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31 - Salt/Vaca-Lehigh-Drakes
It is that time of year. One-half of FFPA is
out the door for the annual trip to Martha's Vineyard.
With that being the case do not look for any web activity
until late next week - you can always email
us though for real-time info. Upon return - definitely
check back for a recap! Each and every year is different
up there...some years it has been early-spring-raw,
ski-hat cold, while other years it is tropical like
hot. We've caught fish in each so it does not really
matter in the end. Who knows what this year will bring??
But if it is anything like last year, then watch out!!!
Talk about off
Prime-time sulphur season is here. Now is the time to
be on the river for this lo-light, frustrating bug.
Numerous times the water can boil with rising fish,
but yet, your dry goes untouched. This is the time to
think about swinging wet flies. Ermergers. Most like
this is what the trout are feeding on. Tie on some wets
which look sulphur-like and swing the rig at a 45-degree-angle
downstream. Add some action to the drift and wait for
the strike. This can be an extremely effective technique.
Ugh oh!?! The drakes are out in force
on Penns Creek. Big swarms of duns and spinners have
not only brought the fish to the top, but also, the
crowds are just as thick. And don't forget, the fishing
is not over on Penns once the drake hysteria subsides.
Some of the best dry fly action can take place in June
when the larger Olives begin to hatch. We
still have spots available for our June trip...check
it out. Click on the link below.
29 - Lehigh Report and YO YO Releases
On Saturday we had out David, who hails from
the Palmerton area and remembers quite well the days when the
river ran void of fish. He has always wanted to float and fish
the Lehigh, but never had the chance.Overall the fishing was
decent, but could have been a bit better though. Especially
when you factor in the water water temps. We got into about
a half dozen fish, with half of them coming to net. Browns,
rainbows, brookies and smallies rounded out the day. The highlight
of the day was the hookup with something enormous. It was tight
for about six seconds, then the hooked pulled. %^&*!!! It
was big!!! Upon further inspection of the hook and the wet fly
- the hook shank was bent! So much for Tiemco being strong.
Oh well, what can you do?. Bugs were few and far between throughout
the day. We could be between the early- season and mid-season
hatches? No risers were seen at all during the afternoon and
it was not until about 8:15pm when the Sulphurs - big ones at
that - began to pop. Shortly thereafter a few fish started rising
very inconsistently for just a few minutes. Then that was it.
Water temps have hit the 60-degree mark - peaked at about 62.
The water was a bit stained from the whitewater release. There
was a bit of debris as well. What
is YO.YO? Click here.
26 - Lehigh Pics
Pictured to the right are just a few of the nicer
fish we've landed the last few days. The river right now is
showing its true colors...there have been a plethora of bugs
throughout the day and the rising fish activity is increasing
daily - grey fox (unreal numbers!!), tan caddis, march browns,
and sulphurs, which should only get more intense, are all on
the water. Large wet flies as a dropper to a bugger have also
been producing. The coldish nights of the past week should only
extend this spring/summer's fishery. Hope for some consistant
rains and things are really looking good. If you hit it this
weekend - watch out for the release - 1,000cfs both days!
21 - Lehigh Report
We've recently been on the river. Just the other day
- we had out good friends and fishing buds - Bob, John
and Rick. They usually make a trip this time of year to
do some fly fishing...and this year they decided the Pocono
area was the place. They spent some time on smaller waters
as well as on the Big Lehigh. We did get into some fish
- trout and smallies - on the evening float, but the river
has remained relatively slow. Best action occurred on
buggers swung slow and deep thru the tails of the riffs
and into the deeper runs. Using sinking lines, flies tied
with lead and cone heads, and plenty of mending was necessary
to trigger a strike. With the continuation of higher flows,
look for nymphing and streamers/buggers to continue to
produce more so than drys.
Overall, water temps have been on a downward trend the
past two weeks, as a result of the stagnant weather pattern
we've been. However, it looks as if the pattern is slowly
changing, which hopefully will get the fish a bit more
active. Take a look at the temp chart above for the Easton
gage on the Lehigh. While this gage is pretty far downstream
from where we fish, it does tell the story of where we
are water temp wise. Hard to believe but we are looking
at water temps we saw back in the middle to end of April.
In fact release temp from Francis E Walter has consistantly
been in the mid-to-high-50s, but down where we fish it
has been in the lo-50s in the morning, and only getting
to the mid-50s during the heat of the day.
Flows have also been running at a very good clip - 1,000-1,500cfs
in the Lehighton area, which definitely makes for tough
rising fish conditions, not to mention wading. Guys have
been out though giving it a try. Bugs have been prolific.
Plenty of sulphurs, march browns, grey fox and caddis
are being observed daily. More consistent fishing should
occur any day now. Spin and bait guys have been having
Bob pictured above with a nice Lehigh smallie.
Hatching sulphurs have been prolific from
3pm on! Sunny days seem to have better hatches.
15 - Valley Creek and Upper D - West Branch
Last week we ran an evening trip with Phil over at Valley.
Phil is a really avid fly angler who travels all around PA chasing
wild trout. Best fly by far was a caddis - tan elk hair, or
even cdc/elk. Key was to get the fly really close to the bank,
and target the deeper runs/pools. By deeper I mean 2' or so.
Along with working on technique Phil got to learn a few new
locations to hit up again, where he can put to use what he learned.
For the most part the West Branch was very slow over
the weekend. And from talking to some guides, the East
Branch and Main were very tough! Some did not even touch
a fish on Saturday!! So with that said, I guess we did
ok bring about 10 fish or so to net, during only a handful
of hours on the water.
Once again the best fly was a tan caddis - #16. Caddis
was by far the most plentiful insect hatching...with only
a few hendricksons Otherwise - nothing!!! Sloooow going!
Wind was a bitch as usual, but more so on the main. Water
was a good level with some color...600cfs at Hale Eddy.
You can float at this level, but it really is borderline,
especially on a weekend, when it can become crowed with
floating rubber and fiberglass. Seriously, a min-float
cfs should be looked into. If you want to float - go to
All we got into were small fish. Which is actually great
to see! No rainbows - all browns in the 12-13" range.
The larger fish just weren't showing during the day. In
the evening we did see some nice fish begin to rise to
a hendrickson spinner fall, but, right on time, the rains
moved in and that was all she wrote.
Feisty West Branch brown
11 - Lehigh Report - Lehighton to Bowmanstown
Here is a very quick Lehigh report from this past weekend.
On Sunday Dean had out Ray for a half-dayer. Key was to target
the drop offs, slots, and troughs in the river bottom. The fish
were laying in there for the ambush...get a good drift and BAM...like
clockwork. According to Dean, they were dialed in. Many times
he said, 'GET READY,' and BAM...fish on!
Biggest went 16" - brownie. They also picked up beauty
15" bow and missed a reel-screamer. All told they picked
up about a half-dozen, and easily missed that many. Caddis pupas,
and your basic nymphs were the ticket. A few march browns hatched
sporadically, but not many risers. More reports to come! Stay
FYI...sulphurs have started on the majority of our waters.
5 - Update - Lehigh River
The Lehigh is rounding into nice form. Borderline wade-friendly
flows throughout the length of the river can be found when the
RELEASE from Francis E Walter hits the 450cfs mark. That is
about where we are at now (as of writing). And according to
the Corps, the release should drop a bit more going into the
(250-350cfs from the dam) in order to keep outflow mirroring
inflow. With this, all is shaping up for a really nice weekend!!!
Please note, by the time flows hit the Lehighton gage, which
is the gage we like to go off of when floating (graphic pasted
to the right), flows are about double what the release is from
the dam. Obviously give or take a few cfs depending on trib
influence, time of year, etc. Regardless, this is a good rule
of thumb to follow. 800cfs or less on the gage in Lehighton
is a really nice wade flow. As always though - we urge anyone
wading the Lehigh to wear studded boots and carry that wading
staff. There is a reason why this river is tops for whitewater
rafting on the east coast. It can push!!! Spend the coin on
this equipment...as it can save you from becoming a statistic.
As always wade wisely!
|We will be on the river this weekend,
so look for a report toward the beginning of next week.
Hopes are to have some rising fish, with the lower, more
rise-friendly flows. And as is usually the case with the
Lehigh, once the water nips the 60 degree mark, things
tend to get going. She is a slow starter.
2 - Lehigh Report - Walnutport to Treichlers
Over the weekend we did a stretch of water we don't usually
fish. Walnutport to Treichlers is about a 5-mile float, with
the first half having some really nice high-gradient water.
Great streamer and dry fly water. After that the water becomes
slower with a few sections of fast water, but mainly is longish
Throughout the float there was a pretty impressive tan caddis
hatch - size 12-14. We also saw a few mayflies - hendricksons.
What was really impressive, though, was the number of spent
size 18 caddis covering the water. In spots the river was coated!
Who knows...maybe they taste like garbage - which is why the
trout were not eating them.
Overall there were not many fish coming up, but we did have
a few shots. Photo'ed to the right is the nicest trout we landed.
This fish was aggressively taking caddis off the top. One cast
bam! We got a few others off the top, but really nothing to
write home about.
Streamers moved about a half dozen fish. Black and olive buggers
were the ticket along with a sinking line - 100-150 grains.
15" brown off the top.
Wade friendly water, with the big payoff.
It really seems like dry fly action on the Lehigh does not get
going until we get into May. This is what we have been finding over
the last few years. In fact looking back at last year, we did a
float May 9 and had pretty much no risers, despite flies popping.