May 2003 Report

2003-2012 Reports
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May 31, 2003 - Tulpehocken Creek Report

The Tully was running about twice normal flow for this time of year - about 400cfs. Some caddis sizes 14-22, green and tan bodies were dancing here and there throughout the morning. However, the steady rain made for tough dry conditions. One fish was picked up by the group of David, Roger and Dan and there were other numerous splashy rises to our flies - but it just was not meant to be. Only a handful of people out today - and did not see any fish landed. Water temp was 59 degrees....slow morning on the water. Happy B-Day David.

May 30, 2003 - Penns Report

NO GREEN DRAKES YET.  Water temp 58 degrees in the evening last night with near perfect water levels for this time of year (435 cfs @ town of Penns Creek).  Still too cold for the Drakes to start hatching and don't expect to see them for maybe another week.  Water temps need to be in the 60's for the Drakes to get going.  However there are plenty of sulphurs and grey foxes along with caddis still hatching to keep the fish interested.  The fish are rising but are very inconsistent and difficult to catch off the surface at present time. In the evenings be prepared to see sulphur spinners and the march brown/grey fox spinners to hit the water on mild evenings.  Still the best way to catch those wiley browns is to fish subsurface with nymphs and caddis pupae in the riffs and heads of the pools.

May 24, 2003 - Lehigh River - Lehighton to Bowmanstown

Lots of rafters to contend with along the ways, but we each managed to share the river in a compatible way. Rainy most of the time - with good numbers of rising fishing fish here and there. The action started off on nymphs - bead head hare's ear on the swing did the trick. We had three hooked n drop fish in a deep run at the start. Soon after rising fish were found the remainder of the float. A sulphur imitation did the trick on the first pod. Small green caddis, size #20 seemed to be what the fish were taking further downstream, however we could not get any takers. Then another pod of fish we found working liked our #16 orangish sulphurs, All in all a good day. Water temp was 56. Bugs seen: green caddis - #14-20, sulphurs - #-12-16, grey fox - 14, march brown - #12-14. The Lehigh is a great big-water trout river. Lots of bugs and plentiful rising fish and this spring it is shaping up to be a fantastic season. Give us a call if you would like to give the river a try.

May 23, 2003 - Penns Report

Rising fish are tough to come by. Some fish in the later afternoon and evening hours are coming up in the slower water, but the duration is limited right now due to the lack of spinners. Spinners, especially red browns are out, but with the cool air temps they just do not seem to be hitting the water.Water temps have been marooned in the low 50s and it has been a while since temps have gotten to 60 (if at all). Watch out when it does. Best bet is to spend some time going down deep - pocket water and riffs. Pheasants tails, hares ear and march brown nymphs. Caddis worms are also worth a shot. Bugs present include sulphurs, grey foxes and march browns. Enjoy the holiday weekend and good luck.

May 17-19, 2003 - Central PA Report - Spring/Penns Creek
The afternoon on Penns Saturday had many sulphurs and grey foxes hatching. This only lasted about 3-4 hours with good numbers of fish rising in the slower pools. Due to the cold weather not much action occurred after about 6-7pm. Air temps never got much above 50 and the water was also around 50. The water was extremely fishable - long casts necessity, with the flow about 615cfs on the gauge. Normal for this time of year is about 500cfs.

This brownie took a sulphur dry
Sunday dawned cool/overcast and misty. We headed over to Spring Creek for the annual TCO Spring/Penns Weekend. Accommodations for the gang were handled by Centre Mills Bed & Breakfast. Joe, Hal, George, Jim, Ron, Bob and Jeff all did extremely well - some of whom had never fly fished for trout. Heavy caddis hatch mid-morning, followed by a decent sulphur hatch. Lots of fish landed with the biggest going just over 14".  Late in the afternoon we headed over to Penns. Our eyes immediately noticed a good amount of march brown spinners, but they never hit the water. Some fish here and there coming up in the pools, but overall the fishing was slow - especially after the fast and furious action we had in the mid-day hours. Hatching bugs noticed on Penns included sulphurs, march browns and grey foxes.
Monday we hit Spring Creek again and the bugs were spotty. Some caddis and sulphurs, but it was nothing like the hatching that occurred the day before. Noticed quite a few fish sipping in the shallows. Small nitros did the trick for these, used as a dropper. Beautiful spring day.

Bob with a Spring Creek brown

George with a skinny water brown

Hal getting ready to let one go

Jeff sportin a nice wild brown

May 16, 2003 - Lehigh River - Bowmanstown to Walnutport

Weather - Cloudy, Rain Showers, Wind 15-25 mph w/ gusts to 35 mph, temp in the low 50s.

Report - Water temp 54 degrees, flow approximiately 900 cfs (Lehighton gauge). Dean floated the lower stretch of the river today with Tom and Thomas. Put in Bowmanstown around 10:30am and started to hit some fish immediately on black and green bead head wooley buggers stripped off the bank. Some sporadic caddis hatching all morning until 1:30 PM when all hell broke loose. It seemed as though someone dropped a CADDIS bomb on the river. Big time hatch of caddis, almost blizzard like. Tan caddis size 14 and green caddis size 16 & 18 started hatching in huge numbers. At 2:05pm the whole river ignited with fish activity. Fish seemingly everywhere. The caddis continued through the afternoon and started to taper off around 4:30pm as did the fish activity. Some March Brown, Grey Fox, Hendricksons where also hatching sporadically during the afternoon but the caddis out numbered them immensely. 5:30 rolled and the Sulphurs and March Browns/Grey fox started to show in better numbers and the fish started to key on them. Todays tally was approximately 10 fish to the boat with numerous long distance releases. Was pleasently suprised with the number of fish caught or hooked up given the weather conditions making it virtually impossible to cast a dry fly. Kudos to the anglers today. All fish were in the 10-14 inch range. Caught mostly browns with some rainbows and two brook trout. WOW what a day to be on the river...can't believe I said that!! PICS to come.

Tom with your average size LR brown

If you look closely all those little brown specs are tan caddis.

May 15, 2003 - Penns/SE PA report

Well, it looks like the transition to more of a mid-season hatch scenerio has begun. Continue to look for march browns and grey foxes, but the recent addition to the smogassboard is the sulphur. With this cool weather look for these bugs to be active at any time and in the evening keep an eye out for spinners - red browns and sulphur spinners once the hatch gets underway a bit. Tan caddis is has also been present. As usual, hit the runs and riffs with nymphs. Hopefully there will be some rainfall - certainly Penns could use it, but doubtful it will make the stream and other central PA limestoners unfishable.

Stopped by a local SE PA stream the other day that has been having some sulphurs hatching and did not see a one. Not sure what that was all about, but there were plenty of sulphur nymphs on the rocks - maybe they just decided not to take flight that day.

This nice brown took a march brown nymph

5.12.03 - SE PA Report

Sulphurs....The streams in this region that posses this hatch have started. Obviously look for these bugs in the evenings, but with the relatively cool and overcast weather being predicted there might even be a few sulphurs on the water during the daytime hours. A dry and a dropper rig is a good set-up at this time, maybe a small pheasant tail w/ a bead, just enough to get it down below the surface a bit, but not too much weight to pull your dry under.

Also, the Tully has been fishing pretty decent as of late. Plenty of tan and green caddis have been coming off daily. The flats contain many rising fish and a pupa fished in the riffs is a good sub-surface imitation that should produce.

Hook: 8-12, tiemco 200R or equivalent
Tail: 3 pheasant tail tips, divided and splayed at right angles
Rib: Copper or gold wire
Nymph back: Thin Skin (mottled brown) or Swiss Straw (brown)
Abdomen: Pale yellow dubbing
Wing Case: Thin Skin (mottled brown) or Swiss Straw (brown)
Legs: Brown hackle or brown partridge fibers
Thorax: Darker shade of dubbing - hare’s ear color, tan/brown
Bead: Copper or gold - optional
Tying Instructions:
1. Tie in your thread - 8/0 brown thread. Wrapping back toward the hook bend.
2. Tie in the three pheasant tails. Divide them so they flair out to the side.
3. Tie in the ribbing material and let it hang off the back.
4. Tie a very thin piece of your back material (thin skin or swiss straw). This piece should only be about the width of 3 hook shanks.
5. Dub on your abdomen material. Try to do this sparsely, so that the abdomen is relatively thin. Wrap forward 2/3 of the way to the hook eye. To add bulk and weight to fly you can attach some lead wire by laying it in and attaching it to the sides of the hook shank.
6. Now pull the backing material up and over the dubbed abdomen and tie off. Make sure you center this on the back. Snip off the excess after you tie it off.
7. Wrap the rib forward, keeping the backing material centered on top of the hook shank. Sometimes there is a tendency for the backing material to wrap over and you rib. Tie off the rib and snip.
8. Tie in an even wider piece of Thin Skin or Swiss Straw - this is for the wing case. This piece should be about twice the width of the piece used for the back of the fly.
9. Tie in the hackle or partridge material.
10. Dub the thorax with a darker shade of dubbing (brown preferably) then used for the abdomen. Make this part of the fly puffy and very buggy. Maybe even pluck out some of the dubbing to give it an even beefier look. A good dubbing for this will have combo of softer hair and guard hairs.
11. Palmer the hackle up and through the thorax and tie off. Snip the top and bottom so that the hairs shoot out to the sides.
12. Pull the wing case up and over and tie off.
13. Head cement and you are done.

5.3-4.03 - Penns Creek - Special Regs Water

Fished the Catch & Release and Trophy Trout Sections of Penns Creek.  Stream is currently experiencing a lull in bug activity. Not much hatching.  A few march browns/grey foxes made their appearance along with some green body caddis (size 14) but they were hatching very sporadically.  There are still a few grannoms leftover in the egg laying stage that are getting the attention of the fish.  We experienced a nice hendrickson spinner fall on Sat evening in the C&R section. The spinner fall brought a good number of fish to the surface and some nice fish brought to the net (15-17" range) including one 19" beauty. During daylight hours fishing nymphs produced the best results in the heads of pools and pocket water. Variations of march brown nymphs, hare's ear, tan soft hackles and caddis pupas all produced. Beadheads produced just as well as non-beaded wets, you just need to get the fly down with presentation being the biggest key to success.

Stream flows are perfect with temps ranging from 52 - 60 degrees.  We should see an increase in mayfly hatches over the next two weeks that include the march browns, grey fox and sulphurs.  Green body caddis hatches should also increase in the week to come.

19" brownie

Grey Fox

16" brownie

5.1.03 - Penns Creek - Special Regs Water

Well, the grannoms seem to be winding down. Still a few around in the egg laying stage but not many. You might find more above the tunnel. Not many other bugs hatching of any consistency except a small tan & green caddis (size 18) which were quite numerous last evening. This appears to be the week to 10 day lull in bug activity that usually occurs after the grannoms are over and until the greyfox and march browns start to hatch.

As stated above the size 18 caddis did bring fish to the surface during evening hours. Look in the flats for rising fish. Plenty of spinners around still so who knows what may happen in the evenings with regards to a spinner fall. Most likely weather dependent, however fish are looking up and taking dries when you can find a consistent feeders.

Water temps are in and around the 50 mark. As always work the runs and riffs with nymphs and split shot. This will likely be the best way to catch fish since the bugs are in a little lull at the present time. see ya...

March Brown Nymph