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Back to back fishing reports: PA and NV

Joined:
2013/7/30 17:16
From Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 239
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Back to back fishing reports: PA and NV

I’ve been out of town for just shy of two weeks. As I discussed on here before, I went back to PA for a wedding and brought my fly rod along for the trip to try the local waters I missed out on as a kid. I was dying to see central PA in the fall and hopefully catch some beautiful brookies. Sadly, while the first part worked out great (I really love Clinton, Co., btw), I got my butt kicked on the second part. My dad and I drove through the Narrows portion of Fishing Creek and had nary a trout rise to a fly. Only a few ever even spooked as we waded the waters over the course of a couple of hours. We tried numerous other small, class A streams only to find very low water and unable to even spook a fish big enough to bite. On the bright side, I finally got to see both a ruffed grouse and a black bear, two critters that kids from Philly never gets a fair shake at seeing unless they travel a good way into the state.

I think the #1 reason we had no success is that I broke my main rule of fishing any water: ALWAYS walk in as far as you can to get away from the roads and common pull-offs. It’s no secret that areas closer to roads get hammered and even if you find fish, they are going to much more fly shy than those in more remote areas. Next time I do this, I plan on committing to ONE stream and working as far into it as I can with the daylight I have.

On the flipside, I returned to Nevada to join a retired game warden friend of mine for a combo fly fishing/chukar hunting trip in the extreme northwest corner of the state. It took us 9 hours to get to our lodging and 1.5 additional hours daily to climb the steep, rocky mountain trail leading along with our dogs to our hunting area and the secluded mountain reservoir. We got a rare treat in the form of rutting California bighorn sheep appearing at the base of the mountains and up high where we looked for chukar. That alone was worth the price of admission.

While the chukar hunting was bad due to multiple drought years in a row and wildfires in this area, the fly fishing was tremendous. I have never caught 18-22” rainbow trout, let alone with the boring regularity offered by this stillwater paradise. The water temp was 42 degrees and the fish were still feisty and strong. By the end of the trip a 16” trout hardly raised an eyebrow. The only black mark on the experience was falling back into my float tube and right onto my Ross RX, 6-weight rod at the end of the second day when my flippered foot got stuck in the mud. The second section detonated into 3 pieces and it’s going back to Ross for replacement. However, that gave me the chance to use the nearly 50 year-old Horrocks-Ibbotson rod my dad gave me a couple of months back on these big fish and boy did it perform! Here’s a video of it in action on a couple of fish:

http://youtu.be/4CICbqQYFz8

A couple more shots of some other nice rainbows that came out of here:

Click to see original Image in a new window


Click to see original Image in a new window


Click to see original Image in a new window


Posted on: 2013/10/20 13:08


Re: Back to back fishing reports: PA and NV

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2013/8/6 21:44
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I'm sort of surprised you didn't get into any brookies. But I have never fished Clinton county.

At least you got to see a grouse and a black bear.

Posted on: 2013/10/20 13:33
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"I think I fish, in part, because it's an anti-social, bohemian business that, when gone about properly, puts you forever outside the mainstream culture without actually landing you in an institution." John Gierach


Re: Back to back fishing reports: PA and NV

Joined:
2013/7/30 17:16
From Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 239
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Trust me, I was miffed and definitely surprised that I couldn't find a brookie to take a fly, but a few locals I talked to weren't shocked because of the lack of rain up there. However, this experience sort of fell in line with my typical 2-day scouting requirement before I really figure out a single creek or river and where/how to fish it. It hasn't been uncommon for me to have a skunk run on a creek the first time on it and then have a great day the next time out on the same water. I definitely want to give it another go when I get back and stay the course on just one creek next time.

Posted on: 2013/10/20 14:17


Re: Back to back fishing reports: PA and NV

Joined:
2010/7/31 14:41
From SCPA
Posts: 303
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Sorry to hear you didn't have much luck. Were you to return to those streams once they have some water in them, you would have a totally different experience. I fished clinton/centre counties this spring, and then again a few weeks ago. Streams with nice eager fish in every hole this spring had transformed into trickles that you would swear don't old many fish. The fish are still there, believe me - they're just holding tight until the rain comes. On most brookie streams, you don't need to get too far from the road to start getting into fish. In fact, bridges sometimes hold some of the nicer fish in a stream. In any case, glad you got to experience the beautiful country. Come back in may, and you'll be in for a good time.

Posted on: 2013/10/20 15:46


Re: Back to back fishing reports: PA and NV

Joined:
2013/7/30 17:16
From Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 239
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That definitely sounds like a plan. In fact, my mom is throwing a surprise retirement party for my dad sometime in the Spring. I have every intention of dragging out my old man to give this another go when the rains fatten up those streams.

Posted on: 2013/10/20 16:34


Re: Back to back fishing reports: PA and NV

Joined:
2012/10/24 19:22
From Da 'Berg, PA
Posts: 1245
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Great report and nice video - what types of lines and flies were you using?

I'd love to tube a high mountain lake one day...

Posted on: 2013/10/20 19:39
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nowhere is so sweet, as the bosom of the vale where the bright waters meet.


Re: Back to back fishing reports: PA and NV

Joined:
2013/7/30 17:16
From Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 239
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Thanks, geebee.

With that old rod, the best line I had for this particular job was Scientific Anglers Streamer Express full-sinking line in 6-wt. It got the rod loaded quickly and casting well. Tippet was 3x standard and the primary fly of choice was a hand-tied, bead-headed, Sheep Creek Special with olive chenille body and mallard body wing. That was the fly used in the video. Black wooly buggers and larger hare's ear patterns also did very well. Trolling a sunken fly with a slow backpaddle or microstripping from a fixed position worked to entice a lot of big bites.

The tube worked great but I would love to take my kayak up here. The problem is that the road is so rough (we're talking 4-wheel drive low kind of rough) that it would likely knock the kayak loose. It took about 1.5 hours to go only about 12 miles up that road! Such is life in the high country.

Posted on: 2013/10/20 20:55

Edited by Six-Gun on 2013/10/20 21:47:00


Re: Back to back fishing reports: PA and NV

Joined:
2012/10/24 19:22
From Da 'Berg, PA
Posts: 1245
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thanks for the info - you know i never thought about fishing a streamer on a full sinker for pond trout. i guess i should.

thats a really nice simple fly, i'll tye some for spring.

Posted on: 2013/10/20 21:10
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nowhere is so sweet, as the bosom of the vale where the bright waters meet.


Re: Back to back fishing reports: PA and NV

Joined:
2013/7/30 17:16
From Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 239
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The key with using that full-sink/weighted streamer setup, even in a float tube, is to do everything in your power to keep the fly moving so it stays just a shade off of the bottom. Too much speed and it will ride too high. Too little speed and it's Snag City. Once you get it just right, the low-hanging bomber will be hitting hard.

As for the Sheep Creek Special, there are numerous way to rig it. I should mention that for added sink effect, I put some lead wire on the half of the hook shank along with the beadhead. Depending on the depth you're working with and the sink rate of your line, that could be overkill or just right. In this case, it worked perfectly since I really need it to sink low, but it goes without saying that your mileage may vary. I highly suggest making a few different setups, from no bead and just lead wire, just a bead, or both bead and lead to see which one is going to fit your needs the best. Also experiment with the hackle colors if you feel so inclined (though the brown/ginger color I used seems to be the #1 choice you'll see around the net). Then, go into mass production mode with the one that works. That particular fly is regarding as one of the top-ranked stillwater flies in northern Nevada and I now know why that is - it works!

Definitely give it a try in the Spring and tell us how you do. I may even give this one a go on moving water to see how it does bounced off the bottom or suspended under an indicator.

Posted on: 2013/10/20 21:55


Re: Back to back fishing reports: PA and NV

Joined:
2010/2/15 19:09
From Ohio
Posts: 718
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Yeah, low water makes small stream fishing extremely difficult. Don't get discouraged, just try it again some time.

Posted on: 2013/10/21 7:44


Re: Back to back fishing reports: PA and NV

Joined:
2006/9/13 10:18
From LV
Posts: 7229
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Sounds like you may have run into the period of pre spawn when the brookies are moving and they aren't interested in much else.
I was up at my camp with a couple of friends last w/e and though we caught fish, some of them brookies, the brookie action was slow. Streams are very low. I see some rain fell last week so things will get better for spawning and once the brookies spawn they will be hitting a ton.

Posted on: 2013/10/21 8:45
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It's time to stop stocking all wild trout streams no matter what Classification they are, and time to eradicate brown trout in some of our limestone streams and re-establish brookies in them.


Re: Back to back fishing reports: PA and NV

Joined:
2013/7/30 17:16
From Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 239
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Thanks for that info and affirmation, guys. It's good to hear that sentiment again because I was really puzzled coming out of the woods as to what had these fish either gone or completely clammed up.

Posted on: 2013/10/21 11:35






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