Our fishing season finished up with a long mild fall and a good close to the season. It certainly was a year of ups and downs and it was good to end on a high note. Our head guide, Jim Kukorlo, shares thoughts with us today about the season ending and the new one about to begin.
We wish you all a very Merry Christmas.
Cathy, Barry, Brooke, Susie and Eddie
Jim’s Thoughts on the 2018 Season
Although I will continue to fly fish throughout the winter season, for most fly fishermen and how most people think of a trout season, the 2018 season is over.
As I get older the trout seasons seems to go by very quickly. Seems like yesterday I was counting down the days to the 2018 opening day here in Pennsylvania. I have more seasons behind me than I do ahead of me and I wasn't about to waste one just because of less than desirable water and weather conditions.
Locally we have plenty of memories of high water, severe flooding and damage to stream fronts, roads and property. We can be very thankful that there were no lost of lives here in Pennsylvania that I'm aware of.
The number of days I spent on the water was certainly down from other seasons. When I couldn't fish on the big streams I looked to smaller streams to wet my line and found some really good fishing that I've overlooked over the years. With the high water levels here I was finally able to find time to fish the South Holston River in Tennessee, the New River in West Virginia for smallmouth bass and a small stream in the Poconos.
The high water forced me to rethink not only what streams to fish but to look for fish in areas that I would not normally fish. In the high water fish look for back washes and eddies to hide in and to get out of the raging water flows.
I've always wanted to spend more time improving my streamer fishing and this year I was forced into doing just that. My go-to 4 and 5 wt Sage rods were replaced by a 6 wt Sage which could handle heavier RIO streamer tip and 250 grain RIO sinking tip fly lines along with weighted size 6 Cathy Super Buggers and an assortment of weighted nymphs.
I spent evenings at the fly tying table tying heavier weighted nymphs and experimenting with different color on super buggers and streamers. I’ve never had such a large selection of streamers as I do now. I kept notes of what colors worked best for me in different water flows and water color.
Nymph fishing worked best with a 10ft fly rod and good old high stick nymphing in deep pools and riffles. And several of my clients never fished without a strike indicator and were amazed at how well they did without one and learned a new technique in the process.
All in all it was a good season personally for me. It was fun to teach clients different styles of fly fishing for the different and sometimes challenging conditions. And I got to fish different streams that I never found time to do in the past. I now find myself looking forward to the 2019 trout season at home and to whatever it brings.
Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!