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Yough River, Confluence, 8/24/2008

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I fished 5:30 to 8:30 from Ramcat put-in upriver to flat water section. Flows about 940 cfs, water temp. approximately 67 degrees at the warmest point. Saw caddis, a whiteish mayfly, a slate drake and many BWO. Fishing was slow for this dry-fly snob. Picked up two rainbows on top with a #18 elk hair tan caddis. In the evening, from dusk to dark, saw many risers in flat water. Couldn't figure them out. Threw everything but couldn't hook any. Another headbanging trip to the Yough. I hate this river. I love this river. I hate this river. I love this river. I hate.... Also ran into Jack M. there. I believe Jack faired better than I on the flats.

rising fish always
greenghost

Posted on: 2008/8/26 8:45

Edited by JackM on 2008/9/14 13:42:21


Re: Yough River, Confluence, 8/24

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I don't think I've caught a trout in my last 3 trips to the Yough, but I am able to cast to rising fish every trip. I keep comming back thinking I'll eventually get the better of these fish, but it rarley happens.

I do pick up the odd smallmouth here and there and I have a little better luck with the stockies up by the dam.

Posted on: 2008/8/26 9:31
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Re: Yough River, Confluence, 8/24
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Shrec and I were talking after we came off and we both agreed that the trout to be had this year are not the monsters that we've experienced in years past. I have caught fish this Summer, but mostly rainbows in the 11-13 inch range. However, before Shrec arrived Sunday, I hooked into one that took off like a bat out of heck-- I had my drag set loose because of the size of fish I thought I was throwing at and when I turned the drag up as it started to run away from me, I went a little far and he popped right off. That one will keep me going back a few more times before I decide to starting taking trips to Erie regularly.

Posted on: 2008/8/26 10:10
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Re: Yough River, Confluence, 8/24

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With regard to that particular section of river, you're right: there have been very few big fish in the tailout of that pool this year--simply because they are now in somebody's freezer (or on someone's wall). There has been--as you pointed out--a nice pod of smaller bows down there working on top on a regular basis, but there are a few big fish in there still. I floated along that bank the other day just to see who was home, and I saw a couple (read two) very nice trout, along with some smaller fish.

But, there are still plenty of big fish to be had in other locales on the river, and they will be moving up as fall approached and arrives.

Posted on: 2008/8/27 17:56


Re: Yough River, Confluence, 8/24

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YoughRiverGuide,

This river seems to be a realy tough nut to crack. We floated it a few weeks back and had an absolutely dismal showing. I don't think that we even seen trout on the 9 mile trip. What gives? Yes I know there is a lot of water but I threw Buggers in the riffles, caddis in the pockets, still no fish.

Of the three guys above I have fared the wort on this river. I am starting to think that the Yough is overhyped. I am by no means an expert, however I would think that I am above a novice. I find it hard to swallow the skunk time after time. Granted I have never fished in the section just below the dam. Perhaps I should as a confidence booster.

Posted on: 2008/8/27 22:04
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Re: Yough River, Confluence, 8/24

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For me, the Yough is rarely easy, even after 21 years on it. It is one of the most mysterious rivers that I've fished and continues to fascinate me. Even after I've sworn it off, it still calls me back. Maybe it is the hope of finding another 7lb brown feeding on tiny mayflies or a 15" silver bullet willing to grab a dragging fly and proceed to strip out a 80' of line and an equal amount of backing in a single run. It's one river where I do not expect to catch fish on every outing; only hope to. The flats fish can be very challenging and often require careful stalking and very long casts, although occasionally they will rise in right in your back pocket.

Posted on: 2008/8/27 23:17


Re: Yough River, Confluence, 8/24

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I have fished this section for years. It used to be my "home water" and I never figured out a patteren. I will say that my best fish days on the yough have been in the winter. I have hooked monsters and gotten skunked many times. However, the winter almost always produces. I have seen pods of trout rising to midges all day in January. Also because of the consistent water temps the water actually feels warm.

Peace

Posted on: 2008/8/28 10:07
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Re: Yough River, Confluence, 8/24

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So true, Allegheny. The river is unlike any I've ever fished.

the fishing is inconsistent, at best. It's not a dry fly river, although you can catch them on top. Hatches are rarely prolific, but they're fishable. It's difficult to wade in most areas.

It does have mystery. It's big and powerful, with fish that grow accordingly. Heavy-bodied fish that make reels sing. It's cold, swift, deep and dangerous.

And yet sometimes you have a day there that defies explanation. You catch those big fish in numbers, your arm gets sore and so does your face, from smiling so much.

What I've discovered is -- after spending more than 20 years fishing this place -- all of that which defines the river, the good and the bad, gets to you, under your skin. You often dream about it. And you come to realize the magic that is the Yough River.

I love it.

rising fish always,
greenghost

Posted on: 2008/8/28 11:02


Re: Yough River, Confluence, 8/24

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By the way, I forgot to mention that after 20 years of going here, I truly believe that the hatches are getting better. Especially the mayfly hatches. Caddis seem to appear on a regular basis, too.

The local sportsmen's group like TU -- Chestnut Ridge? -- should be commended for all of their efforts.

rising fish always
greenghost

Posted on: 2008/8/28 11:03


Re: Yough River, Confluence, 8/24

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The Yough is so ever changing in level and temp that its hard to predict. You show up two days in a row and the flow and the temp could have changed so much that what you did the day before means nothing. Its a lot of water and I think the farther downstream from the outflow the more they are subject to fluctuation. The release temp stays fairly constant and in the winter months not much changes so people have success at the outflow and in winter.

Bugs are generally sporadic at best and all those variables which determine bug activity are hard to predict. Sometimes the fish take a while to learn what food to look for and if those variables don't remain very constant, they won't key in on a specific food source or bug. That can make what looks like a significant hatch meaningless.

Thats just my take, based on things I've experienced on western tail waters which this reminds me of, I don't fish it a lot. But I can usually catch something between the bridges below the dam. Ramcat is a roll of the dice. haven;t fished many other parts more than once to come to any conclusions.

But I do think there are a lot of fish throughout the river. There aren't a lot of waters in the state that you can compare it to so I think maybe if you don't fish it a lot you are just not used to it.

Posted on: 2008/8/28 11:09


Re: Yough River, Confluence, 8/24

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Hatches are mystery there for ME.

I find the fish turn on at night there.

Certainly pretty there. I hooked into the biggest trout of my life there in March of this year and could not seal the deal. I had to sit on the bank for awhile and mumble to myself over that one.

Like you guys, I still go back there.

Do you guys talk more about the one that get away more than the ones you have caught? I do.

Posted on: 2008/8/28 11:49
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Re: Yough River, Confluence, 8/24

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Ryan,

I'll be the first to admit that this is a tough river, for many of the reasons mentioned here on the board, but the biggest factor in the ever changing fishing on the yough (in my opinion) is the temp and flow fluctuations.

Be that as it may, there is predictable fishing on the river: of the past five seasons that I have been guiding on the river, I have never had a zero fish day--my worst day was this summer: at the end of the day we had only had three fish in the boat, but the fellow was new to the sport and missed a few and lost a few more due to line management issues. We usually do quite a bit better than that.

First and foremost, if you want to catch fish on this river you need to fish deep. Dry flies will take plenty of fish--even if fished blind--this time of year but you have to cover a lot of water, which is most easily done from a boat—we all know this is a tough river to wade. Day in and day out this is a streamer and nymph river, and if you want to catch fish when you go, that is what you should fish.

As for the sporadic and unpredictable hatches, I find that this actually makes it easier to take rising fish when I find them. The fish that are inclined to look up on the yough have generally stationed themselves in a bubble line and are (generally) feeding on a variety of floating food. Show them anything, even something outrageously large, the right way, and they'll eat more often than not.

The biggest factor though, and I don't think many people realize this, is that there aren't the number of fish in the river as the other fisheries you are accustomed to fishing. I am on the river a lot, and I know the places that hold bigger numbers of fish, in those places, the fishing can be pretty fast and furious most of the time. But it doesn't take very many good fisherman to clean a place like that out, even on a big river like this one. I can't tell you how many times over the summer I see people fishing from rafts or canoes with stringers of fish (of all sizes) tied to their boats. Any mention of the the regs usually only results in blank stares on the part of these guys (and gals) and they proceed to do whatever it was that they were doing before I showed up. So, by midsummer, we are all fishing over fewer fish than we should be—that doesn't help matters.

But, as everyone else has noted, it is a special place, and I hope that you continue to return to the yough whenever you get a chance.

Any day now we'll be getting some pics from this season up on the website, check it out.

Posted on: 2008/8/30 9:53


Re: Yough River, Confluence, 8/24

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2006/9/21 0:02
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Just to throw my 2 cents worth in to this discussion.
The yough certainly is a quirky river - especially in those first few miles below the dam. I've caught many fish there - but it really does seem to be hit or miss.
I've posted a lot about this before, but I think that bike fishing is the best way to go here. I can zip to one of my honey holes much faster than floating, and if I don't like the fishing there, I can go back upstream - instead of being able to only go one way out.
The best fishing is certainly away from the access points.
I have found a few great spots - one place imparticular - where I almost always find fish rising to something. I regularly catch fish up to about 15 inches - on dry flies only I might add.
But there are lot more pools where I've never seen a a thing rise.
These are the deeper holes, that just aren't dry fly water.
The whole key to fishing this place is to be able to cover lots of water and learn it IMO

Posted on: 2008/8/30 16:56


Re: Yough River, Confluence, 8/24

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2008/1/21 19:15
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Watched the water levels drop into the 800s on Saturday, so I made the trek on Sunday. Apparently they raised the levels up about the time I got there. Made the hike down to the islands trying to beat the rising tide (toting the 2 kids in a wagon!!!) Tried terrestrials and drakes...Too much boat traffic. Went up the bike bridge and caught a few fingerlings while trying to pound the shaded banks with terrestrials and micro caddis. Went just above junction pool at dusk and saw lots of bats. The ONLY riser I saw all day was a cruiser...one of the big browns that will rise every 30 feet or so as it cruises right past you giving you maybe 2 or 3 cast before it's gone.
Just like everyone above...some great days and some poor days on this water...but rarely have I not been able to find some risers. A very disappointing outing. The water levels (and the crowds) make all the difference!

Posted on: 2008/9/1 12:20


Re: Yough River, Confluence, 8/24

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2006/9/10 21:53
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A few of us were there on sat. good level, tons of risers and some really big bugs...had several of those fish that rose every ten feet and kept going upstream but there were a lot of regularly rising fish as well. One of us got a smallie, one got a trout and I got a big fat skunk, but had a blast seeing and casting to all those rises...I really needed to get on the water...fish on the line would have only been a bonus.

Posted on: 2008/9/1 12:48






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