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 (www.troutbitten.com) 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 fish....fish! (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 letter....it 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

Sunshine!

 
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!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Rainbow Warrior - Tying Instructions

The versatile Rainbow Warrior pattern is a hybrid crossing a Disco Midge with a WD40 - taking two fish catching patterns and melding them into one very good pattern. East of the Mississippi I like them in #14 -#18, but out west it is likely #18 -#22. Check out the "Scalped Warrior" at the end of the video for a little twist that often is the ticket on those hard fished tailwaters - east or west.

Rainbow Warrior from William Grobe on Vimeo.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

PRINCE NYMPH - TYING INSTRUCTIONS

The Prince nymph is one of the most common attractor nymphs out there, but it is hard to argue with it's fish catching prowess. Maybe it lies in the white "horns", or the subtle peacock herl flash, or even the ubiquitous subaquatic shape, or maybe it is all that wrapped into one pattern. The bottom line is that this fly catches fish east to west, in many sizes, so it was an obvious choice to launch our fly tying video series! Please enjoy this initial installment.

Prince Nymph from William Grobe on Vimeo.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Lethargic Fish

Low, Clear Water 

   I was able to meet my buddy Bill for a day of fishing this week. We ventured out in the snowstorm that hit us earlier in the week. Traveling on the banks was slow going because of the 8 inches that blanketed the ground. After plowing through the snow we finally got set up and started fishing. The water was low and clear, making Tight-Lining challenging without spooking the fish. We still had at it, but numbers were low. We did managed to get a couple, some nice 15-16 inch fish. The small stuff was the only thing we were getting them on.

Nice 16 inch wild brown

   The fish just seemed lethargic the whole day. Ya I know it's winter, but usually we can fool a few more then we did today. Oh well, days like that will make you a better fisherman I guess. The wind made things challenging as well, presenting flies with a natural drift was tough. Good day out on the water though, thanks for meeting up with me Bill.....till next time!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Patagonia Foot Tractor Wading Boot: Gear Review

   Because I get to fish so much, I've gone through numerous pairs of wading boots over the years. Felt, studs, rubber soles....you name it and I've worn it. I go through 2-3 sets a year. I usually hate splurging on boots because I have no faith they will last. That was until I got the new Patagonia Foot Tractor Wading Boots. There's a reason they have won some awards this year, they are LEGIT.

   Traction and durability are the most important things to me when looking into purchasing a wading boot. The most striking feature people will notice is the wedged aluminum bars on the sole of the boot. The bars are soft enough to grab rocky surfaces with a good grip, but hard enough to cut through anything else mother nature throws at you. The bars provide a large area for traction like felt but don’t wear out like felt soles. They also have the ability to keep you stable with the wedged traction bars. They are the sturdiest boots I've ever worn on the stream. Even though they are light, they are well constructed and I feel confident they will last me the entire fishing season.

   I've tested these out on some streams that are known to eat anglers on a regular basis. These boots have given me the confidence to wade further into the river and catch more fish. Absolutely a must have if you are in the market for a new fishing boot, you won't be disappointed.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Winter Escapades


Winter Escapade
Cold hands are worth it for these fish





 
Small Stream, Good Fish


Pat scores a good fish
www.troutbitten.com
 I got to celebrate my birthday for a few days this week. It started out with a lovely day of skiing with my wife, then some pizza and a movie.....that's what I call a birthday. To top it all off my wife let me go fishing for a few days with my dad and my good friend Pat Burke (www.troutbitten.com)


   Winter fishing can be mentally challenging. Not only are you dealing with cold hands, but usually you are layered up and feel like you weigh 20 pounds heavier then you really are. Trying to move around, take pictures, cast your rod, stay dry and focused can be a challenging thing to do while spending an entire day on the water. Well we accomplished all of that in a 3 day span.

Black and White



21 inch trout that needs to eat more


   The first two days of the trip were very challenging and rewarding at the same time. Numbers were very low but the quality was extremely high. I'll take that any day of the week. Covering deeper water depressions was the ticket if you wanted to find a trout that was hungry. I caught most of my fish under the indicator because Tight-lining wasn't working for us. One certain nymph pattern was the ticket in fooling this pretty wild fish.

Hefty Little Fella
Winter Wonderland


   Day #3 proved to be the high numbers day, and I still managed to catch a few good fish as well. The snow came down hard and created a beautiful setting to end my trip. Great times were had with friends and family, a 33rd birthday I'll never forget!

Nymph Eater
One for the road


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Winter Soldier

Aggressive Eater
   I woke up this morning and felt like someone beat the shit out me. The river I fished yesterday can do that to you because it's brutal to wade. I went into the kitchen, filled my coffee mug, kissed the wife goodbye as she headed for work and stared outside at the heavy snow squall coming down. Overnight Old Man Winter dumped 3 fresh inches of snow on the ground. A brief check at the radar indicated it wasn't stopping anytime soon.

   I wasn't in the mood to sit down and tie flies. So I decided to pack up the truck with my artillery and do some fishing. The snow was puking out there, but the weather wasn't all that bad. There was no wind to speak of and the air temperatures was a balmy 20 degrees. The drive in was slow because the roads were covered, but I eventually got to my parking spot.

   Nothing beats walking through the woods when there is a fresh blanket of snow on the ground. The march in was peaceful and quite, the only sounds I could hear were my boots crunching in the snow. After breaking trail in 4 inches of the fresh stuff for 20 minutes, I was warmed up and ready for battle...time to fish.

Wild Brown
   I was excited to Tight-Line and get better drifts today. The first spot I stopped at was an indicator hole though, yesterday it produced 4-5 fish and today ZILCH! Dang the day wasn't starting off so good. I moved into the pocket water and focused my attention on the banks. I managed to get a few fish this way, very similar to yesterday, maybe a few more fish. The action picked up around mid-day, I was definitely getting into a few more fish. Unlike yesterday, I could tell my drifts were better quality, and the fish agreed. The soft spots behind structure that produced so well in the spring/summer still held fish, just not in the numbers I am used too. The slower water feels like it has more fish then normal, maybe the trout are moving into winter lies.

   I think it was a pretty good outing for a winter trip, numbers were good enough to forget about the cold. A few times my hands got numb, but only when they got wet. They got wet because I was catching fish, nothing to complain about there.

Best Fish Of The Day 

   I landed a decent amount of fish in the 11-13 inch range, and a few were 15 inches. The best of the day was this studly 18 incher. Around 4:15pm I marched on down the path to my truck, feeling battered and bruised, but ready for another day in the trenches soon........
Till The Next Time......

Monday, January 5, 2015

Patagonia 3-in-1 River Salt Jacket

Ok, I've only been out on the water 1 time with this beast but I have no doubt it will continue to produce. I wanted a new jacket because my winter coat is bright red. I know right, I'm getting carried away but I always thought during the winter months I was spooking fish because the water is usually low and clear. Well Santa hooked me up (Thanks Mom and Dad!) and today was the first day out on the water with it.

The shell itself has Patagonia's H2NO Performance Standard Shell to block the wind and keep you dry. I have a few other Patagonia Jackets like this and they are all bomb proof. The cuffs are spandex and for the first time ever my base layers didn't get a drop of water on them. Usually when I release fish it's inevitable that some water leaks down your jacket sleeve, not with this jacket. There are plenty of pockets that can store a bunch of gear. But....my favorite feature is the Button Up Nano-Puff. I did a float with a client 2 months ago and he gave the Nano-Puff rave reviews. He was spot on. I layered with a thin wool long underwear top, and a zip-up fleece. I was out on the water for 8 hours today, it was 19 degrees with 20-30 mph winds....there were times I was sweating lol. I don't know what the heck that PrimaLoft Gold insulation is but it keeps you warm and is light. The weight is such an added bonus, I felt 50 pounds lighter then last year at this time. Ya it's expensive. But if you don't mind spending the cash or can get a deal on this jacket, I HIGHLY recommend it.

Hell Weeks......




 Hell Weeks......well that's what I call them. It's the time around Christmas Eve to somewhere after New Year's Day. This is what the tourism industry calls these two Holidays.  Don't get me wrong, it's great, business is good, workers are busy and the resort is making money. But, after 2 weeks of working, sleeping, eating and not much else, I look forward to the Monday after New Years Day. Everyone else is dreading going back to work, but the few of us who worked over the Holidays makes this day feel like Christmas all over again.

My Therapy 


   After driving on snow covered roads for 30 minutes I finally arrived at my destination. The weather couldn't of been worse, 19 degrees with 20-30 mph winds.  I still had a smile on my face as I was rigging up. I've been longing to wet a line since the Hell Weeks started.

   As I was getting blown over by the wind, I realized I better throw on a TB because Tight Lining would be near impossible. Fishing an indicator on this river is not my first choice, the currents are too complex to get good drifts and registering strikes becomes a challenge. But I didn't mind so much today, I was just happy to be out. I took a long walk away from where I parked,  didn't want to get back to my truck till 4. I recently got a new wading jacket for Christmas, the 3-1 Salt River Jacket from Patagonia. I wanted to put it to the in these harsh conditions. I also scored a pair of Patagonia Foot Tractor Wading Boots, no better place to test their traction then here.

   After 20 minutes of walking I finally dunked my nymph's in the river. I started in a slower area methodically working my way through the hole. I managed to land a few fish and lost 1 really good high teens brown. He put on an impressive head shake but my set was slow and the hook didn't stick. Oh well. I continued to work upstream, fighting off cold hands, ice build up and broken rigs. I swear it took me 2 hours to move 100 yards because I kept breaking off. Nothing is more frustrating then re-gigging when your hands are numb. The fish were still spread out throughout all types of water, I caught fish in slow water, on the banks, and in heavy pockets. My confidence wasn't great fishing this type of water with the TB but I still caught a few fish each hour to make the day go by quickly.

   In route back to where I parked I tried throwing streamers. I fished them hard for about 20 minutes but only got 1 chase, the fish was a solid mid-teens brown. A nice ice cold Head Hunter was waiting for me back at the truck and the streamer bite was off, easy decision..... I gave up on throwing meat for the Head Hunter......good choice. While drinking my beer I noticed my streamer was frozen solid....maybe not enough movement in the water??? LOL
Head Hunter


   Toward the end of the day I scored my best brown of this outing, I very colored up 16 inch wild brown. That was the icing on the cake, Hell Week is forgotten and a new year is upon us.......

Icing On The Cake.....Or All Over My Body


I'll post a gear review on my two new products, but 2 thumbs up to both, my core stayed extremely warm for 8 straight hours, Patagonia knows how to develop top notch outdoor apparel. As for the boots they worked tremendous, I wish I would of had a pair of these last year.