Well, it’s late January and just about every one of our favorite fly fishing spots is either frozen or too dangerous to wade. Brave the streams if you must, but we suggest taking this opportunity to tie flies, clean your tackle and assess your gadgets and gear for the coming spring. But keep an eye on the forecast, cause you never know when that thermometer is going to enter the comfort zone of the 40s and award you with a winter fishing opportunity. In such cases we recommend fishing buggers, big nymphs and even egg patterns on streams such as the Little Schuylkill, Little Lehigh, Clarks Creek and Pohopoco Creek. Also, dates are filling up fast for our popular April Lehigh Upper Gorge float trips - book now so you have something to dream about through February and March!
January 24, 2011
June 23, 2010
Unfortunately the time to check thermometers religiously has come. Besides working on our new raft today, I had some time to check out some local water and monitor quality. It’s not good. The Little Schuylkill should not be targeted for trout at this time below Tamaqua, and care should be taken in the upper stretches.The lower Lehigh should also not be targeted for trout right now. The release from Blue Marsh was 72 degrees tonight, with an evening low temp of 72 degrees, so the Tully is a bust as well, that’s the dam release temp NOT the Waterworks gauge. It’s time to look for cooler water. The temptation to fish for aggressive rising fish can be strong but the reality is these fish are stressed and if you’re going to fish on these streams you might as well take a stringer because even most of the fish that swim away will not survive. Spring Creeks such as the Little Lehigh are a much better choice at this time.
April 26, 2010
I (Jay W.) fished the lower stretch of the Delayed Harvest section of Little Schuylkill for about 2 and a half hours (4 - 6:30pm) Sunday night, hooking fish in nearly every spot I put some time into. Water temp was about 50 degrees, air temp was in the low 40’s. Water level was just about perfect, a little cloudy. A good mix of rainbows and browns took just about any nymph pattern drifted close to the bottom, with the bulk of success coming on prince nymphs and beadhead green weenies…yep, green weenies, the Little Schuylkill destroyer. Not much was hatching, a few scattered cream crane flies and some caddis but nothing to get fish near the surface. Right now the trout in the Little Schuylkill are very active and hungry. If you’re out there observing catch and release, please go barbless as I noticed on more than one fish, considerable damage to thier mouth from being hooked before.
April 16, 2010
I had a few fly fishing schools this week and every person hooked at least one trout while learning techniques on the water. I was usually able to hook fish with little difficulty while demonstrating techniques. The water is dropping and various caddis, BWOs, stoneflies, Quill Gordons, and cream craneflies were hatching just about every day. The water was about 50˚F today and pretty clear, hopefully it doesn’t go back up with the rain tonight, but the Quill Gordons seem to prefer hatching when the water is a little up and off color. Streamer fishing has seen limited success but swinging wets, dry fly fishing, and indicator nymphing all turned up decent numbers of fish. Soft Hackles, GLF Sparkle Pupas, Prince Nymphs, Parachute Adams, and Klinkhamers have been the best producers. I just got my new Orvis Pro Guide Waders this afternoon so I was psyched to not have to wear neoprenes for the first time in a long while and they were so comfortable, the weather was awesome. The Little Schuylkill should produce well for the time being so get over here and fish!
As a parting note, I’d like to address something that has been bothering us for a bit - Treble Hooks. C’mon guys! A client hooked a fish today and after a very brief fight, about 10 seconds, half of it’s jaw came off. Another had a jaw that was just shredded and it wasn’t from Pheasant Tails. Nobody at Rivers has a problem with hardware but why not switch out to a single hook or convert your treble to a barbless double and stop ripping these fish apart? It’s pretty sad to see a fish with half of it face ripped off because of laziness. If you see someone on the stream fishing trebles, suggest to them converting them to a double and removing the barbs but please be courteous about it. We have found that with some polite education, many spin anglers are unaware of the damage that treble hooks can cause and are happy to find a less invasive way to have fun fishing.
April 13, 2010
I conducted the on-stream portion of a fly fishing school today. Wayne was enthusiastic and eager to learn as much as possible. Dry fly fishing turned up only fallfish. Blue Winged Olives(#16-18), Cream Craneflies(#14), and a few Quill Gordons(#14) hatched variously throughout the day but no fish seemed to key in on any of them specifically. Indicator fishing with caddis larva patterns was the ticket, most of the fish hooked were fallfish but a few trout were hooked as well, I landed a few fish on a few consecutive casts so the active fish were eager to take caddis larva. Streamers did not move any fish, but swung wet flies and soft hackles drew strikes from a few trout and put a nice solid rainbow in the net despite the cold temps, the water was 47˚F. Bob Signorello stopped by to do some fishing and reported catching about two dozen fish with an #12 Adams and a nymph dropper, with many fish taking the Adams, Bob covered a lot of water during the day and was definitely rewarded for his effort.
April 3, 2010
The Little Schuylkill is still high and rolling from rain earlier in the week. Anglers did not report high catches today, it seemed if most guys caught a fish or two they were happy. Visibility was about a foot, temp was not taken but it was most certainly in the mid to high 40s. An angler reported that he saw a few caddis butit seems a bit early for the Little Schuylkill and I did see a few stoneflies so I’m guessing that’s what they saw. I didn’t see any mayflies but I have the feeling a good Quill Gordon hatch is going to happen soon, they seem to hatch best in moderate to high flows in early April on this river. Visibility is an issue right now so if the fish can’t see your fly(s) they definitely won’t eat them. Think contrast, very dark or bright and consider loud colored flies such as Glo Bugs and Green Weenies. The river should fish well when the water drops.
March 28, 2010
We had a fly fishing schools this weekend and conducted the on-stream portion of the school today. The water is cold, low 40s, good clarity, and the flow is still a little high - and from what we’re hearing from the weatherman, it’s going to get much higher. I hope Mother Nature is saving some of this rain for the summer. A fish was hooked by one of our students, Greg, while fishing a Chartreuse Clouser Deep Minnow, a few fish tapped a big sculpin pattern lightly while I was demostrating streamer techniques but no good grabs. A few small BWOs(#18) hatched sporadically as we fished but no rises were seen and no subsurface feeding was seen. It would be nice if we could get a few days with reasonable flows and some warm temps but it doesn’t seem likely soon. We’ll be having a guide school next week so expect some Lehigh and possibly Delaware reports soon.
March 24, 2010
Today Jim came to the shop for the on-stream portion of the two day fly fishing school that started yesterday. The water was high but Jim was up to it and while the dry fly fishing was for naught, the nymph fishing wasn’t bad. While instructing various nymphing techniques, I landed three nice rainbows. Jim missed a few fish and fought one for a bit before it performed some acrobatics and got rid of the fly. Action came on a caddis larva patterns, prince nymphs, and glo bugs. The water was off color with about two feet of visibility and cold. Flow was about 150cfs during the day, it continues to drop. I spotted a few Quill Gordons(#14) and Blue Winged Olives(#16), as well as some good waves of Early Brown Stones(#12) and black midges. Indicator rigs did not produce but bounce rigs and Czech rigs produced fish. Streamer fishing did not produce any strikes but it’s only a matter of time before they become productive.
March 21, 2010
I was tying flies on the deck in front of the shop and watching people fish and stoneflies zipping around and I just couldn’t take it anymore. The water was 48 degrees and moving pretty good at 148cfs with some color and about a foot and a half visibility. I worked a Czech rig for an hour and ended up catching a few trout and a ton of chubs in water that had been pounded and tromped up all day. Definitely Chubfest 2010 today. Most fish took a #10 cranefly larva but a few too a #12 Prince. The takes were subtle and a sighter came in handy. Non Czech nymphers would probably do better with a strike indicator and long leader as opposed to swinging, which is what I’m seeing most people doing with limited success. A few guys picked up a fish here and there with streamers but the fish don’t seem to be actively chasing very much right now. Not as many midges as yesterday but lots of #12 Early Brown Stoneflies. One angler had a strike skating a stimulator but reported no other activity on top. A few more degrees warmer and some more clarity and the river will be hopping.
March 20, 2010
The 9th Annual Little Schuylkill One Fly Tourney was held today and was an excellent event. Lots of ear to ear grins and handshakes as friends met once again to have some fun and see who gets to brag the most. With anglers coming from as far as New Jersey, six teams competed in somewhat high water for the title of One Fly Champions. The first beat was slow, but fishing picked up during the second beat for several teams with Geoff and Ryan coming in first with 77 inches of fish. Dan and Dave checked in with 55 inches of fish. The water was 47 degrees so it’s rising slowly and it was still a little high and off color from the rains last weekend. Midges hatched in high numbers with the occasional rise from a hungry trout. It seems like they were rising to eat the early brown stoneflies(#12-14) and not the midges. Contrary to popular belief, some stoneflies will actually hatch on submerged rocks from time to time and swim/float to the surface - a phenomenon which occurs more frequently in high water conditions. Ron B. also saw a good number of stonies in a tree while judging the Mill Race. With the early start and trying to get everything ready I forgot my camcorder at home so no vids or pics today.