Opening Day 2023
The morning began with questionable weather. Fortunately however, I stayed on the water throughout the rain. Despite being slow early on with most of my time spent re-rigging, fumbling with numb fingers and donating more than my fair share of flies and fluorocarbon to the tree and rock gods. Immediately following the last downpour, the skies brightened and the fish turned on.
I opened the season with the Livingston Glass rod, expecting nymphing throughout the day.
First fish of the day was a brown that I only glimpsed briefly before 3 to 4 heavy head shakes and slow reactions allowed him to snap off my fly. Then shortly after I fumbled and grumbled at myself for not reacting fast enough while tying on a new fly, I was rewarded with a fat 18" brown. I felt a little better.
Spotting the tell-tale orange glow of a Palomino, I opted to throw something at it and after a short while was able to bump it in the nose with a C2C nymph and it took it. Pali's are either the highlight or the scourge of PA fishermen, but I will say, at 21" and ample girth, it was like playing a Steelhead. It was a blast, and I thank the glass rod for protecting my 5x tippet all the way to the net.
They are pretty, even if they are crowd magnets. But it's still swimming so somebody else can have fun as well.
The morning gave up another fat brown before my bones said it was time to get out of the waders. Which was good timing because my crossing had increased in flow and if it weren't for my wading staff waiting for me I would have arrived back wet for sure.
Some observations. The water was clear, and even after the rains it only slightly colored up. I saw no hatch activity until just after lunch. The Early Brown Stones (Willow Fly), easily copied with a #14 2x long pattern, was more abundant than I have noticed in recent years. Which would explain why they took so well to the Squirrels Nest Drake.
See you on the water