March 2009 Report

2003-2009 Reports
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Chart showing 30-day rainfall deficit.
If you look at the 60; 90; 180 maps you can see the dryer trend.

March 22, 2009 - Trending Dryer...??

For about the last 1/3 of a year we've been trending dryer, especially along the southern tier of PA. If you look at the 12-week animation from US Drought Monitor you can clearly see the dryness is spreading north and east. We all have read about the waterless perils down in the Atlanta area...we can only hope something that severe does not overwhelm our area. With the growing season soon upon us, and the same 'ole same, 'ole weather pattern for the foreseeable future, we might be setting up for low water conditions this spring/summer. Time will tell, but one thing is for sure, we've certainly run the gamut of rainfall schizophrenia with all the floods (2004, 2005, 2006) not too long ago, which were all proceeded by the drought of 2001/2002 when Cannonsville was at less than 4% of capacity.

March 18, 2009 - Penns Creek - Rolling Stones!

That is right! Rolling Stones!! Our most recent time of the water took us out to Central PA, to one of its best streams - - Penns Creek. Good weather, with a strong March sun on our back made for some really great early-season fishing. But if you were looking for rising fish, you were outta luck.

By far our most productive rig included a large stonefly as the lead fly, followed by either a little black stone or a new fly that we've developed - - a cased grannom imitation. However, by far, the fly more times than not that got eaten was the big stone. Though there were certain stretches were the cased grannom imitation out-performed.

In the near future we will post a pic of the cased grannom. The thing with this fly is the small window of time when it will be effective. Right now, through to whenever the grannoms begin to hatch is when to fish a cased grannom. After that, all the larva have left their cases, so the fish won't be looking for them until next year. We were pleasantly surprised to see that it worked so well. For a Penns Creek brownie to pass up a big hunk of meat like a stonefly and instead eat the caddis imitation is really saying something. You know that they must key in on them pretty well.

Big stone eater brown

Pics: The brownie above took a little black wired stone;
The brownie below took a cased grannom.

Right now with the water so low on Penns, be sure to carefully wade, and be stealthy. Thoroughly work all the colored water, and any and all the pockets that have the slightest bit of white water. Hopefully we get some rain soon, to bring her back up to normal flows for this time of year, or we could be in for a long spring/summer.

March 17, 2009 - Finally, some trout!

The warmer days lately have seen rising fish during the heat of the day down here SE PA. Lots of midges, as well as some olives, and small quills in the right conditions have the fish looking up. But with the untra-clear water, very light tippets and small <20 size hooks are a must. If you go underneath you can get away with a bit heavier tippet and a bit larger hook. As a dropper you can not beat the nitro when olives are coming off.

That is all for now. Check back in a few as we should have a real-time report from Penns.

A thick SE PA wild brownie. Notice the snout hook.

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March 10, 2009 - And we are off!

After a little more than a month below the normal conservation pool level - - 1,300', Walter is now on the rise. The reason for the drawdown was due to the need for repair work on the by-pass valves, which are located at 1,297'. It turns out the by-pass valves malfunctioned a few years ago, and have not been fixed till now. If our information is correct it took two budget cycles for the repairs to be completed. One budget cycle included the purchase of the valves, and the next cycle included funding for the installation. Installation took place last month.

Anyway, now that they are fixed, you could say - - And, we are off! From here until early-May, the goal at Walter, on top of its usual flood-control purpose, will be to build pool to approximately 1,370' for the Summer Recreation season. Chances are the Corps won't have any problems taking care of skimming inflow, and capturing water. Don't forget that skimming reduces outflow to a very fisherman-friendly keep an eye on that, as we could potentially see some decent early season fishing.

March 2, 2009 - Winter Hangs On!

The groundhog was right. Amazing! ! Here we have the largest snow fall potential in years in coming our way for SE PA - - and then after that - - cold temps. But they won't last too long. We do need the precip, as all waters here in SE PA are running very low for this time of year. The term 'low' is a relative term though and not really a bad thing. For instance the bigger waters are at fisherman friendly flows for the time of year - - usually they are flowing much harder. The small water though is running gin clear. No 'green' water there. Hopefully we can get some recharge in the near future, and more of a 'wetter' pattern will commence.

Remember, last year - - mid-March - - Walter had already reached its summer recreational pool level.

February 22, 2009 - Update

Cold air temps, and low flows are keeping us off the water. Man, it has been a very fish-free winter to date down here in SE PA. We are definitely looking forward to some consistently warmer air temps. What we are also looking forward to is our annual Penns Creek Trip! Year after year this trip is a great time, on one of the best streams in PA. Check it out!