We have reports of good numbers of fish in both the PA and DE side of the Clay. With warmer weather coming this week everyone should get out and fish. Midge larva imitations like black and red zebra midge should be the go to patterns. Fish them deep under an indicator. As always please feel free to message us, call or come into the shop for more details. Remember there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing. Get out and fish!
PFBC Withdraws Delayed Harvest Proposal
HARRISBURG, Pa. (April 3) – The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) announced today that it has withdrawn a proposal to change the Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only (DHALO) regulations after receiving public comments overwhelmingly opposed to the measure.
The PFBC Board of Commissioners approved the withdrawal of the proposal and the end of the public comment period in a vote conducted this week.
“The DHALO program is a stocked trout program, and social factors play a critical role in how the program is managed,” said PFBC Executive Director John Arway. “The proposed changes were designed to do two things: first, maximize the harvest of stocked trout before stream temperatures increase to lethal levels and, second, increase the opportunity for kids to catch fish.”
“The proposed changes generated much public comment in which questions were posed that would require substantial staff time and effort to fully answer,” he added. “Therefore, we believe that we need to withdraw this idea and focus on identifying other changes where we can more easily accomplish these objectives.”
Approved at the PFBC’s January 2015 quarterly business meeting, the proposal included the following:
As of March 31, the agency had received 343 comments, with all but five opposed to the proposal. A main concern expressed by the individuals was the use of bait during the harvest period.
First launched in 1983, the DHALO program is designed to make more stocked trout available later in the season. The current regulations allow harvest only between June 15 and Labor Day, have a minimum size limit of nine inches, and a creel limit of three fish. The waters are open to fishing year-round.
Media Contact: Eric Levis, Press Secretary
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As we prepare for our "Customer Appreciation" weekend I was in the shop on Saturday having a discussion with one of the "regulars" about the open house. Specifically, we were talking about the articulated flies and which patterns I would be tying. At some point during the conversation I said something to the effect that you can basically articulated almost any fly. A little later one of our good friends, Craig came in with his son Matty. I got to thinking about my earlier statement about articulating any fly, I was already tying Green Weenies for the shop so I called Matty over to the vise. With his help (Matty rotated the vise as I fed the chenille up the hook) I tied the very first (that I know of) articulated Green Weenie.
The first one was done purely as a joke, but the more I looked at it the more I realized that it might actually work. I knew I was fishing Sunday afternoon on the White Clay so I decided to tie a few and give them a try. After some thought I decided to name the new creation the "Fractured Weenie".
I had a Sunday afternoon appointment that ran longer than expected, so I didn't make it to the water until about 4:45. I was excited to get there because I knew my brother was there and we were going to fish together. Pat is not a fly fisherman ( I know, I know, I am trying...) and we don't get to fish together as much as we used to so I was really looking forward to the afternoon. He called me from the river to tell me he was already into a few fish the conversation went something like this;
"where did you start"
"you fish the hole you got the big Brown"
"how far down are you"
"just above the big hole"
"OK, be down in a bit"
I love how fishing buddies can have a conversation between each other that seems like total gibberish to anyone else, but makes perfect sense to them. Trust me, I knew EXACTLY where he was and more importantly what river he had already fished. My brother is not the kind of guy you want to spend a lot of time fishing behind, unless a nice leisurely, fishless, walk down the river is your goal.
I caught up to him and stood behind him for a few minutes without him knowing i was there. I watched him fish a small run for about 3 or 4 minutes and said to myself "damn, he is good". He is typically throwing spinners or ultra light crankbaits, so when fishing with him I usually throw a Streamer or Wet fly. This way I can somewhat keep up with his "run and gun" style. I had decided to fish my new pattern the entire night and it didn't take long for me to gain conformation that it would work.
Now, I am not usually a Green Weenie guy, I rarely fish it. I must say, this thing looked pretty darn cool in the water. I can see a few of these being added to my Streamer box.
A couple of hours and a few fish later I realized you actually can articulate just about any fly.
As for Pat...
Water temps on the Clay were 46 degrees at 5:00 in the evening. The water level was great and the clarity was just about perfect, not gin clear, but not too dirty ether. I did see a bunch of Midges coming off at around 6:00 and was hopeful for some Caddis, but didn't see any. I also received a few strong reports from the East branch of the Brandywine from the weekend. With Delaware opening this past Saturday we have multiple fishing opportunities available to us right now. With warmer weather and longer days now is the time to get out and fish.
Tight Lines... Tim
The River Minnie
Well, I fished the White Clay again on Sunday afternoon and had a pretty fair day. The river was crowded, but there are plenty of fish and many of them were willing. I will get to the report shortly, but first I want to share a new streamer pattern with you.
Eric Stroup is a central Pennsylvania fisherman, writer, photographer, fly designer and one of the areas most sought after guides. He is also a good friend of A Marblehead Flyfisher. Eric spends many, many days a year on his home water the Little Juniata chasing the finicky Trout that live there. His fly patterns are time tested and that brings us to his "River Minnie" streamer. I have been looking for an effective streamer pattern that I could use and swap out quickly for a dry or nymph rig without having to change leaders. You all know Galloup's Zoo Cougar is my all time favorite, but swapping between a leader system and a sink tip can, at times be a pain. This pattern fishes well with just a few shot on the leader and with one quick blood knot I can go from a streamer on 3x to a tandem nymph rig on 4x to a dry on 5x assuming you pre-rig your tandems. Anytime you put Rabbit fur in a pattern you instantly get my attention. This pattern looks great in the water and moves like crazy!
I started my day at the top of the "reg's" section and fished down to the "Big Buttonwood Hole" and back up. scratching out a few fish along the way. In the second hole I fished I spotted this guy hiding in the back corner. I threw to him several times with the Minnie and a nymph rig, he showed absolutely no interest!
4 hours and several fish later I was back at my truck gearing down realizing I have found the staple streamer pattern I have been looking for. This weekend I am gonna give it a workout on a wild Brown Trout river. Stay tuned...I will post the results here next week.
If you would like to see the River Minnie stop by the shop, I will have one there for you to look at. Better yet, check out Eric's site here. I am a member of his Facetime Flyfishing program and can say he does a great job with it and it is well worth the investment. Check it out, you will be glad you did! Until Next week.
Tight lines... Tim
The reports section has been a little dead lately. We have been fishing when the weather allows, but the results have been lack luster at best. A few semi productive trips to Valley resulted in nothing to report. Well, the weather finally let up and I was able to get out for a few hours on Sunday. After checking the weather it looked like the afternoon was the best choice so after watching a little Spring Training Baseball I headed to the White Clay.
The river was high and a little off color, perfect indicator nymphing water so I decided to give one of my favorite new products a try, the New Zealand strike indicator. I am really excited about this product and will be writing a post about it soon.
I rigged up a triple fly rig, something I want to do more of this year, and headed to the first run. My rig consisted of a black Zebra Midge tied off of a dropper, a Rainbow Warrior used as an anchor fly and an Al's Rat. I figured one of these three flies should get the attention of something. I fished the first run with not so much as a tap. I moved to the next spot and again, nothing. I was starting to wonder what was going on. I was getting a good drifts and was covering each section thoroughly, just no takes. Then, in the third run things started to happen. The first fish in to hand was a nice, healthy Brown.
Well I fished till about dark and landed 3 fish and had another long distance release. The highlight of the day was this nice thick Rainbow. All 4 fish took the the Rat. My guess is the Warrior got their attention and they then ate the Rat. I snapped some pretty cool pics of him swimming away.
All in all a great day to be out on the river. We are only a few weeks away from some of the best Trout fishing of the year. Now is the time to knock the rust off and get your game on. Till next time.
With the planning of our "Holiday Open House" and the holiday season there has been little time for fishing these last few weeks. Hopefully that is about to change as we are almost through the holidays and winter fishing is in full swing. I managed to hit the White Clay on 2 occasions during the days following Christmas. First off we would like to thank the White Clay Fly Fishers for the efforts in their Holiday stocking program. The efforts of the club ensures we will have quality fishing throughout the winter months. I fished through the snow storm on the 26th and again for a few hours on the 27th. The fishing was EXCELLENT! I was surprised to see the fish still "podded" up, I would have thought after being in the river for almost two weeks they would have been a little more spread out, but that was not the case. While I was rigging up at the truck I talked to one of our customers that reported having good luck with small white streamers, an opinion that was shared by many on the river I talked to. White buggers, Shenk's Minnows and small, light colored soft hackles were all productive patterns of other anglers on the river. I decided I was going to Nymph under an indicator, and I rigged up my favorite White Clay winter time rig, a #20 Frostbite Midge with a #22 Black Zebra Midge as a trailer. I did pick a few fish with the indicator rig, but it didn't take long to realize the indicator was spooking fish for sure. The First 4 fish I landed were all on the Frostbite Midge, so I re-rigged a dry and dropper set up using a #16 Stimulator as the dry and the Frostbite as the dropper. I fished that rig for the remainder of the first day and all of the second day, almost 7 hours total and had a blast! Toward the end of the second outing I was fishing a run that held SEVERAL fish. I had picked quite a few out of the pod and they seemed to turn off of the Frostbite Midge. I tried 3 different attractor patterns and got absolutely zero response. As fast as I could drift the attractor over the fish, strip in and change to a Mercury Midge and re-cast I was tight to a good Brown. This tells me that these fish were definitely on midges. Here are a few pictures from the two days...
New Years day on a wild Trout river
Rick and I fished together on New Year's day. The weather was great and we had a productive day drifting our patterns over some eager and willing wild Brown Trout. This particular river is known for its winter BWO hatch and reports we have received in the shop confirmed this. We scouted the area for about an hour looking for fish, fishermen, and foot traffic and settled on a spot that looked relatively un-disturbed. While rigging at the truck I was peeking over at Rick and was actually surprised to see him rigging a tandem Nymph rig under an indicator. While scouting we saw a few risers and I was sure he was going to go with the 'ole standby CDC puff and fish the top. (turns out he did switch to the CDC puff at one point and had 2 takes on it before switching back to the tandem rig) I decided to stick with my Dry and Dropper set up, but changed the patterns to a HI-Vis BWO dun on top and a #20 bead head RS2 as the dropper. I believe Rick rigged a Copper John and a KF Flasher Midge pattern. We said our "good lucks" to each other and he headed up river and I headed down. A quick temp of the water showed it to be about 43 degrees, a huge difference from the 36 / 38 I got on the White Clay just a few days before, I guess that is the difference between a Limestoner and a Freestone stream. I did see some BWO Nymphs under some rocks, very small...#20's or #22's so I felt confident with my rig. Well a few hours and several fish later we were looking at the sunset of a great New Year's day. Rick landed a particularly good fish in the red KF flasher, the picture is below with the fish and his size 11 boot! Here are a few more pics from January 1st.
Winter can be some of the hottest fishing of the year. For some great tips to stay warm and safe check out our Cold Weather Wading Tips post here. Get your warm clothes on, grab a handful of Midges in #20 or #22 and get out there! You will be glad you did!
Once again this year the White Clay Fly Fishers are hosting their raffle to raise money for the Holiday Stocking program. Last year enough money was raised to stock north of 800 trout in our local river, The White Clay Creek. This stocking happened right before the Christmas holiday and sustained the river through the Winter season. Once again a custom made rod will be the prize. The 8.5' five weight Rainshadow Blank was fashioned into a work of art by Dick Prettyman. The dark green blank is accented with maroon thread wraps and has a beautiful wooden reel seat and cork grip. Tickets are $5.00 each or 5 tickets for $20.00. The rod is on display in the shop now and tickets are for sale. Please feel free to stop in, take a look and support this great cause. A special thanks to Dick for crafting such a beautiful rod and to the White Clay Fly Fishers for hosting this great holiday raffle.
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!
Well It is good to be bringing you the first fishing report of 2013. We hope all of you had a great holiday season and that Santa brought all of the things you asked for. Now with all of the hoopla of the holidays in the rear view mirror it is time to get out and hit the streams for some winter Trout fishing. As many of you have heard me say, winter time can be some of very best fishing of the year. Cold weather means less people and lightened angling pressure. You can always dress for the cold and with a few modifications in your tactics you can have some very productive days in the dead of winter. (to read a few tips on dressing for the weather click here) Grab your midge box filled with #18 thru #24 Zebra Midges, Throw in a few CDC Puffs or Griffith Gnats for action on top and you are set. Mid day hours, 10:00 am till 4:00 pm, rule this time of year with the most productive time being the late afternoon when the temperature reaches its peak. Usually around 3:00. Get in the mental mindset of small flies, light tippet (6 or 7x) and MANY drifts and you will be on your way. Even after several hours of hard fishing 3 fish in the dead of winter is a good day, and it is not uncommon to catch the "skunk" as I did on Sunday. All of that being said any time on the river is a good time, so get out there and give it a go. I think you will be glad you did.
Terry, Rick and I headed to the Gunpowder this past Sunday. When we arrived at the steel bridge at Macemore We were greeted with an overly full parking lot, lots of fog, and 44 degree water temps. It was nice to see that a fishing trail had been dedicated to Lefty. There was a nice bronze plaque that I failed to get a picture of. If you are ever in the area you should check it out. It is a pretty cool read.
Terry and I went down stream and Rick opted to fish above the steel bridge. It was obvious the nice weather had everybody thinking the same thing. A quick look at the banks and the amount of footprints let us know we were playing "second fiddle" as the stretch had been fished hard the last few days and in the morning before we got there. I started with my favorite winter Gunpowder rig, a #16 green Copper John and a #20 black Zebra midge under an indicator. Throughout the day that evolved to a dry and dropper set up consisting of a #14 Simulator with a #22 KF flasher AND a #18 bead head PT. Having no luck with ether set up I switched to a Zoo Cougar for the last half hour with similar results.
Terry had a little better luck with two hook ups. I believe both came on a Zebra midge under a Simulator. Terry said both fish were typical wild Gunpowder browns in the 8 to 10" range. Rick had the hot hand of the day with 5 fish coming to hand. Rick was letting his nymph rig swing all the way below him and all the fish he got hit the fly on the dangle. My hat is off to you Rick, I don't think I would have figured that one out.
I must say it was a nice day to be out even without a fish landed for me. Any day on the river is a good day, especially when you can spend it with good friends.
The White Clay still holds a large number of fish. the nice weather this past week brought out the anglers. Water temps in the low 40's have the fish down and finding active fish is a must. If you see fish that look like they are stuck to the bottom with Velcro, move on. Look for fish that are off the bottom and moving up and down within the water column. These are the active, feeding fish we are looking for and these are the ones you want to fish to. Red has always been a go to color on the Clay with a preferred rig being a #16 red Copper John and a #22 red Zebra midge. Griffiths Gnats, or small dark bodied Midge imitations should work if fish are rising. Sculpin imitations or dark Buggers should bring a few fish to hand as well.
The East Branch of the Brandywine as well as the West Branch of the Octoraro should fish well during warmer periods of the day. Don't forget these great local rivers.
Schoolie Bass can be found at the local beaches and we had a report of Puppy Drum off the surf last week.
Plenty of fishing opportunities are available to us during the winter months. Dress warm and get out there.
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