Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Bass Update #5: Fly Fishing Penns Creek

With my second year of coursework in graduate school rapidly approaching, I frantically raced to fish some of my favorite stretches of water before classes began. In the end I had fished eight beautiful rivers, caught 14 trout, landed a few bass, and spent a lot of time with my girlfriend at some of Pennsylvania's most well-known limestone spring-fed wild trout streams. Over the past few days I've debated how best to write up the experiences of the past week. Ultimately, I've decided to put up three different accounts of my latest fishing expeditions; these posts will be grouped according to a vague sense of similarity.

I fished Penns Creek last, but I will write about it first. On Sunday Jackie and I drove the thirty miles from Lewisburg, Pennsylvania to the special regulations catch and release area of Penns Creek located close to the village of Weikert. It was a pleasant and entertaining drive: Sundays in central Pennsylvania are busy days for the region's Amish and Mennonite population. We passed numerous buggies, bicycles, and bonneted women, all en route to their religious/social Sunday gatherings. After arriving we enjoyed a nice riverside picnic lunch. At our meal's conclusion I left Jackie to go fish my favorite river.

Early September/late August is a difficult time to fish the big limestone stream. Firstly, an angler needs to consider the water temperature: the higher the temperature, the greater the risk to the river's precious wild brown trout. Fortunately, the summer had been relatively cool; additionally, two separate rainstorms at the end of last week provided much-needed cold water. Despite the relatively decent fishing conditions, I saw no trout. It appears that the trout at Penns are not yet over the stress of the summer (that, or I am an unbelievably bad fly fisherman). Not willing to abandon my favorite place so quickly, I ventured back to where I had left Jackie - on a grassy bank in front of a wide, shallow pool. I tied on some terrestrials and caught a few smallmouth bass, a rock bass, and a bunch of chubs. Indeed, Penns always delights, even when the trout are hidden.

Note: all pictures taken by Jackie.

Overall Total
: 23

River Breakdown
Penns Creek - 5 (4 Smallmouth, 1 Rock)
Stony Brook - 5 (4 Rock, 1 Smallmouth)
Delaware River - 4 (4 Smallmouth)
Millstone River - 3 (2 Largemouth, 1 Black Crappie)
Potomac River - 3 (3 Smallmouth)
Bushkill Creek - 2 (2 Smallmouth)
Difficult Run - 1 (1 Smallmouth)

Species Breakdown
Smallmouth Bass - 15
Rock Bass - 5
Largemouth Bass - 2
Black Crappie - 1

Type of Fly
Streamer - 11 (6 Smallmouth, 4 Rock, 1 Black Crappie)
Nymph - 6 (4 Smallmouth, 1 Largemouth, 1 Rock)
Popper - 4 (3 Smallmouth, 1 Largemouth)
Dry Fly - (2 Smallmouth)

State Breakdown
New Jersey - 11
Pennsylvania - 8
Maryland - 3
Virginia - 1

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