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Re: North Central PA - What flies, tips and tricks?

Joined:
2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
Posts: 12923
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snider,

First, a lot of the guys on here are pretty ardent C&R (catch and release) fishermen, especially when we're talking about wild fish (we're still C&R about stockies but less "strict" about it). I don't think there's a problem with keeping the occasional fish, but keep in mind that the streams are used by many and harvest does indeed degrade a fishery.

Strike indicator: Placed on the leader, the placement can be varied for depth. Used for subsurface fishing. Some float and are kind of like little bobbers. Some sink and just give the angler something to watch to know when he gets a hit.

Floatant: Used to float a dry fly, put right on the fly. The powdery or silicone ball ones dry out a fly once it is soaked. The pastes (like Gink) generally "waterproof" a fly so that it takes longer to soak, and even then it is easier to dry off with a few false casts.

False casting is used to dry off the fly. As said, it will be easier if the fly was treated first. In tight brush, there isn't much room for false casting or even backcasting, simply blowing on the fly can do the same thing. Treat it before you fish. Once it starts to sink, blow the water off and retreat the fly.

Fishing upstream means you are downstream of the fish, casting upstream (and thus, typically working your way up). Fish face into the current so this approach allows you to get a little closer, plus it sets you up for a nice drift. Noise is a factor and do your best to avoid it, but its not that much of a factor. Movement is more of a factor. Keep low, and do your best to keep your distance. Do your best to not wave the rod over the water you intend to fish.

It gets easier with practice, but we all spook our share of fish, so don't get worked up. The great thing about these streams is that you cover so much water, there is always a "next" hole. Don't be afraid to try and make a cast you don't think you can make. Thats how you get better. The worst that can happen is you snag up, and either lose a fly or have to wade into a good hole to retrieve it. Both are no big deal and expected in a day of fishing.

Posted on: 2010/1/12 9:00


Re: North Central PA - What flies, tips and tricks?

Joined:
2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
Posts: 12923
Offline
double post....

Posted on: 2010/1/12 9:00


Re: North Central PA - What flies, tips and tricks?

Joined:
2010/1/10 16:42
From Midlothian, VA
Posts: 15
Offline
bikerfish,
I own the lodge...completely renovated with my own 2 hands. I try to keep the rates competitive with the local competition. Don't really 'make' money, but the renting has at least paid expenses, which allows me to keep the cabin for fishing and hunting trips!

Posted on: 2010/1/12 19:33


Re: North Central PA - What flies, tips and tricks?

Joined:
2010/1/10 16:42
From Midlothian, VA
Posts: 15
Offline
Understand the catch and release, pcray1231. I usually only 'take' and handful of fish a year from these particular wild streams...usually enough to eat a trout or two in a few meals.

I'll seriously consider pinching the barbs.

Thank you again for the advice on the float and strike indicator. Based on your explanations, I'm leaning towards the floatant, 'Gink' as you've suggested. This sounds like the most fun.

I understand the fishing upstream thing and advantages, I've just been reading so much, that I was concerned that wading and the subsequent 'rock-clanking', at times, may have been the greater of 2 evils, depending on the situation. I need to stop reading so much and just relax...wait for the experience to happen in April and go with my gut.

I do so love the outdoors and fishing!

It's supposed to warm to around 55 here in VA this weekend. I have been itching to practice on the local reservoir for bass and sunny. I have my fingers crossed.

Posted on: 2010/1/12 19:46


Re: North Central PA - What flies, tips and tricks?

Joined:
2010/1/10 16:42
From Midlothian, VA
Posts: 15
Offline
osprey,
I actually grew-up in Benezette and still have lots of family in the area...that's how I'm able to maintain the cabin while I'm not there. The Elk are beautiful, but I really don't have to go out of my way to see them there...they're usually hanging-out in a neighbors yard or my own front yard. On more than a few mornings, upon waking-up and stumbling out of the bedroom, I've been greeted by the sight of a large bull staring at me through the living room bay window!

The area and the elk are beautiful. I actually went deer hunting there this past season. I had a large bull come and 'check' me out on one day in the woods (I had been buck grunting and was wearing doe estrous). He was shaking his head and looked a little frustrated (I had been hearing his bugles off in the distance earlier), so I didn't stick around to see what he was going to do!

Posted on: 2010/1/12 19:57


Re: North Central PA - What flies, tips and tricks?

Joined:
2009/4/1 21:52
From Johnstown, PA
Posts: 4458
Offline
sniderrj.............I have good friends who have had a cabin in Bennzette for over 50 years at least , trout run is one of the streams they took me to that was great , we went and saw the elk up over the hill from a Tavern/restaurant , there was a farm there with a small apple orchard , they were feeding on the apples. Do you know of a place on Trout run where there is a granite , tombstone type marker about a guy that shot 2 mountain lions? He was a relative of the folks i know.

Posted on: 2010/1/16 8:51


Re: North Central PA - What flies, tips and tricks?

Joined:
2007/6/19 21:49
From Lancaster County
Posts: 1405
Offline
If you grew up in the area, you're probably aware of the coal mining in the region, and naturally, the acid mine drainage that it leaves behind. If I recall correctly, from a few years ago while backpacking the Elk Trail, which I believe follows Trout Run into Benezette, there are mines in the headwaters of that stream. The stream looked ok down towards Benezette but I'm sure it's impaired in some places the further upstream you get. So a tool that you mind find useful is a pH meter, to test the acidity of the streams. Some of them are obviously impaired - the one photo shows Bell's Branch as it flows into Dents Run. Bell's is unimpaired; Dents at that point is loaded with yellow boy. It was one of those moments that struck me, because there was a pretty clear interface between polluted/unpolluted, and the brookie I caught was pretty much guaranteed to have been spawned and grew up in Bells' Branch. Other streams may look fine, because the AMD has been diluted somewhat by the time you get downstream a bit, but their aquatic life is fairly limited.

The elk are on Trout Run road, as it comes into Benezette - a fitting ending to a hike on the Elk Trail. There was a second smaller bul that wandered down behind the big guy.

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Posted on: 2010/1/16 21:00


Re: North Central PA - What flies, tips and tricks?

Joined:
2008/8/24 20:26
From Mount Joy, PA
Posts: 2125
Offline
I'm sensing a "mini-jam" come opening weekend in April. How about the Driftwood Branch of the Sinnemahoning Creek? We have a cabin in Sinnemahoning and I'll be up there that weekend. The kids like to fish the kid's derby at the Wykoff Nursery and hopefully I'll be venturing off for some grown-up fishing.

As far as "wild" brookies, you really can't go wrong with fly selection (within reason). The biggest trick is not spooking them...

If you want to catch a brookie off the top, a "Humpy" is a sure-fire bet! Nothing like taking a rising fish - your heart will be pounding! It's a stimulator fly that grabs the attention of the fish.

Click to see original Image in a new window
Internet photo of a "Humpy"

Good luck and welcome to the board!

Posted on: 2010/1/18 22:04


Re: North Central PA - What flies, tips and tricks?

Joined:
2010/1/10 16:42
From Midlothian, VA
Posts: 15
Offline
Hey Osprey,
I've been "out-of-pocket" from the forum for a while. My apologies for the delay. It sounds like you may have been at the top of Winslow Hill (about a mile up the mountain from Trout Run). The Game Commission has placed 2 Elk Viewing areas up there and a huge Elk Visitors complex is supposed to be finished this year. I grew-up as a kid exploring the mountains for miles around and I can't ever remember seeing a tombstone type marker about a guy shooting 2 mountain lions, but I can tell you that there are still a few old-timers in the area that have mountian lion stories (not to mention stuffed mountain lion displays). This year during deer season, with snow on the ground, I saw several sets of mountain lion tracks.

Where is your friend's cabin? Chances are, I probably know them, or at least know of them.

I did indeed do my first real 'fly-fishing' at the local reservoir a few weeks ago! Because the water was cold, the fish weren't very active (a little lethargic). It took me a little over an hour to find a fly that worked. The bead-head did the trick for me! I used a small strike indicator and the sunnies were loving it! As a long-time bait fisherman, I was amazed at how well that tiny replication worked! I'm hooked!

Posted on: 2010/2/7 11:39


Re: North Central PA - What flies, tips and tricks?

Joined:
2010/1/10 16:42
From Midlothian, VA
Posts: 15
Offline
salmonoid,
You are correct, the final portion of the Elk Trail runs along Trout Run (although the Elk Trail didn't exist when I was a kid). Thanks for sharing the photos! From the place where the photos were taken of the Elk, the local Trout Run watershed chairman lives off to the right about 100 yards away. The last time I spoke with him, he reported that the PH levels were acceptable and a couple of Acid Mine reclamation points had been constructed in previous years to stop some of the run-off. The mines weren't in the head-waters, but rather closer to the end near Benezette. About 3 miles north of Benezette, Spring Run enters Trout Run. Both waterways have fortunately remained relatively healthy. Just last fall, I camped and fished up-stream for about 10 miles...it's healthy and extremely beautiful. Nothing like taking your evening bath in a cool mountain stream with a bar of soap! Near town, I usually catch brookies that range anywhere from 10 to 15 inches. A buddie of mine actually caught a 24" brookie near town a few years ago.

I loved the native brookie photo! : )

The photos of the Elk were taken around 200 yards from my cabin. From the cabin, I see the Elk daily.

Thanks for your response and the beautiful photos!

Posted on: 2010/2/7 14:47


Re: North Central PA - What flies, tips and tricks?

Joined:
2010/1/10 16:42
From Midlothian, VA
Posts: 15
Offline
wgmiller,
Humpy it is! I'll be either trying to tie a few or ordering some. Thanks! If you're in the Benezette area, please don't be scared to stop-by and say "Hello.". My cabin is on the bottom street of Benezette, straight past the Benezette Hotel...Cabin Creek Lodge.

I can't WAIT 'til April!

Posted on: 2010/2/7 14:52


Re: North Central PA - What flies, tips and tricks?

Joined:
2010/1/7 0:41
From "THE VILLE"
Posts: 1078
Offline
Sniderr,

You might want to get some or tie beadhead hare ear in sizes 12 to 16 in black olive and natural hare's ear colors. Always have done good early season with them.

Posted on: 2010/2/12 0:31
_________________
“If, when you pull a fly out you
don’t hear drums and can’t smell
chicken blood in the air, put it back
in the box, for if it is evil you seek,
then it can only be conjured with the
same.”




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