September 2008 Report

2003-2008 Reports
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September 25, 2008 - Lehigh Report - Gorgin'

A few days ago a group of us got out on the Lehigh during the afternoon/eve hours. Our hopes were high that we would find some fish working here and there on the smattering of bugs that were present. However, that was not the case. All said only four trout were moved, and really nothing else was seen. All the fish we moved went after a dry fly. Only one fish did come to hand - - a wild brown, that went about 10-11". Pic below.

Overall the fishing was quite disappointing due to the fact that there were bugs on the water. Mainly they were the summer sulphur, but we did see a few caddis, and some large stones. Looks like we have a few more weeks left in our trout season before we move over to the salt. So hopefully we can get back in the Gorge soon.

September 21, 2008 - Lehigh

We've got some more Lehigh time on the horizon. Along with the Isos and ants that have been on the water - - there has also been decent numbers of the second-season sulphur....or the dirty sulphur...or the summer sulphur. Call it what you will. Correct ID is a late season Stenonema. And the fish love them!

Recent Lehigh action.

The the pattern photo'ed above (#10) is one of our better late-season summer sulphur imitations. All it is - is a simple parachute, with a double-hackle of brown and lite olive - - which beefs up the floating capability. Due to the parachute design, it floats flush, but yet sticks out like a sore thumb due to the white poly wing. By the way, the color of the body for this pattern ranges from what is depicted in the pic to the color of the orange font to the left of the pic. We carry a wide-range of colors when on the water.

September 17, 2008 - Salt!

The salt is starting to perculate! Word is fish are in tight along our favorite northern-NJ beaches - - feeding on an asortment of bait. This is great news, since the last handful of years the fishing has not really picked up until October for the beachbound angler. Recent hot September and Octobers might have had something to do with it. This year though, it looks like we might see a mullet run, with predators actually on them. Hmmmm...the next few days, with tranquil weather, and cool overnight temps, might just be what we need to bust open a September like we've not seen in years!

And speaking of the Salt - - you gotta check out our annual Fall Blitz Saltwater Trip. This is an overnight trip which we can cater to any type of fly angler - - beginner or advanced. We promise you, that you'll come away with all the skills needed to take on the salt with confidence in the future. We really are quite fortunate to have such a fantastic fall fishery within such a short distance. Much closer than those Great Lakes migratory fisheries. This year, why not try something a little different. Check it out!

September 15, 2008 - Lehigh - - pre-whitewater release

The Corps usually opens the valve at midnight and it takes about 12 hours for the surge to arrive in Lehighton...we fished a bit below Lehighton, so we got in a little bonus time.

Due to the fog, and cloud cover, the water did not cool off during the overnight hours like it has been, but it really was a wash since the clouds and fog made for low-lite type of fishing long after sunrise.

At the start of the day, in the early am hours - - the fishing was a bit slow. A few smallies were banged here and there on buggers and a dry / dropper rig. We really did not get any smallies of any size - - although I did overhear an angler talking to the local WCO as we were wrapping up, who said he landed a 20" smallie a few weeks ago on plastic. That is an impressive smallie anywhere in PA, let alone the Lehigh which is not known for giving up the beef.

Now once the sun began to break thru the clouds and burn some of the fog off, the bite lit up. In all the fishy looking spots we found working fish...sometimes they were smallies, and other times they were trout. The reason for the fish showing themselves was due to all the spent flying ants littering the water. Never before have we seen an ant hatch like this. The water was blanketed - - and the fish were on them. Smallies eating sunken ants. Pretty cool stuff!

But even more impressive was the number of rising trout we found. It appears that the fish, even in the lower trout water weathered the summer very well. The trout are colored up, and for the most part in decent shape. Although one trout did have a very torn up mouth. We found trout in the runs, flat water, the chop, and tail outs. Pretty much everywhere. Some were even vacuming the surface, almost trike-like feeding style. Along with the ants we had a steady mix of Isos during the morning popping here and there. With that being the case, you could not go wrong with an Iso dry. Even though the fish were eating the ants most of the time - - they were suckers for the Iso. Mix in a few sulphurs, and caddis - - and you pretty much have all the dry flys that we saw. A black caddis also did a number on the risers.

It really does look like we should see some really great fall fishing on the Lehigh this year. Water temps overall never did get to lethal levels, and with all the seeps and springs here and there it appears the trout top to bottom (FEW down thru the gorge) are fat and healthy and ate their way thru the summer. If you would like to get in on this second season action, definitely give us a shout. Email us at


September 9, 2008 - Disgusting!

Here we go again, and I am not referring to the Whitesnake song from years ago. We are now looking at <200cfs flows at Hale Eddy, and <1,500cfs flows at the Montague target which is supposed to stay at or above 1,750 or 1,800cfs depending on what you reference.

So here we have Montague considerably below its target, but does the federally appointed, interstate Delaware River Basin Commission even care. Or better yet, have the teeth to enforce. The partners (ie., NY state, and NYC) are its gravy train by the way. So why even have the target then if this is the case. What a joke!

Word is a PR campaign is in the works to try to get an action plan together for the fisherman (long overdue!), so that they have a common voice, along with some sort of talking points that can be sent over to the powers that be who are supposed to look out for the Delaware's coldwater ecosystem.

The whole thing is just flat-out pathetic. Please check out the charts below. They speak volumes of the current miss-management. Here we go again.



September 7, 2008 - D Recap

Time to circle back to the West Branch report and more pics from last weekend.

Over the course of the few days on the water - - 2pm seemed to be about the time the bugs started to get going. Mainly it was those summer stenos that run in color from orange to a tan brown. They in fact look almost like a grey fox. Also, there were some large olives in the 14 size, as well as a lot of tiny olives, which covered the water in certain pools. Trikes in the am were plentiful, when the sun was out...but nothing was looking up. Most likely this was due to the high sun. Very few isos. By far the best fishing was on the cloudy days. Biggest fish on dry went about 18".

As for streamer fishing...what can you say, it just flat-out works on this system, when there is water - - which is KEY to an effective streamer sesh. Once again, as with past streamer action on the West Branch, a marabou clouser, or a bunny zonker moved fish. And as is usually the case with streamer fishing, the visuals were excellent. Over the course of two days banging the deeper water, and the banks, we probably moved about a dozen with the big stuff, with 4 coming to net. Biggest went about 15" and is photoed to the left. Highlight though was a pig brown that absolutely smashed a large bunny tight to the bank, from a textbook lie. We are talking that ultra-fishy pocket of slack water, behind a root-ball, flanked right next to the heavy water. This fish was easily 20"+, and fat like a football! Awesome!!! We named the spot Pigdom!

Each day the action shut down about 7pm, with the fog/mist taking over the river. And amazingly for a holiday weekend, the river was kinda dead people wise. Economy? We'll take it...but then again, we did not fish the well-known spots, if there is such a thing on this system. Suffice to say, the fish are pretty well spread out thru the system, and not just stacked up in the NY section. Oh yea, no bow sightings. Maybe too cold a water for them?? Hopefully another trip can be made to the fishery - - we will see. Of course we suggest you keep one eye on the gages for the system. Right now the West is down to a trickle.

Hanna rains...This was a good soaker for most of eastern PA, with only small patchy areas of minor flooding. Overall though, it was not to heavy, and it lasted a good while. Thankfully though the winds did not pan out like speculated. That I can do without! Maybe some fishing is on tap the few days. Finally we got a little bit of water.

Fishy water right there! 48F water temp, makes for lots of condensation.


September 3, 2008 - Po Blow

The Pohopoco is one of our more favorite eastern PA streams due to its consistant bug hatches during the summer months, and of course its steady supply of coldwater. Well, right now there is a little too much of a good thing - - with the high water. We were curious as to the reason for the high release, so we contacted the Corps and according to them the DRBC has asked for a release - - which we assume is for low-flow augmentation in the lower Lehigh, and the lower Delaware. We are not sure of the duration of this release, but you can be sure the trout in the Lehigh immediately downstream of the Po's confluence are enjoying all the coldwater. Beltzville Lake is also dropping pretty quickly, which will most like impact the beaches and boating interests.

September 1, 2008 - Upper D

Happy Labor Day!!

Just a quick note...the West Branch fished very well the past couple of days. Steady releases from Cannonsville, with plenty of cold water kicked the river into high gear. Cool and overcast conditions definitely helped as well. Here is a one pic from the weekend. More to come later in the week.