Lackawanna River abused once again

The river has suffered many abuses dating back to the days of coal, but once again she’s been abused. Sometime in the last two weeks, fuel oil flowed from the sewer pipe near the Poplar Street bridge and stained streamside vegetation for as far as one or two miles. A local fisherman first noticed the oil at Olive Street and after he located the source, he called Kevin. Almost an hour later, Charles Charlesworth notified the DEP and an investigation began. The DEP determined that the real source was from an abandoned above-ground tank at the steam energy plant on North Washington Street. A cleanup has begun.

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A brief commentary from your editor. The chapter and the river are extremely thankful to the fisherman who called Kevin, but his first call should have been to the DEP and Kevin could have been second. I don’t know one way or the other if he called the DEP; I’m just surmising. What if this was happening when the fisherman first discovered it and not a couple of weeks ago? Time is of the essence and the authorities must be called first before calling a fishing buddy. Think about it. What if Kevin wasn’t available and it was a realtime emergency? The 24-hour reporting numbers is found at the top of the page under Report Pollution – add it to your cell phone address book.

Leo

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Buying maribou

This is the fifth article describing how to select material for fly tying. Maribou has many uses, most notable is tying the woolly bugger. Buying maribou helps the tyer decide what is important in selecting a hen hackle.

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Lackawanna stream improvement

On June 26, 2014 a few members of the chapter met at A&G Outfitters in Dickson City to do a stream improvement project behind the shop. This particular stretch is featureless with almost no place for trout to hide and get protection from the current. It needed habitat improvement and one of the simplest way to do this is to place a few large boulders in the stream. The trouble is heavy equipment is not permitted on the levee, so the chapter had to hire a crane to do the heavy lifting. The chapter proposed the project to the PFBC over a year ago, obtained design approval and the necessary permits from them, the PA DEP, and Army Corps of Engineers.

Many thanks to all involved, especially Ayers Supply of Clarks Summit for the boulder donation, and Lane’s Crane Service for the donated use of the crane.

The chapter would like to do more projects like this on the river and your financial and physical labor or project ideas would be appreciated.

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My biggest Lackawanna brown trout

Hey Kevin, do you remember that big brown you caught a few years back, the one where the construction guys were watching you catch it? Well, I think I may have caught it, too.

I was fishing the same area the other morning expecting to find the river a little cloudy and slightly higher from the recent rain — it was. I started out using a dry-dropper rig but switched it out for a suspender type (see this). I attached two nymphs, one trailing off the bend of the other. I worked the far side deep run meticulously, taking over an hour to cover about 100′ of river. Finally, after I adjusted the running depth, my indicator came to an abrupt stop. I set the hook and the battle was on. With my recent luck, I feared another equipment failure, but everything held together and a short time later I brought a beautiful, heavily spotted 22-inch male brown to net. My personal best for the Lackawanna. The fly — a purple hot spot Frenchie. The rest of the morning was anti-climatic with only a 16-inch and a couple of hand-sized browns caught.

This river amazes me — no hatches, but surprisingly big trout. What do they eat?

Leo

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Lost spring 2014

It’s been over a month since my last report and not much has changed. This has been a tough year, trout fishing-wise, that is. We all know how bad the winter and early spring weather was, so that is probably the reason for the poor year. Take, for instance, the sulphers; I’ve seen about 5 all season — hardly enough to create a hatch and to bring trout to the surface. The caddis have been more or less normal and have accounted for most of my success. But, I’ve had issues with equipment failure, specifically, I’ve had knot failures at my leader tippet ring just when I hooked into a decent fish. I decided there must have been a metal bur on the ring and discarded it.  Kevin, too, hasn’t fared much better. He writes –

It kind of feels like this was a lost spring. At least half of it was unfishable, I lost a week with my car in the shop, and the rest of the time I pissed away fishing dry flies. (It’s fun when the fish are cooperating, but far more often than not, they aren’t.)

Other than the ones that broke me off, none of the trout caught were significant. I do have another underwater photo of a fair-sized trout, which shows how a trout hugs the bottom.
IMG_0770 (Large)

 

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June 22, 2014 fishing report

Charlie’s fishing report.

There is really only one way to continue the environmental and conservation work that several generations have accomplished and that is  … more

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Buying hen or soft hackle

This is the fourth article describing how to select material for fly tying. A previous article described the dry fly hackle, while this article is about a hackle with an entirely different use, namely, the soft hackle. Buying soft hackle helps the tyer decide what is important in selecting a hen hackle.

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Scott’s first of the season

Here’s a somewhat belated fishing report from Scott — sorry, but the email was in the spam folder.

It’s good to see the blog operating again. I thought I would send you a report if you’re looking for some content. I have been so busy that this Sunday has been my first time fishing in Pennsylvania this year. We had a nice trip on the Beaverkill about two weeks ago.
I snuck in a solo trip before church. The first decent run was blown by a couple of mallards swimming and splashing in the pockets as I worked down.
My first fish on the Lackawanna of this year was a 18 incher taken from a shallow run which usually produces teeners. I used my same technique from upstream, checking my drift to slow the presentation. 100 yards further down I found a nice 17″ female which offered a surprisingly feisty fight. I must have damaged my tippet with the forceps unhooking her because the third fish popped off way too easily.
The most surprising fish is one that I took out of a well aerated pool. I usually find a Brookie here. The in close drift produced a satisfying flash. I was astonished how easily this larger fish came in. At the net is when I noticed it had no tail! Not a birth defect, it had been bitten by a predator. A mink I assume. Where the scales ended, so ended the fish. What was left of him I measured at 19 inches. He would’ve been easily a 21 inch fish. Couple more fish, including another 18 incher  and I think I ended the day with around eight to the net. I didn’t see a single rise all day long.

It’s not clear whether or not these are Lackawanna or Beaver Kill trout. Either way, they are nice.

Scott2 Scott1 Scott3

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June 15, 2014 fishing report

Charlie’s river report and — TO STOCK, OR NOT TO STOCK, that is the question. For generations individuals and state organizations have been sparring over the dos and don’ts of stocking hatchery trout. Who is wrong and who is right is not the issue; knowledge … more

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Buying dry fly hackle

This is the third article describing how to select material for fly tying. This one, buying dry fly hackle, helps the tyer decide what makes a good dry fly hackle.

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