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Penns Creek / Lil J Float

Joined:
2008/12/29 12:54
From Frederick, MD & New Philly, OH
Posts: 445
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I recently purchased a cataraft 13 x 7 and I'm looking forward to putting it to use on Penns and the Lil J. Can anyone recommend decent start and end locations for 4 hour and 8 hour drifts?

For penns I was thinking Coburn to Poe Paddy, but I've only fished both areas twice. I'm not sure how many river miles are between the 2.

I'm at a total loss for the Lil J.


Posted on: 2013/1/2 19:34
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Re: Penns Creek / Lil J Float

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Unless you are planning to go after high water, I don't recommend floating either of these streams. They tend to attract a lot of wading anglers and you will spend more time dodging them than you will fishing. You won't make many friends in the process.

If you're targeting high water, 600 cfs and up will chase most wading anglers of the LJR and around 800 cfs on Penns. You will have a fairly narrow window between when the wading anglers are off the streams and when the high flows will start to make things a bit interesting.

Posted on: 2013/1/2 20:06


Re: Penns Creek / Lil J Float

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2011/8/21 15:39
From Huntingdon
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I agree with Midnightangler. But you wont see near as many anglers on the J from 400 cfs and up. I dont consider the J a river that you would want to float. I dont feel it is quite larger enough.

Posted on: 2013/1/3 4:23


Re: Penns Creek / Lil J Float

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2006/9/13 8:36
From SEPA
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Get the book "Keystone Canoeing: A Guide to Canoeable Water of Eastern Pennsylvania". You should get plenty of ideas from there.

Posted on: 2013/1/3 6:34
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Re: Penns Creek / Lil J Float

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2008/12/29 12:54
From Frederick, MD & New Philly, OH
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Thanks for all the input guys. The last thing I want to do is disturb someone else's fishing. Has anyone on here floated these rivers, not in a kayak?

Posted on: 2013/1/3 7:58
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Re: Penns Creek / Lil J Float

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2011/4/12 8:04
From Whitehall, PA
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In 1977, before I began flyfishing, I paddled Penns from Coburn to Weikert in mid-May. Disturbed a lot of fishermen and did a lot of canoe dragging.

Posted on: 2013/1/3 8:15


Re: Penns Creek / Lil J Float

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2006/11/2 8:50
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Quote:

midnightangler wrote:
Unless you are planning to go after high water, I don't recommend floating either of these streams. They tend to attract a lot of wading anglers and you will spend more time dodging them than you will fishing. You won't make many friends in the process.

If you're targeting high water, 600 cfs and up will chase most wading anglers of the LJR and around 800 cfs on Penns. You will have a fairly narrow window between when the wading anglers are off the streams and when the high flows will start to make things a bit interesting.


I agree. These streams are really not very large. Such a craft would be better suited to substantial rivers such as the Susqy, Juniata, Yough, Delaware, etc.

Posted on: 2013/1/3 8:26


Re: Penns Creek / Lil J Float

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2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
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The end of the road below Coburn (at the tressel bridge) to Poe is just under 2 stream miles. There's an access at Ingleby roughly half way.

From the end of that road UP to Coburn is another mile or so.

From Poe down to Cherry run is like 2 and a half miles. Though around 3/4 of a mile of that is around the big U, which you can cut off by going through the tunnel.

The whole distance is popular with fishermen. My standard day is to base at Poe. Either walk down to Cherry Run and fish back up, or fish up to the tressel and walk back down. I've seen people float it, but I don't see how it's an advantage. They spend most of their time dodging fishermen, and it's all pretty accessible by foot anyway.

Posted on: 2013/1/3 8:26


Re: Penns Creek / Lil J Float

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2011/5/3 12:22
From South Lebanon Township, PA
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I don't really like float fishing a whole lot, and would much prefer to wade in most circumstances. Since I don't float a lot I can't really speak about how well the Little J and Penns are suited for floating in terms of size or flow, or where the best access points are for a float the length the you're looking at.

That said though, if you want to float it, float it...don't let the fact that there are wade fisherman there stop you. You have every bit as much of a right to float through as they do to fish there. Sure, if they're already working a run or hole you should be courteous to them and not fish it and navigate through with as little disturbance as possible, but I wouldn't feel bad about it. It may be a boring float from a fishing perspective if a lot of the good runs are already being worked, but again, a wader has no right to get jacked by you politely floating through...all part of sharing and respecting the resource. My guess is outside of the peak hatch period from late April through mid June, you won't run into nearly as many anglers on those streams.

I've had plenty of kayaks/canoes/float tubes go by me on the Little J before...most are polite and just float (don't paddle) through and say hi and ask how the fishing is.

Posted on: 2013/1/3 8:51


Re: Penns Creek / Lil J Float

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2009/4/3 12:16
From So MD/Misplaced Pittsburgher
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Swattie87

+1 Good advice.

Posted on: 2013/1/3 10:04


Re: Penns Creek / Lil J Float

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2006/9/13 10:18
From LV
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I sort of agree with Swattie on this. Wade anglers have no ownership of the Penns Creek or LJ experience and though they may dominate the rivers, they have to share them. However, you have to pick and choose when you float the rivers to avoid some of the percieved conflicts.
I'd float the rivers early in the season when the water is up, but not dangerous just to see how the float is, and try to float when the water is low. Only then will you know what is a practical float and how to appraoch the float. I for one don't think either of the rivers are best suited to be floated with a craft as big as yours, they are more suitable to canoes and kayaks. Even then probably only when the water is up a bit from mean flows. Always be watchful of other anglers, and plan your course through waders before you float passed them.

Posted on: 2013/1/3 10:31

Edited by Chaz on 2013/1/3 10:56:47
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Re: Penns Creek / Lil J Float

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2006/9/9 22:44
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Prime Penns would be 1000cfs on the drop coming down from say 4000cfs. Limestone green, early in the season, otherwise it would be a miserable float.

Posted on: 2013/1/3 10:48


Re: Penns Creek / Lil J Float

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2008/5/29 15:28
From Lititz/Huntingdon
Posts: 930
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Quote:

Swattie87 wrote:

That said though, if you want to float it, float it...don't let the fact that there are wade fisherman there stop you. You have every bit as much of a right to float through as they do to fish there. Sure, if they're already working a run or hole you should be courteous to them and not fish it and navigate through with as little disturbance as possible, but I wouldn't feel bad about it. It may be a boring float from a fishing perspective if a lot of the good runs are already being worked, but again, a wader has no right to get jacked by you politely floating through...all part of sharing and respecting the resource. My guess is outside of the peak hatch period from late April through mid June, you won't run into nearly as many anglers on those streams.

I've had plenty of kayaks/canoes/float tubes go by me on the Little J before...most are polite and just float (don't paddle) through and say hi and ask how the fishing is.


Big A+ on this one. Ditto.

Posted on: 2013/1/3 11:24
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Re: Penns Creek / Lil J Float

Joined:
2006/9/21 0:02
From Pittsburgh
Posts: 4227
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I agree with the others, in that you'd only want to do this during high water - usually in the spring.

As for where to float - most of these stream sections are very accessable by road, and I don't really see any need for floating those parts.
The gorge area of the little j - from spruce creek to baree - is the one section of it with no roads nearby. And it's also the most scenic part of the river IMO, and would make a nice half day float.

Penns is very remote from coburn to cherry run, with only a couple roads touching it in that rather long stretch. And would make a nice whole day float

Posted on: 2013/1/3 11:30


Re: Penns Creek / Lil J Float

Joined:
2008/12/29 12:54
From Frederick, MD & New Philly, OH
Posts: 445
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Midnight,

For some reason I can't respond back on the PM. Thanks much for the info!

Posted on: 2013/1/4 8:45
_________________
When I grow up I want to be, one of the harvesters of the sea. I think before my days are done, I want to be a fisherman.
"I'll live and die a fisherman."



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