Surface feeding can be hit or miss, but a Black Stonefly nymph will take fish. Prior to the AMD treatment facility, the inactive mine discharged almost 15 million gallons of water laced with iron pyrite and other mining chemicals directly into the river every day. Its hard being the bearer of bad news, but it is bad out there! 570-241-2211. Drove my boat down from San Francisco to San Diego, CA to chase some Yellowtail AKA Hamachi. There you’ll find swifter-moving, well-oxygenated water that is easier to nymph as well as navigate. 8 oz. The Susquehanna River Fishing under good conditions can provide hours of non stop action. read more.. Obey “No Trespassing” signs and park only at designated access points—easy enough, considering that the entire 30 miles of regulated water is paralleled by US Highway 219 and there are literally dozens of turnouts along the river. Although this stretch has traditionally been a warm-water fishery, more and more trout are beginning to show up there, too. Many of these skinny waters serve as nurseries for the West Branch. My favorite reach of Chest Creek, though, is Section 3, which is managed under Delayed Harvest Artificial Lures Only (DHALO) regulations and part of the Keystone Select Stocked Trout Waters program. On the West Largemouth Bass with a swimbait. The Susquehanna Boom was a system of cribs in the West Branch Susquehanna River designed to hold timber in the river until it could be processed at one of the nearly 60 sawmills along the river between Lycoming and Loyalsock creeks in Lycoming County. Wow! Mention of the West Branch Susquehanna River may summon images of a wide, sprawling river that empties into the main branch Susquehanna River in central Pennsylvania. These two colors are ideally suited for the water color, and they catch fish when nothing else will. The river is the 16th largest river in the United States. Many parts of this underrated river are still relatively unknown and seldom explored. In the fall, fish in the West Branch often swim up into these tributaries to spawn. Ice thickness and conditions can vary greatly across the lake. About West Branch Susquehanna. Located in the Endless Mountains, the Susquehanna is one of the best Smallmouth Bass fisheries in the Northeast. When I first started fishing the upper West Branch Susquehanna River, I was skeptical. The West Branch rises on the west side of the Alleghenies in northwest Cambria County and flows in a northerly direction for nearly 40 miles before turning eastward and beginning its 200-mile march to the main stem. My two favorite patterns, though, are a chartreuse Mop Fly and a black Krystal Bugger. Paflyfish | A fly fishing community for trout and bass with stream reports, forum, maps, hatch charts and blog covering Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Maryland and Ohio Paflyfish - West Branch Susquehanna River (Clearfield Co) [Forums - Fly Fishing Locations] the trout looking up. These are all indicators that the upper West Branch Susquehanna River is a conservation success story with a very bright future. Of course, the upper West Branch also produces dense hatches of Caenis—aka Angler’s Curse because their diminutive size can be a challenge to match and fish correctly, especially in slow-moving water. The West Branch has trout-attracting structure in spades. Those first 40 miles are especially intriguing because they’ve undergone a serious transformation in recent years, and they provide an abundance of opportunities for trout enthusiasts. This rainbow most likely came from Chest Creek, a Keystone Select Stocked Trout Water. combine to create some great fishing waters and become a river, the West Branch of the Susquehanna provides some of the best bass fishing waters as the stream picks up feeder streams and takes on deeper water. The number of bass 15 inches and over (over 5 years) are increasing do in part to catch and release and successful multi year spawns. Fishing access is permitted thanks to agreements between landowners and the PFBC. It was like nothing I’d ever seen, with a white body, brownish thorax, and tiny, cellophane-like wings. Learn more here Reminder: The PFBC does not monitor ice thickness. Every year, I catch increasing numbers of 5- to 8-inch wild brown trout, indicating successful natural reproduction. As evening settled in, rings left by feeding trout pocked the stream’s smooth surface. A report of the West Branch of the Susquehanna River showing healthy and increasing amounts of smallmouth bass populations, as well as many other fish species, could … Although the section of the West Branch above Curwensville is not stocked, trout from the tributaries sometimes move into the bigger, cooler Few people know it, but the Upper West Branch Susquehanna River is a year-round wild brown trout fishery with 26 miles of special regulation water, designated All-Tackle Catch and Release. High dirty water, transition between spawn and post spawn, and temperature swings all can be debilitating conditions that without a great fishery and experienced anglers can lead to a failed excursion. It takes a deep, slow retrieve to get up under West Branch Susquehanna. Whether in the form of a huge rock or, more often, an uprooted tree that has fallen into the river, holding water abounds. 124 Guests, 0 Users Pages: [1] Go Down Subject / Started by Replies / Views Last post ; 0 Members and 3 Guests are viewing this board. The upper West Branch also forms plenty of riffle-and-run stretches. Locals often refer to this hatch as a Light Cahill Midge, and you can encounter it anytime between mid-July and mid-September, in the upper West Branch as well as below Curwensville; it’s usually heaviest in the evenings. I didn’t know it then, but that evening I had encountered my first hatch of the Angler’s Curse. Today, the facility captures the water that naturally rises from within the mine, neutralizes the chemicals, and then pumps it into the river. Commercially operated mines opened here in the 1840s, with large-scale mining beginning in 1856. All Photos by Ralph Sherder. In 2018, this section, combined with an additional 18 miles of river down to Dowler Junction, began to be managed under Catch and Release All Tackle regulations, and it receives no trout stockings by the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission (PFBC). Walleye seem to do quite well in the lower portion in The upper West Branch Susquehanna River will likely never attain the status of some of Pennsylvania’s best wild trout streams—Spring Creek and the Little Juniata River come to mind—but it’s a great place to test your skills against some fine fish. Even downstream of the all-tackle catch-and-release section, the river holds wild browns, but the slower-moving water can be more challenging because it’s also easier to spook fish. The North Branch, which rises in upstate New York, is generally regarded as the extension of the main branch, with the shorter West Branch being its principal tributary. The first 3.87 miles are designated Class A Wild Trout water, with native brook trout the main species. Populations of wild brown trout are expanding steadily every year, and the future looks bright for the upper West Branch Susquehanna River. The smallmouth bass would not hit a swimming bait such as a crankbait or spinnerbait . I theorized that this particular fish had come from Chest Creek, a 40-mile-long tributary that begins just south of Bradley Junction in Cambria County and flows in a northeasterly direction until it joins the West Branch near the town of Mahaffey. In April 2014, the PFBC began stocking trout from the confluence of Anderson Creek downstream to Porters Bridge. Fish can get spooky, often hiding deep under the structure, and you have to work to get a fly in front of them. The typical gamut of nymphs, such as Pheasant Tails, Hare’s Ears, and Copper Johns, all work well. The water was low and clear. There are plenty of options below Curwensville Dam, too. Over the past two decades, reclamation and remediation of AMD in the West Branch Susquehanna has become a priority for numerous conservation organizations and government agencies, including Trout Unlimited. by Mike Salamon | Jun 1, 2020 | Guides, Susquehanna River Charters. Barring any setbacks, it will continue to improve. The river averages around 20 feet wide, but it still has lots of depth and woody structure. Al is a full time Susquehanna river fishing guide based out of Falls Pa. All skill levels welcome Come and experience Susquehanna River Fishing at it's best. But this river rewards patient anglers who stalk carefully and present flies with stealth and accuracy. Exploring the river by canoe or kayak will give you a glimpse at the remnants of the Pennsylvania Wilds’ logging history. Fly fishing for Trout on the West Branch is an incredible experience. Fish carefully and methodically and you can reap big dividends. 2. Nick B. Sep, 09, 2015 - West Branch Susquehanna River. The West Branch Susquehanna River drains most of the Allegheny Highlands, a sparsely populated forest. This section receives both spring and fall stockings of fish, with a high percentage of larger-than-average trout. Many times I’ve experienced prime conditions on the West Branch in the morning, only to jump over to the next watershed for the afternoon and find conditions much less fishable. This 2.8-mile section offers scenic, big-water trout fishing. That’s the nature of fly fishing, of course, and the Angler’s Curse is just one of the intriguing experiences offered by the West Branch Susquehanna River. That’s the nature of fly fishing, of course, and the Angler’s Curse is just one of the intriguing experiences offered by the West Branch Susquehanna River. State Parks Aren't the Only Location To Launch a Fishing Boat By the time the West Branch reaches Dowler Junction, it’s twice as wide and twice as deep, and the good nymphing water is more spread out. Local clubs and sporting groups also stock the West Branch Susquehanna below the dam during the winter. It has a low gradient with long stretches of mud bottom. 7 lb. And third, an acid mine drainage (AMD) treatment facility was installed on Barnes & Tucker’s Lancashire No. However, these conditions have made it easy to find the deeper channels within the river; and to locate structure and habitat where fish tend to congregate. Subscribe to our FREE newsletter here. Since the water originates several hundred feet below the earth’s surface, its temperature when it leaves the mine is in the low 50s Fahrenheit, creating a fishery that can support trout year-round. https://www.timesleader.com/sports/665965/smallmouth-bass-thriving-in-susquehanna-river. First, many of the small towns along the river built treatment facilities for raw sewage. As it swung downstream into the swirling water behind the tree, I stripped it in, an inch at a time, and my line caught bottom, or so I thought. water during the summer months. Throughout May, heavy hatches of caddisflies are the norm. The lands along the West Branch were vital hunting grounds and agricultural lands for Native Americans. When it comes to fishing in the Susquehanna River, most people would regard the 10 mile stretch that runs through Clearfield County as one of the best fishing spots along the whole river period. The Susquehanna River, in all it spendor and glory, winds down though Pennsylvania’s spectacular Endless Mountain Range in North East Pennsylvania. This is where the West Branch Susquehanna River … As millions of dollars are being invested to correct the environmental damages of decades ago, many of the once-polluted waterways, especially in this part of the state, are being reestablished as viable fisheries. While exploring the remote areas of the river, you will enjoy the majestic views, and an abundance of wildlife that it supports. With the extremely low waters and summer heat, fishing has been tough recently. In mid-March, Blue-Winged Olives appear, followed by the spring trifecta of Blue Quills, Quill Gordons, and Light Hendricksons. The day before Truthout's oil sighting, NOAA had reopened more of the previously closed fishing areas, bringing to 96 percent the federal waters now deemed safe for fishing. This book provides information about hatches and what to expect when you get there. Over the 4th I had the toon out every afternoon and with the winds we had last week I had the need to anchor up. However, all year, deeper areas appear deep green. Hydropsyche (Spotted Sedge) and Olive Caddisflies are the dominant species, It colors quickly after a rain, but clears just as fast. Subsequently, millions of state, federal and local dollars have been utilized for AMD remediation. Hatches and Patterns The West Branch Susquehanna River produces a wide variety of hatches, beginning in winter with the Black Stonefly. The trout aren’t exactly finicky, except when they’re keying on specific hatches, so I generally use a lot of attractor patterns. In this part of Pennsylvania, where coal was once king, train tracks and trout fishing go hand in hand. © 2021 American Fly Fishing. It then flows south all the way to Northumberland, Pennsylvania where it meets the West Branch then continues south into Maryland and eventually into the Chesapeake Bay. In addition, the stream junctions, where these tributaries join the West Branch, are almost always hot spots, especially in the summer. It’s almost impossible to stand in the water and look up- or downriver without spotting a possible brown trout lair. Like most wild brown trout waters, the upper West Branch can be temperamental. The North Branch of The Susquehanna River has a world renowned smallmouth bass fishery. In fact, the first 8 miles or so, from the plant down to the beginning of the flood control section in the town of Cherry Tree, are classified as a Class A Wild Trout Stream. Rainbow trout are uncommon in the upper West Branch, but they occasionally migrate into the river from several of the stocked tributaries. You may lose a few flies, but that’s a price worth paying. The upper West Branch has no shortage of good-looking trout lairs. But upriver—way upriver, above the Curwensville Dam—it’s a different story. and hatches can occur at any time of the day. Pictured above Joe, Bill, Ricky, and George all had successful outings on the North Branch of the Susquehanna River despite some very difficult conditions. All fish here are a product of natural reproduction. These mayflies (genus Caenis) are small, ranging in size from 22 to 28, and when trout decide to key on them, anglers are frequently humbled. Get your fishing license ONLINE! In late May, Light Cahills, Gray Foxes, Sulphurs, Slate Drakes, and Green Drakes all hatch, although not in the same densities found on most other trout streams in the region. The Class A water above Cherry Tree is a prime example. From fall until spring, the water carries a milky cast, likely a result of the minerals in the mine water treated at the AMD facility. The West Branch of the Susquehanna is many times overlooked as a fishing destination primarily due to the popularity of its other two brothers to the east and south – the fabled North Branch and the mighty main stem of the Susquehanna. Larger fish, up to 18 inches, are also increasingly common, and the river holds a few fish best measured in pounds. 15 mine, which closed in 1969. American Fly Fishing Digital Back Issues (PDF), Eastern Fly Fishing Digital Back Issues (PDF), Northwest Fly Fishing Back Issues (Print), Northwest Fly Fishing Digital Back Issues (PDF), Southwest Fly Fishing Back Issues (Print), Southwest Fly Fishing Digital Back Issues (PDF). Looking to the Future Although there are small patches of public land around Cherry Tree and Mahaffey, much of the upper West Branch flows through private property. Flowing 228 miles total, the West Branch is one of two principal branches of the mighty Susquehanna River and a meandering and beautiful journey through the PA Wilds Lumber Heritage Region. Appearance Versus Reality At first glance, the upper West Branch doesn’t look like typical trout water. West Branch Susquehanna River, Pennsylvania fishing report, rainbow trout fly fishing forecast, fly shop and fishing guides, and fly-fishing weather. 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