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Report at a Glance

General RegionBerks County, PA
Specific LocationTulpehocken Creek
Time of Day10 - 6
Fish Caughtten rainbows & two browns
Conditions & HatchesAir 46 - 52 with strong winds with gusts to 25 mph. No apparent bug activity

Details and Discussion

WbranchMarch 28th, 2012, 3:44 am
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2701
Good fishing.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
TroutnutMarch 28th, 2012, 3:53 am
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2707
I think that's the prettiest rainbow trout I've seen outside Alaska.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
WbranchMarch 28th, 2012, 4:01 am
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2701

I too thought that this is one of the most beautiful rainbows I've ever caught outside of the Missouri River in MT. It was just so gorgeous when it was hooked up that I got all excited like a little kid and just had to land it and get a picture. I was using 7X and a #22 midge pupa so I had to take my time. This fish is about 14" and considered a better than average fish for this stream near Reading, PA.

BTW what are you doing up so late, or is it early? My excuse is I'm going fishing in the morning, back to this creek, and wanted to tie a few more flies.

I wonder what caused the nick on the gill cover?
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
TroutnutMarch 28th, 2012, 4:03 am
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2707
That's an impressive fish for 7X and #22, nice job.

It's only midnight here. I'm actually going to bed in a few minutes, which is really early for me. Usually I'm up working until 2-3am.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
ShantiMarch 28th, 2012, 7:21 am

Posts: 95
Nice, Matt!

The nick on the gill cover, bird maybe? Beautiful fish though.
Somewhere, right now, a fish is rising.
And youre at the computer..
OrnMarch 28th, 2012, 8:23 am

Posts: 29
Very nice fish, beautiful spots.
OldredbarnMarch 28th, 2012, 12:36 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Matt...I bet that Hardy sounded sweet when that fish took off!

That creek you mentioned...There is an old photo of it in Marinaro's old, "In the Ring of the Rise"...I was just nosing around and decided to re-read it before opening day here at the end of next month.

Marinaro has a nice chapter at the end of his book on my Au Sable.

I've seen some serious wounds on some fish from Herons etc...I caught a nice Bluegill once that looked like he had been sliced open by a razor...It was a clean and deep cut and I was surprised it was still alive let alone taking my caddis dry fly.


"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
Jmd123March 28th, 2012, 8:05 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2509
Gorgeous fish there, Matt! Chunky too - I bet it bent the rod over pretty good!

No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
MartinlfMarch 28th, 2012, 10:29 pm
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3126
Good work, Matt. Have you fished the caddis hatch there in May?
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
WbranchMarch 29th, 2012, 6:30 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2701
Hi Louis,

Back in the late 1980's, when I was courting my wife, I learned about the Tully from a friend and started fishing there often on weekends. All I can say about it is that it really was a fantastic fishery, in May, for dry fly action to browns and rainbows with mostly 10" - 13" fish but plenty of 15" - 16" fish too. I fished only a small portion of the river from about 100 yards above Paper Mill Road down to the Rte 222 bridge.

Back then there was extremely light fishing pressure and I remember many weekends when I'd be the only person within my sight that was fly fishing. I got married in 1991 and then started going back to fish the Delaware system. I returned once in awhile but the quality of the fishery had really declined during the May time period.

However it should be noted that the Tully has an outstanding Trico spinner fall that usually begins around the last week of June and by the 4th of July there will be spinners on the water. You can't get there early enough to find rising fish! I leave the house around 4:30 and arrive about 5:15, go tho Turkey hill for a coffee and donut and am in the water at first light.

I wade wet, but you can easily get by with hip boots in 90% of the stream. There are numerous pods of fish with many in the 12" - 14" class and mostly very fiesty rainbows like the one in the photo. However they are far from pushovers! Usually I can pick up a couple on Trico duns before the spinners start but after the bugs have been on the water about a week they become intensely sophisticated and selective. I think they memorize exactly how that spinner body and wing shape looks and your pattern needs to be perfect.

If your tippet is heavier than 7X you just might as well stay in bed. I sometimes use 8X and flies should be #22 - #26. I use a 7 1/2' #3 rod with a supple action to protect my tippet. A bonus to the trout is the stream is loaded with carp, many in the 4# - 6# class and when the spinner fall is especially heavy you can find those big rubber lips breaking the surface along the edges of the stream. Just figure out the rising rythmn and lay the fly down a foot above the fish and hold on because they can spool you in seconds.

Most often by 10:30, earlier if it is especially hot, the spinner fall is over and you'll be home before noon.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
MartinlfMarch 29th, 2012, 9:28 pm
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3126
Yes, Matt, I've fished the Tricos there a time or two, and have landed several of the big carp on Tricos. We'll have to meet up one morning this summer to compare patterns. We seem to be about the same distance--it takes me 45 minutes to reach the stream from my ouse. I do well with a parachute pattern, but sometimes switch to other ties. I also try to hit the caddis hatch a time or two in May, and just this last year found an emerger I like when they won't take a little CDC caddis. I've landed a few 17-18 inch fish in the Tully, but they are few and far between. Still, the challenge of getting a take is good enough to hone any dry fly fisher's skills, and some of the rainbows fight like wild fish.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
CrepuscularMarch 30th, 2012, 6:10 am
Boiling Springs, PA

Posts: 923
Hey, Matt I was on my way back from NJ yeserday and was hoping to stop by the Tully but could not get out early enough to get there. Sorry I didn't. It was a little breezy though, huh? I hope you had good fishing! Any caddis yet? The cooler weather seems to have slowed things down here a bit.
WbranchMarch 30th, 2012, 8:23 am
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2701
Hi Eric,

I didn't fish there yesterday. I was there though on Monday and Wednesday. Moonday less fish were rising but I caught at least a dozen and lost about half as many. Wednesday there was a microscopic cream midge emerging for hours and the fish were really keyed in on them and I caught only eight during a long and very frustrating day. My buddy, who didn't stay focused on that damn flat water landed 14 while nymphing the riffles.

Not a single caddis I've seen in four trips there but every time I go I see good numbers of EBS flies. Sometimes the fish eat them and other days they are ignored. The stream is very low, at summer levels, now and that is I think one of the reasons the trout are already so tough to catch. I couldn't buy a fish with anything heavier than 7X and larger than a #20 fly. But my buddy was getting fish consistently in the riffles on #12 & #14 nypmhs.

I see you live in Boiling Springs, do you by chance know another FF named Chic Kroll? He lives there too.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
CrepuscularMarch 30th, 2012, 10:03 am
Boiling Springs, PA

Posts: 923
When I was in college, I used to fish the Tulley quite a bit in the winter and do very well midge fishing. I havent fished it as much in the last 10 or so years. It's hard for me to ignore those risers in the slow water to go nymph. I should, I'd probably catch more fish, but I like a target. No I don't know Chic,although the name sounds familiar, I just moved into BS a couple years ago from the Hershey area. Hendricksons have been on the breeches for a while now. It will be a zoo next week but, I will manage to sneak in a few places. I hope they are not over, I spoke to a friend yeaterday that did some recon and did not see many flies. They were pretty heavy on Monday on the open water.
MartinlfMarch 30th, 2012, 3:43 pm
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3126
The caddis don't typically start until the first of May, but I expect to see them sometime after the middle of April this year, if not sooner. If you want to hit them, Matt, let me know. Eric, you'd be welcome to join us. We're all local.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
WbranchMarch 30th, 2012, 8:29 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2701
Yes, if I can go with you I'd like to give it a try. The creek just really needs water.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.

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