Last week B.C.I was able to put on a show for Upper St. Clair Fly Fishing Club. The presentation went well and we would like to thank everyone that came out to see us. After the show Steve-o, Adam and I talked about how everyone there including ourselves had Cabin Fever. I have mentioned the Cabin Fever feeling a few times in the last few posts. I had to prescribe myself a little dose of, go bug chucking. I could not wait any longer to get on the water. I packed the raft and told the dog to mount up and I was on my way to the Cabin.
Leaving southwestern PA and heading north I did not even think to see what the weather was like or if their was snow. I guess my blinders were on and all I was thinking was to float and fish. I pulled into camp to be greeted with 6 inches of snow and 20 degree temperatures. I got everything put in place at camp and decided to have a few drinks to decide what I was going to do the next day.
I decided to venture north to the Clarion River to do a little recon work as well as to wet a line. Steve-o and I floated a section last year and got into some nice fish but this year we wanted to float a new section. Since this was the case I needed to locate some public access put-in and take out spots for our April float. I started out at the cabin and made my way into Ridgeway. My first stop was at Country Squirrel Outfitters but I was a little early as they were not open. I got out to look at the water since the shop is right on the water. They have a great map of the river in the parking lot. I think the map was done by the previous owners but still a great resource to have if you are not familiar with the river.
Since they were not open I pulled the map out of the glove box and drove up river to Johnsonburg. I found my way down to where I think is public access after calling a buddy that has been on this section before. I got out of the rig to be hit with a blizzard of snow.
Yes, that’s the Clarion River behind all that snow. I let Lulu out so she could run free while I stayed in the rig to snack on some deer jerky. About 15 minutes later the snowed stop and a Bald Eagle emerged. It was time to fish. I fished for about an hour before I realized Lulu was an abominable snow dog. It was great to throw some flies but the ice in the guides really sucked. I packed it up and headed back to Ridgeway.
With a quick stop at the local general store to get a couple of towels to dry Lu off, I stopped back in out Country Squirrel Outfitters. I have to give kudos to this shop. It’s great to see ma and pa business still rocking it in small mountain towns. They carry a lot of camping, biking, climbing and other outdoor equipment. During the season they are the go to place for canoe rentals if you plan on running that stretch of the Clarion The dude I met working was named Jason and he was very helpful. Great shop and if you are in the area stop in and check them out.
Hit up a local pub for some grub and a quick P.B.R before I ventured into the deep woods of the A.N.F. I decided to check a few brook trout streams out and before I knew I was on a narrow road heading down over a mountain coming out on a familiar stream that was not to far from the cabin. If you ever have been in the Allegheny National Forest you might know that you can go a long way on hull roads that don’t show up on the map. Those are the roads that lead to the best brook trout streams.
Got back to camp and got a fire going along with a 6th grader cocktail. Since Spring is still not here I had to get the vise out and tie up a few.
The day was good and sometimes when you think you have plans to fish and they don’t turn out it’s great to change plans and take in new places and explore. My plan was to float and fish but once I was hit with the harsh conditions I had to adapt to the new game plan. It worked out great and I am set for the April float. Catch us on the Clarion in April.