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Conestoga River, Lancaster Co., 9/16/12

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2012/3/14 6:23
From Lancaster
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Just spent another nice evening fishing the Stoga. The water level is very low and the water temp was at 68 degrees. I fished from about 6:00-7:30 PM. I didn't catch a lot of fish but I did catch a nice variety of species. I caught 2 SMB, 2 Rock Bass, 1 crappie and 1 Redbreast Sunfish. All six fish were caught on the same fly, a size #4 Chartreuse/White deep Clouser minnow. Fishing it down and across on the swing and stripping it back up through the runs. Fishing under low water conditions like we have right now allows a chance to sneak out onto some ledgerock shelves and fish some deeper runs that are not an option when wading earlier in the year. I would think there has to be some "big" fish hanging out in some of those deeper spots, although I couln't prove it tonight.

Not knowing what kind of fish you might catch on your next cast is what is so much fun for me with this warmwater fishing. I find the colors and markings on these native fish just beautiful. I have included some of my pictures of the "Stoga warmwater buffet". Don't turn in that warmwater rod for that compound bow just yet!

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jpg  Rock Bass.jpg (26.96 KB)
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jpg  Crappie.jpg (25.11 KB)
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jpg  Redbreast SF.jpg (24.54 KB)
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Posted on: 2012/9/16 20:38


Re: Conestoga River, Lancaster Co., 9/16/12

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I have been catching some real hog rock bass. 10-12" rock bass is the biggest I have ever managed on spin/fly gear and the last two days of fishing have brought 3 of them to hand. Porky buggers too. They all hit like smallmouth, then just rolled over and came in peacefully. The smallie fishing was sloooooooooowwwww today and yesterday. I managed a few nice ones(one 14" and one 15"), but the action wasnt as frantic as it usually is. Im assuming the recent low temp is putting them off a little.

Posted on: 2012/9/16 21:06


Re: Conestoga River, Lancaster Co., 9/16/12

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2011/4/12 17:23
From Lancaster Co.
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Did well on the Conestoga yesterday (9/16) afteroon with a chartreuse cactus grub. Most of the takes came on a dead drift. Also tried a white popper and black woolly bugger but had no success with either. They were on the chartreuse fly so much I don't know why I bothered to try anything else. I think the cooler water might be turning the fish on now. Water is low and very clear. You can see a lot of the takes. In addition to numerous smallies I caught a bunch of rock bass and a couple of red breasts. Nothing hits harder and gives up quicker than a rock bass! A couple of the smallmouth I caught had lesions on them about the size of the head on a thumbtack.

Posted on: 2012/9/17 10:03
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Re: Conestoga River, Lancaster Co., 9/16/12

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hahaha, that is a good line to describe rock bass. For half a second, you think you have one heck of a fish on, then it turns to the disappointment of snagging a leaf, then you see the fatty coming in towards you. They all fought harder in my net, than when on the line. I caught all mine dredging the bottom with a poly leader and a black/olive zonker.

Posted on: 2012/9/17 11:03


Re: Conestoga River, Lancaster Co., 9/16/12

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2012/3/14 6:23
From Lancaster
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I totally agree. The rock bass are very predictable after the hook set. When they go into that skating along the surface, mouth flared wide open, no kick left mode there is absolutely no question what you have. On the other hand the Crappie that I caught (went about 9") and put up a real nice scrap the whole way in. I just tied up some Clouser floating minnows that I wanted to try Sunday evening, but I was having too much fun dredging that deep minnow pattern and I ran out of daylight and I needed to get off of those rock ledges before something stupid happened. I'll have to give it a shot another evening!

Posted on: 2012/9/17 15:50


Re: Conestoga River, Lancaster Co., 9/16/12

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You know, the chart/white clouser was such a money WW fly for me last year. I almost fished it exclusively. It has been a real bust this year. Not sure whats up... You cant contribute it to the bass seeing it too many times either, cause i am fishing different stretches of the same stream this year. Heres my fat 15"er from saturday.

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Posted on: 2012/9/17 18:10


Re: Conestoga River, Lancaster Co., 9/16/12

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Great pics. The bigger smallies and sunfish have been on the feed for sure.

Posted on: 2012/9/17 18:23
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Re: Conestoga River, Lancaster Co., 9/16/12
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2006/9/9 17:32
From Gettysburg
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Nice report John - looks like a diverse fish day. That's a esp good looking redbreast. The local creeks I've been hitting this summer seem to have mostly green sunnies in 'em and not so many rockies and redbreasts. One good thing about fishing a Clouser or big nymph: most of the sunfish you catch are larger ones.

Posted on: 2012/9/17 18:24


Re: Conestoga River, Lancaster Co., 9/16/12

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2011/5/3 12:22
From South Lebanon Township, PA
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Very nice fish and pics.

I'll agree with consensus above on the Rock Bass. I really like catching them but it's like they completely exhaust themselves on that violent take. After that my experience is they come to the surface and let you drag them in. The bigger ones, say 8"+, I've found will fight a little, but without fail it always seems like a really nice fish when you set the hook on a Rock Bass and they almost always end up a little smaller than you initially though when you drag em' in.

Posted on: 2012/9/17 20:06


Re: Conestoga River, Lancaster Co., 9/16/12

Joined:
2012/3/14 6:23
From Lancaster
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pwk5017,

Seems like this year for me was very similar to your last year. I have only started WW fishing this summer (actually I started fishing for SMB the last week of June). The Chart/White Clouser deep minnow has definitely been my go to fly. My confidence level is sky high right now with this pattern. I have probably caught approx. 90% of my fish this summer on it. I have caught a few on poppers and some on the Shenk's White Minnow, but just can't get away from the Clouser Minnow. I literally caught over 30 fish on the same fly when I first started fishing for bass back in June. Most of the deer hair had fallen out and almost all of the red paint was wore off of the dumbell eyes when I retired that fly. I learned a lot this summer and had a whole lot of fun!

Posted on: 2012/9/17 22:47


Re: Conestoga River, Lancaster Co., 9/16/12

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I remember my first day scouting this stream that is now my own little gem. Had no clue what I would be fishing over--quite frankly, i expected it to suck big time--and i only had one clouser that I had tied at a FF club meeting at psu. Well, I immediately hooked into several 15" smallies on my 5wt. Seriously, I was so blown away by the first 10 mins of that day. Just an insane day for me at that time, and one heck of an intro to WW fly fishing. Anyways, to touch on the effectiveness of the pattern, mine too had no paint left on the eyes, i somehow lost the chart deer hair, but it was what i had, so i continued to fish with it, and i nailed a few more 14"+ smallies. If you are feeling the clouser mojo, dont put it back in the box!

Posted on: 2012/9/18 11:36






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