May 2006 Report

2006 Reports
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2005 Reports 2004 Reports 2003 Reports
^^Please check out our archives^^

We thank you for your support!!!

We have revised our Package Trip schedule for '06. You can click-thru on the link above or below for more information. And don't forget - if you have any questions - feel free to ask.

Be sure to mark your calendar for these FFPA '06 trips:
Penns Creek - June 10-11
Penns Creek - Sep 30-Oct 1
New Jersey Saltwater - Nov 11-12

Of course we always have our Business Person's Specials and Evening Floats on the Lehigh

May 31 - Salt/Vaca-Lehigh-Drakes

The Vineyard
It is that time of year. One-half of FFPA is out the door for the annual trip to Martha's Vineyard. With that being the case do not look for any web activity until late next week - you can always email us though for real-time info. Upon return - definitely check back for a recap! Each and every year is different up there...some years it has been early-spring-raw, ski-hat cold, while other years it is tropical like hot. We've caught fish in each so it does not really matter in the end. Who knows what this year will bring?? But if it is anything like last year, then watch out!!! Talk about off the charts!

Lehigh River
Prime-time sulphur season is here. Now is the time to be on the river for this lo-light, frustrating bug. Numerous times the water can boil with rising fish, but yet, your dry goes untouched. This is the time to think about swinging wet flies. Ermergers. Most like this is what the trout are feeding on. Tie on some wets which look sulphur-like and swing the rig at a 45-degree-angle downstream. Add some action to the drift and wait for the strike. This can be an extremely effective technique.

Penns Creek
Ugh oh!?! The drakes are out in force on Penns Creek. Big swarms of duns and spinners have not only brought the fish to the top, but also, the crowds are just as thick. And don't forget, the fishing is not over on Penns once the drake hysteria subsides. Some of the best dry fly action can take place in June when the larger Olives begin to hatch. We still have spots available for our June trip...check it out. Click on the link below.

May 29 - Lehigh Report and YO YO Releases

On Saturday we had out David, who hails from the Palmerton area and remembers quite well the days when the river ran void of fish. He has always wanted to float and fish the Lehigh, but never had the chance.Overall the fishing was decent, but could have been a bit better though. Especially when you factor in the water water temps. We got into about a half dozen fish, with half of them coming to net. Browns, rainbows, brookies and smallies rounded out the day. The highlight of the day was the hookup with something enormous. It was tight for about six seconds, then the hooked pulled. %^&*!!! It was big!!! Upon further inspection of the hook and the wet fly - the hook shank was bent! So much for Tiemco being strong. Oh well, what can you do?. Bugs were few and far between throughout the day. We could be between the early- season and mid-season hatches? No risers were seen at all during the afternoon and it was not until about 8:15pm when the Sulphurs - big ones at that - began to pop. Shortly thereafter a few fish started rising very inconsistently for just a few minutes. Then that was it. Water temps have hit the 60-degree mark - peaked at about 62. The water was a bit stained from the whitewater release. There was a bit of debris as well. What is YO.YO? Click here.

Please check out the Lehigh Coldwater Fishery Alliance website
for recent happenings and progress with the coldwater modeling.

May 26 - Lehigh Pics

Pictured to the right are just a few of the nicer fish we've landed the last few days. The river right now is showing its true colors...there have been a plethora of bugs throughout the day and the rising fish activity is increasing daily - grey fox (unreal numbers!!), tan caddis, march browns, and sulphurs, which should only get more intense, are all on the water. Large wet flies as a dropper to a bugger have also been producing. The coldish nights of the past week should only extend this spring/summer's fishery. Hope for some consistant rains and things are really looking good. If you hit it this weekend - watch out for the release - 1,000cfs both days!

May 21 - Lehigh Report

We've recently been on the river. Just the other day - we had out good friends and fishing buds - Bob, John and Rick. They usually make a trip this time of year to do some fly fishing...and this year they decided the Pocono area was the place. They spent some time on smaller waters as well as on the Big Lehigh. We did get into some fish - trout and smallies - on the evening float, but the river has remained relatively slow. Best action occurred on buggers swung slow and deep thru the tails of the riffs and into the deeper runs. Using sinking lines, flies tied with lead and cone heads, and plenty of mending was necessary to trigger a strike. With the continuation of higher flows, look for nymphing and streamers/buggers to continue to produce more so than drys.

Overall, water temps have been on a downward trend the past two weeks, as a result of the stagnant weather pattern we've been. However, it looks as if the pattern is slowly changing, which hopefully will get the fish a bit more active. Take a look at the temp chart above for the Easton gage on the Lehigh. While this gage is pretty far downstream from where we fish, it does tell the story of where we are water temp wise. Hard to believe but we are looking at water temps we saw back in the middle to end of April. In fact release temp from Francis E Walter has consistantly been in the mid-to-high-50s, but down where we fish it has been in the lo-50s in the morning, and only getting to the mid-50s during the heat of the day.

Flows have also been running at a very good clip - 1,000-1,500cfs in the Lehighton area, which definitely makes for tough rising fish conditions, not to mention wading. Guys have been out though giving it a try. Bugs have been prolific. Plenty of sulphurs, march browns, grey fox and caddis are being observed daily. More consistent fishing should occur any day now. Spin and bait guys have been having decent results.

Bob pictured above with a nice Lehigh smallie.

Hatching sulphurs have been prolific from 3pm on! Sunny days seem to have better hatches.

May 15 - Valley Creek and Upper D - West Branch

Last week we ran an evening trip with Phil over at Valley. Phil is a really avid fly angler who travels all around PA chasing wild trout. Best fly by far was a caddis - tan elk hair, or even cdc/elk. Key was to get the fly really close to the bank, and target the deeper runs/pools. By deeper I mean 2' or so. Along with working on technique Phil got to learn a few new locations to hit up again, where he can put to use what he learned.

For the most part the West Branch was very slow over the weekend. And from talking to some guides, the East Branch and Main were very tough! Some did not even touch a fish on Saturday!! So with that said, I guess we did ok bring about 10 fish or so to net, during only a handful of hours on the water.

Once again the best fly was a tan caddis - #16. Caddis was by far the most plentiful insect hatching...with only a few hendricksons Otherwise - nothing!!! Sloooow going! Wind was a bitch as usual, but more so on the main. Water was a good level with some color...600cfs at Hale Eddy. You can float at this level, but it really is borderline, especially on a weekend, when it can become crowed with floating rubber and fiberglass. Seriously, a min-float cfs should be looked into. If you want to float - go to the main.

All we got into were small fish. Which is actually great to see! No rainbows - all browns in the 12-13" range. The larger fish just weren't showing during the day. In the evening we did see some nice fish begin to rise to a hendrickson spinner fall, but, right on time, the rains moved in and that was all she wrote.

Feisty West Branch brown

West Branch

May 11 - Lehigh Report - Lehighton to Bowmanstown

Here is a very quick Lehigh report from this past weekend. On Sunday Dean had out Ray for a half-dayer. Key was to target the drop offs, slots, and troughs in the river bottom. The fish were laying in there for the ambush...get a good drift and clockwork. According to Dean, they were dialed in. Many times he said, 'GET READY,' and on!

Biggest went 16" - brownie. They also picked up beauty 15" bow and missed a reel-screamer. All told they picked up about a half-dozen, and easily missed that many. Caddis pupas, and your basic nymphs were the ticket. A few march browns hatched sporadically, but not many risers. More reports to come! Stay tuned.

FYI...sulphurs have started on the majority of our waters.

May 5 - Update - Lehigh River

The Lehigh is rounding into nice form. Borderline wade-friendly flows throughout the length of the river can be found when the RELEASE from Francis E Walter hits the 450cfs mark. That is about where we are at now (as of writing). And according to the Corps, the release should drop a bit more going into the weekend, (250-350cfs from the dam) in order to keep outflow mirroring inflow. With this, all is shaping up for a really nice weekend!!! Please note, by the time flows hit the Lehighton gage, which is the gage we like to go off of when floating (graphic pasted to the right), flows are about double what the release is from the dam. Obviously give or take a few cfs depending on trib influence, time of year, etc. Regardless, this is a good rule of thumb to follow. 800cfs or less on the gage in Lehighton is a really nice wade flow. As always though - we urge anyone wading the Lehigh to wear studded boots and carry that wading staff. There is a reason why this river is tops for whitewater rafting on the east coast. It can push!!! Spend the coin on this it can save you from becoming a statistic. As always wade wisely!

We will be on the river this weekend, so look for a report toward the beginning of next week. Hopes are to have some rising fish, with the lower, more rise-friendly flows. And as is usually the case with the Lehigh, once the water nips the 60 degree mark, things tend to get going. She is a slow starter.

May 2 - Lehigh Report - Walnutport to Treichlers

Over the weekend we did a stretch of water we don't usually fish. Walnutport to Treichlers is about a 5-mile float, with the first half having some really nice high-gradient water. Great streamer and dry fly water. After that the water becomes slower with a few sections of fast water, but mainly is longish pools.

Throughout the float there was a pretty impressive tan caddis hatch - size 12-14. We also saw a few mayflies - hendricksons. What was really impressive, though, was the number of spent size 18 caddis covering the water. In spots the river was coated! Who knows...maybe they taste like garbage - which is why the trout were not eating them.

Overall there were not many fish coming up, but we did have a few shots. Photo'ed to the right is the nicest trout we landed. This fish was aggressively taking caddis off the top. One cast bam! We got a few others off the top, but really nothing to write home about.

Streamers moved about a half dozen fish. Black and olive buggers were the ticket along with a sinking line - 100-150 grains.

15" brown off the top.

Wade friendly water, with the big payoff.

It really seems like dry fly action on the Lehigh does not get going until we get into May. This is what we have been finding over the last few years. In fact looking back at last year, we did a float May 9 and had pretty much no risers, despite flies popping.