Date: January 25th, 2017
Water Conditions: A combination of recent precipitation, and snow melt from warm weather have the streams in the area full of water. Currently most of the larger rivers are unfishable due to water that is still way too high and colored. Most of the smaller streams and creeks in the area are fishable with ideal water conditions that are a bit high and off color. Over the next week, water conditions should settle back to normal and be in great shape for fishing in the meantime. Most of the watersheds in the area have fluctuated up and down several times over the last month which has created several windows of favorable water conditions. Monitoring stream flow on your local watershed prior to making the trip is always a good idea. See the Stream Flows page on the blog for a list of streams with USGS data.
Recommended Flies: Frenchie Size 12-16, Stonefly Nymphs Size 6-10, Pink Beaded Walt’s Worm Size 12-16, Flashback Pheasant Tail Size 16-22, Zebra Midge Size 18-22, RTV Nymph Size 12-16, Soft Hackles Size 16-18, Wooly Bugger Size 6-10, Slumpbuster Size 6-8
So far this January, it would be impossible to have any complaints. We have experienced mild weather for a lot of the month, and also had a fair share of precipitation. On most days, the fishing has been better than can be expected for this time of year in Pennsylvania. Our part of the state seems to have experienced more rain than others, leaving our water in better shape than some of the neighboring areas.
Nymphing “winter water types” while getting flies low and slow is usually the most productive way to catch fish. Winter water types that are usually the most productive are deeper pools, soft glides, and slower rolling riffles. A lot of the time during the winter, success can be defined by which section of water or holding areas an anglers chooses to focus on. Fishing at a slower pace, while ensuring to get good drifts with flies dredged along the bottom, can be rewarding.
Although streamer fishing doesn’t usually win the numbers game, it can be a good way to persuade the big fish to eat. So far this month the streamer fishing has not exactly been red hot, but it has been fairly consistent at producing solid fish here and there. Stick with it, keep casting and stripping. Covering water to find the right nice fish that is ready to eat is usually the key to success. If the fish will not move for an aggressive retrieve, try drifting it slower with twitches. The grind of swimming big flies all day can definitely be worth it. I’ll admit, I’m streamer obsessed right now. And that’s a whole ‘nother story.
Overall, the fishing conditions this January have been a blessing. Thus far, we have not had to worry about cabin fever setting. Mild weather and precipitation have made it pretty easy for anglers to enjoy the winter fishing season. Go fish.