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Wiconisco37November 9th, 2008, 6:37 pm
Central Pennsylvania

Posts: 8
Stream Condition: low, clear
Weather: cold, small rainstorms, cloudy
Fish Habits: Very Spooky and hard to catch
Fish Reports: Very plentiful, many large fish
Fisherman Status: 4/5 crowded

I just got back from an Erie Steelhead trip, and didn't have good sucess. The fish ran when you got 50 yards away from them, and the streams are so low, you can't use weight, and your rod goes across. 12 mile is crowded, with many fish near the mouth. 16 mile has virtually no fish near the mouth, and Walnut isn't very crowded, has alot of fish but the spook to easily to catch. Comment or Reply.

UPTroutBumNovember 9th, 2008, 7:58 pm
Marquette, MI

Posts: 33
Sounds like steelheading to me, low clear water definitely makes it tough. Try smaller flies that aren't as bright as you would use in darker conditions.
" The true fisherman approaches the first day of fishing season with
all the sense of wonder and awe of a child approaching Christmas." John Voelker
WbranchNovember 11th, 2008, 5:00 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2733
The water has been low pretty much for the whole season except for a brief period in early October when we hammered lots of fish. I guess I have to ask you why would you go up, unless it is just a short trip, when the water has been so low and clear for so long? There is a great web site - that has daily reports that pretty much tell you how it is, or isn't, lots of posts tell guys making a long drive to stay home and wait for better conditions. I have the Erie accuweather and weather channel bookmarked so I can look at the forecast everyday. When you see some sustained rain coming you need to be able to get in the car and go up for three days.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
RleePNovember 12th, 2008, 8:14 am
NW PA - Pennsylvania's Glacial Pothole Wonderland

Posts: 398
>>When you see some sustained rain coming you need to be able to get in the car and go up for three days.>>

I grew up and lived most of my life in central Erie County and I think it's worth noting and remembering that these streams are almost totally surface water dependent. Ground water input in the drainage is probably the weakest you'll find anywhere in the state. One thing this condition means for anticipated stream flows when planning a trip is that flows tend to stabilize somewhat from about mid-november until the freeze-up.
The watersheds still go up and down pretty quickly. All they are is shale chutes, after all. But a good rain now will sustain decent flows an additional day or so (or more) longer than the same rain would have a month ago. And this will be even more true next week and truer still the week after that. Usually by the first of December or so, unless the year has been exceptionally dry, new rain isn't really a factor in whether there will be fishable flows, although it remains the major determinant so far as the presence of new fish is concerned.

Point being that later in the season, you don't really have to be in drop everything and go mode all the time..
WbranchNovember 14th, 2008, 5:14 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2733
Thanks for the information. I want to make sure that I understand what you said - Will three inches of rain in September run off faster than three inches of rain in November?
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
RleePNovember 15th, 2008, 7:38 am
NW PA - Pennsylvania's Glacial Pothole Wonderland

Posts: 398
>>Will three inches of rain in September run off faster than three inches of rain in November?>>

As a pretty reliable rule of thumb, yes. I think with less sun, lower temps and the like, evaporation doesn't play quite so much of a role later in the season. Another factor is that NW PA usually has a few fairly robust snowfalls near or by Thanksgiving that more often than not mostly melt. This water has a longer cycle to get into the streams and tends to keep flows a little stronger over a modestly extended period.

In a nutshell, while due to the nature of the substrate and the gradient in some of the smaller tribs to the streams, water still goes through the drainage like poop through a goose, there is some stabilization of flows that occurs as the season goes on. I always thought it was more pronounced from about now until the freeze-up.

Always check the gauges though and what the local guys are saying.

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