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Hammersley Fork

Joined:
2017/2/27 9:58
From SE PA
Posts: 93
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Hey guys,

A buddy of mine and I are looking to fish Hammersley Fork in the upcoming months. We were looking at going in March/Early April. I have a couple of questions:

1.) In general would the creeks be iced over up there in the March/Early April time frame, or should they be clear? Obviously this would depend on the weather patterns up until that point though.

2.) As far as access points, I was looking at using Hammersley Road to get to the creek. Is there parking, and is it OK to park there?

3.) I know that fishing stocked trout waters is not allowed the month before opening day, this does not apply to Class A/Wild waters under catch and release fishing?

If anyone has any suggestions on Hammersley it would be much appreciated.

Thanks,
Tom

Posted on: 1/30 10:18


Re: Hammersley Fork

Joined:
2014/4/15 22:32
From Lycoming county
Posts: 187
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Depending on weather for the rest of winter I would expect there to still be ice along the stream in hammersley due to the terrain and heavy canopy cover. A lot of freestone brookie streams like hammersley fish much better once the water starts to warm up. There is limited parking at the bottom on hammersley road, there are also parking areas in the upper end of the watershed along McConnell Road that would allow you through hike to the bottom if you will be taking two vehicles and camping a night or 2.

All special regs water is open to year round fishing as are any non approved trout water stream sections. It is very easy to find this information on the pfbc mapping page http://pfbc.maps.arcgis.com/apps/weba ... 592234019bdc5f095eaf5c6ac

Posted on: 1/30 10:26

Edited by lycoflyfisher on 2018/1/30 10:55:02


Re: Hammersley Fork

Joined:
2017/2/27 9:58
From SE PA
Posts: 93
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Quote:

lycoflyfisher wrote:
Depending on weather for the rest of winter I would expect there to still be ice along the stream in hammersley due to the terrain and heavy canopy cover. A lot of freestone brookie streams like hammersley fish much better once the water starts to warm up. There is limited parking at the bottom on hammersley road, there are also parking areas in the upper end of the watershed along McConnell Road that would allow you through hike to the bottom if you will be taking two vehicles and camping a night or 2.

All special regs water is open to year round fishing as are any non approved trout water stream sections. It is very easy to find this information on the pfbc mapping page http://pfbc.maps.arcgis.com/apps/weba ... 592234019bdc5f095eaf5c6ac


Yeah I was thinking that as well in terms of the ice/snow. I had a difficult time finding information on access points on the South side of the creek, but it looks like there is parking for the trail in Cross Fork as well.

Thank you for the help

Posted on: 1/30 11:35


Re: Hammersley Fork

Joined:
2010/7/31 14:41
From SCPA
Posts: 75
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Quote:

tjsingle wrote:
Hey guys,

A buddy of mine and I are looking to fish Hammersley Fork in the upcoming months. We were looking at going in March/Early April. I have a couple of questions:

1.) In general would the creeks be iced over up there in the March/Early April time frame, or should they be clear? Obviously this would depend on the weather patterns up until that point though.

2.) As far as access points, I was looking at using Hammersley Road to get to the creek. Is there parking, and is it OK to park there?

3.) I know that fishing stocked trout waters is not allowed the month before opening day, this does not apply to Class A/Wild waters under catch and release fishing?

If anyone has any suggestions on Hammersley it would be much appreciated.

Thanks,
Tom


Tom,
Hammersley is a fun area to explore. As I'm sure you've noticed in your research, it is one of the more remote areas in the state. Keep that in mind while planning your trip. Be prepared to possibly not see anyone else for a few days. If there is still ice/snow, it's pretty rugged in some spots, and some trails can be tricky to navigate even in good conditions. If you decide to wait until its warmer, BE AWARE OF RATTLESNAKES! I've seen them every time I've been up there.

As far as access, you can park at the bottom end of the stream. Just drive up Hammesley road until you reach the ford in the stream. Park on the downstream side of the ford. Theres enough space for several cars to squeeze in. You can then walk a wire across the stream (a little tricky with full gear), or wade across. Go upstream for miles and miles from there. You can also hike in from the mouth from cross fork, but it's a decent hike up over the ridge and down the other side to reach the stream.

As lyco said, you can also access the headwaters and hike down from there. However you decide to get in, once you visit hammersley, you won't be disappointed you made the trip. Good luck!

Posted on: 1/30 22:32


Re: Hammersley Fork

Joined:
2017/2/27 9:58
From SE PA
Posts: 93
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Klingy,

Thank you for the advice. I guess part of the reasoning behind going in March/April would be to go when the rattlesnakes aren’t particularly active in the cold. My only concern with that though is obviously if the creek is frozen, etc. Obviously colder water, will mean slower fish.

I think that the plan in general would be hike in, fish, and hike out, that way we can be a little lighter on the gear and still cover a decent amount of water. We were going to rent a cabin on Airbnb, or something similar.

Thanks
Tom

Posted on: 1/31 8:00


Re: Hammersley Fork

Joined:
2006/9/13 22:36
From Tioga co. formerly of bucks co.
Posts: 376
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I have been here 12 years and never once saw a rattler near the streams, seen 3 crossing lakes though. most ratters have home area and they stay away from creeks unless its been a dry season and the game has moved closer to water.

Posted on: 1/31 8:35
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Re: Hammersley Fork

Joined:
2011/5/3 12:22
From Morgantown, PA
Posts: 1470
Offline
Agree with most of the above. Not sure I’d be too worried about ice most years in late March or April though, depending on the weather immediately leading up of course. I’m usually up near there the first week of April for Spring cleanup weekend at the camp I belong to. Generally the streams are open and ice free. Check Kettle Creek’s gauge on the USGS site. If it’s iced, good chance Hammersley and the other tribs are too. Most years, I think you’d be fine though. That being said, my experience on the forested freestoners in NCPA is that they typically don’t fish very well until water temps get closer to 50 deg…figure another month out from when you’re looking. Not discouraging your trip, just don’t expect Hammersley (or any other similar stream up there) to show its best stuff in March or early April.

The access points are well covered already. You can’t fish the whole watershed in a day, so break if off a chunk at a time. It lends itself well to an overnight expedition as some parts of the watershed are a 2 hour hike just to get to, and 2 hours to get back out. Keep in mind in March or April you won’t have the benefit of a full Summer’s day worth of daylight. As far as the trails…Be aware that aside from the blazed STS in the upper watershed, they’re not marked and spotty. Some places they’re obvious for a while, and then disappear for a few hundred yards into the woods. The ones up on the ridges are also often at a severe off kilter angle much of the time too, meaning one foot is always higher than the other…wouldn’t be fun in snow/ice…Matter of fact it’s not much fun in good weather. I generally just hike the valley bottoms.

I wouldn’t worry too much about the Rattlers. They’re definitely there, and it’s definitely a localized hot spot for them, but don’t let it stop you from exploring up there. Like klingy, for a while I was batting 1.000 with at least one sighting per trip there. I’ve had a few since where I haven’t seen one, but my guess is about 75% of the time there I encounter one. (Though I’m usually there in Summer.) If you’re fishing, you’re generally near the stream most of the time, and that’s where I’ve seen them, though admittedly that's probably not the most likely place to find them. Pay extra attention on exposed gravel banks in the sun or near brush piles washed up on the banks. All of my sightings have had those traits in common. I wear a pair of $50 knee high gaiters over my waders when up there just to be safe. Well worth the money IMO, especially in Summer when you can’t always see where you’re putting your feet with the undergrowth.

No cell service in there…might be able to get a text out with Verizon, but everything else is way out of range. Go with a buddy, or let folks know where you are and what your plan is. It’s 100 square miles with no roads, so be smart and safe.

Posted on: 1/31 8:44


Re: Hammersley Fork

Joined:
2017/2/27 9:58
From SE PA
Posts: 93
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Quote:

Swattie87 wrote:
Agree with most of the above. Not sure I’d be too worried about ice most years in late March or April though, depending on the weather immediately leading up of course. I’m usually up near there the first week of April for Spring cleanup weekend at the camp I belong to. Generally the streams are open and ice free. Check Kettle Creek’s gauge on the USGS site. If it’s iced, good chance Hammersley and the other tribs are too. Most years, I think you’d be fine though. That being said, my experience on the forested freestoners in NCPA is that they typically don’t fish very well until water temps get closer to 50 deg…figure another month out from when you’re looking. Not discouraging your trip, just don’t expect Hammersley (or any other similar stream up there) to show its best stuff in March or early April.

The access points are well covered already. You can’t fish the whole watershed in a day, so break if off a chunk at a time. It lends itself well to an overnight expedition as some parts of the watershed are a 2 hour hike just to get to, and 2 hours to get back out. Keep in mind in March or April you won’t have the benefit of a full Summer’s day worth of daylight. As far as the trails…Be aware that aside from the blazed STS in the upper watershed, they’re not marked and spotty. Some places they’re obvious for a while, and then disappear for a few hundred yards into the woods. The ones up on the ridges are also often at a severe off kilter angle much of the time too, meaning one foot is always higher than the other…wouldn’t be fun in snow/ice…Matter of fact it’s not much fun in good weather. I generally just hike the valley bottoms.

I wouldn’t worry too much about the Rattlers. They’re definitely there, and it’s definitely a localized hot spot for them, but don’t let it stop you from exploring up there. Like klingy, for a while I was batting 1.000 with at least one sighting per trip there. I’ve had a few since where I haven’t seen one, but my guess is about 75% of the time there I encounter one. (Though I’m usually there in Summer.) If you’re fishing, you’re generally near the stream most of the time, and that’s where I’ve seen them, though admittedly that's probably not the most likely place to find them. Pay extra attention on exposed gravel banks in the sun or near brush piles washed up on the banks. All of my sightings have had those traits in common. I wear a pair of $50 knee high gaiters over my waders when up there just to be safe. Well worth the money IMO, especially in Summer when you can’t always see where you’re putting your feet with the undergrowth.

No cell service in there…might be able to get a text out with Verizon, but everything else is way out of range. Go with a buddy, or let folks know where you are and what your plan is. It’s 100 square miles with no roads, so be smart and safe.


Thank you for the excellent advice. I think at this point we just need to figure out the best time to go up there. I don’t have a lot of experience fishing forested freestone creeks, I’ve only fished them a handful of times. So I wasn’t too sure about how early in the year we could have a good trip up there....

Posted on: 1/31 20:45


Re: Hammersley Fork

Joined:
2006/11/2 8:50
Posts: 1939
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Quote:

tjsingle wrote:

I think at this point we just need to figure out the best time to go up there. I don’t have a lot of experience fishing forested freestone creeks, I’ve only fished them a handful of times. So I wasn’t too sure about how early in the year we could have a good trip up there....


So much depends on the weather. But typically it starts getting good in May.

And mid to late May is typically better than the very beginning of May.



Posted on: 2/1 16:04


Re: Hammersley Fork

Joined:
2007/3/23 18:10
From Chester Co., PA
Posts: 17
Offline
Fished Hammersley for the first time last June. Drove up to the ford and parked. Walked about an hour and fished up stream for several more. It was gloriously wild. Missed seeing a big rattler by a few minutes— another fellow walking in as I was walking out saw it along the path. Definitely worth a visit! Pennsylvania is trout Nirvana.

Posted on: 2/4 17:55


Re: Hammersley Fork

Joined:
2006/9/9 16:08
From Erie Co.
Posts: 385
Offline
That rattler is just as afraid of you as you of him. They are not going to hunt you down only strike if your too close or scare them. Be aware and you'll be fine.

Posted on: 2/4 21:14


Re: Hammersley Fork

Joined:
2009/2/19 19:59
From Mont Co, Pa
Posts: 511
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Sandfly, I have seen two rattlers up there very near the stream. Just a reminder, they don't always rattle when encountered. That's a fallacy.

Posted on: 2/5 8:45
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Re: Hammersley Fork

Joined:
2017/2/27 9:58
From SE PA
Posts: 93
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We decided to go up the 3rd week of April. Thanks for all the help everyone.

Posted on: 2/6 17:01


Re: Hammersley Fork

Joined:
2011/6/12 20:15
From Newville, PA
Posts: 159
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One word of advice. The Ford is deceptively deep. Buddy hit it too hard of first trip up in 79 and stalled out. Same group goes up every year and still laugh and having to run downstream catching empty beer cans with our net.

Posted on: 2/6 21:02
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Re: Hammersley Fork

Joined:
2006/9/20 21:44
From E-Town and Germania
Posts: 386
Offline
It is illegal to drive up past the ford. It's private property until you hit the state forest a mile or so upstream. You can hike in, but don't drive it.

Posted on: 2/6 21:35



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