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Re: Mountain Freestone/Brookie Streams in Early Spring

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2006/9/9 10:36
From Philadelphia, PA
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Yeah, I'm pretty confident the water temp was below 40. As you can see in some of the pictures, there's a significant amount of snow/ice still around. All consistently melting into the stream.

Posted on: 2013/4/1 17:18
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Re: Mountain Freestone/Brookie Streams in Early Spring

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Quote:

icyguides wrote:
I just got back from a perplexing 3 day hiking/fishing trip in Shenandoah National Park. Between me and two friends we caught a total of 0 fish on 4 different streams. We didn't even see or spook a single fish.

There was a lot snow melt the entire time, which lead me to believe the reason for our lack of success was water temperature, but after reading this post, it sounds like you had similiar conditions and still caught fish. I did take a thermometer and one stream read 44-45 in a shallow, near shore area. 45 seems warm enough for some fish activity. I saw a handful of quill gordons hatching.

Was the water stratified, making the deeper spots too cold (i know like air, warm water rises)? Do the fish migrate to areas further downstream (we were fishing close to headwaters)?

I don't fish for native brookies often. Any explanation or any tips for fishing these streams early in the year would be appreciated. It was a humbling experience...at least the hiking was nice.


You didn't say what flies you were using. If you were fishing dries, and they didn't hit dries, did you try subsurface flies such as nymphs and streamers?

But as has been discussed already, when the water is in the low to mid-40s, you're not seeing what those streams really have to offer. It's cold!

If you fish the park when the water is in the mid-50s, things will be entirely different.

Posted on: 2013/4/1 17:41


Re: Mountain Freestone/Brookie Streams in Early Spring

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From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
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Chaz, my experience has often been the opposite. So many of these streams have a lot of brookies, and a few browns. My wintertime excursions tend to turn up a much higher % of browns than summertime excursions. I've caught my share of aggressive browns under ice (riffles stay ice free, pools freeze up, drift a bugger up under!).

My impression is just that browns in these streams are more apt to turn on and off. If the water is 34 and rises to 38, fish'll turn on, but browns moreso than brookies. But if it's 38 and drops to 36, you'll NEVER catch a brown. You're chances of catching a brookie aren't hurt that bad (though they weren't great to begin with).

My winter excursions to these streams are usually targeted hoping for rising (but not warm) water temps.

Posted on: 2013/4/1 19:04


Re: Mountain Freestone/Brookie Streams in Early Spring

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2013/3/1 8:29
From West Chester
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I started out fishing a royal coachman dry but quickly switched to a bugger and several different nymphs. Nada. I knew conditions weren't ideal so it would be tough, but I thought we would at least eek a few out. After approaching with stealth, I even made sure to drift the nymphs and streamers deep into log jams, under rocks, and undercuts.

From my experience wild trout, or any wild fish or game for that matter, can be enigmatic. Some days you're just left scratching your head, but ultimately those are the days that keep me motivated and make me appreciate the good days.

Posted on: 2013/4/1 21:53


Re: Mountain Freestone/Brookie Streams in Early Spring

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Don't be too discouraged about Shenandoah Park. Try it again when spring arrives.

This was a few years ago now, but we fished it around the 21-24th of April or so and had very good brookie fishing. I think a little later would have been even better, as long as flows held up. It was still pretty chilly overnight when we were there, so the fishing was slow in the mornings but good in the afternoons.

Posted on: 2013/4/1 22:44


Re: Mountain Freestone/Brookie Streams in Early Spring

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There are not too many small streams with USPS temperature gauges.... Two that I know of are Young Womans Creek and the Pohopoco at kresgeville above the reservoir. They probably give you some idea of temperatures on other streams in the same area. Both of these only hit about 45 on recent afternoons.

There there is a forecast high of 60 a week from today in the Poconos, that should get these gauges a little higher later in the day

Posted on: 2013/4/2 7:10


Re: Mountain Freestone/Brookie Streams in Early Spring

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2011/6/29 9:38
From Philadelphia
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Quote:

k-bob wrote:
There are not too many small streams with USPS temperature gauges....


The US Postal Service has now gone into the gauge business?

After yesterday's Fox Fall for the Prank day, I have to point out other's people's flaws. Sorry to pick on you Bob!

Posted on: 2013/4/2 8:04


Re: Mountain Freestone/Brookie Streams in Early Spring

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2011/6/29 9:38
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But on a serious note, Dog mentioned an article he recently read where the author stated that this transition period from winter cold water to warmer spring water temps confuses the brookies and therefore they are more letharic and less likely to be active. Two questions, since Dog forgets where he saw the article, if anyone read it and has a link, I'd appreciate someone posting it. Next, does anyone have an opinion about that theory?

Posted on: 2013/4/2 8:14


Re: Mountain Freestone/Brookie Streams in Early Spring

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no problem FG... Of course I meant USGS temperature guage, not USPS. USPS is in the distribution/logistics business, known to be full of unreliable sorts :)

I'd guess that once we have 60F days/ 40F nights, the little streams will hit 50 late PM. Bout a week away in poconos?

Posted on: 2013/4/2 9:35


Re: Mountain Freestone/Brookie Streams in Early Spring

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1 week to hit 50? You're dreaming.

Posted on: 2013/4/2 10:17


Re: Mountain Freestone/Brookie Streams in Early Spring

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Not every day, but the accuweather white haven pa forecast for next Mon is 59, following a 36 degree night. Those conditions could lead to 50 water late pm, I think. For next wed they say a 68 day after a 44 night. That'd have water mid50s.

Nothing magical about 50, just a benchmark point at which you'd tend to see a little more brookie action.

Posted on: 2013/4/2 10:53


Re: Mountain Freestone/Brookie Streams in Early Spring

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Quote:
accuweather white haven pa forecast for next Mon is 59, following a 36 degree night. Those conditions could lead to 50 water late pm, I think.


I don't. I guess it could, depending on streams. But the water temps lag air temp by quite a bit in the spring. It's often at least mid-April before you hit 50 in the pm. And we're behind this year.

Heck, at the jam last year, late May, highs around 80 and lows in the 50's. Morning water temps were in the 40's, afternoon temps mid 50's.

It may come out of the springs at 50 something, and the air temperature may be warmer. But the ground is still very cold.

Posted on: 2013/4/2 11:22


Re: Mountain Freestone/Brookie Streams in Early Spring

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Check the usgs guage, pat: The pohopoco in kresgeville hit 46 yesterday. If white haven is anything near the 59 forecast for next Mon, and the 68 forecast for next wed, the little streams will be plenty warm for brookie fishing.

And there is nothing magical about any particular water temperature. I have caught nice brookies in the last few weeks on dry flies in water from low to mid 40s. Still, the fishing should improve as the weather warms up.






Posted on: 2013/4/2 12:10

Edited by k-bob on 2013/4/2 12:46:28
Edited by k-bob on 2013/4/2 12:58:49
Edited by k-bob on 2013/4/2 13:01:52


Re: Mountain Freestone/Brookie Streams in Early Spring

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"It's often at least mid-April before you hit 50 in the pm. And we're behind this year. ... Heck, at the jam last year, late May, highs around 80 and lows in the 50's. Morning water temps were in the 40's, afternoon temps mid 50's. "

TWC says lo54/hi66 for wilkes-barre monday. Accuweather says 50-63 mon and 52-71 tues. Fish for brookies late PM in the poconos, and the water temps should be good enough.

I have been brookie fishing a lot lately, had good dry fly fishing on days when the air temps ranged from 38-54, water low-mid 40s. Things should only be better in a few days with 50-60s air temp range. Not sure the water temps at last year's jam say much about it?

Water temps arent everything. There are streams where brookies hit dries reasonably well in water below 40....

Posted on: 2013/4/4 8:05


Re: Mountain Freestone/Brookie Streams in Early Spring

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2008/1/31 17:19
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Well, as of the weekend there was still snow on the ground in central PA. In the ridge and valley region, only on the north sides of the mountains. Once you got up on the plateau it was pretty widespread, but was certainly retreating from roads and such.

Posted on: 2013/4/4 8:18



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