Boiling Springs, Pennsylvania, May 29, 2016
Jin and I finally had some spare time, when one of us wasn’t flying off somewhere or dealing with a tragedy, so we decided to fish the Yellow Breeches on a fairly decent Memorial Day weekend. But so did a couple hundred other people.

It had been raining off and on for the past couple days and the water was running a bit high and colored, but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. We started the day fishing the Breeches at
Allenberry Resort Inn and Playhouse just below the small waterfall. There weren’t many cars there so we began to wonder where all the people were. When we stepped out of the bushes and onto the stream, we saw exactly where they were--standing in the water above AND below us.

We picked up some stream intel from an angler who was already calling it a day. He had just seined under a rock to see what the fish were eating and it turned out to be a net full of midges about size 64, if there is such a hook size. He told us he tried a bunch of dries and nymphs but didn’t get much action so he was swinging a small streamer to see if he could entice a fish to hit. Luck wasn’t with him so he decided to call it an early day and head home to meet the wife and do some chores.

Jin and I saw a few risers so we decided to go small with dries and give it a good try. I tied on a size 18 Baltz para nymph while Jin tossed a small caddis as he waded across the stream to fish the far bank. I moved upstream a bit and stayed shallow while fishing the current seams. After almost a half hour of casting and no bites, I decided to switch tactics and go subsurface with a tiny Baltz Bronzeback under a New Zealand lambs wool indicator.

It was the right call. I hooked and landed a nice nine-inch Brown on my third drift and then a couple more smaller resident fish as I worked the margins of the current on my slow walk downstream. I would start fishing the closest lines first, then slowly lengthen my casts until I had covered all the water.

We broke for lunch and stopped in at the new
TCO fly shop in Boiling Springs on our way to the restaurant. For those of you who have been to the OLD fly shop, this new one blows it away. The shop is very well stocked with everything you could possibly need, and it’s a good bet you’d probably find something you didn’t need but will want it anyway. We dropped a few coins there then drove up to Anile’s Ristorante and Pizzeria for a couple sandwiches and plate of fries.

During lunch we pulled out Google Maps and plotted our next expedition on the Breeches. We decided to move as far away as possible from the crowd and picked a small section of stream that we fished before and usually had all to ourselves.
A half hour later we discovered that we were definitely not alone. It was just as crowded here as it was in Boiling Springs. In fact, now we had to contend with bait and lure anglers fishing the same water around us. One of them, and I’m sure it was just ignorance of the unwritten laws of fishing, walked right through the area where Jin was casting. Three others parked themselves above us and caught a couple of very nice Rainbows and a large Brown, which landed on their stringer. I overheard them saying that the “fishing was good here because it was just stocked the other day.”

Jin and I got out of there and moved further upstream. Nobody was around so Jin moved off first, fishing a dry, and I followed behind by about a 100 yards with a small nymph. We saw occasional risers and I had something small chase the indicator, but after another couple hours of fishing we had nothing to show for all of our effort. It was late afternoon and the sky suddenly began to darken. I thought I heard the distant sound of thunder so we deduced to leave the stream and head for home.

EQUIPMENT: I used a medium action 9 foot 4 weight rod, a weight forward line and a variety of dry flies and nymphs, most in size 16 to 18.

DIRECTIONS: From Virginia, head up US 15 into Pennsylvania, past Gettysburg and other tourist attractions. Make a left turn onto US 74 outside of Harrisburg. The intersection is in a small town, with a Getty gas station across the intersection where you will make your turn and a Wendy's restaurant on the left. Follow US 74 until you come to US 174, an intersection with a local graveyard on your left. Turn left here and follow Boiling Springs Road one mile to Allenberry Resort and Inn and the Yellow Breeches. There is a parking lot for fly fisherfolk but keep in mind that the road leading to the parking lot is ONE WAY. You have to circle around the inn to reach the exit. To fish 'The Run', continue past Allenberry Inn and Resort and make a left on Bucher Hill Road. Follow the road for a short distance until you see the parking lot on your left. To fish the upper reaches of the Yellow Breeches, continue up US 174 and look for parking spots along the roadside. If you need equipment, flies or information you should stop in at the Yellow Breeches Outfitters in Boiling Springs.