Elk Creek: Low Blows
"I think it's about time to go make those cookies," Mark DeFrank shouts, a cigarette quivering in his lips. He is sitting on a rock at Elk Creek near Erie, Pa., in the heart of "Steelhead Alley." Behind him, Wizeman and I stand as still as statues with his partner, guide Chris Kazulen, watching a little lady in sweatpants, sneakers, and a trout vest 30 feet downstream. She is standing on the shale bank in the early sun, trying to lob a nymph under a strike indicator into a short pool black with steelhead. But she can't reach. She told us when we arrived that she was a lunch lady at a local school getting in a few hours of fishing before work, where she'd have to bake six dozen cookies this morning. DeFrank and Kazulen are itching to get at those fish, and polite banter has given way to agitation. They want the run. She knows it, and she's not budging.