The Cedar Run Experience, Part 4

Early in the morning of Leighanne’s birthday, we were invited to dig some beautiful liliesOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA from our neighbor’s certified gardens and to take them to the owners of the tackle shop in Slate Run. The flowers would be exchanged for a donation to our local volunteer fire department. Leighanne’s friend, the owner-operator of the garden business, had died last fall and we were helping to keep her spirit alive and well. I hoped, also, to accomplish a bit of fishing on Cedar Run, but first we had a long circular drive to complete.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOn a mountaintop between Oleona and Waterville, we hit one of our favorite sections of Pennsylvania with a stop near the Black Forest Inn for the final edition of an annual chili cook-off in the area. After meeting with several members of Slate Run Sportsmen at a table among the numerous vendors, we left early and drove down to Waterville for lunch. Passing the newly constructed hydro-fracking sites along the mountain road was a sobering experience, but after settling at the Tavern for an IPA and a tasty meal, the impact was diminished.

At Slate Run I bought some fly-fishing supplies, and Leighanne dropped off the lilies. To my way of thinking, this was the Economy in Action, and a meaningful exchange. At last we were ready for the trout stream. For me, to be on Cedar Run is more than simply casting about for trout. In bartering for an hour’s worth of fishing, I got a day’s worth of good time with my wife, and she had fun, as well.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

She was willing to crochet at the car while I stalked wild browns on a challenging but beautiful section of water. A limber 7-foot fly rod made of cane or fiberglass, along with a finely tapered leader and a Black Ant at the tippet, seemed a good choice of equipment for this section lined with willows.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe stream was low and clear but cold at 60 degrees F. Not bad for mid-afternoon at the peak of summer. I didn’t have much time for furthering my quest to fly fish all of Cedar Run within a year or two, but I was thankful to have another shot at it now.

There wasn’t an obvious hatch going on, so I presumed that trout were rising to ants and beetles blown in to the riffled water and pockets formed by rocks and boulders. Rivertop terrestrials. And the brown trout told me, soon enough, that a Black Ant was a good choice for presentation, at least on this occasion.

With low water conditions, wild trout are exceedingly wary, and even with a careful OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAupstream stalk between the willows, I kicked out numerous small fish. But stealth paid off in the long run. Before an hour was completely spent,  a few brightly colored trout were deceived, quickly photographed and released. The sudden appearance of a foot-long trout in the narrow stream can flush the bloodstream of an angler in dramatic fashion.

Back at the parking space, I met a couple of bamboo-wielding fellows from Cincinnati who were friendly enough for me to give them a tip on where to find native trout. Cedar Run had been generous to me, so far, and I didn’t have any qualms about passing advice to others under the spell, anglers who would treat the water with respect.

It was like stopping for ice-cream on the long drive home, like celebrating a birthday, for example. It seemed like a fine exchange.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

About rivertoprambles

Welcome to Rivertop Rambles. This is my blog about the headwaters country-far afield or close to home. I've been a fly-fisher, birder, and naturalist for most of my adult life. I've also written poetry and natural history books for thirty years. In Rambles I will mostly reflect on the backcountry of my Allegheny foothills in the northern tier of Pennsylvania and the southern tier of New York State. Sometimes I'll write about the wilderness in distant states, or of the wild places in the human soul. Other times I'll just reflect on the domestic life outdoors. In any case, I hope you enjoy. Let's ramble!
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9 Responses to The Cedar Run Experience, Part 4

  1. Dr, G says:

    Gator, please extend my birthday wishes to your beautiful wife, Leighanne. Great she could hang and crochet while you communed with the fishies. My best to you both.

  2. She says thank you much, Doc, and happy times to you and yours!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Walt – wonderful, nothing beats some wild browns and brookies on stream.

  4. Long says:

    wonderful -nothing beats wild browns and brookies on a nice stream

    • Thanks! I feel lucky to live in easy striking distance of these mountain runs.


      • Bob Stanton says:

        The Phillipson…nice! And a belated happy birthday to Leighanne. We are fortunate to have such understanding wives, aren’t we? Here’s a joke you may or may not have heard before, but it takes a flyfisher or their spouse to fully appreciate it. A man and a woman begin dating. He confesses to her, “I don’t drink, do drugs, gamble, or chase women. But I do fly fish. After a few years of marriage, she was heard to remark to a friend, ” You know, at first it didn’t sound so bad, but now I kind of wish he did some of the other stuff!”

      • Bob, When I read your joke I laughed in a way that made the cat perk up and wonder what was going on. A cat wouldn’t understand, but Leighanne will, when I tell her. It’s the type that she’ll relay to family members, co-workers, and people she bumps into under awnings. Hey, we’ve got to love ’em, cause where else would we be?


  5. Junior says:

    Somehow I just noticed your concession to romanticism in paragraph 3! I hope Roscoe provided some good fun today, and I’ll see both of you later this week.

    • Mr. Junior, Didn’t you know I was a bloody romantic? Dare I say there was even more of it today near Roscoe? Yes, I think your mother had a pleasant outing. Also, I got to meet a fellow blogger from Connecticut who I got to pose for a photo with the one and only Joan Wulff (photo to appear in a future post!) and even got to fish a bit on the West Branch with friend Tim Didas. Nice day. We’ll see you guys soon.


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