Time: 10:30AM – 11:15AM, 12:00PM – 1:45PM
Location: Both ponds
I anxiously looked forward to attending my 50 year reunion at Bucknell University on June 2 – 4. I contracted an upper respiratory illness during my bucket list trip to Iceland, and I was fairly certain it was a common cold. However, when I told a friend about my sickness that originated during international travel, he encouraged me to take a covid test. The trip to Bucknell included a day of fly fishing in central Pennsylvania, as well as my entry in a pickleball tournament sponsored by the alumni network. Needless to say, I was very excited to participate in two of my passions. After I completed my packing on Tuesday evening, I decided to take the home covid test, and it yielded a positive result. I had somehow avoided covid for three and a half years, but now I was faced with contracting the dreaded disease. By Tuesday evening I was experiencing minimal symptoms; perhaps a few random coughs and some congestion, when I woke up on the morning. I pondered the situation, and ultimately I decided to cancel my trip. I canceled the airline reservation, the car rental and all hotel reservations. I informed my friends about my disappointment, and I decided to make the best of my situation.
Thursday is the day when Jane and I babysit for our grandson, Theo. Given my positive test, I decided to vacate the house on Thursday, to avoid the risk of transmission. In place of spending the day with Theo, I made plans for a day of fishing. As a footnote, I took the covid test again on Thursday night, and it once again registered positive, so I researched the CDC guidance for individuals, who tested positive. The directive recommended five days of isolation after the onset of symptoms. I first felt congestion, fatigue and a cough on May 21 while in Iceland. Wednesday, May 31 was ten days after the onset of symptoms, so I probably overreacted by cancelling my trip.
I surveyed all the stream flows, and a few tailwaters remained as viable options for June 1, but I did not desire a long drive, so I opted to visit a pair of relatively local ponds. I arrived at the parking lot and assembled my Sage four weight. The air temperature was in the upper fifties, and some large gray clouds occupied the western sky, so I pulled on my fleece hoodie and stuffed my raincoat in my backpack. I would later regret my choice of attire. I made the necessary hike to the lower lake, and I was prepared to fish by 10:30AM.
In the next forty-five minutes I landed one small rainbow trout on the hippie stomper, and then I experimented with a double dry including an olive-brown size 16 deer hair caddis. I managed several refusals to both dries, before I heard the distant sound of thunder. Dark gray clouds gathered, more thunder sounded, and a flash of lightning forced me to the covered pavilion on the west side of the pond. After I arrived, three other fishermen from the upper pond appeared, and then two women joined the group. They appeared to be a family, and they had a tablecloth and lunch spread out on a picnic table. After ten minutes of approaching thunder and lightning, heavy rain descended. Small ice pellets collected, where the rain dripped off the roof, and I impatiently checked the unending dark sky to the west. I decided to eat lunch at 11:30AM while waiting out the rain.
By noon the rain subsided enough that I resumed my pursuit of trout on the north pond. I spent the next 1.5 hour circling the shoreline of the north pond starting on the east side of the inlet creek. I generated a few refusals, but I was unable to connect with a single fish. I cycled through double dries with the hippie stomper and the caddis and an ant. I switched to a dry/dropper with an emerald caddis pupa, salad spinner, San Juan worm, ultra zug bug, and nothing worked. Next I removed everything and tied on an old bucktail streamer and stripped it for awhile. There was a period, where I retrieved a black mini leech with no bead, but the fish ignored my antics.
I abandoned the north pond and returned to the south and had it all to myself. Nothing worked. Another set of dark clouds pushed in from the west, This time, there was no thunder or lightning; just steady rain. I persisted through the rain, until I was overcome with chill and my confidence reached a low ebb. No fish were rising, and the end of the rain was not imminent, so I began the one mile hike back to the parking lot. My hands were aching, gnarled claws by the time I unlocked the hatch of the Santa Fe. All I could think about was the heated seats and the heater.
Fish Landed: 1