I had time for a "test run" today. The Susquehanna was flooded for the last three weeks. Today was the first day it was fishable........ 6.8' at the Harrisburg gage. I tested my reel, line, and flies.

1- My new SLA reel worked perfectly today. I caught 5 fish, the biggest being a 18" 3lb smallmouth bass. The big bass pulled drag and really bent my 5wt. Super smooth and a super smooth drag with this wonderful lightweight reel. A lot of reports about drag probs on the internet. Not mine....... my SLA is smoother than my Stradic spin reel. But tomorrow, I'll put the SLA on my 6wt....... lot's of big bass here, a couple too big to land with a 5wt. Next week for trout, the 5wt will be perfect, but in the river with high water a 6wt or 7wt would be my choice.

2- All the warnings about how Sharkskin will cut my fingers made me cut the fingers off of a old leather glove I had, just in case. The line didn't hurt my hands at all! When the line is wet it is smoother on my hands than the regular round lines. This is by far the best line I ever owned. When I broke off a bugger, I was waist deep in the water with no wind and I wanted to see how far the line would cast. Wow! it shoots like crazy and even roll casts better than a DT line. I used a floating line and it mends better than anything I've ever used.

3- All the fish were caught on black woolybuggers. I checked the tail size and hackle size to see what was best for me. I'll tie some with a slight modification tonight and give it another shot tomorrow. My Peak vise just might be the best investment I ever made....... I love the thing!

I posted a report below, with pix, here on the "Mid-Atlantic" fishing reports.

Tight Lines,
Rick