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South Williamsport, PA
United States

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Recent Heavy Rain: Puts the Hurt on Fishing

To be honest, the past couple of weeks have been so busy for me I haven’t had time to fit any fishing in, but with the flooding conditions slamming our area recently, it doesn’t appear anybody else could get any fishing in either. The thought of fishing completely disappears when your favorite streams become raging

To be honest, the past couple of weeks have been so busy for me I haven’t had time to fit any fishing in, but with the flooding conditions slamming our area recently, it doesn’t appear anybody else could get any fishing in either. The thought of fishing completely disappears when your favorite streams become raging rivers pouring out over roads and lawns dumping mud and debris everywhere. Even many lakes become largely unfishable due to muddy and high water flooding boat docks and banks. Actually, with the exception of a week or two our streams have held up well this year with good flows, and that has been evident by the relatively good trout fishing all summer — that is until the recent flooding, of course.

So where does one go to enjoy some decent fishing while waiting for streams, rivers, and lakes to get back to some kind of normalcy? Actually, within a few days of the near constant rain and flooding coming to an end, some of the smaller mountain streams made good targets. Truth is, right before all the rain, many of our smaller mountain trout streams were getting tough to fish because of low, clear water.

Right before all the flooding occurred, I was fly-fishing one of those streams, and there were plenty of trout in sight, but when my tiny #18 Blue-winged Olive settled to the water the fly line sent fish running in every direction. After two hours of frustration, I finally landed a nice 15-inch brown on a bead head Woolybugger cast right up against an undercut bank on the opposite side of the stream.

I’m hoping, as water settles back down to some normalcy, to again try my luck on some more trout fishing; the streams may actually be good over the next couple of weeks barring too much rain again. Now, by the way, is a good time to look at some terrestrials for your trout fishing; green Inchworms, moths, caterpillars, ants, crickets, grasshoppers, and beetles are all worth considering. Of course, streamers and nymphs are still productive as well, and there may well be some hatches coming off so have some dryflies in your arsenal as well.

Bass fishing on the river has been somewhat hit or miss as well, due to off-colored water earlier this summer. When you look at the raging, muddy water of recent days, you have to wonder what happens to the fish. Well, we’ve all been there before and somehow the fish are always there after the flood waters recede — exactly what approach to take to hook up remains to be seen, but since the river hasn’t been hit all that hard by fishermen this year, there should be some good bass fishing yet to come.

Maybe the only good places to fish during the recent flood conditions and rainy weather would have been someone’s farm pond or a small lake that isn’t fed by a large stream. Even some lakes suffered from high, muddy water pouring in — along with floating debris. I have found that trying to catch panfish and bass in lakes inundated with high, muddy water is a real challenge — so much so, that I generally don’t even bother to fish lakes when I see that situation. As things settle down again, however, I plan to hit a lake or two for crappies and other panfish, but I’ll probably work the deeper water with jigs. I suspect I’ll also concentrate on the deeper water for bass as well with Texas or Carolina rigged worms or drop-shot rigs.

Hopefully, things will remain stable for the rest of the year since late summer and fall can produce some of our best fishing and I plan to test that theory in the coming weeks.

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