"Going Home"by Jan Hackett on 08/26/13
I have been lucky enough to own and operate a fly shop, teach fly fishing at Duke University and work as a fly fishing guide. These jobs have allowed me to fish many places in North and Central America.
While traveling to State College Pennsylvania for a family event I was able to fish my “home” water. I know living in Texas how can I call a piece of water in Pennsylvania my home. It has to do with the fact that I first fished this piece of water with my father and brother in 1959. I have photographic evidence that I was fly fishing at the age of three. My casting skills have no doubt increased since that time but I always make time to fish at Fisherman’s Paradise when I get close.
Perhaps it’s because I have fished for various specious maybe it’s a result of genetics but at some point within a fishing trip I tie on a streamer to cover the water. On Saturday I started out fishing a nymph through the various velocity changes looking for fish. After a period of time I tied on a black cypert minnow and worked it through the far side of a “seam” above someone that had been fishing all morning without success. On my second cast the streamer dead drifted along until I began to strip the fly towards me, suddenly saw the flash of a fish and felt the pull on my line. After a couple of minutes I had a 15” brown trout in my hand. Upon his release the fish headed for deeper water.
I started fishing the next day at 6am, there was a sporadic hatch of may flies and I tied on a parachute style may fly and drifted over the top of numerous fish. They had no interest in my offering and I sifted through my fly box for something that might garner some interest. I tied on a sculpin pattern that Bob Cramer showed me years ago and started to cover the water. The life like streamer brought immediate interest with numerous “flashes” and “follows” and “short strikes” unfortunately it yielded no more fish then the parachute midge. It appeared that my fly was simply too large for the fish to take. I walked up stream a ways working my way back down and decided to switch to a black wooly bomber. Another fisherman had worked his way up stream to just below the spot I was starting to fish. Almost on queue the line tightened and a 12” brown was on the other end of my line. I brought the fish to hand and snapped a picture prior to releasing it, before I could stand up and start fishing again the fisherman below me had walked up stream and started to fish the seam I had just caught my fish from.
So my success may be based on the fact that I have fished various water and applied those skills here, perhaps it’s because Fisherman’s Paradise really is my “home water” or perhaps it is some “fishing gene” I inherited most likely it was I watched the success that my father had fishing streamers and I realized streamers turn any water into your “home water”