Monday, April 2, 2012

Early April Mayfly Madness



My brother's and I ventured up to Penn's Creek in hopes of some early season dry fly fishing. On the truck drive into Poe Paddy we all said conditions couldn't be more perfect for an epic day on Penn's. The water level was around 350 cfs, the water temperature was 50 degrees, the skies were cloudy and we had light drizzle.......AND IT WAS APRIL! We pulled into the parking lot around 9:30am and were the first vehicle on scene. We had the whole stream to ourselves and decided to fish the Claybanks. The first 45 minutes proved to be tough fishing and our high hopes were quickly shot down, Penn's was being Penn's and it would have it's way with us early on. Billy caught the first fish on a Grannom nymph. Then about 10 other wild brownies fell victim to the Grannom nymph as well. As noon closed in on us, the Grannoms dominated the air surface and a a few trout started taking notice to them.
Shortly after noon the crowds rolled in but so did the bugs. Hendrickson's and Quill Gordon's starting hatching in good numbers and fish started keying in on them. I walked through a short section of riffles keeping my eye's out for subtle trout head's breaking the surface. Sure enough I located 5 and they all fell to my Quill Gordon presentation. Excited to see how my brother's were doing I ran upstream to the Claybanks. Andy had a fish on as I waded through the millions of duns laying on the water. This hatch was just as heavy as the sulphur hatch will be in a few weeks. Blanket Hatch is the only way to describe this day's emergence.
Andy and I strayed from brother Bill and worked our way upstream. The fish were rising in solid number's everywhere we went. We caught 15 fish between the two of us on dries and landed another 4 on nymphs. All the trout we caught ranged from 12-17 inches, all very fat and plump even after a winter slumber. The rain came in heavy around 6pm so we walked down to find Billy who landed another 7 fish.
We have fished Penn's Creek very hard the last 5 years and were finally rewarded with a memorable 50+ fish day! The conditions were perfect, the bugs were heavy and so were the fish. These day's don't come around too often on this tough stream so I am sure we will all savor this one for a long time.

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