October 2003 Report

Reports Archive

October 28, 2003 - Lehigh River Report from 10.26.03 - Bowmanstown to Walnutport Float

Rick with a nice lookin' brownie.
On Sunday Dean had out guests, Rick and Don, two very accomplished fly fisherman. It was kind of a bitter/sweet day. Weather conditions were sweet for fish activity and hatching bugs. We had cloudy skies, air temp of 63 degrees and a very light wind. Water temp was 50 at the start and 52 when we finished up the day. Water was clear with a bit of the brown tannic stain. As soon as we put in at Bowmanstown, Don had a hit on a brown wooley bugger that almost tore the rod out of his hand. In the next pool Don caught a 14"+ fall fish that gave him a good battle. We made our way down the next few pools with out much of a hit but we saw a few fish splash and one fish ever so slightly sipping some midges in a pool tailout. As we floated, Don missed another small brown on a bugger. We continued down river and anchored up in a spot that usually produces fish with nymphs but couldn't get one to hit our stonefly/nitro imitations. The next pool I spotted a fish rising in the middle of the river and I put on a size 18 cdc green body caddis for Rick to lay over top of him. After a couple drifts the fish took and Rick landed a nice 13" brown. At this time, I began to notice a few BWOs on the water and some caddis starting to fly around, but nothing substantial. As we approached the Lehigh Gap the wind began to pick up until we got through the gap. Stopped at a couple of good fish holding spots and really worked the water with nymphs and buggers but no luck until Rick hooked up with a nice rainbow that really doubled over his rod. Needless to say the fish pulled the hook and we never got it to the boat. As we floated through the last pool before the take out, we searched for rising fish. We approached a spot in the pool that has been producing a few fish this year, and noticed a fish sipping BWOs along the bank. Rick made a real nice cast with his cdc caddis dry and hooked a nice rainbow in the 13" range. Nice way to end the day but I was still a little bitter that we didn't have a better day catching some fish because you couldn't have asked for better conditions.

This rainbow took a dry.

Now that is some big water!

Look for a Lehigh River report later today detailing some of the action we experienced over this past weekend.
Also, as we all know we were crushed with some heavy rainfall in the last day or so - this has pretty much put a halt to the prime-fall-fishing we have been experiencing, on the local PA streams we specialize in. Lets hope the run-off goes quickly so we can get back at it. Word is there is also some activity going on around the Francis E. Walter Dam - with regards to relocating the roadway from inside the dam impoundment to across the breast of the dam. We can only hope this means improved management of this terrific fishery - the Lehigh River.

Got any questions - shoot us an e.

October 27, 2003 - Saltwater Report

Right now the saltwater action along the NJ coast is really heating up. Over the past weekend bluefish seemed to be the name of the game in the area we were fishing, however bass are also being caught as well. Key to success is finding the bait and once you locate it, the predators should not be to far behind. Abundant amounts of peanut bunker and bay anchovies were the bait fish of choice along the beach front Friday-Sunday. And even with the rough water and hard south wind on Sunday everything managed to hold tight along the beach. Pictured below are just some of the pics detailing the action from this past weekend. Patience and persistence are the name of the game along with good timing if you have to make a long drive to the coast. Fishless days can occur, but then again, the fish of a life time might be swimming right in front of you.

Equipment for this type of fishing is really not too complex - ranging from 8-10 weight rods, matched-up with either an intermediate or a sinking 200-400 grain line. The sinking lines enable you to get down in the current or deepest of holes. A good quality reel with decent drag is also a must. Saltwater fly fishing does not require near the precision that freshwater trout fishing requires and sometimes you need to be a little innovative with your casting technique in order to get your fly out into the fishy looking water. For instance, if you are right handed and the wind in coming over your right should, turn around and face away from the water and shoot your backcast. Flies are all the usual suspects - clousers, deceivers and Popovics Jiggies. Go with chartreause, white, olive, yellow and combinations of all.

This action along the beach front should pick up right where we left off once we get to the other side of this current storm system - and continue well into November. Just give it a few days to rebound - for the bait to gather back up and for the migratory predators to find the bait. Give us a shout if you would like some more information or a few pointers about this fantastic fishery.

Scenes from this past weekend....

Sunday afternoon hook-up...

...and the fight is on...

...the reward.

Once again another fish on...notice the dark water under the butt if the rod. All bait.

A nicely fattened up blue.

Peanut Bunker

Check out these conditions - bay anchovies from afar.

Bay anchovies up close.

Don't move...this blue is watching you.

October 25, 2003 - Tulpehocken Creek Report - Palisades Section

Jake managed to make it out on the Tully for a few hours this morning. On the water at 8am and immediately took notice of the fingerlings recently stocked. They were rising eagerly to the numerous amounts of tricos hatching. A few fish - all dinks were hooked on trico duns during the morning. However, the larger fish came on nitros and flashback pheasant tails. One brown landed measured between 16-17". This was a beautiful fish in all its fall colors. The cameraman was too slow for a pic, so we don't have one up on the site. ;) Actually, the fish decided it had enough and scooted away. Also, landed a really colored up rainbow at about 14". These nice fish came out of the deeper runs and pocket water.

Bugs noticed were the tricos, which hatched until about 10:30. Small caddis also were about. Beautiful morning, all-be-it a tad chilly at the start.

For you salt hounds - the action has really heated up. If you have any questions about this shoot us an email. We can help you out with some advice on increasing your odds of finding these migratory fish.

October 18, 2003
Tulpehocken Creek Report - Rebers Bridge to Palisades

Dean had out Scott from Alexandria, Va and Tom from NYC. They decided to fish the Tully since it was approximately 1/2 way between the two of them. Today we couldn't have asked for better fall time weather, sunny, light breeze, 60 degrees F. Water was clear with a temp of 60 degrees and a release from Blue Marsh of around 273 cfs. Hit the water around 10 am and immediately there were size 18 caddis hatching and the fish were on the feed. With in the first 10 minutes Tom hooked up and landed a nice 12" rainbow. After a bit more time Scott hooked and landed a fat 14" bow that was just a PIG! As the morning continued Scott had look sees and/or missed strikes on a couple of more fish. Tom hooked into what I think was a real nice brown. The fish gave him a great fight on his 3wgt rod. In fact the fish got the best of Tom by wrapping the line around a nice size rock and finally releasing himself before we could bring him to net. After that humbling experience Tom set his sites on another fish rising in the shadows of Rebers Bridge. Tom so eloquently missed the strike on that fish. Around 12:30, things began to slow. We broke for lunch and then headed to the Palisades for some afternoon fishing. Things really hit a wall, this afternoon. No bugs hatching and not a fish surfacing. So we pulled out all the stops, and started to bang some rocks with caddis pupae and small bead head nymphs. Fished for a while without a bump until Tom stuck another 14" PIG of a rainbow. This was our only fish of the afternoon or maybe I should say trout because Tom proceeded to hook up and land 2-10" suckers on nymphs. Now that was entertaining! The rainbows in the Tully right now are just absolutely colorful. Some of the prettiest fish I have seen this year. Not too much time left this season to get out and enjoy the fall weather and fishing. Thats the only thing I don't like about fall....it leads to winter

Scott with a beautiful Tully 'bow

Here is a close-up of Tom's 'bow - check out those colors!!!

Lehigh River Float - Bowmanstown to Walnutport

Jake had out Bob and Dan today on the Lehigh. We floated from Bowmanstown to Walnutport and managed hit a few fish along the way. Definitely could not ask for better weather after the week we just had. Water temps were way down - already at 52 degrees and flows running at about 1,700cfs on the Lehighton gage. As is par for the course this year, flows were definitely on the high side. However, clarity was fantastic - as there was not really much tannic stain at all. With said conditions we fishing buggers on the swing and tried to get them down deep in the pocket water. When all was said and done we got three browns on buggers: one from tight off a steep-and-deep, slow-water-bank; another from an edge, created where slow water meets fast water and the last from the holding water created by a big fat boulder. And finally we finished off the day by getting one last brown, off the top, on a size 20 olive cdc dry. As we were nearing the end of our float we noticed a pod of trout sipping ever so slightly off the top and on the first good drift, over one of the risers, it took. The rest of the fish went down though. Throughout the day we noticed good amounts of olives and caddis, but we only had one other riser prior to the pod. Now we got the high flows that kicked this afternoon, so look for the Lehigh to be on the high side for a while. Kayaker water for sure! The Army Corp has got more than 20 feet of water to blow out of FEW - fortunately though, they waited until the end of today to do it. Leaves and scenery were fantastic and there was all sorts of water poring in off the hillside. Only saw one raptor.

Bob with the first brownie of the day

October 14, 2003 - Tulpehocken Creek Report

We had out Mike Moore as our guest yesterday for some late afternoon/early evening fishing on the Tully. Couldn't have asked for better weather conditions, sunny and 70 degrees with virtually not wind. Mike's main intention for the day was to perfect his casting stroke, learn how to mend line and how to read different currents in order to get a drag free presentation. The first hour we worked on his casting and once he got the feel for the proper stroke and got a rhythm he was throwing a real nice line. Once we got the cast down, we worked on how to mend out line from the rod along with up-stream/down-stream mends so that the dry fly drifted naturally with the current. In the process of working on our mending, Mike hooked up with two trout and proceeded to land a nice fat rainbow of around 12". The colors on this fish were absolutely gorgeous. We continued our evening of fishing and Mike stuck a nice brown of around 13" off the surface on a green body cdc caddis (size 18). The brown really put up a fight and took some line on Mike. Mike fought the fish with great skill and finally brought him to the net. Mike had no intentions on catching a single fish today, but we did a bit better landing two and missing a couple more. We fished a combination of a caddis dry and small bead head midge pupae as a dropper. Noticed a lot of small size 22 blue winged olives hatching and lots of spinners above the riffs around 6pm. A few caddis are still hatching but not many. Look for more reports later on in the week.

Mike with a colored up Tully bow

A close-up of the same rainbow - check ou t the stripe!

A Tully brown

October 13, 2003 - Lehigh River Float - Lehighton to Bowmanstown

Did a half day float yesterday - put in around 1 pm at Lehighton. Water temp was 58 degrees and flow was approximately 1100cfs. Couldn't have asked for better weather, sunny, light breeze and around 70 degrees. My guests today were Jeff and Bob. Both are new to the sport of fly fishing so before we set out we had a little fly casting 101 session. Jeff who has fly fished before did not have any trouble throwing 30-40 feet of line, we just fined tuned a few things. Bob who never picked up a fly rod till today, and in no time he was throwing 30+ feet with no problem. Started off with some brown wooley buggers. Only saw a few size 22 BWOs hatching and no risers. We didn't start to get into fish until the first long big pool below the Route 209 bridge. We anchored up and worked the water a bit and Bob hooked into a decent size trout but it pulled the hook. We continued our float and anchored up again above the TPK bridge at the pool at the cement plant. Bob banged a nice 12-13" brown from the pool and had another short strike. As we floated under the TPK bridge Jeff got into the act and hooked up with a nice 12-13" brown. Both fish were extremely colorful. As we made our way down past the junction with the Pohopoco, Bob and Jeff started to get some decent action. We didn't land a fish but we had a few hooked and some short strikes. We anchored up in the next pool and worked the water again and Bob hit a real nice fallfish around 14". Those fish can really put a bend in a fly rod. As we hit the Bowmantown take out around 5pm, Jeff decided to fish from the bank while I unloaded the boat and proceeded to hook up with and land a nice 10-12" smallmouth. Nice way to end a great day. All in all, catching wasn't the greatest today but Jeff and Bob made the best of it and you couldn't have asked for better weather and scenery.

Jeff with a nice Lehigh brownie

The Lehigh River nestled along the Kitantinny Ridge

Bob pictured above with a brown picked up
near the PA Tpk bridge
Continue to look for more reports and observations from us in the coming few days - along with more first-hand Lehigh data. Currently all waters are running fantastic, flows are at great volumes and very clean. Lets hope this front coming through in the next 48 hours has only a minor effect on our watersheds. Even though the leaves have started changing great trout fishing can be had. Send us an email if you have any questions.

October 11, 2003 - Salmon River Report/Update

One half of FFPA made it up to the Salmon River earlier this week. Thanks to the rain and cool weather the fish were plentiful - kings, cohos and a few briefly hooked steelies. Below is a sample of the many fish picked up throughout the stay.

A nice Salmon River king

Ryan with a little bigger salmon taken during a heavy downpour

Jake with a fresh jack

The Lehigh is on tap for the weekend along with some more Tully action early next week. Hopefully weather premitting we will be able to hit the salt as well. Word is the action is hot and heavy on the northern beachfront. However, with the consistant easterly fetch currently along the NJ coast things might get a little scattered for a bit here in the near future. Shoot us an email if you got any fly fishing related questions about any of the stream we cover. Catch ya latter....

October 8, 2003 - Reports/Update

Upper Delaware Report
Hit the Upper D this past weekend for our annual fall trip. Concentrated on fishing the West Branch for the most part since the Main Stem was running high. Saturday we floated from Balls Eddy (W. Branch) to Stockport on the Main Stem. We had overcast skies with light rain and few heavy but short duration downpours. Encountered a heavy hatch of BWOs ranging from size 16-24 around 1:30 till about 5pm. Every time the fish really started feeding on the BWOs a heavy downpour put the fish down. In the evening we found a nice pod of large fish (16"-20" range) feeding on the surface. We both missed one each on a BWO, then another downpour came an put an end to our evening. We boated around 6 browns (10"-12"range) on Saturday and missed many more on BWOs, nymphs and black wooly buggers.

Sunday we floated from Balls Eddy to Shehawkin. We had mostly cloudy skies and a few light showers around. We saw one fish rise twice and that was it for the day. Again had a heavy BWO hatch in the afternoon. We boated only one brown on Sunday that was in the 11" range and missed three more on nymphs. This was a very frustrating day of fishing. Nothing seemed to work. Every year this fishery seems to decline in comparison to our past experiences on this river. It is truly a shame because it is a very beautiful area and river to fish. Just wish the powers that be could get their act together so that all parties involved can benefit from this magnificent resource.

Tulpehocken Report - Red Covered Bridge area
Had out Wendy and her friend Barbara for an afternoon of fishing on Monday. Wendy and Barbara drove from Florida just to fish the Tully. I thought…WHY?? With all the bonefish, tarpon and redfish in FLA to chase why would one come to the Tully to fish for trout!! Actually they had some relatives to visit in the area and wanted to fish a few days while in PA. The main goal for today's outing was to perfect some nymphing techniques. Both Wendy and Barbara have been fly fishing for about 5 years and have good casting skills and an understanding of how to read water. When we first got into the water, I noticed a few BWOs (size 22), craneflies and some small green body caddis (size 18) hatching but no rising fish (which was odd). We first tried some caddis dries with a small bead head dropper. Fished this for a while to no avail. Decided to switch to some long line indicator nymph fishing and put on a small nymph and caddis pupae rig. We concentrated on some of the faster runs that dump into deep pools. Wendy finally hooked up with a nice brown of about 13" that leaped out of the water on the hook set. Needless to say the fish got the best of Wendy and popped the hook after a bit of a struggle. Those "damn women" just don't know how to fight fish…just kidding, private joke between Wendy and I. Actually she fought the fish very well and did all that could be done. Just chalk it up to bad luck. Fished to about 7pm and didn't get another bump. Saw a few fish start rising before dark but nothing consistent and they couldn't be enticed what-so-ever to take a dry fly. Probably one of the tougher days of fishing I have ever experienced on the Tully. Hopefully Wendy and Barbara came away with some knowledge on how to long line nymph fish with an indicator rig and how to mend line to get a drag free drift. Unfortunately it was just one of those days where the fish did not cooperate. That is why they call it fishing though.

Lehigh River Update
The Lehigh has finally come down to excellent flows for fishing and floating the river. Water temps have cooled considerably to the low 50s. This usually means the best fishing is during the afternoon hours. Reports from the past weekend were on the slow side with a handful of fish caught on buggers and stonefly nymphs with not much in the way of bug activity. With the warmer weather in store for the rest of the week, we should hopefully start seeing some good hatches of BWOs, craneflies and maybe a few caddis left around. Hopefully this will jump start the fishing a bit so we can experience some nice fall fishing on the Lehigh. There are plenty of fish remaining in the river due to the WET summer we had and with some supplemental stockings by the LRSA, we expect great October and early November fishing on the Lehigh. We have a lot of weekend dates open, so give us a call if you want to experience some fall foliage and fishing on the river.

As you can see from the above chart taken from the Walnutport gage the Lehigh has finally come down to a manageable level. As a result look for decent temps and hopefully some good bug activity.
Never once was the Lehigh at or below average daily flow the entire summer.

Look for a Salmon River report later in the week. Word is fish are top to bottom and stacked like firewood in the deeper holes.

October 2, 2003 - Update

Fall is in the air! Shorter days, cool, crisp air and lo-sun angle mean the days of hatches and rising fish are beginning to wane. But we still got some time to get out and score some late season trout action. Water conditions continue to improve with a recent lull in the precip activity that has made this year one for the books. Look for the Lehigh to continue to drop with conditions about prime for floating and the foliage providing great scenery around every bend in the river. Remember this is the time of year that the browns begin to start moving around and become more active in anticipation of the upcoming spawn.

This weekend takes us to the Upper D. Due to being blown-out last weekend caused us to reschedule for this upcoming weekend. Hopefully we can see some late season hatches - bwos and isos being the two most likely. The Salmon River will also be calling. Look for fresh run fish to make their way into the river from the estuary as conditions and the internal biological clock ticks away. We will also be on the Tully next week, so look for reports from this stream in the near future as well.

It was last year in the middle of October that the saltwater scene for the shore-bound angler started to bust wide open. Bunker, both peanuts and adult along with spearing were all along the northern beaches of New Jersey. Hopefully this will be the case this year as well. This hot action lasted until the last week of November - peaking around the second week of November. Devoting adequet time and persistance is really the key to cashing in on this saltwater action.

New England? Nope. The Lehigh River in the Jim Thorpe area.

Look for an update toward the end of next week since we will be unable to log-on and update. Enjoy the weekend and this beautiful fall weather. What a great time of year. Especially so since we have so much water, unlike years past. We look foward to a great fall spawn on the streams where spawning takes place in the tribs.