Potomac-Patuxent Chapter Trout Unlimited
It's a small stretch, and we'd fished it all, so it was back to gorge; maybe the water had dropped as quickly as it had risen. When got there, we ran into not only Ken and Lou, but also Steve Fletcher and Frank Bowles. By this point, Lou had taken a fish, and several of the others had takes. The water was still high, but had cleared enough to wade.
Eventually, I took a rainbow, nobody else hooked up. Ken had missed several on a Light Cahill, the natural of which was on the water. In fact, there was a good variety of insects in the air: iso's (slate drakes), big stoneflies, cahills, sulfurs, a few species of caddis -- everything you'd expect from a Catskill-like stream in June. (The stream is located in the Kittatinny range -- which are in fact part of the Catskills; the name just changes at the NY/NJ border.)
As it was getting toward dark, I realized that I had two thirds of a hat trick -- all I needed was a brown. I was confident that I could catch one, since they're the most abundant species in the stream. Knowing that a Royal Coachman is actually a pretty good imitation of an iso in low light, I tied a size 12 one on, a put it over a pod of rising fish. A few misses (on my part) later, I finally hooked one. It was a repeat of my experience with the streamer in the same spot earlier that day -- three leaps and the fish threw the hook. My pseudo-cursing could be heard throughout the parking lot. At least it was probably a rainbow.
By now it was too dark to seen even a Royal Coachman, and the six of us retreated to the Clinton Station diner for one of their famous oversized meal. Something went right that day.
The others hit pool early the next morning. Frank caught two on -- to quote Steve -- "a light brown wooly bugger variation that uses squirrel tail (not saying the name so that I don't have to give someone a nickel!
Ken & Lou also got there in the morning. Lou caught two trout (and himself on the back of his shirt) on a sulfur emerger; Ken didn't get anything to any dry he tried, and say few insects, so he & Lou left, fishing the Little Lehigh in Allentown. It had been dumped on and was in the same shape that the gorge had been in on Saturday. (Hard to imaging in a spring creek.) Ken reports that you can now wade the entire stream -- previously the upper part had been like the Fisherman's Paradise section of Spring Creek, fishing from the bank only.) No bug, and only a few rising fish.
We finally showed up at the Gorge after everyone else had left. Everyone, that is, from PPTU. The stream was crowded now that the water was down. We got the last spot in the parking lot. It turns out that the Rahway River chapter of TU had the same idea we did -- take their monthly outing at Ken Lockwood. It also turns out that I knew several of their member through various on-line forums -- as well as several people there from the local ("Ken Lockwood") chapter, so I spend almost as much time socializing as I did fishing.
The river was in good shape by then, and by mid-afternoon there was the same good variety of insects as the day before, and fish rising to them. That didn't mean that either of caught anything -- partly because there were multiple people in almost every stretch we like to fish, and partly due to the fact that I've become really good at missing fish. I nicked a couple on a Greenwell's Glory, and a couple more on a royal wulff. I think we only fish about an hour, and spent the rest of the time talking to various folks from other chapters.
In all, it wasn't a very productive weekend in terms of numbers of fish caught. On Saturday, just the fact that we caught any was a major victory in my book. On Sunday, though, I suspect the lack of results was more operator errors on our part, since I saw a lot of fish caught. Beautiful water, plenty of fish -- they're just hard to catch.
© Potomac-Patuxent Chapter of Trout Unlimited 1999-2017
P.O. Box 2865 Wheaton, MD 20915
This document last modified 06/25/11