Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I absolutely love dry fly fishing in February

After a long week, I was looking forward to some time on the water on Sunday. What orginally looked like bad weather turned into an almost 50 degree sunny day. I spent Saturday night tying up a bunch of midge patterns, both weighted and dry, and I was hoping for the same rises we ran in to last weekend.

I had planned to fish with Matt, the Functioning Fishaholic. I had fished with him once before after the tying symposium, and unfortunately he got the skunk. I didn't want that to happen again. I told him we'd find rising fish and I was hoping it was true. I had remembered him saying he only caught one trout on a nymph before, and I thought it would be cool to have him get his first one on a dry fly.

We quickly rigged up, hiked about 150 yards upstream, and there was no need to walk anymore. There were risers spread up and down a 100 yard stretch of water, and as luck would have it, there were plenty of other fishermen, but not in this stretch.

The Little Lehigh used to have a no wading restriction in the heritage stretch, and since they lifted the restriction, this stretch of water has been plagued with people standing right in the middle of the stream, directly on top of some of the best holes. If you're one of those people, no offense, but c'mon man, you can roll cast to the opposite bank without getting your feet wet. Just because you can wade, doesn't mean you should.

Moving on, I started off with a size 20 Griffith's Gnat, and Matt opted for a Griffith's he tied, but with brown hackle. We instantly noticed bugs coming off and skating across the water. There was a variety of black and brown midges, a few BWOs, and believe it or not, a really nice dark tan caddis hatch, around a size 20. Matt's fly was a pretty damn close imitation. He ever pulled a black adult stonefly off his neck. It was like springtime; bugs everywhere, you were comfortable in only a hoodie, and I wasn't complaining.

It didn't take long before I was in to my first fish, a little wild brown trout with some nice coloring took my dry after about 10 minutes and like 40 casts over his head.

After landing him, the ducks and geese decided to go absolutely bonkers in the stretch of water we were in and all the rising stopped. They were splashing all over, diving under water, and all the trout darted.

I went another 50 yards upstream and I found where they went. About 15 to 20 fish were surrounding a fast chute, gorging on caddis as they came down the bubble line. Nick also showed up and started fishing just above me. I hooked in to another wild brown, this one about 14 inches and brought him to hand. Absolutely beautiful fish. I almost want to get this picture framed, even though he wasn't huge.

Matt was still fishing downstream from the geese and only had a few misses. I motioned him over and gave him my spot. It didn't take him long. I watched him land his first dry fly trout, a wild brownie, on his own fly. Doesn't get any better than that.

After those two were caught, the hole spooked a little and the rises were more sporadic. It also didn't help that other fisherman noticed us hooking into fish and were creeping up into the opposite bank, spooking them even more. I never understood why people have to do that.

We fished for about another 45 minutes, each of us missing a few, before calling it a day. Nick unfortunately got the LL skunk once again. I swear that stream hates him.

You can check out Matt's version of our trip here, and below is a video of his interview from this past weekend with Delaware Valley Outdoors.

The fishing was great, but I think my favorite part of the weekend was some time in front of the vise with Michael. He's started to get good at Honeybug Inchworms! I do have to whip finish for him though.

In other news, I'd like to give a shoutout to Morgan over at Tight Lined Tails of a Fly Fisherman for the flattering post he did about some of the bugs I've been twisting up. I met him through Instagram and he has a really great site which has something that my site has been lacking these days... Daily updates! Head on over, check out his blog, and follow him. Some good reading!

Also, I'd like to apologize for not posting up the stacked foam beetle tutorial I mentioned in my last post. My memory card got wiped out so all the pics were gone. I'll redo it shortly.

If you need me, I'll be counting down the minutes until spring...


  1. What an awesome day! I've been using that trip as my happy place this week! I keep thinking about that one big one I pointed out, cast to and missed on the take.

    I think my favorite thing about dry fly fishing is it's like target practice. See the rise, aim, cast a little upstream and WHAM! It's like positive reinforcement for good casting.

    LOVE IT!

    Till next time! Oh and thanks for the shout about the video.

    1. Do I hear another trip this weekend on it's way??

    2. I'm going to be MIA most likely for the next 2 weekends. I'll let you know if plans change. I NEED to get back there. That was way too much fun!

  2. Pretty cool Michael is tying flies already... he will surpass you by the time hes a teenager.