Fishing With Charlie Wetzel

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Fishing With Charlie Wetzel

Post by bearbutt »

In his book Trout Flies (1955), Charlie Wetzel printed excerpts of his fishing diaries, and they are great fun to read. He doesn't date them, but internal references suggest they were written between the late 1930s-early 1940s. Some excerpts of his excerpts are below.


April 15--Dad and I fished Swift Run above Troxelville today. Weather very cold with occasional snow flurries. Stream very high. A few Little Black Caddis Flies over the water but the Red Quill was absent. Fell in. After wringing out my clothes I was unable to back into them as they froze stiff. Walked back to car naked carrying clothes in hand. Dad, who had also fallen in was already in car with the heater going strong. No trout taken.

April 20--Took a 17-inch brown trout on Kettle Creek today. Fish caught on a Black Ant wet fly. This was a good christening for my new three ounce Winston fly rod. Stream high and running wild. Fell in at the Cannonading Hole and lost quite a bit of tackle.

April 24--Fished Brodheads Creek today....Took four nice brown trout on the Black Ant. Fish around 14 inches long. All were taken in the big pool, where [Mel] Wood fell in a few years before.

April 25--Fished Young Woman's Creek today. Cold. Nothing but experience.

May 7--Bob Curtin, George Richards, and I fished Penns Creek today....Fished from Cortons down to Hironomus and stayed at Elmer Kahley's. Very tired. Unable to cross creek due to high water. Farther downstream I came to a wire across the creek and watched a young boy inch his way across. He stated it was easy so I tried it. When about half way over the wires started moving back and forth, and looking down into the swift, rushing water twenty feet below, I wished I was anywhere else. Luckily I made it, but no more wire rope walking for me.

May 18--A caddis fly with a green egg sack over Penns Creek today. Took two trout on a streamside constructed pattern of it. Fished till dark, and while coming out of the woods I ran a brush in my eye. Spent a miserable night.

May 20--Went to Spring Creek this morning. Hundreds of fishermen. Fished only an hour and took five trout. Kept one 18 inches long--then back to Penns Creek. In the evening attended a square dance at the Union County Sportsmen's Club.

May 20--Fished Weikert Run this morning. Counted eight partially decomposed deer (lying along the water) that had starved during last winter's heavy snow. The natives say that during heavy snows the deer eat laurel, drink at the creek, get bloated, and then die.

May 21--Fished Kettle Creek today with Kenneth Wykoff and caught one brook trout and one fallfish. In the afternoon, drove to Beavertown to visit Dad. Went fishing in Middle Creek, and in the evening ran into an enormous hatch of the Pale Evening Spinners. All were females, and the windshield of the car was completely covered with yellow egg sacks. In the distance of less than a mile I had to stop the car three times to wipe off the glass, driving being dangerous.

May 27--Heavy rains all week so decided to fish White Deer Creek today. Water high but not too discolored. Took a 16 inch brown on a Ginger Quill. While attempting to cross the creek, I was swept downstream for about thirty feet. Lost my wading staff, fly book, and other tackle.

May 27--Fished Penns Creek today. Took six nice trout on the Ginger Quill. In the evening while fishing below Pardee, I noticed a beaver swimming across Penns Creek. He was about ninety feet away, so decided to try my luck on him. The first cast caught him in the nose and two seconds later I was without a leader. Luckily, I pointed my rod directly at him when he became hooked.

May 29--Slipped and fell on a rock today on Penns Creek and broke both my rod and reel. This happened early in the morning and spoiled my sport for the day.

May 30--Dad and I fished the North Branch of Middle Creek this evening. A big hatch of Ginger Quills was over the water, but the jinx was on us, for neither of us took a trout.
Last edited by bearbutt on Thu Jul 04, 2019 7:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Fishing With Charlie Wetzel

Post by andre »

BB...excellent read and makes me feel a lot better about falling in.


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Re: Fishing With Charlie Wetzel

Post by bearbutt »

andre wrote:
Wed Jul 03, 2019 11:13 pm
makes me feel a lot better about falling in.
lol...or falling in and losing tackle, or breaking tackle, or competing with hundreds of other fishermen for a spot on the river.....or getting skunked.

Happy Independence Day,

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Re: Fishing With Charlie Wetzel

Post by northcountryman »

Great read , can almost picture myself there , thanks for sharing ;) :)

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Re: Fishing With Charlie Wetzel

Post by redietz »

I can relate.

Great stuff. Thanks for posting.

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Re: Fishing With Charlie Wetzel

Post by Eperous »

bb... interesting post, thanks... one that I can relate to in many ways....

As a young pre-teen wannabe fly I often stalked the book shelves of the Union Public Library...if not for angling books, than books on photography a couple racks over, with hardly clad members of the opposite sex... :o :roll: :oops:

Charles Wetzel's referenced book was one that I recall reading many times... years later I purchased a 1979 Stackpole edition for old times' sake... now I'll have to dig it out and re-read the book, especially Chapter 14, Pages from the Diary in his later edition.... :)



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