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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It looks like I'll finally make my first visit to PA for the trout opener. I am bringing my fly rod, I may bring my spinning gear as well. Any thoughts on fly selection for north central PA? In the creeks we hit, the fish will mainly be stocked.

When I've gone in May, I have only used streamers. I don't expect there to be much of a hatch of anything in mid-April. Can I indicator nymph? Any suggestions you guys have would be great.
 

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If your going to streams that are predominantly stockers I'd take the followinng:

Sucker spawn
Wooly buggers
prince nymphs
pheasant tail nymphs
hares ears
caddis larvea
stonefly nymphs

Check on the stream thoughs, if you get a warm up and it's a somewhat fertile stream you could see black caddis or hendricksons for dries.

Once thing to remember is the fish will have been in most of the streams at least a week or two so they will be starting to eat some normal stuff. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Lance! Your answer is just what I hoped to hear. I actually have all that stuff:cool: One of the things I enjoy doing before a trip is putting together a box. It's even better when I don't have to get anything new. I hope we get some warm weather, I'd like to float a few dries.
 

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If you want to PM me some of the streams I may be able to get you some more specific info. :)

I was over there yesterday to pick up some quail for training the dogs and did some exploring up in the ANF, found some promising new spots I want to try. Picked up a flat tire as well. Took 4 hours to get it fixed after I limped back to a main road!...... :irked:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
If you want to PM me some of the streams I may be able to get you some more specific info. :)

I was over there yesterday to pick up some quail for training the dogs and did some exploring up in the ANF, found some promising new spots I want to try. Picked up a flat tire as well. Took 4 hours to get it fixed after I limped back to a main road!...... :irked:
One of my buddies has a family camp the borders on the East Fork of the Sinnemahoning near Wharton. I'm sure we'll fish there. We also typically hit the First Fork of the Sinnemahoning as well. I've never been for the opener, so I'm just going to follow their lead as far as spots go. When I've gone in May, we've done a little exploring in some of the tiny creeks nearby. There are lots of theem.

I think the mentality will be to hit the easy fish on opening day in the more heavily stocked areas. I doubt we'll get to the smaller runs where there might be more native fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I expect there to be pretty significant crowds. I've gone 3 times in May (I think) and we had no problem catching some fish. At that time, there were guys around, but nothing that would qualify as a crowd. If the camp I'm going to is any indication, the May trip is 4-7 guys. Opening day is expected to be about 15. We will be our own crowd. :yikes:

The scenery is beautiful, the water is fabulous. Having it nearly to ourselves in May is awesome. On a couple of instances, I could hear the roar of a nearby gobbler echo off the hillside as I made me way around the creek. The cabin sits adjacent to an old gravel pit. It's full of big perch and pickerel. If the streams are too crowded, I'll strip streamers at the pond.

The First Fork



The East Fork

 

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GM,
Talked to a buddy of mine that guides central PA tonight and he said everything is almost 2 weeks ahead right now. You may want to carry some grannom caddis patterns`with you "just in case". If you're not familiar with them, the dry is a darker olive body with a mottled brown wing. size 14. For a larvae they are the cased caddis so go olive body with bright green/chartreuse collar with a bead head. :)
 

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Niblets corn is a favorite bait of the one morning a year trout fisherman in Pa.
In some of the heavily stocked creeks like Neshannock, by noon, if the water is clear it looks like "gold" scattered in alaska gravel stream.
Its also a matter of opening day guys tossing 3 ounce spoons on a 20 foot wide creek when "anglers" are shoulder to shoulder, both sides. and a big lunker is 8" long.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I finished collecting my flies for the trip. I picked up a few sucker spawn in a variety of colors because I was running low anyway. I couldn't find anything that was specifically Grannom caddis, so I got a few dark xcaddis and some dark elk hair caddis. I'll pack a few Hendrickson dries just in case.

My nymph collection was pretty good so I didn't need anything. But, I bought some Hare's Ear because I have great luck with them. I'm a little light on streamers. I went through more woolies than I thought chasing steel. There is a fly shop/general store nearby, I'll make a point of grabbing a few local ties.

Thanks for the help. :D
 

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I finished collecting my flies for the trip. I picked up a few sucker spawn in a variety of colors because I was running low anyway. I couldn't find anything that was specifically Grannom caddis, so I got a few dark xcaddis and some dark elk hair caddis. I'll pack a few Hendrickson dries just in case.

My nymph collection was pretty good so I didn't need anything. But, I bought some Hare's Ear because I have great luck with them. I'm a little light on streamers. I went through more woolies than I thought chasing steel. There is a fly shop/general store nearby, I'll make a point of grabbing a few local ties.

Thanks for the help. :D
Like the dark hair caddis...definitly bring Hendrickson's too. They've been on for 2 WEEKS around certain areas in PA. They may be done in another week. Everything is 3 weeks early or so.

GM, If I'm not mistaken, Potter has the most (or nearly so) class A streams in PA. Do you really want to be in the special reg or ATWs?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Like the dark hair caddis...definitly bring Hendrickson's too. They've been on for 2 WEEKS around certain areas in PA. They may be done in another week. Everything is 3 weeks early or so.

GM, If I'm not mistaken, Potter has the most (or nearly so) class A streams in PA. Do you really want to be in the special reg or ATWs?
Because of my ever changing schedule, I spend lots of time fishing by myself. It's nice to get out with a bunch of buddies and fish. Otherwise, I'd prefer the quieter streams.

The trip was a big win for the fly guys. We had 17 guys in camp and only 2 fly rods. Myself and a young guy trying the fly for the first time. Of course, we didn't keep everything we caught, but we out fished the rest of the camp 3-1. The low clear conditions were not perfect for us, but really tough for the bait chuckers.

On Friday, the new guy and I went scouting and found a few spots with fish. Toward dusk there were several rises. They looked to be hitting caddis. We picked our spot and headed back at 7:30 to secure our place. There was nothing rising, so we tied on nymphs and waited. When the season opened, we began short lining through the run. In short order, I had my 5 rainbows. My companion did well too, but with lots of other fishermen around, the spot got crowded and he didn't quite finish his limit. One guy in particular was carrying a fly rod, but fishing a heavy split shot and a crawler. He'd cast in the riffle above us, let it tumble down the run in front of us and into the hole. He caught a few too, and wasn't too obnoxious, but it was less than ideal.

Most of the rest of the day we skipped around a mile stretch of creek. I picked up several more fish. In the late afternoon, enough of the guys had left and we spotted a few rises. The elk hair caddis got hits for both of us, but out of 5 takes, we only landed one. My understudy (poor kid), ended just shy of his limit. Had he been able to convert on the dry he'd have got it done.

This morning I got up early and tried streamers. The white wooly connected on the only brown of the trip. That fish completed the "grand slam". I'd caught fish on a streamer, indicator nymphing, bottom bouncing and on a dry. Stockers or not they were lots of fun.

Despite our success, the conditions were tough. Everyone I spoke with said it was the lowest opening day water level they could ever remember. It was my first opening day, but I was told that the crowds were worse than usual. The low water compounded it by concentrating the fishermen (mostly spin) in the remaining holes.





 
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