October 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.
October 29, 2004 - Lehigh
As stated above, there
is definitely going to be a new management plan for Francis
E Walter and the Lehigh River in 2005. While we feel this is
a great start, this plan is far from what we consider optimal.
For a complete overview of the plan we are backing and pushing
for - click
here. Look for details of the Army Corps plan in the coming
days and weeks, as it will become public knowledge.
We look at this development
as the beginnings of a renewed working relationship between
the Army Corps and the stakeholders who utilize the Lehigh on
a daily basis. Certainly the potential is there for the Lehigh
to become one of the best tailwaters on the east coast - if
not the best!
Changing gears....It is hard to believe that
October is almost over! By
this time last year the salt had blown wide open. However,
that is far from the case this year - as it has pretty much
sucked up until now! The beachfront migration has been pretty
much unfishable due to a two-week easterly flow which has wreaked
havoc along the beach front. For about a week stretch even the
guys that chuck clams could not fish - as the clammers could
not even get out.
What we need is a good NW flow to finally kick
in to knock the surf down, clean it up and get the bait oriented
in the right direction. Once that happens you can bet we will
be back at it. The fall migration is something you do not want
to miss...and hopefully this year we get some killer days in
November to make up for what we've missed out on so far.
Look for us to maybe be back out on the Lehigh
this weekend as warmer temps may have stimulated some movement
in the lethargic fish we found last weekend.
October 24, 2004 - Lehigh River Report
There is a good chance our Sunday float was our last
for the year. Water temps are cold - 46 degrees at Palmerton,
and the bug life is sporadic. We did get a few good wraps
on our buggers but we did not land anything during our
morning float. Scenery was gorgeous, as the trees are
almost at peak up that way, but the weather was pretty
raw and dreary. Toward the end of the float we came across
one bank feeder, but we could not fool him either. It
was a tough day on the water.
Next up will be the salt - that is if this stubborn NE
fetch ever stops. Last year at this time we were slayin
a great time to be on the water!
October 18, 2004 - Tulpehocken Creek Report
On Saturday we had a group of four out
on the Tully. Originally we were to float the Lehigh,
but Mother Nature would have nothing to do with that as
she deposited a pretty hefty dose of rain up in the Lehigh
Gorge area. So combine that with an already above normal
release pattern from FE Walter Reservoir and we were blown
That led us to Plan B! And all in all
the day turned out great. The group we had out was from
all over the US - Tennessee, Wisconsin, Ohio and Arkansas-
they were in Philly attending the 17th National Conference
for Lawyer Assistance Programs. Sometime ago it was decided
they wanted to do some fly fishing while in town.
The day started out fast with numerous
hook-ups and landed fish by both Gail and Stephen. All
the fish landed out of this first run were rainbows...and
one was even loaded up with eggs. This is further proof
the PFBC stocky bows are genetically engineered to spawn
in the fall, just like browns and brookies. None of these
fish were huge, but all were beautiful. Shell got a fish
on her first cast and Scott, who tried his luck with a
spinning rod at the beginning of the day hooked a few,
but did not land any.
After a quick break for lunch, we relocated
to another stretch. It was quickly evident that the action
had slowed a bit, but we did manage a few more fish...one
of which by Gail was an 18" sucker!! We were hoping
for a big brown, with the way it dogged and refused to
come up off the bottom, but it was not to be.
Stephen rounded out the day with another
brown and smaller rainbow, with parr marks and we even
got the fly rod into Scott's hand by the end of the day.
Not sure if we converted him, but we tried. Maybe next
time we will have throwin the whole time?
group pictured above (l>r): Steven, Gail, Shell and
Steven with a nicely colored-up Tully rainbow.
Pictured above shows why we had to bail
out on the float Saturday. Beginning about right at midnight
- Friday night - the lake level shot
up in sudden, tropical-like downpour style. This illustrates
how all the tribs that feed the LR down in the gorge faired.
Add to this the tribs below the gorge and you've got blownout
it was a great outing with a fantastic group...there were
lots of laughs, no one fell in and we were able to show
them just what fly fishing in PA is all about. We hope
to host them again if their travels bring them to PA again.
Effective patterns for us
were caddis pupas - both with and without beads, caddis
worms, nitros and even the good 'ole san juan worm. All
flies were sizes 14-18 - mostly tied on scud style hooks.
Adding some split shot was key, since the fish seemed
to be holding deep. When we first arrived there were swarms
of tricos, but you can forget about that as the fish were
in no mood to look up. Even the bouncing caddis that were
quite plentiful could not bring up the fish in any sort
of consistency. You would not be maxing out on your time
if you threw dries. take
that you dry fly fishing elistest snobs!!!! that means
October 17, 2004 - Tulpehocken Creek
Yesterady, early on the trout were on
the feed, looking for caddis worms/pupas/emergers. Once
the mid-day hours rolled around hook-ups became tough.
Go with caddis pupas, caddis emergers, and nitros. Our
group did very well despite the highwater, rainy/blustery
conditions. Look for more a detailed report later.
October 12, 2004 - Lehigh River Float
Dean put in a half-day float on Saturday
with two fishing buddies - Karl and Bob. Beautiful fall
day, leaves are about 30% full-glory and water levels
at a nice level for floating - 1400cfs at the Lehighton
gauge. Water temp was 55.
Subsurface flies were the offering of
the today. There was not much in the way of bug activity
- a few caddis and a few small BWOs, but not enough to
get the fish up off the bottom. Overall what Karl and
Bob lacked for in numbers, they made up for in size. Whoever
said size doesn't matter?!?! Bob hooked a real nice female
brown in the range of 18-20" to get things started.
The fish was fat and likely full of eggs, getting ready
to spawn. Bob played the fish like a pro, but as soon
as the net got near, she gave one big shake and popped
the hook. Not soon after Karl hooked into a sweet rainbow
that gave him all he could handle. After a 10 min or so
she came to net. Whatta great fish!!! That was pretty
much the action for the day - except for the jokes and
trash talking. Oh
and by the way, if you walk the
banks of the river, check the trees. Bob so nicely decided
to do some decorating with about a dozen buggers. Way
to go guys - Great time on the river as always!!
Karl hoisting a hefty Lehigh River rainbow.
October 5, 2004 - UPDATE
It is hard to believe, but the '04 season is coming to a quick
end. This week much of the state will see its first frost, and
many of the more rural locations will have a killing freeze.
This pattern looks to be short-lived though, with Indian-Summer
type weather coming toward weeks end. We are still experiencing
run-off as a result of the tropical rains, even on the smallest
of waters. If you are able to get out - bug life might on the
slow side, but be on the lookout for some olives, caddis and
maybe even a few Isos. Streamers and subsurface flies are probably
your best bet.
Of course we always have the saltwater, salmon and steelies
to keep us busy. However, as of late the saltwater action has
been non-existent. Weather and water conditions have tough.
We've seen lots of bait - mostly mullet along the beachfront,
but there have not been any predators of size on it - only smaller
bluefish up to 20". Usually mid-October is when it busts
wide open. Next run of baitfish to start pouring out of the
back bays will be the bunker. If anyone is looking for some
input on this fantastic fishery - shoot us an email.
Check out some of our action
from last year.
Basics of Saltwater Fly Fishing:
8-10 weight rods, matched-up with either an intermediate or
a sinking 200-400 grain line. The sinking lines enable you to
get down in the current or deepest of holes. A good quality
reel with decent drag is also a must. Saltwater fly fishing
does not require near the precision that freshwater trout fishing
- so keep that in mind. But your need to be able to throw line
effectively. Flies are all the usual suspects - clousers, deceivers
and Popovics Jiggies. Go with chartreause, white, olive, yellow
and combinations of all. And don't forget the stripping basket
- either make one yourself or buy a pre-fab.