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New to PA trout flyfishing

Joined:
2009/3/27 13:46
Posts: 6
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Good afternoon all. I am new to the site and have a question. I currently go to Tionesta along route 666 during opening weekend and usually two more time during the summer/fall. 2009 will mark my 7th year running. I flyfish for steelhead here in Northeastern Ohio but would like to fly fish for the fish in PA. I am looking to tie my own arsenal for when i go but am having a hard time locating any GOOD information on what to tie. I have the eggs, wooly buggers, nymphs and just started tying the Green Weenie. What else should I bring with me on the April 18th trip. The water is usually cold and I always have done well on single eggs and minnows while spin fishing. Last year a guy walked past me and I saw him catch 15-20 fish in 45 minutes. I being a fly fisherman here know that I can hook far many more steelhead with my fly rod than a spinning outfit and belivev the same will hold true in the Tionesta Creek/Minster Creek. What should I be bringing to the table during pening weekend? Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thank You.

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Posted on: 2009/3/27 13:58


Re: New to PA trout flyfishing

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2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
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Wow, now that is REALLY my home waters. If the guy who caught 15-20 was in that pool on opening day last year, it might well have been me. Though I woulda had a spinning rod on me, opening day is my one day with the spinning gear. I fished maybe a mile or so of stream from the opposite side last year before moving onto brookie water with the fly rod in the afternoon. I woulda passed by that pool maybe 10-11 o clockish. We had a real good day, we wound up in the 80ish range between 3 guys in a half day fishing, but I don't recall exactly where we got em all and which one of us fished that hole. Last year was truly exceptional for everyone though, the water temp was perfect.

Tionesta doesn't seem to bring fish to the surface very easily. In fact, you're success on opening day will be almost solely dependent on water temp, carry a thermometer. Get it up into the mid/upper 40's and it'll be good, if it hangs in the upper 30's, lower 40's then its gonna be a long day. Cross the stream and you'll run into a lot less guys, and it lets you cover lots of water. Thats the way to catch fish, never anchor yourself in one spot. For early season the browns won't have turned on yet, egg flies are about as good as it gets and its an easy tie for the rainbows and surprising number of brookies (assuming they come down from tribs?). I will throw on a streamer or bugger to mix things up, but the insect life is pretty poor so I typically don't use standard nymphs there. There are some caddis, you could try a pupa.

The advantage of a fly rod (ability to dead drift) will not be nearly as important on the Tionesta as it is at Erie. That doesn't mean you won't catch fish on fly gear, but early season Tionesta Creek is a situation where spinning gear is clearly superior. Fresh stockies and no surface action.

Minister is your classic native brookie stream, there's many just like it in that area. Get up away from the road a little, the special regs really increased the pressure right by the access there. But once you get a mile in or so its good. Doesn't so much matter what you use. If they'll hit a dry thats the easiest to fish and typically most successful for me. They will hit a dry come June, but in the early season like that I've had mixed success on top. Parachute Adams is my goto fly. If they won't touch it on top, throw a small beadhead bugger, or anything really into likely looking spots. Open big-woods style canopy so casting isn't such a chore there. Like all other brookie streams, they'll hit nearly anything, it'll be aggressive first cast type takes, but you'll only get one shot at it. If you screw up, move on to the next hole. The trick is to get a good cast in a good spot without spooking them first, in other words from as far away as possible. Fish upstream. Here I believe the fly fishermen does indeed have an advantage over a bait guy, and its based on fishing upstream, and not having to use split shot means you can fish at a distance without worry of snagging up. However, I will say small spinners fished upstream and reeled faster than the current are every bit, if not more, deadly.

Posted on: 2009/3/27 14:59


Re: New to PA trout flyfishing

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2006/10/2 10:08
From Westmoreland County (near fairgrounds)
Posts: 3750
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Welcome to the board SteelHeadBrowns!

I agree with PCray, steelhead tactics will likely serve you well on opening day stockies. Buggers and eggs.

If you would luck in to a few risers on opening day, you could probably coax a bite with an Adams dry of approximately the right size. Don't expect selective fish on opening day.

Posted on: 2009/3/27 15:08
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Re: New to PA trout flyfishing

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2009/3/27 13:46
Posts: 6
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Thank you for all of the helpful information. There is three weeks left and I have cabin fever REALLY BAD. I love catching the powerful steelhead and have an absurdly strange passion to catch these beautiful fish. Tionesta is a great place to find these fish in great numbers. I camp on the southeast side of 666 in Porkey across from the road that goes in to the left where the "good ol' boys" camp. Please feel free to stop by April 17th - April 20th. I will be there just ask for Marc. Stop by and have a beer and a brat and we can share some stories. Thanks again for the info and if there is anyhting else that may be helpful please share if it is not "secret" information.

Regards and tight lines,

Marc

Posted on: 2009/3/27 19:58


Re: New to PA trout flyfishing

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2006/9/9 19:37
From aliquippa
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i know that rock in the pic, frog rock on the tionesta, a good friend of mine has a camp directly across from the kelletville tavern

Posted on: 2009/3/29 20:20
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Re: New to PA trout flyfishing

Joined:
2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
Posts: 13450
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I've always wondered who the "keeper of the frog" is. Anyone know? It seems to get repainted every few years but I never hear anything about who is doing it.

Posted on: 2009/3/29 20:52


Re: New to PA trout flyfishing

Joined:
2009/3/27 13:46
Posts: 6
Offline
It is my understanding that the "keeper of Frog Rock" is a native man who floats his canoe down the river at night fall with a few buckets of paint and a 12 pack of adult beverage right after ice out each year. It has become a little bit of folklore at our camp every year. It is said that the man anchors to the rock and sits on top until the adult beverages are finished then he assumes his role as the "keeper" and paints.

Each year someone from our camp attempts to swim to Frog Rock and back on opening weekend after saying hello to a few old friends (George Dickle, Old Dan Tucker and Jack Daniels) at Cougar Bob's. 1 of 7 since I have been camping have made it back and fourth.

Show up @ midnight the 17th and I am sure you will see a Frog Rock Gladiator and some nay sayers.

Come visit our camp and enjoy the weekend with us if you would like. See my last post for approximat location of the camp.

Posted on: 2009/3/30 13:24


Re: New to PA trout flyfishing

Joined:
2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
Posts: 13450
Offline
Well, if he reads this board, I wasn't a big fan of the red lips that were put on a year or two back. Other than that, carry on, its a neat landmark!

Posted on: 2009/3/30 17:04


Re: New to PA trout flyfishing

Joined:
2008/11/30 8:06
Posts: 3
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Hi New to
If you really want to sample wild PA trout streams you have many to choose from. The central part of the state is my favorite place to go. There are so many wonderful streams. Limestone is the key here to the unbelievable mayfly hatches from the Grannom cadis to the greendrakes on Penns and the little J, Slate drakes, blue quills, sulphers you name it. What I really love is a week or two after opening day the streams are vacant. All the ham and egg guys are gone. Central PA is fly fishing paradise. I have spent many spring, summer and fall days walking central PA waters and not see a soul. Except for the occasional turkey, deer and big fat trout.
Take 4wt/5wt rods 4X to 7X tippit 7.5 to 9 foot leaders the water can be gin clear. Don't walk in the water to get from spot to spot fish the all tackle, Fly fishing only delayed harvest water. For flies check out the feathered hook ( great website ) in central PA. They have multiple stream reports and emergence charts. It is also a great B/B and full service guide and fly shop.
If I sound a little bias I guess I am I learned to fly fish there over 40ty years ago. I go home when ever I can it truely is where my heart is and will always be the sweet trout filled waters of central PA. Tight lines Pennsfly <><

Posted on: 2009/4/4 10:05






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