January 2009 Outing Report.
Yellow Breeches PA

Pulling into the parking lot next to the run below Children's Lake I noticed there was still a hint of green in the grass bordering the stream; a sharp contrast to leafless trees, and anglers bundled up in thick layers of fleece against the 30 degree temps sporting stocking caps and gloves. Water coming out of the lake had the run a balmy 51 degrees, while the main stem was a bone chilling 36.

Steve Graves

Ken Bowyer

Will Amland and I pulled in a minute or two late to find Ken Bowyer, Steve Graves, and Steve Fletcher already in the parking lot and mostly rigged up. Walking up to exchange howdies, Ken pointed out Carl Smolka who was already on stream with two browns racked up on a # 22 Zebra Midge.

By the time I got my waders pulled on over layers of clothes, my fingers were slow with cold making it difficult to manage the 7X tippet and tie on a dropper. Will went upstream to check out the pool just below the tube coming out of the lake, took a brown on a Zebra Midge then headed down to find a less crowded spot. There were more anglers along the run than optimum conditions might warrant, but still nowhere near the circus atmosphere I heard someone describe the fishing as he walked by.

Raising the rod to free my fly from what I thought was moss, a 12 inch brown bucked back fast to my Prince Nymph becoming my first fish of the year. Throughout the morning the fishing was slow and cold, the breeze with enough bite to keep my stocking cap pulled down low on my neck.

Dennis Covert

Stopping for lunch I checked in on Ken and the two Steves. Ken had just scored with a rainbow on a white minnow proving the fish were interested if presented the correct offering. After lunch we had another go. Working my way down stream I switching sizes and colors of midge pupa and think I missed a soft take. Then, freeing my leader from a rock snag, it shot back into the brush behind me snarling tippet and flies, into a loose ball. As I worked my way through that mess I became curious of all the hoot'n and holler'n from a hole 30 yards downstream. Fishing on down I got close enough to understand they were all casting to one of the albino rainbows that are common to the Breeches. Then after 20 or 30 minutes they suddenly all just gave up at once and left, so I moved in. I never hooked the albino, but did get two fat 14 inch bows stripping a large black gold beadheaded nymph through the deeper water, and another 12 inch brown on deer hair cress bug anchored several inches off the bottom.

A little later, Will who had decided to brave the cold on the main stem, came back up saying he got a nice brown on a caddis pupa before his feet made him give it up. He fished the hole with me for a few a minutes but the bite had cooled and he started back toward the parking lot. Soon after that, a guy with little girl that looked to be about 6-7 joined me, the little girl was showing a definite interest in catching that albino, so I left them to it and ambled back up stream. I found Will, but noticed the other boys had left. We fished the run for another 30 minutes without any strikes then unstrung our rods and called it a day.

I don't think anyone would've have complained if it had been a tad warmer, but for January it was pleasant enough. Will said he saw two small bugs, I didn't see any, but we enjoyed enough success to keep it interesting. The next Outing is to Big Hunting Creek February 21st. Come on out and enjoy it with us.

Dennis Covert