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Rose Valley Lake

Rose Valley Lake

Ian Andrews and I have been friends for a long time. He is a good dude, and we both love to fish. Ian grew up on Rose Valley Lake, and that is where he currently resides. We don’t see each other much, but we follow one another online. Thrilled my bud is back using the #backyardbrown. Ian and his sweet wife Amy have a beautiful home. They have three gorgeous Newfoundlands and several goats. They even have a small bait shop where you can purchase all kinds of stuff. The blueberry syrup sure is splendid, but I wouldn’t mix it with the worms. Great peeps.

Ian is a master at catching fish at Rose Valley. He has lots of experience. Ian sent me a note asking if I was free for a troll. It was a no-brainer. I told him sure. I was looking forward to seeing my chum. I also wanted to get the low down. Rose Valley has been a hot topic. Rumors are flying. They need to make some repairs to the dam. Several conversations of late. Some are hearing they will need to drain the entire lake. Mum’s the word.

Rose Valley Lake is the largest body of water in Lycoming County. The man-made reservoir covers 389 gorgeous acres. The lake is owned by the Commonwealth and is managed by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. Rose Valley is an extremely popular destination for local paddlers and bird watchers, but its primary use is for fishing. The Spencer family takes full advantage.

Rose Valley Lake was constructed in the mid-60s after the idea of a recreational facility was tossed around for quite some time. It took eight years for the Fish and Boat Commission to build her. They blocked and redirected Mill Creek by creating a dam measuring 25 feet high and 410 feet long. Water eventually poured into the basin to form the existing lake. Again. This dam has been a hot topic.

Rose Valley was named after one of the area’s first settlers. She was officially dedicated on June 24, 1973. Funding for the project came from the State as well as a large grant from the Bureau of Outdoor Recreation. They also included three boat launches and parking. Created Lake Road and a new bridge. The Commission eventually reimbursed four property owners. The existing parcels included some farmland but mostly swamp and wetlands. A few locals say the area was known for amazing berries.

Located a few miles north of Williamsport, Rose Valley Lake can be fished year-round. She yields an assortment of warm water species. We catch a ton of Largemouth Bass and Pickerel in the spring and summer. Ice fishermen routinely harvest some healthy Yellow Perch and monster Bluegills. There is also a good population of Walleye, but finding these prized fish can be quite difficult.

I hooked up with Ian at 5:30 a.m. His boat was already in the water when I pulled in. My friend provided the tackle and supplied the bait. I am more of a stream fisherman, but I am slowly getting the hang. We were trolling along the weed beds and drops, looking for a strike. Ian and I chatted it up immediately. His son just finished high school and is now fishing in Alaska on a ship. We started catching a few healthy panfish with our colorful worm harnesses. Ian landed a nice bass. I caught a good-sized pickerel. All fishing is noble. But Ian was hoping to catch a few Walleyes.

It was now 8:00 a.m., and the lake was packed. Lots of folks were on the water enjoying their day off. We continued to fish in 12 feet of water. Rose Valley Lake, like everyone, could use some rain. Ian felt a good hit and set the hook. He knew it was a decent fish. Walleyes are quite strange. They almost feel like a snag. But when they get closer to the boat — the real fun begins. Ian landed a beautiful 21-inch prize — a good size for Rose Valley.

So are they going to drain her? Hard to say. We talked more about the proposals. Ian didn’t know much either. Only rumors. No one really knows when or how they are going to repair the dam. I reached out to the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission for some info. They have yet to get back, so perhaps I will do a follow-up.

Special thanks to Ian for another great morning. Rose Valley Lake. A great asset to Lycoming County. Cheers.