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5
Apr

The Swing is the Thing


Today was a day of strange occurances.  For starters, I took a day off of work to go fishing…..  As my typical luck would have it we have been pelted by rain pretty much non-stop for a week.   Then today the weather in Erie took a turn for even colder temps and we got snow.  Yes folks, snow in April…. I’m over it too.

The creek was chocolate milk.  High, fast, cold, chocolate milk to be exact.  Now one might say that it’s hard to describe a 28 degree day in April on a blown out creek as beautiful, yet that’s exactly what it was.

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CW and I walked a few miles of creek, made several not so safe crossings, and saw exactly ZERO people.  For anyone who frequents the Erie tribs during steelhead season you know that rare is the day that you have a section of creek to yourself let alone the entire body of water.

Elk Creek is not known for it’s swinging opportunities in part to the makeup of the water but mostly to never really having much room.  With switch rod in hand and smile on face I figured that this was as good a day as any to see if I could swing up a fish or two.  I found a run that at lower waters wouldn’t have enough flow but today was perfect!

Snap T, swing, dangle, step down, repeat……..  Mid way through the run my fly approached the end of the swing and all of a sudden came tight.  Head shake, head shake, game on!

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While far from the largest steelhead I’ve ever buttoned up or even the prettiest, this was the first fish I have ever stuck on the swing on an PA trib so beautiful it was.  CW managed a small hen as well and we both walked away feeling good and celebrating another day on the water.

I know I say it often, but I’ll say it again.  Sometimes the most imperfect days are just…. perfect.

Tight Lines and Loose Pants,

MBL

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4
Apr

Changing the Game


Some things happen quickly, others are long overdue.  When I moved into my new home a few years ago, I spent most of my time attempting to make sure I settled two little ones and two teenagers into their new digs.  I suppose it’s logical, but the first casualty of our new surroundings was my “man cave”.  Subsequently, my fly tying station and surrounding stuff got stuffed into a not so appealing corner.  (Innver voice sternly stating, “Nobody puts baby in a corner!”)

With the promise of thawing rivers and hungry fish I managed to get my mojo back and carve out some me space and me time.   Being a serial saver of things (translation: borderline hoarder) I began going through my fly boxes and I just shook my head.  I literally had patterns in boxes that I tied 15 years ago and had yet to see the water.  Some of them I didn’t even like when I tied them let alone now.

The purge was on!  I honestly think I put an entire chicken and half a deer into a garbage bag.   Before you say it, these were Frankenstien creations that were not even worthy of donation.  With all of this new found space I sat down to tie with vigor and passion.  Being that this was a bit of a “Game Changer”, my inner voice with a loud whisper said, “hey!  Why don’t you tie some Game Changers!”

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If you have never tied one, they are not a difficult pattern, but they are time consuming so be prepared to invest some time.  I opted for a slightly shortened version of the feather game changer and am super stoked to get it on the water.  With smallie season getting into full swing soon it just felt right.

So what’s the point?  (not that I ever actually have one).  This is the perfect time of year to CHANGE YOUR GAME!  Shake it up, purge your fly box clutter, learn some new patterns, and get plan some amazing trips.  It’s been a long winter for most of us and I for one can’t wait to get out.

See you on the water!

Tight Lines and Loose Pants,

MBL