Feb 202012

Every single day of this short weekend was jam packed full of outdoor fun.  Spring is quickly arriving and with it comes a torrent of outdoor opportunities.

I could easily spend an entire week writing about the experiences I had in just this weekend alone.  While I’m pretty sure I will do just that, I thought I’d share today’s fun first.

Mike from Dubthethorax.com and I decided earlier in the week that even though the weather forecast was calling for a wintry mix, we would throw caution to the wind and  plan to fish on Sunday.

Fishin' wit' dub'

As the week progressed the likelyhood of a snowstorm grew less and less.   This morning I woke and experienced the sun shining with no hint of foul weather.  At 9am the temperature was already above 40 degrees.  A warm smile crossed my face as I realized we would be heading to the Little Lehigh for some Trout fishing on the fly.

I like fishing with Mike because he knows the water and he speaks trout.  Mike also has super human eyesight and always sees the Trout first.  I swear he was a  blue heron in his past life.  I actually went out and bought better polarized clipons so I could keep up!

FACT – If you are fishing with Mike from Dub The Thorax you need small flies

Size #20s frantically tied this morning

Mike LOVES size #20 and below flies.  I did my best to whip up some midges and Griffith’s gnats in the hour or so before I left this morning.  A few broken hackles, some snapped herl, and one flaring temper later, I was able to add nine new flies to the box.

My sickness – My flies…

I have this weird thing about only fishing with my own flies even if they aren’t perfect.  Fly fishing for me is defined by tricking a fish with something I tied by my own hand.  I almost feel as if I’m cheating if I buy a fly or “borrow” flies from a friend.  My belief is that if I don’t tie good flies I don’t deserve to catch fish.  When my tying improves so will the fish I catch.

Conditions at the Little Lehigh were perfect for a mid-March afternoon.  Yes, I typed that right.  Spring has officially sprung early.

We began the day thinking we were going to only see midges on the water.  By the end of our few hours on the water we saw midges, some kind of small Caddis, and I even pulled a big black Stonefly off the back of my neck.  Bugs were everywhere.

Mike keyed in to a little stretch of the river and we pretty much fished the heck out of it.  There were rises and actively feeding fish everywhere.

Matt Finds a Fishy Friend!

Even though my #20 Griffith’s Gnat wannabe had brown hackle it did the trick.  (Later in the day when we started seeing the small Caddis I realized that my brown hackle may have been the perfect match.)

I hooked into a nice 10-12″ wild Brown Trout.  It put up a pretty decent fight and made a few good dashes once it saw the net.  This was the first Trout I’ve caught on a dry fly.  It was also my first fish for 2012.  I gotta say, landing a fish this nice in February brings a HUGE smile to my face!

Ooh! A glow fish!

Sorry for the overly artsy pic.  The sun was to our backs and made the lighting really tough.   The original picture makes my head look like a giant glowing ball of cheese.

As the day went on I think Mike hooked into three fish overall.  I could have landed a few more but my hooksetting skills need some work for dry fly fishing.  My timing is WAY too early.  I guess I get anxious when I see a big beautiful Trout smashing my itty bitty fly on the top of the water (go figure).

Our three hour tour of the Little Lehigh was an awesome end to one of the best outdoor themed weekends of my life.  I can’t wait till Spring comes in full force and the fishing starts heating up!  Keep your eyes out for more posts this week.  There were a ton of really cool moments this weekend that I can’t wait to share!

Did you get out for any fishing this weekend?  Do you fish with other people’s bugs?  Let us know in the comments below!



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  • I remember the first fish I caught on my own hand tied dry fly like it was yesterday. Such a cool feeling. Now I only tie flies specific to the area that I can’t buy. Tying has lost a little thrill for me, but if I could relive that moment again I would. That ‘overly artsy’ picture is actually pretty sweet. And don’t worry about the dry fly hook sets, I always miss a bunch of fish the first few outings as the winter rust wears off.

  • Owl

    I just have one question for ya….do you make your own bass plugs? Build your own cars? Create your own clothes? I think you’re being a little hard on yourself there, bro. Now, that said – if that’s what floats your boat then by all means….

    • I make my own Bass plugs, jigs, and spinners (no plastic baits yet).  Wifey is working on the clothes thing…

      I believe that in all aspects of life there is honor in being a maker, someone who creates their own.  Not because they have to but because they can.  

      I could get on a who philosophical tangent here but fly fishing is such a mindful hobby for me.  Creating these imitations, small traps if you will, complements the skill I must possess in catching the fish.  

      Yes I am using someone else’s rod, reel, line, etc but what’s on the end of that line and the action that puts it in front of the fish is mine.  No one else will do it exactly like me and knowing that makes each catch personal.

      Sorry if that’s deep water there but catching fish has evolved beyond just dunking worms and sitting in a chair on the bank.  My fishing is more like hunting, tracking, and capturing my prey.  (although I’ll let most all of them go)

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