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Early September Fly Fishing

Since early July weather in our area has been hot and humid with above average rainfall. We're in a window of pleasant weather this Labor Day weekend but it looks like it will be back in the heat starting Monday afternoon. So how are the trout doing? So far, thanks to many of us leaving them alone, the trout are fine. There were nice catches in the Gorge today and that will likely continue for the rest of the weekend. The flows are the big story. After four years of low water, levels are excellent and there is rain in the forecast again. Looks like after we get through much of the coming week's heat, there will be a more sustained cool down as far as weather goes. So pick your spots and remember that timing and temps are everything. Better days are on the way. Isonychia and Light Cahills are still a good bet at dusk. BWO's have been hatching sporadically. They are small size 20-22. Fish those Pheasant Tail nymphs and trail an RS2 in either Grey or BWO. Tan Caddis are another constant. Have an assortment available in sizes 16-18.

Bass fishing has been my other option this summer. With the rain, local ponds are in wonderful shape. The heat hasn't affected them as it has in previous years and many aren't choked with algae. The Largemouth Bass and big Bluegills are very active right now. These brief cool downs only spur their activity further. They can tell that summer is waning and will feed more consistently. If you've never taken a decent bass or trophy Bluegill on the fly, you are missing something. My St Croix Legend Elite 9' 6 wt is getting a nice workout. I also use it to fish larger and heavier streamers with sinking leaders for nighttime trout or big Smallmouth Bass. See the photo below of noted tyer and Shannon's Guide, John Collins with a big Smallie from the SBR last year. He prefers the TFO Clouser 9' 6 weight. I would also recommend either of two Douglas models, the DXF or the Sky. These 6 weight rods are also useful on larger waters like the Big Lehigh, lower Brodhead or the Upper Delaware. You want the rod to be pretty stiff, not a broomstick but to have enough power to turn over the heavier flies and sinking leaders or to push wind resistant bass poppers fifty or sixty feet on the pond. Stiff 1X-3X leaders are also a big help for my popper fishing. If the fish dive into the weeds, the heavier leaders are a must and they help turn the flies over easily when cast.

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