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4 Mile Run, Westmoreland County, 6/24/2009

Joined:
2006/10/4 19:47
From Westmoreland Co.
Posts: 36
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Fished above Darlington, looking for smallies based upon PFBC GIS map info:

Species Ranking
ROCKBASS Rank 11 of 77 for Warmwater Streams
SMALLMOUTH BASS Rank 7 of 102 for Warmwater Streams

So while I've fished it for stocked trout for a few years now, it is apparently a pretty good smallie stream. It's a very nice size, smallish, easy to wade, easy to access.

Travelled light, fanny pack and hip boots, one fly box full of gurglers, buggers and sparkle minnows.


Started with the best minnow imitation I've found, a Coffey Sparkle Minnow. EXCELLENT fly fwiw.

Started at the head of a big pool, water had a nice green tint.

3rd cast got an 8" smallie, 5th cast lost another of simliar size. Shortly thereafter scored the largest rock bass I've ever seen, had to be a good 9-10". It was VERY dark on the back, intereseting looking fish.

I was off to a fast start and hopeful that I'd soon understand why this stream was #7 out of 102 Warmwater streams. So then it went quiet and I fished all the larger, deeper holes I could find over the next half mile of stream with little further bass action.

On the plus side, I spotted 6 brown trout in the various pools, and witnessed a few rising. So the water was still cool enough. And the suprise of the night was a 17" rainbow that hammered the sparkle minnow in a deep riffle/run. I almost kept it, knowing that the water would be too warm in a few weeks, but I just don't like trout. Or gutting my own food.

Final fish of the night was in the same big pool where I started. It was a nice smallie of about 11" with a bulging belly. It fought as hard as the big 'bow did, love those smallies.

So it was a productive enjoyable evening. However, I have my doubts about 7th out of 102 in smallmouth terms. I fished for 4 hrs and brough 4 fish to hand, 2 of which were smallies. I'll try again in the near future.

I was suprised by the amount of trout I saw at this late date. I guess the rain and weather has been accomodating.

Posted on: 2009/6/25 15:49


Re: 4 Mile Run, Westmoreland County, 6/24/2009

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From Bozeman
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This weather sucks for smallies. They'll be there soon.

Great report, and thanks for the fly suggestion.

Posted on: 2009/6/25 15:53


Re: 4 Mile Run, Westmoreland County, 6/24/2009

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From Westmoreland County (near fairgrounds)
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Thanks for the nice report.

Any chance 4 mile could be better than the Loyalhanna for smallies?

Posted on: 2009/6/25 16:37
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Re: 4 Mile Run, Westmoreland County, 6/24/2009

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You hit blue hole?

How in the world would 4 mile rank that high?

Dont seem like it would hold enough water. Glad you got into 'em.

Posted on: 2009/6/25 20:11
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Re: 4 Mile Run, Westmoreland County, 6/24/2009

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Jay,
The Coffey SparkleMinnow is something else. I've caught most of my smallies on it, a bunch of trout-both feral and stockies- and done pretty well on steelhead with it. It's got something going on that lights up the minnow eaters. White/pearl....killer.

It occurred to me that if the trout are still there, it's not yet prime for smallies. I suspect you're right on with the weather comment.

Greg,
RE: 4 Mile better than 'hanna for smallies.......I can't say due to my lack of smallie effort on both streams. I have targeted them on both but don't feel like I can offer a worthwhile assessment.

I do have a few thoughts on it however. Smallies by nature have a much lesser population density than trout. They are higher level predators, require more territory. 4 Mile is small and as Paul mentions, often has little water. This concentrates fish. The small size makes it easier to cover alot of stream. In the end, I suspect you can be fishing over smallies more frequently and easily on 4 Mile than the hanna.

That said, I understand there are portions of the hanna that do quite well for smallies. Noteably between Latrobe and the Crabtree AMD discharge. I'd like to get in there this summer. You can access it via the state game lands/Keystone State Park area if you hike or drive up to it at the Oasis bar on 982. Ideal would be a canoe or kayak. There's some talk of musky in there as well, coming up out of Loyalhanna dam.

I fished the Loyalhanna right IN Latrobe one time and had a decent night with smallies. That is to say I caught 2 or 3 within sight of the brewery and hospital. Ugly water but the fish were there. Definitely worthy of more exploration. Though the Yough is pretty close for you.

Paul,
That creek barely flows in August. I've walked it already and seen lots of small smallmouth stacked up on the few deep holes on the section I walked. I still don't know about 7th out of 102 but it's cool knowing that I've got a stream nearby that the commish thinks is in the top 7% of smallmouth streams.

Which one is Blue hole? Is that the big road hole with the cement wall?

Posted on: 2009/6/25 20:40


Re: 4 Mile Run, Westmoreland County, 6/24/2009

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A1- it is in Darlington.

Near the ball field and small fire station. It is at the end of a short lane with some cottages. Might be 6-8 feet deep. Caught some trout there in 1989 while in college with a local.

Andrew- would you say you did "well" or "good".

Posted on: 2009/6/25 20:55
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Re: 4 Mile Run, Westmoreland County, 6/24/2009

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From Westmoreland Co.
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Good more than well.

I was satisfied, though the big bow and last smallie were the reasons. Not the # of fish or action.

I might have fished down that far, to Blue Hole. I did find a DEEP hole behind a cottage/group of cottages. Had to be close to the firehall lane. Massive for such a little creek. Missed two in there when a guy came out of the cabin, asked me where I was from, then told me the stream wasn't open open to public fishing as he stocks it for his kids. He then threw in a cup full of pellets, the water boiled accordingly, and I left, pondering why you tell a guy to leave and then feed the fish to demonstrate. Seems like a jag off move but I guess that's his call. I didn't bother bringing up the fact it's approved trout water and stocked with tax $s.

They'll be dead in a few weeks anyway, haha. Poached. Now if he was stocking smallies, that's another story.

Posted on: 2009/6/25 21:28


Re: 4 Mile Run, Westmoreland County, 6/24/2009

Joined:
2008/1/21 19:15
From Pittsburgh
Posts: 2704
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Nice report LA1...
I told you that you were a big fish specialist...even when going for bronzebacks, you are pulling out big trout!

Posted on: 2009/6/26 11:08


Re: 4 Mile Run, Westmoreland County, 6/24/2009

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2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
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It could be 7th, depending how they rank them.

For trout, the class rankings favor smaller streams. They do biomass per surface area. Lets take a tiny stream with 3 fish per hole. The biomass might be awfully impressive. Now double the width of the stream, its still pretty small, perhaps still able to cover a hole in a cast or two. But, despite there still being 3 fish in each hole, and each cast showing the fly to the same number of fish, the biomass/surface area is only half of what the smaller stream was.

I don't really know how they do smallmouths, but if its the same way, being a smaller stream will really help the ranking....

Posted on: 2009/6/26 14:44






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