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Re: Brand new FFer near Harrisburg... Discouraged!

Joined:
2009/1/7 12:19
From Glenmoore PA
Posts: 548
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Goro,

Dont be too hard on yourself. I taught myself to fly fish. Read lots of books, and websites. I was in the same boat as you and was getting skunked all the time. I was about to quit, when I found this website, and started asking questions. It doesnt have to be hard. Just take your time with things, start out slow. Right now, you can probably scare up a few trout with a PT (pheasant tail nymph) or some hares ear nymphs. If you dont see fish on top feeding on top try nymphing. It took me a long time to catch a trout, like a year I think. But one day, things just clicked, and I caught like 5 or 6 on a pretty tough local stream. From then on, every trip was building on what I learned previously. It will come, just read through the information on this site, it will come. Feel free to PM me with any questions, I would be more than willing to help.

Andy

Posted on: 2011/5/8 18:52


Re: Brand new FFer near Harrisburg... Discouraged!

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2010/4/12 21:50
From Perkiomenville
Posts: 225
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To follow-up with what Andy said, I taught myself to fly fish as well and just started to get into it seriously in the past two years. I am far from a pro but usually can scrounge up some fish most outings. Don't be too hard on yourself as skunkings do happen and they happen to the best of us. I found it much easier at first to comb the bottom nymphing with a simple indicator rig. It helped me learn how to mend and if I was getting flies to the proper depth I would usually find a fish or two that was willing to take. Strike detection was much easier with the indicator as well. That being said you don't have to spend a ton of money to start. Instead of buying flies for two dollars a piece check out the flystop online and you can usually pick up flies for .50 a piece typically. Please pm me your address and I will send you some flies as well, I just started tying in the past year so my flies aren't store quality but I would be more than willing to send you some basics which I know will catch fish (Zebra Midges, Al's Rats, San Juan Worms, Walt's Worms, Hares Ears, Pheasant Tails etc.) Try not to overthink and concentrate on casting, tying good knots, getting your flies to the right depth and a drag free drift and before you know it, you will be catching fish I guarantee.

Posted on: 2011/5/8 23:09
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Re: Brand new FFer near Harrisburg... Discouraged!

Joined:
2011/5/6 17:55
From Harrisburg
Posts: 456
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I will head out tomorrow and give some of this nymphing a try. I must admit, I've been shying away from it because I really have no way to tell if its working other than finding bites on the end of my line!

I assume that I haven't been rigging the copper johns and caddis nymphs properly because I did see some (albeit small) trout in the vicinity. I would typically put some shot about 6 inches above my first nymph, and then hang another one off of that... maybe 18 inches, with shot right by the head of the nymph.


I thought I would be fine using dry flies as indicators, but it seems like I should probably invest in a few of those bright stickers for this stage.

Posted on: 2011/5/9 1:52


Re: Brand new FFer near Harrisburg... Discouraged!

Joined:
2011/5/6 17:55
From Harrisburg
Posts: 456
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And I want to say that I've been very impressed and am very grateful for all of the kind help this forum has offered. I suppose you saved me from just using the thread as a place to rant and instead turned it into a way for me to better my craft.

At the very least, I have been on the water for 3 of the last 4 days and logged probably 20 some hours of fishing time. In that time I've enjoyed a whole lot of really beautiful scenery and my knot tying is down from 5 minutes per not to maybe just under 1 :)

Posted on: 2011/5/9 2:06


Re: Brand new FFer near Harrisburg... Discouraged!

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2011/3/6 0:34
From Dauphin
Posts: 630
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The advantage with the indicators is that you can adjust the depth fairly easily. With the dry you may have to retie a couple times to adjust for different depths. And becareful not to have to long of line off the dry as you may not be seeing a take until too late. And obviously if your too short you could not have takes at all. I usually run my indicator a lil more higher then usual but thats just preference.

Posted on: 2011/5/9 11:35
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Re: Brand new FFer near Harrisburg... Discouraged!

Joined:
2011/5/6 17:55
From Harrisburg
Posts: 456
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Day 4

Well I went to the reservoir today to check it out. A pretty interesting little place with lots of locals bobber fishing and hitting their coolers.

There were a few trout jumping around, but they were all in the middle of the lake. With its shallow depth I technically could have waddled 1/3 the way out there, but I decided that maybe sticking near the shore would be a little more prudent.

I got a few bites and at least brought up sunfish, but no trout seemed interested in either my BWO, black ant, or wooly bugger. Though, to be honest, I have no idea what to do with any of those in stagnant water.


By noon I had made my way over to Manada creek, which I was pleased to learn was less than 20 minutes from my house. I'm told there is a special regs section, but I couldn't find the signs. I talked to a local and he led me over to a few bridges further up the stream.

The bridge I spent most of my time at was over top of a very slow and wide pool of water that harbored several visible fish. I wasn't sure quite how to approach this spot.. I knew where the fish were, but the water was barely moving. Should I cast beyond them and slow pull in line until the nymphs are well placed? Well I went to the other side of the bridge and tried to start my nymphing upstream of them and see where it ended up. No dice with that technique. I aimed a few throws pretty well and got a few nibbles (used a strike indicator I found along the creek... I am now a believer!). There was a pretty cool local there who gave me some advice, and then proceeded to catch a watersnake on his spinner. That was a new sight for me. I couldn't get any trout hooked, though, so I moved on to one more bridge.

At the final bridge I was ready to go home, but then I looked in the water and saw a beautiful 20+ inch palomino trout! Well, needless to say I got down there as quietly as I could and tried my luck. The poor thing had already been false hooked and still had a spinner stuck in its side from an earlier fisherman. This fish seemed a bit neurotic.. swimming in the same paths over and over again. But for all I know that's normal behavior for trout. ANYHOW, he did not seem very interested in my nymphs (tan caddis and light scud). I thought I saw him make a few jolts their direction, but I can't be sure if they were for real. I then proceeded to try my entire arsenal of flies, and this fish seemed oblivious to all of them. I have no idea what I should or could have done.


Well, that fish made me half an hour late for dinner. Without prior engagements I would have been there all evening, I have no doubt. What an awesome time it would have been to land a whopper palomino as my very first solo FF trout. But then again, I suppose all fishermen are dreamers!


I heard that Clarks Creek and Stony were stocked within the last two days, so I should probably head back there tomorrow. Do you think it would be silly to instead stop at Manada and see if the golden is still in the same spot? I really have no idea!

Posted on: 2011/5/10 0:58


Re: Brand new FFer near Harrisburg... Discouraged!

Joined:
2009/1/7 12:19
From Glenmoore PA
Posts: 548
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Nymphing slow water is a tough endeavor. Try finding some riffles to fish. You may not be able to see fish (they have a hard time seeing you as well) but they are there. Nymphing is a lot more enjoyable fishing faster water. The takes are more aggressive and its easier to hook fish.

Posted on: 2011/5/10 6:31


Re: Brand new FFer near Harrisburg... Discouraged!

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2010/6/23 12:43
From Hershey
Posts: 403
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I'm not sure exactly where you were on the Manada but the largest of the three bridges in the area is pretty high over the water on Rt 443. I presume that is where you saw the fish?
There is a longish walking path to reach the water there??
If that is the correct location you can walk downstream from there for several hundred yards and find nice pocket water well suited for nymph fishing.

Posted on: 2011/5/10 6:58


Re: Brand new FFer near Harrisburg... Discouraged!
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2006/9/9 17:32
From Gettysburg
Posts: 9104
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I'll second Surveyor's suggestion to hit some water with a bit more current. If you do hit that lake again, try casting out basic nymphs or streamers and slowly stripping them in. A little bit of movement will help get the fish's attention - most prey species in lakes and ponds are capable of swimming, even many of the nymphs, so fish are accustomed to looking for movement. If you see bluegills or sunfish, use very small nymphs (> #16) as they tend to just nip bigger stuff.

Sounds like a fun fishing trip. If you've seen the thread in the General Forum discussing why palominos are "whackjobs," you shouldn't be surprised that he didn't bite.
Keep having fun.

Posted on: 2011/5/10 7:43


Re: Brand new FFer near Harrisburg... Discouraged!

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2011/3/6 0:34
From Dauphin
Posts: 630
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And the DHALO section is really good and stocked up well. I couldn't tell ya how to get there but my buddy goes there everyday just about. Ill have him post sum thing up if your familiar with the area or he could give ya directions from where ever your coming from. And he'd probably even meet ya and help give ya some tips.

Posted on: 2011/5/10 13:07
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Re: Brand new FFer near Harrisburg... Discouraged!

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2011/3/2 13:43
From Gamehendge
Posts: 961
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Yea bud if you wanna meet up some day out at Manada i can help ya out. I usually do pretty well there in the DHALO section. I was out yesterday for only about an hour, an managed just one nice rainbow. If i would have had more time i would have caught a few more. You can pm me if you like and maybe we cant set up a time and day to meet out there.

Posted on: 2011/5/10 14:59
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Re: Brand new FFer near Harrisburg... Discouraged!

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2011/5/3 12:22
From South Lebanon Township, PA
Posts: 1925
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Goro,

I think I'm pretty much at the same point in the learning curve as you...This is my first season with the flyrod, although I'm an experienced light tackle spin angler. I live in Lebanon County, so I'm not too far from you and I'm familiar with most of the streams you're fishing. To me it really sounds like you're doing pretty well!

For what it's worth I am yet to catch a trout as well. I've hooked three, but haven't been able to get any to hand yet...poor line management before the strike leading to too much slack seems to be the culprit. Like you I've had some success with sunnies in a local impoundment. I wouldn't discount the practice that provides and the confidence it builds though...it's always just fun to catch something...and sunnies can be a good bit of fun.

I wouldn't get too discouraged about your outings on Manada and the Quittie. Manada is pressured hard...even with my spin gear only a couple of fish per trip is the norm. I've fished it once so far with the fly rod and didn't get any action. I've fished the Quitte for 4 years with spinners and still haven't caught a trout...not kidding. It's the toughest stream in the area in my opinion...I just can't figure it out. Even the Fallfish in there are selective with what they'll take. I fished it tonight and hooked a Brown on a white bugger but he got off due to my aforementioned poor line management. I was thrilled just to get a strike on that stream. It was a nice Brown though...14-16" probably and it would have been a challenge on my 4 wt to get him from downstream and across the current over to me...maybe next time!

Something worth considering...the smaller tributaries (Quittie and Manada included) to the Swatara Creek usually have a good bit of panfish in their last couple hundred yards down to their mouths. They'll hit streamers, nymphs, dries...pretty much whatever you throw at them, so you can really dial in your techniques a little bit on moving water. Once the weather gets a little warmer I'll probably be wet wading them more often than I'm trout fishing.

Hope you get your first trout soon!

Posted on: 2011/5/10 22:03


Re: Brand new FFer near Harrisburg... Discouraged!

Joined:
2011/5/6 17:55
From Harrisburg
Posts: 456
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Day 5: Trout on!

Today I actually finally reeled in some trout!

I started the day at Stony Creek in Dauphin. The very slow moving water by the dam was not getting me anywhere. I tried most of the flies in my arsenal, but no luck even getting a bite. Fish were active, but I didn't have what pleased them. I then moved upstream about half a mile in some very nice wading water.

Since I did not have a thingamabobber, I crafted my own by biting off some foam fly-holder and tying that onto my line. It actually worked pretty well! I tied on a copper john and a tan caddis and did some loooong drifting. A few bites were happening! Then I finally had a true fish on the line! I reeled it in, though flustered at first, to see it was a beautiful dark trout. However.. I still don't have a net, so as I reeled it to my legs, the fish managed to wriggle free. Still, I'm going to count that as 75% of a catch - a nice 10 incher!


That was so encouraging that I went up and down and up and down the stream, but never got more than a nibble or two in the next hour.

I hopped over to Clark's creek for a few hours to check out some stretches I have not been on yet. Using a very poorly floating ant and a caddis nymph I was able to get scores of bites. Problem was that only one 8-inch trout bit before coming off, and the rest were all fries (frys?). So, in a sense, my first FF fish in years was a 4-inch brown trout. HEY, that's still something! I must have caught 3 or 4 different kinds of small fish before calling it a day there (2 brown, one rainbow, and one sucker I think).



And because the thought was killing me, I decided to check Manada before heading to work tonight. YUP, that whopper golden is still under there, just as schitzy as ever! The bridge is the Kiwanis bridge. I know its futile to try and make him eat, but I did burn an hour trying again.




So now that I've caught some trout (about 12 inches of trout total, haha), I can take a day or two break to rest up. Actually I'm just waiting for my flies to arrive in the mail. I am completely out of non-terrestrial dry flies, mayfly nymphs, and most everything else. It's no wonder that I struggle to get good bites.

Posted on: 2011/5/11 1:29


Re: Brand new FFer near Harrisburg... Discouraged!

Joined:
2011/5/6 17:55
From Harrisburg
Posts: 456
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Wow, Swattie, I missed your reply there before I posted. You must be good luck!


It's kind of eerie how similar our status is right now. I grew up at the Hbg Hunters and Anglers Assn, across from a private pond. I pulled bass and sunfish up for years, though never went for trout.

I can see that line management is also going to be a big concern for me. The fish that I hooked today was probably 20-30 yards away from me. At that distance the line has so much slack that fish are really only going to hook themselves if I get lucky. However, if I try to keep a straight line, the nymphs begin waterskating, which is definitely not good fishing. I'm really not sure what it should properly look like right now, so it's pretty important that I take up a few of the very nice offers from people wanting to show me the ropes.

Posted on: 2011/5/11 1:47


Re: Brand new FFer near Harrisburg... Discouraged!
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2006/9/9 17:32
From Gettysburg
Posts: 9104
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Quote:

Gorosaurus wrote:
Day 5: Trout on!

Today I actually finally reeled in some trout!



Oh yeah! The sweet taste of success.

Posted on: 2011/5/11 7:28



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