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Erie Trip Narrative With Pictures
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I went up on Saturday morning with a poker buddy, Sonny. He has just started fly fishing, but has been chasing steelhead a few years longer than I have using a noodle rod spinning set up. We woke up early and left town at 2:30 AM, arriving at the Elk Creek access near the mouth before sun up. We walked downstream toward the mouth and waited about half an hour in the pre-dawn chill waiting for first light.

Here's a pic of Sonny hooking on another emerald shiner.
Resized Image

As seen in the picture, there were not a lot of anglers in the area we were fishing, a suspicious development to both our minds. I managed to catch a smallish fresh male after about twenty minutes, then we both went fishless for the next hour or two. Feeling chilly, I suggested a walk upstream to warm the toes and try our luck elsewhere. Upstream there were plenty more anglers, but we saw very few fish being caught and did no better ourselves. So, I called Maurice on the cell phone about noon asking him where the fish were. He and his brother-in-law, Mick were standing in a nice pool near Legion Park and he whispered into the phone that there were tons of fish and we should come up and join them. We stopped for a leisurely lunch and arrived an hour or so later to find Maurice dancing in his waders waiting for us to hold his position while he went into the brush for a long anticipated break. Back on the stream he worked his magic getting a sweet spot right over top the, well, sweetspot.

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Here's another shot with Mick on the other side.

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This hole was good to us, and me in particular, where I managed to catch my 2nd through 4th fish of the day. One of them took me fifty yard downstream where I entertained the crowd with a fancy waltz across the streambed.

Sunday's plan was to fish the tressle hole. I had a class the night before over some Straubs on the art of combat fishing and Sonny and I arrived before Mick and Maurice, joining a pal of Maurice's and about 7 other anglers. By the time they arrived, we had commandeered the hole, as instructed, and the five of us maintained the sweetspot the rest of the day. Sonny had his first and second hookups of the trip, but his knots let him down and he didn't get to land either. I had one short-lived hookup. The others also managed to hook up quite a few and land many, but the Grand Champion of the Day award went to Mick who had his best day of the trip. Here he is muscling in one of the handful he brought to hand.

Resized Image

That will be it for me this year. Catching strong heavy fish is fun, but the three hour drive is too exhausting. I'll bear the rest of the winter with a few occasional trips to the Yough and maybe a longer drive to the LittleJ/Spruce Creek area if we get a warm weekend.

Maurice was snapping shots with his digital camera and if he wants to, I invite him to add his shots to this thread.

Posted on: 2006/11/27 7:39
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Re: Erie Trip Narrative With Pictures

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[quote]
Back on the stream he worked his magic getting a sweet spot right over top the, well, sweetspot.

Sunday's plan was to fish the tressle hole. I had a class the night before over some Straubs on the art of combat fishing and Sonny and I arrived before Mick and Maurice, joining a pal of Maurice's and about 7 other anglers. By the time they arrived, we had commandeered the hole, as instructed, and the five of us maintained the sweetspot the rest of the day. [quote]

Ah, "sportsmanship" on the steelhead streams. Fishing up at Erie a few times gave me a much deeper appreciation of the experience of fishing remote brook trout streams.

Posted on: 2006/11/27 8:31


Re: Erie Trip Narrative With Pictures
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Your insinuation of a lack of sportsmanship is off the mark. No fisticuffs were required nor fishing in anyone's back pocket. As the pictures show, there was plenty of room between anglers. A little knowledge and patience is all that is required to be fishing over trout rather than fishing in dead water. I was surprised, in fact, by the good etiquette displayed by all around me. If one could fish for steelhead in solitude, everyone would be doing it.

Posted on: 2006/11/27 8:54
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Re: Erie Trip Narrative With Pictures

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The jury can read the testimony and make their own decision.

"Back on the stream he worked his magic getting a sweet spot right over top the, well, sweetspot."

"I had a class the night before over some Straubs on the art of combat fishing"

"we had commandeered the hole, as instructed, and the five of us maintained the sweetspot the rest of the day."

Posted on: 2006/11/27 9:04


Re: Erie Trip Narrative With Pictures
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I entrusted my fate to the hands of the jury when I first posted. I can be forgiven the assumption, I suppose, that the jurors are not lacking in a sense of humor. Perhaps you have fished stubbornly over dead water like I have many times at Erie, gone home skunked and consoled yourself that you were "above" the anglers that made it their business to fish where the trout held. I don't blame you for feeling a little bitter-- I did too.

Posted on: 2006/11/27 9:54
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Re: Erie Trip Narrative With Pictures

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To it sounded like you all were hogging the hole, but I'never been there so I do no the situation.

Posted on: 2006/11/27 10:37


Re: Erie Trip Narrative With Pictures
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Jack,

The biggest question I have is were you able to land the steelhead before your smoke burned out? THAT my friends is the mark of a true sportsman!

Posted on: 2006/11/27 11:05


Re: Erie Trip Narrative With Pictures
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Troutbert,

Sounds like you're going for the "Web-Badge of Courage" award.

Spelling aside, this quote:
Quote:
"so I do no the situation"

Sounds like the wisest thing said in the whole thread. None of us were there, so we don't know the situation. No one is required to give up a hole on a steelhead river or any other type of water. Nothing I read in the post sounded to me like Jack crowded anyone out of their spot either.

If you don't like steelhead fishing because the streams get crowded, don't go. Sheesh.

Posted on: 2006/11/27 11:50
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Padraic
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Re: Erie Trip Narrative With Pictures
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Padraic is correct. No one was crowded out of their spot. People fished with 15-20 feet from one another. It is accurate however, to say we "hogged" the hole, but only to the extent that the hole could not accomodate more than those fishing in our group. Once our patience and perseverance paid dividends by putting us over the fish, we enjoyed the benefits of that to the fullest. It was not until this trip that I learned that that is the expectation of 90 percent of the anglers. If the location of fish will not accomodate you and you will not wait until it does, you are expected to go elsewhere and should do so. I am not at liberty to discuss the secrets I learned over the Straub's, but suffice it to say that one can spend more time walking from crowded hole to crowded hole than in waiting for your chance to be in the sweetspot. And before anyone suggests that I, or anyone in the group moved into another's spot while they were tying on, untangling or doing battle, you should know this is unacceptable behavior, perhaps even unsportsman-like and none of the fellows I fished with feel any differently.

Posted on: 2006/11/27 12:18
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Re: Erie Trip Narrative With Pictures
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If you want solitude....find a secluded wild trout stream. If you want to fight huge fish....join the crowds. Hats off to those who get there early enough, and/or have the skill and knowledge to find the fish and catch them. Nothing unsportsmanlike about that. What about the smoke?

Posted on: 2006/11/27 13:58


Re: Erie Trip Narrative With Pictures
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Quote:

afishinado wrote:
What about the smoke?


I honestly can't remember if I had a smoke in my lips when I caught any of the fish, but at most it would have burned half the way down if I did.

Posted on: 2006/11/27 18:05
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Re: Erie Trip Narrative With Pictures
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Here are some of the photos I took on Sunday. I didn't have the camera the other two days and they were the crowded days. Take a look at the line of folks downstream of us and the space between anglers.

The discussion Jack mentioned over a few Straubs resulted from his curiousity of how we always end up in the fishy spot of a hole. Let me start by saying that Typically I and the guys I go with don't fish holes. We walk and search for fish. This is what we did on Friday and soon realized that the water was so low and it'd been so long since a rain that all the fish were up crik and more importantly...in the biggest holes.

We simply keyed on these areas and when a spot opened up, we took it. No pushing or shoving occurred, in fact, we got along with all the guys we fished around. Changes spots with other anglers on Saturday and most of the time had plenty of space around us for people to move in.

Also, our sweetspot was not the only one in either hole. In fact on Sunday, there were three areas on the hole where people were hooking up and on Saturday as well. But there were probably more hook ups in our area than the others.

Jack said Sonny is his poker buddy...How can I get in on that game? His face probably sings the colors and shapes of the cards he is holding.

Picture #1 Here is a fish Mick fought, and the "crowds" on our side of the crik.

Picture #2 is Sonny, Jacks friend fishting one as well.

Picture #3 is Pat & Jack I think Pat has a fish on and Jack is "line out" Also no cigarette...

Picture #4 A shot of Micks wedding ring with a fish behind it. One of these days I am going to teach him how to hold a fish for a photo.

Picture #5 A fish Pat caught

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Posted on: 2006/11/27 18:14
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Re: Erie Trip Narrative With Pictures
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Guys,

Sounds like a fun trip. Looks like some great weather and good fishing. Thanks for sharing the photographs.

Dave

Posted on: 2006/11/27 21:24


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goodness gracious....you dont want to do the three hour drive again? I could do that in reverse, blindfolded with one hand tied behind my back. I just drove 7hours this past weekend for a steelhead trip. If my commute to those waters was only 3 hours I would do it twice a week! Oh to be so lucky.

Posted on: 2006/11/28 12:53


Re: Erie Trip Narrative With Pictures
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Quote:

Seafood wrote:
goodness gracious....you dont want to do the three hour drive again? I could do that in reverse, blindfolded with one hand tied behind my back. I just drove 7hours this past weekend for a steelhead trip. If my commute to those waters was only 3 hours I would do it twice a week! Oh to be so lucky.


I don't particularly care for that kind of fishing enough to do it more often. 2-3 times in a season is plenty. The fish are really dumb, you get little exercise, see little scenery, they don't rise, and it is crowded even when it isn't so crowded. Except for the fact that tangling with 4-10 pound fish is a distinct possibility, I would just as soon save the time and money and fish locally. To me, the thrill of catching a few really strong and heavy trout is one that is best appreciated as a rare event.

Posted on: 2006/11/28 13:13
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