The Susky has been know for years as one of the best smallmouth fisheries in the East. It has had it’s share of trials and tribulations for the past few years but we are confident that the Susquehanna River will continue to provide the quality smallmouth fishing that we’ve come to know and love about this river. This section of the river is about a mile wide and the fishing and scenery can make you forget that you were fly fishing in Pennsylvania. Like the Lehigh River, after floating it with us you’ll look at it much differently the next time you drive over it.
The Susquehanna River has always boasted an incredible smallmouth population and enough structure and food to make for world class fishing. The infamous White Fly hatch is so thick that it is hard to for any considerable distance from the boat and after seeing first hand the Hellgramites hatching into adult Dobsonflies by the tens of thousands it’s no wonder why this river produces big fish. Other hatches of importance on the river include Light Cahills and the elusive Hexagenia. Do smallmouth bass really eat dry flies? You bet. Smallies in excess of 15″ have been caught using standard parachute patterns and even bigger bass have been taken using larger surface flies because when the heavy hatches are on every fish in the river is looking up.
When the hatches are not occurring we fish streamers and large nymph and crayfish patterns to entice the big, wary bronzebacks out of their hiding places. One things for sure in the Susky, there’s always a hatch to match. Smallmouth in excess of 20″ are present in the Susquehanna with the average fish being 12″-14″ there are plenty of opportunites to see your backing, however given the staggering amount of structure in the river we do not recommended to allowing fish to run unnecessarily.
The river is fairly shallow and long cast can be productive to cover more water so sinking lines are a matter of preference but are often unnecessary. Drift boat fishing on our stretch of the Susky revolves around the level as indicated at the Harrisburg USGS Gauge, above 4′ is too high usually resulting in very off color water, 3.5′ – 3.7′ is perfect providing a steady drift but not too fast, 3.4′-3.2′ is low, and anything lower is too low to drift effectively. Wade fishing is safe in most of the Duncannon to Marysville stretch when the water is below 3.25′, however cautious wading is recommended. A few simple rules for wading this or any river is if you are uncomfortable wading in a certain area or if you are having trouble seeing the bottom stop and wade to a safer more comfortable location.
Susquehanna River Guides
Rivers Outdoor Adventures competent, courteous guides will help you to make the most of your fly fishing experience on the “Susky” . Our passion for all things fly fishing led us to the Susquehanna years ago in our search for a fishery to keep us busy when the Lehigh is too hot and low. This river has rewarded us and our clients with consistent and amazing smallmouth fishing.
Between our seven available drift boats and catarafts, experienced full-time guides, custom tied fly patterns, first class shore lunches, and reputation for being the best guide service in the area it’s no wonder that so many of our clients return season after season hopes of bigger fish, thicker hatches, and the comfort of knowing that Lehigh Gap Outfitters is their guide service.
Drift boat fishing is unfamiliar territory for many East Coast anglers but it is a great method for fishing the Susquehanna River which happens to be one of the best smallmouth bash fisheries around. On a typical trip you’ll cover about 10 miles of river in about 9 hours with more structure then even experienced anglers know what to do with. Like the Lehigh, if it “looks like there should be a fish there”, there probably is. Smallmouth fishing on this river is a great way for novice anglers to get their feet wet in drift boat fishing while spending a rewarding, productive day on the water. Susquehanna floats can be combined with a day of float or wade fishing on one of the areas many fine trout waters for an awesome two day package.
Rates and Policy
One Day Rates: Full Day- Float Trip for 1 or 2 anglers- $425.
Two Day Packages: $25 Discount
All full day trips include lunch, snacks, and beverages.
Our guides always carry a variety of fly patterns with them, however the high volume of trips we run can exhaust a guides fly box. We can provide a list of flies a few weeks before the trip if you enjoy tying your own and we can also put a selection together for you if you wish. Visit our fly fishing store for custom fly selections.
If necessary, quality Orvis tackle can be provided for all trips free of charge. Please give us some heads up time so that we can make proper arrangements. Leaders, tippet, split shot, etc can be purchased from your guide before the trip begins.
Prices do not include guide gratuities.
A 50% deposit is required to secure your trip dates. Balance is due on arrival.
Cancellations and Rescheduling: Cancellations and rescheduling will be accepted no later than two weeks prior to your scheduled date. We cannot influence the moods of Mother Nature. Postponed trips due to conditions and all refunds are at the discretion of Lehigh Gap Outfitters. All deposits will be held and your trip will be rescheduled within one calendar year.
Remember, we do not enjoy fishing in poor conditions any more than you do. Our goal is for you to have a memorable trip.
All prices are subject to change with out notice. Rivers is not responsible for typographical errors.