Sunday, February 27, 2011


When I was a boy I would cry every time my father left to go trout fishing. It was painful knowing that he was leaving to go do something that I loved. In Western Pennsylvania, trout fishing was as much a part of spring as the robins or the spring peepers. I was blessed to grow up within walking distance of a trout stream and enjoyed that luxury throughout my upbringing.I caught my first trout when I was two.I had my first fly rod when I was six. My springtime's revolved around that stream and those trout, but I would it hurt when he left without me.
I have to admit that I have not done a very good job in sharing my hobbies with my children. Don't get me wrong, my kids both love to fish, but I have left them behind on many of my own stream excursions. There are so many memories to be made and I want to make sure that we make those memories together.
So today Morgan and I headed for the backyard to do a little fly casting practice. No water or current to deal with. We did have some wind. This is not the first time she has casted a fly rod, but I wanted this to be quality instruction. I want her to be able to fish a good hatch and catch fish on the surface. She was awesome.
Morgan is our musician. She has a gifted ear and her rhythm is impeccable. She also a great student. She is a natural with the fly rod and was soon shooting line all over the back yard.

After a good twenty minute lesson, I asked her if she would like to tie a fly or two. She was excited and ready to go. When she was little she would sit on my lap and play at the vice. She loved making all kind of crazy pieces of artwork there. The material boxes were more like craft boxes, but this time she was ready for a little more serious time at the vice.
We decided to tie a "green weenie," a Pennsylvania favorite attractor nymph. She once again proved to be a great student. She was so eager and even apologetic.

It was an awesome morning and a wonderful experience to share with such a lovely young lady. I look forward to more practice and to sharing time with her on the water soon.I love you Babe! I know, I know, I am going to have to do something about her choice of fishing hats.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Clear Creek 2011

The weather here in Ohio has finally taken a turn for the better. It has been a long cold winter to this point and there has been a great deal of ice and snow on most of the local waters. A delightful mid-February thaw has melted both the ice and snow and began the annual burning desire to find fish with my fly rod.The weather was a balmy 45 degrees with plenty of sunshine and a light breeze.

I quickly tied a few of my favorite mid-winter flies and took the twenty minute drive south to Clear Creek. This is a nice drive even when the fishing is poor. This is as wild as we get here in Ohio. I have never caught many big fish here, but is always cures my cabin fever and gives me the feeling of being someplace more wild and exotic.

I dressed and rigged up and soon heard the familiar sound of water swishing through my legs. It is a sound that never gets old and continues to take my back to the days of my youth. It is a sound that reminds my of my grandmother and her love as she watched me fish along the banks of her stream in Pennsylvania. A sound that reminds me of the two miles walk to the same stream as it flowed in through the mountains of West Virginia. I miss those days and those fish.
The shade of the valley made me wish I had worn gloves. The fishing this time of year is slow and methodical. It is more about slogging the water than it is the wispy, delicate casts of the dry fly. It will suffice in quenching my thirst for fishing.I did manage to see quite a few midges hatching, but not enough to bring anything to the surface to feed.

I soon hooked and lost a nice holdover right at the surface. The winters rust was disappointing. After finding a fisherman in my favorite run, I moved back up stream and caught my first brown of the year. A giant 6" fish. Good things come is small packages.

The rest of the afternoon found more people and a few chubs. Most of my favorite places had people already fishing there. I will be back to explore again soon. It was a beautiful day that afforded me the pleasure of fishing once more.