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Juniata River, Juniata/Perry Counties, 10/18/12
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The "Big J" was 58 degrees, 3.45 at the Newport gage (very low) and extremely clear - perhaps the clearest I've seen it. Bottom structure was clearly visible even in the deepest spots. Leaves were on the water but mostly the surface and not an impediment to fishing (yet). Weather was windy, partly cloudy to cloudy, and air temp was 60something. No insects or surface activity.
Also of note: had the river to myself. I was at a very popular PFBC boat ramp that, two months ago, would have had a dozen boat trailers parked. Today there was nobody but me. It's really striking how recreational use of the big, WW rivers really drops off after Labor Day. This section of river is just pounded by bass guys in the summer. Different game this time of year.
Anyway, the fishing wasn't fast and furious but several bass came to hand. All were large, with the best taping 18" - can be seen getting checked out by Benny. The fish were found in the same predictable spots where I expect to see 'em in summer but seemed to be a bit more concentrated. All were caught on earth tone Clousers fished low and slow. The wind made canoe control a bit difficult but. With the darkening skies, I'd hoped the fish would really turn on but this didn't happen. Also spent some time chucking muskie flies with the 10WT, but no toothy critters came out to play.
The trees are beautiful. If you can get out for some bass fishing this month, it can be well worth it.

Attach file:



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Posted on: 2012/10/19 10:19

Edited by Fishidiot on 2012/10/20 8:34:00
Edited by Fishidiot on 2012/10/20 8:34:22


Re: Juniata River, Juniata/Perry Counties, 10/18/12
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Nice report by you and Benny. Good to see some decent fish being caught. A lot of hardcore SMB guys are doing well in the big rivers right now and have the water mostly to themselves. Good stuff.

Posted on: 2012/10/19 11:02


Re: Juniata River, Juniata/Perry Counties, 10/18/12

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Glad to see there are some bass still in the river at that area. I grew up on the river in Newport area. Used to be some excellent fishing......
Way to go and by the way I like your canoe

Posted on: 2012/10/19 14:39


Re: Juniata River, Juniata/Perry Counties, 10/18/12

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There are definitely bass in that river! A friend of mine recently bought an old fly rod from me. I taught him to cast and everything, but couldn't get him onto any trout (Lancaster....suck). Anyway, He went on a canoe trip w/ some friends on the J and took the fly rod. I loaded him up w/ some buggers and stuff. He came back 4 days later, hooked on fly fishing. He said he couldn't keep the smallies off his line, and catching them on the fly only made it that much more exciting.

Posted on: 2012/10/19 15:33


Re: Juniata River, Juniata/Perry Counties, 10/18/12
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I've been fishing this section of the Juniata for over 20 years (mostly between Newport and Lewistown) and I'm convinced there are fewer bass than a decade ago. I'm still studying the records to try and get a better grip on this.....but my fishing experience, FWIW, suggests that there aren't as many bass. I do however, get a lot of big fish from this area, including both twenty inchers that I got in the last year (these are the only 20" bass I've ever caught on flies). This section of river just has a tremendous number of fish in the 15-18" range. I saw many of them yesterday. I just don't seem to be able to catch the big numbers of smaller fish on poppers as was common back in the 80s/90s. Now under C&R regulations, it will be interesting to see if this has any noticeable effect. I don't think harvest had anything to do with the decline in numbers - but I'm glad the big spawners are now protected. The fish I caught yesterday were probably all at least seven years old. Folks don't realize how slow these river SMBs grow.

The general consensus is that there are more, but smaller, bass further upriver.

Posted on: 2012/10/19 16:40


Re: Juniata River, Juniata/Perry Counties, 10/18/12

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I fished the Juniata from the time I was around 9 years old. I am now 60. Most of my fishing has been anywhere from the narrows all the way to where it dumps into the Susky. For many years I would throw on old pairs of shorts and sneakers and would just go out and wade and fish.

Posted on: 2012/10/19 21:47


Re: Juniata River, Juniata/Perry Counties, 10/18/12

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Way to go, FI.

Neat canoe. Who makes it? How long and how heavy is it?

I was going to purchase a small canoe this spring.

They are some healthy, beautiful smallmouth. That is so wonderful that you caught a few on the fly rod!

I also hope this C&R helps the river fishing.

Posted on: 2012/10/19 23:41


Re: Juniata River, Juniata/Perry Counties, 10/18/12

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Dave, looks like you and Benny had a great day on the big J. Very nice looking fish. I have a feeling my SMB fishing for the year may be wrapping up. For my first season at it I had a lot of fun tying smallmouth patterns and leaning as much as I could while catching a decent amount of small bass on my 5 wt. A new 8 wt outfit may be in the cards for next season so I can throw some heavier flies and hopefully get into some bigger fish. Thanks for all your help in getting me started this year. I am already looking forward to the 2013 WW season!

Posted on: 2012/10/20 8:22


Re: Juniata River, Juniata/Perry Counties, 10/18/12
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Thanks guys. The canoe is a Mad River Adventure 14. I love it and rarely fish from my kayaks anymore. I've jury rigged the boat with an anchor system and bass boat seat on a swivel base in the center.
Here's a review I wrote on this canoe:

Canoe Review

Dc410,
You bet. We'll keep on 'em next year.

Posted on: 2012/10/20 8:43


Re: Juniata River, Juniata/Perry Counties, 10/18/12

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Looks good. What do you in regard to the shuttle, i.e. getting back to your vehicle?

Posted on: 2012/10/20 10:18


Re: Juniata River, Juniata/Perry Counties, 10/18/12
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Quote:

troutbert wrote:
Looks good. What do you in regard to the shuttle, i.e. getting back to your vehicle?


This wasn't an actual "float" in which I went downriver. When fishing by myself, I usually just stay in the vicinity of the spot where I put in. On a gentle, low gradient river like this section of the Juniata, it is possible to paddle upstream so sometimes I'll paddle upstream and then float back down. In this particular trip, I was probably never more than about a quarter mile from the boat ramp.

Posted on: 2012/10/20 16:45






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