Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Not a bad day on the water...at least for me.
It turns out that one of my coworkers who is new to the area enjoys fly fishing. I had heard great reports of the Trico spinner fall on the Little Lehigh so I asked him to join me. I hit the stream around 7am on Saturday and after a 20 minute wait, I saw the first rise. By 7:45, it was game on. I hooked in to my first fish around 7:50am, a 12 inch bow.
My coworker arrived as I was releasing the fish. We proceeded to fish for the next hour, with constant rises in front of us. We had a few missed strikes, but no more fish were landed. I was fishing the pattern I posted last week and they were pretty flawless recreations of the naturals, but the fish weren't having it. Trico females have a white body, males have a black body. We tried both with no luck.
He decided to hike downstream to check out some deeper water, but I was determined to land two fish; one nice bow that was constantly rising in the opposite end of the stream, and another rising about 5 feet out and 10 feet upstream from me. Both had ignored my flies at least 50 times and I wanted revenge. I noticed the rising fish further away from me actually swing around to get away from my fly. That made me realize it was the tippet size. I was on 7x. I switched it up to 8x and wound up hitting the one across stream on the first cast. Two minutes and an amazingly tight roll cast under a low hanging branch later, I got the one directly upstream from me. They weren't huge, like 11-12 inch bows, but I was still happy to get two fish that were ignoring me for an hour. By the way, the water was starting to approach 70 degrees, and it was hot outside, so I didn't remove these fish for photos. They were netted, had a quick snapshot, and had the fly popped out, while remaining in the water. I'm not going to take a chance at killing something for a stupid picture.
The rises tapered off around 10am so after hiking back to the car for a cold beer, we hoofed it a mile downstream to find some fish that might not have been so pressured all morning.
We fished the covered bridge area, below the heritage section. My coworker found some fish in a nice channel and since he was getting the skunk, I let him have the hole to himself and walked downstream. I switched it up to an egg and some split shot and started hugging some fallen logs and stumps along the near bank. That got me a 15 inch rainbow with a GIANT sore on his head. This fish looked gross and I didn't take a picture of it. I quickly release him and two casts later I felt a bump as I'm bouncing the egg under a big stump. I set the hook and had a nice little fight. Turns out to be the first brookie I caught all year! I was pretty happy about it, although I think he might have been stocked.
I figured this would be the perfect time to test out the under water camera. I've been afraid to use this thing underwater, but it worked like a charm. Unfortunately, I'm a shitty cameraman and you only see the fish for a second.
After that, it was approaching noon and 90+ degrees, so I decided to call it a day after 5 hours and 5 fish. Not a a bad day. My coworker, not so lucky. He got the skunk. In his defense, he's used to fishing size 12 and 14 dry flies and streamers for landlocked salmon, so tying on size 26 flies with spiderweb sized tippet is a whole new ball game. I'm sure he'll get the hang of it soon. He did have a great collection of flies in bigger sizes, but I hooked him up with a small box of like 30-40 patterns to get him started around here. Hopefully he'll put them to good use.