Alright, alright. I know, I know. It’s been a (very) long time since I last posted anything to the site. Too long, in fact. There are a lot of good reasons for this, but I’ll have to save that for another day or post. Right now I’ve got to fill you in on what’s been going down the last few days!
On Thursday of last week, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission conducted their fall stocking on Clark Creek in Dauphin County, PA. I’ve never witnessed a stocking before, so I decided to volunteer and see what it was all about. After all, I spent so much time fishing Clark this year, I figured it was the least I could do to give back. Man, am I glad I did. At first, I was a little apprehensive, if not downright nervous. After all, I was going alone for the first time and didn’t know anyone there. (Garrick was working.) That apprehension quickly vanished because the next thing I knew, I was throwing my waders on and climbing in the back of some guy’s pickup truck to head down to the creek with the fish commission truck hot on our heels.
It’s at this point that I met Gavin – a Tower City native who shares the Black Gnats affinity for all things fishing. Gavin, who is also an avid outdoorsman and marine, had been helping with stockings like this since childhood. His down-to-earth and friendly demeanor eased my apprehension greatly. After grabbing a few buckets of fish, we carefully dumped them into the float (think crab pot) and started our way downstream, dropping fish into pockets and holes as we went. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one to notice the size of these fish as everyone else who volunteered that day noted that “there are some great fish in the stocking this year!” Gavin and I estimated the average size was around the 15″ to 16″ range, with quite a few hitting 18″ and even 20″! I was barely out of the water and I wanted to turn right around and start casting for them. I had to remind myself that “good things come to those who wait.”
After the remaining volunteers finished chatting, Gavin and I spent the next few hours hanging out, trading fish stories, fly tying techniques and hearing the equivalent of “Cliff’s Notes” to each others background. We made plans to meet up on Monday of this week and hit the holes we had so eagerly stuffed with fish.
Fast forward to Monday afternoon Continue reading