Friday, March 29, 2019

On the board

Back to my roots in south central PA
I haven’t been fishing very much this past winter.  There have been a few trips to the Adirondacks to ski in the backcountry.  Winter skiing is a good way to identify potential streams to explore when things thaw out.  This past week I had the chance to fish in PA for a few hours before driving home after dropping my daughter off at college after her spring break. 

Lesser celandine
Late Sunday afternoon I took a walk along the Yellow Breeches.  The first of the lesser celandine were just starting to bloom.  It won’t be long before the banks are blanketed in yellow.  The recent rain had the river quite high.  While the Breeches never looks “angry” to me, the volume of water being pushed along can make wading very treacherous as I found out last spring.  So with a healthy dose of respect, my plan for the next morning would have to be “The Run” in Boiling Springs; a small feeder stream that flows out of Children’s Lake and into the Breeches.  “The Run” was higher than I’ve seen it previously but still safe to fish and very clear. 

In the first riffle I fished, I connected with a nice wild brown that put quite a bend in my short 3 wt.  It was nice to feel the tug of a good fish again and to have the first fish of the year be a wild brown.  In three of the four riffles that I concentrated on, I found fish willing to take a bead head nymph (#16 soft hackle pheasant tail, #16 soft hackle hare’s ear, and a #18 flash back pheasant tail).  I was fishing a modified tight line leader on a 6’6” 3 wt which worked out well for this small stream.  Fish were holding in the riffles and generally could be spotted. Sight fishing is not something I often have the opportunity to do.  

It was a great morning to be out again, and as the rain started to move in, I packed up and started on the long trip home happy to have had a few hours of great fishing!

the first brown of the year

Sunday, March 3, 2019

The Ausable Ugly

Another of my favorite winter flies is the Ausable Ugly by Richard Garfield, a native of the Adriondacks. I have a particular love for flies designed for the high gradient waters of the Adirondacks.

I've been fishing the "Ugly" for a few years and often pull it out of the box when I need a heavy nymph/streamer to fish in the late winter or anytime the water is up after good rain.  Like the picket pin, it can be fished as a nymph, or retrieved like a mini streamer.  You will notice that I added a fire orange thread hot spot on two just to experiment.

Ausable Ugly Material list: 
Thread: Grey UTC 70DN
Tail - muskrat fibers
Body - heavily dubbed muskrat
Rib:  Silver ultrawire (Sm)
Hackle - grizzly hen, palmered from bend to eye
Rough it up with a wire brush or velcro when finished, it's supposed to be ugly!