I kept NYE short and sweet so I could make the most of of my steelhead trip in Erie, PA. My wife Suzy and I polished off two bottles of wine between happy hour and dinner to do my celebration part to welcome 2016. I figured it was time to make my rounds to say goodbye. Despite all the harassment: “You’re crazy Man”, “Its going to be Cold”, “Have one more drink!” I called it a night. In bed before 11:00pm I was back up at 4:00am and on my way to Erie. I was well stocked with brown trout egg sacs, single eggs and other tackle, there was no need to swing by Poor Richards. I stopped at the rest stop before Edinboro to gear up so I could get right into the water. I arrived to middle Elk well before daylight and had to wait on the sun to give me some light to make the trek down to the streams safe. I was the first one in the area to enter the streams and have a line in the water. A few drifts and two other fishermen came to join me. Equipped with the same tackle they enjoyed the early start of the day. No fish for any of us for the first hour but with snow coming down thick and visibility low we might have had a few bumps that we couldn’t see.
Middle Elk had a little color at first light but switched to a deep green as the morning went out. I was able to hookup on a few fish on brown trout sacs I tied the night before. One fresh fish and the other was a older guy. Drifts were tough with the winds howling around 30mph with big snow flakes.
Taking a solo trip I figured I would plan to cover some ground from Girard Park down the tressls but there was no fishing pressure. I got into a hole that had fish so I kept them company all morning until my feat gave up. I forgot my fleece under jacket and wool socks (blame the wine) so keeping warm in 27 deg weather was not any easy chore. My hands got wet from one of those fish and it made me question my sanity but for the love of the steel I stayed on it. After lunch I decided to move to high elk and see what I could find. I kept hearing reports of fish in upper elk so I wanted to swing by and check it out. By this time the snow was stocking with 3 inches on the ground. I took my time in my travels to Rick Road Access area so I could thaw out my feet. When I arrived I saw 7 cars parked and most fishermen holding right under the bridge. I pulled infront of the porter pottys in which I hit the gas pedal instead of the break and almost ran them over. Note to self.. driving in wader boots in not the best idea. A gentlemen was sitting in his car warming up watched me almost run bathrooms over. I am sure he was thinking WTF is he doing but it gave us both a laugh.
I wen’t upstream from Rick Road Bridge to find just a few fishermen wading. I found a few fish holding in the fast waters that hit on single eggs. I didn’t give them my best fight in which both fish darted to log sitting in the current. I tried hoss the fish in the fast water and I lost the battle. It was good to see some fresh chrome up the high. I did not see any fish pooled up in any holes and holding. At this point visibility in the water was clear so my guess fish are spread out. Wading up stream to McKean hole took around 3/4 hours which put me around 4pm. I decided to call it a day and cave to the baseball size snowflakes hitting me in the face. The drive from Edinboro to Meadville was slow with 79n covered in snow. 2016 Chrome in the books and I can’t be happier to welcome in the new year of fishing.
Next trip is planned for Sunday weather pending. Lets see what mother nature brings us this week.