September 2004 Report
January/February March April
May June July August
2003 Reports
Please browse our previous year's reports to find out what the action was like in years past.

It looks like the wheels are in motion to begin implementation of a better resource management plan for the Francis E. Walter Reservior and the Lehigh River. We were party to a meeting that discussed the preliminary aspects of this plan and it is one that we are very excited about. Obviously, this is something that has been a long time coming and it will not be achieved overnight. If this something that concerns you – send us an email. We will surely point you to the correct organizations who are working to achieve this goal.

September 27, 2004 - UPDATE

We are fast approaching that time when most streams are hatched out. And even if there were hatches it is doubtful the fish are looking up due to the hifher than normal water levels. Streamers are your best bet or your standard nymphs - hares ear, caddis worms and/or maybe even some scuds if you are fishing a limestoner.

For the shorebound saltwater angler - now is the time to prep that gear. Year after year - it is mid-October that we find the suds to really heat-up. Send us an email if you have any questions.

Check out some of our action from last year.

Basics of Saltwater Fly Fishing:"
8-10 weight rods, matched-up with either an intermediate or a sinking 200-400 grain line. The sinking lines enable you to get down in the current or deepest of holes. A good quality reel with decent drag is also a must. Saltwater fly fishing does not require near the precision that freshwater trout fishing - so keep that in mind. But your need to be able to throw line effectively. Flies are all the usual suspects - clousers, deceivers and Popovics Jiggies. Go with chartreause, white, olive, yellow and combinations of all. And don't forget the stripping basket - either make one yourself or buy a pre-fab.

September 22, 2004 - UPDATE

Not really much to report at all since all the larger waters are still rippin at unsafe/unfishable levels. Smaller streams are now fishable, but we have not been out.

Once levels come down a bit on Penns - conditions will be perfect and it should be in great shape for our Fall Weekend Package.

A really amazing event occured over the weekend from all the rain and that is Francis E. Walter Reservoir rose about 100 FEET! Yup, that is right. This was caused by the Army Corps shutting the valve to protect the downstream towns and even the lower Delaware. Just to put that in perspective - that much water did not even put the lake at 50% of capacity. Talk about a hole in the ground!! Since the rains ended, and the major pulse of water has made its way down thru the lower Delaware, releases have been in the 7,000cfs range. But it looks like the Army Corps is starting to cut them back a bit - hopefully in a stepped-down fashion. Still at the time of posting the Reservoir is up about 80 feet.

Look for more updates over the weekend.

Pictured above is a chart that shows the sudden ramp-up in lake-surface elevation.

September 18, 2004

Hopefully everyone made it to high ground - safe n sound! ! (04.09.17pm)

September 17, 2004 - Valley Creek Report

Check out the chart above for a good idea as to the last
31 days of flow on VC. Notice every week or so there
is a spike, but runoff is over in no time.

Yesterday evening we had out David Dunbar on Valley Creek. The plan was to show him around this stream, since he is new to it, and even possibly land a few trout. Well, all was a success. A couple of trout did come to hand, beautiful little wild ones at that. However, the techniques taught were a big hit. Be it on Valley or some of his more familiar waters – he plans on putting to use what he learned. Chances are it will pay off.

Currently, Valley Creek is at a great level. Flows have been consistently above the mean flow for quite some time. Water temps have been holding in the low-60s. And from what we’ve seen there is just an outstanding population of 1.5 year old fish in the stream. This is obviously a direct result of the great flows and most likely lower predation from birds and other wildlife, which can really take a toll on trout pops when the water gets skinny.

Get out there and enjoy this fine time of year. Over the next few months begin to look for browns to start getting a little frisky! Especially on waters where they move into the tribs to spawn – like Penns.

September 13, 2004 - UPDATE

Over the weekend we put in some time on our home waters - Valley Creek and tried out something different - the Upper Schuylkill. Both waterways produced fish - nothing big, just some good late-summer trout fishing. Our standard rig produced on Valley - with most fish coming on bead-head dropper. Check out the Nitro on our patterns for an effective Valley fly.

On the Schuylkill, buggers were the fly of choice. If anyone is looking to checkout some new water - give this river a shot. Where we like to fish it is pretty far upstream in coal country, so it may not look like the most trout friendly habitat, but don't tell the brookies that! There are also a bunch of little rainbows that the PFBC has been stocking for years.

Letting go your average size Valley Creek gem!

Midday water temp on Valley was 64 degrees.

Coal region brook trout!

September 10, 2004 - UPDATE


Black dots indicate new record high flow for the date.

Any hopes of wetting a line west of the Susquehanna River this weekend have been washed away - litterally! That area of the state just got pounded. Most streams out that way are at all time levels for this time of year, but they should run off pretty quick and be perfect for the nymph fisherman when clearing and dropping. It seems our favorite flies over the past few years have been wooly buggers and big-nasty nymphs.

Look for all this water to drain into the Hanna and pretty wipe that out again for the rest of the month. And all this just as the river was at the 4' mark in Harrisburg. We just can't catch a break.


September 7, 2004 - Lehigh River Float

A sample of the action we got into on our latest Lehigh River float.

Browns, smalls and falls.
The trout are already starting to darken up for the fall.

Great water conditions along with perfect weather - combine that with two great fly fisherman and you have a day filled with fish. Numerous trout in the 12-14" range and smallies all the way up to a fat 16-17" provided the action. You can add in a few 15-16" fallfish. Say what you will, but these fish are fun on a fly rod. All the subsurface fish were picked up on streamers/buggers - down deep and on the swing. Split shot, lead wrapped into the fly, cone heads and 150 grain sinking lines! Any or all of the above will do!!

A few of the trout came on buggers, but most were fooled on dry flies. In the late afternoon into the evening hours we have been finding a really nice summer stenonema popping about. This looks like an orangish cahill - size 12-14. We have also observed more and more stoneflys and Isonychias. Olives have also been hatching.

Fish have been coming up along the hard edges, back eddies and slower pools. For the wade fly fisherman - hitting it at low-light - you really do not have to venture that far off the bank.

Lately we've been finding water temps 2-4 degrees colder, compared to outflow temps from the dam - FEW. Now that we are out of the high sun angle the trout should fair fine. More rain will only help the fishery.

Try to get out!! Fish are really all over the place! And be sure to support what the LRSA is doing for this river. They do much more for the river than just provide fish. Any questions - shoot us an email @:

September 5, 2004 - Lehigh River Float

On Saturday we had out veteran angler Bob Warren. Originally this was scheduled to be a Susquehanna float, but do to the high flows plans changed to a Lehigh River float.

Water temp at launch was a cool 64 and the clarity was excellent. Immediately after launch we were greeted with a smallie. And throughout the morning the action never let up. Everything was taken on wooly buggers - with the highlight of the day being a beautifully colored up 18" rainbow. This fish kicked Bobs butt!! He had his hands full, even on a 7wt. All told - 2 trout and 5 smallies came to net. Throughout the morning there were some hatching black caddis, Isos and BWOs and the stonefly shucks were everywhere!

We should continue to see some great fall action. We plan on checking how the evenings are fishing in the next few days.

Stonefly shucks!

A hefty Lehigh River rainbow!

We like to use the Lehighton Gage as a frame of reference. Today the river was in the 700cfs range. Certainly the upper limit for wading, but just about prime for floating.

September 3, 2004 - REPORT / UPDATE

Earlier this week, prior to the LRSA meeting, Dean was able to hit Big Trout Creek - (a tributary to the Lehigh River). Cold water, good cover and a nice population of wild brownies was the reward of the day. Toss in a few PFBC hatcheries as well. The stream has a nice riffle/run-to-pool ratio, with some really impressive, deep pools/runs sprinkled throughout. Aquatic life appears to be fairly abundant with caddis and smaller mayflies likely make up the majority. Terrestrials are key! Add in the few yellow stoneflies that were observed - yellow sallies - and you've got yourself a really nice trout stream.

All in all about a half dozen fish were taken in the 6-10" range - one being a stocker. Your standard dry/dropper rig was the ticket - with both the dry and nymph, equally effective.

This stream is well suited for 3/4 wt - 7 to 8 footer.

A smaller than average Big Trout Creek brown.

Check this stream out some day, but please release the wild fish. It makes for a good alternative to the Lehigh Valley streams. For more about this stream log onto to the PFBC website. They recently a stream survey.

Look for some more Lehigh River reports as we begin the unofficial start of Fall.