and I saw a lot of nice fish in the stream. 

A few nice fish!

The Loch
 I ended up catching a few using a dropper off of my dry fly and missed a few along the way too! I caught a very nice Greenback (pictured below) and decided it was time to finish out our hike and try again at the Lake of Glass.
Greenback caught in the Icy Brook
 When we started back up again, the climb to the Lake of Glass was pretty difficult because of the snow and incline. There were a lot of people slipping on the trail and all of us had to grab some makeshift hiking sticks to aid in our climb through the snow. It was all worthwhile because once we reached Timberline Falls the views were incredible. In order to reach the Lake of Glass you had to climb up the side of the falls and the lake sat just at the top of the waterfall. The climb wasn't too difficult as long as you took your time and had your feet set before you started your next move.

When we reached the Lake of Glass I began seeing fish rising, and after watching the water a little longer I could see countless fish were coming to the surface! I quickly got my rod together and started casting out to the rising fish. I hooked into one Greenback and then missed two more when a storm came over the mountain and hail began to fall. We made the decision to climb back down the falls and try and get further down the mountain as fast as we could. We didn't have rain gear and had no way of telling how long the storm would last. Unfortunately we never made it all the way to Sky Pond and my fishing was cut short. I would absolutely hike back to this spot if I ever get out to RMNP again to further explore the fishing here.

View from Timberline Falls

Hiking through the snow!

Lake of Glass

Casting through the wind

Climbing up the waterfall

The storm that chased us off the top of the mountain ended after about 30 minutes and we decided to just hike out and get back to the campsite at Glacier Basin. This turned out to be the right decision because when we got back to camp more storms rolled in and we were stranded in the car for about two hours before we could cook dinner. We woke up the next morning and headed into Estes Park to walk around town and get a fresh cup of coffee before heading back to Denver, where we went to a few different brew houses and had a nice steak dinner! This was my second trip to RMNP and it only makes me want to get back out there again to continue exploring the park and everything it has to offer. 

Rocky Mountain National Park: Day 2 - Fern Lake Trail/Big Thompson River

We woke up early at Finch Lake and packed up our gear to get an early start on the day. We hiked the 5 miles back to the trailhead in a little over 2 hours. It was much easier on the way out because the entire hike was downhill. Once back at the car we headed to Glacier Basin Campground to set up camp and get back out into the park. Once camp was set up we headed over to the Fern Lake Trailhead to hike up to the "Big Pool" on the Big Thompson River. This hike was only about 1.8 miles from the trailhead but I had plans to fish the entire was up while my buddies enjoyed the hike and hung out while I fished. I ended up catching a few fish here and there but I though that the river was very high for this time of year. RMNP had a higher than average snow pack this year and most of the mountains still had piles of snow on them.
The Big Pool
 As we were hiking up the trail I decided to go off the trail a bit and check out the stream. I walked down into a small open area and headed to the stream, with my friends a little behind me changing into sandals. When they met up with me about 5 minutes after I started fishing they told me I walked right by a Moose without ever seeing it! I wanted to take a look at her because I had never seen one before. As we headed back we realized that there was a mother and her calf grazing the open area about 25 yards away from us. We wanted to give them their space so we headed back to the trail, as they stared us down the entire time we got a little nervous. There was no other option than to get back to the trail and try and put as much space between us as possible. We were within 20-25 yards of them the entire time but made it back to the trail. As my friends changed back into their boots I noticed that the mother was following us and continued to get closer and closer. She got to about 15 yards away when she started to charge at us! Luckily she turned away under 10 yards from us and headed back to her calf. It was a nerve racking experience but quite the story to have!
Beautiful colors 
After our close call with the moose I had enough time to fish the Meadows section of the Big Thompson River. I worked my way through about a half mile of the stream picking up numerous fish along the way on attractor patterns. There were a ton of fisherman out because it was a beautiful day so I was happy with how well I was doing on top!

That water was high and freezing!
A few storms rolled in as we got into the evening hours so we decided to head back to camp and enjoy a few beers over dinner. We wanted to have a relaxing night because we had planned to do a 10 mile hike our last day in the park.

A heard of Elk bedded down behind Hoff