Ryan checked in with this nice brown he caught on a Green Weenie in the catch and release section of the White Clay. Despite cold temperatures he reports seeing loads of fish. He also reported seeing PA boat and fish in action. With all the fish in the water it time to go out and catch some. If you have any questions about where to go or what to use please stop by the shop, give us a call or message us. We are here to help you catch more fish and enhance your enjoyment of the wonderful resources we have in the area.
Geoff stopped into the shop for some advice on winter fishing tactics. Armed with some with some info, flies and some additional shot he had a banner day. Keep the photos come Greoff!
Shawn Rakes checked in with this great report
Dave & Kyle Johnson and I blew up my raft at Concord pond this afternoon for a couple hours to chase pickerel. We fished from around 2-4PM. It was cold and windy but we maneuvered the raft in some sheltered areas of the pond as best we could.
Dave caught a nice pickerel about 19.5" it weighed right at 3lbs on the boca grip (see attached picture). It was a great fish, deep bodied green and healthy. It was caught on a 5/0 - 8.5" pike style hollow fly that I tied (see attached photo). That seems like a big fly but the fish had the entire fly in his mouth, incredible. Dave also lost one at the boat that he had hooked and was cut off on another strike right before we left.
I had a really nice violent hit and a follow but did not manage to hook up. Kyle got a lot good casting practice and worked on his back cast a lot. Also, I must credit Kyle for taking some nice pictures with his phone.
We had a great time and I think we may have started our own tradition called "Chain Pickerel Friday". It was way better than shopping that is for sure!
Terry and Rick hit the GP and checked in with this report.
"Rick hit a solid BWO hatch and had good action on top. I missed it and never saw one BWO, just midges and they never left the banks. I fished a Sage 9' 3 wt Rod on 6x tippet behind a #14 stimulator as an indicator. I trailed a zebra midge and other midge larva on a dropper . They hit the stimi too. Saw a few micro caddis and midges and BWOs."
Drop by the shop to hear more about it. If you would like to catch the wild fish in the GP and other area streams we can set you up. Late fall and winter is time for Trouting. Remember there is no such thing as bad weather. There is just bad clothing. If you need to stay warm, dry and comfortable while iushing in the cold we can help with that too.
Rick and I fished together this past Sunday. We got a bit of a late start and didn't arrive to our spot until late afternoon. Rick dropped me off at the upper section and he drove back around to the bottom end of the river. The plan was for Rick to fish up from the bottom end. I would start at the top and fish all the way through then we would meet up at dark. The scenery was awesome as the Autumn colors were really starting to pop.
I figured Rick would be throwing dries all day (which he did) and I would be throwing streamers. My choice this week was a new articulated fly I have been working with, Kelly Gallup 's pearl necklace. I tied these in a rainbow trout color scheme figuring this would get the browns fired up. It turns out that would be an understatement.
Just like last time it took quite a while for me to get my first take. I was actually questioning my fly choice when I landed my first fish, a nice healthy brown. My guess is when the water warmed up in the late afternoon the fish got much more active. It seemed that between 2:00 and 4:30 were definitely the most active periods. When I met up with Rick he had similar thoughts. The funny thing is even with the fish not being very active at first once they got going it seemed I couldn't strip fast enough. I would actually start stripping as soon as the fly hit the water. The fish that hit the streamer absolutely crushed it. Hitting broadside at lightning speed. This is why I love streamer fishing, especially when the water is Crystal clear like it was on Sunday.
At the end of the day Rick and I both had great days on the water. The size 16 caddis was the preferred dry and a few were landed on a copper John dropper.
Whether streamers are your preference or dry and dropper gets your nod, these next few weeks are great times to be out on the river.
What a great week it was. Good reports from our local Trout rivers, the Shad are showing up in good fishable numbers, and the salt water seems to be turning on. We had a much needed rain storm last weekend that blew all of the local water for a few days. No fishing was had last weekend, but, I will swap a weekend of fishing for good, strong water levels any day. The weather has been crazy. I actually had to scrape frost off of my windshield the other day, I don't ever remember doing that on the 14th of May. This "true" spring we are having will hopefully set us up for good fishing throughout the summer. During years like this in the past we have had great trout fishing until the 4th of July and that is just fine with me.
The East branch of the Brandywine has been fishing strong. Terry has taken a few guide clients there and good fishing for them as well as a few of our customers lead me to believe this is the place to be. A large influx of stocked fish last week will have attractor patterns bringing their fair of fish to hand. Weenies, Worms, and Buggers will produce on the fresh stockers. If you prefer to stay to the science side of things May is Sulphur time and Sulphurs have been spotted on most of our local rivers. Rick had a great day fishing a Harrop emerger last weekend. Check out some of the pics. The rises seem to start late in the afternoon and continue late into the evening. Before the afternoon rises a tandem nymphing or a dry and dropper rig should be just the ticket. Be sure to have plenty of Sulphur dries in all stages and a heavy dose of Pheasant Tails. Don't forget the Caddis as these bugs will be with us for the duration. Elk Hair Caddis, X Caddis, CDC and Elk and Goddard Caddis are all great choices for the adult, for the larva the nondescript bead head larva will fill the bill.
This pattern should hold true on all of our local rivers for the next several weeks. Get yourself a good supply of Sulphur and Caddis adults, add in a verity of nymphs and larva and have a blast.
A few of Rick's shots from last weekend.
The Hickory Shad are showing up in fishable numbers. This years run is not the epic runs we had in 2005, 06, and 07, but there are fish to be had. It seems like moving around is the better bet rather than camping out in a single area. The best report we have heard has been about 50 fish in a extended evening of fishing, but, more realistic numbers are 10 to 25 fish in an evening. The evenings seem to be more productive than the mornings. Last weeks rains have the water level in Deer Creek up so a Versa leader or a short sink tip may be a good idea. The shops "Deer Creek S Fly" have been producing well, as well as the Micky Finn streamer. Anything bright and shiny will get a reactionary strike. We are never sure how long this run will last, so get down there as soon as you can to take advantage of this ever changing fishery.
These next pictures are from a Shad guide trip on Monday. Special thanks to Jim S. for taking these great shots.
The salt water reports we are getting are promising. A 41 inch Striper won the local surf fishing tournament last weekend, and several Flounder were caught also. Reports of Weakfish have been coming in as well with the area between the piers at Cape Henlopen being especially active. Roosevelt Inlet and the ferry wall deserve a look. Closures and Deceivers are always a good choice. If smaller bait is present some smaller Sand Eel imitations or glass minnows will be just the thing. Grab your 8 or 9 weight and head south, you just may hook your biggest fish of the year now!
With good action on the Trout rivers, Shad in Deer Creek, and the salt water action heating up it is a great time of year. Remember, Smallmouth fishing is just around the corner. Until next time...
Just add fish..
It is hard to believe this is the first fishing report of May. The past week shows a gradual, but steady increase in water tempatures and with that comes a increase in bug activity. Water temps in our trout rivers are hovering between 45 and 50 degrees depending on which river you temp and what time of day you take your reading. Caddis will most likely dominate on the White Clay, east branch of the Brandywine and the wast branch of the Octoraro. The Caddis hatch has been pretty consistent with the bugs starting to come off in the late afternoon and the fish are on them shortly there after with the last hour of daylight being the most productive time for great dry fly action. Midges continue to pop, but I think the fish have kinda switched over to the bigger, belly filling, Caddis adults. That being said if you see fish rising and can't really tell what they are on try a Griffiths Gnat in 22 or 24 or a CDC Puff Midge imitation. For the Caddis the tried and true Elk Hair Caddis in a tan #14 should get the job done. For the times before the top water action a tandem nymph rig is hard to beat. Bead head Caddis and a bead head pheasant tail would be a great combo. The pheasant tail is a dead ringer for the Sulphur nymph, keep a sharp eye out for these guys. The Sulphur is one of the most consistent mayfly hatches we have in our area. Trout fishing when Caddis and Sulphur's are popping can be awesome. I love the month of May!
We have been keeping a close eye and ear on the Shad run. I can say we have received some very promising reports. Deer Creek seems to be giving up fish in good numbers. Water levels are a little low, but nothing like last year at this time. We received three good reports from three different customers that were down last week. A word of caution here, we also received a few reports that were lack luster at best. Our suggestion would be head down with a good supply of the shops "Deer Creek S flys", be prepared to move around a bit and cover all levels of the water column. Versa leaders will help to get down if need be. Start at the bottom and work your way up by modifying the weight of your set up until you find where the fish are holding. It seems like the guys that are willing to "fish" for them are having some success. I know I plan on giving my new Loomis light Spey rod a workout on Sunday morning. Who else is in?
The salt water seems to be heating up a bit. Stripers were breaking between the piers and a few Flounder have been picked up as well. Give our friends at Old Inlet Bait and Tackle a call for a more detailed report.
Sulfurs and Caddis on the Trout rivers, Shad in Deer Creek and Stripers in the surf. Is it possible to have too many opportunities available? We think not. Hopefully we will see you out on the river. Until then...
Last week brought with it a huge rain storm on Friday into Saturday night. Cooler weather moved through after the storm and some great fishing was had later in the week. All of our local rivers are fishing well right now and the recent rain seems to have the water levels holding, at least for now. We need these rains to continue through April and May to ensure we have good water to fish through the summer.
Reports from the White Clay continue to be positive. With the Pennsylvania and Delaware sections of the river receiving fresh stockings of fish on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, all branches of the "Clay" are full of fish. Attractor patterns will work well on the fresh stockies, and the Green Weenie is hard to beat. Buggers in all colors will bring many fish to hand as well as attractor type wets and large, bright streamers. If you prefer to fish on top we have many great attractor dries, Wolfs, Stimulators and Humpys are all great choices. If you prefer to stay on the science side of things Caddis seem to be coming on strong the last week or so. As reported last time we saw a blanket Caddis hatch on the Brandywine while scouting for Shad two weeks ago. Plenty of Caddis larva are under the rocks right now and as the temps continue to rise these guys should become more and more active.
One of our good customers reported good topwater action on the east branch of the Brandywine last week. Greg said the fish were rising every night and a #14 tan Elk Hair Caddis was the ticket. Two evenings were good to Greg as he had double-digit totals both times he was out. The section at the "wall" seems to be particularly productive. Anyone who has fished this river knows about the wall. I had a great morning there a few years ago. This was the first time I purposefully fished a dry under water. I was fishing a dry and dropper rig with a Elk Hair Caddis on top and a Bead Head off of the bend. The first two fish I landed took the Caddis as it swung down stream and the drag on the line and leader submerged the dry. I clipped the dropper off, put a micro shot in front of the dry and fished it on the swing like a soft hackle. Remember, go to school on the first few fish you get and let them tell you what they want.
The west branch of the Octoraro continues to produce. Again, Caddis seem to dominate the hatch and a dry and dropper rig would be deadly on that water right now. Be sure your Caddis box is well stocked for the next two or three weeks as this should be the predominate hatch until we get to the best time of year for the Trout fisherman in our area, Sulphur time.
We are getting half a dozen calls a day asking about the Shad and if it is time yet. Through our own scouting trips, reports from the "rat squad" and our good customers are as follows; Deer Creek was barren at the end of last week into this week. We had several reports from people who had fished the river, many reports from different times of the day. All of the reports were the same. The guys at the mouth of Deer Creek and out in the river were getting some Hickories in fair numbers, but no fish had moved up into Deer Creek yet. About mid week things seemed to change a bit. Some Herring and male Hickories were moving up and had been spotted up at the pumping station. The female Shad that had been caught were still full and not spawned yet. The weather for this weekend looks promising. I just might ride down Sunday evening and check things out for myself.
These reports are changing daily. Please feel free to call the shop and get an instant, real time report. See you on the water.
The past two weeks have been a great time for local trout fisherman. The White Clay is absolutely full of fish. The main stem, both branches in Delaware and Pennsylvania as well as the delayed harvest section have all received several stockings of good fish. The "White Clay" survival pack as we have been calling it in the shop consists of the Green Weenie, The San Juan Worm and the Woolly Bugger. These have all been quite popular patterns. I spent some time on the east branch Sunday morning and found several fat Rainbows willing to eat my #16 Copper John. Switching back and forth from "tight line" and "indicator" nymphing proved to be a extremely effective way to cover the water. My new favorite rig is a #8 Walt's Worm tied with a ton of weight as a point fly and the Copper John tied as a dropper. Two weeks ago on a wild trout stream the Walt's Worm was more productive and the Copper John was not, go figure. I would think it would be the other way around. Water temp on the Clay Sunday morning was 44 degrees. I did see Midges hatching around 9:30. No fish were rising to them, but, anytime you see bugs, that is a good sign. Based on the new entries to our Picture Sharing Page I would say many other people have been having success as well.
All sections of the White Clay will continue to receive good stockings of fish until the middle of May. This should allow for good, local fishing for quite some time.
As mentioned earlier Rick and I spent last Sunday (4-7) fishing together. We had a great day fishing for wild Browns. I started with tandem nymph rig with a few fish taking the Walt's Worm. We then moved to a trib of the main river. The water level was alarmingly low (this was before the Friday storm) so I switched to a dry and dropper. After the warm days we had two weeks ago the water temp here was pushing 50 degrees and the bug action was great. We found BIG clingers in the water, as well as Caddis larva, smaller clingers and some Black Stones. I only managed 1 fish on the dropper, the red Copper John when all of a sudden the fish started to take the dry. At one point the dropper hung in a rock and I had to break it off. I didn't tie it back on and just fished with the dry. The fish were taking Stones. Rick was using his CDC Black Stone and I was fishing a Stimulator. Here are a few shots from that day.
The East Branch of the Brandywine is fishing well. Greg, one of our customers, spent a few nights up there last week and reported good top water action. Browns were rising to midges three nights in a row. CDC puffs, Sprout Midges and Griffiths Gnats are all productive patterns. Be sure to have a few Caddis imitations with you as well. We saw a blanket hatch of Caddis on the Brandywine while scouting for Shad last night.
The White Clay Fly Fishers had an outing on the West Branch of the Octoraro a week or so ago. All reports were positive about the outing and the fishing. The West branch has been fishing well for a month now. Attractor flies will work on the fresh stocked fish. As the fish are in the river for a bit they will become more acclimated to natural feeding habits. This is when you want to switch to more natural patterns. Pheasant Tails, Midge Larva, and Hares Ears are all great choices. Steve Burke wrote a great article summarizing the event, it was published in the clubs news letter that all members receive. If you are not a member you might want to check them out. They are a great organization.
As mentioned earlier we are keeping a close eye on the Shad, both Hickories and Americans. We have received a few spotty reports from Deer creek as well as the Brandywine. A scouting trip last night produced only marginal sightings of Hickories and no Americans. It was nice to knock the rust off of the two handed cast last night. Jared did manage to bring one Hickory to hand. We did see a true blanket hatch of Caddis right at dark. Believe me, nobody wants the Shad here more than me, it just isn't happening yet. We will put the word out as soon as we find them in fishable numbers.
With the Trout rivers rocking and the Shad run right around the corner these are some of the best times of the year. Get out and fish!
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