August 2004 Report
Please browse our previous year's reports to find out
what the action was like in years past.
like the wheels are in motion to begin implementation of a
better resource management plan for the Francis E. Walter
Reservior and the Lehigh River. We were party to a meeting
that discussed the preliminary aspects of this plan and it
is one that we are very excited about. Obviously, this is
something that has been a long time coming and it will not
be achieved overnight. If this something that concerns you
send us an email.
We will surely point you to the correct organizations who
are working to achieve this goal.
August 30, 2004 - Update
We are certainly in the dog days right now.
Even though the trout streams are in spectacular shape - due
to the above normal rainfall and somewhat coolish overnight
lows - it is really tough to take on the heat and the humidity
for marginal results. Now is the time to hit it early in the
am or right at dark. But if you are a brookie
fan...these waters should be just right.. There is not a
better way to put the chill into summer time than wet-wading
for these gems. If you do, please practice catch and release.
For a good indicator of how rain
there has been in central-PA - check out the above.
This is from the Little Juniata - near the Spruce Creek junction.
On a positive note the Upper
Delaware has been receiving a very needed cold-water
release over the past week.
We can only hopefully a consistent flow pattern is the case
for the rest of the season.
here to check out the reservoir capacities map for NYC.
We will be back at it after the
holiday weekend. Look for more Lehigh River reports.
August 20, 2004 - Lehigh River Report - Bowmanstown
to Walnutport Float
FFPA was joined by Tony Gehman, owner of TCO
fly shop, for an afternoon/evening floating yesterday on the
During the afternoon we hit a lot of smallmouth
and fallfish that were of decent size, but we couldnt
raise a trout till about 5pm when we started seeing a few rises.
Isonychias, caddis and sulphurs. Isos hatched sporadically
all day with some caddis thrown in. At dark we had sulphurs
on the water and there were a lot of fish rising. There were
heads all over!! The amount of Isos on the water was the most
we've seen since 2002 - when we got the cold water releases
mandated by the Delaware River Basin Commission. We picked a
few up on dries before dark when we would see a rise or just
blind casting in the seams/pockets. We also caught fish
on buggers when we didnt see any rising fish. All trout
were in the 12 inch range - 1 bow and the rest browns.
8-10 was the final tally.
Trout seemed very healthy and were spunky. Water
temp was 65 F in Bowmanstown at 2pm and was 68 F in Walnutport
when we took out. FYI - the release from FEW was in the 66-67
F range. Amazing how the water cools as it comes down
through the Gorge.
All in all it was a pretty impressive fishing
day for August. Lets hope we can get more coldwater all year
long down to the Walnutport area!
August 17, 2004 - Lehigh Valley Limestoner
Some business related commitments took us to
the Emmaus area last night
so of course once that was done
and out of the way we had to wet a line in one of the local
As is the common theme right now in Pennsylvania
flows and water temps were perfect and the fellow-fly
fishermen were non-existent. There was not much in the way of
top-water action, but subsurface was on fire. Hot flies were
shop-vacs, nitros, caddis pupa and worms, along with serendipities.
And be sure to add a split shop or two. Besides this is where
the big boys like to hang out.
It you can make it to your local streams, do
it!!! It does not get any better than this for August
of course you are a Hanna local. :^(
Take a look at this pellet-fed hatchery pig that
was picked up last night! On a small stream it was certainly
fun, but definitely outta place.
August 16, 2004 - Penns Update
This time each year we take a break and do what we like
to call - HARDCORE trout fishing. Our usual destination
takes us to the Upper Delaware to fish the West Branch
or Main Stem in the drift boat. Because of erratic cold
water releases the past two/three weeks and Hurricane
Bonnie and Charley moving through our area we decided
to go west and hit some Central PA waters, which did not
get the same heavy rainfall that fell on eastern/NE PA.
This weekends outting lead us to our favorite PA stream.
Let me tell you, once again it did not dissapoint us.
We got up fairly early and fished hard till the sun got
too high in the sky. For our efforts we were rewarded
with some of Penns Creeks most priceless jewels. We fished
nymphs (stonefly & isonychia patterns) for the most
part. Evenings lead to a few risers and some fish caught
on dries. Water temps and flows were perfect with
clairity improving as the weekend progressed. The weather
was extremely fishing friendly. Perfect weekend
all around. With this summers wet weather
pattern, we are looking foward to what Fall will bring
This brown already looks like it is colored
up for the fall spawn!
A super-fat 16" Penns summer brown.
August 11, 2004 - Penns Update and
We had a few trips this week canceled
because of high water, one on the Tully and one on the
Susquehanna this past weekend. This cancelation
allowed for us to get out and hit some of our states best
You know it is a good water year when you catch fish like
this in August. Dean was out on Penns this weekend and
did very well nymphing the pockets, seams and heads of
the deep pools. Water temp was 57 degrees and the
flow was perfect for this time of year. The fish
have been well fed this summer and fall should be a special
time of year to be on the water.
Flows are beginning to drop but water is still a bit high
yet for the fly angler. Clarity is going to be the
issue for the next few weeks. The east side is still
very dirty and the west is beginning to clear up to a
nice flow. Currently the White Flies are in full
swing. Its a shame the water is so dirty because
this hatch is a must to experience. While driving
up to Penns on Friday night, Dean witnessed many flies
over the water and some being blown onto the highway to
meet their unfortunate death.
Flows are real nice right now. Tricos are in full swing
but one must get on the water early to catch this hatch.
Water temps are a bit on the high side (70 degrees) coming
from Blue Marsh. Check with TCO
for best locations but we would advise fishing the downstream
areas from Plum and Cacoosing Creeks.
Flows were about perfect this weekend and temps have really
come down due to the cold nights. Have not heard
much as of late. Dean may be out on the water one
evening this week if the weather holds. Look for
Isonychias in the AM and PM as well as a few caddis, small
BWOs and summer sulphurs should start hatching soon during
the evening hours. Spinner falls of Isos could happen
at any time so be aware of those during the evening hours.
This river has benefited from our above average rainfall
this year and there was only a two week period in the
beginning of July in which the trout were stressed.
All this rain means a good fall fishing season is in store
for those looking to hit the water.
This coming up weekend we are scheduled to be out on
our favorite central PA limestoners and possibly even
a few freestoners. As long as the rain stays on the mellow
side we should be ok. Hopefully Bonnie stays away.
Get out and enjoy this fine water year!!!
A 15" Penns brown.
A 16" Penns brown.
A 17" Penns brown.
Prime nymphing water. This is the water
color we look for. This type of water means well fed-fish.
I think that is quite evident!
August 9, 2004 - UPDATE
Just check out these flows for August!
Pictured at right is the past 30 days of flows measured
on Penns Creek. This is really fantastic stuff for all
of our free-flowing streams and rivers. Especially so
for the natives and wilds that inhabit them. No stress
this year - that is for sure.
We should be in for a fantastic season
of fall fishing. And as always with an outing in the fall
be sure you are fully stocked with all stages of Isonychias.
Take a look at what we like to carry or variations of:
- Slate Drake
August 4, 2004 - UPDATE
We are back from Yellowstone Country and
whatta trip it was! Lots and lots of fish landed in some
of the most beautiful scenery anywhere. Streams we fished
included the Madison, Slough, Gallatin and the Yellowstone.
Unfortunately, as has been pretty well documented the
eastern streams were blown out - these included the Soda
Butte and the Lamar. We only drove by these and scouted
Out of all the streams the Madison and
the Gallatin were the best. Big fish on both nymphs and
dries provided consistent action each day we fished the
Madison. Crowds were not really that bad - you just need
to use your two legs to get away from the access points.
I just do not get it how people claim that the Madison
there is so much water it is sickening.
It makes any fly fisher from the east coast envious.
Flies of choice for subsurface action
on the Maddie included crystal serendipities, nitros,
shop vacs, caddis worms along with a heavy stonefly or
beefy hare's ear as the lead fly. Load up on the shot
too. On top we found the Epeorus hatch each evening
towards dark along with some decent dry fly action with
size 20 tan caddis around the two famous bridges below
Quake Lake. PMDs were also about each day. However, the
fish did not seem to pay attention to these. Actually,
the fly that produced the biggest fish on top was a size
14 red-brown spinner during the lo-light hours. You just
gotta poke around in the waning sunlight for the hogs!
They are there!! And for you hopper freaks - these have
just started to scatter about in the meadows, but they
are not on the water just yet. Any day now I guess.
Shoot us an email
if you are heading out this way...we will give you
This beefy brown took a red-brown spinner
and proceeded to hammer downstream close to 100 yards.
A blown-out Soda Butte where it meets the
Lamar. Double check with the shops before you
drive to this area. However, not all the shops in West
Yellowstone always have
a good idea as to the conditions on these eastern Yellowstone
Your about average Madison River rainbow.
The Madison is where it at though
if you ask me
. no reason to go anywhere else. Big
water, big fish!
What more can you ask for?!?
The Yellowstone River was a little of
a downer - it fished well right at the opening of the
season, but that was short lived. A combo of some low-flows
over the past few spawning seasons, along with the serious
chow-down being done by the Lakers (75,000 have been killed
so far) combined with the presence of whirling disease
has really affected this fishery. There certainly was
no lack of bugs though. Yes, there were fish to be found,
but they were spotty. Other than that - the only stream
inside the park worth fishing was the Gallatin. We ran
into some great attractor dry action during the day -
humpies, adams and stimulators. And at night we had fantastic
spinner falls - all fish ate a red-brown parachute. Just
seek out a pool - if you can find one and look for the
risers. That is when the little ones go to sleep and the
big boys come out.
Around PA the rain train rolls on. We've had
blown out trips on the 'Hanna and our local trout waters. Actually,
we might as well write off the 'Hanna for the rest of the month
at this rate. Shades of last year for sure. You might as well
forget about the white fly (ephoron leukon) on the 'Hanna.
It is actually pretty amazing how similar this year is to last
year at this time
One area of the state we have been able
to hit up in the last week of so in the Loyalsock area.
If you're up for an excursion, check it out.
On the open water, water temps were 65-70 degrees. Recent
rains have turned water a bit stained, but two rainbows
were picked up on a black wooly bugger. No fish were rising.
Also got into one smallmouth - about 12". Had one
big fish take the entire rig - it slammed the bugger.
Noticed a really impressive 4-5lb/24-25" walleye
picked up on bait. On the Delayed-Harvest
stretch seven browns and bows were picked up. All
fish were colored real nicely with the biggest fish being
a 17" brown. There were about that many fish missed
as well. All fish took a dry/dropper - Iso dun/nymph rig..
Both took fish equally.This water is very impressive,
long deep pools and heavy runs for the most part. Cobble
stone bottom with some big boulders thrown in for good
measure. Beautiful country! Hoagland Branch came up lame
- there were no fish seen in the deep pools. If hitting
up this area concentrate on the bigger water.
A good friend of ours throwin on the