Yep, my son turned two on Sunday and he outfished me this weekend, even with opening day!
Nick and I were on the road with the boys by 7:20am on Saturday to make it to the kids trout derby before the 8am start. We got there and it was ABSOLUTELY MOBBED. I've never seen anything like it. The place was a small pond, about 1/4 of an acre at the most. There must have been over a thousand people surrounding it.
The derby was supposed to be for kids 16 and under and the only thing adults could do was cast the line for the kids. We got there and noticed all the adults that were supposed to be "watching" the kids fish had rows of chairs set up to block out their area. Plus, there were quite a few 17/18 year olds there fishing. No one would let two little kids in to wet a line. It was disappointing. We finally walked all the way around and some nice guy let us squeeze in a tiny 3 foot space to let the kids cast, one at a time. Once 8am hit, it was amazing to see how many adults were just "holding the rod" for their kids. That really pissed me off.
Anyway, Nick takes Rowan over to wait on the picnic bench, I rig up Michael with a nightcrawler on one of my old ultralight spinning rods and cast out. I remember trying to get him to fish last year and he couldn't grasp the concept of reeling in. I handed him the rod and to my amazement, he had no trouble at all. Another line caught us so I reeled him, untangled and cast back out. I hand him the rod again and he starts ripping in line like crazy, doing a great job. All of a sudden I see his rod just bend and start bouncing! I kept telling him to reel in faster, and he did. What he brought in wasn't a trout, but I've never been so proud of him in the last two years. We took a few quick pictures before letting it go.
He kept jumping up and down clapping and yelling "Fish! Fish!" It was awesome. Then we backed up to let Rowan have a cast. By that time, everyone was rigged up with lines in the water and it was next to impossible to do anything.
Nick trying to avoid the 1400 other lines in the water
As soon as they got their line in the water, Rowan ran off because he had to pee, and Michael had enough and wanted to leave. This was at 8:07am. :) We packed it up, took the kids to the playground, and then to a diner for a nice big breakfast.
Later that afternoon, I thought I'd hit the stream behind my house for some stockies. I got there around noon and it was pathetic. The night before, I had scouted a pod of well over 100 fish with some pallys mixed in holding in a small run above a foot bridge. By the time I got there at 12:30pm, there were two fish left in that hole. One was a pally, which had literally at least 20 guys throwing gobs of powerbait the size of Ohio at it. Very depressing. I walked upstream and it was the same thing. Two pallys with people literally hanging from tree branches to get a cast at them.
I found some stretches of open water and had a few taps, but that was it. I headed home to prepare for Michael's birthday party the following day.
My little guy turned two. I can't believe it. Time flies. Happy Birthday Michael. I love you! We got him a Thomas the Train Hot Wheels bike, among other things, and made him his favorite breakfast, chocolate chip banana pancakes.
His party was a blast. There were like 60 people and the kids were going insane in the moon bounce all afternoon. He was so tired from not napping and going crazy all day, that he was miserable on Monday morning. We had planned to take him to the Phila Zoo, but we opted to stay local. We went to this giant kids playground in Doylestown called Kids Castle. He had a great time.
After some lunch, we took him home for a nap and I figured I'd FINALLY get to do some fishing without all the rednecks in camo jumpsuits and hot orange baseball hats. It took me twice as long to get to the spot I wanted to fish because I was stopping and picking up trash along the way from all the weekend warriors. I found 8 cans of almost empty powerbait. Awesome.
I finally got to the run and to my surprise, there were fish rising like crazy behind a rock in this channel. No bugs on the surface..The only thing flying around are size 26 midges. hmm....I opted for a size 20 Adams dry. After 3 casts and 3 rises to my fly it was obvious that these weren't trout. I got in closer because I no longer worried about spooking them and realized that they were big shiners! I took off the dry fly and moved on.
There were still about 20 other people out so my usual open spots were mostly still getting hammered. I tried swinging wets, streamers, and a few natural looking nymphs with only a few taps. Then I figured I might as well throw some junk. All the powerbait I saw floating downstream was either pink or chartreuse, so I opted for an orange egg, followed by a pale yellow one.
I popped on a thingamabobber and settled in for a boring afternoon bobber fishing slow water. Then I look upstream and see this guy coming past me.
Seriously, who kayaks in a 15 foot wide stream when there's much better water around? It actually turned out that he was good luck. A minute after he went through, I FINALLY caught my first fish of "trout season". It was a little stocker bow, who was really spotted up.
So yeah, I did catch one fish, but it was the start of the new week so my son still outfished me!
Also, expect some posts from the land of Steelhead this weekend. I leave for the Salmon River on Thursday night until Sunday night.
Here's a peak at some of the new ones in the box.
I've been on a soft hackle kick recently. Here's a big soft hackle Stonefly. This thing is a paperweight.
Also did a version of the hot wire prince nymph with some palmered feathers from a pheasant rump.
Filled the box back up with some size 12 Copper Johns. I know these look pretty bad. I was definitely in quantity over quality mode when I knocked these out.
And last but not least, Nick tied me a few woven golden stones. These things are sweet!