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Report at a Glance

General RegionBerks County
Specific LocationTully - Rebers Bridge
Time of Day1:00 - 5:30
Fish CaughtTwo ranbows, one brown, two white suckers
Conditions & HatchesMidges in the air and on the water. Water off color but cleared within an hour. Low flow, 170 cfs. Water cold day dreary and chilly.

Details and Discussion

WbranchMarch 13th, 2013, 12:48 am
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2482
Even though it was still pouring in York at 11:30 I had wanted to go fishing so I threw my stuff in the car and was headed north by noon. Pulled into the Rebers Bridge parking lot at 1:00 and it was still raining but just a drizzle.

Thought I would do at least reasonably well considering it was stocked yesterday. Nymphed hard from 1:15 - 5:45 the section from about 200 feet above the bridge back down to the bridge. Did this three times. Caught only three trout and two appeared to have been from either last year or the fall stocking. One was a beat up rainbow about 13" with a torn lower mandible and very dark colors and another was a pretty brown also about 13". The only "new" looking fish was a beautifully colored, and perfectly shaped, rainbow of about 10". Just a gorgeous fish with no fin damage and very fat.

All three fish ate a #16 Copper John on 5X flourocarbon. I tried at least half a dozen different flies but that was the fly that caught fish. Also caught two white suckers, one 13" and one about 15". Both hooked in the head, does that count??

Saw lots of midges in the air and on the water and did see one rise about 4:00. Couple of guys and one couple on the water later too. The water above the bridge is clean and low. Just one micro shot required with the BHCJ.

That little creek entering below Rebers Bridge was running like a Class III whitewater and the color of cafe latte. Down below Paper Mill the river is unfishable due to color. Water was very cold so maybe that explains why I caught so few fish.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Feathers5March 13th, 2013, 7:12 am
Posts: 287Matt, you were fishing a stocked stream? Were you poaching your lunch? Ha! Ha!
WbranchMarch 13th, 2013, 8:44 am
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2482
Smartass Bruce wrote:

"Matt, you were fishing a stocked stream?"

As a matter of fact I was and when no one is looking I break their neck and stick them in my vest to take home.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Feathers5March 15th, 2013, 11:51 am
Posts: 287Gees, Matt, I put mine down in my waders. I haven't met a warden yet that will put his hands down my waders and check for anything.
WbranchMarch 15th, 2013, 7:21 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2482

"I put mine down in my waders."

Good idea! I bet I could put a plastic bag in side my waders so I could just drop them in and they wouldn't slide down my leg and wiggle too much.

Seriously is anyone here old enough to have at one time kept lots of trout? Let's be honest now okay?

When I was a kid, and I mean 17 - 20, and I had just started to fly fish but was not 100% confident in the practice of the art of the fly and was still conditioned to bringing home trout.

I used to pretty much always have a container of worms stashed someplace in my vest, or a jar of salmon eggs, and if I was unsuccessful with the flies I would slip a garden hackle onto the fly and soon would be fast to a trout.

Or I'd go back to the car and get out my Fenwick 6' ultralight spin rod, my Mitchell 308 loaded with #4 line and dead drift worms, eggs, or live caddis larvae through all the runs and pools on my home water, at the time, Big Flatbrook, in Sussex County, NJ. I can still remember my Artic creel over my shoulder and the bright green plastic liner it had. I would sleep in my car so I could fish both Sat and Sun and it was a rare weekend that I didn't go home with two limits of 12" - 16" trout.

I didn't know any better and it was the modus operandi of pretty much everyone I knew at the time, bait and fly only guys. I hardly ever saw a trout released unless you already had your limit. There was a time, when it was legal, that I kept a metal stringer on my waders and would keep five trout on it alive. Then as I continued to fish if I caught a bigger trout I would cull off one of the smaller fish and put on the bigger one. Then about half an hour before I knew I was going to quit I'd keep the next, or sixth, fish to limit out.

When I first started fishing the Delaware back in 1965 I was still killing trout but not to the extent I had been from 1960 - 1964. !965 was the first year that I ever fished the Beaverkill in New York. It was also the first time I had ever encountered a "No Kill" policy on a section of river. That was when the concept of C&R began to be instilled into me.

I'd still keep a few, but not my limit, trout where it was legal. Either to cook fresh along the river or bring home to eat. But as time went on I gravitated more and more to catch and release and less from killing trout.

Since 1972 I have only killed five trout on purpose to eat on the Delaware system and only one other that I know of has succumbed to being caught and that was a beautiful 16" wild brown I caught on the WB of the Delaware that engulfed the fly right into it's gills and was bleeding profusely while it was still in the water. I tried to revive it for twenty minutes but it had lost too much blood so I quickly dispatched it, bled and cleaned it and two of my friends and I ate it that night for dinner and it was delicious. It did though bother me deeply that it died.

I still have no ill thoughts about killing a steelhead if I wanted to bring one home but I'd never kill more than one a year. If people I know, who don't fish, but like to eat trout want a couple I will kill a few for them from stocked streams in PA because they are put in all tackle no restriction water to be harvested.

BTW the incident with the trout that died from taking the hook deeply happened back around 2000. So other than this unfortunate mishap I've not intentionlly killed a wild trout for at least thirty-five years.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Jmd123March 16th, 2013, 11:19 am
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2358
Matt, in the days of my youth, especially my formative years at the University of Michigan Biological Station where I learned to flyfish, I would kill every legal trout I caught up to the legal limit. My mentor, a forest ecology professor, would fish the local Maple River all summer long and save everything he caught that was legal (and he did well!), and at the end of the summer he would throw a wild trout dinner, complete with local farm-bought veggies, for his class and special invited guests. Being in his class in 1984 I went to the dinner, and thereafter I caught a few trout to contribute every summer and so got to keep going to the dinner! I didn't catch many in those days so I could only just contribute enough to make it to the dinner, but it was worth it and so was learning how to catch trout on a fly rod.

Eventually I got better and got a girlfriend and so started feeding her with wild trout. But, back in '98 when I moved to northern lower Michigan for the first time (other than my summers at the Bio Station) I started fishing the Rifle River, where the limit on ALL trout was 15", and I just got into the habit of throwing them back. Pretty soon I was throwing them all back whether they were legal or not, including in the upper stretches of the Rifle where the limit on browns was only 8". Nowadays, geez they're just too pretty to kill, and I'm a lot deadlier with a flyrod than I used to be. Now it's not unusual for me to catch two legal limits worth per visit on my local streams, but unless I have friends who request a trout dinner they all go back where they came from. Though, I may take my folks fishing on the Pine River this spring and have a trout cookout if we get lucky (highly likely)...

The Rifle is stocked with both brown trout and steelhead, so I wouldn't feel too bad killing a few from there, but the Pine is not stocked and therefore all wild fish (with a few steelhead making their way into there too). It is highly productive but I wouldn't kill anything out of there, except for a special occasion with my folks who are 80 and won't be around for too much longer.

Hey, I let all of my bass and sunfish go anyway...

No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
LastchanceMarch 16th, 2013, 11:37 am
Portage, PA

Posts: 437
Hey Matt. Me, too! In my younger days the measure of a good fisherman was to catch a limit. For many years the limit of trout was 8 and now it's down to 5. I was one of those guys that thought he was great to have caught a limit by 9 AM. But, then I started to think, what the hell, now I've got to stop fishing. My real transformation came when I began to fly fish. Up until then I thought there were no trout left in the streams by the end of May because of all of the people killing them like me. I found out that in most streams there are plenty of fish all year if you know how to fish for them. Now, if I want to eat fish, I take my fly rod and catch a batch of pan fish. I love them.
MartinlfMarch 16th, 2013, 1:33 pm
Palmyra PA

Posts: 2881
Nothing was more exciting for me and my cousins than a trip to Elk River with our Uncle John. He had a bunch of fishing rods that occupied a corner in an unheated back room of his house, and he would gather them up, go out to the dog pen, push past the beagles, and turn over the big food troughs he made by cutting a tire and half. Underneath them we would find plenty of worms. Then we walked through the fields on a path that led down to our favorite fishing hole. There we would find brim (what the Yankees up here in Pennsylvania call bluegill), punkinseed, black perch (rock bass), warmouth perch, shellcrackers, and large and small mouth bass. The only fish Uncle John ever threw back were small ones, what he called "eyes and tail" fish. Sometimes Uncle John would bring minnows, and he would set one line out in the middle of the river for bass while we fished for brim closer to shore. If he hooked a big bass, he would yell out "Hold er Newt she's headed for the pea patch! One day I was fishing right next to him, and we were both, of course, using bobbers. His bobber kept going under and he kept pulling in the fish, while my bobber seemed to never move. I looked over and said, "Uncle John, what am I doing wrong?" He gave me a serious look, and said with absolutely no expression of humor, "Boy, you ain't holdin your mouth right." [When one of my fishing buddies is coming up short these days, Uncle John's laconic answer sometimes finds its way into the conversation.] At the end of the day, we would gather up all the rods, feed any dead minnows to the cat that had followed us down to the river, and head back through the fields. When we got back to Uncle John's house, he would pull out a few old boards, get some forks and knives, and we would clean fish. I'll never forget my amazement when I opened the stomach of a fish and found four or five big red-brown wasps. I wasn't just amazed that any creature could eat wasps and deal with the stings, but wondered how in the world did he find and eat so many of them at one time? Nor will I ever forget the day Uncle John picked up one of the fish I had cleaned, scrutinized it closely, and said, "Boy, you didn't cut this fish's asshole out. I don't want to be eating fishes assholes." Years later, after Uncle John had gone on to the great river in the sky, I told my Aunt Vivian that story. When her laughter died down, she wiped the tears from her eyes, and said, "Thats your Uncle John."
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
Jmd123March 16th, 2013, 1:44 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2358
Louis, I laughed out loud too! Oh sorry, it's called LOL today...


No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
OldredbarnMarch 17th, 2013, 1:04 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2589
Matt...Wonderful story...I think all of us have gone through this "evolution", if that word is ok...We start out as youngsters bringing buckets of fish home...When I spent my summers with my grandparents, or up with my cousins when they moved up north we fished all the time.

I can remember a feeling of pride really after catching and cleaning fish and my aunt cooking them up and placing them on the dinner table. I only get out ice fishing once in a while, but even after being a vegetarian since 1970 (at 16), I bring home pan fish for my wife in the winter.

I remember my last trout that I ate. It was 1969/70, just before I quit eating meat. A good friend of mine and I had a trout dinner...After I stopped killing them, and would fish up north on my childhood stream, grandma would get mad at me for not bring her home a Brookie or two. She would say out loud in a crowd, "What do you think of a grandson who won't even bring his grandmother a trout once in a while?" :)

I think that those early days and experiences are what made you the angler you are today...Time on the stream, learning different ways to outwit the trout. The guys that I have met over the years that are the real fish catchers have gone through pretty much what you did.

In terms of the "stockies"...I may have told this story before, but...When has that stopped me? ;) A friend took me up to the Boyne River one May just to see it...We were in Grayling and had a real bad weather day and after breakfast decided to drive up there.

We watched a few large fish in the river and my friend walked upstream from the bridge...I spotted a few fish rising in a pool just below the bridge and ran to the car and strung up a rod and put on my waders. Everytime I cast upstream in to this dark hole a little rainbow would hit my dry fly...

I was having a ball! A bluegill morning really...Every cast another fish on...Then some guy leaned over the top of the bridge and asked me how I was doing...I told him I was slaying them with a big grin on my face..."Yep." He said, "The hatchery truck was here just last week." Ouch! So much for sending off for my Master Angler's pin...:)

"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
GutcutterMarch 19th, 2013, 10:21 am

Posts: 470
Seriously is anyone here old enough to have at one time kept lots of trout? Let's be honest now okay?

I got here a different way. My dad didn't/doesn't fish. I never learned to "slay them" with a spinning rod. My dad didn't discourage me, but he never really encouraged it, either.
We had a farm and on it several ponds. I learned to tie knots and rig a worm on my Zebco pretty much by myself. I caught lots of bass.
But he taught me and my brothers (and one of my sisters, too) how to bust a covey and how to lead a ringneck and skin a deer at a very young age. I could tear down any firearm and learned to reload bullets before I was a teenager. Imagine giving a twelve year old some IMR 4350 in today's society...
I was taught to prepare and cook anything from the field, however nothing from the pond. Could I clean a fish? no clue...
I took up the fly rod for the first time at age 13 on a family vacation to Yellowstone. The place where we stayed had the Taylor Fork running through it, and I watched one of the other guests catch trout after trout with a fly rod. I was determined to do that. Eventually he called me over and taught me a roll cast and I got my first trout - a Yellostone Cutthroat.
As I fished with my buddies through high school, they always kicked my but on opening day and beyond. I never had those full stringer days.
Then I really learned to fish - on a catch and release stream - with a tremendous mentor. Sight nymphing with Honey Bugs and then learning how to fish a dry fly. Because it was "no kill" I didn't kill them. I still don't.
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
Jmd123March 19th, 2013, 3:41 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2358
"Imagine giving a twelve year old some IMR 4350 in today's society..."

Not without parental supervision!

I STILL need to learn all of the ins and outs of reloading from my father who is now 80, and who still loads fresh ammo for me to burn at my local range. It's likely that I will inherit all of his reloading equipment and supplies when he passes on (hopefully no time soon) as my brother-in-law, who has inherited most of the gun collection, doesn't seem interested in reloading. Maybe that's because he buys ammo by the case...

" to bust a covey and how to lead a ringneck and skin a deer at a very young age..."

Well there you go Tony, you were gathering fly tying materials before you even handled a fly rod! My father used to be an avid bird hunter, but that was before I started tying my own. I could sure use some good grouse feathers for those soft-hackled wets...

No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...

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