Sunday, December 7, 2014

Bane The Brown




They don't get much prettier then him 
   Man, who doesn't anticipate when you have ALL DAY to do nothing but fish? Well, this past Sunday was one of those day's for me. Mother Nature didn't cooperate though, 1.5 inches of well needed rain fell on Friday and Saturday jacking up most of my options. Luckily one of my favorite streams was still flowing at good levels even after the weekend downpour.


   This stream is an ideal place to Tight-Line, it's where I trained all winter last year. It's where I honed in my skills, many times leaving defeated, but those defeats eventually molded me into a better fisherman. You could call this place my Jedi Master, and I it's Padawan learner. It often feels like Jedi Mind Tricks are throwing you off your game. Flawless drifts in complex currents is the what this stream is all about.

   So I started the day off in the same pool where I started Tight-Lining about a year ago. Only this time my drifts were better, and the fish came to hand much easier. About a dozen 9-14 inch wild brown trout ate my nymph's eagerly, what a change from a year ago. I got most of them in calm water behind structure, the fish here really love cover. The trout on this stream are as beautiful as any fish in the country, and although small most of the time, they are very rewarding to catch.

   Up until about 2pm the fishing was stellar. I was running into some issues with moss and algae, it was caking my flies every time I dinked the bottom. Well the Troutbitten gang always has a remedy for situations like this. I started to "DROP SHOT NYMPH," using one single fly, tying  a piece of tippet off the bend of the hook and adding split shot to that section below the fly. This allows your flies to ride close to the bottom without gathering junk along the way. It's super effective.  This technique allowed me to continue catching fish and gave me the confidence I needed to get down low without fearing my flies would be covered in subsurface crap.
Butter Brown

   At 2pm I decided to venture into an area of river I never stepped foot in before. It was a boulder strewn nightmare waiting to cobble up a fisherman with bad balance. I love this type of water. The fishing slowed down, areas that were producing earlier in the day seemed void of fish. Just when I was losing confidence I noticed a slab of a brown trout that looked out of place in this stream.......

   I love when the heart starts racing after locating a good fish. Mine was pounded like never before because this place isn't known for numerous big fish. I took a deep breathe and threw a tuck cast at the head of the riffle. He bolted! Man, how did he see me??? I was sick to my stomach, the fish of a lifetime outsmarted me. In frustration, I lobbed my fly again only to get hung up on a tree branch below me. I walked back down to get my fly untangled and I just stared at the water below me thinking about what could of been. While these negative thoughts were racing in my brain, I noticed another long, dark shadow tucked close to the bottom not far from where I was standing before. Hello Bane. He was laying in 18 inches of water and was probably only 15 feet from me. I don't know how I didn't see him before. So I took a deep breathe and quickly lobbed my flies back into the water. This time I could see me fly tracking on the bottom right toward him. As with most big trout, he very lazily opened up his huge mouth and sucked in my fly! A slight hesitation and WHAM I set the hook......FISH ON! Up and down the stream he went, swimming under rocks and other obstructions where he could. I horsed him out of a few hairy spots, heart pounding harder every minute! After a long struggle I ended up winning the battle and brought him to the net. WOW. Bane was the most rewarding trout I've ever landed, not just because his size but because he came out of a stream that isn't known to supply such quality fish. Having taught myself to Tight-Line here, and then getting rewarded with a trophy trout employing this technique....you could say Christmas came a little bit early for me this year. Being out on the water, learning new things, and experiencing situations like that really is what being Troutbitten is all about.






Most Anglers Shy Away From This Stuff

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Dodging Bullets And Catching Wild Browns

Winter Fishing For Wild Browns


I decided to venture out and join the Orange Army yesterday, the only catch.....I was fishing, not hunting. The weather was great for trout, cloudy, drizzly and warm! I met my buddy Dom in Central PA and we did some damage to feisty wild browns. The water temperature was only 44 degrees, but that didn't stop the trout bite. Fishing was very good all day long. We only noticed a few redds, and it looked like they hadn't been freshened up for awhile. It felt good to have such a high number day in December!

The Overcast Day Was Excellent For The Trout Bite
Celebrating A Great Day On The Water With A Great IPA
 
 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Cold Water Still Producing Some Bites

A Slender Rainbow

   I was able to get out on the local river for a few days this past week. Water Temperatures were a chilly 42-48 degrees. Levels are still good. A buddy of mine and myself tried to drum up some big ones, but the only quality fish of the two days was a slender 18 inch rainbow that fell victim to a nymph. It seemed like the faster moving pocket water was out producing the slower water. The first section that we fished had slower moving water and we were only able to catch 5-6 fish. We made a move to faster stuff and the fishing picked up drastically. I need to score another 2 footer before the year is over, now that my buck tag is filled I still have ample time to do so.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Nasty Weather

Chucking Meat 


I got to fish for a quick 2 hours today. The weather couldn't of been nastier. 15-20 mph winds, rain/snow/sleet and cold temps. I decided to throw some meat for the first hour, the bite was lousy but I did manage to get 1 decent bow. After that I put on some nymph's and the fishing was very productive. I got into 2 good rainbows and lots of smaller fish. I wish I could of been out there all day.....I think it would of been a banner day.


Friday, November 14, 2014

Satisfied

Satisfaction with the archery kill 


Today is the next to last day of archery season here in PA. The last 10 days has been taxing on my brain. Every morning I have woken up at 4am, walked 1 mile in the woods before sun-up and set up in various locations trying to score a good buck I have on trail camera. Mature Whitetails are extremely challenging to bring into bow range. Some sits have produced deer sightings, some haven't. I went on a 3 day stretch this week where I didn't see a single deer.....BORING! But, if you don't have patience and persistence you will never be a good archery hunter. I would love to shoot a big buck every year, it just doesn't always happen that way. So I get to a point in the season where if a legal buck walks my way he's dead. This year I held off till the last 2 days, knowing I had all day today and tomorrow morning to fill the freezer. Well after passing 9 different legal bucks up this season and missing a good 8 point, I settled on the smallest legal deer you can kill in my county, a half rack 4 point ! The size of this deer was good, and if his other side wouldn't of been busted off due to fighting he could be a mid-size rack for around my parts. He was searching for does around 8:15am and a few sounds with the grunt tube pulled him into bow range. He didn't present me a good shot so I took what I had, A SPINE SHOT. These are tricky shots but when placed right are deadly. He fell in his tracks and died shortly after. It wasn't the size of rack I had hoped for, but I always feel a sense of accomplishment filling my buck tag, I now have extended my streak to 9 straight years, only 1 of those years I had to fill it in rifle. Time to fish :) 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Sunday Outing

Butter Brown


Got to do some fishing with Magic Mike finally. We traveled for the day and got into a few decent fish, but nothing too exciting, overall the fishing was slow. We didn't notice any spawning activity but it's only a matter of time before things kick off.

No color on my hen!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Things are starting to heat up in the woods

I finally took a break from fishing and got to spend some time in the woods this week. I expected some October Lull conditions but was pleasantly surprised to see the woods littered with fresh rubs and scrapes. I saw 1 smaller 6 PT with his nose to the ground on Monday evening at 4:30pm. In a different location this morning I passed on another medium size 6 PT. He was acting pre-rutty, checking rubs and licking branches with his nose to the ground. No doe sightings but I'm ok with that. It's October 24th, so things should start to get better each passing day. It seems like the smaller bucks are becoming more visible in the daylight hours, hopefully the bigger guys will start showing themselves as well. I will be out all day tomorrow, hopefully a kill will be reported.

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 and Streamer Fishing 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