September 2007 Report
September October November
^^Please check out our archives^^
September 24, 2007 - Salt Report
The salt still remains kind of slow for our primary predator
fish - bluefish and bass...but if you are looking for trash-fish,
then IBSP was the place to be over the weekend. For a stretch
it was close to a sea robin per cast kind-of-day. They must
been staging for a migration or something because they were
thick! With the gin clear water, you could actually see them
follow your fly to the rocks, and lunge for it - most likely
following it all the way in. At other times, it was a few strips
and you were tight. Yeah, they are considered trash but when
nothing else is happening, you can not complain about the hit
and bend in the rod. In fact they were quite aggressive with
numerous casts having multiple swings and missed on the retrieve.
One of the many sea robins that fell for a white
deceiver at the the end of a 350 grain line.
Meanwhile back here in PA...we need
rain! Everything is low - and sickly looking. Looking into the
crystal ball, the extended forcast does not hold much in the
way of a good soaker. Time will tell.
September 17, 2007 - Salt!
Talk about bait. Mullet galore!! Except for very little predators
on them - cocktail blues were the only game in town, with just
a few nipping at the heels of the mullet. It has been many years
since such large ocean-bound rafts of mullet have been seen.
Does this bode-well for the fall?? Time will tell.
September 15, 2007 - Walter Drawdown
So long summer pool. The Corps has begun their draw down of
Walter to its 'winter pool level' of 1,300' above sea level.
Sometime in mid-October the process should be complete. Along
the way we will continue to see whitewater releases...prolly
to the tune of 1,000cfs each day of the every-other-weekend
event. In fact there is whitewater this weekend
-- Sept 15-16.
The chart to the right shows the draw down of
Francis E Walter Reservoir. Look for a sharper and larger drop
in the level after this weekend due to a whitewater event. Also
remember that volume of water per foot decreases as the lake
gets lower. At 1,310' one foot of water is approx .04 billion
gallons. At 1,365' one foot of water is approx .18 billion gallons.
This chart is taken from the USGS site.
The Salt...word is the salt-front is on
an up-tick. The first bait migrations of the year have begun with
lots of mullet and spearing being seen beachfront. Now is the time
to roll-the-dice for some seriously sick action. There is nothing
like a saltwater feeding frenzy. Shoot us an e
to find out more! We hope to hit it in the near future.
September 10, 2007 - Lehigh Gorge Wade
Over the weekend FFPA tried to do a bit of Lehigh
River sampling, where it flows through the Lehigh River Gorge.
Unfortunately the water was on the warm side - lower-70s at
mid-afternoon - and the weather did not cooperate much at all.
An intense tropical-like rainstorm moved in at about 5pm and
sent us hustling back to the vehicle. We even witnessed a bit
of hail. Despite the cut-short outing we were able to fish some
really impressive trout water. Structure-wise the Lehigh Gorge
is trout paradise. The fish did not disappoint either. We managed
to pull one trout, which was brought to hand quickly. A bunch
of smallmouth were also hooked and landed. By far the bug of
choice in this stretch is the stonefly. The shucks are everywhere!
All the smallies took a brown bugger.
Roadless area upstream of Rockport.
Wild brown ate a wired stone.
September 6, 2007 - Respect Wild Trout
Just because we are in September, and the nights are bit
longer and the low-temps are somewhat sleep-friendly, it does
not mean that our trout waters are not at stressful levels.
For instance streams like Penns
are critically low-levels, and are probably at lethal levels
for hooked-and-played-and-released trout. Just take a look at
what has recently been done out in the Rocky Mountain States
and all the closures that have occurred due to the bone-dry
conditions and intense heat. The water temps out there easily
reached levels comparable to what we are still experiencing
here in PA. Now our PFBC won't close our waters, due to their
belief that closing waters brings more un-needed publicity to
them, but a little respect by us fisherman can insure most fish
make it through these tough times. We politely urge you leave
these waters alone until we get some consistently cooler weather
and/or a decent shot of water-cooling precipitation. So stay
away, and hit Spring or Big Fishing if you are in central-PA
or one of the eastern PA tailwaters if you need to fish the
eastern part of the state.
Spring...now that is a stream that is always
A recent biz trip to the Carlisle area allowed just enough
time to check out this legendary limestoner. Big Spring
is still in recovery-mode after years of blatant abuse
from our PFBC, but Mother Nature is one resilient character
- - so in due time, and some TLC, Big Spring may one day
return to the glory years. Probably the biggest issue
with the stream right now is the lack of cover. There
are extremely long stretches of barren featureless water...dead
water. Trout need cover/habitat...this is the lifeblood
of a stream...and Big Spring needs it. Maybe the PFBC
and their new Habitat Department has some ideas up their
sleeve on how to improve a water they played such a critical
role in impacting.
for the fish, they preferred a cdc caddis. A dropper may
have also worked, but with so much success with the dry
- why bother. It was pretty cool to watch the bows slowly
rise off the bottom and suck in your fly. Talk about lots
of fish....but not too much size. However, even though
the big boys did not come out to play - you better believe
they are in there. Big Spring is a neat fishery, worth
September 5, 2007 - West Branch D Report
You would think that with the higher water, the big subsurface
stuff would have produced...but no, that was not the case.
Actually, it very well might have been too much of a good
thing - with a release this past holiday-weekend being
the highest it has been all summer long. This in turn
caused a rather significant drop in the water temps all
the way down through the upper mainstem trouty water.
Clarity was not that great either (west branch especially)...which
you would think might help streamer fishing. Nope. Well,
something put the fish off - as the positive reports were
non existant. What was great though - was the weather.
Cloudless skies, some wind Saturday, otherwise very little,
and downright cool temps at night. Perfect! Probably too
On to the fishing...which it was on this trip....
The chart above shows the West Branch at
Hale Eddy. Notice the flows - highest release this summer.
This put the water up into the weeds,
adding some debris to already stained water.
For the most part the bug action was light and the feeding
was less. There were some caddis on the West during the
day along with some Stenos, sulphurs, olives and Isos.
With the high water - rising fish was not happening. The
Main had even less bugs...with just a few Isos. Iso drys,
got a few look-sees, while subsurface flies fished as
droppers - fished 20-30" off the back end of the
dry - faired best on both rivers. Best bet - nitros, LaFontaine
Deep Sparkle Pupas/Emergers, and flashback pheasant-tail
The streamers that did get some attention were your standard
white buggers, zonkers, deceivers, and marabou clousers.
A sink tip line aided in getting the fly down in the water
column. But despite a lot of focused stripping, swinging
and dead-drifting, the streamer tactic just did not cut
Best advice going forward is to fish the best of the
best-looking water, and pound it - the fish should be
there. However, consistent is not the way to describe
the D these days - so you are gonna have to work for your
fish. This is challenging, but rewarding fishing. Oh yeah,
water temps were in the 40s-50s-and low-60s throughout
the system - down to say Lordville.
We hope to hit the Lehigh this coming weekend. Report
to come. And be sure to check out our SALT
TRIP. This is an annual client favorite.
Be sure to inquire if you are interested.
This one taped at 19".
Ate a LaFontaine Pupa.
Letting go a mainstem bow - it smacked
a nitro dropper off an Iso dry.