The Brood X excitement will pass in the next week or so, things are heating, up and these little bugs will soon become a popular favorite among our trout friends. Some recent rainy days gave me some vise time and a chance to spin out a few ants. I have three ant assortments looking for new homes. Each box contains a Bakers dozen that includes two each of Parachute Ants in Black #16 and 20, Red Head #18, Cinnamon #22, Carpenter #14 and CDC Flying Ants #20. The bonus fly is a #18 Parachute Red Ant. All are in a Signed Myran fly box and are yours for $46 shipped. IM me if interested, limited to these three fly boxes for now, first three people on the buzzer get them. Get a box of ants and tie one on …..

Some incredible people have gone before us, and while their footprints along the edges of the streams they fished have long ago been erased, their footprints are often still there in written words and stories passed down. I had been told that Teddy Roosevelt had fished this stream many years ago which moved it to a higher place on my personal bucket list. The hike was a long, steep and a potentially dangerous one, and at the end I found myself standing in a place that was remarkably beautiful and wild. Like being in Middle Earth. There were waterfalls that dropped through a tight valley that seemed like a deep crack in the earth, a narrow valley cloaked in thick mosses and shrouded in darkness. The water was cold, crystal clear and refreshing, and its native residents were brightly speckled and willing to come out and play with the flies I offered them. I’ve fished many places, but this one was different for a variety of reasons I struggle to describe in words; and I just wanted to stay and enjoy it a while longer, but there was a long drive back to responsibilities and a real job. I stopped fishing and just watched the little river for a while. In my mind I imagined Teddy upstream with his spectacles, felt hat and an old Leonard rod fishing his wet flies on a down and across swing through those pools and runs and feel those old footprints. Till next week …..

Here in Pennsylvania our state fish is Salvelinus fontinalis, the Brook trout and our state tree is the Eastern Hemlock. Interestingly these two organisms have a perfect relationship outside of the honored places they hold. The Hemlock is the perfect tree for brook trout stream. They grow closer to the water’s edge of a stream than other tree species will which stabilizes banks, provides canopy to protect the cool waters from the heat of the sun and provides fantastic habitat that protects wild brook trout from predation. Strong currents can often erode stream banks but the roots of the Hemlock will hold firm, often creating undercuts that provide cover for brook trout. This past week I visited one of my favorite Class A Wild trout streams in north-central Pennsylvania and found that someone had recently cut dozens of young Hemlock along the banks of the creek, dropping them across the stream. I’ve heard about this happening on other streams but had just witnessed it for the first time myself. I’ve got questions. I’ll start with who is doing this? In this case the stream is on state forest land, so what state agency involved? Is this a proven method to improve habitat? Is this a research level stream habitat improvement with future impact studies? Is this just some “let’s cut all these trees young Hemlock down and see what happens? As I stated earlier, this stream is already classified as Class A Wild, meaning it already has the biomass threshold of wild brook trout present. Brook trout have swam in our mountain streams since the last ice age, and thrived in spite of man rather than as a result of man. I have questions……