June 2004 Report
Please browse our previous year's reports to find out
what the action was like in years past.
25, 2004 - Lehigh and Susquehanna
Fly Fish PA would to extend a thank you to the Great Swamp Rod
& Gun Club for allowing us to speak to them about the fantastic
Lehigh River fishery. On the topic list was an overview of hatches,
flows and how to interpret them and the effective means to fish
the river. During the Q&A we went into some detail about all
the barriers that are currently in place, which prevent the Lehigh
below FEW to become, in our minds, a world-class fishery - unlike
anything on the East Coast!
Feel free to email us if you would like to learn
more about the issues at hand. Just think
a big brawling
western style river with potentially 40 miles of cold-water.
You know as of posting - the West Branch of
the Delaware at Hancock is running 21.2c, meanwhile, the Lehigh
below FEW, with just 30-40 feet of water being held, is running
19.8c. Cannonsville is more than 100 feet deep! And which one
is the $30+ million industry? Go figure!!!
Changing gears - Finally after how many months??
- the Susquehanna is slowly coming down to wadeable levels and
fly fishing friendly flows. At the Harrisburg gage the height
is at 4.10'. We still got a little more to go, but from what
I understand the west shore is clear to greenish in color. So
if we can get the weather to cooperate a bit we are getting
Be sure to BOOK now if you are interested in
a Susquehanna smallie trip. Look for us to hit the water in
June 24, 2004 - UPDATE
Steve posing with a very nice Lehigh smallie.
On Monday Dean had out father and son,
Rod and Steve on the Lehigh. The trip was a father's
day gift from Steve to his father. You could not ask
for better conditions for an evening float! Temps were
perfect with low humidity. From what Dean reported they
started out with buggers which produced a really nice
14 inch rainbow for Steve. The fish really had some
spunk to it and was in great condition. They continued
to miss a few more fish fish on buggers and then Rod
and Steve started to hit a few bass. At one point they
had double-header. Size of the smallies ranged from
10-13 inches - which is a size that can really put a
bend in the rod!
Toward the take-out and lower light conditions
there were a lot of targets, however the fish rose with
little consistency and were extremely finicky. Not a
large quantity of bugs hatching, but quite a variety.
BWOs (#18), caddis (#16), Iso's (#12), micro caddis
(#24) and light cahills (#14). Water temp was 69 degrees.
An extremely heathly looking Lehigh rainbow.
On Sunday Dean took a little Father's
Day float with his Dad. He reports that the action was
slow by Lehigh standards. There was not too much bug activity
- just a few caddis hatching here and there. Dean's dad
got off the skunk of the back first with a decent brown
caught by blind casting a dry fly. That was the only trout
for the AM. Dean proceeded to connect with three smallmouth
on wooly buggers. One smallie topped out at the 15"
mark and was extremely fat. Water temp at 9AM was 62 degrees
and at 1pm was 64 degrees. Great weather made the special
day even better!
Lex is giving this one the once over!
June 20, 2004 - Lehigh River
On Saturday we had out Bob and Karl for an evening trip
on the Lehigh. Both of these guys are well versed in casting
technique so it was more a matter of a good presentation.
The first hour or so was spent tossing buggers along the
banks and in the deeper pools.
Right before our first rapid Bob hooked up with a beefy
fish that we never saw. It went from one side of the boat,
under the boat and out the other side. His 5wt was maxed
out!! Then the hook pulled and that was all she wrote,
except for the big fish stories that followed. Not long
after Bob hooked-up again with a really nice brown in
the 16-18" range that also pulled the hook.
At about 7:30 or so we ran into some rising fish. They seemed
to be on Cahills, but there were also some olives on the water
as well. With the stiff north wind casting west on the compass
was tough for the righties. It didn't seem to matter though
since Karl made a really nice cast and landed a colored-up rainbow.
From there it was a slow pic. The surface action seemed to
wane and the winds began to howl! It turned into a really cool
- almost summer-solstice eve.
19, 2004 - Lehigh River Blowout!
Lately we have been having some issues with the weather.
It seems that whenever we have a Lehigh float, we get
hammered the night before by one of the sultry downpours
we have been having.Yesterday was no different
so with the Lehigh running stained we headed over to the
If you have never fished this textbook tailwater - then
do yourself a favor and hit it up. There is certainly
nothing better than a heavy 3-5pm-sulphur hatch and lots
of rising fish to boot. Flows were perfect and the water
was downright cold!! The action was reminiscent of the
West Branch, but without all the baggage.
Mid-day there was some caddis action. We had success
with your standard elk hair and a nitro
dropper. But as soon as the sulphurs started the fish
were on them big time! Either an emerger or a dun would
do the trick. Go with a pattern that is very yellow or
borderline orange - check out the pics to the right. Just
imagine if FEW and the lower Lehigh were managed similarly
to Beltzville Reservoir and the Pohopoco tailwater
now is the time for change!!!!!
June 13, 2004 - Lehigh River
|On Saturday Jake had out Ed -
who is simply an awesome fly tier and a very accomplished
fly angler! When it came to dry fly time we were covered
due to his arsenal!! When all was said and done Ed finished
just about at double digits. As the day went on the action
definitely picked up, but during the daytime hours it was
tough. We had a few bumps and a follow as we worked streamers.
There is currently a good amount of large olives - #14
- during the late afternoon/evening - followed-up with
some cahills. A few large stones were also about. Highlight
was an all-out micro-caddis (#22) hatch right at dark.
Saw three other drift boats along the way
we had the river to ourselves. Just upstream from us it
was chaos due to the whitewater release this weekend.
River temps were great - right around 65 for the entire
day...this is water coming from a depth of only 30-40'!
Think what it would be like at a depth of 150'!!
Ed with an avgerage size 'bow.
This one made the drag sing!
Dan about to let one go.
Also on Saturday Dean had
out father and son duo, Dan and son Colin. Both are relatively
new to the sport and were looking to refine their skills.
Much to Colin's dislike, dad dragged him out of bed to
meet up at the Red Bridge Park by 8 am. We worked on some
casting techniques and went over some literature before
hitting the water.
At about 9 am the green body caddis (14-18) started hatching
in fair numbers. The hatch was not as heavy as it has
been the past few weeks, but it still brought up a fair
amount of fish. Within the first 1/2 hour Colin was the
first to hook-up, but the fish threw the hook after a
40 second battle. Then Dan hooked up and landed with a
nice, spirited 12" 'bow. After a few more minutes
Colin had a take from a brown that was likely in the 15"
range. Still being a little groggy from the early morning
wake-up-call, the hook-set was a bit late. Then around
10 am, the caddis shut down and fishing got really tough.
We moved upstream to the "road-to-nowhere" bridge.
Dan proceeded to miss a couple of fish on a dry/dropper
rig. All the while Colin's energy level was beginning
to fade rapidly and he had trouble pulling up a fish.
Weather was superb to say the least, just wish the bugs
and fish cooperated a bit more. Hopefully the learning
experience of having time on the Water will help them
on future outings. Actually, the fishing was just a bonus
for Colin's dad, the morning together made it a successful
June 9, 2004 - Martha's Vineyard
As usual the Vineyard does not disappoint. We got into lots
of fish, but they certainly lacked the size that we have seen
in years past. Most fish were in and around the 18-22"
range. All the usual spots produced out on Chappy - but it was
just a matter of figuring out which tide was best. The wind
was not the best over the time frame we were there, but we made
the most of it. Biggest bass on the fly went 28" and most
blues were in the 3-7 pound range. At night though we did stick
some pigs, but were unable to move them outta the current.
Now on the other hand - the fishing out in the rips by boat
has been SICK!!! Lots of squid around and they were marking
many fish - all of them were big. Numerous fish in the 20#+
. so if you are heading on up that way, you should
see some great fishing. Most of the up-island spots should be
producing well. It is really a shame this trip goes by in such
As for PA - the Lehigh continues to have very good water
temps, along with decent flows. The cool shot of air over
the weekend really did wonders, and it looks like once
we get by the heat on Wednesday, we should once again
drop or at least hold the water temps steady. Actually,
it is hard to believe that as of writing, the West Branch
of the Delaware is 70 degrees at Hale Eddy, meanwhile
the Lehigh is running in the low to mid-60s.. Lets hope
the planned talks by TPTB (ACE,
take place and a better fisheries management plan can
be put into place. FYI - this weekend is a whitewater
here for FEW water release temps.
As the summer progresses look for us to start hitting
the Susquehanna. Lets hope it not a repeat of last summer,
where it was essentially a wash. Mid-July on into August
can be a really great time on the 'hanna.
An average size bass.
Great Black-backed Gull
June 2, 2004 - Penns Creek!
Penns right now is blowing up with bugs!!!
The drakes are over except in the extreme upper reaches,
but the coffins are still around. On top of that we've
been seeing caddis, cahills, isonychias, olives, stonflies,
grey fox spinners and sulphurs. Look for the latter to
be sizes 14-18 - dorthea, invaria and rotunda. The sulphur
spinners are also out. Conditions are perfect right now
and this past weekend saw lots of dry fly action. Penns
may not be the easiest stream...you gotta put in your
The HUGE coffin fly
Sulphurs and an iso spinner
reports are gonna take a hiatus until the middle of next
week due to a Martha's Vineyard Trip.