August 2004 Report
January/February March April
May June July
2003 Reports
Please browse our previous year's reports to find out what the action was like in years past.

It looks 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.
Click 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 Lehigh. 

During the afternoon we hit a lot of smallmouth and fallfish that were of decent size, but we couldn’t 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 didn’t 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 Report

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 limestoners.

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…unless 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 on Penns.

This brown already looks like it is colored up for the fall spawn!

A super-fat 16" Penns summer brown.

Penns rainbow.

August 11, 2004 - Penns Update and other news....

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 trout water.

Penns Creek:
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.  It’s 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.

Lehigh River:
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:

Isonychia - Slate Drake

Iso emerger

Iso nymph

Iso dun

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 them out.

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 is crowded…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 the lo-down!

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 streams.

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…check it out.

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 Hoagland Branch.

Iso nymph