June 2007 Report
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^^Please check out our archives^^
28 - Update - Flow Plan - Low Water - High Heat - Lehigh Coldwater
the agencies did the right thing. They stuck to the Lehigh Flow
Plan and did not waver. We know that quite a few of you sent
a note to the powers that be, stressing the importance of adhering
to the Plan, and we thank you for that! You know, sometimes
the power of the pen or PC does work.
Now, lets turn to the fishing...or should we say, lack there
of! Not too much going currently due to this oppressive heat,
lack of water and otherwise busy schedule. Maybe this weekend
we can get out, as we have some trips on the books.
Speaking of fishing during the dog days, FFPA cannot stress
enough the importance of taking the water temp when fishing
for coldwater species. Take fore instance Valley Creek - a true
gem of a water...sure, there are plenty of wilds in there, Class
A pops, and they usually fair just fine all summer long. But
you better believe they do get stressed and it will not take
much to put them over the edge. It would be a real shame and
unsportsmanlike, if after so much hard work by thousands of
individuals, that just a few anglers could really take a toll
on a stretch. However, if you are really jonesin, and looking
for coldwater, check out the Pohopoco,
or take a ride up to the West Branch of the D, where it looks
like there will be steady coldwater releases for the foreseeable
future. Both of these streams have mid-afternoon sulphur
hatches, if that is your thing.
we ask all of our readers to check out the Lehigh
Coldwater Fishery Alliance site for some really BIG
NEWS! After many years of behinds the scenes work, and
many hours put into parnership building, the first phase
of turning the downstream Lehigh into a true tailwater
trout fishery has begun. Check it out.
20 - Lehigh Update
Lake level for Francis E Walter is sitting at about
1,360' above sea level. The depth at this elevation is 110'. According
to the 2007
Flow Management Plan (
- right click, save target as) the lake is to stay above 1,360' until
July 1. Frankly, this is the ONLY RESTRICTION the PFBC put
on the 2007 Flow Plan and is nothing new, since this stipulation has
been in place for the last three Plans. The reason for this restriction
is to protect the precious little amount of coldwater stored at the
bottom of the lake, and is to also protect in-lake warm and cool water
species spawning. If the lake drops below 1,360' the eggs could be
left high and dry, and the depletion of the cold water would be greatly
accelerated. However, there is a fly in the ointment. This weekend
is a scheduled whitewater
weekend. Most definitely, barring significant rains tonight and/or
Wednesday (there are storms around - a radar pic is posted below)
a double-shot of whitewater on both Saturday and Sunday would take
the lake below the 1,360' threshold. You better believe that Fly Fish
PA will be following the final verdict on the upcoming weekend's release
very closely - and we urge all anglers and Lehigh angler specifically
to do the same. A Plan needs to be adhered to or it and all the
parties that agreed to it loose considerable credibility.
18 - Mulberries = Catties and Carp!
With all the low water we've had to cancel our latest Lehigh
float trips. It remains to be seen when we might get back on
this water. The flipside is with the cancellations we've had
some free time to try for some of the 'other' fly caught
species. The plan was to poke around in the lo-light for some
largemouth, then target the mulberry trees for carp and cats.
Quickly we launched the yaks, and were on the water at 0530.
We worked one bank and it was obvious the bass were not it eat
mode. No hits, or swirls. Now it was off to the mulberry hot-zones.
First location, and we were on. A couple cast and that all-important
'plop'-sound, and we had lips. Solid carp - about 5#s on the
boga. Soon thereafter we got a channel on a submerged mulberry
imitation. High sun then shut things down. Not a bad way to
spend a dog-day summer morning.
3.5# channel. And remember to wear those PFDs!
13 - The Vineyard!
order for the fly angler to get your vehicle onto the Vineyard
you must be one dedicated fisherman. The travel and logistics
never gets easier. The drive to Woods Hole is always hell, but
in the end, MV is always worth it. The fishing this year, was
very similar to last year...with hardly a blue to be found,
and the largest bass taping out to just shy of 30". You
know, you can tell pretty quick what the fishing might be like,
once you adjust to 'Island Time' and get dialed in to all the
usual spots. This year, for the second the second year in a
row our first spot we always try turned up no blues.
None of the fly, and none on the irresistible bluefish bait
- the Ballistic Missile. If this location produces blues, then
it is time to get the wire handy for the remainder of the trip.
The next spot we hit once we round the point on Chappaquiddick
gives us a good idea of the sandeel population hanging on the
outer beaches. This year they were there.... this is a good
sign!! Nighttime and the presence of micro sandeels in the shallows
can make for some pretty sick nights. We've experienced this
in the past, but for some reason, the nights just did not produce
like they should. The daytime hours definitely out-produced
with bass being found along beaches, in the ponds as well as
the deeper channels. In fact the ponds were loaded with baitfish.
We got fish on all the usual patterns - specifically clousers,
deceivers and bunnies. At night when we did find the fish, black
patterns produced. One frustrating night had us flailing away
at a large school of slapping stripers. They were most likely
eating sandeels.... but we could not fool them. We never did
make it over to the new cut at Norton Point. The word is you
have to stay out of the water. It is a death trap with all the
migrating sand. Great trip as always! Everyone got into good
numbers of fish.
We are booked this weekend with a couple of
Lehigh float, however these are now pending due to lack of water.
Last weekend the Corps only ran water for one whitewater release.
And it was a cut-back release at that. The Sunday release was
cancelled. We are in wait and see mode right now.
Word is the river is still fishing well with
good water temps. The olives are still hatching in great numbers,
and with the low water, you can bet the fish are looking up.
If you are looking for good dry fly action, on big water, hit
the Lehigh now in the lo-light hours.
6 - Tully Report
The other day Dean was able to get in some quality time with
his dad as the two of them hit the Tully. According to their
feed back the Tully is fishing pretty well right now, with lots
of fish coming to hand. Pasted below is a copy of an email (edited
for content) Dean sent to Mike Kauffman, the Area 6 Fisheries
Manager. By the way Mr.
Kauffman is looking for feedback on the current state of
tailwater fishery. Take a bit of time, and shoot him your thoughts
if you fish the Tully regularly.
"Dear Mike...fished for about 2.5-3hrs
in the Rt. 222 Bridge stretch. I would classify the fishing
as very good. I lost count of the number caught and released
(as in my net/hand) at around 15. And probably finished with
20 or so for the morning. Also many more fish that were hooked
got off (6-10 fish??). The majority of fish caught were rainbows.
4 or 5 were browns. Size ranged from 10"-16". All
appeared to be in great health. The rainbows had good color.
Based on fin deformities, I would guess half the fish landed
were stocked either this spring or last year. The other half
may have been grown up fingerlings, moreso with the rainbows.
It appeared all the browns were stocked either this spring or
last year. Some fish fought better than others. The quality
of fishing in my opinion (from 1-10) was around a 7 or 8. I
base that scale on numbers of fish, size, effort required to
catch fish, condition of fish, and fight ability..."
Hook: TMC - 2487 -
Bead: Gold or Copper - 3/32
Thread: 8/0 - Brown or Olive
Body/Exterior Rib: Clear V-rib
(small or micro)
Rib: Gold or Copper fine wire
Counter-Shade: Pheasant Tail
Belly Color: Olive or Tan Dubbing
Throat: Pheasant Tail
Top Wing: Partridge
Accent: Lemon Wood Duck
Head: Brown or Tan Dubbing
The fly show above is
a very effective caddis pupa pattern. This pattern or
a Lafontaine Sparkle Pupa can really hammer the fish
in the Tully when the caddis are about, bit there are
not risers. If fish are taking the emerger (splashy
rise form), try the
Lafontaine Emergent Sparkle Pupa.
Please note...Due to the annual MV trip - - web reports/updates
will be on hold for at least a week. So see ya next week!
4 - Lehigh River Report - Float
Over the last few days we were able to dodge the tropical-like
downpours - lightning bolts and hit-up the Lehigh via drift
boat. Late last week Dean had out Tom and Bob for an evening
session - - - here is what Dean had to say.... Tom is an accomplished
and Bob is just breaking ground into the addiction of fly fishing.
After a quick lesson for Bob we got into some nice dry fly action.
Olives hatched very heavy up to about 8pm - then some sulphurs
popped till dark. Tom landed a nice bow and had many opportunities
but just couldn't drive the hook home. Bob got some nice chances
as well and now has a taste as to what dry fly fishing is all
about. Was nice to have these two anglers in the boat as there
was plenty of banter back and forth. Water temps are getting
warm, we sure could use some rain and a cool-down from the 90f
air temps. But after all, water temps could be a lot worse if
we didn't have 57f deg water being discharged from the FEW.
Over the weekend Jake had out Greg and Joe from good 'ole DelCo.
These guys are repeat clients of ours and on this particular
outing they saw the potential the Lehigh has. After a slow start
to the afternoon, the olives turned on right at 6pm, and from
there on out is was blanket bugs - olives - 14-16s. Toward the
end of the float, there were some sulphurs, but by far the bug
of choice was the
olive. At one point the numbers of naturals on the water was
truly amazing. We fooled the fish on adams, red-brown spinners
and an olivish/orange sulphur pattern. All patterns were tied
parachute style. Gotta love the way they ride, with a big tuff
of white antron that sticks out like a sore thumb. We also did
observe some fish feeding in a thrashing style. These fish had
to be taking the emergers - and were way tough to fool. We also
came across some cruising trout. They would work their way upstream,
then slide back, and do it all over again - just vacuming the
surface. When all was said and done the crew must have landed
about 6-8 rainbows, and had many more slap their flies. Throw
in a few LDRs as well. We had fish rising everywhere. Most fish
were in the 12-14" range, with some larger ones that went
unlanded. We had one either wild or fingerling brown. Pic attached.
This will be the last Lehigh report for as bit, as there is
a whitewater release next weekend, and our annual Vineyard trip
is this coming week. Time permitting, there might be a Tully
post in a day or two. Enjoy the rain and coolness from Barry,
we deserve it!
2 - Update - Flows...and temps.
Lordville on the Upper D exceeding 23C ...and Easton
on the LR barely touching 23C. Wow! We are talking early-June and
the Upper D is baking!!
1 - Lehigh River Report - Bowmanstown to Walnutport
We had an all day float a few days ago...overall the fishing
was very was very slow and sporadic, but what else do you expect
during high sun and HOT air temps pushing 90 degrees. During
the day we had some sulphurs, small caddis and a few left over
March browns. Not many rises if any seen. A few fish taken on
nymphs and wet flies. After the sun went down the olives (14-16)
really began to hatch and the fish started to rise. The sulphur
hatch never materialized which was dissapointing. A handfull
of trout to the net with the biggest going a good 17 inches.
We need a good soaking rain, not this torrential downpour stuff.
Look for more reports over the weekend.
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, our march
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. style.
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
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.