I packed up and headed over to the West Branch, mostly just to see how it's faring in the heat. Not so well, unfortunately. I didn't have a thermometer to get a reading, but the water felt way too warm to fish safely. Nobody was fishing there, fortunately for the trout, but that only made it harder to walk away without getting my line wet. I really hope whatever work is being done wraps up soon and this great stream can be restored to actual tail water again and not a place to avoid.
Next stop: the Amawalk. I drove up near the dam, looking for low temperatures. What a difference. Even the air felt cooler and there was a layer of mist to complete that mountain stream vibe. And no mosquitoes, oddly enough. I went back to that tiny plunge pool where I caught a nice brown on my last visit. I crept up, flicked a double nymph rig into the foam and it was immediately tugged down. I felt the weight of a nice fish, but was more amused than disappointed to quickly see that a sunfish and a crappie had each taken a nymph. Now that was unexpected. I didn't even know the Amawalk held crappie. Every cast after that one yielded another small panfish. I doubt that big brown would allow so much company in such tight quarters. I figured it had moved on so I did the same. I walked quite a ways downstream and caught a couple small browns before doubling back. It felt great to visit my favorite stream again, but it had been a long day. With a lot of variety.