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Yellow Breeches and Big Spring Creek. Cumberland Co. 2/4/12

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2009/7/29 20:23
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Got up early and drove to Yellow breeches from VA with a good friend. Parked the truck and got to the CR area right about 8:30am. Had a fabulous start to my with a quick trip over a rather large/out of place/ unseen rock that caused me to face-plant in waist deep water, submerging all but the top of my "lucky" fishing hat. After about 2 hours battling the cold I had to throw in the towel and go to the truck to warm up and run to the wally world in Carlisle to grab a few new clothing items that I didn't happen to bring with me, one being some new (dry) boxer shorts. I returned to find my friend had landed 8 breeches sized brook trout all on sz 20-22 red and black zebra midges, and missed many more. I on the other hand could not entice a nibble. We then decided to give Big Spring a shot since neither of us had ever fished it. We arrived around 2:30pm and found many fishermen and began cutting our teeth at what we later found to be known as the ditch, no luck there. We fished until dark spotting a few fish, some well over 20". Needless to say our first shot at this creek was quite the failure. I'm currently reading "Spring Creek Strategies" by Mike Heck with the hope that I will be better prepared for such a challenging stream. Like the old saying goes, a bad day fishing still beats the hell out of a good day at work.

Better Luck Next Time.

Posted on: 2012/2/4 21:34


Re: Yellow Breeches and Big Spring Creek. Cumberland Co. 2/4/12
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(Said while swinging stick on horse carcass):

Big Spring is certainly fished harder today than it was four or five years ago but the numbers I'm seeing today don't strike me as being any higher than they were during the heydays of the ditch back before 2002. Many of the individuals who constantly and incessantly bellyache on this forum about fishing pressure on Big Spring lack this long term perspective on this stream. Before 2001, it was common that on an average, warm winter Saturday when the weather was nice to see a dozen cars at the ditch, and usually several of them were DC, NJ and VA plates. Guys would stack up at the ditch 20' apart to fish. It could get really crowded and I usually avoided it on weekends for that reason. At least now, the pressure is spread out more.

And, if you think Big Spring is crowded nowadays, you should have seen it during its heyday long before the internet: On opening day in 1949 the Fish Commission counted 673 anglers fishing BS. there were 100 guys fishing the ditch (the ditch was a large pond at the time). Unbelievable numbers of fishermen. I've looked at dozens of old photos of BS in archives showing fishing back in the 1950s and 60s. It was really crowded back then. Blabber mouth spot burners like Charlie Fox and Vince Marinaro were constantly talking about BS in their books and articles singing the praises of this stream and all the rising brookies and giant brown trout that were there. No wonder it was so crowded back in the good ole days.

Posted on: 2012/2/6 14:57


Re: Yellow Breeches and Big Spring Creek. Cumberland Co. 2/4/12

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2011/8/21 15:39
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come on....its yellow breeches and big spring! who cares about a post on it. We all know its there and so does the rest of the people that it matters too.

Marx i dont mind your posts too much and you seem like a knowledgeable guy but I dont get why on every post you feel the need to tell someone not to post. this isnt some small trib that cant take pressure. Its YB and big spring and I dont see the poster complaining about the people he just stated seeing people there.

Posted on: 2012/2/6 15:01


Re: Yellow Breeches and Big Spring Creek. Cumberland Co. 2/4/12

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FI,

You make a good point, if we were talking about the ditch and only the ditch. The best fishing the past 5 to 10 years was NOT in the ditch. If 40 people a day drove to the ditch they might catch a fish or two, but out of htose 40 most wouldn't fish anywhere else on the stream and if they did they'd flail away for a few mins then leave.

The pressure I am "complaining" about is all the pressure the rest of the stream now gets. I agree wholeheartedly with everything you are saying about "the ditch". However I cannot agree with you about the rest of the stream.


edit: I also think the comparisons to books written back then and the easy access of internet information are very very poor comparisons. You could take Meck's book and blast it, but in regards to big spring, all meck's book really mentions is "the ditch" Well the ditch hasn't been his version of the ditch for over a decade, so that info was highly useless for lack of a better description. Maybe some guys (including myself) visited at some point because they were close by and had his book, but most quickly deduced that his description no longer applied to the ditch, however some of us were fortunate or persistent enough to discover how amazing the stream actually *was outside the ditch. Alas it is that no more thanks to pressure.


Jabink,

Chalk it up to annoyed frustration. Someone writes a report stating they see a ton of guys in a somewhat bummed manner, and they don't realize that the reason for most of those guys is reports.

I'll try and be less annoyed, but to a point its pretty difficult.


Posted on: 2012/2/6 15:12


Re: Yellow Breeches and Big Spring Creek. Cumberland Co. 2/4/12

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2011/6/29 9:38
From Philadelphia
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I have taken to the PM method to give a guy a little friendly advice. I have learned what I should and should not say in open forums but felt belittled when I first started and it was done in open forum. Two guys PM'd with with the same advice and why they felt that way and I respected them a whole lot more for not blasting me in an open forum. BMarx, I agree that you seem very knowledgable about fly fishing but maybe can use some coaching on diplomacy.

Thanks for the report Flynoob and the fortitude to keep going after falling in. I would have wined all the way back to Philly!

Posted on: 2012/2/6 15:17


Re: Yellow Breeches and Big Spring Creek. Cumberland Co. 2/4/12

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2011/12/23 16:42
From The Iron Islands
Posts: 348
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Quote:
I agree that you seem very knowledgable about fly fishing


Lies!!

I just don't have the patience to PM everyone. And mostly stream reports can be a good thing. I'd be lying if i told you i didn't use information gleamed from them to plan fishing trips or catch particular fish, however its the taste part that bothers me the most.

If you catch 45 fish in a smaller under the radar stream or STRETCH of stream, or a whooper 30 inch fish, why besides bragging do you need to post that with a stream name? It does much more harm than good and has flat out ruined places.

The debate rages on because there are certainly two sides to the story.

Posted on: 2012/2/6 15:23


Re: Yellow Breeches and Big Spring Creek. Cumberland Co. 2/4/12
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Quote:

BMarx wrote:
FI,

You make a good point, if we were talking about the ditch and only the ditch. The best fishing the past 5 to 10 years was NOT in the ditch. If 40 people a day drove to the ditch they might catch a fish or two, but out of htose 40 most wouldn't fish anywhere else on the stream and if they did they'd flail away for a few mins then leave.

The pressure I am "complaining" about is all the pressure the rest of the stream now gets. I agree wholeheartedly with everything you are saying about "the ditch". However I cannot agree with you about the rest of the stream.


Marx,
I didn't say the best fishing was in the ditch the last 5-10 years. I said it was very crowded there before 2002. You are indeed complaining about the pressure on the rest of the stream
(ad nauseam) - I get that. My point was that one should keep a sense of perspective on fishing pressure on Big Spring. The creek was fished very hard in the ditch section before the hatchery closed and the entire length of the stream was fished far harder fifty-sixty years ago than today.

Posted on: 2012/2/6 16:00


Re: Yellow Breeches and Big Spring Creek. Cumberland Co. 2/4/12

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2011/12/23 16:42
From The Iron Islands
Posts: 348
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I understand that. I am not saying you think the best fishing is in the ditch, I am saying that 99 percent of other anglers thought that, until the reports started popping up on here about the rest of the stream.

Posted on: 2012/2/6 16:11


Re: Yellow Breeches and Big Spring Creek. Cumberland Co. 2/4/12

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FI, you want to keep a sense of fishing pressure on Big Spring, well please stop conveniently picking and choosing time periods and comparing ”facts and data” that are totally irrelevant. There are 4 distinct modern history periods of Big Spring: the prior to the hatchery years (1972 or so); the hatchery years (1972 – 2001); the no hatchery pre-restoration years (2001 to fall 2010); and the after restoration years (fall 2010 to present). You continually reference situations from pre 2001 to today and totally ignore what happened from 2001 – 2010.

In past posts you have said how there are a lot more fish in the entire stream today than there were when the hatchery shut down in 2001. Totally agree but you won’t discuss the condition just before the work and after the work and I’m not talking about some 200 yards section that now holds fish.

You also say how hundreds of people would be fishing the ditch because that was the only place on the stream that held fish and now they are spread out on the entire stream and in far less numbers. Totally agree but this is a totally irrelevant “fact.” The real comparison is comparing the number of people who were fishing the main stream and even the ditch from the period 2001 to the fall 2010 PRIOR TO the restoration work and the number of people fishing the stream AFTER the restoration work and the attention the stream got here and elsewhere. The answer is NONE to A LOT.

So yes, prior to the hatchery being shut down the only place on the stream that held fish was the ditch. It was stocked to the gills with thousands of hatchery escapees, with many in the 3-7lbs range and the PDEP in one of their internal memos actually referred to the ditch as, “An extension of the hatchery’s raceways.” So yes, it attracted a lot of people because it was loaded with stupid large fish and the ditch was managed as trophy trout.

Then the hatchery shut down and the ditch was no longer stocked, the fish were cleaned out, and the regs were changed from trophy trout to FFO C&R. Once that happened 99% of the pressure died off because the ditch was no longer a hatchery raceway. And you know what, the stream then started to make a remarkable comeback. And even though the stream was “famous and well known,” it had severe PERCEPTION PROBLEMS so no one ever fished it outside the ditch and those that fished the ditch (other than a few locals) would quickly lose interest because now they were fishing to WILD TROUT THAT WERE DIFFICULT TO CATCH. I started fishing it in 2006 and believe me you hardly ever saw a soul outside the ditch because the stream was PERCEIVED TO HAVE HAD PROBLEMS AND NO FISH AND NOBODY FISHING IT MEANS NO STREAM REPORTS WHICH MEANS IT CONTINUES TO FLY UNDER THE RADAR SCREEN. But the stream was absolutely LOADED with fish, big fish, outside the ditch but they hid and nobody knew about them and from 2006 to fall 2010 the stream was self sustaining with the brookies populating the upper reaches from the “top down” and the bows populating the lower reaches from the “bottom up,” and there was about a 200 yard section (the lower third of the current restored section) that held very little fish. Other than that THE STREAM WAS LOADED, MUCH MORE THAN NOW AFTER THE WORK. But nobody knew that because nobody fished it except me and probably BMarx.

So the fact is the restoration work HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE NUMBER OF FISH IN THE STREAM TODAY. I know you want scientific data and the data says the stream is better today than 18 months ago but the only thing the data says is better today than 18 months ago is a 200 yard section that now holds fish when 18 months ago it did not and the fish in that section moved into that section from downstream because the work RUINED THEIR HABITIT. Congratulations to all involved in the work, you made a 200 yard section more productive at the expense of the rest of the stream both above and below this section. And now the same idiots who did the initial work are going to do more work and ruin the stream even more.

I know you’ve been around a while but I seriously doubt you, and others who wish to argue this point, have ever fished Big Spring outside the ditch because if you did you would know all of this. You conveniently point to irrelevant facts that are meaningless to try and justify your point or disprove what I and Bmarx are saying.



Posted on: 2012/2/6 16:22


Re: Yellow Breeches and Big Spring Creek. Cumberland Co. 2/4/12

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2008/8/24 20:26
From Mount Joy, PA
Posts: 2238
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So your postings of this:

http://www.paflyfish.com/modules/myalbum/photo.php?lid=1218

And this:

http://www.paflyfish.com/modules/myalbum/photo.php?lid=1217

And this:

http://www.paflyfish.com/modules/myalbum/photo.php?lid=1216

Aren't bringing pressure to BS???



This is Big Spring...not a secluded mountain stream with secret "honey holes"!

Posted on: 2012/2/6 16:48


Re: Yellow Breeches and Big Spring Creek. Cumberland Co. 2/4/12

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2010/6/9 12:35
From down the block from the Letort.
Posts: 932
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Hey, guess what? Things change over time.

Get over it.



To the OP, sorry to hear about the dunking, that must've been chilly. Whether or not the pressure influenced your success on BigSpring, keep at it, these particular streams are tough nuts to crack. Mike's book is an excellent resource.

Posted on: 2012/2/6 16:51


Re: Yellow Breeches and Big Spring Creek. Cumberland Co. 2/4/12

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2011/12/23 16:42
From The Iron Islands
Posts: 348
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wg,
Secluded mountain streams don't see the pressure because 1. they don't have big fish that attract most people, and 2. they aren't typically located near population centers...next question...

tomi,
Change isn't always good. And noone has to just accept change. If that is your mentality then I am sorry to hear that.

Posted on: 2012/2/6 16:57


Re: Yellow Breeches and Big Spring Creek. Cumberland Co. 2/4/12
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For the love of God please don't tell me someone was shocked to find someone discussing a stream in the Stream Reports Forum or did they have something else going on I wonder?

For those of you that missed the memo this is the stream reports section of the the forum. Believe it or not people post information about the streams and share their experiences here. Not sure how to help explain this any further.

This site encourages the sharing of information. I encourage stream reports. So don't be shocked if you find people on this website talking about streams they fish or ask questions about fishing.

Mods please going forward delete ALL debates about spot burning in this forum. There is nothing I hate freakin more than derailed threads. It is rude and disrespectful to the person who took the time to share the post.

Going forward I will considering it harassment if you badger anyone about spot burning in this Stream Reports Forum when they make a post.










Posted on: 2012/2/6 17:04


Re: Yellow Breeches and Big Spring Creek. Cumberland Co. 2/4/12

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2011/7/6 12:30
From Ephrata, PA
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Thank God! And dkile.

I recently just fished Big Spring for the first time. You really gotta work hard for the fish, no doubt! I can't wait to go back and try to crack this stream.

Posted on: 2012/2/6 17:12


Re: Yellow Breeches and Big Spring Creek. Cumberland Co. 2/4/12
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The_Sasquatch

The posts in this thread have put me over the edge about this issue. I have sat back for years listening to this for years and to heck with it. We are going to talk about all the streams loudly going forward.

Posted on: 2012/2/6 17:19



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