May 2007 Report
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^^Please check out our archives^^
Be sure to check out our Penns
Open Lehigh dates
are slim to none at this point. We've had considerable interest
and bookings came in quickly. You can email
and we will do our best to accommodate.
30 - West Branch Delaware
The holiday weekend took one half of FFPA to
the Upper Delaware. With the main stem being too
warm, the West Branch was the river of choice.
All in all the fishing was not too bad. You certainly
had to work for the fish in the mid-day hours,
but if you really worked the deeper runs and slots,
there were fish eager to pounce on a fly. Water
temps never got much higher than 64f - even in
the heat of the day - and boy was it hot! Water
temp was measured just downstream of Balls Eddy.
It is a shame more water is not being released,
but it is what it is.
Over the course of two-days of fishing, four
flies produced fish - and in fact these are the
only four flies used the entire weekend. Underneath,
brown imitation worked, along with a 16-18
flashback pheasant tail which was overly effective.
The fish pic'ed to the right absolutely smoked
a FBPT. The indicator lurched upstream, signaling
the take and after that, it was off to the races!
First it was upstream, through the current, than
in an instant, it was racing downstream like a
torpedo! This thing was pissed! Finally I was
able to beach it. On top, the go-to flies were
either a red-brown - size 12 and a sulphur - size
16. Both of these patterns were tied parachute.
Throughout the day there was a steady trickle
of march browns and grey fox - but nothing was
really looking up in the bright sun conditions.
The low-light really brought out the sulphurs,
however the majority of the rising fish looked
to be chasing the emergers. Even with this being
the case, the red-brown fooled a few during the
hatch, and even more once the sun went down. The
fish must have then switched to the spinners that
were on the water.
We will have a Lehigh report later in the week.
Until then, send good vibes to the rain gods!
21" brown that ate a flashback pheasant tail.
25 - Update
Enjoy the long weekend and holiday. We look to hit the Lehigh
and possibly the Upper D - water/weather pending - look for
some feedback early next week. Hope you can get out and wet
Happy Memorial Day!
24 - Update
On our most recent trips to some of our
larger trout waters - - we've been having a lot of success
with large - #8-12 hares ear style wetflies. Our version
we call the Maddie Wet. All this pattern
consists of is essentially a lot of hares ear dubbing
- the buggier the better. Partridge for the collar,
along with a gold rib. Make sure there is some lead
wrapped in - a dozen wraps will work. You can whip these
up in no time. Give it a shot! Great early-season emerging
Salt hook-up from this past weekend.
Bass and blues are around for the motivated shorebound
Thread: Olive or Green 6/0
Tail: Pheasant Tail
Rib: Gold Wire
Body: Hares Ear Dubbing
21 - Lehigh Report - Lehighton to Bowmanstown
Over the weekend we had out Ralph and Bob from the Lancaster
area. Both are extremely accomplished anglers. Once we went
through the basics of drift boat fishing and how to fish the
bugger and wet combo - Lehigh style - we immediately began to
get some swipes. Even though we had quite a few bugs - caddis,
sulphurs, olives and march browns - we had to resort to heavily
weighted buggers w/ shot and/or sinking lines, along with a
march brown wet trailer. Both of these flies produced...but
the bugger produced big time - with Ralph landing a legit 18"
By far the most productive means of fishing was to anchor
up and really work the water with the set-up mentioned above.
You had to cast far, throw a big mend to get the fly down, and
work it with some action. The coldwater-low-to-mid-50s - is
probably the reason for the mainly subsurface affair to this
date. Our experience shows that the Lehigh needs to consistently
hit and hang it low-60F range for trout to really look up with
any sense of regularity. So far it has not done this. Not to
mention having rise friendly flows - which today we just barely
Ralph with his beauty of a rainbow. He played
it to perfection!!
Besides this fish, each angler had a few other bows and mised
couple of others - - not to mention some follows.
Water was clear - good for visuals.
|One other item....and
this is kinda BS - the Corps upped the release from Walter on
Friday afternoon to close to 200cfs above inflow. Technically
outflow should equal inflow at this time of year when the lake
is already at 1,365', and we are not having a whitewater event.
This past weekend was not a whitewater weekend and 315cfs was
coming into the lake and more than 515cfs was being released.
All anglers should really let the Corps
know that this type of 'whitewater' release is not good stakeholder
management and it goes against their published rule-curve! Note...as
of Wednesday of this past week - the release was projected to
be 200-300cfs for the weekend, then between 1-2pm (a reader let
us know the time since he was on the water and caught in the sudden
rise!) Friday, the water got raised to 519cfs - and on Sat pm
it goes back to where it was on Friday before the bump. Hmmmm.......
17 - Lehigh Report
Just a few days ago, Dean got a free pass from his daytime
Environmental Inc.) to guide/entertain a couple of clients
on the Lehigh. This is what he had to say....Thankfully it was
probably one of the nicest days we've had this spring to be
on the river - good flows, clean water, blue skies and comfrtable
air temps...but the catching flat-out sucked. There
were hardly any bugs hatching (well, actually there were some
caddis and march
browns), but hardly anything rose (saw 5 fish rise all day),
and even nothing was interested in taking a subsurface presentation.
It was probably the slowest day we've experienced on the river
in a LONG time. It's too bad because the anglers in the boat
were very experienced. One was a local BucksCo angler and the
other was from Wyoming who just happens to call the N. Platte
his home water. It is really a bummer the Lehigh couldnt
give him a good time. The fishing was great, but the catching
blew harder than the wind. Just two smallmouth to
the boat and a handful of trout rolled - otherwise that was
We'll be on the river again in the next few days. Look for
some feedback early next week.
14 - Tully Report
Over the weekend we had out Dean and Rick
for a half-day Tully sesh. Neither of them had ever done
any fly fishing before - 100% beginners. With this being
the case, we began the day in a nicely shaded streamside
area where we worked on the basics to the fly cast along
with all the other pieces to the fly fishing puzzle -
bugs, flies, rigging, and reading the water. These guys
were quick learners...so it did not take long for all
to feel comfortable enough to gear up - and start flailing
away. Umm..you know what I mean.
first piece of water we focused on was a nice long riff.
The caddis were beginning to pop here and there, but
did not get to decent numbers until 10-11am. A quick
inspection of the rocks and crash-course in entomology
showed plenty of brite green caddis worms - so that
is one of the flies we rigged up with. For the first
hour or so, we had nothing to show for it, except for
one small brownie - which had a nicely colored adipose
fin. Most likely a holdover fingerling. With there appearing
to be a lack of fish at this location - we decided to
relocate downstream a bit. Boy, did this move pay off!
and flashback pheasant tails with a bit of shot did
the trick. These guys really got into them good. Decent
drifts and good line control was the key to success.
If you could get the fly into the strike zone - you
got bit. It is nice when it works that way. Best fish
of the day went about 17" - rainbow, that jumped
three times. What a great morning on the water.
Special thanks goes to the crew at the Sporting
Gentleman for supplying the loaner waders.
Dean with one of his landed brownies. Rick
is pic'ed to the left with one of his browns. This fish
11, 2007 - Tully
short evening stint on the Tully produced just one fish! Boy
was it slow! Bugwise...the sulphurs
have begun - big ones - which I guess is good. There was some
caddis about...which should also be good...right? Thing is...it
just felt like the fish were not there. Nothing was moving about.
Mind you...this was down in the open water. Who knows...fished
out? Can't be. Very strange. The other thing that was quite
evident was the amount of brown slime on the stream bottom.
We ain't even into the heat of the summer yet and their is some
sort of algae everywhere. This can't bode well for the health
of the trout fishery. It is safe to say the quality of the water
being discharged from Blue Marsh needs to be drastically improved
in order for this fishery to turn the corner.
release this weekend on the Lehigh.
9, 2007 - Lehigh
May 12 &13
May 26 & 27
Aug 4 & 5
Aug 18 & 19
July 7 & 8
July 21 & 22
Aug 4 & 5
Aug 18 & 19
Sep 1 & 2
Sep 15 & 16
Sep 29 & 30
Oct 13 &14*
* If sufficient storage remains
It is that time of year where the every-other-weekend
Lehigh releases start to kick in. We've found that the fish
really go off the feed during the 12 hours of higher water,
but they do seem to snap out of it rather quickly once the
water subsides. With this being the case...one might look
to hit the upper river water - near the dam - shortly after
the water is cut off. Fortunately the Corps' dam tenders run
the water from midnight to noon....this allows us to fish
the evening rise. Depending on if we get any wet weather,
the cut-back release this weekend may very well be fishable
for the wade angler. We are getting to that point where the
Lehigh really begins to shine. Once that water ticks 60F -
Chaos on the Lehigh from last summer.
8, 2007 - Penns
PA, NY, VA, CA...those were the states represented
at our Penns Weekend. Yup,
that is right - CA!! Eric came in from CA, then there was John,
Becky, Don from PA, Larry from NY and Mike from VA. It really
was our pleasure to show off what Penns has to offer. While
Penns did produce, it was not easy. Bright sun and higher flows
caused the group to really have to pound the water in order
to get results.
You know the plan by now...get up early and hit the water not
too much after first light. With no risers feeding on the leftover
spinners from the night before we rigged-up our clients with
a pair of nymphs and hi-sticked our way up through some of our
favorite runs and pocket water. Weight was mandatory - lots
of it. Patterns that produced - our march
brown nymph, caddis pupa, pheasant tail, and the good 'ole
march brown wet. Prior to the sun getting above the ridgeline
the group got into a handful of fish each day...after that,
as the sun got higher, the fishing slowed considerably. However,
even in the low light nymph session, the fishing was labor intensive
and the action was kinda slow. Each group of three covered a
ton of water, and really gave their wading staffs a workout!
After we loaded up our stomachs with some of Union County's
finest, it was back to the water in hopes of some dry fly action.
As soon as we got to our pool of choice we found fish rising
along the far bank - well inside of the shade line, and requiring
long casts. Normally as the shade moves its way across stream
the fish follow suit. This did not happen to the degree it normally
does. Lack of bugs might have been the reason. The spinners
never did appear in big numbers...or at least they did not hit
the water till very late. It was not until our way out that
all of a sudden the water came alive. The hendrickson spinners
had hit the water. Spent wings and parachutes did a good job
imitating the spinners. Besides the hendrickson spinners,
we had some MB
duns and some grey
fox here and there. The grannoms
are still around and exited the trees once the sun sufficiently
warmed them up. Black caddis and some tan caddis were also present.
Great weekend with a great group!
Don with a nice brown caught off the surface.
4, 2007 - Update
We've got our annual Penns trip this weekend.
It will be interesting to see what the stream throws our way
as each year is always different. Just two days ago, the Penns
Valley got hammered with some very heavy rain - the word is
the stream muddied up big time. For years Penns has had the
reputation of becoming off-color with the lightest of showers.
You can check out the spike from this most recent rainfall on
the chart at right. Look for a report on the flipside.