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Swatara Creek, Lebanon County, 07/17/13

2011/5/3 12:22
From South Lebanon Township, PA
Posts: 1912
About 3 weeks ago (before the forecast about the heat became apparent) I scheduled a few days off work during the middle of this week. Plan was to build a stone firepit in my back yard that I haven't otherwise had time to do, and maybe sneak in some fishing. With the heat, I've been working on the firepit in the early mornings and evenings, so I decided to fish a little today in the middle of the day. With the temps it had to be wet wading, which for me means WW fishing.

Fished the Swatara in/around Swatara Gap in Blue Mountain from about 12:00 to 4:00. Air temp was approximately 90, water temp was 77 at 12:00, certainly warmer at 4:00. Caught a typical Swatara mix of Smallies, Fallfish, and Redbreasts, along with a couple Rock Bass. Guessing I landed somewhere in the neighborhood of 30. Was fishing white BH Buggers with Grizzly hackle and White/Gray Clousers. Most takes were on the drift or swing. Active stripping got a lot of chases but only accounted for a few hookups. The Smallies I caught were all in relatively swift water, for Smallies anyway. There were plenty of them in the slow pools too, but they wanted nothing to do with my flies. Typical Summer Smallmouth behavior in my experience. Nothing of any real size to report. The 2010 YOY Class in this stream continues to be healthy and strong...they're about 8 inches now, and that's seriously the size of every Smallie I caught, save 2 or 3 dinks. I feel like I've watched these fish grow up...tons of 2" fish in 2011, tons of 5-6" fish last year, and now tons of 8"ers. Hopefully they continue to do well. I did see one much nicer Smallie (14" range) tailing a Fallfish I hooked.

Nice scenery in this area...looks like you're in NC PA somewhere, minus the road noise from I81 anyway. Didn't take many fish pics because all of the Smallies were more or less the same...I kept waiting for a nicer one, but it was 8 incher after 8 incher...did catch a real nice RB though.

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Posted on: 2013/7/17 18:28

Re: Swatara Creek, Lebanon County, 07/17/13
2006/9/9 17:32
From Gettysburg
Posts: 9009
A beautiful RB - I just love 'em, they're my favorite sunfish by a wide margin. Note the red outer edges of the caudal.

And an interesting note about the bass year class. Many less informed anglers don't see the connection between SMB year class success and the subsequent quality of bass fishing in the 4-10 years that follow. This trend is much less perceptible with trout (I really don't even pay attention to trout year classes much other than on Big Spring) as they don't live as long and trout streams often don't have the wide ranging ups and down's typical of river bass spawning success. It will be interesting to watch this class of fish grow over the next few years as you continue to fish this waterway. Good stuff.

Posted on: 2013/7/18 9:28

Re: Swatara Creek, Lebanon County, 07/17/13

2008/8/10 18:44
From lebanon, pa
Posts: 242
glad somebody is getting to enjoy the creek. work and mainly the weather is keeping me from it. i'm hoping to get out sat morning, but i'm pretty sure a heavy storm or two will roll through tomorrow afternoon/evening.

Posted on: 2013/7/18 19:29

Re: Swatara Creek, Lebanon County, 07/17/13

2011/5/3 12:22
From South Lebanon Township, PA
Posts: 1912

Fishidiot wrote:
A beautiful RB - I just love 'em, they're my favorite sunfish by a wide margin.

I agree. The red in the tail edges reminds me of wild Brown Trout. I love that they're the native stream sunfish in our streams that drain towards the Atlantic too.

By next year I figure those 2010 fish should be about 10" on average...once a Smallie reaches that size it's plenty of fun on a light outfit. They're tough fish...they survived the 2011 floods as probably 4 inchers or so, so hopefully they keep going strong.

Posted on: 2013/7/20 9:52

Re: Swatara Creek, Lebanon County, 07/17/13

2011/5/26 10:12
From Dauphin PA
Posts: 2765
Boy, that creek went from swollen to skinny in a hurry. My buddy Josh does well floating it. Always manages 2-3 smallies in the 18-19" range. Last time over he took 2 rainbows on a spinner.

Posted on: 2013/7/20 20:50
"Excelling at making people angry since 1967"

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