Up at 5am for the long drive out to Worthington State Forest on the Delaware River to meet up with friends Al and Loretta to give shad on the fly rod a try. No matter which way you go, 287, Parkway to 280 to 80, Parkway to 78 to 287 to 80, it just always seems long. Just before I got to the Old Mine Road exit I made a quick stop at Dunnfield Creek to see if I could start the day
with a wild trout. About 10 minutes after parking I was gently releasing a 5 inch wild brookie back into the crystal clear water. I tried a few other places in the hour I was there and missed one other fish. I did find trash, SURPRISE, sitting on the bank. Two Italian ice cups and a spoon. A nice romantic desert streamside, take your garbage with you back to your hotel room!! Where is there a ice cream shop anywhere near there? Soon after that I was at the campground at Worthington and getting ready for the day, which was overcast, cold, and rainy.
We took Al's boat upstream and fished a large pool below the PA campground on the river. I rigged up my 5 weight and 8 weight rods with a floating line with 7 foot 4x tippet and first tried a wooly bugger, then through the day a sparkle fly in pink and green, and finally a few shad dart from 1/4 ounce on up. Managed one bump on the fly rod. We trolled, we drifted, we anchored. I
stripped fast, I stripped slow, I dead drifted, nothing. We did have the same set ups on the spin
rods and managed about a dozen shad up to five pounds. Even though I had up to 3 non toxic split shot on the fly rod I couldn't figure out why they wouldn't take. I was able to get a few decent images between the raindrops. We fished for about 4 hours and one of the coolest things happened on the way back. Up in the big pool I started to see Blue Winged Olives on the water, tons of them. Then as we made our way back I saw a sulfur, then another, then tons. The
smallmouths or rock bass were on them like trout up in the Catskills. We caught a few bugs and
I held an impromtu portrait session with them. Back at the campground we took off the damp and cold gear and had a great lunch Loretta made for us. We talked about the day and they broke out their new Sony Cybershot camera with the panoramic option, that is cool. As I sat there I realized I was 15 miles south of the Big Flatbrook, and it was 5 o'clock. Later! I said my good byes and headed to the lower section near the USGS Gaughing Station. I saw a few fish rise there and managed a quick 14 inch rainbow on a hares ear. I continued down past the dam and picked up two more, and missed about four. I left there at 730 and retraced my steps alongOld Mine Road, to 80, to 287, to the Parkway, to 18, to home.