Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Beefcake

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

Rocky Mountain National Park: Day 1 - Finch Lake

For my friends bachelor party, three of us headed out to Colorado to spend 4 days in Rocky Mountain National Park. We arrived on Wednesday July 2 and wanted to hike the Ouzel Lake Trail and spend our first night in the backcountry. Mother nature had different plans for us because when we arrived at the backcountry office we were told there there was between 3-6 feet of snow at our campsite. We decided not to risk camping in the snow and ended up hiking 5 miles out to Finch Lake to spend our first night inside of RMNP. 


Finch Lake
The hike out to Finch Lake was 5 miles and for the first mile you head directly up hill on a very steep incline. The path is well marked and easy to stay on but it was a little brutal going up because there were (what felt like) hundreds of steps on your way up. The scenery was beautiful as you hike through wildflowers and pine trees the entire way to the lake. I ended up being able to throw some casts into Finch Lake but there were no fish there to take my flies. I ended up talking to a few people that said if we were to make an additional 2 mile hike to Pearl Lake that we would have found some fish to cast to. The backcountry campsite was well kept and after we set up camp we had a mule deer walk right beside our tent as she was passing through the area. The total hike out to the lake took us about 3 hours with a few stops for pictures and water breaks. Although this hike wasn't what we had planned for our first day, I wasn't disappointed with this choice. We spent the rest of the evening playing cards outside the tent and enjoying our surroundings in RMNP.

Finch Lake in the morning

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Good Action

Pat with a great 24.5 inch brown


I got to spend a few day's on the water the last few weeks and the results were impressive. Fishing under the TB has resulted in the most fish, but today we saw our first sign of good dry fly fishing this summer. Small BWO's, Flying Ants and Sulphurs were hatching in good numbers, enough to make us switch to dry fly's for what seems like the first time this year. The smaller fish that now call this place home are being well received by all anglers....makes for a great day on the river. If we can stay dry for the next few days the fishing should continue to get better.....time will tell.

One Eyed Willie

Monday, June 16, 2014

In Search Of Fishable Water

Healthy Looking Brown


Another Great Fish


I was struggling to find a place to fish on my day off today. Looking at the USGS gauge my options were limited. If I wanted to catch some wild browns I had a good drive in front of me. I decided to suck it up and wake up early. I arrived at my destination around 8am. The fishing was really good all day under the Bobber. I managed to get a few really good fish along with a bunch of smaller ones. The flow was higher then I expected but the fish still ate. I saw a good hatch of caddis and BWO's but no risers as usual. I ended up leaving at 4pm so I didn't get to see the evening rise. Great day on the water.
Stupid Water Doplets on the GOPRO!


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Wild Browns


Good Size Wild Brown

Best Looking Fish In The Area For Sure
I spent the last couple days searching for some wild brownies and the results were great. Most of my time was spent nymphing and these tactics continued to be productive. The Sulphurs were dying out on one stream but starting strong on another. A variation of sulphur nymph's seemed to be the ticket. High water has again struck us here in Southwest PA and we are under a Flash Flood Watch till 11pm tonight. Looks like everyone's weekend plans coul
d be ruined AGAIN.
Fish Were Eager To Eat Under The Surface
Great Day On The Water

Monday, June 9, 2014

Between thaindrops


Andy, Dad, Marc, and I headed out for a full day's fishing on one of our favorite streams today, for the first time this year.  All the water this year may be a blessing as the summer gets warmer, but it has been too long since last year's visit.  The day started out with very comfortable temps and as we approached the stream, it had a little color even still.  Forging ahead we were soon into some smaller fish on various nymph patterns.  A few caddis were hatching and patterns of that variety were picking up fish.  Andy soon had the first big boy swipe at a streamer, but alas it wasn't meant to be.  After some quick sandwiches mid-day, we moved down to the honey hole, and it was the right move. Marc and Dad were soon into several fish chasing those caddis, and before long everyone scored a few.  Around 5pm the risers started to show, and Andy nailed several in a row imitating the sporadic March Browns that were trickling off.  The action was soon interrupted by yet another downpour, but we waited out the lightning and soon the top water action picked up again.  Marc landed the biggest fish of the trip quickly and it was a dandy 20" fatty.  Unfortunately the last storm impacted the feeders   quickly, and the chocolate soup and rising water chased us off the water before the evening hatch.  While it would have been nice to drive home at dark and dry, it wasn't meant to be, as the ride out in a final downpour soaked us to the bone.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Scenic Float




Biggest Trout Of The Day For Me
I joined my buddy Pat for a scenic float yesterday in search of some big wild browns. Well the trip didn't disappoint. On top of landing 6 fish in the 20 inch range we also caught a pile of 12-17 inchers...all on various nymph's. I did notice some Green Drakes, Cahills, Sulphurs and Tan Caddis but once again trout didn't seem to take too much notice. I will be returning to this place in hopes to catch a few more over 20!
Another 22 inch brown


Pat with a big brown early morning on a streamer

 


Monday, June 2, 2014

Action Underneath

Dark Colored Brown



I met my buddy Steve for some early morning fishing today. All in all it was one of the best day's I've had nymphing the river so far this year. The dry fly fishing has been non-existent  but I haven't minded much because of how good under the surface has been. An upstream approach and a drag free drift was all that was needed to hook fish after fish. I did see some Sulphurs starting to hatch and would imagine the nymph's will be more active each passing day. Hope the rain stays away this week!

One of the bigger ones from here this year



Sunday, June 1, 2014

Slow Murky Saturday

Camped on a great limestone stream this weekend, but the fishing was slow.  The water was murky and slightly up for this time of year, and with Bluebird skies - it made fishing tough.  The hatches were present, Sulphurs, Green Drakes, Caddis, and Cahills all emerged, but rising activity was limited to the famous last half hour.  Picked up some fish on Sulphur nymphs of various design, and caddis pupa too.   The risers took Sulphur dries, and it did provide some fun matching the hatch fishing, but the catching was slow today.  The word is out and about too, because the pressure was heavy, especially at night.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Opportunity Seized

22 inch brown 



It's been a high water year and the local waterways have been a challenge to get on. A small window presented itself yesterday and a few of us jumped on the opportunity to fish. Overall the fishing was pretty slow. Some of us nymphed some of us threw dries but nobody had much to brag about. I managed a really nice brown and so did my buddy Garrett. Everything else was smaller. The bugs were good, Sulphurs, March Browns, Rusty Spinners, Olives....not much surface activity though. We got hit AGAIN with rain so you might as well throw in the towel again this weekend unless your fishing native brook trout water!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Quick Outing




Caddis Pattern Continues To Produce 
I had the opportunity to fish for a quick 2 hours yesterday....1pm-3pm to be exact. I rigged up a few nymph's and started working my way upstream. Soft seems outside the heavy stuff is still producing the majority of fish. I also landed many fish where most anglers wade.....so next time out watch where you are wading you might want to fish it first!

Fish were keying in on small caddis larva. It's amazing how trout can see these small bugs in fast water. Outside of midges there were no bugs to speak of. Overall the 2 hours was extremely productive under the surface.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Loyalhanna Fishing Report 5-24-14



Fished the Dumpster hole tonight with good success. Dad fished it from about 4pm on, while I didn't make it down until 6pm. Luckily I didn't miss much, as Dad only caught a couple before I got there. After talking to him, I decided to go small on the fly selection, and see if that is what they wanted, and sure enough things picked up. Then as the sun set the #14 first, then #16 Sulphurs actually produced a decent hatch with a few risers. Dad caught his first Loyalhanna trout on a sulphur pattern in 35 years of fishing, maybe the hatches are getting better!

We ended up with a half a dozen on top, definitely a weird year when I have more fish on top at the Hanner than the Little J!!!!!!!!


Other hatches: 1000's of midges, Good #14 - #18 Tan Caddis.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Brookies, Browns, and Bows





Matt, Mike, and I headed into the wilds for a full day's fishing - yep that's right - fishing, without Noah rowing the arc!  We packed up our gear and headed out to western Maryland to sample a couple of waters that hold wild fish.  The streams were at a good level and the fishing was as good as the beautiful weather.


The fishing was steady all day, the hatches were present but not in fishable numbers.  A smattering of Blue Quills, Sulphurs, Caddis, March Browns, Yellow Sallies, and even a Green Drake or two helped keep the fish feeding most of the day.  While Mike found some risers the best score was made under the surface.  The heavy pocket water produced the best fish, and that meant being on the bottom with a very good drift - any drag and you were out of the game.  Who says brookies are knock overs? Maryland has done a fantastic job of harnessing the full potential of these gems, my hats off to them.


Thursday, May 22, 2014

High Water Continues In PA

Native Brookie
The high water continues to flow in all of PA. Just when things look like they are going to get fishable again mother nature jumps in and throws down 1-2 inches of rain. The first round of Sulphurs will be all but over by the time streams get fishable. At this rate we'll be lucky to hit the Green Drakes!

High Water Brookie

Even with the high water there are still fish to be found if your willing to explore smaller water. I was lucky enough to get out on Tuesday and the fishing was incredible. A great mix of stockies and natives fell to nymph's all day long. Flows were double their normal output and I still saw fish rising in the back eddies. Don't let high water scare you off, some of my best day's this year is when the water has been high.

Fat Stockie thrown into the mix