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Week of February 11th: Fab Feb!

Week of February 11th: Fab Feb Report

What a week!  The sun was out and the fish were too.  Several friends shared pictures of Stoneflies from around the area and I may have missed one while fishing a soft hackle stonefly yesterday.

Unless you were asleep all week, or work nights, you know the weather was great.  All that heavy rain and high flows swept the banks and trails clean as a Danish forest. Even your favorite old deadfall holes in the river may have disappeared.  Not to worry, rivers do take on new contours.  My favorite run of the Musky through the TCA in Port Murray looked fabulous yesterday after work when I stopped to fish around 3:45.  The extra daylight is a sign of Spring - still in the offing, but present in mind.

I still swing flies low and had four No. 4 split shot above a squirmy followed by a soft hackle stonefly and was about half-way down the river between the bridges and fishing a series of holes along the bank.  As the flies entered the plunge pool, I saw the flash of the squirmy as it bubbled in the froth, but then, it darted quickly back towards the bottom of the boil!  Unprepared for such a swift strike, I raised the tip and the fish swam out from under the rocks and into the run.  I held on for a few seconds, anticipating a sudden turn or even some aerobatics, when my line, snapped at the tippet ring, flew over my head and into the branches above me.   

I am confident the fish took the stonefly. Small consolation, I suppose, and I hope that the fish worked the fly out.  It was barbless.  I watched another angler, with a spinning rod, catch and release one a few minutes later. 

Back at the parking lot I chatted with an affable fella who fished all day.  I told him about my one, on and lost, and had nothing more to say.  His day was a fabulous day - four to hand and another five dropped. Two hours earlier, when I arrived I watched him fishing the bank, slowly and under an indicator.  

Mr. Collins reported from PA with some photos of great brown trout.  Thanks to his tip, I remembered to downsize my tippet.  The end of high water, fast and dirty days bring us back to more stealthy tactics.  I fished a little trib with a small fly on 4x and caught; however, last evening, I think the 6x helped me hook up and I played it too heavy, forgetting the change, and paid the price.  

JC landed his on 7x - some people just have the touch.

I returned this morning and ran the same beat before opening the shop Saturday.  With the same rig I enticed a rainbow from behind a rock in the soft water.  The picture is lousy, so you’ll have to trust me.

Here is what could work for you (all size 16 or smaller): 

Early Black Stonefly - especially on warmer times of the day.

Prince nymphs

Copper Johns (try black)

Scuds, midges, eggs

Try our local favorites: 

JC’s sculpin

Kayla’s peach 

Our tying classes continue!  Our inventory continues to grow!  Our commitment to the angling community is steadfast.

Swing on in and share your report.  Stock up or see us about getting started.  The temps are going to plummet again and it's time to gather materials for the Blue Quill and Hendricksons and Grannoms.  

See you out there.

Roy B.


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