Fly Fishing Team USA NE Regional
Photo - Koons
First session was beat 3 on Upper Spring Creek, water I was very familiar with. Session started and I nymphed the lower pocket section of my beat. My first fish came quickly to the net, but was foul hooked, didn't score. The next fish was measured - 17cm, didn't score. In most Pennsylvania competitions we only count fish 18cm or greater. That data is then passed on to the PA Fish Commission. The next few fish came to net and all scored, they were taken on a light version of Plus One. Spotted one fish rising to Caddis in the flat section of my beat. I crept up and waited for him to rise again, never did. Caught a few more fish at the top of my beat and quickly ran out of time. Ended the session with 14 measured fish. Cody Burgdorff and Sean Crocker both had 14 fish, luckily my fish measured larger winning me the first session.
Second session was beat 3 on Lower Spring Creek. This water was near the gas station on rt 144 near Mccoy. The Creek was at a good level with great color, but the wind was intense. I altered my leader and changed rods to cope with the winds. I shortened my leader to around 8 feet, used a short heavy butt section straight to sighter. It helped but still was difficult to accurately cast, or even make a half decent drift. Worked the bottom half of my beat and got into some fish. The sky was overcast and was ready to rain. Fished up into what I thought was the best water, got some nice fish on small olive nymphs. Luckily the rain waited till the last 10 minutes of the session. Ended with 11 fish and won that session. After, meeting up with the others and found out that over on the Little Juniata a tree fell over the road blocking some competitors. Luckily everyone was ok and the tree was quickly removed by a local.
First session was on Lake Perez. Luckily my team mates - Ken Crane and Michael Bradley fished the lake the day before and both won their sessions. The lake session was three hours, but we get to row out fifteen minutes before the session starts. I set up my 1007 Orvis H2 rod with a floating line. I worked some nymphs and caught my first fish about 10 minutes after the session started. Its cool fishing on a lake, during a competition, very different than a stream session. First off, you can see most of the competitors. In this case, most boats were pretty close together. I would look around and see competitors looking at one another trying to tell what lines or retrieves they were using. Caught 2 more fish. Ended with 3 fish total, taking me a 2nd for the session.
Second session was on The Little Juniata River. The section fished was near the Limestone Quarry upstream of the town of Spruce Creek. The hard rain the evening before put the river up over 1500 CFS. Started my session crawling through brush trying to access the river. I was fishing beat 1, it was a great beat - on low water, or if you could get to the other side! I was stuck on the outside bend. All that I could do was fish from the steep bank. The beat had a few small seems on my side that surely had to have some willing fish. I fished through most of the bank and didn't touch a fish. Got to the top and had one eddy that looked promising. Tossed a small Pheasant tail with a silver bead and hooked a good fish. It dove deep into the dark colored water. I was fishing heavy tippet and put some good pressure on the fish and when it broke the surface realized that it was foul hooked. Ah, didn't score. With a few minutes left I returned to the bottom of my beat and landed one 20cm brown trout. Ended with one fish. Took a 6th.
(Doug Freeman, John Anderson, Pat Weiss, Ken Crane, Josh Keslar, Leonard Sauers, Tyler Cornett, Nick Meloy, Holden Price, Sean Crocker, Andy Leakey, Mason Sims, Madoka Myers, Joe Clark, Nick Bell, Ben Wilcox, Cody Burgdorff, Andy Koons, Allen Bole, Rich Ferrara, Joe B Todd, Mike Komara, Kalvin Kaloz)