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Penns Creek Guide Newsletter - September 2011


Boston - Title Town USA
Just received this newsletter from Penns Creek Guide and wanted to share it with you.
Sometimes I just get so wrapped up this time of year with the Salmon River, I forget about my beloved PA creeks.


Tom Doman

FALL 2011
Hello to friends of the Penns Creek Guides newsletter and welcome to those anglers for whom this will be their first newsletter. In writing this newsletter my goal is to inform and entertain as well as promote cold water conservation. Thank you for your overwhelmingly positive response to this effort.
The Fall Newsletter is being sent out later than usual; my fishing trip to Minnesota, Wisconsin, and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan is a big reason for the delay. Suffice it to say my first time fishing noted waters in these states was an amazing. So were the mosquitoes! The streams flowing into Lake Superior hold some large trout and brookies. The scenery was nothing short of spectacular as well. It was difficult to have to leave; coming back to the limestone streams that are my home waters softened the blow considerably however.

Here in Central Pennsylvania leaves are starting to color up with hues of red, yellow and orange, flocks of birds gather for their journey south, nights are now cold and clear. Trout in our limestone streams are looking up. Autumn has arrived and with recent rains from Irene and Lee, the promise of great fall fishing is being fulfilled. Stream levels are excellent, the water cold with the trout active in preparation for spawning season and the advent of winter. September fishing between high water events was good; I look forward to October’s angling being even better than we have experienced in a long while. This season of change is brimming with fly fishing opportunities. Please give me a call at 814-364-9142 and reserve your guided October fly fishing date with Penns Creek Guides.

There is plenty of bug activity in the Fall. Dry fly anglers will welcome (or perhaps cuss) the prospect of fishing tircos; larger mayflies you can expect to encounter at this time of year are Blue wing olives, Blue quills and Slate drakes. Other surface flies you are likely to find are yellow carneflies, tan and brown caddis. Terrestrial patterns such as ants, beetles and hoppers work well too. Subsurface patterns to use include small pheasant tails, olive scuds, copper johns, caddis pupa and yes red San Juan works. On Penns Creek in particular big Perla and black stonefly nymphs get the trout’s attention. Streamer patterns that imitate minnows or baitfish fished deep and slowly can take some truly big fish.

In the Fall my favorite way to take trout is to swing a cast of three wet files. Traditional patterns like the Trout Fin, Professor, Blue Bottle, Partridge and Orange, Partridge and Yellow and Hardy’s Favorite work well. Soft hackle patterns like the Hares Ear and March Brown are good to mix in with the cast of traditional wets. I don’t use droppers (OK, call me a heretic, it works! And you don’t tangle the flies nearly as often), the flies are tied eye to eye starting with a 71/2’ X4 or X5 leader depending upon water levels. Space the other two wet flies at 18” intervals from the hand (uppermost) fly using tippet to match the size of the leader. Fish moving downstream, cast toward one side of the stream or other, let the flies swing down and across. Don’t worry about drag; in fact you want the flies to drag through the surface currents. Work the flies around rocks and through surface seams. At the end of the swing slowly lift the rod so as to pull the flies toward you and hang on! Trout are not shy about taking wet flies fished as described above, you will feel the strike. Good sources of info on fishing wet flies can be found in Wet Flies by Dave Hughes and The Soft Hackle Fly Addict by the late Sylvester Nemes.

And while we’re talking about fishing wets, a 10’ rod is an excellent choice for swinging wet flies or high stick nymphing. Even fly angler like me who has a serious bamboo habit has been amazed at how much easier a 10 footer makes nymphing and swinging wet flies. My new toy is a 10’ Greys XF2 Streamflex in 4wt. Don’t let the 4 wt. fool you; this rod has plenty of backbone to handle big trout. Other great 10’ rods are the Cortland Brook series and Lefty Kreh Professional from TFO. These rods come in 4 and 5 wt. versions; I suggest you try both line weights to see which weight suits the way you fish.

Another essential item for the fly angler is a wading staff. Having an extra support on slippery uneven stream bottoms and when wading swift currents not only increases your safety (and lessens strain on your lower back) but the staff can help you catch more trout. Wading safely and confidently in places where others can’t or won’t fish give you an advantage over other anglers. Penns Creek Guides wading staffs are made of white ash, have a rubber tip for quiet wading, a lanyard to keep the staff attached to your belt and the staffs are one piece so they won’t collapse at an inopportune moment when wading. To order a wading staff please go to my web site, www.pennscreekguides.com and view the wading staff tab. They make a great gift for Christmas or other special occasions.

I’m going to give up fishing in Central PA next week (September 25[SUP]th[/SUP] through October 1[SUP]st[/SUP] inclusive) to spend the time in Wellfleet on Cape Cod chasing stripers and bluefish from a kayak. My trips to the salt are usually quite an adventure; fishing where you are not at the top of the food chain is guaranteed to be an adventure… I’ll keep you posted in the next newsletter.

Finally, a plea for your support and commitment to conservation groups trying to protect cold water and natural resources at the local, state and federal levels. In an era of declining revenue your financial support and effort to become involved are more critical than ever. Pick a concern, find a group addressing that concern and become involved. No one can do everything, but everyone can do something. Take that first step on the thousand mile journey, the results can be profound.
Have a great rest of the season! I’ll see you on the water.


415 Lower Georges Valley Road, Spring Mills, PA 16875

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