Tulpehocken Creek – 06/02/2012

Time: 1:00PM – 2:00PM

Location: Palisades area

Fish Landed:0

I slept in until 10AM on Saturday, June 2 after the stormy ending to the previous day. When I appeared downstairs, Jeff asked if I wanted to fish? I was convinced that the Friday night storms had blown out every stream in Pennsylvania, but Jeff told me they were holding back water at Blue Marsh Dam in Reading and the Tulpehocken Creek, which flows from the dam, was holding steady at 350 cfs, slightly above the normal reading for early June.

I was here to fish, so we decided to make the trip. Our food supplies remained in the van, so we reloaded our clothes and drove to the north side of Reading. The parking area and surroundings were greatly improved since my last visit. We munched down some snacks and climbed into our waders and grabbed our rods and descended down the bike path to the stream. We bushwhacked through some fairly dense vegetation and went to the lower end of the stretch where we found a fisherman just upstream. We observed the water for a bit and saw a fish rise three times, but agreed it was too close to the fisherman just above.

We reversed course and hiked back up the path a ways to thirty yards or so above another fisherman. I decided to wade toward the far bank where there were a series of deadfalls and work a dry/dropper combination. Initially I tied on a large foam beetle, but the fly was poorly tied and the thread wraps on the head of the fly slid up over the eye. I clipped off the beetle and replaced with a Chernobyl ant for a bit and then added a beadhead hares ear. I was making some decent casts tight to the bank under overhanging branches, but there was no reward for my efforts. Jeff meanwhile was working a terrestrial tight to the right bank.

I approached a nice deep run and swapped the Chernobyl for a yellow Letort hopper, but again no fish showed interest. This run looked ripe for deep nymphing so I undertook the task of clipping on a small split shot and strike indicator and added a light yellow caddis pupa and emerald caddis pupa. But before I could cast into the run, a man in a uniform arrived and began talking to Jeff. After a brief conversation he shouted that I might want to get out of the water as they were about to release water. He informed Jeff that they were raising the gate six inches every hour and the flows were expected to move from 350 cfs to over 2000!

I hurriedly made some upstream casts with my pair of nymphs and then moved back toward the bank where Jeff remained and made a few casts across and down. It was evident that the flows had already increased from just a few minutes ago. I reluctantly reeled up my line and joined Jeff on the bank, and we agreed we only one choice and that was to return to the car and then to Whitehall.

The highlight of Saturday was attending a pair of minor league baseball games featuring the Pawtucket Red Sox vs the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs. The Pigs won the first game but lost the second.

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