In search of cold water, the elder statesman of the “Ski Patrol” headed north to Rockport for an eveing of fishing. Weather conditions were cool (60F) with intermittent showers. Water temp 60F.
Once again the Lehigh did not disappoint as the olives were on. Targets were plentiful and obviously easy to reach with only a 200 CFS release from FEW. Although the olives were small (sz 16-18), I was able to fool numerous fish with a sz 14 olie cdc. Brown, rainbow and tiger trout were caught from 6 to 20+ inches. This is the first time that I ever caught a big thick rainbow or tiger trout this far up into the Gorge. The tiger trout may have been stocked by the “Five Mile Club”; however I believe that they only stock as far upstream as Bear Creek. This fish would have had to migrate upstream approx. 10 miles to where it was caught. Several browns in the 5-7 inch range were caught but did not exhibit any fin clips, therefore leading me to believe that they were wild. I also had a visitor (see pic) check me out from approx. 30 yards downstream. This large black bear didn’t seem to mind my presence and simply swam to the other side, shook off like my lab, and proceeded up the bank. The rising fish were oblivious to the bear as they rose within 10 feet as the bear swam the river. What a great night on the river; come on fellow “ski patrollers”, get your bikes fixed!!
I had Chris and Brent out for a float this evening. Water temp was 67. Olives and Sulphurs continue to hatch but we continue to catch fish with Slate Drake duns more than any other fly. Nymphing has been so-so, nymphs are fooling more smallmouth than trout. The best dry fly action has been in the faster runs and heads of pools but solid fishing to BWO hatches can be had in the slowest pools for skilled casters. Swinging wet flies continues to take fish from time to time, Streamer fishing is brining the smallmouth out but not many trout. The water is dropping hard, if we don’t get another dose of rain the lower river will be over 70 degrees in a few days, it’s been rising 1-2 degrees a day as it drops. Once the temps rise over 70 anglers should move upriver and find colder water in the Gorge or elsewhere. Targeting trout in fast water may be productive this time of year but in warmer water it is very irresponsible.