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Clarks Creek, Dauphin County, 6/16/13

Joined:
2012/3/14 6:23
From Lancaster
Posts: 1056
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I spent the late afternoon/evening on Father's Day fishing Clarks Creek. I arrived in Clarks Valley at about 2:30 PM. The amount of vehicles parked at the normal spots on the FFO area immediately shifted me to plan B. I fished about a mile stretch of stream outside of the special reg section and had the best night I ever had on Clarks.
The cicadas were buzzing everywhere as I arrived at the SGL parking area (only one other truck was there ..... perfect!) As I started fishing I opted not fish the cicada pattern at the start to wait and see how much the trout were keying on them. I started with a Green Weenie dropped off of the bend of a black foam beetle. I could see trout moving under the surface in the area of my drift but I was having trouble seeing my beetle. As was recently posted in a thread titled "Can you feel the take" I could only imagine many trout sucking in and spitting out my fly without me even knowing. I needed to make a change.
After sitting on the bank and observing for a bit I noticed some little yellow sallies coming off sporadically. I changed out the foam beetle for a size 14 yellow stimulator and that was all I needed for the rest of the night.
The water level was low and very clear and the fish were very spooky in the slow water. Most of my success was from focusing on the faster runs, riffles and pocket water. I brought 15 to hand (12 browns, 3 brooks) and missed at least that many more. Five of the fish were wild ones. It was about a 50/50 split between fish caught on each of the flies on my tandem rig.
The most negative part of the evening was when I hung a backcast in a dead hemlock limb behind me. As I was trying to retrieve my flies and salvage my tippet the limb snapped sending the entire tangle straight at me. The end result was the size 14 stimulator embedded deep in the side of my right thumb (and I mean deep!). I generally debarb many of the flies I tie but as fate would have it ... not this one! I always carry a leatherman with me when I am fishing so I managed to get it out of its sheath on my right side inside my waders with my left hand. I proved that the jaws on the pliers clamped onto the bend of the hook is an effective way to remove a fish hook. You just clamp it on good, line everything up and yank in the opposite direction as quick as you can (kind of like ripping off a band aid.... well not really). My main point on bringing this up in my report is to put a plug in for the many values of using barbless hooks.
All in all, I never saw another fisherman from 5PM until dark and spent a very memorable evening on Clarks Creek.

Attach file:



jpg  Clarks Cicada.jpg (29.61 KB)
6132_51c0b28dced6d.jpg 448X277 px

jpg  Clarks Big spider.jpg (36.87 KB)
6132_51c0b29d46cf6.jpg 376X336 px

jpg  Clarks wild brownie.jpg (27.78 KB)
6132_51c0b2b1643aa.jpg 448X285 px

jpg  Clarks brookie.jpg (30.07 KB)
6132_51c0b2cba23e5.jpg 448X262 px

jpg  Clarks brownie.jpg (25.17 KB)
6132_51c0b2dc6df04.jpg 448X250 px

Posted on: 2013/6/18 15:23


Re: Clarks Creek, Dauphin County, 6/16/13

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2009/9/9 14:52
From Bel Air, MD
Posts: 703
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Nice report - curious, what is the scale of that spider/

Posted on: 2013/6/18 21:19


Re: Clarks Creek, Dauphin County, 6/16/13

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2009/12/19 18:09
From S.E. PA
Posts: 505
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Very nice report. I was on Clarks with two others upstream from where you described on the same day. We did pretty good as well. Didn't run into any other anglers either but found a still smoldering campfire that could have started a forest fire.
Now I've seen those big spiders and even hooked one last year with an errand backcast, lol. I hate spiders,especially BIG ones. I got pictures of that one.

Posted on: 2013/6/18 21:31
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Re: Clarks Creek, Dauphin County, 6/16/13

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2007/12/23 14:18
From Richfield, PA
Posts: 292
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Good job freakin me out with the spider pic

Posted on: 2013/6/18 21:32
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Re: Clarks Creek, Dauphin County, 6/16/13

Joined:
2008/8/24 20:26
From Mount Joy, PA
Posts: 2264
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If you had any doubt on whether the trout were keyed in on the cicadas, grab a handful off the ground and toss them in the drift... I did this several times over the two trips I was up there recently and each and every time the trout destroyed them. Sad part was that it was always in slackwater which wasn't conducive to drifting an artificial through.

I had good luck with cicadas in the faster water and the takes were aggressive. I know a few others also had luck with cicadas fishing the faster water. It's low and clear right now, but the fish are willing to play!

Thanks for the report!

Posted on: 2013/6/18 22:24


Re: Clarks Creek, Dauphin County, 6/16/13

Joined:
2012/3/14 6:23
From Lancaster
Posts: 1056
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BelAirSteve,

Yeah this guy was a big one. I would estimate if measured from tip of leg to tip of leg in any direction it was between 3 1/2 and 4 inches across.

Geo,

I did see plenty of trout that were hitting and slashing at Cicadas. But, the combination I was using was producing so many opportunities for me I just couldn't bring myself to change things up. I could tell some of the fish I caught had cicadas in them. However, I also watched many naturals drift over lots of great lies without even a look. I actually used the same two flies for the last four hours of fishing on Sunday. It was just a blast! Guess I'll have to pack my cicada flies away until the next brood shows up because I don't see myself getting back up to Clarks any time soon.

Posted on: 2013/6/18 23:09


Re: Clarks Creek, Dauphin County, 6/16/13

Joined:
2007/3/28 11:30
From Cleona, Pa
Posts: 290
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How long are cicadas usually around in a area when they start crawling out of their shell?

Posted on: 2013/6/20 13:57
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Re: Clarks Creek, Dauphin County, 6/16/13

Joined:
2010/4/21 22:42
Posts: 24
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I fished Clarks last night, the cicadas are still there. Lots of them. I tried several different flies, had best luck with yellow sallies. Tried my new cicada fly, had difficulty getting a hook up. I think it may just be a little large for the size of the trout there, since it seems the bulk of the fish are running 9-11" or so. BTW, I fished the cicada with the wings and without, I had more hits without....

Posted on: 2013/6/21 14:10


Re: Clarks Creek, Dauphin County, 6/16/13

Joined:
2006/9/9 11:22
From New Castle, PA
Posts: 1695
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Quote:

wgmiller wrote:
Sad part was that it was always in slackwater which wasn't conducive to drifting an artificial through.


Did you at least try a few casts? During my experiences with cicadas in 2008, drift was unimportant. Many hard strikes in calm, still water.

Kev

Posted on: 2013/6/21 18:36


Re: Clarks Creek, Dauphin County, 6/16/13

Joined:
2008/8/24 20:26
From Mount Joy, PA
Posts: 2264
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I did. The faster water seemed to be more productive.

Likewise, the smaller fish do seem to have a problem getting that big terrestrial in their mouth. I lost far more fish than I count fishing the cicadas. Tied them on a #10 streamer hook FWIW. The bigger fish don't seem to have a problem, but the smaller guys just can't get it all in.

Posted on: 2013/6/23 20:53






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