April 2009 Report

2003-2009 Reports
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April 30, 2009 - Islamorada Recap

Florida has come and gone, and though we did not hammer the fish, it still did not disappoint. All said and done the group landed one big tarpon - - about 100 pounds - - a few smaller ones, and other assorted game fish. This might not sound like much but we had to deal with some serious east wind most of the time. It just never let up. This did a couple of things. Caused us to have to fish in the lee, which seriously reduced where we could fish. Also, the wind really blew a lot of water out of the bay. When it is not that deep to begin with, 6" can make a big difference. It also made it tough to sight fish. Anyway, you get the drift. Despite all that, we did get the one, which ate a yellow and black fly with dumbbell eyes. Clouser-esque. The fish were down deep, so we fished weighted. 12wts and intermediate lines. Must say it was very cool seeing the large torpedoes leisurely drifting across the lite-colored sandy flats.

When it was too rough, we hit the lee of the mangroves. This proved tough though since there was not much water. We had to stay away and off the banks, in the slightly deeper water. But at the same time, the fish were set way back and in the groves. Guess they did not like the rough water either. This made it rather difficult to see the fish. And if you did make out the shadows, you had to some how manage to get the fly into the maze of roots, and branches. Was no easy task. Talk about structure.

Capt. Marc Bellefleur leadering the big boy.

Nice size sea trout caught near the mangroves.

So in the end we did some in tight mangrove fishing, along some open water sight fishing for the big boys. The trip was a good one, but could have been better with a more gentle Mother Nature.

April 22, 2009 - Islamorada Bound!

No reports for about a week, as 1/2 of FFPA will be in the promised land chasing TARPON! Though we will have one boat on the Lehigh this weekend. So on the flip side look for shots of big tarpon (fingers crossed) and an update as to what is happening on the Lehigh. In fact weekend weather from this far out looks Florida-like!

Get out there and enjoy it.

April 21, 2009 - Lehigh - Opening Day 2009

Slow! That unfortunately was the case this past Saturday. Yea, we did get into some fish, landing a handful, and missing about double that - - but it should have been better. You know when you do not get into fish like you think you should, we always tend contemplate what it was that either put the fish off, or what it was that you did not do. In this case, our best guess as to the lack of action was due to a pretty heavy rubber hatch. It looked like late-May with all the rafts - - bank-to-bank - - in spots. This had to put the fish down, as the season is still young. We have found that later in the season the rafts don't affect the fish as much.

Anyway, as for what worked - - buggers (brown), and wet flies. We nymphed quite a bit in the pocket water, and that did not produce anything. There was a heavy caddis presence, but they did not look like they were hatching. Most likely they were coming out of the trees, as the air temp warmed up. We also saw a handful of hendricksons. Only did see a couple of risers.

As for Sunday, the fishing was better. We had fewer rafters, as well as less sun. Saturday was extremely bright, and the Lehigh is running very clear currently. It could use a bit of color. Sunday also found more risers, with a heavy caddis hatch around 2pm.

April 19, 2009 - Native

April 16, 2009 - Penns is Up!

But before the rise, it was fishing well. And no doubt that after it peaks, the fish will be on the feed big time! We have effectively fished Penns up to 900cfs. Obviously at that level you need to fish the hard edges, and softest water.

Nice fat Penns Creek rainbow. Prolly full of eggs.

Prior to the rain, the fish were keying on the varigated stone pattern, and generic nymphs. As far as bugs go, blue quills, olives, little black stones and a smattering of caddis were bouncing about. Nothing was looking up though. Water temps were still cold - - just 48F. Give it another week or so and the grannoms should be, then it is on to the big marchies. You can not wrong fishing our march brown nymph on the flip side of this high water.

April 14, 2009 - Update - Lehigh

Once we get to the other side of some much needed wet weather, spring looks like it should rear its head (finally) - - at least for a few days. We are slated to be out on the Lehigh this coming weekend, so with the warmer weather the fishing should be on the up and up. Word is folks have already been doing well in the Gorge and below down thru the Walnutport area. If the reports are true, it really sounds like there is a lot of fish in the river. Now is the time to get out there and scout the river for that honey hole to hit up come hatch time. Remember the Corps will be holding back water for the opening-day weekend, so flows should be somewhat fisherman-friendly. Get out there, and get after it!

April 13, 2009 - Upper D System Report

The Upper D System still has yet to get going. Over two days of fishing we landed a handfull, and moved less than that. There were bugs to be had, and even some risers on the lower West, but they were very intermittent. The bugs we did see were olives, which included the cornutas, along with black stones. That said, the most productive method to get into action was to chuck streamers. This time of year, streamer fishing is usually the name of the game. Once again, as in years past, our marabou streamer produced. Water temps were only in the lo-40s, which prolly explains the slowish action. Once we finally get some sun and warmer temps, watch out. Things should blow-up!

Beautiful lower-West brown.

April 4, 2009 - Food in the drift.

This is what I'm talking about! Food in the drift and lots of it. Pretty much like your good 'ole all-you-can-eat buffet for the stream predators. For the angler, it is the best of both worlds, as the feed is both on top and underneath.

With this type of action the dry/dropper rig is the way to go. Use the dry as both a trout-catcher, and an indicator. For instance if you were to match the bugs in the pic to the right - - you can not go wrong with some sort of olive imitator for the dry -- either a small parachute or a cdc emerger would be our first choice. What we are getting after is a flush floating imitation -- something that has a low profile and rides down in the film. For the sub-surface fly go with a nitro or a small flashback pheasant tail. That red midge larva did not do a damn thing. That was experiment time.