January 2, 2011

First Fish of 2011

If I didn't say so yesterday, Happy New Year everyone!

That bit of business out of the way, I was actually able to sneak out for a few hours on New Year's morning and do some fishing.  Yeah, that's right, I do fish every now and then...
2011 License...Check!

Let me start by saying what a beautiful day yesterday was.  50 degree temperatures in Pennsylvania in January is a rare treat, and it was fortunately on a weekend to be taken advantage of.  With a little bit of a later start than usual, I hit Valley Creek running around 9:00 AM.  Upon arrival, most of the snow from last weekend had melted, leaving footing a bit squishy, but flows in good condition.  A quick check of the water temperature showed the creek at a brisk 36 degrees.
Valley Creek Winter Wonderland

I was planning on finally fishing the new Fountainhead 330 Caddis Series tenkara rod, so it was the weapon of choice this AM.  Wanted to get a few good hours of water time, so I could give a better "review," and finish off what I started a few weeks back.
Fountainhead 330 Caddis Tenkara Rod & Arsenal of Flies

Well it took about a half an hour, but my first fish of 2011, a wild 8" brown, was landed at about 9:30 AM.  It felt nice to start the new year off on the right foot.  A size 16 zug bug was its meal.
Bet he didn't know he'd be an internet celebrity this AM

I brought a few more fish to hand after that, and particularly liked this spirited little guy.  Lot's of wiggle in a 4 or so inch fish.
Another Valley Beauty

At around 11:30 AM I decided to pack things up and head over to Stony Creek (about a 15 minute drive) and christen my new Redington Classic Trout 3-weight fly rod (an unexpected Christmas gift from my awesome wife).
This rod casts like butter.

Unfortunately, unlike Valley which is spring fed and stays relatively ice-free, the majority of Stony looked like this...
Anyone got a pair of skates?

I did find a few ice free runs, but the fishing was non-existent.  There were to be no fish for me at Stony on this day, a big difference from New Year's 2010, when I did very well.  I will say that Redington rod casts like a dream.  It's graphite, but has a slower action and loads like a gem.  Was dropping casts 25 feet and in on a dime.  There may be better fly rods out there, but at an MSRP of $150, I'd sure like to see them.

So that was my New Year's Day.  I'm at home now typing up this post and watching some bowl games.  I was out fishing while Florida beat Penn State in the Outback Bowl so I missed that one.  But I did see TCU squeak by Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl, and it looks like Oklahoma just posted a 7 spot on UConn in the Fiesta.
Joe Pa should have punched a little harder.

On the water catching fish by day, watching College Football bowl games by night, I even think I'll run out to the beer fridge in the garage and grab a few cold ones.  I'll take another 364 days just like this one please.  Life is good.


  1. Hey Mike. Fish on your new Tenkara and bowl games. Doesn't get much better than that. Oooh, the word verification is Braut. Makes me think of bratwurst. That'd be good with the cold ones.


  2. Happy New Year, Michael! Always nice to get that first one out of the way. Pretty fish and a winter scene is tough to beat about now.

  3. Wow...that does sound like an awesome day that should be duplicated each New Year's!! A flyrod that casts like butter should bring in more squirming, wild brown trout in 2011! Nice...

  4. A fine day, and beautiful trout.
    The waters are still cold, but still can be productive. Great Christmas present.

  5. Cool you got out and bagged your first fish of twenty-eleven.
    I usually can find decent ice to fish from by the first of the year but it didn't happen this year. Maybe tomorrow!

  6. Way to kick it off man, sounds like you found a neat little rod to use on that creek.

  7. Good to see you caught a few. That second stream is what I've been dealing with around here for the past month. The Redington looks sweet!

  8. Very nice... Anxious to hear more about that 330 rod.

  9. of like minds, you and I. Most excellent precedent to set for 2011! mike

  10. You starting your year do a bit of fly fishing which was cool. I started mine by scouting for deer.
    How can we go wrong.

    Whitetail Woods Blog / Deer Hunting and Blackpowder Shooting at it’s best.

  11. DUDE! Whaaaa? You fished a ...a...ZUG-BUG on a tenkara style rod! Did you make sure no one followed you home?

    ...I'm jealous that you got that lovely brown, so I hope you're happy. ;)


  12. Nice to see someone is getting out on the water. Glad to hear you are enjoying the redington. treat it with respect and don't go around breaking it willy nilly and waving it to and fro like I did with mine.

  13. I think Redington rods are a sleeper rod... very good, but they fly under the radar. Nice fish.

    The Average Joe Fisherman

  14. @Shoreman - Mmmmmm brats.

    @Mel - Yep, don't smell quite as bad now that the new year's skunk is gone.

    @TRD - That's what I'm hoping.

    @Brk - My wife rules. Never thought she'd get me a rod. Winter fishing is challenging, but that's part of the fun.

    @Big - Yup, I could think of worse ways to start off the new year.

    @Bill - The thaw will come...at least that's what I keep telling myself.

    @JEFF - More info to come tomorrow (Monday).

    @RW - Genius is never appreciated fully by those that don't understand it. Glad we're on the same page.

    @Rick - We can't my friend, we can't.

    @Owl - Yup. That "one-fly" reverse hackle stuff is a bunch of mumbo jumbo. Maybe I don't make the tenkara gods happy, but I catch fish.

    @Ivan - Thanks man. I'll do my best to respect it's authority.

  15. Oops, didn't mean to skip ya RAZ, just saving the best for last! Wishing you luck out on the ice.

  16. @Ryan - I'd have to agree...even though they're made overseas. But what isn't.

  17. New Year's Day on the water hooking fish, a decent way to start the new year. I'd take some of that 50 degree weather! Happy 2011! -stephanie

  18. @S&D - 50 degrees certainly was a treat; Happy 2011 to you too!