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Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Fishing Tobyhanna Creek

It's the fourth day of trout season in Pennsylvania, and we're getting out on Tobyhanna Creek!

This last weekend was Katie's birthday weekend -- and the trout streams would have been elbow-to-elbow, so we had no plans to get out on the first weekend of trout fishing.  However, today was a bluebird-sky day, with temperatures in the 50's, and we were eager to try out our new PA fishing licenses. 

We had scouted this section of Tobyhanna Creek near our cottage back on March 29, and, if you are curious, you can see how that went in this blog post.  We knew where the channels, pools and riffles were, and moved forward with purpose after rigging our fly rods at the Jeep:

Tobyhanna Creek is a beautiful freestone stream.  Kathy decided to wade the stream from near where we accessed it.  David, in contrast, decided to hike to each of the channels and pools he had spotted when we scouted the stream.  Here is one of the calm pools at the top of a riffle:

Kathy caught up to David below the mouth of Hummler Run and we see her, below, trying her luck where the water emptied into a riffle, carrying all that yummy fish food from Hummler Run:

David leap-frogged Kathy and hiked further down to another deep channel along our bank of the stream:

It was about at this time that disaster struck David's fishing.  

A little explanation is in order.  We each have two fly rods:  a standard rod, and a travel rod.  The travel rods collapse to a smaller size and have a small case for the rod and reel.  We got them for a trip to Banff when we fished the Bow River perhaps 15 years ago.  Since we started RV'ing in 2012, Kathy has favored her travel rod because, at 8'5", it is shorter than her 9' standard rod.  David, on the other hand, favors his 8' standard rod, and hasn't used his travel rod in over 12 years!

The years were kind to David's travel rod; it looks like new, compared to Kathy's, which looks well-loved.  The years were NOT so kind to David's leader and tippet, which had rested in that reel for the entire 12 years.  After David lost his third fly on nothing more than a standard cast, he began to suspect that his tippet had gotten brittle with the years and was breaking with little cause.  Finally, David tried to replace his old tippet with fresh, flexible tippet, but, after the fifth attempt to tie a new tippet to the leader, decided that his leader was so old itself that it wasn't flexible enough to hold a surgeon's knot with the tippet.  Every time David tied a new length of tippet onto the leader, the tippet stripped off, losing another fly.  After perhaps an hour of wrestling with his leader and tippet, David just gave up and enjoyed the day.

He did get this shot of Kathy trying her luck at a pool just below David's position:

Turning to nature, David decided to capture this shot upstream:

We saw some small tan mayflies come off the water, including, Kathy related, a Blue-Winged Olive.  But, try as we might, with a recommended dark-colored bead-head nymph and some of our own light tan mayfly imitations, we caught no fish.  

Indeed, after 2.5 hours on the stream, we saw not a bit of evidence of any trout!  We had learned that Tobyhanna Creek had been stocked at the Mill Pond in Tobyhanna Village, upstream of our position, and also in Tobyhanna Lake, further upstream.  But we began to surmise that none of these stocked trout had had enough time to work their way downstream to where we fished.  At least this sounded like a good excuse for why we found no trout.

We're hoping that, before we leave the area on April 21, we'll have one more chance to go trout fishing -- perhaps from our kayaks on Tobyhanna Lake.  

Stay tuned.  If we catch 'em, we'll smoke 'em!

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