Sunday, June 19, 2011

In the Narrows

The narrows section of Fishing Creek, aka Big Fishing Creek, is an appropriately named stretch of a beautiful stream that flows through one of the many valleys around State College. The narrows is paralleled by a road so access is relatively easy and property owners generously welcome anglers, except on Sundays.

On this Saturday afternoon I fished a section that had been very productive for me the year before. It starts with a fast, narrow riffle that spills into a long flat pool, before turning again through a riffle and run that rushes past one of the more beautiful cabins on this stretch. I came up empty in the fast water, which didn't bode well for a productive afternoon. There were a few sporadic rises in the slow moving pool and I tied on a parachute ant since there was no hatch.

On the first cast a small trout rose to the ant, but the fish eluded the hook. Or more likely, I eluded the fish. I struggled to cast over my left shoulder, as pine trees lined the bank over my right. I managed to get a good cast out to where a trout had risen a few times. As the fly drifted back toward me a trout rose from the bottom to interrupt its journey. I hooked this fish true and enjoyed feeling life pulse through the St. Croix 5-weight rod. The trout pulled hard down into the deep part of the pool before rushing back toward the surface, breaking out of the water and into the 80 degree air. He did a cartwheel or two before tiring and coming to hand. The golden fish with colored spots and red gills quickly swam back into the pool once released, leaving me with a reminder of why the narrows is such a special place.

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