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Spruce Creek, Huntingdon County 11/12/2012

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2006/9/11 11:47
From Hollidaysburg (originally Lititz)
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Fished Spruce Creek this afternoon. Partly cloudy, breezy. Air temperature 65. Water temperature low 50s. Hatches: midges and very sporadic caddis. Hot patterns sucker spawn and San Juan worms. I had a good time for the 2 hours I was able to fish. Unfortunately, the first fish of the day was a big rainbow that knew exactly how to get under a log and spit the hook. I caught some wild browns, wild bows, and I believe a stocked bow and a stocked brown. All but one were nice fish in the 12-16" range.

Posted on: 2012/11/12 21:32


Re: Spruce Creek, Huntingdon County 11/12/2012

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I usually don't post here. I fished Spruce on Sunday, 11/25 from 1:00 to 3:45 at the George Harvey section. Only one fishing. Air temp was 35 degrees, cloudy and water temp was 50 or less.

Hooked 5 large rainbows in one run all over 22 inches, two fish I would say over 25 inches. Netted two, lost one due to break off, and two others straighten the hook. Hooked three on a size 22 BWO soft hackle and two others on a size 20 red midge larva. Also netted one river brown over 17 inches. I kinda had a steehead experience without going to Erie or Ontario.

Interestingly, I caught several small rainbows that looked wild. Either fingerling plants by Beaver or Harpster or there is some natural bow reproduction going on.

Dale

Posted on: 2012/11/28 10:01


Re: Spruce Creek, Huntingdon County 11/12/2012
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Dale, it is funny how you described the big rainbows. I have named them "Spruce Creek Steelhead." I have never caught more than a rare one now and then. But, the small rainbows are definitely plentiful over the past several years and I think that they are wild, but I may be wrong about that.

Posted on: 2012/11/28 12:29
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Re: Spruce Creek, Huntingdon County 11/12/2012

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They are wild, and spreading through the little J also.

Posted on: 2012/11/28 12:38
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Re: Spruce Creek, Huntingdon County 11/12/2012

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Jack,

During this time of the year, I usually have luck with the "Spruce Creek Steelheads" in the Harvey section, however, I've never hooked that many large fish in one section it one outing. At first I was using larger nymphs and caddis pupas to entice these fish but no luck. It's only when I decreased the size of the flies and went from 4x and 5x down to 6x fluorocarbon tippet were they interested.

Dale

Posted on: 2012/11/28 12:42


Re: Spruce Creek, Huntingdon County 11/12/2012
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I agree, they're wild. Although I didn't hit the Harvey section (yet) this year, I've seen the big pellet bows (presumably these big guys have migrated in from club water) laid up on redds in the fall in past years. I always assumed that their spawning efforts were just going through the motions.....but perhaps the small wild bows are indeed their progeny(?).

Posted on: 2012/11/28 19:33


Re: Spruce Creek, Huntingdon County 11/12/2012

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Fish,

Several of these small bows were smaller than two small river browns I hooked that I believe came from last fall's spawn. Wonder if these bows are spawning in the early winter or spring?

Dale

Posted on: 2012/11/29 10:14


Re: Spruce Creek, Huntingdon County 11/12/2012

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From Landenberg, PA
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cool. are there any dams or pollution between there and the open sea that would stop them returning ?


Posted on: 2012/11/29 18:13
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Re: Spruce Creek, Huntingdon County 11/12/2012

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They actually are not steelhead.

Posted on: 2012/11/29 20:42
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Re: Spruce Creek, Huntingdon County 11/12/2012

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They are actually big pellet bows (as described by Fishy) that have been stocked by the private clubs above and below the George Harvey section of Spruce and are not steelhead as sbecker said. Some of these fish are quite big and that's why I said it was like fishing for steels without going to Lake Erie or Ontario.

Posted on: 2012/11/30 8:57


Re: Spruce Creek, Huntingdon County 11/12/2012

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Quote:

Fishidiot wrote:
I agree, they're wild. Although I didn't hit the Harvey section (yet) this year, I've seen the big pellet bows (presumably these big guys have migrated in from club water) laid up on redds in the fall in past years. I always assumed that their spawning efforts were just going through the motions.....but perhaps the small wild bows are indeed their progeny(?).


Are these big rainbows actually spawning this time of year? Or are they following the spawning browns to eat eggs? I don't know the answer.

Most rainbows spawn in the spring. The rainbows in the PFBC hatcheries spawn in the fall.

Also, the "pellet bows" may be wandering out from the private stretches into the Harvey stretch because people cut back on feeding them pellets in the fall.

I've seen that happen on another creek. During the spring and summer and fall, when people were feeding big stockies regularly, they hung out near the place were they were getting fed. Than when it got cold and few people were feeding them, the fish scattered, looking for food.

Posted on: 2012/11/30 9:09


Re: Spruce Creek, Huntingdon County 11/12/2012
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Quote:

troutbert wrote:
Are these big rainbows actually spawning this time of year? Or are they following the spawning browns to eat eggs? I don't know the answer.


When I've seen these fish in the past on redds in Spruce, it was in the Sept time frame. I certainly can't say for sure, but the big bows certainly appeared to be the fish on the redds as no browns were visible around them. It seems to me that the fall spawning bows that I'm familiar with....seem to spawn fairly early in the fall. The bows in Big Spring for example, at least in the last few years since I've watching them, spawn in late Aug/Sept for the most part. There have been wild bows in BS for decades and I don't know if they have always spawned during this time frame. However, that's what is currently happening and it coincides with what I've seen in Spruce.

Posted on: 2012/11/30 10:36


Re: Spruce Creek, Huntingdon County 11/12/2012

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From Landenberg, PA
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Quote:

Dale49 wrote:
They are actually big pellet bows (as described by Fishy) that have been stocked by the private clubs above and below the George Harvey section of Spruce and are not steelhead as sbecker said. Some of these fish are quite big and that's why I said it was like fishing for steels without going to Lake Erie or Ontario.


i thought any bow can become a steelhead, the same as any brownie, brookie or cuttie can become sea trout ?

i know that some trout are genetically specific in certain locations, but also hatcheries can make mistakes.

in 2009, the MA stocked a tailwater with a couple of thousand adult bows. the strain was sea run so they did. the river emptied in months.

i think if you look up the marine biology of trout, any trout can be become sea run - they are only prevented by obstructions.

there is no such thing as 'genetic' steelhead

hence, if the estuary is clean, the river dam free and the fish has an urge any stocked trout can become sea trout.


Posted on: 2012/12/1 18:23


Re: Spruce Creek, Huntingdon County 11/12/2012

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From Hagerstown, MD
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geebee,
I guess I agree with your logic, that any stocked rainbow could become a steelhead if it is stocked in a stream that is connected to a "sea" or great lake in the case of the erie tribs. Spruce Creek is not connected to such a body of water. It is connected to the little J on the bottom and I am not certain of its exact source, but I am sure the head waters are limestone seeps with possibly some small freestone feeders.

In other words you need to be connected to a large body of water to have "Anadromous" fish, which is what steelhead are. Genetically the same as rainbows, but a fish that runs from a lake or ocean into a stream.

Posted on: 2012/12/1 19:10


Re: Spruce Creek, Huntingdon County 11/12/2012

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2012/10/24 19:22
From Landenberg, PA
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steelhead run 900 miles into alberta and Idaho don't they ?

spruce creek
little j
juanita
susquehanna
chesapeake bay
the atlantic

all rivers run to sea my friend. except sadly the Colorado which is de-watered before it reaches the gulf, which is an utter disgrace but i digress.

the susquehanna may be damned/polluted and/or too warm to allow steelhead to migrate up it in the fall, but its possible.

unlikely i admit.

and btw, all trout were once adromonous. only char were native to lakes and ponds.

landlocks were literally landlocked and all trout in ponds were planted by man at some stage.




Posted on: 2012/12/1 19:59
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