Lots of people signed up for the trip and many bailed out. Not completely unexpected due to the reports of no hatch activity and bad weather. I thought about cancelling the trip but I was already committed to driving and needed the day off anyway to recover from working outside in the Florida heat and humidity for two days.
Our day started off with the disappointment of arriving in Boiling Springs and finding the Yellow Breeches Fly Shop "Closed". Both Lou and I were looking forward to browsing around and buying a few things since we left town early. Oh well, their loss of business for the day.
We decided to drive up to the Run and have a quick look around. A few people were fishing. Water was running low and gin clear. We strolled over to the bridge and were amazed at seeing all the fish. Pods and pods of trout! I gave up counting after I hit 25. Right below the bridge there were a few bruisers sitting in there, one had be close to the 20" range. Big and fat like a small submarine. Plenty of large fish holding around the rock structures. Looking up and downstream you could easily pick out groups of fish and a few loners hanging in various runs and feeding lanes. I for one am going back as soon as I can.
We decided to head over to Allenberry and eat lunch and then prep for the afternoon/evening. I hated leaving those fish but they'll be there for another day. Lou and I grabbed lunch and relaxed at the pavilion a bit. The weather started to turn on us a bit as the forecast called for anything from 50-80% chance of showers. While we started to gear up Gene Gyprych pulled in. He had been fishing throughout the day with some success. About the time we got dressed it started to thunder and then pour. We headed over to the pavilion to wait and see if anyone else was crazy enough to show up. I don't blame anyone for bailing out, it wasn't looking pretty dismal at that point in the day. A few BWOs danced around. They were out earlier in the morning according to other reports and we saw more on stream.
The rain started to let up a bit, no one else from PPTU was driving into the parking area so we decided to hit the water. The rain lasted a short spell and then the sun came out and it turned into a beautiful afternoon. We had the stream to ourselves initially and tested several runs before hitting into some fish. I think Gene caught the first one of the afternoon followed by several more in sporadic succession. I ran through a series of flies before hitting a couple that worked consistently. Lou had been fishing all around me but not hooking up much. Gene caught a few on top using an EHC and beetle pattern. All my luck was underneath. We both caught two gorgeously colored rainbows right behind each other. A few of the browns were feisty and most of fish were fat. I lost one big one that rolled on the top of the water and brought it to a boil. He quickly got off and left me standing there with my mouth wide open and both Gene and Lou grinning.
Gene had been there all day and decided to leave early. As it got closer to dark a few Hendricksons came off, not many though. Lou and I both tied on our white flies and started casting for fun. Lou hit a fish and then I followed up with one shortly afterward. The trout were obviously looking up in anticipation even though the spinner fall hadn't really happened yet. As it got dark we saw a few white flies, but not enough to call it a good hatch. There were tons of tiny white flies in the air, not sure what they were, and an occasional large white fly. Trout were hitting the flies that were on the water. I managed to catch a few and then it tapered off. Lou walked up to the car and I hung around a bit to see if any more bugs would show. Loads of the tiny white flies (about a size 28) , but the larger white flies were just not there. I counted maybe 5-6 buzzing around in total.
Lou has a couple photos, I hope he'll post one or two. The largest fish of the day was probably close to 16" and the others were averaging around 14". I guess I was in the sweet spot, I was regularly hooking up on fish and pretty happy about the trip by the time I walked back to the car, even though the mass of white flies didn't show. I went through a half dozen flies and caught most of my fish (much to Gene's dismay) on various colors of sucker spawn. I had one rainbow take a large Hex nymph pattern and nailed a few trout at dusk on the white fly spinner pattern Dennis showed us. The fish seem to like the white fly patterns moving a bit. I had a few fish leap out of the water after a "skated" white fly and almost got one mid-air!
If you guys decide to go next week please post it. I might have to call in sick to work that day. (cough, cough)