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Pine Creek Report for March 22, 2021

Jim started at the Gamma Building Flats at 11:00 am and I met him there at 1:30 pm. We fished for about an hour and then waded up to the Old Railroad Bridge. The stream gage was at 5.13 feet and the water temperature was 44 degrees F at 1:30 pm and 50 degrees F at 6 pm. The water was clear in the shallows and stained where over knee deep. Altogether we caught twelve trout and a few small suckers and creek chubs. Most of the time we used a two-fly rig of a weighted nymph as the point fly and a blood dot egg as the dropper fly. We only saw 3 other anglers. That is pretty much a repeat story of my notes for March 9th so this stream report will focus on some things that were different.

Wading up to the Old Railroad Bridge was more difficult (from my 73 year old and arthritic point of view) than it was on March 9th when the gage was at 4.73 feet. Most of the stream bottom on the way up is a mixture of bedrock, gravel, and softball to basketball sized boulders. This shows the water we waded to get there:

We saw midges in the air as usual at the Gamma Building Flats but no trout were surface feeding on them like they were on March 9th. Then we saw something new as we waded upstream. There were a decent number of early brown stoneflies in the air and there were some slashing surface rises. That usually happens when the females return to the water to deposit their eggs. At most other times, stonefly nymphs are more productive. You can learn more about those flies at Early Brown Stoneflies.

Trout were surface feeding in the faster water in the bridge pool too but we couldn’t see what they were hitting. What to do? Should we fish a stone fly imitation on the surface? Most of the trout we already caught had taken a blood dot egg on the bottom so we decided to stay the course. This is the #14 Orange Bling Blood Dot we used. It’s not much to look at in your fly tying vise but it looks a lot more like a fish egg when you get it wet:

We each caught a few more fish in the higher than normal water in the bridge pool including this nice trout that Jim caught using a jig head version of the Orange Bling Blood Dot. Then he said, “ Next time let’s show a picture of you with a big fish.”

Pictures can make fish stories a lot better but sometimes we don’t take them. A good example was the time I caught my biggest Pine Creek smallmouth bass on a #14 chartreuse Mop Fly. It was January 10, 2021 when the water temperature was 38 degrees F at 3 pm. Who would think that a smallmouth bass would take a fly in water that cold? We were cold too from standing in the water for over 3 hours so I held the fish up for Jim to see and then released it without taking a picture.

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