Hook, Line & Sinker: June 25, 2014

These days of the mid-to-end of June have been very productive, with rivers and streams at good levels and cool evenings keeping water temperatures favorable for trout. Isonychias have been making their appearance in the afternoons, resulting in rising trout and successful fishing. In addition, good hatches of caddis flies and Blue-Winged Olives are about in the mornings and during the day. In the evenings the slate-colored Isonychias and lighter colored Sulphurs have kept fly-fishers on the stream until dark.
Rich Sliziewicz of New Jersey with an eight-pound, three-ounce brown trout that he caught over the weekend in the Pepacton Reservoir. The fish was 25-inches long. — Photo courtesy of Al’s Sport Shop, Downsville.Rich Sliziewicz of New Jersey with an eight-pound, three-ounce brown trout that he caught over the weekend in the Pepacton Reservoir. The fish was 25-inches long. — Photo courtesy of Al’s Sport Shop, Downsville.

The East Branch at Fishs Eddy is flowing at 781 cubic feet per second (cfs), which is above the average flow of 527 cfs for this date, June 23, over 59 years of record-keeping. The flows have gradually decreased over the past week to a very fishable level. The minimum flow recorded on this date was 158 cfs in 1964. The highest flow was 8,710 cubic feet per second in 1972.

Hauling them in
Fishing in the Pepacton Reservoir continues to be productive. Our son Lee came home last Sunday and Monday to spend Father’s Day with his dad and went over with my husband – the two arrived later in the day but still managed to see some good action. Lee netted a few good fish - a nice brown trout, followed by a bass (which was released as the season wasn’t open yet) and then hooked into a fish so large it broke off one of the points on the treble hook attached to the Sutton Flutter Spoon he was trolling with! (For the record, the Black Bass season for largemouth and smallmouth bass is now open, as of the third Saturday in June through November 30. There is a daily limit of five bass, with a minimum size limit of 12 inches.)
I attempted to contact Al Carpenter of Al’s Sports Store in Downsville on Monday morning. Al was either out walking his dog, weeding his gardens, fishing or playing golf. I was able to reach Jim, who told me that on Monday morning, Todd Curtin was fishing sawbellies when he caught a nice six-pound, six-ounce brown. Since Al was unavailable to provide any other information, I decided to go out and see for myself what the fishing was like.
Ed and I arrived at the reservoir at about 10 a.m. and fished for a couple of hours. It was the first time, of my three trips over these past few weeks that conditions were fairly calm with little or no wind. The air temperature measured 65 degrees and the surface water temperature was about 70. Seeing that we were a little short on silver lures, I decided to experiment and see if Lee’s Sutton Flutter Spoon, which no longer had a treble hook, but now just a double hook, could still catch fish.

Seeing some action
After an hour of trolling, we noticed a couple of rises along the rock shelf shoreline, and so I also cast a large streamer on a nine-foot fly rod, hoping to intersect with one of the rising fish. Up until that time, the most excitement we’d had was seeing a bald eagle soaring against the backdrop of the tree-lined green hills surrounding the reservoir.
Suddenly my trolling rod jerked and almost took off out of the boat. I put the fly rod down and grabbed it, setting the hook – and then had a very enjoyable time reeling in my fish. It went under the boat a couple of times, and then would race straight down – and it was a constant give-and-take before I was able to get it up into the net. I am happy to report that I managed to land, on the double hook, a 23-inch brown trout that weighed five pounds. My experiment was successful, as was my outing, and my attempt to get a story for this column.