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Finally made it to Erie

Joined:
2010/3/29 6:56
From Portage, PA
Posts: 1445
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Finally made it up to the Erie tribs. Water was low and clear on Friday. Stayed up Thursday night into Friday morning and tied up all sorts of "steelhead flies", sucker spawn, jigs, you name it. Went to bed at 1:00 up at 3:30. We hit the road and were on the stream around 7:15 or so.

Went up there with my 8 wt, and took the 5 for back up. It was only the third time my 8 weight had ever left the house. We hit Elk Creek early and found a few fish held up under a bridge. The water was very shallow under this bridge but there were about 10 or 12 fish, so I had to try. I was trying the Czech techniques earlier and had a pheasant tail with a large stone fly dropper.

Trouble was there was a bridge over my head so holding the rod high was not feasable. Instead I fould my self roll casting upstream then "dragging the nymphs" through the shallow water. BOOM! Instant hook up just about every cast for about 15 mins, as long as I could keep tension on the flies it was similar to Czech nymphing but with the rod turned and the nymphs dragged side ways, similar to swinging I guess. I bet i looked like a complete idiot with this but hey it worked. The shallow water put a hurting on my hooks however with snags, and was unable to land a fish under this bridge. I would have a good hook set and this whacky style of fishing had caused my line to get a tangle and for a pretzle. Well having this happen when a 24"+ chromer is screaming upstream= instant snap. I had hook about every one of these fish in the hole but could not land them. this was quite amusing to my buddy who is a steelhead vet.

I grew tired of not being able to cast/mend the line on my 8 wt and decided to bust out the 5 wt. I figured I would rather fight them for an hour then not be able to connect with feeding lies, or hook them. Also I really wanted to test out Ryguyfi's Risen Ichthus reel. I figured if it would pan out on fresh Erie chrome I could count on it for any trout I would catch in PA.

Discouraged I went to another spot with two tubes coming through the mountain. I stuck with the 5 wt, and we had success in this spot. My first fish was this beautiful brown. She took a size 6 white conehead bugger on the dead drift. It was awsome to get such a decent brown in Erie. My buddy had caught a 17" brown just before, and was pretty much the reason I switched to the conehead bugger.

The rest of the afternoon was spent at this spot. We each had double digit hookups. I ended up landing 3 all on the 5 wt, 2 chromers and the big brown. My buddy (steelheadwisperer on paff) ended the day with 6. the last fish was a hammer about 8 pounds. He was having all the luck on buggers, and I had all the luck with nymphs. It was a blast but a lot of work to get fresh chrome on the bank with light tackle. All my fish except for the brown were on size 14 BHPT. This is by far my favorite fly for versatility.

I did not use any of the flies that I had stayed up to tie. In the future I will just tie up a bunch of BHPT, BUGGERS, large stones, and standard nymphs. I think these flies are better for late season than the Sucker spawn and such, but would not leave home without them ;). At least for this trip that was the tune, and I have a fully stocked steelhead box for next time.

I will now be in trout mode and am sure I will be bummed when I set the hook on the 5 wt and not hear it scream. I thought the Risen Ichthus 5/6 performed amazing with these hard fighting fish. It definetly took more abuse than a 5 wt should. Very long runs were a result of this light tackle. But every time the fish stopped the drag would stop up. The smooth reeling action made it easy to catch back up with the fish if if turned suddenly. With all of these long runs and hard battles, the reel never bird nested or tangled. I only had to adjust the drag 1 time to tighten down when the fish would get tired. It definetly surpassed my expectations. Ryan offers a good products for sure. In the future I may buy a new 8 weight and his Anakim reel, but the 5 wt was a lot of fun. I wish my camera would not have died so I could post the chrome.

This weekend should be great if they get rain. We talked to a guide who said that not many fish came in with the last rain, and they should be waiting to come in. He anticipated this weekend to be the best, if the get the rain that is coming in from the mid west.

Good luck to all who head up, and thanks for reading.

P.S. This trip was the longest ever. Left at 3:30 am and got home at 11:30 pm. A wreck on 79 made for a long wait. After a long day of fishing in the 40 degree temps and having the wind tunnel effect from the tubes. I only stayed awake for about 5 more minutes after my shower.

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Posted on: 2013/3/11 10:52
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Re: Finally made it to Erie

Joined:
2013/1/15 12:02
From Pipersville Pa.
Posts: 536
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Great report and great looking fish. Sounds ike a blast.

gencon

Posted on: 2013/3/11 11:06


Re: Finally made it to Erie

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2011/4/12 17:23
From Lancaster Co.
Posts: 1125
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Quote:

mike_richardson wrote:
Instead I fould my self roll casting upstream then "dragging the nymphs" through the shallow water. BOOM! Instant hook up just about every cast for about 15 mins, as long as I could keep tension on the flies it was similar to Czech nymphing but with the rod turned and the nymphs dragged side ways, similar to swinging I guess.


It sounds to me like you were snagging and foul hooking these fish. I AM NOT SAYING YOU DID IT INTENTIONALLY but dragging nymphs through a pod of steelhead in low water is almost a guarantee to snag one.

Posted on: 2013/3/11 12:20
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Re: Finally made it to Erie

Joined:
2010/3/29 6:56
From Portage, PA
Posts: 1445
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Dude I was draggin in front of them, and they would come out from against the wall of the bridge and take the fly. I could see the fish, and my fly was placed off to the side of them.

Calm down.

I get no enjoyment from ever snagging or foul hooking a fish. Why would I try and use flies then, why not rip out a spinner or treble hook and save myself time and money from ruining flies.

Thanks for bringing negativity to my post. PM steelheadwhisperer who was fishing right beside me if you need verification on this.

Posted on: 2013/3/11 12:48
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"There he stands, draped in more equipment than a telephone lineman, trying to outwit an organism with a brain no bigger than a breadcrumb, and getting licked in the process."



Re: Finally made it to Erie

Joined:
2010/3/29 6:56
From Portage, PA
Posts: 1445
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Maybe I should rephrase this after a member pointed out I may have jumped on you about this too soon, McSneek.

The steel head were off to the side and tucked against a wall. I would cast my fly above them and drag it out and to the right of these fish. They would leave the cover of the wall and come out intot the shallows to hit the fly. I could watch them sitting beside the wall and leave to follow and take my fly, the draggin motion was to keep tension on the flies and keep them from getting hung up.

They were tucked agains that wall and this was the only option i had to cast to them to avoid landing the flies against the wall and as you said end up foul hooking them. I can now see where you could have thought I was casting behind these fish and dragging between them or over top of them.

I apologize for jumping to conclusions but hearing someone state that it seems to them that you were snagging fish can definetly get my panties in a twist to say the least.


Posted on: 2013/3/11 15:36
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"There he stands, draped in more equipment than a telephone lineman, trying to outwit an organism with a brain no bigger than a breadcrumb, and getting licked in the process."



Re: Finally made it to Erie

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2011/3/2 13:43
From Gamehendge
Posts: 961
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People are so quick to jump to conclusions.

Posted on: 2013/3/11 15:42
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Re: Finally made it to Erie

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2010/5/1 9:10
From NE OH
Posts: 1257
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I'm not going to say you were snagging, because I didn't see it. BUT, you did say you wear panties and I would like to tease you about that

Posted on: 2013/3/11 16:35
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Re: Finally made it to Erie

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2012/8/21 18:22
From Chester County
Posts: 385
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Seems like you did everything right except one thing... Charging your camera!

Posted on: 2013/3/11 16:50


Re: Finally made it to Erie

Joined:
2011/7/18 15:53
From Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 168
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Nice brownie! Must have been fun on the 5wt!

I can't help but think of this right now...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xRxqY4wuTHw

Posted on: 2013/3/12 8:55


Re: Finally made it to Erie

Joined:
2006/10/18 15:46
From Patterson twp, Pa (Beaver Falls)
Posts: 6451
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Nice report and thanks for the kind words on the Ichthus reel. I've been challenging my guides to put it to the test and this was a good one.

Posted on: 2013/3/12 16:02
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Re: Finally made it to Erie

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2012/1/13 15:28
From Ferguson Twp.
Posts: 2398
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Mike, sounds like you two had a great weekend. I have to say nice job figuring out and getting around some tricky situations on stream and hooking up. Long and hard day to be sure, but the ride back with the ghost of the fish still tugging at the wrist makes some great memories. Pics are looking good. One of these days I'd like to get there too.

Posted on: 2013/3/12 21:18
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Re: Finally made it to Erie

Joined:
2006/12/29 10:00
From Harrisburg
Posts: 2009
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McSneek capitalized the part about saying you probably didnt intentionally snag/floss them. Honestly dont think there was negativity intended as I did the very same thing the first couple times I was there. Took me awhile before I could get past my adrenaline and figure out what was going on. "Why are most of them hooked on the outside of the far side of their jaw?" I finally figured it out.
My first trip to Erie is one of my top memories in flyfishing and upped my respect for rainbows.
Glad you had fun. Thats definately what Erie is all about.
Is your arm sore at all?

Posted on: 2013/3/13 10:52
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Re: Finally made it to Erie

Joined:
2010/3/29 6:56
From Portage, PA
Posts: 1445
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my back inbetween my shoulder blade and right arm was killing me. The 5 weight was fun and defintely helped my weight loss activities. Down 20 pounds this month.

Posted on: 2013/3/13 10:56
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"There he stands, draped in more equipment than a telephone lineman, trying to outwit an organism with a brain no bigger than a breadcrumb, and getting licked in the process."



Re: Finally made it to Erie

Joined:
2009/3/3 19:40
From girard pa
Posts: 221
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Glad you had a good day up here. The fishing has been hit or miss lately it's either been froze up or high and dirty. I hit up crooked Sunday and picked up a few. That is a nice brown I still have not caught a brown yet since the run started.

Posted on: 2013/3/13 19:11
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Re: Finally made it to Erie

Joined:
2006/9/11 12:00
Posts: 275
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Fear not fishing for steelies with a 5 wt. Take a stiff 5 wt, put a 6 wt line on it and you're in good shape. I don't go bigger than my 9ft 6 wt Sage RPL and wouldn't want anything else. But for the 1st few years, I fished what I had... an 8 ft 5 wt medium action. Leave that 8 wt. at home. Save it for the smallies.
JBeary

Posted on: 2013/3/15 17:22



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