I fished the Delayed Harvest Section of Neshannock Creek in Volant with my brother Jim from sunrise to about 3:00 pm. Ours was the first vehicle in the parking lot near Neshannock Creek Fly Shop that morning so we were able to get into the honey hole behind the fly shop and we stayed there. The water was clear with a good flow and a morning water temperature of 56° F. The honey hole was in the shade, the air temperature was 59° F, and big trout were surface feeding on what I thought was a tan caddis hatch. By 2:00 pm when this picture was taken the surface feeding had tapered off, the honey hole was in the sun with a water temperature of 62° F, and there were a few other anglers. It wasn’t overcrowded though.
We didn’t have much luck early in the morning even though things looked really good. The big surface feeding rainbows wouldn’t hit any dry flies or emergers so we had to settle in for one of those days when you need to work hard to catch fish. We tried standard nymph and egg patterns, tiny zebra midges, and even “junk flies” to catch a few fish but things got a lot better when we started dead-drifting streamers. This was the last fish of the day for me (try to ignore Jim’s rod tip and the old guy holding the fish if you can). It took a #8 olive woolly bugger. That unweighted woolly bugger (no bead or conehead) was tied with olive ice dub to give it some nice flash.
Jim had some luck with a grey ghost streamer and we tried black and white zonkers but the olive woolly bugger caught the most fish. Altogether we hooked 12 trout and landed 9. Most of the fish were big rainbows because the fly shop had its Lunker Fund stocking on September 16th. They float-stocked the whole Delayed Harvest Section with about 600 fish.
We usually stop in the fly shop at the end of the day to buy supplies and talk with the staff. This time, I asked for advice about the tan caddis hatch. Neshannock Creek Fly Shop is about 55 miles from my home in Shaler Township via I-79N and US-19N with a drive time a little over an hour. It’s just a few yards from the stream with easy access to the water. There is a good map of the Delayed Harvest Section on the fly shop website that I have linked at NC Delayed Harvest Project. The next state stocking is scheduled for October 5th.
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