The Double Haul

By Karen Baker

Karen Baker, Jon Thames, and Lynn Ashe
October 31 st , Halloween Day, looked like a lovely day to go fishing at our home waters, Catoctin Creek at the Nature Center. We didn’t know if it would be trick or treat, but we (Lynn Ashe and Karen Baker), set off to catch some Rainbow trout that PVFF had stocked in the stream a week before. Jon Thames joined us on the stream a little later.

We arrived around 11:00 AM and the water was clean, clear, and at a very good level for wading. After gearing up and with wading sticks, rods, vests and flies we made for the pool at the far end of the grass path by the stream prior to the Private Property sign.

Although the path to the stream was slick and steep we made it down to the stream without mishap and started fishing. The flies of choice were a Size #8 or #10 Black or Olive Beadhead Woolybugger with a bit of flash in the tail and gold ribbing. We were rewarded with hits almost immediately. The pool on the far side of the stream and the more shallow water just downstream above the riffles appeared to be loaded with fish. Lynn was so excited with catching her first trout at the stream she employed her “silent scream of happiness” so as not to scare the trout.

Over the next two hours or so we had many strikes and each landed a number of large, fat, very active Rainbow trout. The average size of the trout was between 14 and 18 inches and a few may have been larger. They were so active, fat and slippery that it was hard to get them into the nets and almost impossible to hold onto them for pictures.

After a couple of hours in the water we were getting cold so we decided to exit the stream to warm up. We had fished upstream and were now at a point of either walking back down to where we put in or attempting to negotiate the steep trail by the big rock. Electing to exit there, Jon made it up the bank and then helped Karen up. Then with the aid of a long branch, he pulled Lynn up as well. That was Jon’s “Double Haul”!

We felt very fortunate to have the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful stream (between heavy rain storms), this late into the Fall. It’s snowing today as we remember the lovely day and fun times with good friends and maybe there will be another warm spell and we can get out again one more time this year!