Pocono Mountain Trout Adventure: Mud Run

cabin at graystones preserve
Last weekend, I drove to Albrightsville, Pennsylvania, a small town nestled in the Pocono Mountains, near Hickory Run State Park. Old fishing buddy Gary Edwards had invited me to sample the fly action at Graystones Preserve, a 74-year-old, 3800-acre preserve that Gary is now managing. With more than three miles of stream, loaded with brown, rainbows, and brookies, how could I say no? My wife Lorraine came with me. Here's the cabin where we stayed. It was built in 1908.Jay Cassell
view of rain on cabin porch
On the drive out from New York, we ran into a violent thunderstorm. With it pouring at almost an inch a minute, punctuated with hail, the storm quickly raised Mud Run, the stream at Graystones. This is a view of the stream from our cabin's porch. The water is normally not even up on the spillway at this time of year.Jay Cassell
stream in the woods
With the stream unfishable, we decided to do some exploring. Hiking half a mile up from the dam, we came upon this fishy looking pool. Edwards told me that this was the beginning of 'the wild mile,' a section of stream that runs through a steep gorge and which is accessible here, and at a spot one mile upstream. I'm guessing there are a few fish holding in the white water. You think?Jay Cassell
two chairs on a grassy field
Some areas near the cabins are manicured so members - there are 65 of them - can not only fish, but simply relax and take in the scenery. Anyone for some Frisbee?Jay Cassell
two fishermen holding a trout
When Mud Run finally came down to fishable levels, we figured the fish would be ravenous, having clung to the bottom or behind rocks in order to ride out the flow. Muddler, Matukas, and Woolly Buggers seemed like the way to go, although there were some caddis and big stoneflies beginning to hatch. We hit the stream at 6 pm. That's Edwards (right) and me. We started fishing together in 1989, when he was guiding for steelhead on the Salmon River in upstate New York. I took this brown in the fast water right below the dam.Lorraine Cassell
two men fishing in front of a water bottle
Here's Gary helping Lorraine fish a run below the dam.Jay Cassell
man and woman holding a trout
It wasn't long before she caught a native brook trout, and...Jay Cassell
man and woman holding a trout
...then a brown trout.Jay Cassell
fisherman casting while he wades
After pointing Lorraine in the right direction, Edwards hit the stream and was soon into a tiger trout - a subspecies that had been stocked a few years ago. The preserve only stocks 12-inch fish.Jay Cassell
man holding up a trout
But as you can see, those fish get huge, thanks to the stream's rich forage base, coupled with a catch-and-release-only policy.Jay Cassell
fisherman kneeling while holding a trout
Here's a nice brown I got on a Muddler Minnow with some white in it. He taped 21 inches. I also got a smaller one, plus a rainbow that went 18. Not bad for a quick evening...or a whole day.Lorraine Cassell
close up image of rainbow trout
We were back at it early the next morning. The stream was lower, and there were a few March Browns and Pale Morning Duns hatching. Lorraine hooked into this 21-inch rainbow using a Zonker. Its stripe was orange, and not the pink typically found on most rainbows.Jay Cassell
man and woman holding up a trout
Here's Lorraine with the monster of the trip, a brown that taped a true 25 inches.Jay Cassell
man kneeling while holding a trout
That's me with a nice brown. After seeing how Lorraine did, I switched to a Zonker. I was using a 5-weight Orvis Helios rod - it won Field & Stream's Best of the Best award earlier this year, and I could see why. I was casting like Lefty Kreh (well, maybe not), and it was ultra-responsive fighting big fish in a fast current. To find out how many browns and 'bows F&S; Senior Editor Colin Kearns nabbed from another Pocono river, The Big Bushkill, click hereJay Cassell