Clarks Creek fly sction

Mking5

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Does anyone still fish the 'fly fishing only' section of Clarks creek anymore? It used to be my favorite trout stream. Seems like the past several years it's really gone down hill.
 

Bamboozle

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I stopped about five years back because it's a 1.5 hour drive for me and with all the dead-fall hemlocks, I spent more time getting out of the creek to walk around obstructions than standing IN the creek fishing.

However I am sure more tolerant folks still fish it because it's still on the stocking list.
 

redietz

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I stopped about five years back because it's a 1.5 hour drive for me and with all the dead-fall hemlocks, I spent more time getting out of the creek to walk around obstructions than standing IN the creek fishing.
Same here (except it's a 2.5 hour drive for me.)

It's shame. It used to be one of my favorite streams.
 

Bamboozle

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It was one of my favorites too.

Definitely my favorite place to go when it was stinking hot as the water temp was nice & cold AND the air temps around the creek were like air conditioning, not to mention the beauty of the Clark's Valley and the number of wild fish I was catching in latter years.

The hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA) sucks!!
 
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laurelrun

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One of my favorite places to fish for all the reasons mentioned. I find I do better outside the FFO section than in it. The deadfalls make for some tough fishing. You'll get good at rollcasts in there.
 

coyoterahn

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If you don't mind some tight quarters fishing, the section of the creek above the reservoir is a beautiful area to explore.
 

Bamboozle

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There were stretches where I could get into the water and just inch my way upstream fishing bank to bank making 30-40 foot casts fishing midges, beetles and other terrestrials. I'd fish for a 100 yards or more uninterrupted by any obstructions for hours on end until dark with an easy walk back to my car. It was one of those places I loved because it gave me a chance to leg-out decent casts with longer rods versus the tight quarters I fish so often.

Now those same stretches offer about 10-30 feet of open water, IF you are lucky enough to not have to have rappel down a high bank just to get TO the water. It's one the things that made fishing Clark's so pleasurable for me and now it's just not the same. If I want to go scrambling up, down and over obstructions all day fishing to 10 foot pockets of open water there are plenty of places closer to my house with less people and more wild fish.

The non-FFO water is OK, but it has its issues as well making it just not worth the drive for me anymore.

I've also fished above DeHart, but never caught enough fish to make it worth going back to, not to mention how far up you have to go to not be tresspassing. I'd do much better at some of the other streams in Dauphin County.
 

JakesLeakyWaders

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I used to fish the fly section. It always seemed like a boring stretch of water. Used to look for the barn with the green roof and pull off up the road on the right. I started fishing other sections upstream a while back. I like to fish up stream. I swear all the pull offs look the same and I fish a new stretch every couple times I go. I tend to hike and fish from the bank here. I just like seeing more of the stream. Some spots have a lot of cover, fallen trees. I fish ffo sections less anymore out of bordom and I just don't like sharing a stream with 4 people.
 

troutbert

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Does anyone know if the PFBC has surveyed it in recent years? I wonder how the wild trout populations are doing there.
 

Mike

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Given all of the negative comments about the CRFFO section over the past year or two it seems to me that the angling community could be better served by liberalizing the regs, allowing the use of other gear types that are more effective under the felled tree circumstances that now exist, and probably improving angler use.
 

Bamboozle

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Given all of the negative comments about the CRFFO section over the past year or two it seems to me that the angling community could be better served by liberalizing the regs, allowing the use of other gear types that are more effective under the felled tree circumstances that now exist, and probably improving angler use.
At the risk of being ostracized, I agree!!

It reminds me of the West Branch Wallenpaupack Creek that is managed as Catch & Release Artificials Only. You can barely make a cast in there and wading is a challange to boot, however it would be a perfect place for bait fishing.
 

McSneek

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Like most of the respondents I used to fish the FFO stretch of Clark’s a lot. Rarely ran into a lot of people. Beautiful wooded stream with some wild fish. Good dry fly action and cool water through the heat of summer. I stopped going when the massive hemlock deadfalls essentially dammed the stream up. Not worth it anymore imo.
 

troutbert

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It was one of my favorites too.

Definitely my favorite place to go when it was stinking hot as the water temp was nice & cold AND the air temps around the creek were like air conditioning, not to mention the beauty of the Clark's Valley and the number of wild fish I was catching in latter years.

The hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA) sucks!!
Good numbers of wild trout sounds like a good thing.

But many people are saying that it's ruined. That seems like a contradiction.

So are the wild trout doing well, and the problem is just that casting is difficult?
 

redietz

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So are the wild trout doing well, and the problem is just that casting is difficult?
That's pretty much it, except that it's not so much the casting, but just getting around. You can no longer just wade up and down the stream. You have to get out and get back in. In many places, the bank is vertical and five to ten feet high, which makes getting out and in too much work for "more experienced" anglers (read that as "old men") like myself.
 

troutbert

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What caused vertical banks 5 to 10 feet high? I realize that it can be hard to tell for sure, but does anyone have any theories ?
 

JakesLeakyWaders

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That's pretty much it, except that it's not so much the casting, but just getting around. You can no longer just wade up and down the stream. You have to get out and get back in.
This is pretty much why I hike and fish from the bank. You can use the logs to your advantage. I tend to fish very small sparse streamers or buggers around the log jams and use a short stout fiberglass rod to flick roll casts across the stream. Come to think about it, I kind of reverted back to how I fished as a kid, often just walking along a stream in old boots, except now wwith a fly rod most of the time.
 

Bamboozle

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Good numbers of wild trout sounds like a good thing.

But many people are saying that it's ruined. That seems like a contradiction.

So are the wild trout doing well, and the problem is just that casting is difficult?
Keep in mind MY unscientific observations of wild fish caught were made BEFORE all the hemlocks started falling in and across the stream. However the stream is designated as a High Quality – Cold Water Fishery (HQ-CWF). You can read a 2012 study on Clark's Creek here.

In regards to the high banks; the general topography around the creek can be very hilly in many places with trails along the creek in some sections more than 20 feet above the water. Before the trees started dropping, you could just wade up the middle and walk out on either side if one bank was too high. After the trees fell, it became impossible to move in some sections because we are talking about HUGE trees that can't be climbed over or crawled under in many places, no matter what your age!

Sure, you can fish Clark's from the bank flipping casts into open holes, but driving 1.5 hours to fish primarily for stockers that way with a fly rod isn't for me, especially with all the memories of how it used to be.
 
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