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Central PA..


flyfisher

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I taught summer school this year so I haven't had much time to get out and I didn't get a chance to go fishing with my dad up in PA.  Well on a whim I decided I would do just that.  Even though it is a 4+hour drive one way, the smallie water there is worth it.  Left the house at 3am and was on the river by 8:30.

 

Water is super low everywhere and chock full of eel grass which made fishing a little difficult but having a kayak i can stand in made a huge difference.  I could see the slots and holes in the grass and pick where to drop my fly or float over the top.  

 

Started out with topwater and first fish was a nice 17" smallie.  After that is was a bunch of under 15" fish on topwater and gamechangers.  Got off the water around 6:30 and headed back to VA.  Was a great trip and my dad who is almost 80 spent the whole day out there too and held it together nicely.

 

Ended up catching 4, 17" or larger and my new largest on a fly rod at 19" and 3.5lbs on the dot.

 

 

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It's about a 3 hour drive for me. Being a yak angler it's almost absurd that I've never fished the Susky. Was thinking about it recently. Toying with a Marysville-West Fairview float. I have to find something calm enough for the wife and kids since they'll want to go to. 

 

You're a VA guy... fished Briary Creek last year. Beautiful lake. 

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awesome area.  I grew up fishing the Yough in western PA, but live in NJ now so looking to start exploring the Delaware.  That might be next weekend's trip.  I've long since put the fly rod down for bass, but for next season (if I get to fishing the Big D more) it would be a blast to get it back out.

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38 minutes ago, Deleted account said:

Loop knots make me sad, but that's a good looking perfection one...

why don't you like loop knots?  And this isn't a perfection loop, lefty loop

 

1 hour ago, HookInMouth said:

It's about a 3 hour drive for me. Being a yak angler it's almost absurd that I've never fished the Susky. Was thinking about it recently. Toying with a Marysville-West Fairview float. I have to find something calm enough for the wife and kids since they'll want to go to. 

 

You're a VA guy... fished Briary Creek last year. Beautiful lake. 

Totally worth the drive.  We usually do a multi day river trip each summer and camp on an island somewhere but it wasn't in the cards this year.  Susky was ridiculously low, not even sure if you could fish much with a kayak unless you were wiling to walk it around a bunch.  Briery is a great lake but if you come down again, go to Sandy river reservoir, same area really but not as crowded and produces just as many quality fish as Briery does.  I haven't been to Briery in a while though cause for that length of drive, abotu 90 minutes for me, I usually just head up the james a little further than I usually do.

 

47 minutes ago, casts_by_fly said:

awesome area.  I grew up fishing the Yough in western PA, but live in NJ now so looking to start exploring the Delaware.  That might be next weekend's trip.  I've long since put the fly rod down for bass, but for next season (if I get to fishing the Big D more) it would be a blast to get it back out.

I grew up fishing the Delaware for smallies from about Yardley up to the water gap.  basically wherever I could drive and wade I was in.  Haven't fished it in a while though but my parents still live up there.

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53 minutes ago, casts_by_fly said:

awesome area.  I grew up fishing the Yough in western PA, but live in NJ now so looking to start exploring the Delaware.  That might be next weekend's trip.  I've long since put the fly rod down for bass, but for next season (if I get to fishing the Big D more) it would be a blast to get it back out.

The Yough is another one I haven't fished and it's in my backyard, about a 30 minute drive. I usually just end up at the Kiski River. 

4 minutes ago, flyfisher said:

Totally worth the drive.  We usually do a multi day river trip each summer and camp on an island somewhere but it wasn't in the cards this year.  Susky was ridiculously low, not even sure if you could fish much with a kayak unless you were wiling to walk it around a bunch.  Briery is a great lake but if you come down again, go to Sandy river reservoir, same area really but not as crowded and produces just as many quality fish as Briery does.  I haven't been to Briery in a while though cause for that length of drive, abotu 90 minutes for me, I usually just head up the james a little further than I usually do.

Yeah they just had a Hobie BOS yak tournament on the Susky and everyone was walking their boats. 

 

I was planning on Sandy River but the second day of our trip got canceled and I never made it there. 

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2 minutes ago, HookInMouth said:

Yeah they just had a Hobie BOS yak tournament on the Susky and everyone was walking their boats. 

Yup, they had to adjust the rules so that you could wade as long as you were tethered to your kayak.

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1 hour ago, flyfisher said:

I grew up fishing the Delaware for smallies from about Yardley up to the water gap.  basically wherever I could drive and wade I was in.  Haven't fished it in a while though but my parents still live up there.

 

I'm just south of 80, about an hour from the gap.  I'm looking at north of the gap since my plan is to take my kayak (which has a trolling motor) and I understand there's still a bit of water up there at the moment.  Otherwise I'm looking at that stretch you mention (yardley to the gap) nearer 78 area since there are some bigger holes that would be fishable.

 

 

1 hour ago, HookInMouth said:

The Yough is another one I haven't fished and it's in my backyard, about a 30 minute drive. I usually just end up at the Kiski River. 

 

I grew up on the Mon river and the Yough was about 20 minutes away depending on the stretch.  I don't know about the current water levels, but normal summer levels you could catch a couple dozen bass in a half day float.  tons of 12-15" bass and quite a few that would push 15-20" also.  You also get walleye and musky in the bigger pools.  I think the state record (or very near) walleye was just caught out of there in the past year or two.  Sportmen's clubs stock trout and there are plenty of 15"+ fish in there, some going to multiple pounds.  If you're a half hour away I would say its worth a trip.

 

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7 hours ago, flyfisher said:

Yup, they had to adjust the rules so that you could wade as long as you were tethered to your kayak.

Thanks for the clarification, I was going to ask if that was legal 

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46 minutes ago, TnRiver46 said:

Thanks for the clarification, I was going to ask if that was legal 

Some groups allow it from the beginning but Hobie is a little more strict from the jump like no motors for one. 

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I have about a 45 minute drive to the susky but don't make it nearly enough.  It can be feast or famine when it gets this low.   Brother and I used to wade so sections and sight fish 20"+ channels in the cuts.

 

You didn't stick around the white fly hatch at dusk? 

 

 

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29 minutes ago, WVU-SCPA said:

I have about a 45 minute drive to the susky but don't make it nearly enough.  It can be feast or famine when it gets this low.   Brother and I used to wade so sections and sight fish 20"+ channels in the cuts.

 

You didn't stick around the white fly hatch at dusk? 

 

 

I thought about it but I also knew I had a 4+ hour drive to make it back home.  If I had some more action in the last hour or so I probably would have stayed.

 

If I lived 45 minutes from there I would no doubt be there often as that is about my normal drive length to hit most of my spots.

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2 hours ago, flyfisher said:

If I lived 45 minutes from there I would no doubt be there often as that is about my normal drive length to hit most of my spots.

Central PA has many great fly fishing opportunities for a range of species.  Within a hour you can be on top notch small mouth, trout, carp, muskie, and snakeheads have started showing up in a few bodies of water.

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, WVU-SCPA said:

Central PA has many great fly fishing opportunities for a range of species.  Within a hour you can be on top notch small mouth, trout, carp, muskie, and snakeheads have started showing up in a few bodies of water.

 

 

 

No doubt that central PA is one of the best places on the east coast to locate yourself if you're a fly fisher.  In addition to the quality of fishing is the variety of fishing.  Big freestone streams, small mountain streams, tailwaters, rivers, and even a few limestones are all within a short daytrip of anywhere in the region.  The yellow breeches was always a favorite of mine for a long time when I was in Pittsburg and I made that trip more than a few times.  We also have a family cabin up north central and fished all of the streams that become the susquehanna and allegheny rivers.  So much variety and quality. 

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On 8/18/2022 at 1:07 PM, flyfisher said:

Susky was ridiculously low, not even sure if you could fish much with a kayak unless you were wiling to walk it around a bunch.  

 

 

The North Branch is real low but as of yesterday, the West Branch has some water. We did have 3 days of thunderstorms that probably helped. 

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7 hours ago, Dogface said:

 

The North Branch is real low but as of yesterday, the West Branch has some water. We did have 3 days of thunderstorms that probably helped. 

I am gonan try to get up there again this fall but with teaching and kids soccer it is always a challenge to get away for more than a day.

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4 hours ago, flyfisher said:

I am gonan try to get up there again this fall but with teaching and kids soccer it is always a challenge to get away for more than a day.

 

For me, the fall is probably the best fishing on the Susquehanna. 

 

I use to wade the main branch in and around Halifax and Millersburg but have not fished that area in years.  It is probably the most accessible and easy-to-reach area for wading coming from VA. 

 

BTW another option is the Juniata.  

 

 

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1 minute ago, Dogface said:

 

For me, the fall is probably the best fishing on the Susquehanna. 

 

I use to wade the main branch in and around Halifax and Millersburg but have not fished that area in years.  It is probably the most accessible and easy-to-reach area for wading coming from VA. 

 

BTW another option is the Juniata.  

 

 

No wading trip for me as I would be on my kayak. Juniata is where I went this time and it was solid for sure. 

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There are access points up and down the river in that stretch so you should have no problem. The only wild card is the water and fall is usually more stable than spring. 

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