Monday, May 14, 2007

breaking the slump, a photographic extravaganza

The only way to break a fishing slump is to keep fishing. Things started out well on Wednesday. Caught a big brown trout. And a couple smaller ones. But then things slowed way down. I met my dad on Penn's on Thursday night and we didn't get shit. My father and I each caught one small fish on Friday. My brother caught three in about an hour that evening though. Decent sized, 10" brownies. That was on the Little Juniata again because even though we were staying within a stone's throw of Penn's Creek at the Feathered Hook in Coburn, Penn's was completely "blown out" by thunderstorms.

But we hit Penn's on Saturday. Drove out to Ingleby which is a tiny little group of houses and camps accessible only by 5 miles of dirt road. It's in the middle of nowhere. Morning started off great. My father and I each hooked and lost several decent sized fish on March Brown nymphs. But then they just stopped feeding and we never did manage to catch any. But Penn's Creek near Ingleby is beautiful.

That night we went back up to Coburn and fished a nice deep, flat stretch during an amazing March Brown hatch. But the fish weren't feeding at all. Very sporadic rises. I thought this was weird. Thousands of giant March Browns and no feeding! Frustrating.

Fished a bit on Penn's again on Sunday morning to no avail. But my dad and I went out to Valley Creek this morning in Valley Forge National Historic Park where there's a nice population of wild brown trout about 15 minutes from Philadelphia. And about 15 minutes from my parent's house. I missed one fish on a Sulpher, but other than that, no action. I'll have to go back out tonight somewhere to try to and break the slump.

The big brown trout from the Barree Gorge. Maybe 17". Caught it on a size #16 blue Copper John. A couple versions. Click them for bigger.

This is the first train bridge as you head upriver on the Little Juniata in the Barree Gorge. No road in the gorge. But a lot of trains. Click for bigger.

Before meeting my father on Penn's I tried for some brookies in the east fork of Standing Stone Creek in Greenwood Furnace State Park. No luck. But then I drove cross country style through Rothrock State Forest from Greenwood Furnace all the way to Boalsburg. I spent a good bit of time in that area in college. Particularly around Bear Meadow Bog and Alan Seeger. A view of the mountains. Click for bigger.

Here's a view of the bog. You can't enlarge it. Sorry.

This is looking up Penn's Creek about 1/4 mile below the trestle below Coburn. You can make out a bunch of March Browns in the air. Click to make it bigger.

My dad fishing Penn's in the fog. Click for bigger.

My dad and brother fishing Penn's in the midst of the huge March Brown hatch.

Up close view of a March Brown. March Browns are a group of very large Mayflies that hatch early in the season out west, but typically in mid May here in Pennsylvania. They are rather large Mayflies, but not quite as large as Penn Creek's most famous Mayfly, the Green Drake.

The path on the old railroad grade that follows Penn's from the Trestly below Coburn.

Two little Brownies I caught on the Little Juniata. That second one seems to have had a tough life.

Some one had a bad canoe trip on the Little Juniata.

My brother (and dad) on the Little Juniata with some of his fish.

Looking up the train tracks along the Little J.

My dad along the trail along the Little J. Click for bigger.

Funny story about this snake. Maybe I'll tell you about it some time.

My mom, dad, and brother on our annual mother's day hike in the Brandywine Conservancy's Laurel Preserve in southern Chester County. Look at the wilderness just a half hour from Philly! Click for bigger.

And, last but not least, General Maxwell's quarters in Valley Forge. Maxwell was from New Jersey and camped with the army in Valley Forge from 1777-1778. He had a nice house.


D Hanks said...

I want to be part of this extravaganza. When are you going to be down this way? I'll try to make it out for a day or two or three... Hoe you're haveing a great time.


D Hanks said...

That's hope not hoe and having not haveing.

Matthew D Dunn said...

Hey man. Plans have changed and it looks like we won't be making it down to NC. Which sucks. But we are now planning a canoe trip down the Buffalo National River in Arkansas for August. 4-7 nights. No impoundments. Free flowing. Want to go? I hoe you do. And which PA river did you say is free flowing?

Check it out here:

And congrats on Unclehood!

D Hanks said...

The Delaware is aparently the only free flowing river in the country according to John McPhee in "The Founding Fish". I know the Buffalo. I went there several years ago at Christmas time with Sara and her dad. We went on a hike in the upper headwater regions. It's pretty up there for certain. Not sure if I'll be able to make it or not but keep me posted.

And thanks for the congratulations

I hoe to be able to do some river riding my self this summer.