surfstryker

Beginner looking for small stream advice in PA

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51 posts in this topic

8 hours ago, PhillyPhisher said:

Honestly the none fly only section of Ridley fishes better in my opinion. 
 

Valley creek is probably my favorite in that area. 

Valley is worth a day just for the environment.

Ridley is about the only SEPA stream that I've never fished for trout.

Little Lehigh is also worth the trip, crowded on weekends.

The Neshaminy in Tyler was nice, but due to pollutants from the old Willow Grove base, it will no longer be stocked.

 

 

 

 

 

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17 mins ago, Steve_in_PA said:

Some great guides in the Cumberland Valley of PA.

Along with great spring creeks.

Basically along I-81 below Carlisle.

I may even get out there this summer and book a guide, simply because those spring creeks are challenging.

 

 

 

Maybe they will help the OP for his new location , my home waters are not anywhere near PA . 

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16 mins ago, Steve_in_PA said:

Valley is worth a day just for the environment.

Ridley is about the only SEPA stream that I've never fished for trout.

Little Lehigh is also worth the trip, crowded on weekends.

The Neshaminy in Tyler was nice, but due to pollutants from the old Willow Grove base, it will no longer be stocked.

 

Have heard Valley Creek mentioned a lot. I look forward to trying that one out. 

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1 min ago, surfstryker said:

 

Have heard Valley Creek mentioned a lot. I look forward to trying that one out. 

It's cold enough to fish much of the year.

A good option for you once Ridley warms up.  At least for trout.

You can always fish the warm water for pan fish and rock bass.

They aren't so discerning on your presentation.

Good practice for casting and working out your equipment.

Every fly angler ends up developing his gear.

Usually a vest or fanny pack.

Lot's of small items you need close at hand.

You will be standing in a creek trying to tie a fly on a leader.

So we all figure out how to place tools where they work best.

BTW, if you don't know how to tie a few basic knots you might want to start learning.

Fly to tippet and tippet to leader will be first.

 

I know someone above suggested to use straight mono for a leader but I suggest when starting out to use a tappered 4x 9 foot leader.

Initially, get tipped in sizes from 6 to 3.

The ones on Amazon are fine.  That goes for fly lines as well.

When you start out you will be doing a lot of lawn casting.

No reason to beat up an expensive fly line doing that.

Get an Amazon weight forward to match the rod and start with that.

Back when I started we didn't have cheap lines that were castable.

I chewed up a $90 line real fast.

Same goes for a reel.  There are nice aluminum reels on Amazon by Piscifun or MAXIMUMCATCH  for $40 or so.

They work fine for SEPA trout.

I'd upgrade for a big stream like the Delaware.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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41 mins ago, Hook I said:

Maybe they will help the OP for his new location , my home waters are not anywhere near PA . 

BTW, what are your home waters?

I'm starting to travel with my new travel trailer and will looking to fish outside my area.

 

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11 mins ago, Steve_in_PA said:

It's cold enough to fish much of the year.

A good option for you once Ridley warms up.  At least for trout.

You can always fish the warm water for pan fish and rock bass.

They aren't so discerning on your presentation.

Good practice for casting and working out your equipment.

Every fly angler ends up developing his gear.

Usually a vest or fanny pack.

Lot's of small items you need close at hand.

You will be standing in a creek trying to tie a fly on a leader.

So we all figure out how to place tools where they work best.

BTW, if you don't know how to tie a few basic knots you might want to start learning.

Fly to tippet and tippet to leader will be first.

 

I know someone above suggested to use straight mono for a leader but I suggest when starting out to use a tappered 4x 9 foot leader.

Initially, get tipped in sizes from 6 to 3.

The ones on Amazon are fine.  That goes for fly lines as well.

When you start out you will be doing a lot of lawn casting.

No reason to beat up an expensive fly line doing that.

Get an Amazon weight forward to match the rod and start with that.

Back when I started we didn't have cheap lines that were castable.

I chewed up a $90 line real fast.

Same goes for a reel.  There are nice aluminum reels on Amazon by Piscifun or MAXIMUMCATCH  for $40 or so.

They work fine for SEPA trout.

I'd upgrade for a big stream like the Delaware.

 

This is really helpful info - thank you Steve! Really appreciate all the feedback in this thread. 

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Just now, surfstryker said:

 

This is really helpful info - thank you Steve! Really appreciate all the feedback in this thread. 

Always glad to help a fellow Pennsylvanian fly fisherman.

We have a lot of small gems around.  Even in the populated SE.

 

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FWIW - I just bought a second Reddington Crosswater outfit for $125. It's a 8'6" 5WT that I will give to one of my sons who is just learning. I like that it's a four piece and comes in a travel case. I am very impressed by the quality of this rod for the price. The reel is plastic and nothing great, but it will work for now, and for smaller stream trout, panfish, etc it's just holding the line anyway. 

 

I'll echo others.....find a TU group or fly fishing club and just go. I also suggest finding some stillwater panfish to learn on. Casting to sunfish on spawning beds is an excellent way to get started and practice. Good luck. Have fun!

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Posted (edited) · Report post

50 mins ago, Steve_in_PA said:

BTW, what are your home waters?

I'm starting to travel with my new travel trailer and will looking to fish outside my area.

 

I should have said not near his location

Willowemoc Creek is where I fish the most but the Catskills is endless and easy drive to Big water Beaver kill , Delaware , Espous, Callicoon Creek Neversink not to mention small mountain Brook trout waters , it is why I chose the area after fishing beaches 50 years ,

 

Edited by Hook I

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1 hour ago, surfstryker said:

 

Have heard Valley Creek mentioned a lot. I look forward to trying that one out. 

Get Ridley under your belt first.  Valley is a tough stream for even an advanced fly fisher to tackle.  It's heavily pressured, the trout are wild and spooky.  I went there the first time I went fly fishing for trout.  Just say I left very frustrated, almost gave up fly fishing and didn't go back for about 5 years. When I did go back I sort of knew what I was doing and managed to catch two trout and was very happy.  Stick with Ridley for now.

  As far as guides go, a couple of folks who worked at the Sporting Gentleman when it was open did guided trips on the side.  Steve who now works, at least part time at the TCO shop, was one of them.  Whether he still does, I don't know.  If you go into the shop, you could ask if they know anyone who guides locally on Ridley, Valley, Chester or Ithan creeks.

 

 

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3 mins ago, Philly said:

Get Ridley under your belt first.  Valley is a tough stream for even an advanced fly fisher to tackle.  It's heavily pressured, the trout are wild and spooky.  I went there the first time I went fly fishing for trout.  Just say I left very frustrated, almost gave up fly fishing and didn't go back for about 5 years. When I did go back I sort of knew what I was doing and managed to catch two trout and was very happy.  Stick with Ridley for now.

  As far as guides go, a couple of folks who worked at the Sporting Gentleman when it was open did guided trips on the side.  Steve who now works, at least part time at the TCO shop, was one of them.  Whether he still does, I don't know.  If you go into the shop, you could ask if they know anyone who guides locally on Ridley, Valley, Chester or Ithan creeks.

Thanks Philly! I will give them a call or head over. I do have plenty to explore with just Ridley, and will allow me to get my bearings before venturing further! 

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I second starting out on Ridley. Valley can be very tough. I got my bearings on Ridley. There’s also a good stretch of Pickering creek up by pheonixville that is a delayed harvest section, meaning it opens earlier that the general trout opener. 
 

The orvis store in downingtown does fly fishing 101 classes starting this time of year. They are a great way to learn the basics. They are free. Orvis is also a great option for getting a set up as well. The Clearwater line is an affordable but quality setup. I believe there is the Encounter line that is a bit cheaper than that. 

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1 min ago, PhillyPhisher said:

I second starting out on Ridley. Valley can be very tough. I got my bearings on Ridley. There’s also a good stretch of Pickering creek up by pheonixville that is a delayed harvest section, meaning it opens earlier that the general trout opener. 
 

The orvis store in downingtown does fly fishing 101 classes starting this time of year. They are a great way to learn the basics. They are free. Orvis is also a great option for getting a set up as well. The Clearwater line is an affordable but quality setup. I believe there is the Encounter line that is a bit cheaper than that. 

 

Thanks I was just on their site looking at both setups in 8'6" 5wt. I do like those options given it appears to come with just about everything you need from a reel/rod perspective. The Encounter is $200 cheaper though I havent seen much on that line in my (limited) research. 

 

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Posted (edited) · Report post

50 mins ago, surfstryker said:

 

Thanks I was just on their site looking at both setups in 8'6" 5wt. I do like those options given it appears to come with just about everything you need from a reel/rod perspective. The Encounter is $200 cheaper though I havent seen much on that line in my (limited) research. 

 

Orvis Clearwater rods are very good value.

 

About 5 years ago I was spending a lot of time upstate helping my mother get through chemo.

It was February, snowing, and I went back in to fish Penns.

(She lived a few miles from Penns.)

I slipped and took a lot of water in the waders.  Which instantly chilled me.

I got back to the truck.  Stripped off the waders, and climbed in the cab with heat for half an hour to ward off hypothermia.

After I got warmed up I put the truck in gear and headed out.

A couple miles up the mountain road, I realized I put my Orvis Helios rod on the roof of the truck while hurriedly getting into the truck.

Well, it bounced off somewhere up there and I couldn't find it.

$1000 rod and $300 reel lost.  

I only had that rod and wanted to fish again the next day.

So stopped in a local shop and all they had were Clearwater rods.

Bought one and fished the rest of the week.

 

If you happen to be on Old Mingo Road by Penns and find a Helios rod it's yours.

 

 

Edited by Steve_in_PA

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Posted (edited) · Report post

You are more than welcome to come to NE PA, I can get you in the bigger waters, (Lackawaxen and Delaware) as well as many, many small streams. 8.5' - 9' 5wt will do most anything. If the streams are really small, a 6'-7.5' rod is nice, but will limit you. Stick with the longer 5, so you can fish bass and panfish a bit too.

If you are on fakebook, join some local pages. Meet up and fish with someone who knows the waters.

Mike B

Edited by Skeet1969

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