Monday, June 1, 2009

Fly Fishing the Pocono Mountains

Two weekends ago my best friend Will and I drove from our current apartment in New Jersey to our homeland in the Poconos. We fished a variety of different waters - streams, lakes, and small tributaries. We ended up catching thirteen trout and a number of warm water fish, including largemouth bass, bluegill, and yellow perch. Will took advantage of his new camera, snapping some great shots of the trip. All photographs are attributed to him. In the space below, I will write a few words about each small creek we fished.

Marshalls Creek:
My favorite tiny stream. We fished Marshalls near Will's house. I caught four wild brook trout and Will caught five. I used small wooly buggers beneath a waterfall to land two of my fish; I hooked the other two with the small Panther Martin spinners Will and I have always used in Marshalls Creek. Marshalls is a lovely place to fish: it is close to home (or what used to be home), it is reasonably accessible, and it is loaded with vibrantly colored wild brook trout. In addition, Marshalls Creek is responsible for my love of small native brook streams. These tiny fish mean a lot to me.

Mud Run:
This tiny tailwater stream has its source at Snow Hill Dam, a manmade lake stocked with trout. Will and I spent only a few minutes fishing Mud: Will landed one wild brook trout on his spinner, and I caught one wild brook trout on the same lure. Mud Run is conveniently located on the wild trout stream loop I take through the Poconos.

Poplar Run:
This small run meanders through the Delaware State Forest en route to its confluence with the Brodhead. Will and I stayed at Poplar for quite awhile; however, the wild brook and wild brown trout that populate it were relatively skittish. I had several misses, but did manage to catch one wild brook trout on a small copper john nymph. Of all the tributaries I fish in the Poconos, Poplar is the most affected by the weather: the high sun and rising temparature slowed down the fishing. Still, Poplar is one of my favorite streams to fish.

Mill Creek:
Located just outside of Mountainhome, Mill Creek is surrounded by posted land. Fortunately for those of us who cannot afford to own large stretches of pristine native brook trout water, the state owns land on the upper third of the creek. Despite a passing shower, I caught one wild brook trout on the spinner. This brought my total to seven - four on the regular spinning rod, three on the fly rod, all wild brook trout.

I had hoped to catch more than seven fish, but the weather prevented that from happening. Nevertheless, I enjoyed my trip home.

Image #1 - Pinxter flower
Image #2 - Catching a wild brook trout at Marshalls Creek
Image #3 - Mud Run
Image #4 - Poplar Run
Image #5 - Wild brook trout

Overall Total: 38

River Breakdown:

Marshalls Creek - 8 (8 Wild Brook)
Elk Creek - 5 (5 Wild Brown)
Penns Creek - 5 (5 Wild Brown)
Spring Creek - 5 (4 Wild Rainbow, 1 Wild Brown)
Stony Brook - 4 (4 Stocked Rainbow)
Paulinskill River - 4 (2 Stocked Brook, 2 Stocked Rainbow)
Fishing Creek - 3 (3 Wild Brown)
Mill Creek - 1 (1 Wild Brook)
Mud Run - 1 (1 Wild Brook)
Poplar Run - 1 (1 Wild Brook)
White Deer Creek - 1 (1 Stocked Brook)

Species Breakdown:

Brook Trout - 14
Wild - 11
Stocked - 3

Brown Trout - 14
Wild - 14
Stocked - 0

Rainbow Trout - 10
Stocked - 6
Wild - 4

Wild Trout - 29
Stocked Trout - 9

Trout 15+ Inches: 2

Fly Breakdown:
Olive wooly bugger, size 14 - 6 (6 Wild Brook)
Tan Caddis, size 14 - 4 (4 Wild Brown)
Bead-head Copper John Nymph, size 16 - 2 (1 Wild Brook, 1 Wild Brown)
Bead-head Pheasant Tail Nymph, size 14 - 2 (2 Stocked Rainbow)
Black Caddis, size 14 - 2 (2 Wild Brown)
Green Weenie, size 14 - 2 (2 Wild Rainbow)
Bead-head Green Weenie, size 14 - 1 (1 Stocked Brook)
Blue Quill, size 16 - 1 (1 Wild Brown)
Blue Winged Olive, size 18 - 1 (1 Wild Rainbow)
Golden Stonefly, size 8 - 1 (1 Wild Brown)
Scud, size 16 - 1 (1 Wild Rainbow)
Sulphur, size 14 - 1 (1 Wild Brown)
Sulphur, size 16 - 1 (1 Stocked Rainbow)

Angling Breakdown:

Fly Fishing Rod - 25 (10 Wild Brown, 7 Wild Brook, 4 Wild Rainbow, 3 Stocked Rainbow, 1 Stocked Brook)
Spinning Rod - 13 (4 Wild Brook, 4 Wild Brown, 3 Stocked Rainbow, 2 Stocked Brook)

State Breakdown:
Pennsylvania - 30
New Jersey - 8

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