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This discussion is about the Little Juniata River

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WbranchAugust 8th, 2010, 9:44 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2506
On another Forum ther is a conversation going on about limestone streams in PA and other states. One of the posters has named a number of streams in PA he believes to be limestone rather than freestone. One of them he includes is the Little Juniata. What is your opinion of this stream is it a classic freestone or limestone water? I imagine the Ph level is the determining factor?? Thanks in advance.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
TaxonAugust 8th, 2010, 10:45 pm
Site Editor
Plano, TX

Posts: 1295
Little Juniata River Description

The Juniata River flows 13.5 miles south from Tyrone to Petersburg passing through a narrows with high limestone cliffs. By eastern standards the Little Juniata is a large limestone river, ranging from 30 to 60 feet wide with a moderate drop of 15 feet per mile. The Little Juniata is characterized by riffles and moderate fast water with many pools up to 100 yards long. The river reach from Tyrone to Petersburg is regulated as All Tackle Catch and Release.
Roger Rohrbeck
www.FlyfishingEntomology.com
Shawnny3August 9th, 2010, 6:07 am
Moderator
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
I'm certainly no expert when it comes to stream designations (I believe at one time I even started a topic asking what the differences are), but I will say from experience that the J doesn't hold temp as well as some of our other, more spring-fed streams. It is pretty big in the areas most people fish and is fed from so many sources that it can get pretty warm this time of year. I measured a temp of 70 there almost two months ago and was told by a reliable source that temps in the 80s have been measured in some of the major fishing areas throughout July.

-Shawn
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
www.davisflydesigns.com
SlateDrake9August 9th, 2010, 11:20 am
Potter County, PA

Posts: 144
I vote for freestoner with major limestone spring influences.

As for using water temps to classify a stream a limestoner/freestoner, I'm not so sure that's an accurate method. Look at Penns Creek. It gets really warm in the summer, but it's definately a limestoner.
Fishing with bait is like swearing in church.
-- Slate Drake
Shawnny3August 9th, 2010, 2:22 pm
Moderator
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
It's funny you mention Penns, Drake. I've heard more people definitively call it a freestoner than a limestoner, and some say more specifically that it starts as a limestoner but then takes on more freestone characteristics further downstream - a good example of how loosely people toss around these terms.

My mention of temperature really has relevance only in a practical way. When people say a stream is a classic limestoner, often the presumption is made that it stays cold all year. The timing of the question (August) led me to comment on the temps, lest someone call the J a limestoner and then have others assume that that means it's fishable right now. I believe it is fishable in certain locations and not so much in others.

I don't know anything about the Little J's alkalinity, but Matt is probably right that it would have much to do with trying to assign it a label.

Here's a link to the previous thread on freestone vs. limestone: http://www.troutnut.com/topic/805

I was just rereading this prior thread and, even though it doesn't specifically address the J, it does discuss Penns and some other PA streams and has much helpful information. The initial posts by Gonzo, Troutnut, and Gene are best, all of which occur prior to a tangential discussion on housing that is slightly less relevant.

-Shawn
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
www.davisflydesigns.com
SlateDrake9August 9th, 2010, 3:38 pm
Potter County, PA

Posts: 144
Thanks for the link. I'll check it out.

Intersting that Penns starts out a limestoner and end up a freestoner and the Little J. starts out a freestoner and ends up a limestoner. Due to the water temp. issue, I usually only fish Penns in the fall (water's fine in the spring, but too many people for my liking).

As for limestoners staying cool enough to fish all summer, I think many don't stay as cool as everyone thinks. What I do think is true is that they don't usually freeze in the winter, which is when I fish them the most. Problem is that many other anglers have figured this out now, and having these waters to one's self in the winter doesn't happen nearly as much as it use to. But, I'll take a "crowded" Spring Creek in January over a frozen solid whatever that's unfishable any day.
Fishing with bait is like swearing in church.
-- Slate Drake
GutcutterAugust 9th, 2010, 4:56 pm
Pennsylvania

Posts: 470
how about a freestone stream that acts and fishes like a spring creek/limestone stream? have you folks ever seen what they take out of those LIMESTONE quarries on the j? it's limestone.
there is cool water below all of the spring creek tribs and you can find water to fish all summer long - just not the whole day nor the whole stream (i refuse to call it a river). it has to be fairly hardy stream to go from a sewer to a hatchmatchers delight in less than 30 years!
check out the jittle j river assoc web site to see what a wild brown trout fishery it really has become...
my two cents
tony
All men who fish may in turn be divided into two parts: those who fish for trout and those who don't. Trout fishermen are a race apart: they are a dedicated crew- indolent, improvident, and quietly mad.

-Robert Traver, Trout Madness
TunaAugust 10th, 2010, 7:48 am
Altoona, PA

Posts: 16
Ok this subject is near and dear to my heart, as I only live 10 mins away from the Little J. The upper end of the J has several Limestone spring creeks that enter it keeping it cooler even in the upper stretches, very rarely does it get much above 75 in the upper several miles above Tyrone. From a few miles below Tyrone along RT45 it picks up several LARGE underground limestone springs, like someone already said there are at least 3 separate limestone quarry operations along the Little J. For only about 10 days, out of this whole summer so far, have the temps been much above 72. I was there Sunday and at three different locations, in the middle of the day(yes I know it was cooler over the weekend) over several miles the temp was never above 66. Went to Spring Creek Sunday and from where Spring goes under RT26, I think thats the road in front of TCO, the whole way down to where Logan enters the water was 72-75. Penns has been unfishable for over a month now. I have never seen the temps go above 80, unless your above Tyrone and below Tipton(the fishing is subpar throughout this stretch anyway), in the lower end of the river. Like I said before it may get above 72, but only for a few hrs on the really hot days during the middle of the day. Believe me I check the temps alot and keep a log book of my findings. Just like Penns, the Little J is a heavily limestone influenced stream, but in know way is it a classic Limestoner, that would be Letort, Big Spring, Spring, etc.

Sorry for the rant, just wanted to put that out there
Reel men play with their flies.
MartinlfAugust 11th, 2010, 9:22 pm
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 2918
Tuna, welcome, and thanks for the clarification.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
TunaAugust 12th, 2010, 6:00 am
Altoona, PA

Posts: 16
No problem at all I spend alot of time on the Little J, if anyone is ever in the area and would like to get together or needs any info just send me an email at mattdecriscio@gmail.com

Awesome site by the way guys, Thank You!
Reel men play with their flies.
Shawnny3August 12th, 2010, 6:30 am
Moderator
Pleasant Gap, PA

Posts: 1197
Thanks for the info, Matt. It's good that you take temps in several locations - so many factors can change them from one stretch to another, especially on a stream as long and large as the J.

-Shawn
Jewelry-Quality Artistic Salmon Flies, by Shawn Davis
www.davisflydesigns.com
TunaAugust 13th, 2010, 6:02 am
Altoona, PA

Posts: 16
If I can remember to check the Forum, more often I will post updates with temps and other info. I'm in the process of starting a blog, or something similar, to post info on and such. I'll let ya guys know how it works out.
Reel men play with their flies.
WbranchAugust 13th, 2010, 4:55 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2506
Hello Tuna,

Ya'll better be careful about posting too much info about the LJ 'cause some of the good 'ole boys on this forum don't take too kindly to someone providing too much info regarding when, where, how, name of the pool/stretch etc. on their home water. I speak from experience after being thrown under the train for making what I thought were some innocent remarks and comments about a trip to the LJ in May 2009.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
SlateDrake9August 13th, 2010, 6:35 pm
Potter County, PA

Posts: 144
Excellent advice from Wbranch.
Fishing with bait is like swearing in church.
-- Slate Drake
TunaAugust 14th, 2010, 10:39 am
Altoona, PA

Posts: 16
I really like this forum and hope you huys don't take his the wrong way but: Bring on the ole' timers. I just added my opinion about the stream. I posted info that is readily available from several different sources online and via telephone. I didn't name any "honey holes" so I don't see what the big deal is. Its a trout stream, and a good one at that, in PA. Its going to get fished, I'm sorry if someone can't see that. Nothing is a secret anymore, nor should it be. I'm just sick of people freaking out at any mention of certain streams. I don't support people giving exact directions to certain spots on a forum, PM's are for that. I will never mention certain streams that I fish either. I just don't see why posting temperature info on one of the most popular streams in PA is so harmful. Within the coming months the USGS may have temperature readings for the Little J available online anyway.


Sorry guys had to get that out there.
Reel men play with their flies.
SlateDrake9August 14th, 2010, 11:10 am
Potter County, PA

Posts: 144
Tuna,

Tread lightly. I see where you're coming from, but am not entirely sure if you see where others are coming from. Just because you (or anyone) considers a stream well known, maybe the folks that consider it "home" or "secret" or whatever, still don't want to see it advertised.

And remember, just because you won't post your "secret" waters, doesn't mean that someone else, sharing a similar opinion that you do about the Little J, wouldn't do the same for your waters.

Sometimes it's best to just not name names and such. Share that stuff in a private manner, not out in the open.

This board doesn't have a bragging reports, um, I mean fishing reports section, which is why I like it so much. That stuff can be done elsewhere and will be welcomed.

If you really want to do such, go over to the PA Fly Fishing board. Naming streams, including the tiny ones that can't handle the pressure, is fully accepted by that group and moderators, seems to be welcomed. Some people argue against it, but narrow minds are labeled as such for a reason. They'd probably label me as such for my opinions, and that's fine. Their argument for why it's okay is stated the same as your's is above. People already know about it and there's no secrets anyways, so why not.
Fishing with bait is like swearing in church.
-- Slate Drake
MartinlfAugust 14th, 2010, 12:42 pm
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 2918
As a regular visitor of the J, I'll weigh in here briefly, not to correct anyone, or to foment controversy. Honestly, with two teen-age daughters, I have enough drama in my life without adding any on flyfishing boards.

Matt did get fussed at by one or two people for a post about the J, and other folks came to his defense, and that's that. It happened a while back. It's rare that anyone causes a ruckus here, and some that got into that thread aren't regulars, and they seem long gone from the forum anyway.

As for posting temperatures on the J, I'll go out on a limb and hazard a guess that very few, if any, here who are J regulars will mind it one bit. In fact, IMHO I know a few who will welcome it as a warning to be careful about stressing these fish in the summer. I have a good sense of where the river warms and where it stays cool, but if folks are going to fish it, it will do the fish and all of us a favor if the warmer sections are skipped on hot days.

Thanks to all for showing concern about the waters we fish and about the fish that swim in them.


Slate Drake, I agree with you about that other forum.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
SlateDrake9August 14th, 2010, 1:03 pm
Potter County, PA

Posts: 144
I certainly agree that posting water temps and flows aren't a problem by any means. For me, the problem is the naming of streams (more specifically stream sections) on the internet. It draws too much attention to a playground that's already too crowded by many folks' standards. Same folks usually then write how they were the only ones there. I think this brings out more people than telling how many or how big the fish were, as more of us are looking for solitude than lots of big fish.

Beyond the increased crowding factor, for me at least, it just takes away from the experience. Kinda like that guy who is standing up on the bridge you're fishing under saying "hey, there's one there. Hey, there's another one there." I hate that. If I'm half the angler I hope I am, I'll find the fish without some schmuck telling me where.

Maybe I'm too old school in my thinking and need to change my thinking to a more modern style (you know, where everyone gets a trophy, not just the winners of the competition), but there's something to be said about hands on experience and not finding out all the "secret" spots via an hours reading on the internet.
Fishing with bait is like swearing in church.
-- Slate Drake
GutcutterAugust 14th, 2010, 7:33 pm
Pennsylvania

Posts: 470
if anybody starts posting specific locations on this public forum about the little j (or any of my other favorites) then i will personally show them a beautiful little j pool that is adjacent to a cornfield (you guys know where i mean) that has at least a few people who "kiss n tell" buried in it...
that is why god invented private messaging
All men who fish may in turn be divided into two parts: those who fish for trout and those who don't. Trout fishermen are a race apart: they are a dedicated crew- indolent, improvident, and quietly mad.

-Robert Traver, Trout Madness
LastchanceAugust 15th, 2010, 6:01 am
Portage, PA

Posts: 437
A gentleman doesn't kiss and tell. Generalizations are fine, but don't give specific spots on any stream.
Bruce
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