July 2007 Report

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July 29 - Lehigh River News!!!!

Pasted below is some great news for all Lehigh River and PA anglers. This very well might be a first-of-its-kind study for PA and its tailwaters. Maybe this will begin a trend? However, as with any study, the key will be to follow through and implement the results. The language below is copied from the website of Congressman Charlie Dent.

Energy and Water Appropriations Bill: $175,000 for data collection and modeling by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, in cooperation with local entities, to determine how the operation of the Francis E. Walter Reservoir can be modified to effectively support a cold water fishery along the Lehigh River.

July 29 - Francis E. Walter Releases

Finally, some rains!!! For the first time in what could be close to two months the release from Francis E Walter is at 250cfs during a non-whitewater release. The reason for such low-releases over the recent past is as simple as a lack of rainfall in the Lehigh River watershed upstream of Walter and restrictions put in place by the 2007 Flow Plan. However, due to recent heavy rains (3.5" over the last five days), inflow into Walter is (as of writing) well above 250cfs, therefore the Corps can now release the Flow Plan's max release - which is 250cfs (unless we are in a catastrophic event), until the lake reaches the Plan's target lake level of 1,360'-1,365. The lake is at approx 1,354' right now. The reason for the max of 250cfs is to 'skim' some water and replenish the pool for whitewater events as opposed to matching outflow with inflow (450cfs as of writing). Now if we do not get back to 1,360' and the inflow drops below 250cfs, which is very likely, augmentation releases will kick-in depending on what the rule-curve indicates. Confused yet? Shoot us an email if you have questions... info@flyfishpa.net

July 24 - Upper D - Montague

Most fly fisherman know about the 1,750cfs flow target at Montague, NJ. Lately it has barely been met and in fact over the weekend the flows at Montague were well below the magic number. The target is a mandate from the 1954 Supreme Court Decree, "in order to ensure adequate streamflows downriver."

July 19 - Update

A few weeks ago while on the Upper D, the Isos were hatching pretty good during the mid-afternoon period. Our go-to fly for this emergence is what we consider to be an Iso emerger. Antron shuck, maroon body and a grey cdc wing. This particular patternis tied on a TMC 200R - which is not really necessary. A standard dry hook - 2x long will do the job.

The real-deal photoed above. After taking a good look at the color-scheme, a much darker dun body might need to be incorporated into the next generation of iso patterns.

July 16 - Lower D Report

For a change of pace we fished the lower D over the weekend. The stretch of water fished features some of the most structure-laden water found anywhere along the entire length of the Delaware River. Our hopes were to tangle with a few smallies - the bigger the better, and maybe even a striper or two. Well, we found the bass, but not the pigs we were hoping for. By far the most effective fly was anything that had white in it - clouser, bugger, bunny, etc. This is no doubt due to the abundance of YOY shad which are throughout the river right now. They are everywhere!!! Largest smallmouth only went 10" - really not too much to write home about, but nonetheless they were a blast on a light rod. With all the structure there has to be larger fish roaming about. In the near future a bit more exploring is going to have to be worked into the schedule if this trend for low water flows continues.

Low-light hook-up.

July 12 - Upper D - West Branch

For hot weather trout fishing, you cannot beat the coldwater influenced West Branch tailwater. And a recent trip up that way did not disappoint. This time of year if there are steady releases from the bottom of Cannonsville, you can find a consistent mid-day sulphur hatch, along with isos, and caddis. The isos can provide exciting blind fishing, with explosive top-water swipes. We are talking lightning fast boils. The sulphur fishing on the other hand is more of a stealthy rise-type situation with maybe just a little dimple or subtle head-rise poking thru the surface tension. The sulphurs tend to run small - 18-20s. An orange-bodied parachute brought the fish photoed below. One other tid-bit is, don't overlook the skinny water, or bank water - especially in higher flows. These West Branch fish tend to position themselves along the banks. Tight to the banks. Now, the other bug hatching this time of year in heavy numbers, but not till just about dark is the summer steno. These run very yellow to orange. They are also a bit bigger than the sulphurs. A parachute does a good job imitating this bug. Of course you cannot forget the trusty flashback pheasant tail. These babies flat-out produce! One of these days we will get pic of a tie up on the site.

Fat sulphur eater.

Summer stenonemas.

July 5 - Tully - Trikes - Report

Sorry for the lateness of this. Over the weekend we had out Gary and Tim on the Tully. Both are getting back into the "game" and wanted to reduce the learning curve...so they asked FFPA for some instruction. Right off the bat there was a bit of 'rust' to chip away, but with some helpful tips and a few casting reps, a nice rhythm was found by both anglers. Just like riding a bike, eh? Once on the water we were greeted to a heavy trike hatch with big swarms of mating insects above the riffs. That was a pleasant surprise since we have found the hatch dwindling the last few years. The fish were on the feed right away, ad rising pretty consistently. Even though the tricos were all over, a cdc caddis did the trick. The Tully trout just could not resist a well-presented caddis. Tim managed to get a hook-up right away, and then there was a bit of a lull in the action...so a move to different water was in order. Good thing, because we found the "honey" hole and both guys were putting a hurtin' on the fish in no time. Dry-dropper rig was the ticket with both anglers ended up with close to 6-8 fish to the net by end of the morning. Numerous LDRs also made things exciting for the last 2 hours of the outing. It was a beautiful morning, but the crowds made it hard to move around and cover different stretches of water.