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When your 4th option works out

Thanks to Tammie, Jason, Kerry, and Ed for their recent contributions to the website. Great stuff, let's keep it going. Directions on how to submit your story or photos are at the bottom of this post.

I had an experience yesterday that hopefully you enjoy reading about. Since most of you are fishers or hunters no doubt there have been days with zero action afield. This as it turned out wasn't going to be one of those days.

Wear Orange as you are inside a state gamelands

Itching to get outside on what looked to be our last good weather day for awhile my thoughts initially turned to fly fishing the Yough. I've been reading about that river and gained some additional insights from Jack at our last meeting. Unfortunately, I've recently been pursuing opportunities to be an extra in the movies being filmed in Pittsburgh and that took up the early part of my week.

Looking for an alternative I drove down to the Allegheny River at Sharpsburg only to find the river high and with a strong flow. Not good conditions for kayak fly fishing. My 3rd choice was Glade Run lake however the fall stocking hadn't occured there yet and cold water largemouth bass fishing isn't something I've had much success with in the past.

That led me to Harbar Acres lake which I've written about in the past (click here). Despite my lack of success at the lake it really was my final option so I packed up my gear and headed to Butler. Well, I almost packed up my gear remembering that you must wear orange on the lake during hunting season. I no longer hunt so didn't have a vest or hat but remembered that in my 'extra clothes' bag that I always take with me there was a long sleeve orange shirt. I threw that on and headed to the lake.

On the water at 12:30pm my first fish of the day was a decent sized Speck caught on a red/black Wooly Worm. That was the rear fly in a 2 fly rig with a white Wooly Bugger upfront.

Working my way down the lake I saw fish rising. Well a long story short from that point on it was fish, after fish, after fish. If I wasn't catching one on a cast there was at least a hit that was missed. My first trout were actually a set of doubles!

Always get a kick out of catching doubles

The fish were in great shape ranging between 12" - 16", hitting aggressively and skying out of the water in an attempt to dislodge the fly. After losing my original rig I went to the ever popular chartreuse Wooly Bugger as the lead while staying with that red/black Wooly Worm in the rear (a pattern I've had a lot of luck with).

A note on fishing pressure, there was none! There was one guy fishing from the shore when I arrived and by the time my day was over there was no one on the lake. As I've mentioned that solitude is of more importance to me than the fish and a big reason steelhead fishing doesn't excite me. Anyway back to the lake...

I keep a counter on my phone and it was soon become a pain to release the fish, wipe my hands, open my phone and record my latest catch. But being a numbers guy I did it. When I wrapped things up at 4:22pm I'd netted 65 trout a new personal record for me along with a small bass, that speck and a perch. What an amazing afternoon given how things had started out and with Harbar Acre being my 4th choice!

My fish counter.

Another set of doubles caught later in the day

Have something you'd like to share with the club? It's easy! Just send me an email telling the story behind your post and if you have a couple of photos include them in your email. You can reach me at

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