September 2008 Outing Report.
Tricos on the Gunpowder

Rolling in at 7:01 I was next to last to arrive. Ken Bowyer, Carl Smolka, Steve Graves and Charles Kahahwai gave a little wave as I pulled in and shut the truck off, noting the 68 degrees on its thermometer before jumping out. The weather had cleared some and it looked to be a better day weather-wise than I had actually hoped for. Excessively gabby, as usual, I was walking around running my mouth still in street clothes when everybody else, except Will Amland who had just arrived, was ready to go fishing. We talked Trico’s briefly and the boys headed out leaving me to bend Will’s ear.

Taking the lead, Will and I walked up river on the narrow path between the rain soaked foliage which had both my shirt sleeves wet from the shoulders down. I used my rod to clear out the many spider webs stretched across the path, sending the inhabitants – large and ugly this time of year – scrambling for cover.

Watching for rising fish, we walked all the way to the pools just below Falls Road Bridge before stopping where we saw a few nice ones holding in the upper part of the water column. Seeing some splashy rises I tried a Trico emerger without getting a glance, then reeled in and crossed the road heading further up.

We stopped at a series of pools where there was a good break in the canopy. Trico duns were coming off and the fish seemed to be after them. I tried several dun and spinner patterns that produced many false strikes but no takes, then went back to the snowshoe emerger pattern. On the first cast, fishing it flat in the film, a nice brown of about 13 inches rose and sucked it in. A short battle later I wet my hand and bent to palm it and it unhooked itself when I touched the leader, a little bonus since its better for the fish. Hollering down to Will I said I thought they were on the emergers, and maybe they were, but that was the only fish interested in mine. For the next couple of hours I tried all the Trico patterns I had, watching the fish sip, boil and splash, taking flies on or just under the surface. Bending over and scanning the surface for a clue as to what else they might be taking I couldn’t see anything except Trico’s in any kind of numbers that would have that many fish turned on, but did capture & photograph a large spent # 14 PMD.

As the morning burned away, the sun would shine bright heating up the surface creating a fog that made Will, 30 yards downstream, look quite ghostly and seasonally appropriate. I hooked and lost another fish on the emerger pattern, and stuck another with a #28 griffiths gnat at the very end of the drift that popped right off when I raised the rod for the next cast not realizing he was there. It was close to noon and I was humbled enough for one trip, and the grandkids were waiting for me to pick them up, so I told Will I had to roll.

When I got back to the truck, Carl and Ken were already there. Carl said he spotted some fish rising under low limbs. Suspecting ants, he tied on a black in size # 20 dry and was rewarded with two browns. Good sleuthing! The same four kayakers, loud and a little clumsy, slid through Carl’s fishing that had slid through mine. We both remarked how within just minutes of their passing the fish were right back to rising, not bothered much at all.

Ken did the best of the group; he caught three, two on prince nymphs I think, one on the double Trico pattern Jay suggested on the list serve earlier in the week, LDRed another, and had two more hookups on Trico spinners. Steve, I was told, caught two on Trico spinners saying he and Charles had spotted some swarms downstream of Masemore, something Will and I didn’t see up above, even though spinners were on the water.

Charles Kahahwai, a new member, caught a small brown on a Trico spinner, his first on that pattern I think, and then collected another first, a 9 inch sucker, Booya!

It was really a nice day to be out, only 81o at noon. There were lots, and I do mean lots, of fish rising till the late morning. Ken and I both noticed a number of stoneflies about, and caddis came off in good numbers around 9:00am where Will and I were, along with some cream colored midges. So there was no shortage of bugs. I think Will and I agreed that at least in our area, the fish were concentrating on Trico emergers but apparently smaller than either of us had.

Anyway, for a makeup date the weather was near perfect, and a fair amount of success was had. The next outing is the camp out at Big Run State Park October 10-12, come join the fun!

Dennis Covert