My son and I just got back from a one day (14 hour one day!) fly fishing trip on Bald Eagle Creek and Spring Creek in Central Pa. We went with Dave Allbaugh of Wet Fly Water Guides. As the name denotes, we were fishing wets all day long; and no it isn't our first trip with them. .....One thing I realized, my fast action Sage is not the ticket for casting a cast of three flies all day long. tight loops and snappy casting isn't a good combination for this type of setup. Anyone out there (Pocono? Joni? Mojo? or others) than can recommend something in the 9 foot range with a medium action that will throw a more open loop and not be too heavy? Price is a little bit of a consideration. I've contacted Mcfarland Rod Company about what he has in fiberglass cause I think that would be very cool (yeah, a little vain, I know) but anyone have any other ideas? thanks..... ...Oh, by the way, the trip was fantastic...caught some nice browns and raninbows on Bald Eagle...and Spring Creek was....'Spring Creek'. ha
So were you able to land any fish on Spring. I was there a few weeks ago and my partner tried wets but had no luck. I met those guys at the last trout unliminted meeting and picked dup some of there leaders and CD. Leaders are nice cd was a waste.
We started fishing Spring about 3 o'clock. My son and I landed 3 on our first 3 casts ( I got one really nice brookie), then it got a little slow; we picked up one here and there until about dark. I was surrounded by nymphers for about an hour and I was, suprisingly, the only one getting any fish. Rises were pretty scarce as was any real fly activity. Right before dark we got into some sulphur spinners and I was getting a fish every 4th or 5th cast!...once again on their sulphur spinner wet used as the top fly. Mostly smaller stuff (8 to 12 inches) until I hooked one doozy. I didn't realize it's size until it was too late and ended up having the hook pull out. We caught about 15 on Spring Creek. Actually, I preferred Bald Eagle over the more popular Spring Creek; mostly because it gave me bigger fish and a lot less fisherman...like I didn't see any others! You're correct on the leaders and video...
I used to be a fixture on both those creeks but not any more. About casting the wets on a fast action rod; I would put a little more arm and shoulder into the cast and not so much wrist. This will naturally open the loop for you regardless of what rod you are using. Another trick is to eliminate back casts. To do that you allow the flies to complete the down swing swing; then with one fell swoop you re-position your line to the upstream and at about 11:00 to you; then with the same type lift & load action used to put em upstream you heave one back cast and place the trio on target.
If you don't get this send a PM and I will elaborate. It pains me to hear that we think we need a new rod every time we try something different. A few tweaks to our techniques will often do the trick.
Thanks Hardyreels; If I'm visualizing this correctly it's almost like nymphing, where at the end of the drift, you lift your line and leader out of the water and flip it back upstream and run it through its drift again. Except, of course for the one back cast to reposition the flies. I will have to try that in short order! Your say you fished those two streams in the past but not anymore. Did they get too congested or did the fishing quality drop off...or did you move away? Just curious. oh...just noticed...Alaska Moderator....that probably explains it.
I fished similar waters with Dave last Spring. I used a 9'0" Sage ZXL 5 wt. and it turned out to be a nice choice for fishing a trio of wets off one of George's leaders. If you're in the market for a more mid-priced rod, then check out Scott's A3 line. I think that they're really nice rods. I picked up a 9 wt. last Summer when I went Striper fishing and forgot my rod! A local shop carried Scott, the store owner talked me into trying the A3 and it's become my standard Striper rod ever since. I've also tried a 9'0" 5 wt. and liked it a lot. In my opinion, they're really nice rods; particularly for the money.
On casting, I agree with Ard, minimize your backcasts; let the line drift all the way down, then use just a single backcast to reposition your line across and down, throw in a couple of outside downstream mends and you're set for another drift. I paused the rod at several points during the drift to let the wets start to rise up against the current. Most of my strikes were made during these pauses (looks like Leisenring had it right after all!).
Glad you and your son had a good time. We still have to get together; those streams are only about an hour and half away from me. Let's try to do it this year.
When the flies are on the dangle strait down you lower the tip to the water and grasp the line at the stripper. Then with one steady movement you lift, load and re-direct the flies. If you are fishing a short line then just put them where you want them. If you are fishing a longer swing then you may need the single back cast in order to reach back out to where you were.
I have many fine memories from those two creeks. I fished them 75% streamers and 25% wet & dry flies. Back before they took out the old dam above Milesberg I could have 50 fish evenings on the big flat when the sulfur came on. Funny thing is I always used a #20 Blue Quill during the sulfur hatch. Had I noticed my fishing buddy catching more than I while he was using some sort of sulfur tie I might have changed my style but he never did.
Spring Creek and Bald Eagle Creek were behind my developing an original streamer pattern called "The Answer" you can find it in the share patterns forum I think. Like the business of using the little blue quill during the sulfur hatch, the development of The Answer was result driven. It caught more big browns in those creeks than any other fly I ever used.
I grew up fishing wet flies. That's the way my grandfather fished and that's the way I learned.
We used soft action 9' cane rods, long leaders, and a 'cast' of three winged wets. The point fly we used was a black gnat, and the first dropper was a dark cahill. I don't remember what the second dropper was, but it was lighter color.
I used a $3 Japanese rod, and my father and grandfather had domestic H-Is and South Bends.
T.P. (my grandfather) could drift the point fly right on the bottom but still make the second dropper dance on the surface . A sight to see. It's a style that's all about mending mostly forgotten now in the day of 'match the hatch' indicator nymphing.
A deadly and very effective way to fish
So many thanks to you all. I am going to practice the casting technique and also look up that streamer pattern. And, I'm about an hour and 15 minutes from state college pocono so it would be no problem to meet up. I think you fished "Spring Creek last year. So, if I'd like to take you over to the section of Bald Eagle we fished and maybe even get on a section of the Little J. We need to do it. Dave said fall is a GREAT time to be on Bald Eagle.