Tuesday, June 26, 2012


This week marked the beginning of bass season for us trout bums at TCO. Its this time of year when all my time turns from the trout streams to chase the Schuylkill River predators we call Smallmouth bass. There is just something about these fish that gets me all jacked up. Is it the fish themselves? Or maybe the solitude of floating the river and seeing almost no one? Or maybe even just see the big bass before they see you (the only way to get a shot) Well whatever it is, I love bass season, and its here!

Thursday Joey and I took up our summer tradition of floating the river before work. Its was still a bit early and the stretch we float hasn't been known to hold large bass, buts its the Carp and Musky float and were there some carp. We didn't land any but I did have one turn and chase a streamer, kinda cool.

Yesterday, I floated our new stretch of water we are adding to our full day floats, Leesport to Felix Dam. It was awesome, Great water, lots of fish, and some big fish (just saw), and beautiful scenery. So if Tricos are too small, and the water is too warm, get the 6wt out and the streamer box, go bass'n!

Early Season Smallmouth Bass 

This was taken about 100yrds down from the boat launch.

Very red eyed Smallmouth bass, inhaled this streamer 

I love waterproof cameras 

A variation of the Deceiver, made out of Synthetic material.

One of my new favorite Smallmouth Bass Flies 

These 2 pictures are a Frog pattern I found while surfing the web for bass patterns.

Hot Flies: Zuddler Minnow, Deceiver, Orvis NBK Sculpin, Crazy Frog Thing ^

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Heat Warning - Tulpehocken Creek Report

This week started off a little slow for me. The fishing never really turned on, this could be due to a couple things. One in particular, water temps hit 71 degrees coming out of the dam, with reports of temps reaching 73 in the lower sections of the river. When the water temps are over 68 degrees PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, be mindful of how long you fight your fish, the time of day you fish, and if you can, switch gears to Smallmouth or your favorite cold mountain stream.

When trout exert energy aka fight back when you hook them, they build up lactic acids in their muscles. If they cannot cool down after the fight due to high water temps, they will basically cook from the inside out and go belly up. Trout however can withstand relatively hot water temps, Rainbows into the mid 70s without being stressed and Browns in the lower 70s without being stressed. I believe that trout can even withstand some upper 70s temps if it does not stay that hot for an extended period of time.

I know most of you have heard all this before, but we are trying to keep a fish kill if any very low. Being aware of the temps, and conditions on your local streams can help save the fish. Thank You

Now onto a nicer subject... The Report.

The water temps have come down a bit with this last front, and the fish have been up on caddis the last 2 days. Reports earlier this week said Trico fishing was slow, thinking it was from this hot muddy water. Either way look for them to become more active the next couple days, looks like day temps will not be getting over 85, with low 70s in the extended forecast.

Here are a few pictures from a float we did just before the water dropped to 150cfs.

And a couple from last 2 trips. The water came down to about 67 degrees yesterday morning, so we continued as planned. Fishing was pretty good, the picture taking not so much. Tan and Green Caddis littered the water for about 3 hours, right before the rain it kinda slowed so we messed around with a couple nymphs an picked a couple nice rainbows up.

Last week I found this web full of Tricos

Hot Flies: CDC Caddis, Pheasant Tails, Drowned Trico, Woolly Bugger, Caddis Larva, CDC Sulphur

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Delaware River Weekend

The weather looked good, the campsite was reserved, boat was hooked up, and all the flies were tied, they were on their way. Joey and Leland left me at the shop Saturday while they disappeared to the Upper Delaware. All I could do was wait till it was 6 or maybe 5:45 before I was on my way, when I arrived to play shuttle and load the boat, I was greeted with a couple good stories of success. Maybe one or two of defeat, but we will leave that out :)

Joey and Leland did a shorter float - Stilesville to Indian Country, so they could spend more time at each spot, that and Joey had high hopes for the water upstream from the takeout. I showed up to their boat anchored just out of sight from a pod of rising fish. Small bright yellow Sulphurs covered the water, and fish were super picky, but they managed a few nice fish throughout the day.

So after the boat was loaded up, we were off the River Run for a cold beer and a hot burger. Around 11 we headed to the campsite to set up, start a fire, and maybe have a couple beers... Ok so there was no maybe in that.

The next morning we floated the same section, wind and high sun kept the bugs off the water and the fish down. Nymphing with Isos and Peasant tails produced a couple smaller fish that morning. I was fishing solo for the afternoon, walking and searching for rising fish with no success, I went to a dry dropper and started blind casting. It worked, still no big fish yet.

Around 7 the winds died down and the bugs started making an appearance. Olives, Sulphurs, March Browns, and even a few Isos. Fishing the far banks for a couple nice fish had me scratching my head wondering what I was doing wrong. Nothing, that big guy just didn't want what I had. So I moved on, and that was the right move.

Hot Flies: Orange Pheasant Tail, CDC Sulphur Dun, Para Sulphur, Iso Nymph, CDC Blue Wing Olive, Frenchie Nymph

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Just Another Day on the Stream

We have been out a couple times this week. Even with the muddy and slightly higher water, fishing has been awesome. Leland and I had a great time fishing the Water-Works on Monday, we had fish on all forms of fishing, streamers, nymphs and caddis on top. Tricos have been present every morning. I have not seen too many fish keyed in on them with this muddy water, but I suspect as soon as it clears and comes down about 100cfs, it will be on!

I recently purchased a Winston BIIt 803-4, this has to be my new favorite rod. It is a perfect rod for small streams in eastern pa, well really all across the state. A little too soft to throw streamers, but throwing an indicator and 2 nymphs can be done. It was designed for dry fly fishing, and thats what it excels at, presenting a small dry fly to picky fish, hasn't been easier. I have to say this rod will become my primary eastern PA dry fly rod for sure. If you like a slower rod, or a dry fly specific rod, this might be something to consider next time you are looking into a new rod.

Hot Flies: CDC Caddis, Sculpzila Jr., Sugar Daddy, Caddis Larva, Sunken Trico

Monday, June 11, 2012

Double Feature - Pheasant Tail & Para Sulphur Spinner

Well, now that I am back from Alaska, and no longer have Steelhead on my mind (thats only kinda true), I am back to the featured fly. Sense I was lacking in this before I left I decided to do another double feature.  The featured flies I choose for this double feature are 2 that I use all the time, and should be in everyones boxes.

The first is just a basic Pheasant Tail, however this one is tied "in the round". This is a super simple and fast tie, and works well on any stream. The second is a CDC Parachute Sulphur Spinner, this little guy is one that I kinda came up with last year as an experiment and it worked wonders.

Pheasant Tail - Round 
Hook:  TMC 2488 sz. 14-18
Thread: UNI Thread 6/0 - Black
Bead: Tungsten Bomb Bead sz. to make hook - Gold  
Tail: Pheasant Tail Fibers 
Body: Pheasant Tail Fibers 
Rib: Ultra Wire Gold
Thorax: Ice Dub - Peacock

Step 1: Place Bead onto Hook.

Step 2: Make a thread base, tying in the Ultra wire.

Step 3: Pull 4 or 5 Peasant tail fibers off the tail feather. Make one wrap of thread over the pheasant tail fibers and adjust to length. Wrap thread forward.

Step 4: Wrap Pheasant tail fibers forward, leaving a small gape behind the bead.

Step 5: Wrap the Ultra wire forward, making a rib.

Step 6: Dub behind the bead, making a nice buggy thorax.

Step 7: Whip finish, and cut off.

CDC Parachute Sulphur Spinner

Hook: TMC 100 sz. 14 - 20
Thread: UNI Thread 8/0 Yellow 
Tails: Mayfly Tails 
Hot Butt: Sow Scud Dubbing - Big Horn Orange 
Para Wing: Super Select CDC - White or Lt. Dun
Body: East Coast Dubbing - Sulphur Spinner (Tied with DRC)
2nd Wing: Whiting Grizzly Hackle 

Step 1: Make a small orange egg sack with dubbing. This will help split the tails as well.

Step 2: Tie in 4 Mayfly Tails. Wrapping thread sung to the dubbing ball.

Step 3: Strip one CDC feather and stack it. Tie in forward, trim extra forming a small tapered body.

Step 4: Wrap the thread up the CDC, making a parachute post.

Step 5: Tie in Grizzly hackle for the legs/spent wing.

Step 6: Taking the thread back to the tails, dub the body forward. Keep as slim as possible.

Step 7: Wrap the hackle 2 times around the post. Tie off behind the hook eye.

Step 8: Whip finish, the cut the CDC post to the size you would like. Sometimes having just a slightly higher post can help see in low light.