This past weekend was the six month anniversary of the Wooly Bugged blog. It is incredible how fast six months can go by. I was reading over some of my posts and watching videos from the spring of 2016 and it felt like a lifetime ago. A lot of great memories captured online for as long as the internet will exist, or in the case of my blog, as long as I pay my website hosting bill. The idea for Wooly Bugged started back in May of this year after I decided to take a trip to the Yellow Creek Trout Club to christen my Orvis Recon. I caught more fish than I could count on that trip and I haven’t had bad luck on the Recon since. It seemed fitting to celebrate my six month Wooly Bugged anniversary by taking a day trip back to the Yellow Creek Trout Club.
On Sunday morning I woke early and headed west on the Pennsylvania Turnpike towards Indiana, Pennsylvania. I arrived at the club at 8:30am and met Steve at the pavilion. We chatted briefly and he explained that the club had stocked a good number of fish in October and that they were well spread out. A mix of browns, rainbows, and brook trout were all put in. Not wanting to waste any time, I started rigging my Redington Vice. I decided to use the 10’-8wt because the last time I’d been to the club I’d caught big fish that were difficult to land on a 5wt without spending 30 minutes fighting the fish. In addition, my 5-7wt reel was broken so I couldn’t use my 6 or 7wt rods which would’ve been a better fit.
Several people that had also arrived that morning were headed downstream so I decided to go upstream to the Black Hole. When I got on the water, the flows were at about 40CFS, which is low, but only slightly lower than where Yellow Creek is historically at this time of year. The air temps were hovering around 42 degrees and the water was in the low 50s. There was a 25” golden trout sitting in the main current and I fished to him with nymphs for fifteen minutes and had no success. I’ve yet to catch a golden trout on a fly rod. After only briefly hooking up with one trout, I headed further upstream and tried some other areas. After two hours of fishing, I didn’t have one fish brought to hand and I was starting to wonder if the sun was going to be the secret ingredient to catching fish. I decided to hike back downstream and give the sun a chance to hit the water and warm things up.
On my way downstream I met a woman named Alana. She was a club member and part-time fly fishing guide out of the Pittsburgh area. I briefly explained the Wooly Bugged story and she proceeded to tell me the riffles in which she’d discovered a good number of fish and the challenging currents to watch out for. After discussing the amazing fall weather, we parted ways and I thought to myself, I probably just let the woman of my dreams walk out of my life. She was beautiful, liked to fly fish all the time, and was telling me where to find the fish and how to catch them. In my tired state I didn’t think to ask for her number. Alana, if you ever read this, send me an email, let’s go fishing!
By the time I got positioned on new water downstream, the sun was starting to creep on the surface of the water. Just before lunch, I finally hooked into my first trout of the day, an 18” brown trout. He was dressed in full fall colors, a beautiful fish. Over the lunch hour I was able to hook into and land several nice rainbow trout. I was catching all of my fish on Psycho Prince and Zug Bug nymphs. Aside from taking a few minutes to head back to the truck and eat a sandwhich, I spent as much time fishing the sun on the water as I could. It is tough fishing the first day after the time change because 5:00pm and darkness come quickly. Later in the evening I observed several redds that had been formed by some large female rainbow trout. I watched the female laying eggs and smaller male swimming next to her fertilizing them. They were in shallow water which made them an easy target but fortunately no fishermen were bothering them. I ended the day having caught a dozen trout with a mix of all three species that are in the creek, rainbown, brown, and brook trout. It was fun to get back to the Yellow Creek Trout Club and see it in the autumn.
I want to thank everyone who takes time to read this blog or watch my YouTube channel. I appreciate it and hope my passion for fly fishing comes through because that’s the reason I’m doing this. I love the sport. Here’s to fly fishing, fall trout, and another six months, cheers!