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Updates from September 11, 2019

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MartinlfSeptember 14th, 2019, 8:35 pm
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 2927
Beautiful fish, Jason. That's a special place.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
WbranchSeptember 21st, 2019, 10:38 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2506
Very interesting coloration on those brook trout. Is it because the water is stained? They have to be the darkest brookies I have ever seen. The little stream looks like an awesome place to fish. It appears to be quite deep for it's narrown width. Very cool.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
TroutnutSeptember 22nd, 2019, 8:14 am
Administrator
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2547
The stained water is as good a guess as any for the coloration, but I don't know for sure.

This was my second time visiting this creek, which is apparently not on anyone's radar as a trout stream (except for being regulated as one), and I mostly wanted to investigate because it's a convenient drive. The first time I checked it out, in May many years ago, I saw no sign of trout. This time I walked in to a more promising stretch with more difficult access through an alder swamp. I caught four very nice brookies in about 20 yards of creek.

What looks on Google Earth like a grassy meadow is actually giant tussucks around 7 feet tall at this time of year, and the gaps between tussocks were mostly flooded after a week with lots of rain. I didn't dare step down into the creek, because I couldn't see very far into it, the bottom seemed silty, and it was clearly fairly deep in most places. It was all I could do to flatten enough grass in a couple places to make some short casts, and I caught the fish there.

I tried to continue up the bank, but the swamp just got sketchier with a deep, muddy old oxbow channel blocking my way. This would be a good one to explore with a partner, ideally much earlier in the year when the grass is shorter and the water is lower. With mere knee-high grass and dry ground between the tussocks, it could be a lot of fun.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
WbranchSeptember 28th, 2019, 8:13 am
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2506
Jason,

I didn't dare step down into the creek, because I couldn't see very far into it, the bottom seemed silty


That was wise of you not to step into the unknown. A few years ago in Spring Creek near Bellefonte, PA I was wading alone, as I always do, and came upon a mucky section. I wanted to fish above it and didn't want to bushwhack around the mucky area. It was a foolish move - as I stepped into it both legs sunk deep into thick mud over my knees. I couldn't lift a leg out to make another step. I was pretty much totally stuck. Luckily though I was just a foot or so from the bank and some willows with strong branches. I put my rod down on the bank and grabbed the thickest branch I could and pulled as much as I could to get one leg out and then the other. I was successful but shaken up by the experience. I had my cell phone and there is good service there and my next move would of been to call 911 to help rescue me.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
MartinlfSeptember 30th, 2019, 6:26 pm
Moderator
Palmyra PA

Posts: 2927
Matt, something similar happened to me on Big Spring years ago. It is scary. I almost lost a boot that day.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell

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