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Re: Little Lehigh - "Heritage Section"

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2006/9/13 10:18
From LV
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Quote:

Bamboozle wrote:
That's interesting reading despite being six years old, thanks!

I have heard for years that Section 8 was "Class A" despite never being on the list. When I contacted the PFBC over the years, more than a few folks were surprised when I told them it wasn't listed, including WCO's

Back in 2012 I had correspondence with the PFBC which indicated it was going to reevaluated in 2013 so I guess it finally happened. The biggest problem I was told was accurately determining the origin of fish captured during surveys due to problems with the hatchery upstream.

The bottom line is there are no more excuses or blaming a lack of fish for a lousy day at the Little Lehigh. "The good old days" of tons of fish was all about hatchery escapees.


In 2003 during the survey they determined that the section adjacent to the hatchery was 50% stocked fish, the rest of the section was over 90% wild fish. From the time I started fish the LL in about '89 until I'd say 2008 it was really good. Good hatches, plenty of fish. Since then it's hard to even find fish let alone catch them. I was there recently and saw 1 fish caught. I was there last summer and caught a a few, when some evening before '08 I'd catch 20 to 30 fish.
Most of those fish were wild trout. Once you move out of the Heritage section into the open water during the late spring through the fall nearly 100% of the fish I caught were wild fish. Now I'm not sure if I'd catch anything except suckers.
there were times when I'd fish the LL 3 or 4 times a week. I know the stream and the fish. The 2003 biologist report is on the PFBC site feel free to read it.

Posted on: 2016/4/4 16:47


Re: Little Lehigh - "Heritage Section"

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2007/6/19 21:49
From Lancaster County
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Quote:

troutwilleatflies wrote:
If you did not witness the "good old days" on the LL you have no idea how GOOD they were,it's like night vs day.
There is no doubt the degradation of the stream is the main problem,there are no where near the bugs now as then.The main problem is all the development in lower and upper Macungie twsp's,and there is no end in sight for that problem.


Everyone seems to bemoan development (myself included), but do we live in a tent out in the woods? Or do we live in houses in developed (or semi-developed) areas? Is anyone volunteering to give up their home for the trouts' sake?

Posted on: 2016/4/4 16:56


Re: Little Lehigh - "Heritage Section"

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2006/12/7 18:13
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I can't speak to the declined hatches (if in fact they are declined) because in my entire life of fishing there which goes back to the 1980’s, I have only fished there thrice during a hatch (Tricos twice & Sulphurs once) and I haven’t fished there during either hatch in well over 25 years.

I can't speak to siltation because to be honest, I don't notice such gradual things over a 25 year span
and I sure as heck would be lying if I said I can remember how silted or not silted it was even 10 years ago. (Yea I realize that the massive amount of development upstream could result in additional siltation but again, I'd be lying if I said I actually noticed it in section 8).

I can’t speak to reduced numbers of macro invertebrates because I am not a biologist but if a stream is “degraded” but yet has such an abundance of wild fish that it is on the Class A list, what are those wild fish living on, Power Bait & wax worms that drift downstream from Section 7?

I can speak to ME not catching many fish there but I’m not making excuses for my own incompetence.

Bottom line, I guess I am having a hard time understanding what exactly is the definition of a “declined stream”. Is it just the “declined” number of fish caught? Because somehow I have feeling if all of the same “declining” conditions were present but folks were yanking out fish after fish, nobody would be using the “D” word to describe it.

IMHO it is an evolving stream with a healthy & thriving wild trout population who survive through the good graces of the bait fishermen who lose bait while fishing upstream.

Maybe we aren’t catching them because we are using the wrong flies.

Anybody have a good Power Bait or corn pattern?

Posted on: 2016/4/4 17:09


Re: Little Lehigh - "Heritage Section"

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2009/2/10 16:30
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I don't know about power bait or corn patterns but I have seen some guys using what looked like pellet patterns.

Having access to surveys would help understand the changes and whether or not the stream has degraded. Also how this section compares to other sections.

Posted on: 2016/4/4 17:28


Re: Little Lehigh - "Heritage Section"

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Well, if it wasn't Class A before and it is now, has it degraded?

Posted on: 2016/4/4 17:54


Re: Little Lehigh - "Heritage Section"
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2006/9/11 8:26
From Chester County
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Quote:

Bamboozle wrote:
Well, if it wasn't Class A before and it is now, has it degraded?


Given the number of hatchery escapees in the stream back in the day, it was hard to assess the wild trout population with a fishin' pole. While the section is, and I assume was always Class A, it cannot be determined, without data, if the population is up or down.

As far as habitat/water quality?...I can tell you that I have fished sections of the LL that are in really bad shape. The Wild Cherry Lane section is so siltated, the bottom of the stream looks like it has been paved over in areas. The same for areas along Spring Creek Road and the section west of Rt 100.

Degraded? Yes, IMO.

Posted on: 2016/4/5 7:37


Re: Little Lehigh - "Heritage Section"

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2006/9/11 11:30
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I've fished the Lehigh Valley limestoners since the 70's and grew up about 1/2 mile from the mouth of the Bushkill, albeit on the NJ side so I am a foreigner. IMHO, all peaked about the early 2000's and have seen a decline. Of course the Saucon was dead in the 70's and has had a more recent rise and decline

It went in phases. All had lush weedbeds in the 70's. One could run their hands through the weeds and come up with a handful of scuds and cressbugs back in the day. The fish put on weight all winter in this environment. This was before scud hooks and I remember a buddy getting a hold of curved English bait hooks on which we tied simple hare's ear or muskrat dubbed bodies and slayed bigger browns, especially at the old special regs area near Tatamy. Then by the 90's the weedbeds seriously declined and now they are hard to find. The flood/drought yo-yo starting with Hurricane Floyd in 1996 then seemed to add sediment in most places and strip the gravel down to bedrock in other places. It seems like the stream beds are increasingly broadening and composed of sand. A similar thing happened to my local stream, the Upper South Branch of the Raritan. The section still holds a better than expected brown and a variable brookie population. However, the slimy sculpin population has crashed, which concerns the local biologists, but few anglers.

The Heritage Stretch IMHO also suffers from poor stream "improvement" design with the old downstream vee gabions. These eventually cause the stream to widen and add a lot of sediment. Newer techniques mimicking the point bar/ riffle/hole structure of natural streams seem to hold up better IMHO.

Posted on: 2016/4/5 9:03


Re: Little Lehigh - "Heritage Section"

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2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
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Quote:
Anybody have a good Power Bait or corn pattern?


Power Bait pattern: Glo-Bug, sucker spawn.

Seriously, powerbait is just an egg substitute, really.

As for corn, I can say that in my years of bait fishing for trout, I have never used corn, and never really witnessed any others doing so either. I'm not saying it's not used, but I think the prevalence is vastly overstated by fly guys. Eggs (trout, salmon, single, sacked, or skein), power bait, minnows (live or salted), millworms, wax worms, maggots, crawlers and garden worms. I'd say the above makes up 95+% of baits used on trout.

Crayfish and grasshoppers are used some as well. The former more for bass, and the latter seems to have lost favor in recent years.

Posted on: 2016/4/5 9:22


Re: Little Lehigh - "Heritage Section"

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2016/2/26 9:10
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Corn is always a go-to at the kiddie trout stocked ponds, they feed them pellets and corn always works well. Corn and bread always worked better then actual worms or eggs.

The good ole days of being 10 years old stealing moms bread and biking out to the pond for a day of rippin lips :D

Posted on: 2016/4/5 9:29


Re: Little Lehigh - "Heritage Section"

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2011/3/24 14:02
From emmaus,pa
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There was a survey done in 2013 which covered sections of the LL all the way from Rt 100 through the Heritage section. Unfortunately it is not available online. I heard a presentation about the survey recently at a LLTU meeting and was particularly impressed by the presence of wild Browns through the length of the surveyed area including many areas of the river that are rarely if ever fished.

Posted on: 2016/4/5 11:58


Re: Little Lehigh - "Heritage Section"

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2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
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Corn is always a go-to at the kiddie trout stocked ponds, they feed them pellets and corn always works well. Corn and bread always worked better then actual worms or eggs.


Well then, that'd splain my lack of familiarity with corn as bait, as I'm not sure what you mean by "kiddie trout stocked ponds", so I'm obviously unfamiliar with the scene.

Posted on: 2016/4/5 12:03


Re: Little Lehigh - "Heritage Section"

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Stocked ponds for kids only, find em at sportsmans clubs and the like...

Posted on: 2016/4/5 13:12


Re: Little Lehigh - "Heritage Section"

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Quote:

afishinado wrote:

As far as habitat/water quality?...I can tell you that I have fished sections of the LL that are in really bad shape. The Wild Cherry Lane section is so siltated, the bottom of the stream looks like it has been paved over in areas. The same for areas along Spring Creek Road and the section west of Rt 100.

Degraded? Yes, IMO.


I can concur with that assessment for Sections 3-6 but what about Section 8? That section and the rocks/gravel/structure look relatively unchanged to me in the years I have fished it.

The Class A determination for that section had always been clouded by hatchery escapees but the current opinions of that section reminds me of comments I hear regarding the "Ditch" at Big Springs.

Back in the "good old days" when the Ditch was stuffed with hatchery escapees it was also stuffed with anglers who proclaimed it as "great". Once the hatchery closed and the stockers disappeared, you see nary an angler there because it is "not the same", "degraded" yet it has a Class A biomass. The same thing happened with Fisherman's Paradise when stocking ceased...

It appears to me that there is a correlation between catching fish (even if they are interlopers) and the accolades bestowed upon a stream regardless of the wild fish population.

BTW - Corn flies, wax worm flies and even salmon egg flies haven't lived up to my expectations either.

Posted on: 2016/4/5 13:30


Re: Little Lehigh - "Heritage Section"

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2009/2/10 16:30
From SE PA
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To me it's very noticeable that silt has affected the middle of section 8.

But all this discussion has motivated me to come up this weekend. And wet a line there again. And stop by Anglers Pro Shop now that it's under new management.




Edit: I'll add that the removal of the dam may have a positive impact in the longer run. Have to see how that change has impacted the stream.

Posted on: 2016/4/5 18:23


Re: Little Lehigh - "Heritage Section"

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2013/6/14 5:23
From Tionesta PA
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I will be fishing this section on Friday for the first time. I know Trico pattern and Al Rat midges. Any updated tips for landing a couple here and Gertrude Fox section of Monacacy? We will be in Bethlehem for the Saint Bernard Dog Show this week.

Posted on: 10/16 9:44



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