11-06-04 - MP's RECORD BREAKING DAY - #131!
Waters Fished: Trout Run, Elk Creek
Fish Caught: 0/4 personally
Outing Date: 11-06-04
Air Temp: Pleasant (50-60's)
Water Temp: N/A
Water Level: up after recent rains
Water Color: Muddy, visibility about 12"
Fish Species: Steelhead
Pattern Fished: Eggs mostly
Pattern Color: Orange continued to be the color I scored with
Fishing Quality: Poorer than expected by all local accounts
It's my first trip to PA in 2004; what started out way back in
the winter as a trip for me to head out and visit ASM turned into
another grand plan with several guys heading out from IL and WI!
I rode out with Matt Jennings, Randy Cochran and Brennon (who came
all the way down from Minnesota for this); we got to ASM's house
around 1:00 AM, and by 4:30 AM we were on our way to PA!
The designated meeting spot was Trout Run - simply a MUST SEE.
We met up with Jim and Leanne K., Gerry Greene, as well as Matt
Przybelski and his brother Mitch. Ed Clary and Tim Schulz came down,
with Mike (ASM) rounding out the posse! Everyone got their gawk
in at Trout Run before we headed to Elk Creek (Lake Erie was having
8-12' waves that day...no chance of fishin' the lake!).
No one wasted any time getting on the water and fanning out. Recent
rains had brought Elk up a bit, but it was on the receding side
by the time we got there. The water was definitely dirty, which
could prove to be a big bonus in the steelie catch.
How can I say this without sounding spoiled....it sucked! Everyone
fanned out and starting hitting the water...we moved down quickly,
seldom if ever seeing a fish. ASM hit a few bites early on, but
didn't manage to follow through.
I hung out with Mike, as today would be my first day on the water
with my Centerpin....the last time I gave it a shot (with Bart in
Indiana) I had totally "not gotten it". I figured Mike,
who's new video "Centerpin
101" was recently released, could throw me a few pointers.
Eventually we made our way downriver, much farther than I had been
before, to a run that Mike knew should be holding fish. Let me tell
you, Mike's experience on the PA Tribs definitely shows....
I believe it was actually Ed who hooked up first, and quickly lost
a fish out of the pool. Mike soon followed suit, but managed to
land his first one. Meanwhile I was busy rerigging after my first
centerpin backlash birdsnest. When I was back in business, I honestly
got frustrated because every time I tried to cast, the line would
get stuck in my fingers and land short.
It was also about this time that I realized that the sharp, stinging
cold sensation at my legs was due to LEAKY WADERS! DARNIT, I realized
I had grabbed the WRONG PAIR..I had actually grabbed the pair that
I knew leaked.
While I fumbled around in the deeper, cold water, my waders now
full to my crotch with water, Mike continued to work his centerpin
with mastery. Casting all the way across the pool into the fast
deep water on the far side, he managed yet another STEELIE. Mike
was officially ON FIRE! The one saving grace was that I was getting
some great pictures of PA STEEL!
Ed had disappeared downstream for a bit, but no sooner than he
arrived back at the pool and he tied into another steelhead.
So here I am, now officially the only one "skunked" on
this pool. I continued to "flog water", OK technically
it's hard to flog water with a Centerpin...and yet flogging the
water still applies. Yes, my casting is currently that bad. Meanwhile,
ASM has to do a bit of showboating on the far side of the pool,
perched on a narrow underwater ledge, just hammering the steelies!
After this display of fishin' prowess I pretty much admitted defeat
on the centerpin. Thankfully I had brought a fly rod, which I had
been carrying downriver all morning. Time to stuff the centerpin
in the back of my vest (quite the site) and start truly working
the water in a style more familiar. In no time I was wet...literally...I
took a massive spill and almost went under. Yet another rush of
cold water entered my waders.
As I worked my way back upstream, we had discussed possibly trying
a different stream, maybe Walnut (same number of fish, smaller stream).
I ran into Brennon and Tim who had actually found some fish holding
in the riffles. I sat on the shore resting as Brennon hooked up.
Tim ran down to help Brennon out...B horsed the fish or something
and it popped. As Tim walked past me he said, "Brennon's not
a rookie, but that was a Rookie mistake". T-bone's silence
was amazing. So close...so very darn close.
While still sitting on the bank I decided to try a couple casts...only
a few drifts in I hooked up with a steelie that literally charged
right up to the bank where I sat. As it swam by my feet, all tension
came off the line and the fish easily got away. Now THAT's a rookie
We all kinda meandered our way back, stopping here and there to
fish. I managed to spot a fish holding in a narrow run, tight against
a vertical shale cliff. I actually got the hookup; the fish rose
to the surface immediately, thrashing it's face. It then turned
and charged the CLIFF...made it 75% up and out of the water before
tumbling back into the stream and breaking off. I was now 0/2.
Ever more determined that maybe Walnut would be a better place
to try, I continued to press upstream with my extra 3 gallons of
water (in my waders). I ran into Gerry and Randy who invited me
to fish the run they were on...it was "full of fish".
Indeed, there were many fish and many hookups. I managed 2 more
fair hookups here, both coming loose. It was completely frustrating.
Gerry, who had gone most of the morning without touching a fish
as well, was finally having a bit of luck at least getting a ride,
but at something like 0-8 he was admittedly frustrated too.
Randy, well Randy is arguably even more adventurous than I am.
He noted that directly upstream from where he stood, several steelies
were holding tight along a fallen log. He put in a few casts with
a purple bunny leech (or something like it) and what happened next
is best described with the photos and his own words:
And now, for the "PIC" that Randy is actually talking
about in the last quote above:
"After that it was pretty straightforward, but I was sure
defecating bricks for a bit there." - Randy Cochran
So um yeah...that was the LAST photograph I shot on Nov. 6th, 2004.
By the time we made it back up to where we had parked, it was already
3:30 PM and most folks had eaten and decided to go back down to
Elk to try their chances for the remainder of the day. Personally,
I "took the skunk"; ate a good 2 lbs. of food, took off
my waterlogged waders, and took a well deserved nap in the back
of Matt J.'s van. I remember scrolling through all my pictures from
the day and then arriving at the one above. My jaw dropped in disbelief.
After 20,000 some odd prior pictures I have NEVER captured an aerial
battle as well as this one. I showed it to Mike the next day, while
it was still in the camera, and well, he thought it was faked...