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RleePOctober 18th, 2010, 12:20 pm
NW PA - Pennsylvania's Glacial Pothole Wonderland

Posts: 398
No Chub thread is complete without a reiteration of an old Ed Zern story from a long-ago "Exit, Laughing" column on the back inside page of Field & Stream, a slot that Zern held for many years.
He was the best of his kind, IMO.


Two well-heeled stock brokers by day/ fly anglers by preference meet by chance on the streets of Manhattan on an early July morning. After exchanging pleasantries and inquring after each other's families and so forth, they got down to talking about fishing.
The first angler reported that he had been over to the UK a few weeks before to sample some of the small stream fishing in the northern highlands. And while the trout were not cooperating well, he and his party caught dozens and dozens of large dace. Many of the fish were in the 12-15 inch range and one pushed 17. The fish rose all day to dry flies, offered excellent sport and all in all, made the angler and his companions forget about the lack of trout action.

He heartily recommended a UK dace trip to the other broker, who said it certainly sounded worthwhile. They wished each other well and went about their business.

A few months later, just as the last few warm days of September were beginning to give way to the brisk, high-blue afternoons of October, the two brokers chanced to meet again in passing on the street. This time, it was the second broker who made the report. He said, based upon the recommendation the other broker had given him, he immediately booked a trip to the same area in the UK. Time and other commitments forced him to schedule the trip for the last week in August. The first broker inquired as to the quality of the fishing and the second broker said that while they caught lots and lots of dace, he was disappointed at the size of the fish. He said the largest one they caught might have stretched out to 10 inches and the average fish was closer to seven inches. He didn't think he'd be going back, not for that sort of fishing.

The first broker fixed him with a bemused look of sorts and just shook his head. And he said:

"I' hope you dont think I misled you, but I thought surely that a man of your worldly knowledge and experience would know without being reminded that it is axiomatic that after about the 21st of June every year, the dace start getting shorter.."

That was Ed Zern. I miss him.
TaxonOctober 18th, 2010, 2:28 pm
Site Editor
Royse City, TX

Posts: 1348

"I' hope you dont think I misled you, but I thought surely that a man of your worldly knowledge and experience would know without being reminded that it is axiomatic that after about the 21st of June every year, the dace start getting shorter.."

Ah, just like Callibaetis.
Best regards,
Roger Rohrbeck
Aaron7_8October 18th, 2010, 6:20 pm
Helena Montana

Posts: 115
No chubs, but, I love to catch whitefish. I spent half of an unproductive day this summer on a local stream casting hopper patterns to no avail. I switched over to a double nymph in the run before the deepest hole in this section to test for depth and weight for my indicator. When my indicator started going under I started pulling whitefish out of the run with every other cast for about an hour. I gave up the run after the whities quit hitting my flies after two or three cast in a row. It was the best fishing I had ever had fly fishing or not and I didn't have to move an inch. The only problem I have now is that I have that in my frame of reference everytime I walk up on a school of whitefish.
MotroutOctober 19th, 2010, 6:21 am
Posts: 319
I'm with you on the Whitefish. I'm not sure most people know (or understand) that Whitefish are actually part of the trout/salmon family. I don't enjoy catching them any less than the rainbows or browns that inhabit the same streams-and they're usually natives too. I don't think of them as trout any less than I do brookies (char) or Grayling.

The best part about them is that they're usually plentiful enough that you don't feel bad about keeping a couple for dinner.
"I don't know what fly fishing teaches us, but I think it's something we need to know."-John Gierach
McjamesOctober 19th, 2010, 12:04 pm
Cortland Manor, NY

Posts: 139

I am haunted by waters
Jmd123October 20th, 2010, 11:06 am
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2611
As a flyrodder currently living in an extremely trout-poor part of Michigan, I learned to embrace "alternate species" a long time ago. Just about anything that swims with fins can be caught on a fly rod if you know how to do it. This past summer I caught my first-ever golden redhorse sucker on a fly, and he gave me a pretty decent fight (though not like the brown trout I was after). This particular stream is dominated by this fish species and I wouldn't mind figuring out how to catch them on a regular basis (probably by nymphing, which I don't do very often because I'm not very good at it). While living next to the Huron River in Ann Arbor, I had many a joyful night pursuing smallmouth, rock bass, and bluegill, many of which (in fact on some nights, ALL of which) I caught on dry flies like Elkhair Caddis and White Wullfs (like the 18-in smallie that Spence, a.k.a. OldRedBarn, posted on here for me a few months ago). I also have a favorite pond near that town that recently yielded an 18" largemouth (I posted that one recently myself) and over the years many 14-16 inchers - all on 3-weights! In a hometown lake that I have been fishing since 1974 (and flyfishing since 1986) I regularly catch nice black crappie and even the occasional yellow perch on flies, in addition to largemouth and sunfish. Heck, while living and fishing in Texas I actually caught two channel cats and hooked and lost a 20-inch or so spotted gar while fly fishing (the latter of which gave me one of the hardest fights I have ever had on ANY tackle).

Fly fishing - it's not just for trout anymore!!!!

No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
MotroutOctober 20th, 2010, 4:37 pm
Posts: 319
I agree. If it swims, than I'm interested.

I've had good times fishing for all kinds of weird species on a fly rod. A couple years ago in Montana, I was fishing a big reservoir on the lower Clark Fork for brown trout. I never did find the brownies, but I had two great days catching all kinds of yellow perch, whitefish, and small pike on little streamers. And it was great-so great that I was tempted not to leave to head down to my planned visit to the Bitterroot when it was time to go.
"I don't know what fly fishing teaches us, but I think it's something we need to know."-John Gierach
KeystonerOctober 24th, 2011, 12:29 pm
Eugene, OR - formerly Eastern PA

Posts: 145
In addressing the original post. Back in PA, there is a freestone stream called the Maiden Creek. Not very good trout water by any means -although it is stocked early in season- it get very warm, and runs very low in the summer. Winter usually finds it frozen over.

At any rate, this water holds "chub" that are unlike any I've seen anywhere else. Biggest one I've caught was in the 16 inch range, and as the OP says they do in fact fight like hell. The size and fight of these "chub" eventually led my friends and I to dub them "renegades."

"Out into the cool of the evening, strolls the Pretender. He knows that all his hopes and dreams, begin and end there." -JB
KeystonerOctober 24th, 2011, 12:58 pm
Eugene, OR - formerly Eastern PA

Posts: 145
I actually have a pretty funny story about this.

The last time I fished with my younger brother before moving west, we were on this very stream. I, with a fly rod, and he, with an ultra-light spin rig. He really out fished me that day, with the fish being much more interested in his spinners than they were in my nymphs or streamers. I had been telling him to be ready for the "renegade" which was liable to slam his lure at any time, and desrcribed the size and fight of these fish in detail throughout the day. I don't really think he completely believed me though as every chub he had caught this far had been in the 6inch range.

Then, it happened. Dusk was setting in and he was really in his last cast of the day when, WHAM! As I recall, his first statement after getting the fish on was, "What the hell!?" he was almost panicky in his tone. I can still see him there with his little four foot rod forked in half fighting with this monster. When the fish finally did a roll on the surface. his eyes were as wide as saucers! Turned out to be a "chub" which was easily 16 - 17inches long. He believed me then.

Who would have thought that a "chub" would bring the perfect end, to the perfect day.

"Out into the cool of the evening, strolls the Pretender. He knows that all his hopes and dreams, begin and end there." -JB

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