Register now on PaFlyFish.com! Login
HOME FORUM BLOG PHOTOS LINKS


Sponsors

Browsing this Thread:   1 Anonymous Users





Sullivan County - early season fish

Joined:
2007/6/19 21:49
From Lancaster County
Posts: 1541
Offline
The first weekend in April, I was slated to hike a portion of the Loyalsock Trail and connecting Red-X trails with a group of guys. I planned to travel to the area sometime on Friday, but an impromptu meeting late Friday morning spoiled those plans somewhat and I didn't embark for the area until about 1:30. The weather forecast called for light showers, with a chance for 1/2 inch later in the afternoon. I watched the light showers move through on the radar and all looked clear to the west. That was until I reached Northumberland and took a look at the radar. A broad band of heavy rain stretched from north of Williamsport down to Gettysburg. I thought I might beat it to the stream, but as I started the drive up and over the mountain to my first stream choice, the clouds let loose.

The area had only recently been loosed the grips of winter and signs abounded that vestiges of the cold still hung on. A small lake was still completely frozen over. The forest road itself was heavily washed out in places, perhaps the result of heavy rain falling earlier in the week and having nowhere to go given the frozen ground. Piles of snow lingered in some places as well.

Given the lateness of my departure, I scrapped my original plan to do some hiking into a stream and opted to fish a stream with proximity to the road. However, that stream was really ripping and was also plastered with the dreaded yellow No Trespassing signs. So I settled on a third stream, which I hadn't fished since about 2002. The last time I was there, I also remember fishing in a rain storm. However, it was the middle of summer and wet wading was the method of attack. There would be none of that on this particular Friday, as the water temp registered at 40 degrees even. The stream was flowing nicely and given it's size, all I needed was my hippers, my chest pack and the rod. There was a little color to the stream but my expectations were not all that high, as I recalled only managing a handful of smallish brooks the last time I fished it.

That expectation got upgraded when I cast into the first nice little pool I encountered. A fish charged hard, and I quickly had an aggressive brown on the line and then in my hand. Spring time flows are a great time to target browns, in my experience, and this outing would confirm that five times. I worked my way upstream and most likely looking holes yielded a nice brown. A few were such that the stream was flowing too swiftly and I wasn't able to get my offering down enough, but each brown that came to hand had some combination of that beautiful buttered belly, red spots, neon red adipose, and a toothy grin.

From Apr 4, 2014 Sullivan County


From Apr 4, 2014 Sullivan County


From Apr 4, 2014 Sullivan County


From Apr 4, 2014 Sullivan County


From Apr 4, 2014 Sullivan County


From Apr 4, 2014 Sullivan County


From Apr 4, 2014 Sullivan County


From Apr 4, 2014 Sullivan County


From Apr 4, 2014 Sullivan County


From Apr 4, 2014 Sullivan County


From Apr 4, 2014 Sullivan County



I made a side diversion to investigate a small waterfall that was flowing in a small tributary. I thought there might be some brookies stacked up in the plunge pool, but couldn't yield a fish. I also passed through one stretch which had obviously undergone some recent mass wasting. The ragged scarp of a fresh landslide jagged its way along about a hundred yard section of the stream and the ground was still all but liquefied in few spots on that hillside.

From Apr 4, 2014 Sullivan County


From Apr 4, 2014 Sullivan County


I continued to work upstream and while casting to a small pool within earshot of another waterfall, I pulled my first brookie of 2014 in. I wasn't sure realistically what time the hiking crew would be joining me, but since I still needed to eat some dinner and we had placed an optimistic meet up time of 8PM in Worlds End State Park, I decided to use the waterfall as my natural barrier and turn back.

From Apr 4, 2014 Sullivan County


From Apr 4, 2014 Sullivan County


From Apr 4, 2014 Sullivan County



I walked back the road, observing the obvious impacts that the road had on siltation in the stream. Gutters beside the road were running with chocolate milk and there was a marked contrast to where one of these small runoff channels entered the main stream, in terms of water color. Another small waterfall caught my eye off the road a bit, so I hiked up to it. What struck me was how muddy the water was coming over the waterfall. To the best of my knowledge (later confirmed by satellite maps), there is no significant road upstream from this waterfall, so I continue to wonder what source was creating the muddy flow. I checked Marcellus well site maps as well and could not find anything remotely upstream from that waterfall.

From Apr 4, 2014 Sullivan County


From Apr 4, 2014 Sullivan County


From Apr 4, 2014 Sullivan County


I enjoyed a cheese steak dinner at the Forksville General Store (owned by a Philly transplant, I believe) and then snagged a voicemail from the hiking crew. Seems their van broke down en route and they had to send drivers back to Lancaster to obtain additional modes of transportation. I dozed a bit in the parking area of Worlds End and the hiking crew eventually arrived around 1AM. It was too late to enact our night-time hiking plan, so we opted to do some stealth camping in the park. We awoke to sleet and snow showers in the morning and I transitioned to the hiking phase of my trip.

Friday evening, I had almost convinced myself to leave the rod in the car, given the enjoyable outing I had earlier in the day. But Saturday, I ended up throwing the rod in the outside pocket of my pack, because where we were slated to camp that night had a small stream flowing by it. Turns out it was a bit colder up on the top of the plateau than at the base where the Loyalsock flows, so there was much more snow and ice stream side. I forgot my thermometer, but water temps were definitely not above 40, especially given the cold gray day that was Saturday. Needless to say, I coaxed no brookies out from under rocks that evening. But I highly recommend high spring flows for targeting those wild brownies. I wasn't really expecting to encounter too many, but they may be the reason that I caught sparse brookies in the section downstream of the waterfall when I was there in 2002. Regardless, it was a great way to spend an afternoon during an early spring rain shower.

Album link:

Apr 4, 2014 Sullivan County

Posted on: 4/15 14:00


Re: Sullivan County - early season fish

Joined:
2009/7/29 10:25
Posts: 1808
Offline
"I forgot my thermometer, but water temps were definitely not above 40, especially given the cold gray day that was Saturday. Needless to say, I coaxed no brookies out from under rocks that evening. But I highly recommend high spring flows for targeting those wild brownies."

nice story and yes still cold water out there. I fished a remote Juniata/Mifflin mountain stream yesterday... even after a 57 night in nearby towns, the water only reached 55. And that was in the late PM, w/ air 70+F. Caught brookies on dries, but in the spring on a steep stream, I was fighting leader drag often.

Posted on: 4/15 14:27


Re: Sullivan County - early season fish

Joined:
2006/9/13 10:18
From LV
Posts: 7747
Offline
Nice slide show, the fish appear skinny, did you think that?

Up in Tioga County over the weekend the stream next to my camp hit 50 degrees, and another was at 48 degrees over the weekend. YWC hit mid 50's over the weekend. So did Kettle. I think back in some of the hollows there is still snow and ice, because on Saturday after a half day of rain Friday the streams started to drop, but came up again after the day warmed. then the streams stayed up until I left.
There were traces of ice and snow in some of the places along roads and streams that I could see, so I'm sure there were hollows that had snow and ice on the ground over the weekend. And tonight they may get another blast.

Posted on: 4/15 16:07
_________________
There is always time to do more to protect wild trout.


Re: Sullivan County - early season fish

Joined:
2013/8/5 23:08
From Lancaster
Posts: 130
Offline
Those are some pretty big browns for that size of stream. It must have been a lot of fun!

Posted on: 4/15 17:02


Re: Sullivan County - early season fish

Joined:
2006/10/18 20:22
From NC PA Mountains
Posts: 1099
Offline
Those tails are HUGE compared to the body size! Nice report.

Posted on: 4/15 17:11
_________________
Hunting Camp Portraits


Re: Sullivan County - early season fish

Joined:
2011/5/3 12:22
From South Lebanon Township, PA
Posts: 1944
Offline
Very nice as usual. Beautiful Browns.

Posted on: 4/15 17:11


Re: Sullivan County - early season fish

Joined:
2009/2/19 19:59
From Mont Co, Pa
Posts: 2034
Offline
Nice collection of pics and a neat story. Some of those caudal fins are huge!

Posted on: 4/15 18:26
_________________
Protect the resource, let them go!


Re: Sullivan County - early season fish

Joined:
2011/5/9 15:37
From Ohio
Posts: 1143
Offline
I was thinking the same thing about the tails! Great post, and those are some nice fish.

Posted on: 4/15 19:09


Re: Sullivan County - early season fish

Joined:
2007/6/19 21:49
From Lancaster County
Posts: 1541
Offline
Chaz - I didn't think the fish looked skinny, especially coming off the winter we had. Some seemed downright fat. But maybe I'm accustomed to skinny freestone browns.

On the tail size, I wonder if there is something statistically significant about the tail size on the fish I catch. I've seen multiple comments to that affect that span multiple streams.

Regarding the size of the fish vs. the size of the stream, I think this is more of an angler misperception than anything, meaning that anglers don't think that 10-13" fish inhabit small streams. Read the big browns threads, and substitute 10-13" fish for 20+" fish. Chances are the stream I fished couldn't grow a 20+" fish, but each likely hole held one nice 10-13" fish. Fish it in low water and you might catch one smallish brown and think that your catch rate matches the size of the stream. Fish it in high slightly off color water and you'll likely catch five or more. The latter is closer to the biomass reality; the former is just angler perception. The source of the fish is most likely the Loyalsock, but only one or two gave me any pause to wonder if they were wild. The waterfalls were clearly not stockers; they were wild

Posted on: 4/15 20:46


Re: Sullivan County - early season fish

Joined:
2007/3/24 2:29
From Luzerne County, PA
Posts: 374
Offline
Beautiful photos, I used the hike and fish all around the Loyalsock State Forest. That is some rugged territory, even more so since recent flooding has rearranged the creeks and tons more blow downs make for difficult hiking in areas. I heard a big tree come down last time I was fishing up there a couple years ago.

Where you wooly bugger fishing or nymphing?

Posted on: 4/16 1:43


Re: Sullivan County - early season fish

Joined:
2009/2/13 4:12
From West Chester,PA
Posts: 154
Offline
Nice story lines and photos.
Thanks for taking the time to post

Posted on: 4/16 8:03
_________________
'..when I'm not AFISHN,I'm a huntin'"


Re: Sullivan County - early season fish

Joined:
2007/6/19 21:49
From Lancaster County
Posts: 1541
Offline
Quote:

henrydavid wrote:
Beautiful photos, I used the hike and fish all around the Loyalsock State Forest. That is some rugged territory, even more so since recent flooding has rearranged the creeks and tons more blow downs make for difficult hiking in areas. I heard a big tree come down last time I was fishing up there a couple years ago.

Where you wooly bugger fishing or nymphing?


Early season for browns: white, olive, black wooly buggers, size 6-12; for that matter, in freestoners with wild browns, that's mostly what I fish year round

Early season for brooks: size 12 or smaller micro-buggers. I guess you could consider them big nymphs.

Posted on: 4/16 8:43






You can view topic.
You cannot start a new topic.
You cannot reply to posts.
You cannot edit your posts.
You cannot delete your posts.
You cannot add new polls.
You cannot vote in polls.
You cannot attach files to posts.
You cannot post without approval.

[Advanced Search]





Site Content
Login
Username:

Password:

Remember me



Lost Password?

Register now!
Stay Connected

twitterfeed.com facebook instagram RSS Feed

Sponsors
Polls
Will you be fly fishing this autumn?
Yes
No
Thinking about it
_PL_TOTALVOTES
The poll will close at 2014/10/31 17:56
1 Comment





Copyright 2014 by PaFlyFish.com | Privacy Policy| Provided by Kile Media Group | Design by 7dana.com