Back to Big D…
Browns, Brooks, and Bows were all caught this past weekend while 3 B.C.I brothers camped out on the banks of the Savage. Ryan, Steve-O, KG, and Lulu “B.C.I mascot” ventured into western MD on Friday to set up camp and to chuck bugs. It’s always a good feeling when you know your B.C.I brothers are getting together to camp and fish. After a few beers the camp was set up and the good times began.
Ever since I started flyfishing, I always wanted to hit a western river and experience what some describe as “unbelievable”. I remember Steve-o’s stories of Montana, and KG’s stories of Alaska. I had never wet a line west of the Mississippi, and would have sacrificed a leg to do such a trip. With a family and a tight budget, I have always had to experience the stories and not the fishing. Well then, to even my surprise, comes my company. They decide to invite 2 individuals from 12 stores to the Provo River (near Park City, Utah), and train them on the teaching of beginner flyfishing coarses with the assistance of the Federation Of Fly Fishers. The training was very intense, but that is not what this is about. This is all about the Provo River experience.
This is a beautiful river that definitely lives up to the western standard. The upper stretch (of the Middle Provo), closest to the reservoir release, is very cold and nymphing proved to be the ticket. They were eating my stones and then there were times they liked small (size 20-22) pheasant tails. Midges were everywhere, but this guy couldn’t make them work. I only got roughly 8-10hours on the water, total, but landed a good number of fish. Most importantly, I got the experience.
began with the subcutaneous pounding of hangovers and the wonder of, “did some dude on horseback really crash the campfire last night?” As caffeine and eggs filled their gullets the tangible evidence of photos and video proved the previous night’s weirdness. Steve-o and KG needed to set the world right at this point and reset their equilibrium of understanding, they needed to float and fish the Clarion River.
The boys drove up to Ridgway to put in at Country Squirrel Outfitters which is a hell of a nice shop. KG decided they should float down to Portland Mills to hopefully get into some nice browns. Once they got everything ready and the rigs shuttled they slid the rafts into the water. Steve-o had never floated this section and Lulu, well, she would make her madden voyage down a river.
Every now then you need to stop and think about why adventure is so important to fly fishing. All of us at B.C.I can agree that the adventure is finding or discovering new water that held different species of fish, mainly trout. Don’t get me wrong it’s always an adventure when you travel somewhere for a trip or for the day to fly fish, but the adventure is something new, when you are on water you never fished. If you stop and think about it, when you decide to fish somewhere new you first had to read or hear about it. Secondly, you have to find out the rules and regulations of that water. Thirdly, you need to know when and how to get there. Lastly, when you get there this is when your adventure begins.
So, this winter has been very forgiving to say the least. It only sucked if you’re really into skiing or ice fishing, however it has been very generous to fishing. Ryan was off, I was off, KG was in Amish country, Adam and Greg had to work. Sorry boys, but Ryan and I couldn’t pass up a saturday in February with a forecasted high in the 50’s for western Maryland. This was going to be the first BCI trip of the year, Ryan and I were stoked!
We met in a Wally World parking lot at 6:30am to load Ryan’s gear into La Poderosa before heading south below the Mason Dixon line. Early season trips tend to start with incredible optimism yet end with, “well, it’s just nice to get out there.” Saturday, the optimism was met and exceeded.
With all of this winter stuff finally happening here in the east, I found it time to tie flies and do a little investigating. With a little time spent on organizing gear and fly inventory under my belt, I figure i would get tying and get answers. There were some things that went down a couple years ago now, which if you fish western Maryland, you are well aware. Now on the other hand, you may be wondering what I am talking about?