Wild Area Excursion 5.11.7 - 5.13.7
Dj, Floatman, JDM, Possum, & Wilson have returned from a 3 day adventure to the +*&%$##@& Wild Area, fishing the %$^&, %$#*, and &*^%$ branches to &^%$#( Creek of PA. A great time was had by all. Other than a tick bite, a bear sighting followed by a later PM/early AM "is that a bear circling the camp?" by JDM and then Possum scramble, and some sore limbs, we all made it home unscathed. Although, Possum's "Roxanne" bear call still has my cage rattled, I'm almost back to my normal mental capacity of 50%. If you've ever heard stories of camping with Dj, you know how unusual a statement like "we made it back unscathed" actually is! LOL!
Weather was typical for the area, beautiful Friday, Cold and Rainey Saturday, and Gorgeous and Sunny Sunday. Just about the exact opposite of the weatherman's forecast taken the Thursday PM before we left? :roll:
(note: creative license, exaggeration, and comic relief may be in use with some/all of the photos and their subsequent descriptions. Liberty taken for pure entertainment value.)
We begin our adventure with a bit or river fording. Perfectly acceptable for a "trail rated" jeep liberty. Possum and the group put that designation to the test and the vehicle performed quite well.
Our hike began, and after several hours of "are we there yet?", "I don't remember this area at all!", and "I've seen this tree cluster three times already!" a discussion on where the heck we actually are?
After an 8 hour hike around the mountain and over a few others we end up at camp. Notice the look on Floatman's face from the hours of hiking that we involved him in (we convinced him that our destination was just around the corner, oh....6-8 times?!) J/K!
Overdue for a drink. I chose to not pack in a little bit of water for the trek and paid the price with extreme thirst when we arrived. Some fresh filtered, ice cold spring water sure hit the spot!
We setup camp under the pine forest area about 75-100 yards from the cooksite area and just beside a babbling stream known as &^%& run. (you know the place!)
Made sure Wilson was comfortable with his accommodations. I think his smile says it all!
Proceeded to establish the cooksite. Which was great as usual! We spent a decent amount of time enjoying that area until the bear sitting. Then everyone was on high alert for then next 12-14 hours.
Wilson established the hierarchy at the appropriate time and began to dish out food preparation orders. (He's a real slave driver. You'd think he'd be more appreciative since ASM and I saved him from drowning on the Clarion, but it isn't in his character I guess?)
Now on to the fishing goodies:
First fish on, a normal size brook. Although the area has a native brook population, it is said to have a resident brown as well. Noone in our group was able to hook a brown or the coveted tiger trout that I had gotten the year before.
There were several limited hatches that took place for me the first day. Caddis fly and sulphurs were sporadic at best. We did have a nice hatch of these...(Can you name this bug, you may want to see if it flys? LOL!?)
And I switched over to a size 14 dark hendrickson and began
to light 'em up!
Overall though...the fish would hit anything if present properly. I fished a white parachute ant pattern and got a 4" brookie on the first cast in an area that I just pounded with a large stimulator pattern that Possum lent me. They even hit the parasol bead head green weenie (ok, I know it is over the top!):
The second night, we were fishing on a mission. (large fish = full bellies). The streams did not disappoint. I tied on a size 12 streamer hook foam bodied stimulator (oversized and ugly) and caught an 11 incher. Switched over to some of the stimulators Possum lent me and proceed to slay some more biggin's. I didn't take photos upon catching them, but you can get an idea of the size range by this pic:
Interested in knowing what some of the larger fish were after, I investigated a couple stomachs to find out...
Even though, for the area, terrestrials are noted as being effective a month later, I ventured a guess that the pool I was fishing up into might have a larger brook that was a finicky eater. I tried a stimulator and pulled few small ones from the middle and side channels. Switched to a dark hendrickson, got a couple more average sized ones to bite in the tailout, but the larger one that was splashing in this particular lane directly below an overhanging tree rootball was not going for any of it. Notice the amount of flying ants this guy was foraging upon. What fly did you think I used to catch him? LOL!
In another section, an open meadow, I had the opportunity to fish a perfect landscape. The 2wt I have doesn't do a great job of short range casting due to the way it loads. But give me an open area with a good deal of backcasting room without tree limbs, brush piles, and snag foliage and I can lay out a distant fish catching cast in a heartbeat. (yes, my casting can be bad at times because I don't take my time and notice where every tree limb is behind me) Unlike Possum who can thread a needle in the forward and backward casting lanes without snaggin...I'm a little less graceful! ANYHOOO....
Notice the contents of this guys gullet:
crayfish, beatles, a scud?...
Later that day, it didn't really matter as we were well fed and ready for a group photo and a fire.
On Sunday we packed up and headed out. Stopping along the way to hit a few places in town, relax from not having the weight of the packs on our backs, and take some more photos:
It was decided that we'd hit one more place, a no kill, barbless hooks, special regulation area not far from the town we were departing.
I found myself a huge plunge pool with a eddy on the far side and some turbulent water through the main channel and laid a whooping on them by fishing the seam between the two currents using nymphs. Here's a couple pictures, one bow and one brown.
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