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Letort-what do I NEED TO KNOW?

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2011/3/8 19:04
From York, PA
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So after putting the archery stuff away, I'm now fully invested in getting back on the water. I'm kinda new to FF but have 2 seasons under my belt. I can cast with some proficiency. I generally nymph a tandem rig under an indicator. I would like to expand my repertoire of streams and techniques.

I'd like to fish the Letort in the next couple weeks. I've scanned some previous threads about the limestoner but I've never been there. I have fished a couple spots on the breeches and once at Big Spring (which frankly was a disaster...wading and sediment??).

What do I need to know to have a fun day at Letort? I assume scuds/sow bugs to start? Midges this time of year? Wading? Access?

Thanks for any info to get me started. If generally not ask for such HELP BEFORE JUST SCOUTING MYSELF, but I read several threads that mentioned sinkholes, sediment, posted water etc.

Thank you!!!

Posted on: 2013/1/27 19:31


Re: Letort-what do I NEED TO KNOW?

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2010/7/31 14:41
From SCPA
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First thing to keep in mind when fishing the letort is to keep your expectations in-check. I think it took me 5 times out to have any luck at all. You could write a book on how to fish it (oh wait...). Here's a few tips that I've learned while fishing it.

1) move slowly and stay as far back from the stream as you can.

2) don't (try to) wade. Seriously, don't do it.

3) for every fish that you do see, there are 10 more that you cant see.

4) fish the edges of the weeds and undercut banks

5) don't be afraid to throw big flies (sculpin, streamers, etc)

6) watch your step on the banks. Be ok with the idea of falling in a hole.

7) take time to observe before you move into a new stretch.

Theres a lot more to know, but most of it just comes with fishing the stream. Just enjoy the experience, even if you get the skunk.

Posted on: 2013/1/27 20:58


Re: Letort-what do I NEED TO KNOW?
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2006/9/9 17:32
From Gettysburg
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Sipe,
Cold weather is your friend. The meadows will be frozen and easier to walk on. Nevertheless, there are many spring seeps and these are still soft. The meadows this time of year are straw colored - keep an eye out for bright green spots, that's where it's soft. Bring a wading staff to probe the soft areas. Trust me, even if you don't wade, a wading staff is very helpful along Letort.
Cloudy days usually fish best. Scuds and cress bugs are go-to flies but don't forget some small BWOs as well.
Good luck with your trip.

Posted on: 2013/1/27 21:40


Re: Letort-what do I NEED TO KNOW?

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2010/6/26 11:19
From Along the Lehigh Above the Gap
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It's the Devil.

Posted on: 2013/1/27 21:47
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Re: Letort-what do I NEED TO KNOW?

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2011/2/17 20:04
From Berks County
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Quote:

SBecker wrote:
It's the Devil.


This was pretty much my experience.

Posted on: 2013/1/27 22:45


Re: Letort-what do I NEED TO KNOW?

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2006/12/29 10:00
From Harrisburg
Posts: 2013
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I've fallen in love with it like few other streams. Many (and I mean many) times I've gone there and got skunked or just one or two to hand knowing full well I could've caught many fish somewhere else. Only to do the same thing the very next day.
Shes a bitch of a stream, but I always did like taming shrews. When you finally get them to love you, its the best of love.
Patience, observance, and most of all stealth. If they see you, its over. For the better fish anyway and most of the small ones.
Big BWO's right around the corner.

Posted on: 2013/1/28 6:03
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Re: Letort-what do I NEED TO KNOW?

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2009/4/1 21:52
From Johnstown, PA
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Dan........that reminds me of a Slim Pickens line from "Blazing Saddles" which i better not repeat on here........well said and true.

Posted on: 2013/1/28 8:49


Re: Letort-what do I NEED TO KNOW?

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2011/7/6 12:30
From Ephrata, PA
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What to expect-getting your arse kicked.

Go with the expectation of seeing one of the most beautifuly, most legendary streams in the world. Go with the mindset of taking in the lore and history of it all. Fish are a bonus. What everyone else said is right on, can't really add to it. All I can say is, when I finally got there, I didn't expect to catch fish, and all I could think the whole time I was there was, "I can't believe I'm standing here!"

Posted on: 2013/1/28 10:26


Re: Letort-what do I NEED TO KNOW?

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2008/6/28 15:57
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per Gene Macri, "Go on a cloudy day."

Posted on: 2013/1/28 10:30


Re: Letort-what do I NEED TO KNOW?

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2012/3/22 8:26
From Couldn't Care Less
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Opened this thread and did some research on the stream .. looks beautiful tho I will stay away for a few more years.

Is it the beauty or difficulty that make it one of the most legendary fishing streams in the world? What is the history behind it that makes it so legendary?

Thanks

Posted on: 2013/1/28 11:03
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Re: Letort-what do I NEED TO KNOW?
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Quote:

Stagger_Lee wrote:
Is it the beauty or difficulty that make it one of the most legendary fishing streams in the world? What is the history behind it that makes it so legendary?
Thanks


Both the stream's beauty and difficulty are part of its mystique. However, the difficulty part is a larger chunk of the reputation. The Letort's history is long, large and complex. Entire books and fly fishing techniques were pioneered on Letort, mostly in the period from about 1945-1980. Many of the best known FFers in PA during those years honed their methods and observations on this stream by watching trout rises and experimenting with different flies and presentations. Among the best known of these famous fishermen would be Vince Marinaro, Charlie Fox, Ed Koch, Ed Shenk, (along with a squad of other dedicated anglers - All the fellas I've listed are deceased now except Shenk).

FFers tend to speak of Letort in hushed tones of great reverence - and rightfully so. Still, it's worth remembering, that it's just a trout stream. Don't be discouraged about paying Letort a visit. It's a great PA trout fishing pilgrimage.

Posted on: 2013/1/28 11:15


Re: Letort-what do I NEED TO KNOW?

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2011/4/12 17:23
From Lancaster Co.
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I guess "beauty is in the eye of the beholder." I would say the Letort is unique in its pastoral setting and as a true spring creek there are things about it that are beautiful like the large cress beds but considering the mostly suburban setting it flows through these days I think it is far more about the legend and difficulty than beauty. It doesn't compare to the mountain settings some of the other well known streams in PA flow though.

I would have loved to have seen and fished this stream back in its heyday when Fox, Koch, Marinaro and others fished it almost daily during the season.

No one should feel intimidated or unworthy to fish this stream. Go for no other reason than to experience something unique and to perhaps immerse yourself a little bit in fly fishing history.

(And try to avoid wading at all costs, and go on a cloudy day, and be ready to take the skunk!)

Posted on: 2013/1/28 11:54
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Re: Letort-what do I NEED TO KNOW?

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2008/1/21 13:28
From South Central PA
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In addition to what has been said the strain of brown in the Heritage section is special.

Posted on: 2013/1/28 12:09


Re: Letort-what do I NEED TO KNOW?
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2006/9/11 8:26
From Chester County
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The Letort is a stream a lot of history and much written about it back in "the day." I do wish that some folks with foresight (and some political pull) would have preserved it a little better by allowing a decent riparian zone in some sections where development was allowed right up to the bank.

It is unique, but as FI said, from the angler's perspective, it's just a trout stream. Nearly all anglers have difficulty with the slow currents and weed beds, but there are plenty of trout in it to fish for....give it a try....just watch your step.

Posted on: 2013/1/28 12:25


Re: Letort-what do I NEED TO KNOW?

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2008/12/29 12:54
From Frederick, MD & New Philly, OH
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Sipe,

Klingys advice is really good, in fact nearly perfect. I would only reiterate that bwo's are certainly going to bring the fish up from 9-2 depending on the day. Some can be quite large, while others are small (20-24's). Ive noticed that the trout will ignore the large bwos(16-18's) and eat the little bwos. I guess they taste better??? I've had most of my dry fly success on the letort by spotting rising fish from a distance. I then try to position myself above the fish a good 30-60 feet. This involves moving slow and crawling. I've found that its easier to battle the numerous swirling flows while drifting a dry into a feeding lane from above the rising fish. I use a leader that is at least 6x and 12 feet long with two dries. Two dries causes the flies to do a switch back across the surface which will trigger strikes. Do not cast repetitively over a rising fish. Slowly retreive your line and wait a minute. Limit your false casting, if none at all. Do this and you will catch fish within the next month on bwo's on the letort.

Posted on: 2013/1/28 21:41
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