I doubt that many of you will be traveling to and fishing the Smokies to fish this month although I
hope you do. January and the first part of February is probably the coldest time of the year and
you will have to pick out the better days to expect much success fishing the freestone streams.
By the end of February, everyone will be doing their best to force the bugs to hatch and the trout to
respond even though they will probably have to wait a few more days to see any surface action.
That considered, I thought I would write about some fishing trips we have made to various other
destinations. Don't expect these articles to win any awards, just tell you about some things I
hope you will find interesting and a few that I look back on with a gleam in my eye.
Fly Fishing Pine Creek, Pennsylvania
In the previous two articles I failed to mention one of the prime sources of limestone
spring water for Penn's Creek, Pine Creek. I discussed the fact that Elk Creek flows
into Penn's Creek at the little town of Colburn. At that point Elk Creek is also
carrying the water from Pine Creek. Pine Creek flows into Elk just outside of town.
Pine Creek is one of the larger limestone aquifers in the country. It is a big reason
the water downstream of Colburn stays cool during the summer and one of the
reasons that it provides excellent fishing.
Pine Creek is another of the classic spring creeks in Pennsylvania that on its own
merit may not justify anglers traveling for hundreds of miles to fish. However, if you
consider the fact that it is very close to Penn's Creek and Elk Creek, it is certainly
an important part of a prime fly fishing destination for trout. Although it is a rather
large limestone creek, much of the stream flows through private property. Fishing
access is rather good compared to many streams but still limited. Two very large
springs feed Pine Creek along with several smaller springs.
The headwaters of Pine Creek is a small freestone stream. It flows for about ten
miles before any spring water is added to the flow. The main species in this area of
the stream is the native brook trout. At Woodward, the stream flows underground. It
reappears downstream. After it is fed by the springs, the bulk of the water in Pine
Creek flows through a rather narrow path of the stream with a gravel bottom and
the other water (but large area of water) slowly flows through large weed beds. It is
very difficult to fish. The trout, some of which are very large, tend to stay hidden
beneath the vegetation. If you wade the stream, you tend to spook the trout. If you
cast from the banks, you will find it difficult to get a drag free drift along the weed
lines because of the different current speeds.
On the lower end of the creek, you will find the water flowing very slowly. This gives
the trout all the time they need to examine your fly. Without a hatch to turn the trout
on, it is very difficult to catch the them. About the time you will begin to think the
stream doesn't have a fish in it you will spook a large brown trout. When the
sulphurs begin to hatch, everything changes. The trout loose some of the extreme
caution they display up until the time the little mayflies begin to hatch. The sulphur
hatch is the main hatch that occurs on the creek. It last over a rather long period of
time and provides the best opportunity for anglers to catch trout. Even then, the
trout are still not easy to catch. When you catch a good size brown trout from Pine
Creek, you can give yourself a big pat on the back.
I am very happy and excited to announce that we just received all of our new
"Perfect Fly" patterns of stoneflies. We now have specific patterns representing all
nine families of stoneflies, including imitations of the nymphs and adults or 18 new
stonefly patterns. As soon as I can get them on our website, you will be able to
purchase a specific imitation of any stonefly in its nymphal or adult stage of life.
We also received all of our new adult caddisfly patterns. We now have the world's
largest selection of specific imitations of caddisfly adults and pupae - a total of 28
new patterns. As soon as I get these on our website, you will be able to purchase a
specific imitation of any of the most important species of caddisflies found in the
trout streams and lakes of the United States and Canada.
I am excited about it because I have worked on developing these flies for the past
ten years. We have collected samples of all of the real bugs from waters across the
U. S., photographed them and developed and tested specific patterns for each
major species. We have driven our professional fly tyers nuts (they claim they were
very difficult to tie) but we are finally able to offer them at an affordable price.
What does that mean to you and what does it have to do with fly fishing "Great
Smoky Mountains National Park"?
Well, for the first time ever, you can purchase a specific imitation of these stoneflies
that are plentiful in the park:
A Giant Black Stonefly nymph or adult
A Yellow Sally Stonefly nymph (in its real color, not a fake "yellow" color put out by
the so-called, major fly companies that apparently either don't know or don't really
care what the color of the nymph is) or adult
A Little Green Stonefly nymph or adult
A Needle Stonefly nymph or adult (very plentiful in the Smokies)
A Little Winter (black) Stonefly nymph or adult (just starting to hatch)
A Golden Stonefly nymph or adult
A Little Brown Stonefly nymph or adult
Copyright 2008 James Marsh