The nasty winter/early spring weather has finally broke here in central Pennsylvania. From Carlisle to Coudersport the stream conditions were at long last ripe for the onset of the big three of the April hatches; the blue quills, hendrickson's and grannoms. Greg and I selected a small limestoner somewhere in between where we hoped to meet and fish the blue quill mayflies -aka Paraleptophlebia adoptiva- on a sparkling sunny day under cerulean blue skies.
Everything pretty much went according to plan except for the fact that most of the duns that rode the surface this weekend went unmolested by the trout. Possibly due to the water temps that were still a little on the chilly side and the fact that this stream is so rich in fish food that the trout simply don't have to expose themselves to predation on such a bright sunny day in order to have a good meal. Water temps were 45F at 11:00am and 52F around 3:00pm, air temps were between 70-75F, hatching insects - lots of blue quills & midges.
A handful of fish were taken on imitations of adoptiva duns but, as is usually the case on these limestone streams, nymphing the riffles, runs and pocketwater proved to be the order of the day. Just about every good lie produced a beautifully colored Von Beher brown trout.
In the above photo Greg is getting his first look at the fecundity of this stream from his kick sample net. The good news is that the creek harbors impressive populations of march browns, grey foxes, bwo's, blue quills, sulphers and green rock worm caddis. The bad news is he found very few hendrickson's, grannom caddis or perla stoneflies.
When he's not busy establishing baseline data for macro-invertebrates on Watson/Mill Creeks near his home Greg likes to see what a sample from a real trout stream looks like. Anyone who thinks that Greg is uni-dimensional in his pursuits couldn't be further from the truth. He also enjoys creative cooking with venison, hanging out at REI and on-demand digital cable television.
Parting Shot: Greg demonstrating his short-line pocketwater nymphing technique. Shortly after this photo was taken, he was chased off the water by a family of grizzly bears who were intent on doing a little fishing of their own. We were surprised because we had figured all the grizzlies would be rolling rocks and feeding on army cutworm moths up on top of Shriner Mountain at this time of the year. Boy, were we wrong!