March 2012 Report

2003-2012 Reports
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September 29, 2003 - Update/Stream Report

We were able to scout out Penns over the weekend. Definitely not fishable with the gage reporting 1,400cfs on Saturday and then jumping to over 2,000cfs, after the rain Saturday night into Sunday. Below is a pic of Penns just below the c&r section. Here the stream is running over 2,000cfs. If it ever comes down we could be in for a great fall season up there...Bugs noticed were isos, blue winged olives, october caddis, crane flies and dark winged/green body caddis. For the october caddis use a tan/orangish body caddis with light wings. Focusing in on the pocket water (eddy water behind rocks), hitting each and every basketball size pocket, can be and extremely productive way to fish this fly. Actually, fishing an iso dry in the pocket water can be rewarding as well.

isonychia spinner

october caddis

october caddis dry imitation

Penns Creek at 2,000+cfs @ the gage

Another stream worth checking out is the Tully. Water levels are coming down - look for good action on all forms of caddis - dry, pupa and larva imitations. When in doubt, go green. If you do not see any risers, then go underneath. Try a nitro. This is a really fun stream - yet so close by. Shoot us an email if you would like to learn about this stream. With a continued gradual decrease in the flows, the Lehigh should become floatable this weekend. The water may still be a little dis-colored due to the tanic acid though, but nothing some streamer fishing can't solve. That is about it for now...

September 22, 2003 - Fly Pattern

This time of year Isonychia's can provide some fantastic action. Especially so on our larger waters - the Lehigh, Penns and the Upper Delaware. Since some isos tend to hatch out of the water be sure to focus in on the shallow water, as well in the heavy water where there are current edges behind boulders. Eddies where fast water meets the bank is worth focusing in on. Since isos area fast swimmers, be sure to sometimes sweep the fly up off the bottom - imitating a hatching nymph. Spinner fall action can be hot. Don't forget the jacket though...Below is an effective nymph pattern - notice the white dorsal line and the usage of peacock herl...mmm mmm...trout like'em too!

Isonychia Nymph

Hook - standard nymph, pupae or swimming nmph - #10-14
Thread - black
Tail - peacock
Rib - gold or copper wire and brown osterich herl
Mid-dorsal stripe - white thread
Wing Case - brown thin-skin
Legs - brown hackle
Thorax - dark brown, black or peacock dubbing

Tying Instructions...

1) Hook size 10-14 on standard nymph, pupae or swimming nymph style hook
2) Tie in 3 peacock herl tips for tails w/ black thread to shank
3) Tie in gold or copper wire for rib, a strand of white 4/0 or greater thread and a strand of brown osterich herl to hook shank
- You can also tie in 0.10 diameter lead wire and wrap to add bulk &
weight to abdomen
4) Wrap the 3 strands of peacock herl for abdomen up to thorax
5) Spacially wrap brown osterich herl up to thorax and tie off. The O-herl replicates the gills on the nymph.
5) Pull white tread over top of abdomen and secure at thorax
6) Wrap wire up to thorax and tie off.
7) Add piece of brown Thin-Skin for wing case
8) Tie in piece of black hackle for legs
9) Use dark brown, black or peacock dubbing and build up the thorax
10) Take hackle and wrap 2-3 times for legs (trim bottom hackles when complete)
11) Pull Thin-Skin over top of dubbing/thorax and tie off
12) Pull white thread over top of wing case and tie off
13) Whip-finish and add head cement to complete tie.

September 15, 2003 - Lehigh River - Lehighton to Walnutport

Had Nate and Brian in the boat this weekend.  Nate won a free float trip that we dontated as a door prize to TCO for their annual Spring Party this past March.  We must have rescheduled this trip 5 times this year due to water being too high to fish but we finally got some nice flows and decided to hit it.  Nate decided to bring along his best buddy Brian.  Nothing like having two college buddies that are best of friends in the boat all day.  Let me tell ya the trash talkin started early and never let up.   All in good fun.

Nate wanted to see the mighty Lehigh and we did just that.  We put in at Lehighton and floated to Walnutport.  We covered over 12 miles of river today. Water was extremely clear with a temp around 64 degrees F in the AM and 69 degrees F when we reached Walnutport.  Flows were around 600 cfs (Lehighton).  Fishing started off hot, hitting mostly nice sized smallmouth around the 12 inch mark and some decent size fall fish on brown wooly buggers.  Trout action pick up as we made our way closer to the PA Turnpike bridge.  Fishing seemed to slow in the afternoon but we finished with a flurry of activity right before dark.  We had some caddis, isonychia and BWOs sporadically hatching all day.  Right before dark we had a fairly heavy hatch of sulphurs that brought a lot of fish to the surface.  This was great to witness for this time of year.

Today's tally was about 6 or 7 trout to the boat with some long distant releases.  Biggest fish award goes to Brain boating a beautiful 15" bow.  Nate had a big fish on just before dark but never landed it and we never got a look at it….hook pulled after a five minute battle.  All fish were fat, healthy, very colorful and most importantly RELEASED!   Great job to Nate and Brian.

Lehigh River brown prior to release

The mighty Lehigh River

Nate with a Lehigh River 'bow

September 8, 2003 - Lehigh River - Lehighton to Bowmanstown

Did a morning float on Saturday. Noticed quite a few bugs throughout the time on the water – tricos, caddis, and a few insonychias. This just goes to show the continued improvement with the water quility in the Lehigh. Tricos were swarming over just about every riff. Flows were running pretty substantial – about 1,350cfs at the Lehighton gage – with a pretty heavy Pocono Plateau tannic stain. With this type flow/clarity finding rising fish can be tough. You gotta key on the really slow areas – behind islands, eddies, or along the banks. And it was in these places we did see a few fish come up. Landed one brown on top with a brown cdc caddis. And missed a few others this way as well. Managed all other fish on buggers. In fact we got a nice looking brookie on the bugger. About a dozen smallies came to net as well - with a couple in the two pound range - fat smallies for the Lehigh. Hopefully with the cooler temps and gradually lower flows the fish begin looking up. Big water and close to home – the Lehigh. Give us a shout if you would like to check it out.  Some pics to some shortly...Nice stretch of weather coming our way for a bit - get out and enjoy. Especially the bigger waters since it has been a while since they have been fishable - ie., Lower Delaware, The Susquehanna and Juniata.

Lehigh River brownie

Lehighton put-in

A sharp lookin wild Lehigh brookie

Update - September 4, 2003

Here we go again…Streams and rivers are at record levels for the date. This just continues to be an unreal year for precip just about everywhere - with the trout and smallies getting a long rest from the pressures of being a targeted species by us fly fishers. Just think what those brownies are gonna look like in Penns next spring. However, before we get there, fall can have its rewards as well. Continue to look for isonychias, olives, October caddis - which is essentially a big-orange caddis about a size 10. I would focus underneath though, with a pair of wets - buggers (could be the fly of the year…), stone flies, hares ear, iso nymphs, caddis worms. And load'em up with weight.

The rewards of fishing Penns in the fall..

For those looking to hit the salt - keep an eye on the swell created by our friend - Fabian. From what we hear - there are lots of blues around in the Ocean City, NJ area. So as long as the food doesn't move - nor should the fish. Bait is silversides - clousers do the trick and this can be a good time to clean-out a few of those beat-up flies. Shoot us an e for more info on this…The Lehigh is pumpin' mid-60 degree water from the dam. We plan on hittin' this over the weekend - curious to see how this fared this summer…Continue to keep involved with LRSA regarding any and all news about the Lehigh.

Take a look at the above two charts, taken from the USGS site. The left one is from about a month ago and the right from today - 9.4.03...Anywhere you see a black dot means the gage is reporting a record high water level reading for that day. Anywhere you see a blue dot means the reading is in the top 10% for that day. Can we say groundwater!

Penns Report - September 2, 2003

Dean hit Penns Creek this past weekend for a couple of short fishing sessions in the catch and release area.  Caught 4 fish Sunday evening, 2- 12" browns, 1-16" Rainbow and 1- PFBC stocked fingerling (fingerlings in Penns you say?? - more on this below).  Early Monday morning brought heavy rains to the area.  The creek rose about 6” by 9 am and turned a bit off color.  Fished the lower C&R area for about 3 hrs.  8 - 12"-14" browns were brought to net and 3 more PFBC fingerlings.  Flies of choice this weekend were Isonychia and stonefly nymphs with a Nitro nymph as a trailer nymph.  90% of the fish took the Nitro.  All fish were fat - full of food and had plenty of spunk in them.  It has been a great year for this fishery. Water temps ranged from 60-65 degrees F.  Isonychia and caddis were hatching in small numbers but BWOs were most plentiful of all the bugs hatching.  Fall fishing on Penns should be spectacular.

PFBC fingerlings?  Yes our beloved PA Fish Commission stocked Penns Creek with fingerlings this past June.  The PFBC did this stocking in an attempt to increase trout populations and improve the trout fishing on Penns.  Humm??   I for one don't agree in mixing wild trout populations with stocked trout whether it be catchable size or fingerlings.  Studies prove that the two populations don't mix well.  Hopefully all the PFBC is doing is adding to the forage base for the 18"+ browns that swim in Penns.   As far as the quality of fishing in Penns, just look at our past Penns reports and the fishing has been excellent in my opinion.  We have had great outings this year catching a good quantity of fish and the quality/size of trout has been the best in many years.  Yes, Penns trout are tough to catch and don't seem to like to rise for dry flies.  If I were a trout in Penns, why would I want to rise for a dry fly and expose myself to predators when I have food drifting among the rocks and in front of me 24/7. If you put your time in, willing to cover some ground and work a bit harder to catch fish, Penns can by a very rewarding experience.  Your surroundings will speak for themselves.

If your interested in some Fall fishing give us a call or shoot us an "E".  Everything is shaping up to be a spectacular fall season.  Plenty of water, lots of active fish and don’t forget the scenery!!!!

A beautiful, well-fed Penns holdover 'bow - she ate the nitro.

Schuylkill Report - September 1, 2003

Floated the Schuylkill in the Royersford area…water clarity was great - upwards to 5' or so. Lots of small fish landed with one nice Schuylkill smallie coming to net. Finding deeper water was the key. Buggers and clousers did the trick - no topwater to speak of. The smallie in the pic took a chartreause cone-head bugger. Just as we were ending our float was when the skies opened up. Boy did it rain! And at the time of writing it looks like we are in for some more.

Russ with a nice smallie.