Well, I got back to the Poconos again last week; for some business meetings and, of course, some fishing.
A lot of you may have heard about the flooding conditions that exist in most of Northeastern PA, with rivers like the Susquehanna at +42 feet above normal high water, etc. Almost biblical! The perfect conditions for blown-out streams and fish that are few and far between. I went to my local shop and they said: "don't even bother going out; tie up some flies for when the water clears." That's fine, but I didn't have time to wait; I only had 3 days.
Long ago someone told me: when there's too much water, fish the headwaters, when it's a drought, fish the tailwaters. Makes sense; when it rains the headwaters are always the first to clear and during a drought it's the tailwaters that loose their water last.
So, off to my favorite headwater freestone stream; Mud Run. Only about a 500 ft. drop from the top of the water shed to where I planned to be fishing.
When I got there the water was only about +2 ft. above normal with flows that were 2x Spring run-off, but still very fishable. Here are a couple of pics of the stream:
Not so bad - and the pools looked like what you'd expect in September:
Now, about a year and a half ago, there was a thread on bamboo fly rods. I was intrigued by it, but didn't go out and try to source a rod. Well, when I faced the fact that I was leaving the Poconos, I decided to get one. I had it built by one of the local guides; a person named Ben Turpin. He builds about 6 rods a year. I received the rod in April, the season opened April 15th, it rained for two weeks solid and I moved to Maine on May 1st. So, not a lot of time to try out the new rod this Spring.
But, last week was right for it. So, I packed it in the car, along with a Bellinger reel and headed out to fish. I've fished graphite for a long time now, and it did take me some time to revise my casting stroke to fit this cane rod. But when I got it down, I can't tell you what a sweet rod this is. It's an 8'0' rod with a Dickerson 13 taper. Pretty stiff for bamboo and just a pleasure for me to cast. Feedback galore and great accuracy. Here's a pic of the rod/reel:
And here are some fish. I got, more or less, equal numbers of Browns, Brookies and Rainbows on all 3 days; not huge fish by any means, but a lot of fun to catch; particularly on this rod. A couple of pics:
And here was my favorite. Have you ever had that fish that you wanted to catch? Well, mine was a male Brookie in full spawning colors. And here he is!
Lousy pic, but what are you going to do when you're trying to hold a thrashing fish in a net partially submerged with one hand and take a pic with the other............
He was about 17" long; not too bad for an Eastern Brookie.
Anyway, I had an absolute ball. Will be back for one last hurrah in mid-October. Can't wait - it's been a lean fishing year for me.