Fishing during the day can be productive with nymphs and swinging wet flies. Fish were taken on swung Olive Holy Grail Caddis soft hackles, prince nymphs, pheasant tails, and Tan caddis . The main action on top has been from 7pm on. Sulphurs, March Browns, Rusty Spinners, tan and black caddis and Drakes have all taken fish. Around 8:30pm look for the coffin-flies to begin their dance over the riffles. Spinners in the twilight hour with caddis coming on strong from dusk to dark.
Drakes were strong in Cherry Run on Wednesday and there were a few in Coburn on Thursday. This weekend should be good from top to bottom.
This past week I was able to get out three nights in a row on Penns at various locations. Tuesday night we started around 8:30pm down in Poe Paddy. I met a local buddy, Daniel, at the parking area and we headed up for some faster moving pocket water.
The theme of the week was low water which forced us to look to faster water to find the kind of fish that steelhead guide Patrick Campbell calls “Gamers”. These fish were feeding and active, they also didn’t have long to look at the fly which helps too! This kind of water, with multiple seams and varying current speeds, makes technical casting and mending ability a must.
Now I know that sounds a little intimidating but it’s really not too hard. After a couple refusals and straight up misses, most anglers will be able to position themselves for success. Remember the O4P’s of fly fishing: Observation, Position, Presentation, Presentation, Presentation!
Observation: It may be hard to resist but often times we” jump right in” and start fishing when we should be “sitting right down” and watching. The key this week was to find nice riffles with multiple runs and holds. We checked the slower pools but most of our success was in the faster water. When we approached a run it helped to take a moment and approach slowly. The fish showed themselves within a few minutes after we stopped moving and started watching.
Position: Without observation you cannot find the best position so after taking a few moments to learn your beat you can then begin to get into position. The low water conditions forced us to stay further away from our quarry than usual. However, with the right position we were able to easily make casts and mends that gave us the drifts we needed. Good position also makes it easier to gauge distance once the light begins to fade and you can no longer see your fly. Take the time to get in good position
Presentation, Presentation, PRESENTATION. With keen observation comes intelligent positioning and that is the foundation for good presentation. Once you are in position you should be able to comfortably reach all of your targeted fish with simple casts and mends. Work one fish at a time starting with those closest. Try not to send your line over consistently rising fish, a good position will allow you to avoid that easily.
Focus on one fish and try a variety of drifts, if a dead drift doesn’t work try skittering the fly above or across. Try using reach casts or arial mends to buy more time for a drag free drift and give you more control.