Pennsylvania Trout Fishing Report: June

A solid streamer eatin’ brown from a typical adventure with Austen.

Date: June 28th, 2017

Water Conditions: It’d be pretty tough to ask for better water conditions than we are seeing so far this summer. Our local area continues to receive rain at a pace that is keeping our rivers and creeks in great fishing shape. Yes, the rain created some days that were blown out, but thanks to the precipitation low, clear water conditions are being avoided. It’s nice to have extra water around for the fish, and to help keep the fishing rolling through the summer. Water temperatures are not currently a concern thanks to the cooler weather, but it never hurts to remain aware. Monitoring stream conditions 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: Zebra Midge Size 18-22, Red PT (Pheasant Tail) Size 18-20, Frenchie Perdigon Size 18-20,  UV Braider PT Size 16-18, Soft Hackles Size, Ant Size 12-18, Blue Quill Size 18-20, Light Cahill Size 12-14, Isonychia Size 10-12, Golden Stonefly Size 6-8

Fishing Report:

While the rain has kept anglers off the water some days, it’s been great to have the extra flow through the beginning of this summer. The higher water and cooler weather so far is much appreciated after a very dry and hot summer in 2016.

Any day that ends with being on the water is a good day.

This year’s irregular weather pattern continues to make the bugs seem out of wack. Hatches and evening dry fly fishing continues to be hit or miss, and not make much sense at times. Don’t get me wrong, there were some great hatches and solid nights of dry fly fishing this year. Overall though, it just seems to be an off year that has lacked the heavy number of bugs and consistency we are used to in the area. At least this seems to be the case on the water I frequently fish.

With that being said, the nymphing and streamer game continues to be productive thanks to great water conditions and cooler weather. If I’ve said it before I’ve said it a thousand times, but it’s great to have the high water keep the bigger fish on the move.

Light Cahill. Because Sulphurs aren’t the only yellow mayfly.

Ants have been around in strong numbers, and the terrestrial fishing should continue to kick on as the water levels drop back towards normal. Summer bugs such as Blue Quills and other Paraleps are playing a strong role. For that reason, smaller nymphs are producing the most fish to net. However, there are also a few of the bigger bugs around such as Isonychia, Light Cahills, and Golden Stones.

As summer marches on and water levels drop, presentation and how an angler approaches the water will become even more important. Summer fishing can be challenging at times, but also very rewarding. I look forward to sight fishing and the technical conditions of summer. Fishing low, clear water can provide many lessons towards growing as an angler.

The release.

In the meantime, water conditions and weather are in great fishing shape. As a result the fishing is solid, take advantage. Go fish.

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Pennsylvania Trout Fishing Report: May

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A late night fish slurpin’ down Green Drakes.

Date: May 31st, 2017

Water Conditions: Currently a lot of the watersheds in the area are high and unfishable from rain over the past couple of days. Many of the streams will be fishable again in the next few days, if they are not already. So far this spring water conditions have been in great shape overall. We continue to receive rain which has kept water levels anything but low. While high water leaves our river systems unfishable at times, it’s also great for the fish to have the extra water. 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: Green Drake Size 6-10, Sulphur Size 14-16, March Brown Size 10-12, Gray Fox Size 12-14, Caddis Black/Tan Size 12-18, Isonychia Size 10-12  Frenchie Size 12-18,  Pink Beaded Walt’s Worm Size 12-16, UV Braider PT Size 14-18, RTV Nymph Size 12-16, Soft Hackles Size 12-18, Zebra Midge Size 18-22

Fishing Report:

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Green Drake: The Big Bug of May.

May is arguably one of the best times of the year to be a fly fisherman in Pennsylvania. Spring is without a doubt the “match the hatch” season, and a majority of the big hatches take place in May.

The weather this year continues to be an irregular pattern. Air temperatures are fluctuating back and forth frequently between hot and cold. This is certainly keeping the fish on their toes, but it has also created irregular hatch patterns.

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Sulphur Size 14.

Hatches have been anything but consistent on the water that I so frequently fish. There are bugs around, but we are not experiencing as heavy numbered hatches as expected this time of year. So far this year Grannoms, Sulphurs, March Browns, Gray Foxes, Caddis, and Green Drakes have all shown tendencies of sporadically hatching through different periods of the day opposed to a few hours of heavy bug activity at one time.

One of the best parts about the river systems in our area is they have a wide range of bugs. A lot of evenings anglers have to play the game to see which bugs the fish are eating the most out of what’s being offered. In my opinion, that’s a good problem to have.

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River Meals- because even gas station macaroni salad tastes better along the water.

As usual, nymphing throughout the day tends to be the most productive method, and dry fly fishing is the excitement of the evening. With all the extra water this spring helping keep big fish out of hiding, streamer fishing has continued to work well at the right times.

While it has not been a typical year in terms of weather patterns or hatch activity, the fishing has been quite good at times. At other times it seems the fishing is slower than typical for this time of year. Every day on the river is an opportunity. Anglers that are married to their river system have a better chance of experiencing those “magic” hours of fishing.

Forget the weather, don’t try to predict what evenings will be better than others. Put your time in, and you will earn the rewards. Go Fish.

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Pennsylvania Trout Fishing Report: April

Date: April 27th, 2017

Water Conditions: So far this spring water conditions have been in great shape. Recently, our rivers and creeks dropped to reach levels lower than normal for this time of year, but remain in good fishing shape. We are not desperate for rain, but some extra water to keep things rolling through spring would be nice. 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:  March Brown Size 10-12, Gray Fox Size 12-14, Tan Caddis Size 12-16, Crane Fly Size 14-18, Sulphur Size 12-14, Frenchie Size 12-16,  Pink Beaded Walt’s Worm Size 12-16, UV Braider PT Size 14-18, RTV Nymph Size 12-16, Soft Hackles Size 12-18, Zebra Midge Size 18-22

Fishing Report:

April is an awesome time of the year to be a fly fisherman in Pennsylvania. Spring is without a doubt the “match the hatch” time of year. After a winter of fish primarily eating underneath, it’s great to see fish feeding on the surface with regularity.

Water conditions have been in great shape so far this spring, and a variety of bugs are hatching. As a result, our river systems continue to fish well.

The weather this year continues to be an irregular pattern. A very early warm snap, followed by a cold snap into early April, and now temperatures are near 80 degrees as we near the end of April. The Grannom hatch this year fell victim to irregular weather, at least on the water that I fish in our local area. It seemed as though Grannoms did not hatch in as strong of numbers as typical for our area. While the fishing was quite good at times, periods of emergence did not seem as long which limited fishing hours in the morning. Fishing the egg-laying flights during the evening also seemed less productive than normal due to the smaller number of bugs.

Not long after Grannoms disappeared Tan Caddis starting showing up on the scene. Over the last week March Browns, Gray Foxes, and Crane Flies have been hatching in numbers. Recently Sulphurs are starting to pop off, and should soon appear in full force.

One of the best parts about the river systems in our area is they are bug factories. A lot of evenings anglers have to play the game to see which bugs the fish are eating the most out of what’s being offered. In my opinion, that’s a good problem to have. Some of the best dry fly fishing days of the year are this time of the year. Go fish.

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Pennsylvania Trout Fishing Report: March

Date: March 16, 2017

Water Conditions: Water levels in the area are slightly lower than normal for this time of year, but are in great fishing shape. As the snow begins to melt off, it will be important to consider how snowmelt could affect water temperatures. See previous article, Winter Fly Fishing: The Snow Melt Impact. 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: Blue Winged Olives Size 18-20, Black Zebra Midge Size 18-22, Little Black Stonefly Size 18-20, Rock Worm Larva Size 12-16, Frenchie Size 12-16, Pat’s Rubber Legs Size 6-10, Pink Beaded Walt’s Worm Size 12-16, UV Braider PT Size 16-22, RTV Nymph Size 12-16, Wooly Bugger Size 6-10, Slumpbuster Size 6-8

Fishing Report:

We have certainly experienced more than our fair share of warm, and comfortable weather so far this winter. Recently, the weather has been more typical of the season with cooler temperatures and doses of snow. Prior to the recent cold snap, the fish seemed to have turned on with hopes of spring being right around the corner. Even the bugs such as Midges, Little Black Stones, and Blue Winged Olives were hatching heavy at times. We certainly deserved another shot of winter, and anglers alike are hoping that ol’ man winter is giving his final blow for the year. Looking ahead towards the next week, the weather forecast is back towards normal for this time of year with daytime temperatures in the 40’s. As winter breaks, the fishing will likely pick right back up again as the fish turn on for spring. It will be interesting to see what happens with the bugs in regards of hatches over the next month. Until temperatures warm up a bit nymphing the slower, winter water types should be the most productive ways to catch fish. Slowly drifting, or stripping streamers should also continue to pull large fish out of there hiding spots. Enjoy time on the water now, it won’t be long until spring is in full swing and the water is crowded again. Go fish.

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Pennsylvania Trout Fishing Report: February

Date: February 21st, 2017

Water Conditions: Between snow and rain there hasn’t been a lack of precipitation in our local area recently. At the beginning of the month flows were pretty high, even unfishable at times, but since the water has slowly dropped. At the present moment, waters conditions on our rivers and creeks are in great shape. 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: Zebra Midge Size 18-22,  Peeking Caddis Size 12-16, Rock Worm Larva Size 12-16, Frenchie Size 12-16, Pat’s Rubber Legs Size 6-10, Pink Beaded Walt’s Worm Size 12-16, UV Braider PT Size 16-22, RTV Nymph Size 12-16, Soft Hackles Size 16-18, Wooly Bugger Size 6-10, Slumpbuster Size 6-8

Fishing Report:

So far this February has been unusual, but welcome. We have experienced a few cold snaps, however, there remains a surprising amount of mild, warm weather. With daytime air temperatures ranging from 50-65 degrees, it’s been fantastic weather to be on the water. With the weather fluctuating so much between warm and cold I think it has kept the fish a little on their toes. For that reason, on some days the fishing was a little slower than one would hope for, given how nice the weather has been for February. We are in the middle of a prolonged warm spell that should last at least through the weekend. Recently, with this longer stretch of nice weather on consecutive days, the fishing seemed to really pick up. A strong number of Midges and Little Black Stones made there presence known, and the fish took notice. Nymphing in typical winter water types continues to be the most productive method for catching numbers. Since a little extra water is around, fishing streamers continues to work pretty well on some of the larger fish. If they are not willing to chase an aggressive streamer retrieve, try swinging or dead drifting. This winter continues to be much more favorable for fishing than the last several. It will be interesting to see how long this warm weather sticks around, or if we get another extended cold snap. In the meantime, water and weather conditions have been near perfect for February. Go fish.

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