Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Trout Update #14: Fly Fishing Pine Creek and Marshalls Creek

On Wednesday of last week I stopped in the Poconos on my way to central Pennsylvania. My goal was to purchase a reel for my "flea rod" - a six foot, 1 weight pole designed to fish small creeks. I stopped at my favorite outdoors shop, Dunkleberger's, and found the perfect fit. I also purchased 1 weight fly line and sped off to two of my favorite Pocono wild brook trout streams: Marshalls Creek and Poplar Run.

After setting up the rod and reel at Poplar Run, I discovered that the stream was overwhelmed by the warm weather and lack of rain. I left following only a few casts. Marshalls Creek was a different story: I landed seven wild brook trout on the flea rod (pictured left) and one on a spinner (for old time's sake). I fished the waterfall in Wilderness Acres and used a small olive wooly bugger to catch six and a copper john nymph to catch the seventh. These wild brooks are addicted to quick movement; small streamers are thus an effective way to catch them. Even when I use nymphs, I often drag them through the water in order to entice the tiny fish. I had hoped that adding the flea rod to my equipment would enable me to land more wild brook trout; my time at Marshalls Creek quickly affirmed this would indeed occur.

On Friday I decided to stay close to Bucknell (relatively) while Jackie went to her three hour seminar. I drove to Pine Creek, seeking its confluence with Stony Run deep in the Bald Eagle State Forest. Pine Creek is a typical mountain watershed: it has shallow riffles, "deep" pools of about 2-4 foot depth, and tall coniferous trees growing above it. These pines shield the river from direct sunlight and thus keep the water cold enough for wild brook trout to flourish. After a few weak attempts with my spinning rod, I switched to the flea rod. Soon enough I caught one wild brook trout (pictured to the left) on a bead-head caddis nymph. A few hundred yards downstream I located a deep pool near where Stony Run dumps more water into Pine Creek. At that spot I caught another wild brook and saw a few bigger rainbows - fish I assume swam upstream from the town of Woodward, where the stream is stocked. Knowing time was running short, I took a few casts in Stony Run. I momentarily courted a small brookie, but failed to land it. On the way back to Bucknell, I fished Rapid Run for an hour. I lost one stocked trout and caught nothing.

Overall, I am elated to have caught ten wild brook trout - nine of which were landed on my new flea rod.

Overall Total: 160

River Breakdown:

Marshalls Creek - 28 (28 Wild Brook)
Raritan River, South Branch - 22 (13 Stocked Brown, 7 Stocked Brook, 1 Wild Brook, 1 Wild Brown)
Bushkill Creek - 21 (17 Stocked Brown, 3 Stocked Rainbow, 1 Stocked Golden Rainbow)
Pequest River - 17 (9 Stocked Brown, 6 Stocked Brook, 2 Stocked Rainbow)
Beaverkill River - 10 (7 Wild Brown, 2 Wild Brook, 1 Stocked Brown)
Poplar Run - 9 (7 Wild Brook, 2 Wild Brown)
Faulkner Brook - 7 (6 Wild Brook, 1 Wild Brown)
Stony Brook - 7 (7 Stocked Rainbow)
Spring Creek - 6 (3 Wild Brown, 3 Wild Rainbow)
Brodhead Creek - 4 (3 Stocked Brown, 1 Stocked Rainbow)
Paulinskill River - 4 (4 Stocked Brown)
Penns Creek - 4 (4 Wild Brown)
Rattlesnake Creek - 4 (4 Wild Brook)
Mill Creek - 3 (2 Wild Brook, 1 Wild Tiger)
Mullet Brook - 3 (3 Wild Brook)
Mud Run - 2 (1 Stocked Brook, 1 Wild Brook)
Old Town Run - 2 (2 Wild Brown)
Pine Creek - 2 (2 Wild Brook)
Cherry Run - 1 (1 Wild Brook)
Lawrence Brook - 1 (1 Stocked Brook)
Musconetcong River - 1 (1 Stocked Brown)
Neversink River - 1 (1 Wild Brown)
Yellow Breeches Creek - (1 Wild Brown)

Species Breakdown:

Brook Trout - 72
Wild - 57
Stocked - 15

Brown Trout - 70
Stocked - 48
Wild - 22

Rainbow Trout - 17
Stocked - 13
Wild - 3
Golden Rainbow - 1

Tiger Trout - 1
Wild - 1
Stocked - 0

Wild Trout - 83
Stocked Trout - 77

Trout 15+ Inches: 5

Angling Breakdown:

Fly Fishing Rod - 91 (34 Stocked Brown, 18 Wild Brown, 15 Wild Brook, 11 Stocked Rainbow, 9 Stocked Brook, 3 Wild Rainbow, 1 Stocked Golden Rainbow)

Spinning Rod - 69 (42 Wild Brook, 14 Stocked Brown, 6 Stocked Brook, 4 Wild Brown, 2 Stocked Rainbow, 1 Wild Tiger)

State Breakdown:
Pennsylvania - 94
New Jersey - 52
New York - 14

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