Fished a tail water fly fishing only stream yesterday. On the drive over I passed quite a few other natural streams that were still high and muddy or at least had higher than base flow or murkier than normal conditions. This particular stream fishes best at high water but when we got there it was dead low, gin clear and there was hardly any current, thus making drift fishing very challenging. Usually this stream is a streamers fishermen's paradise but the flies we threw would only spook the fish resting in the relatively stagnant water. Plus the water temperature already felt way too warm, probably approaching 70 degrees even though it's a tail water stream. Not sure why that was.
My rookie friend with me figured out early what they wanted surprisingly. He's the father of the 12 year old that came to fly fest and is now tying some amazing patterns. I even took some woolly buggers off his hands in exchange for some material I've accumulated. Anyway, his father is not quite the fishermen his son is but he gets excited which is amusing. I find him flailing away along the stream, wading out too far, fighting trees and fishing for birds but just as I got there he hooks up. He was dead drifting hairs ear nymphs with no weight or bead head. It had to almost be perfectly neutral buoyancy, or maybe just slowly sink. Just a bead head without a strike indicator would sink too quickly. Woolly buggers gave too much surface commotion when landing and would only mostly elicit follows. There wasn't anything hatching and there was quite a bit of wind so the surface was covered up with seed pods and such. However, there were some fish rising occasionally.
The fishing was outstanding throughout the day. I later tried a large caddis to fish it like a strike indicator, than dropped a 2 foot 7x leader to a #18 peasant tail. This caught well in the larger, relatively current less water. Then later switched to a #18 bead head Griffiths Knat that looked like it had some larger hackle wrapped into the head, above the typical Griffiths short body hackle. This thing barely made it by fish without getting picked up. Numerous fish landed with this set up.
As I finally forced myself to leave in the evening from fishing far too long and taking off far too much time, I passed my friend working one more pool before he also had to leave. I peaked over the steep bank to get a look at the depth of the pool to try and give him an idea where to cast and just as I did, a fish built like a carp with shoulders like a line backer charged from the pool to attack his hopper, prince nymph combo. He was only just false casting at the time and hadn't even got the line out of his rod. I think he accidentally laid the fly on the surface and was in the process of doing a roll cast when this fish charged his moving fly and broke the surface a few feet from his lap. He was waste deep in the channel again. This thing was massive, I'd safely estimate 21 inches or so but the girth was the most amazing thing. He didn't hook up but was just left their in awe. His first full day with a fly rod and he had a shot at a real trophy fish. Well he too was late for obligations and this was only supposed to be a quick afternoon trip. He ended up fishing the whole rest of the afternoon at that one spot and didn't leave until the sun set well below the horizon and there wasn't enough light to cast properly. I guess I know where I'll find my friend in the evenings to come.
Anyway.. the trout fishing in the area is excellent right now. They might be stocked fish but they've been in the system over a month now, responding well to naturals, their fins look pristine and their fighting ability is right up there with their natural friends. Each fish whether it was a silver sleak rainbow or a plump golden brown would summersault numerous times during each fight. Aerial displays were the norm.
Last edited by Salmo trutta; 05-14-2009 at 09:37 AM.
Reason: It was supposed to say fishing report, not looking for a ho.
Sounds like a great day. Those stocked fish get smart pretty quick. ;)
We're getting a ton of rain up here today. Some of the bigger streams may be running high this weekend. I think I'm heading out Saturday to explore some wild brookie streams in Schuylkill County (NE of Harrisburg). I've been studying maps and stream lists this week, so I'm looking forward to checking out some new water. It's always fun poking around mountain streams for the first time. You just never know what you are going to find.
Thanks! I have just recently caught the fly fishing bug. Pretty bad right now and caan't seem to get enough of it. Always looking for place that is working so I can have some more fun. All the rain we had sure put a damper on my shad fishing.
Speaking of MD tailwaters, I fished BHC on Wed (the 13th) from 9am-2pm and it is fishing well too. In the morning things were a little slow, but around noon the action started to really turn on. The water flow was a bit on the high side, but pretty clear.
Hatches were coming off the whole time, with Sulphers, I believe, as the predominate hatch. There were a number of other things hatching as well, including both large and small stones. Despite all of the hatches, there was very little surface activity the entire time I was there and all but one fish were caught on the dropper. The favorite nymph of the day, oddly, was a black BH flashback hare's ear in a #14. Not what I was expecting to use at the outset, but it worked.