Thursday, January 5, 2012

New Year's Eve Fishing

Wanting to get the last bit of value out of my PA 2011 fishing license, I decided to hit up White Clay Creek.  This stream was stocked by the White Clay Fly Fishers on the previous Thursday so I thought that I might run into a bunch of fish.  Well, I ran into something and it was a bunch of other fishermen.  Usually I will park in one lot and walk upstream, then fish back downstream to where I parked.  For whatever reason, I decided to jump in at my usual ending spot and work my way upstream.  Apparently everyone else decided to park at the lot at the top of the stretch and fish their way downstream towards the other lot.  I started off well and picked up a real nice rainbow trout in my first few casts on the brown over yellow woven nymph I was using as my anchor.

Then I moved upstream to the next holding spot.  I spotted a few fish laying in the slower current closer to the bank I was standing on.  Had a few hits, but for whatever reason was unable to close the deal on them.  Decided to move upstream to the next holding spot and I ran into the first of what would turn out to be many fisherman on the stream (I shouldn't have been shocked, it was 50 something degrees outside, plus it was New Year's Eve).  I walked back around him to give him room and to maneuver to the next spot I wanted to fish.  Again, more anglers.

I decided to hit the trail and move upstream to where I was going to finish at and see what was going on up there.  You guessed it, more anglers.  I took a break, fished a small riffle that had held fish in the past, but I was hemmed into a small space with anglers upstream and downstream of me.  On one of my casts I got stuck in a tree and ended up losing my tippet and flies below my sighter (yes, I fish Euro methods).  I waded out and picked my flies out of the tree (wasn't going to lose flies and I didn't feel bad wading into a spot where I had caught zero fish).  Sat down and took my time tying on new tippet and the same flies, hoping to give the guys downstream from me a chance to clear out.  This plan worked only a little.  I worked my way downstream and was able to get into a run that I had wanted to fish but had been occupied on my way upstream.  Settled in and caught another rainbow on a small caddis emerger type fly.  I'm not sure exactly what it was since I had received it in a fly swap at some point.

Hit a few more spots on my way back to my parking spot without catching anymore fish.  It was getting dark, and I needed to get home and get dinner, a shower and a shave.  I hadn't seen my wife all week since she was on vacation in Nashville, and I wanted to look presentable when I picked her and my daughter up at the airport.

All in all, it was a nice way to end 2011 and get ready for 2012 and the fishing adventures that await.

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