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yough river reports

2007/5/21 10:47
Posts: 8
here are the last two reports from our site: hope they help.

July 11th

The lack of reports over the past few weeks comes as a result of my spending two and a half weeks on the east coast: one on Martha's Vineyard catching stripers up to twenty pounds (poor me), and another at the garden spot of the world, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware (poor me for real this time).

Since then, however, I have returned to my favorite PA river and the fishing has been, as it will be, up and down. On good days, the streamer fishing has been very productive, and we have been catching nice size bass and trout on a variety of patterns. My go to patterns have been bunny streamers in natural and white and olive and natural, and sculpin patterns between one and one half to three inches in length.

Slate drakes make a daily appearance on the river now, along with olives, and nymphs to match these summer mayflies will do the trick. Sadly though, we can't report any significant dryfly fishing as of yet; all we have seen so far is the occasional small pod of fish working bugs on top in whatever quiet water they can find and an occasional nose along the bank.

We had a the inventor of the Clouser minnow on the river just yesterday, and he and his fishing companions all caught fish in the morning. It was another streamer day, that is until the army corps decided to turn flows down again. The result, as it always is when they do this, was a river full of fish with lockjaw. But, they are likely acclimated to the new flows by now, and the river should fish well throughout the remainder of the week.

All the same, it was a pleasure to meet a man who has done so much for our sport, and to show him our river. He is a great guy, and a great fisherman as well. On a more serious note, he told Jim and I about all of the bad things that have been and still are occurring on his river, and that it just keeps getting worse. It was a reminder to be watchful, and to act when and if we see something going on that shouldn't be on this great river.

Have fun out there,

Jim and Ernie


It is high summer here in Western PA now, which is quite evident to anyone spending a day on the river. It was as if someone hung out the open sign this week for rafting and canoing, and all of a sudden, it was raftapalooza—a rubber hatch so dense, rafters so profuse, that the only other event in the flyfishing world equal in size and scale that I can think to compare it to is perhaps the recent cicada emergence, or the white fly on the Susquehanna.

We added a new requirement for the Yough river grand slam (normally a brown, rainbow, brook—a rare fish on this river—and a bass) this week. Several anglers came close, but one, an angler from Cleveland who prefers to remain anonymous (no doubt to avoid the media frenzy that would—inevitably—ensue), reached that pinnacle of piscatorial pursuits just yesterday. No need to re-read that sentence; it did indeed state that someone caught all four varieties of fish and a human in one day. The human was pulled from the tail out of a rapid: a female (I believe) that we estimated to be around one hundred and thirty pounds. She was a fighter.

This angler, perhaps the best ever to whip a fly pole, then pulled off a feat more miraculous than the previous: he caught the brown, brook, and the rainbow portion of the slam on one cast and one fly—no dropper fly was involved. Figure that out. We'll come back to it.


The fishing has been tough this past week. Low water early in the week and high temps and bright sun later in the week made for some pretty tough fishing. The top part of the river is fishing well, but further down towards Ohiopyle, the fishing slows down mid-day and and then turns back on in the evening as the hills shelter the river from the sun.

There has been some morning dry-fly fishing: sporadic hatches of tan caddis in sizes 16-18 have had some fish up on top, and an x-caddis to match has been working well. There have also been some yellow drakes hatching on and off, and a sparsely dressed pattern to match will take rising fish as well. Do not overlook terrestrials right now, and don't go to the river without a few flying ant patterns in 18-20.

In the afternoons BWOs make a daily appearance, though one can never tell if they will be heavy enough to bring fish up to the surface; however, nymphs to match in 18-20 have been taking a fair number of fish—some big fish as well. Slate Drakes nymphs have been taking fish in the afternoons, and the standard fare (stones, princes, pheasant tails and all the usuals) have been catching fish underneath.

The bass fishing has been quite good on this part of the river—better than it has been in recent years, and sculpin patterns, clouser minnows, and just about anything that looks like a baitfish, crustacean, or small trout will take a fair number of fish.


So here it is. A small rainbow (about three inches) takes a nymph and the angler sets the hook, at which point the rainbow (now a projectile) flies over the boat and lands in the middle of the river. Upon hitting the water a large shadow emerged and proceeded to eat the rainbow. Minutes later I slid the net under a Tiger trout (a brook and brown hybrid). There you have it. One for the annals.

Posted on: 2008/7/22 11:38

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