Hendricksons: While the mountain torrents are still raging with the burden of melting snows, while the highlands are still sere and stark from wintry blasts, spring has already arrived in the beautiful Cumberland Valley, heralded by the yellow bloom of forsythia, first sign of the changing season. For the fly-fisherman of this valley there is no gradual transition from the tedium of winter to the gentler season, no measured progress marked by alternate days of cold and warmth; simply and suddenly there is the forsythia, faithful precursor no matter what the state of the weather, and suddenly there are thoughts of the Yellow Breeches and-the Hendrickson. The pursuit of the hatches has begun. -Vincent Marinaro "A Modern Dry-Fly Code"
Well...That was just about how it was supposed to go. Poor Eric. He kept sending photos of Henny's, wonderful photos, to this web site...Trying to keep my visit east a secret, but letting us know he was fretting that the Hendrickson's would be done before we all got to the Yellow Breeches.
Today is April 16th and the forsythia is still not in bloom here...Any day...and my Serviceberry seems ready to pop.
After fishing up by State college Tony and I headed south...Bruce had to get back to work and though he almost folded, we couldn't get him to call in sick. :)
A section of the Yellow Breeches pours out of a hole in the stone surrounded by a stone wall...Like a wishing well...You can see trout swiming at the opening. The opening isn't much bigger than my girth...Eric told me that someone dove there with a very long air hose and found old artifacts and a dinosaur tooth...It gave me the chills thinking about it...Clastrophobia was my only thought.
The Yellow Breeches and Hendricksons goes way back...Vinny's quote above from his book was published in 1950...
We fished it twice...Once in a historic stretch that runs by a hunting and fishing club and they let you park there and fish...Folks were lined up.
We had Grannoms galore. Everytime I shook a limb a couple thousand caddis would fly out of it...Eric said I had a cruel streak and mumbled something about coitus interruptus ;), guess them caddis were "gettin busy".
Every path led to the river and someone was standing there...Some old-timer saw us walking through the woods and told us he was heading out and we could move in...The boys put me in the batters box first and I stood there tying on a fly when I hear the old man say, "So he's from Michigan, eh? Nice to see there is someone who takes as long as I do to tie on a fly."
OK...I turn to see the peanut gallery...Tony, Eric, and Shecky Green. The pressure was on. I thought about backing them up into the woods with my backcast, but decided against it. :)
We fished for a few hours...Then we decided to fish that evening at a different locale and Louis joined us...We had a few Henny spinners...They brought up a few fish...Maybe some olives mixed in as well...
I snuck around everyone and found this glassy pool...If I moved I sent a ripple all the way across it...I would catch the occassional small trout, creek chub, and a 7" Falls Fish...
By the end of the night Louis was at the head of the pool, I was in the middle, and Tony and Eric were at the tailout...Tony was casting up into the pool and was having the same luck I was...A few creek chubs and the small Brown here and there.
Tony finally decided he had to leave. He needed to get back to Pittsburgh...It was already dark and he had a drive ahead of him. I thanked him for everything and made him promise me a visit to Au Sable country.
Can you imagine these boys, standing in the Au Sable or Manistee some evening during Brown Drakes or the infamous Hex!? Yahoo!
Well this is pretty much the end of my visit with "those Pennsylvania Boys"...It was one hell of a trip and a great way to kick off the trout season of 2013. I will never forget it and know I've made some serious angling friends...I couldn't of dreamed these fellas up even if I tried...They fish hard and are just as obsessed as me. :)