Well, after original plans for fishing today didn't work out, I decided it would be a good day to try Mannis Branch - been wanting to try it ever since I scouted it out this past winter and then heard it had been stocked with brookies a few years back.
Started out the day just missing a nice brown right at the mouth of Mannis in Little River but decided to try him again later in the day after I had slain the brookies up the creek. The Mannis venture started out badly when I took a dip crossing Little River. One thing I discovered is that my rain jacket not only keeps rain out but it keeps river water in after a dunking. So the rest of the day I was drenched but my expectations still high as I ascended the bank to get above the water falls.
My enthusiasm waned as I worked my way up Mannis Branch and saw not the first brookie. In fact it was hard to imagine how any fish could live in this little creek. I went a good ways up the creek, killing a good part of the day, before I lost my fly and took it as a sign to give up on the Mannis brookie myth and head back down to try for that brown in LR again. When I got back down to the river, I tied on another fly and got ready to cast back in the pool below and saw another fly fisherman about 20 yards downstream. I yielded to him, hoping that he would have better luck than I and went on up stream where I found a good crossing and (after a few token casts) gave it up and went back to my vehicle.
After getting into some dry clothes, I headed back down to LRO to see how things were shaping up for the Troutfest Banquet. I saw Byron in the parking lot with another fellow and went over to speak. Byron said "What do you know" and I said that I now knew there were no fish in Mannis Branch. The fellow standing next to him, said "Sure there's fish up there; it's full of brookies if you go up far enough." Byron then introduced me to Jack Gregory. Oh well, the vanquished got to meet the Trout Master and get reminded that I still have a long ways to go before I can declare a creek void of fish.
Mannis, I'll be back. But it will be a while - I need to catch some fish before I submit myself to that torture again.