Friday, May 27, 2011

The Tully by Boat

Joe and I have have been down the Tully 3 times now. For one of the floats I had Dillon come up from Maryland. We floated at 800cfs; it was not very productive, though we did land one fish that night on a pheasant tail nymph. We got out early and had lots of time to float, stopping and dropping the anchor a few times. It was a very nice evening with a bit of rain showers early on. The fog rolled in making for a few great photos.

Two nights ago Joe and I decided that after a long day of working in the shop we would do a shorter float. We put in at Rebers bridge and didn't make it more than a 100 yards before we found a pod of fish feeding on Caddis and Sulphurs as they hatched and hit the water. As we continued down towards the Refrigerator hole, we saw a few fish rising; Joe made a few casts as we floated by and stuck one more nice brown. Arriving at the Paper Mill flats just before dark we saw fish rising but had a tough time seeing once we got over top of them. I hit one more before we headed to the take out. All in all an excellent evening!

Hot flies for the evening : CDC Caddis Green & Biot Body Parachute Sulphur Yellow

Other great patterns to use this time of year are : CDC Sulphur Yellow, CDC Hackle Sulphur, CDC Caddis Tan, and Elk Hair Caddis Tan or Green 

This time of year when fish are not rising well I will stick with an indicator rig, using anything caddis or sulphur. Life-like caddis larva, Z-Wing caddis, Pheasant tail nymph, or TCO Sulphur nymph.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Weekend Guiding

This past weekend I had 3 trips: 2 on Valley Creek and 1 on the Tulpehocken Creek. Valley was a little off color after the past few days of rain, but it was still very productive for my clients. Early in the morning the fish were keyed in on emerging caddis, so the dry dropper rig was the key. Starting with a CDC Caddis on top with either a caddis larva or caddis pupa fly pattern below did the trick. With fish rising regularly in the afternoon, we stuck with just a single caddis dry and occasionally put a dropper on.

The Tully was and is still at 794 cfs. Despite that, my clients decided to go for it and were rewarded for their decision. We stayed down river, where we had fish rising all night to caddis and sulphurs. The hot flies of the night were: CDC Caddis (both tan and green), CDC Sulphurs, Z-Wing caddis, and the Sugar Daddy.

Here are a few Pictures from the stream. Enjoy!
Josh with a nice Valley brown

Josh with another nice brown fooled by a CDC Caddis

Spencer with a well deserved Tully Brown

A little Tully bug life   

Oliver with a nice brown fooled my a Parachute Sulphur

Nice picture of the river

Friday, May 20, 2011

New Boat / High Water Tully

My new present came in the mail on Tuesday. After a pretty long wait, I was finally able to order my Outcast PAC 1400. The PAC 1400 is an inflatable raft with full sides like a drift boat. When I was choosing between a raft and a hard bottom drift boat I started looking at the rivers I would be floating the most. One of these would be the Schuylkill River; this river has a couple of small dams that you have to drag the boat across and doing so with a hard bottom boat would destroy the bottom. Another factor is the access point on the Schuylkill. They require you to drag the boat down banks, and having a lighter raft makes this much easier. Come late June through August when the water is too hot for trout, TCO will be offering float trips for Smallmouth bass on the Schuylkill, so the raft seemed to be my best bet!

Regardless of how excited I was to put it together on Tuesday, the rain and thunderstorms kept me inside just looking at the boxes that held my new boat. On Wednesday I decided rain or shine I was putting it together, so as soon as the rain cleared enough to get out, Tony and I started!
The boxes

Its coming together

Tony was in charge of seat construction. Nice work Buddy

I said rain or shine, well its raining and the bottom has to be laced in!

All ready for final assembly

It wasn't long after it was completely together that we were headed to the river; On Thursday after work Joe and I took it the the Blue Marsh Dam at the head of the Tulpehocken Creek. At 500 cfs we were sure that we could make it and that we wouldn't get in any other fisherman's way. As we started down the river there were bugs everywhere, Sulphurs,Tan and Emerald caddis, and midges all over. Fish were rising here and there, nothing too consistent, but Joe managed to get one on a 16 tan CDC Caddis. Joe was excited to have a 4wt in his hand instead of the oars! After that we made our way down to Rebers bridge and fishing a double nymph rig at this point, Joe picked up 2 more. San Juan worm and a 16 pheasant tail did the trick.

On the way!

Getting all geared up!

Joe working a nice piece of water

The beauty we call the Tully

Me behind the oars enjoying every minute

Just remember if you are going to go out in high water be aware of your footing and how deep you are wading; many places that are easy in low water get more difficult the higher the flow. Stay safe and have fun.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Featured Fly - Parachute Sulphur

The Sulphur has to be one of my favorite hatches to fish. These bugs can be as large as a size 12 down to a size 20, with the most popular sizes on the Tully being 16 and 18. These bugs have started hatching and fish are starting to realize it!

I like to fish the Parachute Sulphur for a few reasons; first being the profile that it has on the water. This pattern sits low in the water and the hackle adds little dimples to imitate legs. The second reason being they are super easy to see. With the ability to change the color of the post you can have it as bright as Fl. Chartreuse.

Stop in the shop and check out the featured fly section for all the materials needed to tie this awesome fly.

Parachute Sulphur
Hook: TMC 100 sz. 14 - 20
Thread: UNI Thread 8/0 - Yellow
Tail: Wapsi Mayfly Tails - Dun
Abdomen:  Goose Biots - Sulphur Yellow
Post: Hareline Para Post - Yellow
Hackle: Whiting - Grizzly & Dun
Thorax: East Coast Dubbing - Sulphur Yellow

Start a thread base from behind the hook eye back to right before the hook bend. Once you get the tread to the back of the hook make a few turns forming a small thread ball. This will help with splitting the tail fibers.

Cut 4 Mayfly tails and tie in above the tread ball, tying them back to the thread ball will help split them to both sides. Wrap the thread through the middle to help flair them out to the either side.

Wrap your thread back about 3/4 the way up the shank and tie in a clump of Para Post material forward. Once it is tied make a small thread dam in front then wrap 4 or 5 times up the post making it stronger at the base.

Take 2 whiting dry fly hackle feathers, one grizzly and one dun and tie them in at the bottom of the post

Tie in your goose biot

Wrap it forward making a rib effect on the body.

Dub up to the post.

Wrap your hackle around the post 3 to 4 times. Once you have this around fold the feathers back and tie to hook shank.

Once you tie the feathers off make a few more turns of dubbing in front of the post to fill out the thorax.

Trim the post down to a nice length and whip finish!

2 done and ready to fish!
A nice brown fooled by a Parachute Sulphur 

Friday, May 13, 2011

Guiding on the Tully

The 2011 trout season is in full swing! With the water finally dropping back to normal levels and good bug activity, the fishing has been pretty good the past week. The high skies have been keeping the fish off of the surface, so nymphing is still the most productive method. However, you can find fish feeding on caddis and midges on the surface in shaded areas, early morning and late evenings.

This week I had 2 trips on the Tully; the 1st one being with Jay Bown and his son John Bown. The water had just come down the night before and the fish were hungry. The sun was out and we were the only ones on the water.

The second trip was with Brooke Dolan and David Lee; we hit the stream early to beat the sun. Staying in the shade most of the day, they had a great time hooking into a few fish each. Brooke landed 2 very nice rainbows, while David had all browns.

Hot Flies for the day included the past 2 Featured flies, The Sugar Daddy and the Z-Wing Caddis.

Jay with a nice brown fooled by a CDC Caddis

John working the water

First fish of the day

Jay Hooked up!

David with the first of the day!

The Sugar Daddy after about 6 fish

Brooke hooked up again!

Brooke with a nice Rainbow

David working some nice water

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Featured Fly - The Sugar Daddy

This is a very effective pattern that Lenny of the TCO Bryn Mawr store came up with. This pattern works great year round, having the hot spot collar gives fish something extra to key in on when there isn't much bug activity. I like to use the sugar daddy as a dropper off a caddis, or under a Stonefly nymph! Enjoy

Hooks: TMC 2499SP-BL 16 - 18 & TMC 2488 20-22
Bead: Copper
Thread: Drk. Brown 8/0 UNI-Thread
Tail: Coq De Leon
Body: Rust Brown Turkey Biot
Rib: Small Copper Ultra Wire
Dubbing: Blended Hares Ear
Hot Spot: Chartreuse 8/0 UNI-Thread

Monday, May 2, 2011

Caddis on the Tully

Joe and I decided to hit the Tully this afternoon despite the high flows (875cfs). Joe decided to go with a dry fly regardless of the flow to try out is new Winston BIIt,  I was going to fish streamers. By the time I changed my rig to fish dries Joe had already landed 2 nice browns. For the next couple hours we fished to rising fish until we couldn't see any more!
Joe with a nice hold over Brown

Very Nice Brown

His mouth was full of caddis