April 2004 Report
Please browse our previous year's reports
April 30, 2004 - UPDATE
Now is the time us fly fisherman have been waiting for!!!
The Tully is fishing really well. Flows have come down to a
nice level and the caddis have been active. Look for this action
to continue and only increase, as water temps have been on the
For the readers out there who fish waters that have the march
brown hatch - check out this pattern.
Now is the time to start throwing the subsurface imitation.
Next time you are on the stream take a look at the rocks
if you do not see any march browns; you at least have a good
indicator as to what is going on. Learn those bugs!
Penns Creek is on tap for this weekend. Chances are there will
be some Hendrickson spinners still undulating about. When we
fish over this hatch we like to throw a parachute pattern. In
the waning light this type of pattern tends to aid in silhouette.
And don't forget that headlamp!
This is also prime time for Valley Creek. Dry and a dropper
is an effective rig for this stream.
Unfortunately as of late the Lehigh has been untouchable. High
flows and erratic releases are making for some really tough
conditions. Right now on the Upper Delaware River System they
are addressing extremely similar management issues which plague
the Lehigh as well. One of which is rapid fluctuation in releases.
Step-down/up releases would be much more effective and less
harmful to the river ecosystem. To learn more about the Lehigh
River - send us an email.
Also, take a look at the Lehigh
River Stocking Association - LRSA.
April 26, 2004 - Penns Creek Update
|A group of us hit up Penns
over the weekend. During the day it seemed the fish really
hunkered down and did not move. Pretty much seeking shelter
down underneath a rock. Some fish were able to be fooled
though, on an assortment of nymphs, and buggers. Hard-wading,
some serious angler determination and a well-executed presentation
seemed more important than the fly on the end of your line
when it came to nymphing.
However, at certain times there were enough
bugs on the water to bring up some fish. Hatching insects
noticed were grannoms, olives (vagans) and hendricksons.
Red-brown spinners were also around in good numbers. Continue
to look for all of these over the next week or so, but
they might begin to wane. The grannoms actually seemed
to be more into the egg laying stage, but with this coolish
weather, the hatching may linger on and be quite good.
Then again we may have some higher flows coming our way.
Really there are too many variables involved to even begin
to predict what might happen at a given time. Bottom line
is if you are hitting Penns, have all these patterns in
your box and the nymphs to go with them. And around the
corner we have the march browns and the grey fox. Some
trout have already started to take to these patterns.
Our Patterns Page
has a really effective march brown nymph.
Every fish that was caught and released
was just beautiful. Many fish were in the 10"-13"
range with every inch being hit (some 4+ times) from there
on up to an unofficial 19"+.
Water flows were in the average
cfs for this time of yeat at - 550-700. Water temps ranged
from 51-56 degrees and it had that typical limestone green
This action bodes well for
our Penns Weekend coming up this weekend.
14" Penns Creek brown
Male hendrickson spinner
April 21, 2004 - Update
The hendricksons (Ephemerella subvaria)
have started to hatch on the Lehigh. We even saw a few quill
gordons (Epeorus pleuralis). Your basic adams is an effective
pattern for either of these guys, but with the higher flows
over the past week or so the fish have had a hard time looking
up. When they are though they have been keying on the numerous
tan caddis bouncing about. Little black stones are also coming
off in decent numbers. Best bet is to go underneath, buggers
Keep an eye out for Penns
Creek updates in the coming weeks. Flows are at fantastic
levels and the grannoms are just around the corner. From there
it only gets better. Check out our reports
from last year.
April 17, 2004 - Update
|This guy has the right idea for
opening day weekend. Could not ask for better weather, therefore
the bugs should be coming off in big numbers. Water levels
are perfect, and coming down off of the high flows over
the last few days. We hopefully should be seeing the start
of the crane flies and caddis on Valley - which is usually
timed with the blooming of yellow buttercups that carpet
the bottomlands. The Army Corp has also let up on the release
coming out of FEW dam. Prime time for the Lehigh is just
around the corner. Check out 'LRSA-Dedicated
to the Restoration of the Lehigh River,'' for info on
all the big things happening with the Lehigh River
Penns Creek by next week ought to be flowing at prefect nymphing
levels. It will take on that limestone, blue-green look, and
if the sun is out - which it looks like it will be, you better
fish underneath. Grannoms are just around the corner. Then we
start the progression of mayflies.
We've got a full house for the 5.1-2.04
Penns trip, but we've got some openings for the 5.23-24.04
FFPA/TCO Spring/Penns trip (here
is last year's report) and the 6.12-13.04
Penns Weekend. For the 6.12-13 trip - the BWOs
should be coming off in full force. Check'em out!!!
The shad and the salt will also get a nice kick-in-the-butt
from this heat. And the Weakies
just a couple of weeks away. Deer Creek guys are just now getting
into the hickory shad. If you have never tried this - you gotta!!!
Micky finns or a red over yellow marabou streamer will the trick.
Also, as taught to me by the "local angler," go with
those four foot lengths of sinking tip. Then rig that on your
four weight. As with most migratories, focus on those nasty
weather days. Shoot us an email to book a trip or if you need
Regulation Change - Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only (DHALO):
Some of you may be aware of a proposed regulation
change the Pennsylvania Fish Commission is currently seeking
public input on. In our mind this proposed change is a complete
failure on their part to manage our trout waters as effectively
Let me put it this way - if you are one of
the many fly fisherman who enjoys fishing the trico hatch on
the Tully, then this could be a potentially fatal blow. The
regulation being proposed would allow bait fishing during the
delayed-harvest time (June 15-Labor Day) on all DHALO waters
throughout the state. This would without a doubt serverely decrease
fish populations on many of the waters we cherish and look forward
to fishing during the heat of the summer and into the fall due
to the management policy that is currently in place. These are
streams which have had a lot of work performed on them by local
Trout Unlimited chapters, all of which could be taken away in
one summer. These are waters that have been set aside to protect
the fishery from the assured over-harvesting that comes with
bait fishing. Trout waters of this state, under the current
DHALO regulation, that can support wild trout, holdovers and
streambred trout do not deserve this type of management policy.
We ask any and all anglers to please submit a note to the PFBC
explicitly stating your disapproval of this regulation change.
Please email your opposition to the Pennsylvania
Fish Commission: email@example.com
April 14, 2004 - Update
Better get those hooks sharpened on those buggers
looks like Opening Day is gonna have some high water. Check
out our Patterns Page for our go
to bugger pattern. Just like last year, the brown bugger has
been producing for us. Click here
to keep an eye on your favorite open water. Most waters have
come up significantly. They have even started releasing water
on the Lehigh. Hopefully things settle down for the weekend.
And for all those streams that get heavily stocked, this rain
is great for spreading out the fish. Hit the pocket-water, and
all the little basketball size holes.
Here is a prime example of pocket-water.
April 11, 2004 - Lehigh River
We noticed even more little black stones on Saturday.
During the heat of the day is when they became most active.
At times they were pretty thick, with some skittering
about on the water and even more being tossed around by
the wind. A few more degrees in water temp is what we
need to get the fish looking up. And now we have some
needed rain moving in....gonna have to wait and see what
it brings condition wise for our streams and rivers.
We also noticed the local PF&BC WCOs making their
rounds. It was nice to see them out and about, protecting
April 9, 2004 - Lehigh River
First float of the year on the Lehigh.
Water temp was 50 and emerald green in color instead
of the usual Lehigh tannic. CFS in Lehighton
was about 900, which is below-average for this time of
year.All action was sub-surface - buggers, and nymph droppers
were the most effective. We hit up the banks and seams.
And being able to get your fly down quick was key. The
fish definitely were a little lethargic. All told between
two boats, about 15 fish were moved, 5 of which came to
net. Best fish of the day is the bow to the right. It
smacked a bugger.
Bugs noticed - quill gordons, little black stones, olives,
blue quills, midges and even a few caddis.
Look for the fishing to only get better.
Early-season April Grey.
Lehigh River brown.
This coming up holiday weekend have us slated to be on the Lehigh
River. This will kick-off our float season on this big tail water.
Interestingly enough the flows on the Lehigh are extremely tame
for this time of year, but still very cold. Temperature reading
just below the Francis E. Walter Reservoir is only in the low
to mid-40s. The combo of the coldwater release, mountain feeders
and the shaded Lehigh River Gorge means it takes a very long time
for this river to warm up. Most likely slow and deep wooly buggers
and sucker spawn will be the ticket. But you never know. Which
is what makes fly fishing great!!
April 6, 2004 - Update
Even with the 1,400cfs flow on Penns this past weekend;
the blue wing olives were hatching. This hatch signals
the beginning of the spring hatches on this limestoner.
As the water recedes and warms look for more insect life
to begin stirring - ultimately leading up to the grannoms.
But don't look for these guys anytime soon. We still have
a few weeks to go yet. Certainly one nice thing about
the high flows is the water clarity. Unlike some years,
Penns is flowing that nice, limestone-green...so with
no deluges in the forecast look for the slow-drop to continue
as the feeders continue their run-off.
Penns Creek looking up toward the lower-end
of the Catch and Release Section This photo was taken
with the water at roughly 1,400cfs.
Be sure to checkout the updated Featured
Stream section. We've added the Tulpehocken and Valley Creek.
Two very important and unique fisheries located here in SE PA.
If you have any questions or would like to book a trip - send
us an email.