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TKBMarch 29th, 2015, 11:23 am
Pennsylvania

Posts: 24
New PA Boy here. Not much happening. Too cold.
MartinlfMarch 29th, 2015, 8:14 pm
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3017
TKB, it's starting to happen around the central and southern part of the state. Olives. Where do you hail from?
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
TKBMarch 29th, 2015, 8:53 pm
Pennsylvania

Posts: 24
Martin - I am in southeast, outside of Philly. About equidistant from Ridley and Valley Creeks. Olives this early or are they the blue quills? I tied up a half dozen little black stoneflies as a sacrificial offering in hope that this cold would break.

I see you are in Palmyra - How's the Little Lehigh fishing. I was going to go up there two weeks ago but it got a little blown out.
TKBMarch 29th, 2015, 8:57 pm
Pennsylvania

Posts: 24
the Quitty, >


What is this Quitty of which you speak? I know it not.
MartinlfMarch 29th, 2015, 10:27 pm
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3017
Tom, I haven't been over to the Little Lehigh, but I'd bet it has some olives now. The Quitty, or Quittaphihilla, is a local creek in Anneville, PA. It's a stocked stream. And yes, olives. Baetids. For sure. Blue Quills (Paraleps) will come a bit later for most streams I fish. Oh, and I should have done this sooner--welcome to the forum.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
TKBMarch 30th, 2015, 10:17 am
Pennsylvania

Posts: 24
Martin - I see my mistake. You are in Lebanon Co (Palmyra) not Lehigh Co (Palmerton!). I have never really considered fishing up your way but I've always wanted to try Clark Creek which is not too far from you. What can you tell me about Clark?
WbranchMarch 30th, 2015, 11:38 am
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2628
TKB,

I would like to chime in here relative to the Quitty. If you like to wade in silt and mud filled stream bottoms then the Quitty is the place for you. I used to fish there quite often but stopped about five years ago because the mud bottoms were quite difficult to move around in at my age then - 66 years old. There used to be a lot of trout in the Quitty but I don't believe I have ever seen an adult mayfly or any flying aquatic insect.

I went back about two weeks ago because Clarks Creek was still frozen over and while significant bank improvements have been done from the very entrance of the area known as the "Quitty Park" and continuing up stream about 200 yards the bottom of the stream is just terrible! If I hadn't brought my wading staff it would have been very difficult to enter the stream. There are very few places where you can just ingress the stream where the bank and water are relatively level. Most places it is 1' - 3' drop to get to the water and the banks are slippery clay. The bottom everywhere I waded was 6" - 12" of silt and mud. I hooked two little rainbows on nymphs and lost both. I will never return.

If you want some nice trout fishing, in much bigger, but wader friendly water, try the Tulpehocken. It is accessed off of Rte 222 north. Get off at the Spring Ridge exit, cross the bridge, there is a traffic light and a Turkey Hill on the right. Turn right go about 100 yards, bear to the left (you have to cross heavy traffic that is exiting Rte 222) and you will be on Paper Mill Road. Drive to the stop sign and the creek is right in front of you. You can turn left or right and find parking along the road.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
TKBMarch 30th, 2015, 2:13 pm
Pennsylvania

Posts: 24
Good advice. No fun wading in silt. Last time I fished the Tulpelhocken it was exceedingly low - they must have been filling the reservoir - and the fish were crowded into a single deep hole several hundred feet below the dam. The creek bed was dry except for that spot. I caught a couple of little rainbows on the surface and the condition of the fish was ok despite the water level. Got the chance to give up my position on the hole to a father and his young son. That felt good, especially as the kid took his first trout on a fly with a little of my instruction!
WbranchMarch 30th, 2015, 3:57 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2628
The flow at the dam gage right now is 326 cfs. I prefer no more than 250 cfs but this level is still very wadeable I just don't know if the trout will rise well at this level. The flow further down river is around 450 cfs. This is likely due to that feeder creek that enters the creek at the end of Paper Mill Road. There is a very nice riffle there with a pool with waist deep water.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
MartinlfMarch 30th, 2015, 5:21 pm
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3017
Tom, Clark's Creek is a pretty stream north of Harrisburg. It is well stocked in the fly area, and it runs clear over cobble and sand in most places. There is some natural reproduction in the stream, but the wild fish tend to run small. This gives a generally accurate description:

http://www.flyfishingconnection.com/clarkscreek.html
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
TKBMarch 30th, 2015, 8:54 pm
Pennsylvania

Posts: 24
WB - that sounds targetable. I need to find a day/time to get over there....
CrepuscularMarch 30th, 2015, 9:45 pm
Boiling Springs, PA

Posts: 919
What can you tell me about Clark?


Here is a Coldwater Conservation Plan we did on Clarks in 2012. Bugs, Fish, Limited Water Chemistry,Habitat, Land Use, history and restoration efforts. I was disappointed in the fish portion of the plan. It wasn't what it could have been. That was out of my control. But all in all it gives a decent overview of the watershed and biology of the creek.

http://dauphincd.org/water/Clarks%20Creek%20CCP.pdf

MartinlfMarch 31st, 2015, 11:44 pm
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3017
Wow! Thanks for posting that, Eric. Very interesting.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
CrepuscularApril 1st, 2015, 12:02 pm
Boiling Springs, PA

Posts: 919
Wow! Thanks for posting that, Eric. Very interesting.


No problem. It's one way to get people to read my work ;)

But seriously the fish section of the study was terribly weak. I had very high hopes for it, if it were done correctly, it could have raised parts of that stream to class A waters. But alas, that did not happen so it continues to get polluted with stocked fish.
WbranchApril 1st, 2015, 6:33 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2628
Do you believe the water quality would sustain a good head of wild fish? I used to fish it quite often until I saw the fish numbers falling significantly. I have only caught a handful of little wild browns there is over two decades of periodic trips. Two things about Clarks are a problem; I think either youngsters, or adults, cheat and use bait in the fly section because the environment is so removed from the road that if you were going to worm it would be a good place to do it and probably not get caught. The other issue that contributes to a less than ideal experience is all the dead falls in the river. There is one stretch downstream from the parking lot on the south side of Rte 325 about 3/4 of a mile that used to be a good 3' deep, maybe even 3 1/2' deep and it held lots of trout. But about four years ago a number of huge trees fell across the creek into a big jumble and for some reason it appears that section is much shallower now and there are far fewer fish.

I can remember going there in mid May, when the black flies were brutal, and having great days and landing a dozen or more fat browns and brookies 11" - 13" long.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
CrepuscularApril 2nd, 2015, 1:50 pm
Boiling Springs, PA

Posts: 919
Do you believe the water quality would sustain a good head of wild fish?


Not "could", it does.
WbranchApril 2nd, 2015, 2:23 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2628
Not "could", it does.


I hear you but I'm a Doubting Thomas, please backup the statement with pictures of wild browns bigger than 10". If it has "a good head of wild fish" why have I only caught about half a dozen in twenty years? Admittedly I have not fished there very often over the past three years but I don't see how three years would make a dramatic improvement in how many wild fish are there. Are you sure you are seeing wild fish and not holdovers that have taken on wild, or stream bred, colors?
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Kschaefer3April 2nd, 2015, 2:25 pm
St. Paul, MN

Posts: 376
Not "could", it does.


I hear you but I'm a Doubting Thomas, please backup the statement with pictures of wild browns bigger than 10". If it has "a good head of wild fish" why have I only caught about half a dozen in twenty years? Admittedly I have not fished there very often over the past three years but I don't see how three years would make a dramatic improvement in how many wild fish are there. Are you sure you are seeing wild fish and not holdovers that have taken on wild colors?

Do you have a good method for identifying wild/stocked fish in a mixed waterway? If they are stocked at catchable size or bigger, I can usually tell in the fins or face, but if they are stocked as fingerling, I don't think I'd have any clue.
WbranchApril 2nd, 2015, 3:23 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2628
I have no idea how to really tell a wild fish from a stocked fish that has held over to the next season. I think it also depends on the hatchery stock. I fish the EB of the Delaware often and for some stupid reason New York State does stock the East Branch. But the fish they stock are not goofy looking beat up, pectoral fin clipped, caudal fin torn, hatchery looking trout. A coupe of years ago on June 01 & 02 there was a great sulfur hatch and over those two days I caught about twenty beautifully colored and spotted browns that were all between 13" & 15". I initially thought they were wild fish but a good friend (while he didn't see the fish) who fishes that section often told me they were stocked trout. I caught half a dozen other from 18" - 21" and they really looked like the wild fish I catch on the West Branch and main stem of the Delaware which is not stocked (but PA stocks many creeks that enter the main stem so the wild stock could be diluted)

I look at the shape and condition of the pectoral fins and the caudal fin and often the adipose fin. PA typically clips either the left, or right, pectoral fin depending on the year it is stocked. Even if the stocked fish survives and does become a "hold over" the pectoral fins never grow back nicely. They are always deformed and stubby not pointed and slender like wild fish. Also many PA stocked fish have banged up caudal fins from the fin brushing up against the concrete raceways in which they are reared.

Stocked or wild? Caught from Clarks Creek


Stocked or wild?


Stocked or wild

Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
CrepuscularApril 2nd, 2015, 3:59 pm
Boiling Springs, PA

Posts: 919
Not "could", it does.


I hear you but I'm a Doubting Thomas, please backup the statement with pictures of wild browns bigger than 10". If it has "a good head of wild fish" why have I only caught about half a dozen in twenty years? Admittedly I have not fished there very often over the past three years but I don't see how three years would make a dramatic improvement in how many wild fish are there. Are you sure you are seeing wild fish and not holdovers that have taken on wild, or stream bred, colors?


Well a "good head of wild fish"is a subjective term. Apparently to you that means fish over 10" which is a random measure not to mention unscientific. I never stated that it was exclusively a brown trout fishery as well. There are plenty of Class A wild trout waters in PA that a true trophy would be 10". The fact is is that there are a lot of wild fish present, both brook trout and brown trout. I'm not stating this on fish caught on hook and line instead what I am telling you is from data collected from electrofishing surveys. We do not use coloration to tell whether a fish is stream bred or stocked. In a watershed such as Clarks Creek, there are no fingerlings stocked. What you are looking for is a reproducing population. So young of the year and fish under the 7" size that the state stocks are the indicator. And Three good year classes of survival can dramatically increase the population in a small stream such as Clarks. I will also add that most of the good spawning habitat is outside of the Fly Fishing Only area, and that since any fish over the state minimum size can be killed during the open trout season in those areas outside of the FFO section, those "legal" sized fish are fair game. Also a wild fish in a very unproductive stream such as Clarks are subject to competition from the thousands of stocked fish.
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