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Quittapahilla Creek, Lebanon County, 07/24/11

Joined:
2011/5/3 12:22
From South Lebanon Township, PA
Posts: 1818
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I fished the Swatara after work on Friday and found water temps of 86 in the main current channel, and as high as 92 in the slower, shallow and sun exposed eddies. I was wet wading, and 92 degrees is warm, very warm...too warm to wet wade comfortably even. I had plans to fish the Swatara today, but after Friday, and no relief from the temperatures yesterday, that just wasn't happening.

I was pretty much resigned to not fishing at all this weekend...the only stream reasonably close that I figured may be cool enough to fish is my arch nemesis the Quittie. In four years fishing that stream I had never caught a trout in it. I stopped by yesterday at around 2:00 pm just to get a temperature and get a look at the stream. Water temp was 64 in the DHALO stretch with plenty of flow...and there also was the occasional rising fish...not too bad. It's amazing how cool that stream stays and despite no real rain in the area for weeks, its base flow is enough to make it nearly impossible to safely wade without having to get out and negotiate it's steep banks every 50 yards. I figured to come back armed with the fly rod this morning and give it another shot.

Fished the DHALO section in the park from 6:20 until 8:00 am. Took the same 64 degree water temp this morning. Air temp was 80, and humid. Skies were mostly cloudy. The Quittie always seems to have a slight stain to the water, as was the case this morning. I found a 50 yard stretch or so with some nice current lanes that had some consistently rising trout. I couldn't see what they were rising to, but didn't really want to try to fish midges in the low light conditions so I started with a tan EHC, which got no looks and no takes. Considered switching to the midge, but decided to try a terrestrial pattern first and tied on a size 14 black flying ant...that ended up being the ticket today. Caught two Browns and one Bow, and missed a second Bow. There was a fish at the head of this stretch rising more consistently than any other as I worked upstream. I worked through the brush on the bank to where I thought I needed to be to make the cast. As I peered over the brush I saw the fish rise again...it was a nice 14-16" range Bow. I greedily decided to take just one more step to open up a casting lane a little more and saw him bolt. Oh well. I also caught a two inch Fallfish on the way back to the truck that had a Rainbow chase it almost all the way onto the bank as I pulled it in...pretty cool to watch.

I guess the Quittie felt I finally put in enough time to let me catch (and release) a few of her trout. The Browns were average looking stockies, but the Bow was a really good looking fish. Once again, it seems the Bow and Brook stockers color up better (or at least quicker) than the Browns. As is usually the case, the Rainbow was able to successfully evade the camera. I've noticed a direct positive correlation between a fish's beauty and its innate ability to avoid having its picture taken. Fallfish on the other hand love to have their picture taken! A good day out before the heat, and definitely a good learning day too. Don't underestimate the terrestrials!

A couple pics of the Browns:


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jpg  07-24-11 002.jpg (31.18 KB)
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Posted on: 2011/7/24 9:58


Re: Quittapahilla Creek, Lebanon County, 07/24/11

Joined:
2007/3/28 11:30
From Cleona, Pa
Posts: 272
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That creek is fishable all year round because it's a limestoner. The bows I catch there are always beautifully colored up. I think it has some holdover trout. I've been catching wild fish there more and more as of late.

PS check you PM's I sent you one a few days ago

Posted on: 2011/7/24 19:17
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Re: Quittapahilla Creek, Lebanon County, 07/24/11

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2011/5/3 12:22
From South Lebanon Township, PA
Posts: 1818
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Quote:

jkilroy wrote:
That creek is fishable all year round because it's a limestoner. The bows I catch there are always beautifully colored up. I think it has some holdover trout. I've been catching wild fish there more and more as of late.

PS check you PM's I sent you one a few days ago


Yeah that's what gives it its steady flow too. It has to be at complete base flow by now given we haven't had any decent rain in weeks. It's too bad its source is just on the eastern edge of Lebanon...if it didn't have to flow through town I think it could be a real legit limestoner with a thriving wild population. It would make for a neat stream since it's bigger than most of the CV limestoners. Kind of tough when it flows in a concrete channel through an economically depressed area for the first couple of miles of its course though.

I'm sure it does have holdovers from year to year and I'd buy that there's at least some wild fish in it. If it stays that cool year round, I'm sure there's at least a few stockies that could find a some decent spawning habitat and figure it out. I've heard several reports of wild Bows...have you caught any wild Browns though?

Sorry about the delay in the PM response...I don't check my PM's as often as I should. Response sent.

Posted on: 2011/7/24 21:23


Re: Quittapahilla Creek, Lebanon County, 07/24/11

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2006/9/9 17:18
From lancaster county
Posts: 6282
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With many years experience with this creek I can tell you that there are very limited, if any wild browns. I've never caught one myself but have landed a dozen or so wild bows. I have heard reports of wild bows in the DHALO section but I never caught mine there.

One of the problems with the Quitte is it was severely polluted sometime ago and the stream is one the rebound. I get your viewpoint about it flowing through a concrete channel through an economically depressed area for the first couple of miles of its course, but in time its going to get passed that obstacle. Probably not in our lifetime but it will.

The Quitte IMO, many years from now, will be Lebanon/Lancasters best trout stream next to two others. It just needs more time.

Posted on: 2011/7/24 21:39
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Re: Quittapahilla Creek, Lebanon County, 07/24/11

Joined:
2007/3/28 11:30
From Cleona, Pa
Posts: 272
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Never any wild browns, only some wild rainbows. On the bigger ones I can't tell sometimes if they are wild or stocked. I've caught a few around 10- 12" which I swear were wild, they fight, jump and run the whole time they are on the line. And the fins were perfect, don't know.

Posted on: 2011/7/25 20:46
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-JK


Re: Quittapahilla Creek, Lebanon County, 07/24/11

Joined:
2011/5/26 10:12
From Dauphin PA
Posts: 2574
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10 yrs before they started stocking the stream again... I fished a weed choked cow pasture during the trico hatch. I was the only person fishing that area that I knew of. I took some very nice bows in the 14-17" range and some very wild looking browns 10-15".

Posted on: 2011/7/26 9:50
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