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Southeastern Montgomery County Chapter 468 News Report for May, 2000

Penns Creek Excursion: Memorable impressions on a great weekend on Penns Creek by Mike Wilson

Date: Thu, 25 May 2000 12:23:42 -0400 From: Mike_Wilson/ To: Subject: Chapter Weekend at Penns Creek

Walt, Just returned from the chapter weekend at Penns Creek. Dave Storm, Dennis O'Gara, Ralph Herbst and I joined Dick and Hall McKinny at the Lykens Valley Camp along the banks of beautiful Penns Creek. Although the Philadelphia area experienced heavy rains with resultant high water, Penns Creek received only moderate precipitation, and flows were actually somewhat low. Water was generally clear, but the water temperature went from @ 60 degrees on Thursday to @ 54 degrees by Saturday morning due to lower air temperature.

Although the stream was low, spirits were high. I arrived Friday evening about 6:15 to find everyone one the water. I quickly stowed my gear and "suited up". One of the problems I experience on this stream is deciding where to fish. There is so much great water, that I find myself wandering back and forth not sure if I should go upstream or downstream. If you've never been to Penns, you may not understand, but once you visit you'll know what I mean. I finally decided to head downstream, and started off for the evening hatch.

Looking upstream from the railroad bridge Looking downstream from the railroad bridge

I probably shouldn't admit this, but more and more I find myself staring at the scenery or watching a hawk and not paying attention to my fly. Of course that's when a trout decides to take my offering, and I'm left muttering to myself. Penns is such a wonderful place, that daydreaming seems to be acceptable here. If you want to get downstream to the "Broadwaters", you have to cross an old railroad bridge ( the one from the trout stamp ) and then go through a railroad tunnel in the mountain. It's a walk back in time that is almost as much fun as the fishing. Well not really, but it is fun. Everywhere you look are signs of the time when the rails were the primary mode of transportation. It amazes me that people traveling this country back in the early 1800's. What it must have been like.

the bridge in front of Lykens Valley Camp

Back to the weekend. I fished the "Broadwaters" Friday evening and again on Saturday morning. I like this area which is within the Special Regulations stretch because the fish always seem to be "jumping". That doesn't mean that you can catch them, it just means that you know they are there. We encountered gray fox and suplhurs both times, and hooked and released several native brown trout. The fish in Penns are very well fed, and as a result can be extremely particular. Catching several is usually considered a good day. We saw sulphurs, gray foxes, march browns, blue wing olives and tan midges all hatching at various times. With nymphs, emergers, duns or spinners to choose from, I get a headache just trying to decide what fly to use. The amazing thing is to be wading in a pool with 2 or 3 sporadic risers, and within 15 minutes there are fish rising everywhere.

Saturday evening I fished the "Curve Pool" where the anticipated sulphur hatch never materialized. Apparently the water temperature was a tad too cool. Sounds good to me.

riffles just upstream of bridge

All told a great weekend of good fishing, fine friends and beautiful scenery. I strongly recommend that all our members make this trip at a future date.

Mike Wilson

Photos by Walt Kononenko


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Last modified: June 16, 2000